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MP3 player on a 386/387?

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First post, by 386SX

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Hi,

I've seen a video on Youtube of someone playing mp3 music coded @ 8Khz , 16Kbits on a 386 machine with coprocessor installed and Open Cubic Player as software. I tried the same configuration but still the program when loading the test mp3 gives a "generic error" message. The test file is exported with Audacity software to the same 8000Hz ad 16Kbits and Mono. Do you know if there's some .ini special config to set or eventually other software that use the fpu to play music in dos?
I have a DX40 and a IIT 40Mhz fpu and a Yamaha YMF719E-S.
Thanks

Reply 1 of 20, by Jo22

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Hi, I don't know, but..
Oldstyle MP3s had an ID3v1-Tag (?) which stored artist and title information at the end of the file.
This was later changed and the information was added to the beginning (header), so that streaming was possible (web radio)..
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/ID3

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Reply 2 of 20, by oohms

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I don't know why you would.. it is taxing enough for a pentium mmx 233, i don't know why you would try on a 386

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Reply 3 of 20, by 386SX

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oohms wrote on 2020-07-04, 11:28:

I don't know why you would.. it is taxing enough for a pentium mmx 233, i don't know why you would try on a 386

I suppose for the same reason of every projects here in the forums? 😁 😉
It's always interesting to see that such old config can eventually do things that'd seems impossible. Also it'd be a nice way to use the almost unused FPU in these machines. 😀

Reply 4 of 20, by 386SX

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Jo22 wrote on 2020-07-04, 09:44:
Hi, I don't know, but.. Oldstyle MP3s had an ID3v1-Tag (?) which stored artist and title information at the end of the file. Thi […]
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Hi, I don't know, but..
Oldstyle MP3s had an ID3v1-Tag (?) which stored artist and title information at the end of the file.
This was later changed and the information was added to the beginning (header), so that streaming was possible (web radio)..
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/ID3

I tried resetting all the metadata in the mp3 as I was thinking too that might be the problem and still no way. Also with older versions same things. But I've read somewhere that the results with that player were mixed, sometimes great sometimes less with mp3. Mpxplay seems to requires a 486 specifically (why oh why if I have a FPU too anyway..) and win32 extensions I don't have.
Meanwhile WAV file runs well but that's too easy.. at that point a CD player audio would be even less demanding for the system 😁

Reply 5 of 20, by Jo22

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Ah, sorry that this didn't work.. 😅
If you like, you can try MOD4WIN also.
It's a MOD player only, but has FPU support for its IDO filter.
When enabled, it will use the x87 to provide better interpolation and filtering (to get rid of harmonics).
Definitely worth a try, I think.
On DOS, Impulse Tracker can use FPU or MMX, I believe (speaking under correction)..

http://meuble.radio.free.fr/mod4win/english.html

https://m.youtube.com/results?search_query=Mod4win

http://www.users.on.net/~jtlim/ImpulseTracker/

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Reply 6 of 20, by matze79

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playing mp3 on 386 is only possible by using decoder chip on lpt port.

MAS3507 for example.
https://www.heise.de/ct/artikel/Mucken-statt- … ken-287008.html
Sorry German 😀

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Reply 7 of 20, by 386SX

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Jo22 wrote on 2020-07-04, 14:06:
Ah, sorry that this didn't work.. 😅 If you like, you can try MOD4WIN also. It's a MOD player only, but has FPU support for its I […]
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Ah, sorry that this didn't work.. 😅
If you like, you can try MOD4WIN also.
It's a MOD player only, but has FPU support for its IDO filter.
When enabled, it will use the x87 to provide better interpolation and filtering (to get rid of harmonics).
Definitely worth a try, I think.
On DOS, Impulse Tracker can use FPU or MMX, I believe (speaking under correction)..

http://meuble.radio.free.fr/mod4win/english.html

https://m.youtube.com/results?search_query=Mod4win

http://www.users.on.net/~jtlim/ImpulseTracker/

No problem, I didn't knew that until yesterday reading around how to fix this problem so is not like I knew the tag problem before.. 😁
But still I suppose it has anyway something to do with the MP3 encoding. Dosamp, another program, for example says that the Mp3 (succesfully loaded) in the header is not compatible because is an encoding version had the Fraunhofer header or whatever message. I think I will consider accepting the good cd-audio quality of the music (that back then would have been incredible anyway.. a 386 playing 16bit digital audio when I still had few music tapes).
I was thinking how to use the FPU in some interesting way, I don't own any CAD but maybe if I'll buy some version of those rendering tool would be nice to see how they worked! But the idea of the 387 showing its power into something so "modern" like MP3 music... was interesting. 😁
Or I'll launch Quake..still the only thing why I bought a FPU just to see it running @ 1.6 fps. 😀

Reply 8 of 20, by 386SX

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matze79 wrote on 2020-07-04, 15:14:
playing mp3 on 386 is only possible by using decoder chip on lpt port. […]
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playing mp3 on 386 is only possible by using decoder chip on lpt port.

MAS3507 for example.
https://www.heise.de/ct/artikel/Mucken-statt- … ken-287008.html
Sorry German 😀

Interesting, it'd have been nice to see it into a specific ISA board instead of the parallel port. Anyway impressive how that RISC cpu inside has a clock of 14,5Mhz and still can get the mp3 decoded. Obviously dedicated DSP are not the same thing of generic processors that were not nearly meant for such things.

Reply 9 of 20, by lolo799

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There were ISA boards for decoding mp3, i made a thread about those years ago...you'll have an easier time making the parallel device from the c't mag than finding one of the ISA cards though!

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Reply 10 of 20, by matze79

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Yeah obiviously its not so easy to find the MAS Chip at a good value

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Reply 11 of 20, by 386SX

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lolo799 wrote on 2020-07-04, 17:46:

There were ISA boards for decoding mp3, i made a thread about those years ago...you'll have an easier time making the parallel device from the c't mag than finding one of the ISA cards though!

In which year they were built? Were they oriented to the 486? I like those solution like the MPEG ISA decoder card. If I had one it'd be nice to see how it'd perform on a 386. 😀

Reply 14 of 20, by 386SX

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At the end after some test the best the 386DX40 with a IIT 40Mhz NPU can play in real time is:

64Kbps 56Kbps / 16Khz / 8bit / Mono MP3 files
16Kbps / 22Khz / 8bit / Mono MP3 files

These are the maximun in single task dos enviroment with the few softwares available from those times. Hope to find some hardware based decoder in the future. 😀

Last edited by 386SX on 2020-08-07, 12:39. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 16 of 20, by radiounix

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Don't discount Winplay 3. for Windows 3.1. It was the official Fraunhoffer player.

It's really well optimized and can play normal 44khz stereo 16-bit MP3s on a faster Overdrive 486, and has options for reproducing in 8 bit, mono as low as 11Khz. Even if it's no faster than the software you used, playing back an MP3 in a full GUI environment is much cooler.

Also, consider encoding in MP2 instead of MP3. It creates bigger files for the same fidelity, but is less computationally intensive. I think most MP3 players can actually decode it.

Reply 17 of 20, by 386SX

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radiounix wrote on 2020-08-01, 17:23:

Don't discount Winplay 3. for Windows 3.1. It was the official Fraunhoffer player.

It's really well optimized and can play normal 44khz stereo 16-bit MP3s on a faster Overdrive 486, and has options for reproducing in 8 bit, mono as low as 11Khz. Even if it's no faster than the software you used, playing back an MP3 in a full GUI environment is much cooler.

Also, consider encoding in MP2 instead of MP3. It creates bigger files for the same fidelity, but is less computationally intensive. I think most MP3 players can actually decode it.

The problems of Winplay is that it looks like it checks for the specific presence of a 486 cpu, no matter if you've installed a 386+387 combination at least any times I tried it on Win3.1.
I'd be nice to find a way to skip that check or let the app thinking a 486 is installed cause I suppose it'd be just as good or maybe even better than other solutions. Anyway considering how difficult is for any 386+387 to decode MP3 format, I suppose a multitasking o.s. like Win 3.x would maybe stress it a bit more than a single task dos enviroment.

Reply 18 of 20, by swaaye

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Perhaps instead of MP3 the thing to do is AWE32 with ASP/CSP and ADPCM audio. 😁

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Last edited by swaaye on 2020-08-10, 18:37. Edited 1 time in total.