Posts Tagged ‘Audio’

How to install “Beneath a Steel Sky” (Freeware) PC game and add enhanced music

Monday, October 30th, 2017

Beneath a Steel Sky

Beneath a Steel Sky Screenshot 1Beneath a Steel Sky Screenshot 2

 

 

 

 

 

Beneath a Steel Sky (BASS) is a 1994 PC point-and-click adventure game developed by Revolution Software that has been made available as freeware for PC platforms in 2003. I really like those type of games and the sense of humour in this one is top notch. So you want to try it for yourself?

All you need to download is:

1. ScummVM

ScummVM (Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion Virtual Machine) is a software that allows you to play games (mainly point-and-click adventures) by interpreting the scripting languages that games use to describe the game world. You can download a version for your system from https://www.scummvm.org/downloads/.

2. Beneath a Steel Sky (BASS) for ScummVM

This is a version of the game that is made to work with ScummVM and it's a freeware. Download it from https://www.scummvm.org/games/#sky. You can choose between CD or Floppy version. The Floppy version is smaller but it does not have speech (subtitles only).

3. Enchanced music (optional)

Back in the days the game was created there were a lot of sound card options and there was midi music. Some sound cards were more advanced in the midi music instruments compartment. Maybe you want that kind of enchanced sound but you don't have the hardware for it? Fortunately a guy called James Woodcock has recorded the midi tracks with powerful MIDI equipment and made them avaylable with ScummVM (thanks to the ScummVM guys too). You can download them from http://www.jameswoodcock.co.uk/content/scummvm-music-enhancement-project/beneath-a-steel-sky-enhanced-soundtrack-for-scummvm/ (Beneath A Steel Sky Enhanced Soundtrack for ScummVM) (mirror).

There are different quality versions (lossless or lossy) and different ScummVM versions. If you have downloaded the latest version of ScummVM from the link I gave you in the 1 then I recommend you to download "OGG Vorbis – Lossy (53MB) Beneath A Steel Sky – Full Soundtrack Version 1.2 (13th May, 2013)". If you are a audiophile and want only the best possible audio experience and you don't care about the bigger file size you should download the "Flac – Lossless (212MB) Beneath A Steel Sky – Full Soundtrack Version 1.2.1 (2nd Feb, 2014)" version.

How to install and start playing?

First install ScummVM. Then extract the archive with the game "Beneath a Steel Sky" in a directory of your choosing.

Then start ScummVM and choose
"Add game…".

Go to and highlight the directory you have extracted "Beneath a Steel Sky" in and click

"Choose".

Click "OK". The next step is optional if you want and downloaded the enchanced music.
Extract the archive with the music in the "Beneath a Steel Sky"'s directory.
Start the ScummVM program and select "Beneath a Steel Sky".

Now select [Edit Game], switch to Audio tab, tick the

"Overide Global Audio Settings" and set Sample Rate to 44kHz.

All you need now is to select the game from ScummVM and click "Start". That's it! If you want to return previous way of sound of the music just move or delete the music files from the game directory.

Happy playing!

Beneath a Steel Sky Screenshot 3

Article written by Alex

How to: Ripping Audio CDs to Mp3 on Microsoft Windows XP / Vista / 7 – CDEx Audio CD Rip free software

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

 

cdex free software burning audio music cd to mp3 program logo

Recently, I had to fix few Windows XP computers – Windows XP and Windows 7. The person for which I have to fix them a Dutch guy wanted to install him some kind of software capable of ripping his large collection of old CDs so he can later store a copies of the audio CDs in MP3 Format on his 2GB external hard drive. There is plenty of software out there that can RIP Audio CDs and CD Ripping has a long history line so it is rather easily for one to find a number of non-free software programs capable of doing Audio Music CD to Mp3 Ripping. However as a great Free Software Enthusiast and Supporter, I didn't wanted to install him a piece of non-free cracked software. Therefore I did a quick research to find out if there is an Open Source / Free Software program capable of  "downloading" the  AudioCDs to Mp3. I've ended up on  CDEx – Open Source Digital Audio CD Extractor website. Besides being Open Source it is even free software licensed under GPLv3!

CDEx Audio CD Burner Windows XP and Windows 7 install dialog

CDEX  rip and convert audio CDs to mp3 windows XP Vista and 7 OS

 

Install is pretty straight forward, here I've noticed the program installed some Windows .DLLs (ASPI – Advanced SCSI Programming Interface), it seems developers used this to be as a program backend. Here I should say I had some problems on 64 bit Windows 7 install with the program, though officially on the website it is stated the program installs and works fine with m$ Windows 7.

cdex ripping audio cds to mp3 windows xp

The program is comparatively quick in RIP-ing songs, one song is being ripped and converted saved in mp3 for about 30 secs or less, meaning a normal music CD of 10 – 12 songs is burned just for 5 minutes or so, though this might vary depending on CD-Rom Speed, CPU and HDD (you know many laptops are running HDDs with 5200 RPMs p/s).cdex configuration options screeshot windows xp

CDEx is also equipped with some Format Converting capabilities. It supports:

Convertion of WAV files to Compressed Audio
Compressed Audio files to WAV
Adding /Removal of (RIFF) wav header to mp3s

As well as suport for recording of Audio streams from Analog Input devices (I guess this is old tapes and stuff).
Interesting soft feature is it support for CDDB (Compat Disk Database) – allowing it to get information about Audio CD performer from the Internet – It uses freedb.org's music info database. By the way using freedb is very simple, all you need is to configure email address with it.

It also supports an extensive list of Encoders including even convertion to the nowdays so popular FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec), in below screenshot are supported ones:

CDexconfiguration list of supported encodings convertion

Also it is translated to a number of languages including my own country's language Bulgarian 🙂

Configuration about where the program is supposed to store RIP-ped songs is done via:

Options -> Settings -> Directories & Files

I haven't tested it thoroughfully, but it seemed to work fine, my only remark was sometimes it makes problems if you configure as a Store Device external hard disk in program Options and later remove external Hard Disk (forget) and try extracting an Audio CD and converting to MP3, trying this will do nothing and it will stop and start without even saying a word to give you an idea that something is wrong with the Storage location, but still probably in future versions developers will solve that out.

cdex ripping audio cdrom in action / cdex burning audio CD rom to mp3

Another great news is CDEx works even on Linux, though not all options works fine and it crashes sometimes, simple Audio CD Ripping worked pretty well on my Debian Squeeze Stable via WINE (Windows Emulator). The extracted sound quality is great as well and the program deals fine with CD Audio normalization, sound sync and stuff. As most older Audio Music CDs, does not have embedded Track information, the only option to get a good name (Instead of the standard Track1, Track2 … etc.) is to  manually rename each of song names or hopefully fetch the info via FreeDB's database .

Fix audioCD play problems with VLC on GNU Linux

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

I've not played audio CD for ages. Anyways I had to set up one computer with Linux just recently and one of the requirements was to be able to play audiocds.
I was surprised that actually a was having issue with such as simple tasks.
Here is how i come with this article.

If you encounter errors playing Audio CDs on any Linux distro in VLC or other players, you might need to apply the following fix.

root@xubuntu-desktop:~# apt-get install xubuntu-restricted-extras
...
root@xubuntu-desktop:~# apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras
...

I'm not sure if this packages are required, anyways having them installed is a good idea especially on computers which will have to support as much multimedia as possible.

Trying to play a CD with VLC the result was not nice, you see in the picture above the error that poped up while trying it with VLC:

Due to wrong configuration of the play device VLC will be looking to read the audio cd from.

To succesfully play the audiocd invoke VLC command with a cdda///dev/sr0 argument like so:

hipo@xubuntu-desktop:~$ vlc cdda:///dev/sr0
...

To permanently fix the error you will have to edit ~/.config/vlc/vlcrc :

Inside ~/.config/vlc/vlcrc find the lines:

dvd=/dev/cdrom

Substitute the above line with:

dvd=/dev/sr0

Next find the line:

vcd=/dev/cdrom

Change the above line with:

vcd=/dev/sr0
Due to a bug in generating vlcrc , the dvd= might be set also to other messy unreadable characters (different from /dev/cdrom). This can also be the reason why it fails to properly read the disc.

If dvd= and vcd is set to a different unreadable characters delete them and substitute with /dev/sr0 .I've experienced this on Xubuntu Linux with a Bulgarian localization (probably the bug can be seen in other Linuxes when GNOME is installed in Russian, Chineese and other UTF-8 languages.

The strange error can be observed also in other players when the localization is set to someone's native language …
Alternative solution is to install and use rhythmbox instead of VLC.
Other program to play audio CDs called workman , you will have to get used to the interface which uses gtk1 and therefore obsolete. Putting aside the ugly interface it works 😉

Complete guide to fix PulseAudio and video/audio VLC Media Player issues (F11_VLC_and_PulseAudio_Guide.pdf)

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

I’ve found a nice guide discussing some major common problem with pulseaudio and VLC,
sound and video streaming annoyances.
The guide was available only through fedoraforum.org
and in order to fetch it the user needs account in fedoraforum, that is incredibly annoying.
Originally the guide targetted Fedora and other RedHat based distributions, however most
of the information in the tutorial is pretty accurate on other distributions as well.
For instance I use Debian and almost everything described in the tutor is equivalent;
So, Here is download link to the F11_VLC_and_PulseAudio_Guide.pdf
I hope this mirror of F11_VLC_and_PulseAudio_Guide.pdf
would save some time and nerves needed for registration in fedoraforum.org in order to download the file