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[Files] SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis supportANN.lu
Posted on 23-Jul-2003 22:05 GMT by Joël EHRET (Edited on 2003-07-24 16:07:08 GMT by Teemu I. Yliselä)96 comments
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SongPlayer comes back ! SongPlayer is a famous music player written by Stéphane Tavenard. Thanks to him, the development started again some months ago. The major improvment is a MorphOS version which uses AHI only (no more hardware access) and plays Ogg Vorbis files !! Comments and suggestions are welcome. You will find information about SongPlayer on the new SongPlayer Website. The archive will be available on Aminet in few days too. http://amigadev.free.fr/songplayer
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 1 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by Joël EHRET on 23-Jul-2003 20:06 GMT
Oops, the url is not correct in the announcement : please correct christian :

http://amigadev.free.fr/songplayer

sorry for the mistake :)

Joël
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 2 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by Richi on 23-Jul-2003 20:45 GMT
Does Stéphane Tavenard still program on Amiga?
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 3 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 23-Jul-2003 20:57 GMT
In reply to Comment 2 (Richi):
No, just check this sentence on their webpage

"Stéphane Tavenard est l'auteur de SongPlayer mais n'assure plus aucun support. L'évolution est cependant poursuivie par Mathias PARNAUDEAU et Nicolas DET."
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 4 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by Rafo on 23-Jul-2003 21:10 GMT
I noticed 2 bugs here :

1 - The bass and treble sliders have no effect.
2 - When skiping to the next song, the line the focus is on in the
playlist remains the same. Example :
Double-click on song #1. Let it play till the end. The song #2
starts playing, but the song #1 remains highlighted in the
playlist.

Good to see a MOS version of this great piece of software though...
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 5 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by hooligan/dcs on 23-Jul-2003 21:57 GMT
Something I have waited, although ANR2 is all nice. Nice to see SongPlayer make a comeback! Will test it tomorrow.
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 6 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 24-Jul-2003 04:21 GMT
In reply to Comment 3 (Anonymous):
Care to translate that to English?

Thanks.
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 7 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by Rafo on 24-Jul-2003 05:09 GMT
In reply to Comment 6 (Anonymous):
Stéphane TAVENARD, original SongPlayer, doesn't work on it anymore.
Further support is made by Mathias PARNAUDEAU and Nicolas DET.
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 8 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by brotheris on 24-Jul-2003 05:19 GMT
In reply to Comment 6 (Anonymous):
going to the website and clicking on english link on top does the same. click click click.
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 9 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by Iggy Drougge on 24-Jul-2003 06:52 GMT
Great to see development continued. Now, when will the karaoke function work like "real" karoke? S'il vous please!
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 10 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 24-Jul-2003 07:04 GMT
In reply to Comment 7 (Rafo):
Thanks a lot, Rafo! :)
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 11 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by Emeric SH on 24-Jul-2003 07:15 GMT
Awesome news! :)
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 12 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by Kolbjørn Barmen on 24-Jul-2003 07:42 GMT
Huh.. ogg vorbis support?

What's that good for? Every-one knows that ogg vorbis is crap, has no support from the industries and hence needs no support in the good old community of ours. Amiga users do not have ogg files, we have mp3 files - we dont _want_ any ogg support!
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 13 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by DET Nicolas on 24-Jul-2003 07:49 GMT
In reply to Comment 12 (Kolbjørn Barmen):
Hi !

Humm, you don't like ogg file ? just don't use it :-)

I have some ogg file and I don't like to use the shell to listen to
it. What's why I add ogg support in SP.

Regards
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 14 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by hooligan/dcs on 24-Jul-2003 07:57 GMT
In reply to Comment 12 (Kolbjørn Barmen):
Well what HARM does it do to have Ogg support? :)
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 15 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by Mad-Matt on 24-Jul-2003 08:08 GMT
In reply to Comment 12 (Kolbjørn Barmen):
no support from the industries ?
if the UnrealTornament team feels its good enough to use over mp3 then i guess its good for something ;)
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 16 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by hooligan/dcs on 24-Jul-2003 08:16 GMT
SongPlayer works like a dream on a Pegasos. No need to use ANR2 anymore =)
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 17 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by Johan Rönnblom on 24-Jul-2003 08:39 GMT
In reply to Comment 16 (hooligan/dcs):
Eh, Songplayer does internet radio now, too? ;-)

I'll certainly use Songplayer for playing my own mp3's, but ANR's
streaming rules. Now, if just someone could make a good-looking skin
for it, too..
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 18 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by DET Nicolas on 24-Jul-2003 08:46 GMT
In reply to Comment 17 (Johan Rönnblom):
Hello !

Send your suggestion by mail, this way, we will not lost it !

Bye
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 19 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by Don Cox on 24-Jul-2003 08:52 GMT
In reply to Comment 12 (Kolbjørn Barmen):
"What's that good for? Every-one knows that ogg vorbis is crap, has no support from the industries and hence needs no support in the good old community of ours. Amiga users do not have ogg files, we have mp3 files - we dont _want_ any ogg support!"

Assuming you are not joking - support for more file formats is always a good thing. Even if just one ogg file turns up, I want to be able to hear it.

The Amiga should have support for every possible file format and protocol, as well as for all available sound cards, graphics cards, etc.
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 20 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by Kolbjørn Barmen on 24-Jul-2003 09:22 GMT
In reply to Comment 19 (Don Cox):
Ofcourse I'm not joking - I'm being sarcastic, huge difference!

I'm just repeating arguments I have received myself when asking for ogg support in amiga players the last 2-3 years or so.
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 21 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by hooligan/dcs on 24-Jul-2003 09:24 GMT
In reply to Comment 17 (Johan Rönnblom):
Trust me, I have more tan enough of mps to listen to :)
But yes, ANR2's streaming is an excellent feature and I have been using it a lot since I discovered the Shout-search.
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 22 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by alan buxey on 24-Jul-2003 09:47 GMT
In reply to Comment 5 (hooligan/dcs):
ANR2 does work on my machine full stop.

wheres AMPlifier does.

also ANR have some freaky ideas that MP3 is better than OGG...and arent doing
OGG. stupid.
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 23 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by alan buxey on 24-Jul-2003 09:48 GMT
In reply to Comment 12 (Kolbjørn Barmen):
how blind, stupid and short-sighted.

the first OGG hardware device is ready to come to market this summer.

OGG produces better audio. fact.
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 24 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by nOw2 on 24-Jul-2003 09:55 GMT
In reply to Comment 4 (Rafo):
This version has a different way of working the main lister - the highlight
doesn't show which song is currently playing (which is good, as you can
now reorder songs and not have them restart!).

The currently playing song is highlighted in bold, BUT you must have "%a - %t"
or something in the Options->Main->Display->List Pattern field, if you leave
this blank (default) then the current track does not become bold. This is a bug, I suppose...
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 25 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by Chain|Q on 24-Jul-2003 10:38 GMT
In reply to Comment 23 (alan buxey):
Yeah, OGG is better, but WAV or AIFF is even better at quality, and still playable on an unexpanded A600/HD... Size really no issue at current harddisk capacities, hehe... ;) Anyway, i would like to see a 68k version, and streaming, since Songplayer is still my favourite player for Amiga. Anyway, i don't like OGG since i can't play it back on Amiga. Even a 060/66 really can't keep up with it at full quality (44khz/16bit/stereo). A better library which supports downsampling just like mpega.lib would be great...
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 26 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by Kelly Samel on 24-Jul-2003 12:22 GMT
This is really nice. Songplayer is my favourite
general purpose audio player and it's great to
have a MorphOS version. The bass and treble work
fine here too.. :)
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 27 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by #amigazeux Public Relations and Discrediting Depar on 24-Jul-2003 13:24 GMT
In reply to Comment 23 (alan buxey):
We already knew some users can't manage to read docs. So here, especially for you alan, a snipped from the ANR guide:

Q. Can you add ogg vorbis support?
----------------------------------
A. Unless someone creates a shared decoder library for it, no. Yes, source is available, but it would swell ANR to many times its size to add the vorbis decoding, which, I must say, most users will never need.

Ogg files are very rarely found outside Linux systems, and are technically inferior to mp3. They compress to bigger files, take much more CPU power to play, and don't have the technical wizardry that mp3 has which allows it to throw away audio data the human brain can't process either. None of AmigaZeux ANR's betatesting team have ever so much as seen an ogg file, anyway. We recommend you use xmms to play these files on a Linux system.

In summary, ogg only has one advantage over mp3 - its encoder is open source and free of patents. In all other respects though, mp3 kicks its ass.
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 28 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by XraalE on 24-Jul-2003 13:42 GMT
In reply to Comment 22 (alan buxey):
OGG will not be supported directly by ANR unless someone does a shared library that users can choose to install on their systems optionally.
.
What harm does OGG do you your program? Well, let's see:
.
· It massively increases the size of the binary
.
· It breaks compatibility with 68k Amigas
.
· It has 68k Amiga users writing to us a lot telling us our player is too slow when it's not
.
· It introduces extra potential bugs (ogg code is NOT cleverly written!)
.
And for what? So the one in five thousand users with ogg files to play can use it? Not a chance.
.
So either ogg becomes MUCH more popular (its a dead format right now, btw), or we don't see the point in wasting our time on it. What will you be asking for next, soundblaster VOC file support??
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 29 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by zylesea on 24-Jul-2003 13:49 GMT
Thanks for the Songplayer on MOS. I allways like such lightweight
programs. It worked very well before on my Amiga and now the story
continues on my Peg..
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 30 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by Alkis Tsapanidis on 24-Jul-2003 13:51 GMT
In reply to Comment 27 (#amigazeux Public Relations and Discrediting Depar):
don't have the technical wizardry that mp3 has which allows it to throw away audio data the human brain can't process either.
--

Eh, sorry, but with my soundsystem I can tell the difference in quality of an
MP3 and a CD quite easily... If you listen to music with PC speakers, don't
"blame" your brain for not noticing some stuff... :-)
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 31 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by DET Nicolas on 24-Jul-2003 14:02 GMT
In reply to Comment 28 (XraalE):
Maybe we can join our effort to create a standart shared library for
AmigaOS ?
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 32 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 24-Jul-2003 14:20 GMT
In reply to Comment 30 (Alkis Tsapanidis):
Exactly. That's why mp3 is a lossy compression.
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 33 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by XraalE on 24-Jul-2003 14:22 GMT
In reply to Comment 30 (Alkis Tsapanidis):
>Eh, sorry, but with my soundsystem I can tell the difference in quality of an
>MP3 and a CD quite easily... If you listen to music with PC speakers, don't
>"blame" your brain for not noticing some stuff... :-)

Don't compare lossy compression to no compression. They're not even in the same ballpark. I don't want download or store 80MB+ sound files, and I prefer 120 songs on a CD rather than 12. If you really want to see just how good mp3 is, use a less advanced lossy compressor for sound such as ADPCM and listen to how badly it came through. Better still, compress an track in mp3 at a high bitrate and try to compress it as an ogg as well, keeping the same filesize. Mp3 will still sound better.
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 34 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by hooligan/dcs on 24-Jul-2003 14:24 GMT
In reply to Comment 28 (XraalE):
Not even one of your points is valid when it comes to SongPlayer.

Maybe the filesize issue, which isn't relevant anyway. These days it doesnt matter if the exe is 100kb or 1000kb.
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 35 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by XraalE on 24-Jul-2003 14:41 GMT
In reply to Comment 34 (hooligan/dcs):
Except now it crashes like shit on an Amiga when the old songplayer didn't crash at all. :) I expect Amiga users are already hunting the old archive on Aminet before it gets replaced...
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 36 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by Don Cox on 24-Jul-2003 15:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 26 (Kelly Samel):
"This is really nice. Songplayer is my favourite
general purpose audio player and it's great to
have a MorphOS version. The bass and treble work
fine here too.. :)"

Please could we have a 68k AmigaOS version with AHI support, too.
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 37 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by hooligan/dcs on 24-Jul-2003 15:26 GMT
In reply to Comment 35 (XraalE):
Well haven't tested 68k version, but as I understood it doesn't contain any OGG code at all... ?
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 38 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 24-Jul-2003 15:29 GMT
In reply to Comment 12 (Kolbjørn Barmen):
oggvorbis give a better compression ratio/quality than mp3
oggvorbis has more future than mp3 because its really free unlike mp3
which has some patents problems
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 39 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by hooligan/dcs on 24-Jul-2003 15:34 GMT
By the way, I am against OGG format.. I will stick to MP3 till the end :)

I just can't see a reason why it should not be supported by some software.
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 40 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by Roj on 24-Jul-2003 16:21 GMT
In reply to Comment 30 (Alkis Tsapanidis):
>>
Eh, sorry, but with my soundsystem I can tell the difference in quality of an
MP3 and a CD quite easily...
<<

As an "old school" audiophile I can easily tell the difference between CD and properly cared-for vinyl. Audio quality always takes a back seat to convenience. Most people will take 100+ songs on a single disc and sacrifice sound quality before they'll take 5 songs to a side, cleaning each side properly before playing, and handling the medium like fine china. Not many, if any, computer peripherals match top-end listening equipment from an audiophile's perspective, so I ask you, what difference does a few bits here and there make in computer-generated audio? Those who really care about audio quality don't listen seriously to music coming from a computer at all.
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 41 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by Johan Rönnblom on 24-Jul-2003 16:34 GMT
Ok, seriously now for a change.

There's been very serious tests using professional sound technicians, showing that at 160kbps or more, you can't hear any difference compared to CD.

Now.. of course this assumes that you have a good soundcard etc, so that the audio feed from the computer to the amplifier is not ruined by this. If you have a good stereo and a bad computer, of course the good stereo will sound better than your mp3's.

Now, what I'm wondering is.. has there been done any serious (listening) comparison between ogg and mp3? I guess I could try it myself, but I don't want to go ahead encoding all my cd's as ogg because I missed some glitches which will annoy me to death later on when I discover them..
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 42 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 24-Jul-2003 16:34 GMT
What about a m68k version? :) It'd be
great for us Amithlon and WinUAE owners :)
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 43 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by Kolbjørn Barmen on 24-Jul-2003 16:40 GMT
In reply to Comment 28 (XraalE):
Yo schmuck!

> It massively increases the size of the binary

Hence I use ogg instead of mp3 on both my PDA and phone - idiot!

> It breaks compatibility with 68k Amigas

So what? Who the f*** uses Amiga anyways?

> It has 68k Amiga users writing to us a lot telling us our player is too slow when it's not

Your problem :)

> It introduces extra potential bugs (ogg code is NOT cleverly written!)

Ofcourse this is only a problem on amiga, so who cares

> And for what? So the one in five thousand users with ogg files to play can use it? Not a chance.

5000 users? Hah.. you liar, it's common knowledge that there are not so many amiga users

> So either ogg becomes MUCH more popular (its a dead format right now, btw), or we don't see the point in wasting our time on it. What will you be asking for next, soundblaster VOC file support??

Never mind - yet another reason not use Amiga, right? :)
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 44 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by hooligan/dcs on 24-Jul-2003 17:38 GMT
In reply to Comment 43 (Kolbjørn Barmen):
Chiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiil
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 45 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by Rafo on 24-Jul-2003 17:48 GMT
In reply to Comment 24 (nOw2):
(damn copy/paste not working on Voyager).

Well, nothing prevents the currently played song to be highlighted
while it's still possible to sort files. I said DOUBLE-CLICK plays a
song, not simple. So Drag'n'Drop is still possible even while playing.
Of course, doing this highlits something else, OK. But as long as the
user hasn't moved anything, why not making it happen ?

Ah, and a SORT feature is missing too. I don't like the ideas of
sorting my whole set of MP3 songs by hand.
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 46 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 24-Jul-2003 18:02 GMT
In reply to Comment 41 (Johan Rönnblom):
It's really quite easy to hear the difference between 160kbps ogg/mp3 and CD audio - when played on the same stereo that is. It is extra bad for rock music since cymbals tend to require a lot of audio compression. Most music will sound pretty good at 192kbps, but you will find a few places, where you will be able to tell the difference between 192kbps and cd audio by ear - I know I can.

In general ogg does produce slightly better results at the same bitrate compared to mp3. Nothing major though, but I'd definitely rather listen to 128kbps ogg than mp3 at the same bitrate. Most of the time (with respect to rock music anyway) an ogg vorbis file will generally sound as good as mp3 at the "next" bitrate.. i.e. 128/160/192. It's not a big difference, but it's there.
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 47 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by hooligan/dcs on 24-Jul-2003 18:28 GMT
In reply to Comment 46 (Anonymous):
There is supposedly a difference between audio cables aswell. I have listened from $2/m to $200/m in the same listeningroom at a Hi-Fi exhibition. Not a single person heard the difference there, including me.

Ogg is better than MP3, no doubt. That CAN be heard using decent audio equipment at home. Also, I myself tend to burn mp3's to audiotracks and listen them with cd-player instead playing them from PC, as no matter how expensive your soundcard is, it always loses when it comes to soundquality.

I don't even know why I am so against OGG.. maybe its just because it isn't used as "industry standard" and 99% of music appears to be in MP3 format anyway.

Off topic, who likes to listen music in stereo at home? As I have grown to love Pro Logic 2 when listening to music .. some records I listen with stereo or 5.1, but mainly I tend to listen with PL2. And I used to LOVE 2-speaker stereo sound
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 48 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by XraalE on 24-Jul-2003 18:32 GMT
In reply to Comment 43 (Kolbjørn Barmen):
> Hence I use ogg instead of mp3 on both my PDA and phone - idiot!
.
And yet it won't work on about 99.9% of electronic devices that support mp3...making ogg as about as much use as a peice of wet string to a man with diarrea. :)
.
> So what? Who the f*** uses Amiga anyways?
.
Most of the people who use songplayer, you moron. If they didn't use Amigas they'd use WinAMP or xmms.
.
> It introduces extra potential bugs (ogg code is NOT cleverly written!)
> Ofcourse this is only a problem on amiga, so who cares
.
It's not. The ogg code has very little error checking. If something goes wrong there are no checks to prevent the whole thing going bang. Just the kind of crap coding I'd expect from the *ix side...Amazing what you can get away with in a memory protected system. No wonder linux is such a mess.
.
> 5000 users? Hah.. you liar, it's common knowledge that there are not so many amiga users
.
Wrong.
.
> So either ogg becomes MUCH more popular (its a dead format right now, btw), or we don't see the point in wasting our time on it. What will you be asking for next, soundblaster VOC file support??
.
>Never mind - yet another reason not use Amiga, right? :)
.
We don't have to use our Amigas to play an extremely rare, self-declared sound "standard" released by a few linux coders that are too tight-arsed to pay licencing fees for a far superior technology than some bloated and buggy code they hammered together instead. The PNG sank like a stone. The ogg will too.
.
If you have ogg, just converted it to mp3. Obsolete file formats should not be supported by any hardware or software.
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 49 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by Roj on 24-Jul-2003 18:34 GMT
In reply to Comment 46 (Anonymous):
I remember back in the early to mid 80s talk of MP3 compression capable of, at the time, an unbelievable compression/quality ratio. No personal computer was capable of making use of it back then. The average system could compress a 3 minute song in around 60 hours and decompress it in about 5.

Anyway, when I think about how old MP3 compression technology is (older than the oldest Amiga), I find a slight bit of humor in these arguments about the quality of a modern compression method which, at best is slightly better. I guess if it takes 20 or so years only to yield slightly better output, MP3 can't be all bad.
SongPlayer 1.60 for MorphOS wirth OggVorbis support : Comment 50 of 96ANN.lu
Posted by Roj on 24-Jul-2003 18:46 GMT
In reply to Comment 47 (hooligan/dcs):
My home stereo still constists of two tower speakers (Boston 400 series made back when Boston was actually putting out decent equipment). I've had surround sound in various incarnations, but I always find myself switching it off in favor of just the two. They have the ability to project sound above, behind, and outside the listening area without the aid of surround. They don't use any "trickery" like a Bose 901 setup. With proper placement, they have the ability to place sounds very close to their originating position. All the surround configurations I've tried only cloud the stereo image. They make the surround audio louder, but with just the two main speakers, you can close your eyes and point at the different origins of each sound source. It's quite nice to listen to.
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