Reply 340 of 366, by doshea
Regarding Windows compatibility, I know from experience that Windows 95 can use 16-bit (DOS) CD-ROM drivers, and from reading the 98 Resource Kit it sounds like that does too. I'm reading the 98RK on a TechNet CD from May 2000, so I hope that if that was no longer the case it'd be updated. I don't know about Me, does anyone know about that? I'm not as concerned about that as 9x though. I imagine people might like drivers for Windows NT/2000/XP/etc. too, but I just wanted to point out that at least some versions of Windows should be supported by a DOS driver.
I've done some reading of https://cybermax.tripod.com/mscdex.txt which explains how to write a DOS CD-ROM driver that MSCDEX can talk to and it's more complicated than I imagined. It occurred to me that there is probably already software out there which can do one of the necessary parts, specifically emulation of the CD drive: PC emulators. I know that lots of emulators/hypervisors like VirtualBox, Qemu and Bochs support virtual CD drives, but I don't think any of those ones support audio tracks. PCem apparently supports audio tracks though, so I imagine that we could have a DOS driver on the (to use the SCSI term) initiator which forwards requests to a DOS application running inside PCem which sends the requests to the ATAPI CD-ROM driver which then passes them to PCem's emulated CD-ROM drive. I don't know whether the performance would be acceptable though, and I'm also not sure how to communicate with PCem: does it support bridged networking?
Are there other emulators which support audio tracks on CDs and also support some way of communicating with the outside world?