The Miles Sound System


I've had the chance to play a little bit with the Miles Sound System (MSS) 5.0. It's been a nice experience. We will hopefully be using it for our next games in Ronin, if the 'Powers That Be' decide to yield to the pressure that some of us programmers are putting and purchase the necessary license(s).

The general impression I got from it is that it's a very clean implementation of a very messy API. It looks like after 5 major versions, the basic API is still mostly the same, and that shows. The 3D support is a separate API. It even keeps all the DOS-related stuff.

Even the DirectSound/WaveOut selection is a hack. And there are some functions that I'll never understand why they aren't there, like for example, functions to play small raw data buffers (all functions except the streaming and the 3D ones require data with a header in memory, which shows the bad state of the older, normal-sound API), or selection of the HWND to be used for DirectSound BEFORE initializing the engine, or changing the sample rate of a sound RELATIVE to the original value of the WAV file, instead of just setting a new samplerate, or no support for MOD-style music formats.

On the extremely positive side, the implementation is quite clean and fast. And new features like support for the realtime MP3 file streaming (great for long music loops) do a lot. You can even use MP3-compressed instrument banks for playing MIDI files.

In case you want to contact the guys responsible for this engine, they are called RAD Game Tools

All trademarked things I mention here are TM by their respective owners. If you are one of those owners and want to be specifically mentioned, please, contact me and I'll include it.

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