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"Bloated" Computer Music

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  • Shlomi Fish
    Traditionally it has been well-known that the various MOD files occupy much less space than average mp3 files. However, lately as they started to have 16-bit
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 3, 2002
      Traditionally it has been well-known that the various MOD files occupy
      much less space than average mp3 files. However, lately as they started to
      have 16-bit samples, as well as a lot of them, they started growing in
      size considerably.

      I remember going to modplug.com and seeing a lot of MOD files whose zip
      archives were several megabytes long. And now, as I went to the Music
      section of the "Frozen Bubble" game site, I noticed the following: its MOD
      files and their Ogg Vorbis equivalent are the following sizes:

      Intro Music: As XM MOD Format : 3.8 MB . As Ogg: 2.5 MB.
      1P-Game Music: XM: 3.2 MB. Ogg: 3.2 MB
      2P-Game Music: XM: 2.5 MB. Ogg: 2.6 MB.

      In the game distribution they ship a version with MODs of lesser quality,
      so the game's package would not be bloated.

      Another interesting thing about Frozen Bubble is that it is partly written
      in Perl. To quote its Readme:

      This game began when I, as a packager for Mandrakesoft[1] and
      amateur of the Perl language (which I discovered reading the
      source code of Mandrake's graphical installer, DrakX[2]),
      discovered that a crazy guy[3] had had the mysterious idea to
      bind the functions of the C low-level graphical library SDL[4]
      for the Perl language, `sdlpl'[5].

      What an amazing idea, try to make Perl, an interpreted
      'scripting' language, (e.g. something considered by most as
      inherently slow), talk to SDL, a C library considered as the
      leader gateway to fast multimedia under Linux (among others
      O.S.), and hope to keep good performance?

      Another time, Perl is here to surprise us by its (reasonably)
      good performance (compared to what it actually computes), and
      make us realize that what is time-consuming in most multimedia
      programs is, bingo, multimedia operations such as blitting images
      and so on.

      Of course, if you notice, you will see graphical effects in the
      game when a new level is displayed. That is CPU-intensive, and is
      performed through some C code, compiled to be called by Perl. Yet
      all the rest is done by Perl, and I can use higher-level lists
      operations, efficient functional-style programming[6], and other
      enjoyable things; I could program the whole thing in roughly 15
      to 30 days of work; and the whole program is only 1500 lines! And
      it never segfaults :-)...

      I'd like to thank a lot the great guys who made the artistic part
      of this game possible: Ayo the famous french pinguin designer[7],
      Amaury the bubbles designer, and Matthias our fine guitarist, who
      all managed to accept (and enjoy ;p) working under more strict
      conditions that what they're used to (because this was part of a
      bigger project, it logically restricted freedom in their art).
      All http://linuxfr.org/ readers knew that Ayo had a real talent,
      yet he showed he could do much more than banners and wallpapers.
      Regarding Matthias, as I'm a fan since 1997 I was confident he
      could write marvellous songs (I was not disappointed), and I
      discovered he could give me high quality sound effects as well!
      It's real great to see that together we could produce a game I'm
      very proud of.

      Sun Jan 27 22:17:10 2002


      [1] http://mandrakesoft.com/

      [2] http://mandrakelinux.com/DrakX/

      [3] David J. Goehrig

      [4] http://libsdl.org/

      [5] http://sdlpl.sf.net/

      [6] Check how neighbours computation is performed, line 448

      [7] http://73lab.com/

      In any case - have fun!


      Shlomi Fish

      Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
      Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/
      Home E-mail: shlomif@...

      "Let's suppose you have a table with 2^n cups..."
      "Wait a second - is n a natural number?"
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