MOD Player for Sega Saturn

Morden

New Member
Alot has happend on the Sega Saturn homebrew developement scene during the last few years. I've seen some great stuff being released and I was impressed over and over again. What puzzles me though, is the lack of any kind of MOD file player for the system.

Hitmen made their PlayStation MOD player and the whole scene took advantage of that. Every single cracktro or trainer played a MOD tune, as did some of the demos.

Still, after all these years I have yet to see someone come up with a program to play MODs. It seems like there's a few people in here who are into Sega Saturn coding, with Rockin-B leading the pack. He might remember me asking about the MOD player on his boards.

I know this entry might sound like "Why didn't you make it yet? get to it, because I want it". It's not like that at all. I'm just curious. After all, a MOD player would make many people happy, not to mention the credit that goes to the creator of such software.

Is it because of the Saturn way of handling sound? Would it be just too hard to code and not worth the trouble? I find it hard to believe that Saturn wouldn't be able to handle something that was developed for the PlayStation at such an early stage.

I think we should have a coding contest just for that little piece of software. Another C4, but the ultimate goal would be to make the best MOD player possible. There has to be a way to motivate people to do it, right? Money? Fame? Women? What would it take? hehe.

The MOD format is more than well documented, I guess the coding tools needed for making a Saturn port are also out there ... What's the hold up?
 

Amon

Staff member
Alot has happend on the Sega Saturn homebrew developement scene during the last few years. I've seen some great stuff being released and I was impressed over and over again. What puzzles me though, is the lack of any kind of MOD file player for the system.
This is the first i have heard of a MOD file. If there was enough interest there would of been a MOD player (if there isnt one already).

There has to be a way to motivate people to do it, right? Money? Fame? Women? What would it take? hehe.
People in the past have offered money to make a certain program for the saturn and what ended up happening was the program was made and the person who offered the reward didnt pay up. So if offering such a reward without proof that you will actually pay is pointless. Programming contests such as C4 are great because they allow the programmer to code what they want. Unless the reward is great enough there wont be enough interest to hold a contest to make a mod player. As cool as you think it might be not everyone shares your point of view. Just as everyone doesnt share my point of view.

After all, a MOD player would make many people happy, not to mention the credit that goes to the creator of such software.
By many people you mean you :p You are the first that I know of to want a MOD player for the saturn. I am sure the computer you wrote this forum post on would be a better medium to play mod files.

FYI I deleted your other post in the dreamcast dev section for you.

Also I appologise for sounding like an ass but I havent slept and stringing sentances in a coherient manner is getting more and more difficult as time progresses in its usual linear fasion.
 

Morden

New Member
Whoa. Not the kind of reply I was hoping for, but a reply nonetheless, and that's always a good thing. So, let's see ...


Amon said:
This is the first i have heard of a MOD file.

That's cool. Not everyone is sharing equal interest in computer and console scene so that's understandable. If you haven't looked it up, a MOD is a music format. It's basically a file containing a bunch of sound samples and the information telling the player program on when, how many times, at what notes and what volume these samples should be played.


MOD format was concieved towards the end of the 80s so it's been around for quite some time and is still popular among sceners. Later on, more complex solutions were created, though still based on the same principals, they added effects like vibrato, panning and so on. I guess that explains it. And just to hit the ball back, you're one of the few that don't know the format.


People in the past have offered money to make a certain program for the saturn and what ended up happening was the program was made and the person who offered the reward didnt pay up.

I wasn't making an actual offer. I was just wondering if it was the software / hardware limitations or the lack of motivation.


I am sure the computer you wrote this forum post on would be a better medium to play mod files.

It would be / it is. That however, is not the point. Popularity of the MOD file aside, it's pretty convenient to have the possibility of using such a solution in homebrew applications and games instead of rather large audio tracks and awkward compressions.


I am really interested in what the coders have to say. What I was asking was: Can it be done and if so, how and what would the biggest problem be? And I'd really like to hear something more than "Anything can be done, if you put your heart in it".


Sega Saturn doesn't have a quarter of the scene PlayStation had, and PlayStation scene was mostly Amiga coders, so I'm not surprised they've ported something so familiar to them. MOD players were written for PlayStation 2, DreamCast and Xbox aswell, mainly for the purpose of playing tunes in cracktros and such.


Anyway, your reaction was the last thing I wanted. I didn't want people to think I'm making a request or even a demand. This has been bothering me for the longest time. The "why?" I mean. Sure, maybe there's no demand for a MOD file player, but there should be some demand for decent homebrew games, and there aren't any.


PlayStation had its homebrew and NetYaroze, DreamCast is still going strong, PlayStation 2 did get some decent releases aswell and I understand that Saturn isn't anywhere near the popularity of the other systems, but one thing is certain. A mod player was released on each and every one of them and was one of the first things coded.


I appologise for sounding like an ass

No problem. Not knowing what a MOD file really is pretty much explains it. I'm pretty sure that to you, my post sounded like an unreasonable request from a newly registered member, who wants others to code stuff for him. And it's something nobody wants, otherwise it would already be done. Right?
 

Madroms

New Member
Yeah, MOD player will be great!! (or any tracker compatible player, like IT, XM and so on).

I just begin to play with saturn sound/music today for the program I modify/made, and it is a pain to have such low mem to store pcm files. So MOD player could let us have much more lengthy music for our Saturn project.

But, I don't have the skill to make or port one by myslef, as I just began in c as well as saturn programming => I am a noob :D

[I also enjoy listening to "MOD made" music ;) ]
 

Morden

New Member
Madroms said:
Yeah, MOD player will be great!! (or any tracker compatible player, like IT, XM and so on).

In your face, Amon. It turns out I wasn't being so selfish after all. People would put a tracked music player to a good, low mem / cpu consuming use.


I wouldn't get too excited about the Impulse Tracker and FastTracker II formats though. Too many things to sort out, I guess. And the limited resources of Saturn come into play again, since XM / IT files can be stuffed with megabytes of samples played on 32 channels.


I really hope this thread will awake some interest among coders. This might be something that both developers and users alike would benefit from.
 

dibz

Boss
Staff member
I'll admit I used to listen to mod/xm/it all the time, although that was back in the DOS days, heh.

Would be neat to see something along those lines.
 

vbt

Staff member
maybe it could be possible, there is a AIF handler in the SBL with the sources, it could be a good sample to develop another file format support I guess.
 

Morden

New Member
If someone is interested in such a project, tell me how I could be of any help, and I'll do my best to be of some use. This would really be a step in the right direction for the Saturn scene.
 

Amon

Staff member
My bad, guess all it took was getting the idea out there to generate some interest. I appologise for my earlier post. Anyways things on the saturn are always cooler ^.^
 

Zaksund

New Member
Well it’s always encouraging to see new ideas for homebrew. Considering some of the other stuff that’s been done, it is kinda odd the Saturn doesn’t have a MOD program of some sort yet.

My only concern is that the time and resources spent on something like this might be better spent coming to grips with the Saturn's MIDI subsystem (and effects DSP). PDZ is a good example of the music this setup can generate. But the most important thing is that using MIDI is entirely tax-free.

Then again, MOD does sound decidedly different from SEQ. And I can’t see how more options for coders, especially new ones, could be a bad thing. If someone had the urge, I say go for it :bigthumb:
 

Morden

New Member
The advantage with MOD is, that every operatig system has a tracker / trackers and composing MOD music is relatively easy. Plus the samples and effects make MOD a more flexible format. Midi will always be midi, but MOD ... you can make it sound like a midi if you really want, or you can use any kind of custom samples.
 

seal1

New Member
hello,


I have this idea since two years because I´m more intro/demo/cracktro interested than games, but no motivation nor time.


porting a modplayer to saturn maybe easier than most people think ... use an amiga-68k-replayer-source was my first guess, one limitation would be only 512kb for replay and module, but this shouldn´t most people bother, because this cool cracktro-mods are normally 5-30 kb even a bigger demo score with 470kb will fit, but not this newer big mods/xm.


why it´s not done ?

to less people to target ?

to less fame for the (hard) work ? even 10 years back the scene was small (vs. psx-scene)

we are not 15 anymore and have a lot of time like in old amiga-days. we have to struggle with real life aka work and other things - last week I had a HDD-failure, this week my bicycle was stolen and the breaklightswitch at my car was broken.
 

Amon

Staff member
last week I had a HDD-failure, this week my bicycle was stolen and the breaklightswitch at my car was broken.
Unfurtunately bad things happen in threes. I am sorry to hear. Hopefully you can recover stuff from the HDD and find your bike!
 

Omni

New Member
One reason might be that graphics programming on the Saturn isn't too daunting for a lot of the people here; but when it comes to sound and signal processing, that's an entirely different coding experience, and not everyone is familiar with it. In addition to that, the Saturn's sound hardware and libraries look really intimidating. I can look through the docs and tell you how to display a polygon, though it might take me a few minutes. I have no clue how to play sounds using the SGL or SBL, and from examples like Rockin-B's SoundPlayer, it seems like even decent implementations are not completely glitch-free.


And music is another matter entirely than just playing a single PCM file -- reading a music sequence file format and parsing it is a significant undertaking for a programmer needing to do this stuff fresh on a platform without any assisting libraries; using the Saturn's DSP and sequence support to do it requires even more research and work. Understanding Saturn sound seems to be a completely different task than graphics, and one that not many have done.
 
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