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Playing and converting old .mods with UADE September 14, 2005

Posted by winden in demoscene.

So, let’s assume that you are an old schooler and can’t stand the idea of running olden mods (and other varieties such as the 7-channel TFMX Turrican soundtracks) under some “lame” (OK, probably these kids never ever heard about the more strange modules) module players that won’t sound 100% right. Even more, you don’t only want to hear them at home with a “big” computer but also while on-the-go with an ipod (which having two 80mhz cpus and 32megs of ram is decidedly big, or at least bigger than many of the machines around the house ;).

The solution is to use UADE, the UNIX Amiga Deliplayer Emulator.

Once upon a time, both Deliplayer and Eagleplayer were very powerful music-players for Amiga, not the only ones but they sure were great (later on Hippoplayer caught like fire because it used less memory). But they decided cooperation was better than war, so a common plugin architecture was specified, developed and made public so that you could code a replayer for a music format only once and use it on both programs. This gave us a very nice way of reading all the 200+ weird sound formats used in Amiga games and demos, and opened the way later on for software-mixing plugins like xm and mp3, or synthetising ones like AHX from Abyss.

UADE is “just a remix” of UAE (the well known Amiga emulator) with the Deliplayer/Eagleplayer plugin system, so that you can use these plugins to play music on XMMS (the Linux WINAMP clone) and also via command line. Some parts of UAE are used to emulate both the Amiga chipset and the CPU, with the replays running inside that Amiga emulation. They are then cleverly fooled to think they are being hosted on Deliplayer, while in fact on the other side there is a native OS program which connects to XMMS so that the sound comes out.

What all that means gives us is not having to suffer because some new school GPL program is not being bug-for-bug compatible with protracker 2.38b (and I’m not making this up, some classing demo musics will sound very extrange when run on common off-the-shelf replayers!), because with just a bit of easy installing you can have UADE as your favourite double-click replay method on both KDE and Gnome desktops. As a very nice bonus, the UADE distribution comes packed both with many Amiga replayers (139 to be exact) and also their original 680×0 sources, thus beign also a very useful way to preserve and collect many of these unique sourcecodes.

So far so good, but given that my local desktop is not a linux machine but an OSX one, I’ve installed UADE on another machine at home and just began to pace some of my mod collections into a little shell program which is faithfully dumping them into high-quality mp3, suitable for using with both iTunes and iPod.

Now there could be a really nice hack, and that would be making a Quicktime plugin out of UADE, so that OSX got fully native 100% Amiga sound goodness.

Have fun!

ps. As you may notice, Delitracker was re-converted for Windows ;)
ps. Maybe you noticed, maybe not… “replay-routine” is amiga-coder lingo for the code used to interpret a music format.


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