Demo Coding, and Audio... uh, playing
June 26, 2006 10:58 PM   Subscribe

1.I'm looking for "demo coding" specific websites... i've seen a few that were lame, like, i wouldnt consider a demo coding site... oh, and by demo i mean graphics demo, like the ones seen on 2.a link to the smallest audio player you can think of, must play ogg, mp3, xm, it, mod, and s3m... the smallest i've found is called xmplay on, its 250kb or so
posted by xteraco to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
To be nice, meta.
posted by loquax at 11:28 PM on June 26, 2006

This question could have been phrased as one topic. Anyway.

The oldschool "graphics demo" applications were originally hand-coded in assembly or machine code specific to the processor. (IE x86, or Amiga, or even PowerPC.) These demos were designed to showcase not only coding talent, but to take advantage of on-chip features or re-use known features in undocumented ways.

Which includes the graphics routines, the audio players, and oftentimes the music itself hardcoded in handbuilt synths and sequencers - if not just samples of music.

The tiniest standalone audio players were called "mod trackers". They treated tiny samples, waveforms, or transforms as "patches" - like a sample patch, but smaller - and were sequenced not unlike MIDI, but in a "tracker" program. The really acoustically complex tracker files often had a sort of "span" hack going on were an identifiable "sample" wasn't always contained in a single patch - IE, multiple patches would comprise one sound. The really clever ones would reuse these patches and snippets in other places or as other sounds. For example, one single part of a a snare hit with a roll-off could become a closed hi-hat - just by virtue of being a snippet of the overall assembly of patches that made up the whole snare sound.

It's not unlike a form of manually-coded compression, much like high-compression JPEG/MPEG uses pre-determined blocks of pixels chosen from a library of known shapes to approximate a continuous photo to reduce the total amount of data required to describe the image.

Take in all of the above and this is why seemingly simple "graphics demos" were such hot shit. They were designed to do the nigh-impossible in such a manner you really had to understand assembly or raw machine code to appreciate the magic going on.
posted by loquacious at 12:10 AM on June 27, 2006

Check out the Media & Music section on for all the smallest audio players. XMPlay is listed there among others.
posted by chuma at 6:02 AM on June 27, 2006

right, i didnt need anything on the history of demo's, i've been into the scene for quite some time, i've also been coding for quite some time, and i wasnt wondering about an audio player in relation to the demo scene.... i'm just bored, and wanting to look at some code to get some idea's for a demo i'm working on (sw rendered) and i want to see just how small a decent audio player can be.... . sinse the 2 werent asked in relation to each other, thats why i asked seperately
posted by xteraco at 7:28 AM on June 27, 2006

I find that a lot of the examples at have a kind of a demoscene-y vibe to them... You might find some inspiration in there.
posted by milov at 8:39 AM on June 27, 2006

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