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After much procratinating, I finally got round to installing Audio Overload on to the Linux side of my PC (Kubuntu 5.10). The install was actually rather pleasant, in that the application launched first time without any complaints. However, I have had other difficulties.

Now since I'm not exactly sure how to say any of this, I'm going to list all of the problems I've had so far. The SPC playback is actually rather sweet and I gather this is still a work-in-progress, but I have some questions to ask and things to say before I can possibly get to sleep.

1) PSF playback is very spotty. I'm not sure if it's my files or AO, but many tracks fail to play, play at a ridiculously high tempo, or have other problems. The games I tried are all RPGs and mostly Square (Chrono Cross, FF7/8, Tales of Phantasia) and only CC gave me any tracks that sounded right. Is this normal or are my PSFs borked?

2) I can only select one file to add at once. I'm not sure if this is how things are supposed to work at this point or if I'm missing something, but it really grates. I tend to open large groups of files or entire folders at once, and selecting one at a time really gets tedious when I'm adding from a folder of 50+ files. Since AO on Linux currently has no playlist capability, anything I add is only there for one session, and I can see myself spending more time adding tracks than listening to them with this method.

3) The list in the left pane displays file names rather than track names. I find this a bit bizarre as the track names are in the tags of the files I have, but I can only see them when I actually play the files, which is a bit late really since I know the titles of most of these songs off by heart. I'd really want to know before I click play.

4) A question. A certain page over at Arbee's WIP lists several Square games in red and says they 'may never work in AO'. Now I don't mean to insult, but I've been playing music from some of those game using Highly Experimental for over two years now and they sounded pretty accurate to what I got from the games. Why is this so much harder in AO? Enlightenment would be much appriciated.

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1) A lot of PSF rips released after the last version of AO have various problems that have been fixed in the WIP code. (The WIP code plays every single PSF rip I've been able to find on the Internet). That said, a large majority of the available sets should play fine even in the current release version. FF7 and 8 are known to work.

2) I'm not sure multiselect is possible with the normal GTK file requester, but I'll make a note.

3) For most file types we attempt to show the track name rather than the file name, but Richard did not design the core that way (the Mac version shows only file names always) and my methods for making it work sometimes fail. You get best results opening an archive. AO3 will resolve this in a better way when we get there.

4) Highly Experimental is believed to include and use the Sony BIOSes for their PS1 and PS2 emulation. This makes a lot of the details simply drop out but it also means HE is illegal to distribute if that's true. (I can't prove it, but looking at lower memory in PSFLab certainly seems to indicate the presence of good old SCPH1001).

AO uses an HLE approach, which is also 100% legal. For PSFs we simulate the relevant BIOS functions and emulating the relevant PS1 hardware, which is relatively simple. For PSF2s we simulate the entire preemptive multithreading Unix-like OS that runs on the IOP, complete with ELF loader. This is not easy to do or to debug - it's like trying to recreate Linux by tracing through the startup of Firefox.

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Quote:
Originally posted by R. Belmont:
4) Highly Experimental is believed to include and use the Sony BIOSes for their PS1 and PS2 emulation. This makes a lot of the details simply drop out but it also means HE is illegal to distribute if that's true. (I can't prove it, but looking at lower memory in PSFLab certainly seems to indicate the presence of good old SCPH1001).
If you scroll to bfc00000 it's obvious that it isn't just using a Sony BIOS. It selects a code path based on the cpu id, so I guess it's dual purpose for PSF1 & PSF2.

I've not looked closely enough to determine whether all of the code was written from scratch though. You may have a point, but you could prove it if you wanted.

A real proof would be to dump out the process space, I haven't got anything installed that lets me do that at the moment. The startup code you disassemble could be a redherring to put lawyers off the scent, but I doubt it.

smf

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The exception handler and syscall code down at 0/80/a0/b0/c0 is byte-for-byte what scph1001 puts there though, including the jumps into the ROM area. (I looked at it side-by-side with the MESS debugger). And there's really no reason to have all that there.

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I also noticed that I can't really do anything while playing, since I was doing light browsing in Firefox while I had an SPC playing and the sound was skipping any time I loaded a new page. This is a bit of a downer as this is exactly how I like listening to my music.

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Quoting myself from the thread that was at the top of this forum before you posted :p "the Linux version is not currently threaded". That's been fixed in the WIP - you can now even open the About window and the oscilloscope will keep updating.

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Ah, didn't realize the two things were related. Well I'll be looking forward to the next release then.


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