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Accessing CD-ROM Audio Tracks From Your Application

Accessing CD-ROM Audio Tracks From Your Application

ERIC MUELLER

CD-ROM opens up the possibility of providing the user of your application with a new dimension of sound feedback, in full digitally reproduced stereo. Coaxing the sound out of the AppleCD S C® drive, however, is not as simple as prompting the user to "press PLAY on your CD-ROM drive now." This article explains the intricacies of controlling the audio functions of the AppleCD SC from an Apple II application.

Imagine how you might use CD-ROM audio tracks to make your software burst with sound: language software that pronounces each lesson as it teaches it; reading programs that speak words instead of just displaying them; almost any kind of program adapted with audio cues for an audience with reading disabilities. CD-ROM is also the answer for applications that require lengthy music tracks or background music that simply won't fit on the program disk in a digitized format.

In this article, you'll learn about the capabilities of the AppleCD SC drive, and the kinds of calls you can make to the drive to control the audio features. The article also covers basic information about how audio tracks are stored on CD-ROM. (While the primary focus of this article is the Apple II, this section applies to the Macintosh as well.) Finally, it covers the specifics of playing audio tracks via the GS/OS® SCSI CD driver and the five major audio control calls.

AN OVERVIEW OF THE AUDIO CAPABILITY

You make the AppleCD SC do your bidding by sending it the GS/OS device calls DStatus andDControl via the GS/OS SCSI CD driver. These calls enable you to control all features of the drive.

You get information about the contents of the disc in the drive and the current status of the drive with two DStatus subcalls: ReadTOC and AudioStatus.

You control audio play with five DControl subcalls: AudioPlay, AudioPause, AudioScan,AudioStop, and AudioSearch. These calls start and stop the disc from spinning inside the AppleCD SC, and position the laser.

We'll look at each of these functions in greater detail in the sections that follow, and illustrate them with code for a CD Remote classic desk accessory (CDA). You'll find the complete source code on the Developer Essentials disc in Merlin 16+ format. This code serves three purposes: first, it enables you to experiment with the AppleCD SC drive and see how it responds to certain calls. Second, it documents the exact steps necessary to make audio calls. Finally, you can modify and extend it with your own test code.

TO COMMUNICATE WITH THE DRIVE

Your Apple II application can communicate with the AppleCD SC through calls built into either the SmartPort or the GS/OS SCSI CD driver. Accessing the AppleCD SC's audio features via the Smartport or from the Macintosh side of things is very well documented, while documentation about using the GS/OS SCSI CD driver is not as complete (yet). We'll focus here on how to access the AppleCD SC via GS/OS.

Issuing CD SC commands from your program is a two-step process: first you must locate the drive with a DInfo call, and then you can use DStatus and DControl to check the status and control the device. The control data you send will be parameter lists for the audio calls; the status data you receive will be information about the disc in the drive.

DINFO Locating the drive with DInfo is fairly straightforward: you step through each of the available devices until you find one that has a deviceIDNum of $0007 (SCSI CD ROM drive). If your DInfo call returns an error $11, that means that you've hit the end of the device chain, and that no CD SC drive is hooked up.

Here is an example from the sample program of how to locate the attached AppleCD SC drive:

FindCDRom
         lda   CDROMDev   ;Have we found it before?
         bne   :leave     ;Yes - leave now.

:look                     ;Start looking for drive.
         jsl   GSOS
         dw    DInfo      ;Make GS/OS DInfo call.
         adrl  :devParm
         bcs   :err       ;Leave if error.

         lda   devID      ;Get device ID.
         cmp   #$0007     ;Is it a SCSI CD-ROM device?
         beq   :found     ;Yes - found it.

         inc   devNum     ;No - move to next device . . .
         bra   :look      ;and keep looking.

:found   lda   devNum
         sta   CDROMDev
         sta   DCdevNum   ;Store device number for all control calls.
         sta   DSdevNum   ;Store device number for all status calls.
:leave   clc              ;Found it.
         rts

:none    ~WriteCString #:noCDRom
:1       jsr   getKey
         sec              ;None found!
         rts

:err     cmp   #$11       ;Error $11 - invalid device number?
         beq   :none      ;Yes - no CD-ROM drive found!
         ~WriteCString #:error ;No - some other weird error.
         bra   :1

:error   asc   0d'GS/OS error on DInfo call. Press any key to
;quit. '0700
:noCDRom asc   0d'No CD-ROM drive found. Press any key to
;quit. '0700

:devParm dw    8          ;Eight parameters.
devNum   dw    1          ;Device number - start with 1.
         adrl  nameBuffer ;Pointer to buffer for device name.
         dw    0          ;Characteristics.
         dl    0          ;TotalBlocks.
         dw    0          ;SlotNum.
         dw    0          ;UnitNum.
         dw    0          ;Version.
devID    dw    0          ;Device ID: $0007 = SCSI CD-ROM.

nameBuffer dw  31         ;Max length.
         ds    33         ;Storage for device name.

DSTATUS AND DCONTROL Once you've found the drive, exchanging information with it is simply a matter of DStatus and DControl calls. DStatus enables you to receive status data from the drive; DControl enables you to send control data to the drive.

The main parameter table for DControl and DStatus contains a parameter count, the device number you're working with, the control (or status) code, a pointer to the command data, a request count (used for status calls), and a transfer count.

The command data information is a parameter list of 18 bytes (see Figure 1). The first two are reserved and must be 0; the following byte is the SCSI command (which is the same as the control/status code low byte). Next is a block of 11 bytes: these are specific to each call. Finally, the command data parameter list ends with a long pointer to another buffer, where SCSI data is returned from the status calls.

[IMAGE ROM_Audio_html1.GIF]

Figure 1 Command Data for DStatus and DControl

The following code from the sample program implements two handlers to make DControl and DStatus calls:

* Make a DControl call - enter with control code in accumulator.

DoDControl
   sta   DCcode     ;Store control code.
   shortacc
   sta   controlData ;Store it in start of the parameter list.
   longacc

   jsl   GSOS
   dw    DControl   ;Make GS/OS DControl call.
   adrl  :devParm

   jsr   GDS        ;Get device status & set new disc flag,
                    ; if necessary . . .

   rts              ;and return with the call made.

:devParm dw    5       ;Parm list for the DControl call.
DCdevNum dw    0       ;Fill in device number here.
DCcode   dw    0       ;Control code.
      adrl  controlList ;Pointer to buffer.
      dl    0          ;RequestCount - unused.
      dl    0          ;TransferCount.

controlList dw 0       ;Reserved.
controlData ds 12      ;12 bytes of data.
      adrl  buffer     ;Pointer to buffer.
buffer   ds    20

* Make a DStatus call - enter with status code in accumulator.

DoDStatus
      sta   DScode     ;Store control code.
      shortacc
      sta   statusData ;Store it in start of the parameter list.
      longacc

      jsl   GSOS
      dw    DStatus    ;Make GS/OS DStatus call.
      adrl  statParm

      jsr   GDS        ;Get device status & set new disc flag,
                       ; if necessary . . .

      rts              ;and return with the call made.
statParm dw    5       ;Parm list for the DStatus call.
DSdevNum dw    0       ;Fill in device number here.
DScode   dw    0       ;Status code.
      adrl  statusList ;Pointer to buffer.
DSrequest dl   0       ;RequestCount.
      dl    0          ;TransferCount.

statusList dw  0       ;Reserved.
statusData ds  12      ;12 bytes of data.
      adrl  buffer     ;Pointer to buffer.

TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE DISC IN THE DRIVE

The AppleCD SC has two important calls for finding out more about the disc in the drive: ReadTOC (to read the table of contents) and AudioStatus (to find out exactly what the drive is doing). These calls are useful immediately after the user has inserted a new (foreign) disc, to ascertain the disc's layout and whether the disc is currently playing, searching, paused, or muted. They are also useful in the case where you've placed one application on several different discs, each with a different audio track layout.

READTOC
The ReadTOC call can return data in three ways, known as types $00, $01, and $02. You specify the type in the ReadTOC parameter list.

A type $00 table of contents returns the value of the first and last tracks available on the disc. Tracks are numbered consecutively, starting with 1, and the type $00 table of contents always returns $01 as the value for the first track on the disc.

Type $01 gives you the disc lead-out time in minutes, seconds, and blocks. (The lead-out time is the total time of all tracks on the disc, including the data track, if one exists.)

Finally, type $02, the most flexible of the three, returns starting address information (control field, minutes, seconds, and blocks) for each track on the disc. You can specify how many bytes the call will return and which track to start on, which makes it possible to find out about a single track instead of all of the tracks on the disc.

Examples of using the ReadTOC call can be found in the "NewDisc" and "Play" routines of the accompanying source code.

AUDIOSTATUSThe AudioStatus call returns the current status of the drive, the current play mode, the control field of the current track, and the Q Subcode for either the next track on the disc (if a track is currently playing) or the current track (if a track is not currently playing).

The current status of the drive is reported as one of six messages: AudioPlay operation in progress, Pause operation in progress, Muting On operation in progress, AudioPlay completion status, Error during AudioPlay operation status, or AudioPlay operation not requested.

The play mode is how audio will be output. It has the following possible values:

Bits
3210Effect
0000 Muting on (no audio)
0001 Right channel through right channel only
0010 Left channel through right channel only
0011 Both channels through right channel only
0100 Right channel through left channel only
0101 Right channel through left and right channel
0110 Right channel through left channel, left channel through right channel (reversed)
0111 Right channel through left channel, both channels through right channel
1000 Left channel through left channel only
1001 Left channel through left channel, right channel through right channel (stereo)
1010 Left channel through left and right channels
1011 Left channel through left channel, both channels through right channel
1100 Both channels through left channel
1101 Both channels through left channel, right channel through right channel
1110 Both channels through left channel, left channel through right channel
1111 Both channels through left channel, both channels through right channel (mono)

The control field describes the format of the current track, and has the following possible values:

Bits
3210Effect
00x0 Two audio channels without preemphasis
00x1 Two audio channels with preemphasis
10x0 Four audio channels without preemphasis
10x1 Four audio channels with preemphasis
01x0 Data track
01x1 Reserved
11xx Reserved
xx0x Digital copy prohibited
xx1x Digital copy permitted

The Q Subcode is the absolute address of either the next track on the disc (if a track is currently playing) or the current track (if a track is not currently playing). It consists of the track starting address in minutes, seconds, and blocks. With the Q Subcode, you can quickly tell where the laser is positioned.

Here is a short example of getting the drive status and reporting it to the user:

Status
         ~WriteCString #:stat

         jsr   ZeroParamList ;Zap old parameter list.

         lda   #$0006        ;Get six bytes from AudioStatus.
         sta   DSrequest
         lda   #AudioStatus  ;Make this call.
         jsr   DoDStatus
         shortacc
         lda   buffer        ;Get audio status.
         longacc
         cmp   #5+1
         bge   :bad
         asl                 ;*2 so offset into table is correct.
         tay
         lda   #^:msgPtrs    ;Get current bank.
         pha                 ;Push high word.
         lda   :msgPtrs,y    ;Push low word.
         pha
         _WriteCString       ;Print string.
         clc
         rts

:bad     ~WriteCString #:unk
         clc
         rts

:stat    asc   ‘Status'0d0d00
:unk     asc   ‘Unknown audio status returned'0d00
:msgPtrs
         dw    :nowPlay      ;$00
         dw    :pause        ;$01
         dw    :muting       ;$02
         dw    :playComp     ;$03
         dw    :errPlay      ;$04
         dw    :noPlay       ;$05

:nowPlay asc   ‘AudioPlay operation in progress'0d00
:pause   asc   ‘Pause operation in progress'0d00
:muting  asc   ‘Muting On operation in progress'0d00
:playComp asc  ‘AudioPlay completion status'0d00
:errPlay asc   ‘Error occurred during AudioPlay operation'0d00
:noPlay  asc   ‘AudioPlay operation not requested'0d00

TO PLAY AUDIO TRACKS

Five main audio calls are available to the programmer to control the audio features of the AppleCD SC drive:
AudioPlay This call enables you to start the drive on an audio playback operation (you pass it the play mode), or to specify a stop address for audio playback.
AudioStop Like AudioPlay, this call enables you to specify a stop address for audio playback. AudioStop can be used to set up a stop address prior to issuing an AudioPlay call starting playback.
AudioPause This call enables you to temporarily stop the audio playback operation by turning on muting and holding the laser over the same Q Subcode address. AudioPause also enables you to resume the audio playback operation after it has been stopped with a previous AudioPause operation. This call is useful if you wish to pause audio playback on the fly and resume it instantly, without any delay.
AudioSearch This call enables you to position the laser over an address on the disc (a specified track or Q Subcode). This can be useful if it is crucial that your application be able to start playback at a certain time: you can first search to the specific track and then hold the disc there, later issuing an AudioPlay command (which will begin play immediately). AudioSearch can also be set to start playing as soon as the specified address is located.
AudioScan This call causes a fast-forward or fast-reverse scan operation, starting from the address passed to it.

The steps to play an audio track from your application are fairly straightforward:

  1. Choose the last track you wish to play and set it with theAudioStop command.
  2. Choose the first track you wish to play and pass it toAudioPlay with the stop flag set to 0.

If you wish to play a single track, pass the same track number for both commands. If you want to simply start playback on a given track and allow the disc to play to the end, pass the last track number to AudioStop and the track to begin playback on to AudioPlay. (The last track number can be retrieved with a type $00 ReadTOC command.)

The AudioScan call is useful if you're allowing the user to directly control the disc from the application; otherwise, there is little need to fast-forward or fast-rewind when your program is already aware of the layout of the disc. AudioPause and AudioSearch are two practical ways to prepare the disc for playback without delay, and then pause and resume it. By usingAudioSearch before your program needs to begin playback, you can have the disc spinning and the laser positioned exactly where it needs to be.

TO SUM IT ALL UP

By now, you're familiar with the many advantages and possibilities that CD-ROM audio access can provide your application. You know the layout of an audio track on CD-ROM and how to find out more about the track from your application.

You know the five major audio calls and a handful of supporting calls. You know what they can do for you and why you might want to use them.

You're ready to produce an application that takes full advantage of the AppleCD SC drive, equipping your program with the ability to produce sound and music of unequaled quality.

ABOUT CD-ROM AUDIO TRACK FORMAT

Audio data on a CD-ROM is stored in tracks. A CD can have a maximum of 99 tracks. Each track is broken down into minutes, seconds, blocks, frames, and finally, bytes, as shown in Figure 2. Tracks are numbered consecutively starting with 1, while minutes, seconds, blocks, and frames are numbered consecutively starting with 0.

This format enables exact specification of a location on a CD-ROM. A location can be specified by absolute block number (for example, start playing at absolute block 1,234,567 from the start of the disc), or by absolute minute, second, and block number (for example, start playing at minute 42, second 30, block 15 on the disc), or by logical track number (for example, start playing at track 2).

Note that blocks are often referred to as frames in CD-ROM industry documentation; following that lead, you'll see references to disc data in minute-second- frame format in my source code when it's truly in minute-second-block format. There is no way to access individual frames (1/98th of a block) or bytes of the disc with the AppleCD SC drive; however, for audio playback, it is unnecessary and presents no handicap.

[IMAGE ROM_Audio_html2.GIF]

Figure 2 Format of a CD-ROM Audio Track

ERIC MUELLER is a free-lance Apple II programmer (with an interest in telecommunications) who leads an unstructured life with no days off, no days on. Despite that, he doesn't seem to have much free time. He plans to go to college somewhere, someday, to study the great unknown. For now, he writes his code, co-manages an Apple II area on GEnie, listens to the B-52's, eats lunch in Chinese restaurants, and watches "Late Night With David Letterman." During his days off (or is it his days on?) he enjoys teaching "stupid pet tricks" to his two cats, Conan and Aster, and enjoys life in Colorado Springs. Otherwise, he gets perverse thrills by writing Apple II programs that don't go at all "by the book." (He does promise that he absotively, posilutely has memorized the interface guidelines, a MUST in the curriculum of the great unknown.) *

Complete details on using the SmartPort are given in the AppleCD SC Developers Guide (revised edition, Apple Computer, 1989, APDA #A7G0023/A), starting on page 139. Included are parameter lists, a list of all possible CD SC calls, and details on how your parameter list for each of the calls should be set up.

Details on controlling the CD SC from GS/OS can be found in the GS/OS Reference (beta draft, Apple Computer, 1988), volume 1 (APDA #A2F2037) and volume 2 (APDA #A0008LL/A). Volume 1, pages 108-109 and 112-119, explains the DControl and DStatus calls, while volume 2, chapter 2, provides detailed instructions on making each call and gives [continue on next page] detailed parameter lists for each of the CD SC status and control calls.

(Note that on page 64 of theGS/OS Reference , volume 2, in the parameter list for theAudioPause call, the value for start pause in the pause flag byte [$02] should be $10, not $40.) TheAppleCD SC Developers Guide gives an explanation of every call. TheGS/OS SCSI Driver (General) External ERS (not presently available from APDA) contains the most up-to-date and correct parameter lists for the audio calls. *

Thanks to Our Technical Reviewers:Mike Barnick, James Beninghaus, Matt Gulick, Jim Luther, Llew Roberts

Eric sends many thanks to Ken Kashmarek for his help.

 
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