.WAV player for MS DOS that runs on a 286?

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.WAV player for MS DOS that runs on a 286?

Postby dkarguth » 2019-1-30 @ 08:01

I have a 286 based computer with 1 Mb of RAM, and a Soundblaster CT3620. It does not have a 287 coprocessor. Does anyone know if the 286 can handle wav playback at all, and if it can, is there software that will run on a 286 that takes advantage of the soundblaster?
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Re: .WAV player for MS DOS that runs on a 286?

Postby Jo22 » 2019-1-30 @ 10:34

Back in the mid-90s, I used Windows 3.10 for that. I had a 286-12 with 4MiB, a PAS16 soundcard and played large
wave files by using media player (sound recorder for short recordings).

Edit: Oh, just noticed you use an AWE ISA PnP card. Maybe the EMU386 + Windows 3.0 MME combo works for you.
That special Tandy release of Win 3.0 MME has a SB16 driver that seems to work in Standard Mode on a 80286 PC, as well.
(Creative was rater 286-fiendly with their 16-Bit Sound Blasters; they required VXDs for Windows 3.1; the 1.x drives always work.)

Edit: There's also playwav: http://www.fysnet.net/playwav.htm
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Re: .WAV player for MS DOS that runs on a 286?

Postby dkarguth » 2019-1-30 @ 17:36

Thanks, those sound interesting, I'll try those out. I have never used this card before, is it a very good card? It was a one dollar goodwill find, so I don't know much about it.
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Re: .WAV player for MS DOS that runs on a 286?

Postby Jo22 » 2019-1-30 @ 18:09

The card is okay. It has PnP, but also a memory expansion socket for the EMU8000 synth (used by 386+ games and some MOD players).
If memory aerves, you need CTCU and CTCM to configure the card under DOS (for ex. AdlIb "FM" is disabled by default).
These programs should load fine with EMU386 (adds a few important 386 instructions to 286 PCs).
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Re: .WAV player for MS DOS that runs on a 286?

Postby Scali » 2019-1-30 @ 19:01

Creative used the .VOC format, and they had tools to play those files, which work fine even on an 8088. There was also a VOC2WAV and a WAV2VOC utility included.
So I would suggest converting the WAV files to VOC and then using the Creative VPLAY.EXE tool to play the files.
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Re: .WAV player for MS DOS that runs on a 286?

Postby Cloudschatze » 2019-1-30 @ 19:23

Jo22 wrote:(Creative was rater 286-fiendly with their 16-Bit Sound Blasters; they required VXDs for Windows 3.1; the 1.x drives always work.)

Not sure what you're trying to say here. Creative's earlier, non-VxD SB16 drivers are fully-functional in Standard Mode Windows 3.1. Furthermore, and given an ability to leverage the ASP/CSP to play compressed WAV files comparable in size and quality to MP3, I find the SB16 to be very usable in my own 286-class system.

Here's a video even, featuring a 286@10MHz Tandy 1000 RLX system, with 1MB RAM:
https://youtu.be/cPN34XiE5I0

@~9:15, that's Depeche Mode's entire Violator album, ripped and converted to a 4-bit stereo @ 32kHz (256kbps), CTADPCM WAV file.
Last edited by Cloudschatze on 2019-1-30 @ 21:30, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: .WAV player for MS DOS that runs on a 286?

Postby dkarguth » 2019-1-30 @ 20:49

Interesting, didn't know 3.1 ran on a 286. Time to upgrade!
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Re: .WAV player for MS DOS that runs on a 286?

Postby Jo22 » 2019-1-31 @ 06:33

Jo22 wrote:(Creative was rater 286-fiendly with their 16-Bit Sound Blasters; they required VXDs for Windows 3.1; the 1.x drives always work.)

Not sure what you're trying to say here. Creative's earlier, non-VxD SB16 drivers are fully-functional in Standard Mode Windows 3.1.

Hm. Not sure what you're trying to say either, I'm afraid. :blush:
Which ealier release of the SB16 drivers are you refering to ?

The earliest ones that I was able to track down were a part of OS/2's WIN-OS/2 package, but they refused to work on my 286. :depressed:
The bigger was my surprise when I saw that the Tandy version of Windows 3-0 MME shipped with a working 286 driver (hence the tip for the OP).
Technically, it could be possible to use that Tandy driver on 3.1, too. Like after an upgrade, for example.
Providing that Windows 3.1's built-in MCI support doesn't get in the way (3.0 MME implemented MCI differently ?)

Furthermore, and given an ability to leverage the ASP/CSP to play compressed WAV files comparable in size and quality to MP3, I find the SB16 to be very usable in my own 286-class system.

Agreed, seems plausible. I didn't say any otherwiise. btw. As I said previously. I used a 16-Bit audio card myself in a 286. :)
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Re: .WAV player for MS DOS that runs on a 286?

Postby mrau » 2019-2-03 @ 04:16

probably not a smart one,but here i go:
whats so hard in playing a wav if no freq change is required?
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Re: .WAV player for MS DOS that runs on a 286?

Postby Cloudschatze » 2019-2-03 @ 06:54

Jo22 wrote:Which ealier release of the SB16 drivers are you refering to ?

I'm using this set, from early 1994.

mrau wrote:whats so hard in playing a wav if no freq change is required?

With "higher-quality" WAV files, there tend to be CPU (I/O), RAM (buffering), and storage implications that can make uninterrupted LPCM playback impractical, or impossible, on lesser systems.

Here is some related analysis I did last year concerning a 386-class system, where you'd participated in the discussion:
viewtopic.php?f=62&t=60488
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Re: .WAV player for MS DOS that runs on a 286?

Postby Jo22 » 2019-2-04 @ 02:10

Jo22 wrote:Which ealier release of the SB16 drivers are you refering to ?

I'm using this set, from early 1994.

Interesting. :surprised: I must have missed that one. The setup program looks oldschool to me, so this probably is one of the early releases.
Seems to run fine so far in PCem with 286 emulation, as far as I can tell. :)

Edit: That disk set would be an enrichment for vogons drivers, imho.
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