What player to use?
Arkos Tracker 2 comes with several players. Which one to use depends on your needs.
Generic player (AKG)
This is the classical player, the kind STarKos and AT1 produced. It can play all the FM features of the song, but does not handle samples directly: it is up to you to play them. This player is the best compromise between power and efficiency. The songs and player are optimized both in speed and memory. This is probably the player to use in a game, as it handles long music very well. It also has a support for sound effects. Demos may use it, but cycle-accurate code won’t like it: it can not be stabilized anymore, or with great difficulty, because of the new effect management.
Basically, if you don’t know what player to use, use this one.
This player is not available for now, it is a work in progress.
- Supports all the features of AT2 (effects, subsongs, etc.).
- Best compromise between speed/memory.
- Sound effect support.
- Can not be stabilized, due to its complexity.
- Rather large player (3kb).
Streamed player (AKY)
This is new for AT2. Some demos use their own player based on compressed YM. This allows for very fast player but huge music. AKY brings something new: both fast player and a excellent compression ratio! This player is 2x faster than AKG (7-12 scanlines on a CPC), but the songs are also 2-3x bigger (yet still 2-3x smaller than the existing YM-based solutions, ah!). Games will probably not make use of such fast player, and will suffer from the memory overhead. The best clients will be demos. Even better, the code will soon be provided in a stabilized version, allowing its use in NOP-accurate loops!
- Fast as hell.
- Stabilized (soon).
- Larger songs.
- Sound effects not managed (though easy to implement if someone asks me to do it).
More information here.
Lightweight player (AKL)
You are working on a 4k demo, or a 64k game? You have a tremendous hard time having a music in your overcrowded production? This player is for you: it is both light and produce short songs. This comes at a price: only a subset of AT2 features are available (see below). However, this is actually enough for 95 % of released music (…why am I bothering with all these effects?). Also, to save space, the code of the player is shared among tracks: indirections and sub-routines make it slower (in AT terminology. It is still faster than most generic player! Max: 35 scanlines on a CPC). It can also be fitted with the sound effect player.
- Smaller player and songs.
- Sound effects managed.
- Slower than the other AT2 players.
- Less features.
More information here.
This is not a player, but a binary format anyone can read. What’s its use?
- Use it is a pivot format to convert AT2 songs into a format of your own.
- Use its simple structure to play time-consuming music, such as MOD.