February 22, 2010
Along with the release of new HardSID models also the ACID 64 Player Pro – my SID player weapon of choise – got updated. The obvious update is the support for the new devices, but there is more to make it a nice update for HardSID 4U owners too.
Now when toggling channels or filter on/off, or when you change the SID model while playing a song, the playback does not jump. So you can seamlessly change the SID “on the fly” when listening – which makes it more interesting to compare different SID models. Another feature that I see as great improvement is the emulated SID reading for the USB HardSIDs. What it means is that some songs that did not work with HardSID 4U because of the hardware buffer made reading from SID chip impossible now work. In other words, stuff made with Polly Tracker now plays great! Dirty ’64, baby!
Not only the SID player but also the source for SID music has been updated. The old-as-internet HVSC website has been renewed: High Voltage SID Collection has got a new web site! Wow. The content seems to be about the same as it used to be, only presented in a “little” more modern and stylish way, and the address is new: www.hvsc.de. Now there is also a SID search on the site and links to various players. It would be nice if they added a STIL support to the search, especially when there is no longer links to other SID search engines.
It’s nice to see that the HVCS crew is well alive and active, but I kind of feel sorry for the old site. It was so old it’s a classic! Luckily the old site is still alive ;)
February 3, 2010
Two of my favourite C64-toys have been updated with new models; HardSID and 1541 Ultimate – both of which I have covered here and here earlier.
The announcement of 1541 Ultimate II is already old news, although it is not available yet. The new model is an evolution of the previous version with new features. The announced new features are support for USB storages, tape emulation and somethig still-mysterious related to audio. There will be much more – I’m sure about that. There are rumours about accelerator like SCPU emulation, but those are just rumours… One remarkable thing is that the device comes with a case. So no more “naked” board (that won’t even fit into standard cartridge case) pointing out from the back of your Commodore. It’s not all improvement however; the new model uses micro-SD cards instead of SD and the built-in ethernet is no longer an option. But it’s cheaper!
What is not old news is that two new HardSID models were announced just yesterday! The new models are HardSID Uno and HardSID UPlay and they are aimed for SID music enthusiastics. Compared to the HardSID 4U the main differences for target audiences are support for only one (Uno) or two (UPlay) SID chips and no need for separate power supply – and a lower price. The new HardSIDs have a very cool looking aluminium case and have no noise producing fan. Seems like these new models have replaced the “standard” 4U as it is no longer available – only the much more expensive Studio Edition of 4U.
To me it looks like that the Uno and UPlay are basically the same device with identical hardware and board. Only difference being that in UPlay you can (relay) switch between the two installable SID chips with software, and in Uno that has to be done manually with a jumper or something like that. Maybe it’s because of power consumption, as it is USB that is powering the device. If I’m wrong, I’ll correct my assumption.
All in all, great stuff!