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Revision: 1.19
Committed: 2004-01-12T15:15:48Z (20 years, 6 months ago) by cebix
Branch: MAIN
Changes since 1.18: +1 -1 lines
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File Contents

# Content
2 SIDPlayer
3 A SID tune replayer
5 Copyright (C) 1996-2004 Christian Bauer
8 License
9 -------
11 SIDPlayer is available under the terms of the GNU General Public License.
12 See the file "COPYING" that is included in the distribution for details.
15 What is SIDPlayer?
16 ------------------
18 SIDPlayer is a replayer program for C64 music ("SID tunes"), like PlaySID on
19 the Amiga or SIDPLAY for Unix. You can think of it as being a stripped-down
20 C64 emulator that only emulates the CPU and the sound chip of the C64.
21 SIDPlayer can replay SID tunes in the "PSID" file format, but it cannot run
22 any C64 programs.
25 Why would I want to listen to C64 music?
26 ----------------------------------------
28 The C64 had the most advanced sound capabilities of all home computers in
29 the early 80's. While other computers of that time were only able to produce
30 beeps, the C64 had a complete 3-voice analog synthesizer on its MOS 6581
31 sound chip (called "SID" - "Sound Interface Device"). Even some more modern
32 computers (as the Atari ST or the first Macs) had worse sound.
34 The SID chip features three oscillators with selectable waveform, ADSR
35 envelope generators, programmable resonance filters and special effects like
36 ring modulation. With the aid of the CPU, it can also replay 4-bit sampled
37 sounds. SIDPlayer emulates all features of the SID chip, including the
38 filters.
40 There were (and are still) many composers programming excellent music for
41 the C64 and thousands of tunes have been converted for use with SID tune
42 replayers on nearly every existing computer platform. One big advantage of
43 SID tunes is that they take very little hard disk space: most are only 4-8K
44 in size.
47 System Requirements
48 -------------------
50 SIDPlayer runs on all Unix systems supported by SDL (which includes Linux,
51 FreeBSD, Solaris and Irix) and on BeOS R4.5 or later versions.
53 Successfully tested systems include:
54 - Linux/i386
55 - BeOS/x86 R5
56 - BeOS/ppc R5
59 Supported file formats
60 ----------------------
62 The only SID tune file format supported by SIDPlayer is single-file PSID
63 files (these have the signature "PSID" in the first 4 bytes). Most SID music
64 available on the Internet is in this format.
67 Installing SIDPlayer
68 --------------------
70 See the file "INSTALL".
73 Using SIDPlayer under BeOS
74 --------------------------
76 SIDPlayer can be started from the Tracker or from the Shell. If you give the
77 name of a PSID file as an argument from the Shell or drag a PSID file onto
78 the SIDPlayer icon from the Tracker, that file is loaded and played.
80 The SIDPlayer window displays some information about the currently loaded
81 PSID file and has the usual tapedeck-like controls for pausing, restarting
82 and stopping the replay and for selecting the next or previous song
83 contained in the PSID file. The number of the song currently playing and the
84 total number of songs in the loaded PSID file are displayed to the right of
85 the tapedeck buttons. The slider in the bottom right of the window can be
86 used to adjust the replay speed.
88 The SIDPlayer menu has three items:
90 - "About SIDPlayer" shows some information about SIDPlayer
91 - "Sound Control" opens the sound control window (see below)
92 - "Quit" quits SIDPlayer
94 To load another PSID file, drag it into the SIDPlayer window. To quit
95 SIDPlayer, close the window or select the "Quit" menu item.
97 Some functions of SIDPlayer can also be controlled with the keyboard:
98 P : Play/pause
99 S : Stop
100 N : Next song
101 Esc/Space : Stop
102 Left arrow : Previous song
103 Right arrow: Next song
104 Q : Quit
107 Using SIDPlayer under Unix
108 --------------------------
110 SIDPlayer currently only works as a command line application. It is invoked
111 as follows:
113 sidplayer FILE [song_number]
115 "FILE" is the name of the PSID file to be loaded. The optional "song_number"
116 specifies the number of the song to be player (instead of the default song).
117 SIDPlayer cannot detect when a song has finished, so you have to use Ctrl-C
118 to quit it.
120 SIDPlayer accepts a number of command line arguments. Type "sidplayer --help"
121 to get a list.
123 If you have a Catweasel MK3 PCI card with a SID chip installed you can
124 redirect the output of SIDPlayer to the card by specifying the "--cwsid on"
125 command line argument. Visit for more information about
126 the Catweasel card.
129 The Sound Control window (BeOS only)
130 ------------------------------------
132 Sound post-processing is controlled with the "Effect" pop-up menu and the
133 "Delay" and "Feedback" sliders. The available effects are "None" (no post-
134 processing), "Reverb" (simple reverb) and "Spatial" (reverb with phase
135 shift, intended for headphone users).
137 The checkbox labeled "Filters" is used to turn the emulation of the SID
138 filters on or off.
140 The "New SID Chip" checkbox selects the type of SID chip to be emulated.
141 Currently this only affects some combined waveforms.
143 The eight slider gadgets in the right part of the window control the stereo
144 panning and volume of each of the four voices (3 synthesized voices, 1
145 sampled voice).
148 Where do I get PSID files
149 -------------------------
151 The two largest collections of SID tunes are the "High Voltage" SID
152 Collection ( and the "NemeSIDs" archive
153 ( These have been used for testing
154 during the development of SIDPlayer and they should all work.
156 Twenty demonstration SID tunes are included with SIDPlayer in the "PSID
157 Demo" directory.
160 Support
161 -------
163 Updates of SIDPlayer are available on the official SIDPlayer home page:
168 History
169 -------
171 V1.0 - First release
172 V2.0 - SID filter emulation, better envelope generation
173 V2.1 - Implemented notch filter, 60Hz replay now works, added faster/
174 slower buttons, compiled for BeOS DR8
175 V2.2 - Improved the 6510, triangle waveform is now 12 bits, output
176 clipping, stereo output, corrected SID sustain behaviour,
177 reading from a write-only SID register returns the last byte
178 written to the SID, combined waveforms sampled from a 6581R4
179 V2.3 - Corrected BRK, DCP, ARR and LAS instructions, volume levels up
180 to 200% possible, compiled for BeOS DR9
181 V2.4 - Shows name/author/copyright in ISO-Latin1
182 V2.5 - Converted panning/volume sliders to BSlider class
183 V3.0 - Unified PPC/x86 release
184 V4.0 - Now based on Frodo V5 CPU/SID code (more efficient CPU emulation,
185 post-processing effects (reverb, spatial), prefs manager), replaced
186 faster/slower buttons by slider, added popup menu and sound control
187 window, ported to BeOS R5 with new Media Kit, implemented CIA timer
188 speed control, and SIDPlayer can now also be used as a CL-Amp plugin
189 V4.1 - Runs as a command line application under Unix (requiring SDL),
190 preferences items can be passed on the command line, and SIDPlayer
191 can now also be used as a SoundPlay plugin
192 V4.2 - Fixed writes to mirrored SID registers, output to WAV file is possible
193 in SDL version
194 V4.3 - Added support for Catweasel SID hardware in SDL version (use option
195 "--cwsid on"), CIA timer speed control now actually works
196 V4.4 - Fixed a problem with the wrong replay routine being called when the
197 IRQ vector was changed. Mastercomposer tunes (and probably others)
198 not play correctly. [Thanks to Stefano Tognon.]
201 Acknowledgements
202 ----------------
204 Special thanks go to Claes Lfqvist and Marco Nelissen for their help with
205 adding CL-Amp and SoundPlay plugin support.
208 Christian Bauer
209 <>