MIDI Music - Monolith
The music in Acorn games isn't always wonderful - although some games do have good music - but no current software will play music via the MIDI port.
Most PC games rely on MIDI capabilities for their music and, although cheaper soundcards achieve this with poor quality FM synthesis, in general it results in high quality music playback. MIDI lets you do things you can't hope to do with soundtrackers, and removes the tight restriction on the number of instruments you can play at once. It also places far less load on the computer, freeing it to concentrate on the game itself!
Of course, you then need a MIDI synthesiser in order to hear the music output, but most PC owners have suitable hardware since it's pretty cheap, and more and more Acorn computers are also suitably equipped. Audio Dynamic/Q-Tec's XG hardware allows superb quality playback to be obtained for under 200 pounds, although there are cheaper options. ESP also sell a software synthesiser for Acorns, although running this will slow your computer down significantly and will not produce quality even approaching that of virtually all hardware synthesisers.
Partially in order to facilitate inclusion of MIDI music in Acorn games Rob Smith has released a freeware MIDI player called Monolith. It is a compact module which lets the user/programmer easily trigger playback of a piece of MIDI music, and then just forget about it if they wish. It also includes a simple frontend for use as a desktop MIDI player.
You can download the current version from this site if you so wish (51K) [Bug fixed version 30/12/97].
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