FW Editor: Do you plan to develop new applications, or are you more focused on optimizing the current ones?
Ken Händel: I am developing for jsidplay2 since 2007 and I will continue to work on it,
because there is always something to improve, or a feature to add.
This project is a long term task, since I have a strong relation to SID music and C64.
Nevertheless, I can imagine to start something new someday, but this specific hobby will never die for sure.
FW Editor: Not many people are still using SID files. What made you develop JSidplay2, a music player build for SID files?
Ken Händel: I wanted to develop Open Source Software to find out how it feels and to gather some experience, so I chose a topic with a long-lasting motivation for me.
But in fact I did not start from scratch. I ported the fantastic work of developers like Dag Lem, Simon White
and Antti Lankila to the Java programming language and added a user interface with missing features.
I am happy, that Antti has joined this project, because he can do many things, that are beyond my knowledge.
FW Editor: Can you tell us more about JSidplay2 and SID files?
Ken Händel: First, the focus of jsidplay2 was just a java version of sidplay2. Then we decided to make it more and more a full featured C64 emulator like VICE project is, but ours is specialized for sound playback.
As a consequence we added a video screen, a floppy disk drive, and other peripherals.
For the SID files, we are always in sync with the current HVSC releases. That means we dropped support of the older
Amiga PlaySID and sidplay1 music formats and we support stereo tunes. In addition the Compute's Gazette SID Collection
is supported as well. These collections (especially HVSC) contains tons of great SID music one can never listen to completely. And I have found many old and new musicians, that are always worth listening to.
Some of them are still producing music these days. To mention all of my favorites here is just impossible,
but just to get an impression what I listen to (alphabetical order):
Conrad, Thomas Detert, Drax, Matt Grey, Rob Hubbart, Jeff, Nata, PRI, Reyn Ouwehand, Peet, Q-Man, Markus Siebold,
TBB, Jeroen Tel, David Whittaker.
FW Editor: Why would you recommend JSidplay2over any other similar application?
Ken Händel: I recommend jsidplay2 where sidplay2 was used before, since it is a further stage of the sources.
Many things sound better, it has an improved level of compatibility and it has more features.
Other software on the market is often based on sidplay2 code, but the developement of these sources is frozen since 2004
as far as i know. Our player can be run out of the box in a web browser without installation,
I only know one alternative project, that can do and it is based on jsidplay2's sound engine three years ago.
FW Editor: How can you describe JSidplay2 in just a few words? Why?
Ken Händel: It sounds like the real thing, it plays non stop like a radio and it feels like living in the 80's.
FW Editor: How do you plan to develop JSidplay2in the future?
Ken Händel: Main topics are improving the emulation, adding additional peripherals, improving performance and a better user interface.
FW Editor: Is there anything you would like to add about JSidplay2?
Ken Händel: Recording mp3 would be nice.
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