AGABlaster v0.9.70 Released For Amiga


AGABlaster is a video player for the Amiga Commodore computer. It uses a customized version of the CDXL format supporting the AGA chipset with 24 bit colors and variable length frames. AGABlaster is written in 68K Assembly and runs on native Amiga hardware (no gfx card or sound card required). It is currently in alpha testing stage.

The CDXL format was created primarily for the Commodore CDTV, to permit playback of video from CD-ROM in the early 1990s. The original (standard) CDXL format was a simple streaming format, consisting of linear concatenated chunks (packets), each with an uncompressed frame and associated audio data. It did not contain video timing information, additional command line arguments had to be provided to the CDXL player.

AGABlaster can play the original CDXL format (see Current Limitations), but can also play custom variable length CDXL frames. For example, frames can have have a different number of bitplanes. The custom headers in each chunk contain all information necessary to display each frame (audio frequency, etc.), such that no additional command line parameters need to be provided. However, command line arguments are available to set all parameters manually to play also original CDXL videos.

AGABlaster has been tested on an A4000/60 with a Fast ATA 4000 MK-III disk controller (expansion card) and different PIO settings. AGABlaster can play videos with 24 FPS, 320×256 Lores resolution, and 8-bit stereo sound at 22050 Hz directly from disk, with the MK-III in PIO3 setting. Only chip memory is required. Alternatively, playing from an USB 2.0 memory stick connected to a DENEB USB 2.0 expansion card is also fast enough.

AGABlaster is designed to only require chip memory and to display videos in full screen on original Amiga hardware. Graphics cards and/or sound cards are not required (and not supported). AGABlaster can skip frames if disk I/O is too slow. Video data is skipped by seeking on disk to the next frame without loading it into memory. Audio data is always read. All data is read asynchronously from disk, allowing it to read ahead if I/O is fast enough.

Overview of supported video/audio modes:

  •  Lores, Hires, Superhires, AGA0 – AGA8, HAM6, HAM8.
  •  0-8 bitplanes, 0-256 colors (variable length video chunks)
  •  8-bit mono/stereo sound (variable length audio chunks)
  •  12 bit and 24 bit colors.
  •  Tested on OS 3.9
  •  Original graphics and sound hardware (no graphics card required)
  •  On AGA systems the border is set to blank (this ensures that the border is black, even when color 0 is used in the video (since version 0.9.70)).
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