Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fast machines, file writing and some bits

Today I used my work PC to examine CD-i Emulator on a fast machine.

It turns out that cpu throttling was already there; titles run at the right speed. However, the frame skip detection logic is too sensitive: it will skip frames even on fast hardware, just because of a momentary slowness (I think). I added an option -noskip to turn off frame skipping altogether; beter autodetection is too much for this beta.

Likewise, for people who always want to run full-speed, I've added an option -nowait to turn off cpu throttling. This can make your CD-i title unplayably fast and it will also cause the audio to lag behind if the title plays continuous audio (most games do).

On the AVI writing front I was less lucky. I cannot get decent write performance and this is not caused by the AVI writing code; just writing the raw data to a file will already cause very "skippy" emulation. Perhaps using a separate thread would solve this (especially on a multicore machine).

And what's worse, the resulting AVI files seem to have timecode problems because they are also skippy, which should not be the case. This is really weird as I've previously been able to write AVI files correctly. It needs more work, obviously.

On the other hand, the AVI files contain the correct audio data: if I extract the audio stream with avidemux, it's identical to a separately written WAV file.

In the process of testing all of this (with Burn:Cycle, what else?) I also fixed the audio crackling problem; it turns out that Burn:Cycle opens all four audio attenuators (L-R, L-L, R-L, R-R) and for this possibility I hadn't accounted in the mix scaling.

I also added the two keyboard emulations that I mentioned yesterday: Backspace for button 2 and Esc for button 3 (buttons 1 and 2 together). This works well for The Apprentice and Dimo's Quest and these are my reference titles anyway :-) I will ultimately add a UI for changing the keyboard map, of course.

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