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OctaMEDPlayer V0.903 ReadMe.txt
===============================

About OctaMEDPlayer

OctaMEDPlayer is a freely distributable replayer program that
plays MED and OctaMED modules made on the Amiga.

This release of OctaMEDPlayer is the first step in porting the entire
OctaMED Soundstudio program for the PC.

To find out more regarding this exciting new PC version and
( thanks to the guys at the Yamaha R&D center), loads of new
MIDI additions and a host of additions over and above the Amiga
version, liknk to our web site at: http://www.octamed.co.uk/
and then link to the PC User pages.


System requirements

These are the requirements for running OctaMEDPlayer:
- a PC, preferably a 486 or Pentium
- Windows 95 or Windows NT 4.0 (with atleast SP3 upgrade)
- a 16-bit sound card supported by Windows
- some free memory ;)

Installation

OctaMEDPlayer is very simple to install. Just decide where you want to
keep it on your hard disk and copy it there.
You should also keep a copy of this Read Me file,
handy; whenever you distribute OctaMEDPlayer,
you must copy both this file and the executable program.

When you run OctaMEDPlayer for the first time, it registers the future
OctaMED file name extension (*.MED) on your system.
It also updates the system settings so that whenever you click a module
(with .MED extension) in Explorer, OctaMEDPlayer runs from the same
place it was run last time.
If you move OctaMEDPlayer around on your hard disk, execute it
manually so that these paths become updated.
After running OctaMEDPlayer for the first time, you may have to
restart your system until all settings come in effect.

Supported module types:

This very ealy version of OctaMEDPlayer supports all the major module
format versions of MED and OctaMED (MMD0 - MMD3).
Almost all OctaMED modules are in one of these formats.
The obsolete Song+Samples format is not supported.
Also, later versions of OctaMED have support for several external
packers (PowerPacker, lh.library and XPK).
None of these are supported on the PC, so these modules must be
unpacked on the Amiga.
OctaMEDPlayer also supports multi-modules.
These are modules which contain more than one song.

This version of OctaMEDPlayer does not support the MIDI features in OctaMED.
No MIDI notes will be played.
Also, multi-octave samples are not supported,(they are rarely used).
You will get a warning message if you try to load something that
isn't yet supported or recognized.


Using OctaMEDPlayer

These are three basic ways to launch OctaMEDPlayer:
* Execute the program and use its GUI to load modules
* Double-click a module (that has .MED extension) to play it
* Use the MS-DOS command prompt ("octamedplayer songname").

Once OctaMEDPlayer has started, you can use its user interface to load
and play modules. Below you will find its basic functions explained.


Loading modules

You can load modules by:
1) Typing its name into the displayed "Song" edit box.
You may need to enter the full path name.
Press Enter to load the song.

2) Choosing "Open..." from File menu, or clicking the "Song..." button.
A dialog box opens, allowing you to choose a file to load.
3) Dragging and dropping icons from desktop to OctaMEDPlayer window.


Playing modules

The buttons below the song name edit box carry out the playing functions:

|< + >
Starts playing the song from the beginning.

>
Continues playing from where it left off when stopped.

[square]
Stops playing.

|<<
Selects the previous song (if a multi-module is loaded)

>>|
Selects the next song (if a multi-module is loaded)

?
This button brings up the module information window, which displays text
that was embedded to the module. Many modules don't have any text embedded
at all.

At the bottom part of the window, there are text displays:

Song:   1/2: SongName

1/2 indicates that this is the first of two songs in this modules.
Most modules have only one song, this display reads 1/1 then.
SongName is the name of the current song.

Sect:   1/1     Seq:    2/10    Block:  3/6

Sect and Seq display the current position in the song. Typically,
only the Seq (Sequence) position is used. When Seq wraps around
(i.e. from 10 to 1 above), the song has started again from the
beginning. Some songs may also have "supersequences" called
Sections, hence the Sect display. The Block display shows the
current block number, it doesn't necessarily have correspondence
to current playing position.

Note that these displays are not updated exactly in time, usually
they change a bit earlier than the heard position changes. This
happens due to buffering, and choosing a smaller buffer size
decreases the delay (see below).


Changing settings

There are several settings you can change in OctaMEDPlayer in order
to make it suit your system as well as possible. Choose "Playback..."
from Settings menu to display the Settings dialog.

Frequency

There are three mixing/output frequencies available. The higher the
frequency, the better the sound quality. A lower frequency is, however,
considerably faster.
[Default: 22050 Hz for 486 or slower, 44100 Hz for Pentium or faster]

Buffer Size

You can adjust the output buffer size here. The default value is usually
suitable, but if you experience hiccups when e.g. minimizing windows,
you can try to increase the buffer size.
[Default: 16384, Min: 1024, Max: 32766]

Auto Play After Loading

If this button is checked, playing starts automatically after a new song
has been loaded from disk.
[Default: off]

Force Mono Mode

Forces all modules to be played in mono. Useful e.g. if you are listening
thru headphones. Note: With some new OctaMED modules that are intended to
be played in stereo, you may experience sharp clicks and/or distortion
when this feature is on.
[Default: off]

Wave Output Device

If you have multiple sound cards connected to your system, you may choose
here which one you want to use. The default is Wave Mapper, which is the
same as the preferred device in Multimedia Control Panel.
[Default: Wave Mapper]

OK

Accepts the settings and closes the dialog. Note that if a song is playing,
the changes won't come into effect until the playing has been stopped and
restarted.

Save Settings

The same as OK, but the settings are also saved so that they are in effect
automatically the next time you use OctaMEDPlayer.

Cancel

Abandons the settings and closes the dialog.


About OctaMEDPlayer, part II

OctaMEDPlayer is copyright 1996 Teijo Kinnunen. It is released as freeware, it
may be freely distributed on non-commercial basis.

As this is the first released version of OctaMEDPlayer on the PC, it is likely
to contain some bugs. Bug reports are welcome. Before reporting a bug/problem,
please check if a newer revision of OctaMEDPlayer is available and if so,
check if the problem has already been solved. There are basically three kinds
of problems that are possible:
1) No sound at all.
   * Do you have the latest drivers for your sound card?
   * Do other Windows-based programs play samples (not MIDI) correctly thru
     the sound card? If not, this is probably not a problem in OctaMEDPlayer.
   Provide this information in your report:
   - computer type, processor, OS type and version
   - sound card type
   - detailed explanation of the problem.
2) Most modules work OK, but some modules don't sound the same as on Amiga.
   * Probably a bug in the player routine.
   If possible, please send an example module that demonstrates the problem.
3) Other problems (crashes etc.)
   Please provide as detailed explanation as possible, preferably the exact
   steps required to reproduce the problem. If it occurs with a particular
   module, please send the module, if possible.

Bug reports, comments etc. should be sent to:
    Email: Teijo.Kinnunen@oulu.fi   (preferred)
    Snail-mail:
        Teijo Kinnunen
        Oksantie 19
        FIN-86300  OULAINEN
        FINLAND

RBF Software, the publisher of OctaMED, can be reached at:
    Email: rbfsoft@cix.co.uk
    Snail-mail:
        RBF Software
        169, Dale Valley Road
        Hollybrook
        Southampton
        SO16 6QX
        ENGLAND

World Wide Web pages for downloading the latest version of OctaMEDPlayer,
and for getting more information about OctaMED Soundstudio:
        http://www.octamed.co.uk/