Archive for November, 2011

Doom 3 source code : iodoom3

Posted: November 29, 2011 in Games
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Source code of Doom 3 is available through iodoom3 project.

Steam provides Grand Theft Auto Complete Pack at 9,99 euros only for a few hours. The collection includes GTA, GTA2, GTA3, GTA Sand Andreas, GTA Vice City, GTA IV and GTA Episodes From Lliberty City.

GTA San Andreas is still available on the Mac App Store for 5,79 euros, however comments report very deceiving performance even on fastest macs. The PC Steam version under Crossover Games (see compatibility list here) may then run faster. About GTA IV (also supported through Crossover however still requiring high resources on Windows), using Bootcamp may be better.

We can also found on Steam Deux Ex : Human Revolutions at 24,99 euros (50 percent discount).

Sonokinetic : free samples

Posted: November 25, 2011 in Audio
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Sonokinetic provides some free samples from its samples libraries (750 MB download – 1,27 GB uncompressed). We find 960 loops (1 GB) from Sultan Strings (the full version includes 5 GB of instruments and 5 GB of loops, for 79,90 euros), a carillon (200 MB) and some other percussions (100 MB).

X-Plane 10 : pre-order / demo

Posted: November 25, 2011 in Games
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X-Plane 10 has been announced for December, 7 (79,99$). It now uses 3D modeling instead photos mapping.

We can still download a demo version (Global Scenery not included, and time limited) and watch videos here and there.

Macgamestore provides Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood at 33 percent discount (26,77$), reported as smoother than Assassin’s Creed 2, and also Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare at 19,95$ (50 percent discount).
Steam provides Portal 2 at 14,99$ (50 percent discount).

Shade 12 Standard : discount

Posted: November 25, 2011 in Apple
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Shade 12 Standard is provided at 72 percent discount (99$) until November, 28. This version brings, compared to the Basic version available at the App Store, displacement mapping, volumetric textures, particles system, enhanced animation tool (with Hair Salon, Toon animation), and effects.

Native Instruments provides 50 percent discount on many instruments, samples libraries and effects until November, 28.

Camel Audio presents Himalaya: Vintage, a 600 MB samples library (150 sounds) for Alchemy Player : 28 Bass, 22 Pads, 19 Synths, 19 Leads, 17 Arps, 10 Brass, 9 Strings, 7 Sound Effects, 6 Soundscapes, 6 Keys, 5 Vocals, 2 Mallets.
Audio demos are available. It is priced 49 euros.

Next Katie Melua’s album, Secret Symphony, is now planned for March. Following the two latest (and deceptive) ones, this one brings back the initial producer, who will provide some new songs, besides covers of other artists’s songs that content will consist most of.
We can still listen to one, Gold in Them Hills.

VSL Ensemble Pro 5 / MIR Pro

Posted: November 21, 2011 in Audio
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VSL presented Vienna Ensemble PRO 5 (215 euros), that also includes Epic Orchestra (9 GB of samples, featuring Appassionata Strings Ensemble, Woodwinds Ensemble, Oboe d’amore, Epic Horns, Fanfare Trumpets, Drums and Percussion). A demo version is available (requires a ViennaKey).

VSL also provides Vienna MIR PRO, now MacOS X compatible (795 euros), and a bundle at 835 euros.

Android : audio latency problem

Posted: November 21, 2011 in Audio, IT/Dev
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Android faces a high performance problem (very high audio latency, see also here) that prevents from using it to develop software samples players and effects units). Some gain can be achieved by customizing kernel’s settings (differ from all hardware vendors) however it can’t match the required low buffers, and Google still didn’t provide any solution in Android 4’s SDK :

The WHOLE audio architecture is a joke.

It’s one of the worst over-engineered pieces of software i have ever seen in my life. I believe that most people who had the unpleasant experience to look at the sources will agree: the amount of layers and complexity added above the linux sound system is ridicolous. Whats the point? You don’t gain any extra functionality. Security? Priority handling (Phone calls)??? If that is Googles concern then the solution is at best amateurish and doesn’t really work (i have killed/locked the audio system several times – by accident – with my audio tests).

The “standard” way to do audio I/O would be to use interrupts which access ring buffers in a locking-free way – this idea is at least 20 years old.

What makes this even more worse is that Google:

– doesn’t care/understand the problem

– doesn’t respond to this issue

– ignores a huge market (games, music apps, …)

– provides wrong solutions

– a configuration option ( is not enough. I’m impressed about this great achievement – i bet the best Google engineers sat down for two years to invent it
– defining 45ms as low latency? are you serious? shows again lack of knowledge. 5-10ms would be low-latency.

– OpenSL ES !? Again, a new (very complex) layer above AudioTrack without solving fundamental issues – great 😦 you only get rid of the Java layer.

In addition the hardware buffers on some devices (afaik Qualcomm at least) are huge and are required to filled before any audio output can be started. This prevents low-latency audio on some devices. Finally the scheduling frequency (20 ms or so) of Android further limits the minimum size of any buffers.

IK Multimedia may have found some trick, however the workaround won’t be available before months (and may be restricted to their applications), and couldn’t circumvent Google OS design limitations : high number of layers, lack of skills in audio management principles, use of JNI).

Recent graphical performance tests with Google Nexus 2 (3 times slower than iPhone 4S) also confirm that Google does not have experience beyond javascript, while Apple have had a long time with assembly and kernel development.

Cappuccino 0.9.5 available

Posted: November 17, 2011 in IT/Dev

Cappuccino 0.9.5 is available. Among new features we can find MacOSX Lion type scrollbars, Popover controls, predicates, a new installer and enhanced objjc tool.