ASCII by Jason Scott

Jason Scott's Weblog

JSMESS Makes a Little Noise —

Stuff just keeps falling in place with JSMESS.

As of this moment, we have a version that handles sound.

If you want to test out if your browser/machine/audio setup works well, you can’t do much better than clicking on this link and seeing if you’re hearing a ColecoVision play Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal.


Assuming you didn’t just crash your browser, machine, car or phone, and it sounds decent, then the rest of the systems on the JSMESS demonstration page are going to be a treat.

Regarding this excellent Smooth Criminal cartridge image, 2009, the creator of this cartridge did a pretty amazing thing – he went ahead and ran the same program through a ton of emulators so you can see how much massive variation there is between a “real” ColecoVision and all the emulations.

The point is, sound is hard.

Luckily, the way the system works for JSMESS, if sound is working in the browser for one system, it works well across all supported systems – they’re all ultimately using the same audio output.

Unfortunately for the big Historical Software announcement from October, the audio APIs in browsers were shifting around a bit too much for me to allow the Internet Archive to be running sound. People noticed, people complained.

After a round of testing and tweaking, and nailing down any other issues, this improved version will go into the Internet Archive’s collection, meaning that sound will be a part of the place going forward.

It just keeps getting better! And noisier.

Categorised as: computer history

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One Comment

  1. Victor Dang says:

    I am definitely hearing the 8-bit remnants of Michael being a Smooth Criminal, playing through my browser right now (though I’d much rather hear him sing the virtues of Kramer getting caught in the Death Star instead).

    Nice to see progress getting made on what is probably the most requested feature. By glod’s sakes, we are getting there!

    BTW thanks for linking to that video. I’ve always wondered as of late how accurate the sound reproduction of a console is in emulation, especially in regards to PCM and volume levels and such. This goes especially for the MSX/Konami SCC (most emulators set the SCC volume way too high in comparison to the PSG channels) and the C64 (accurate emulation of the analog filters in the SID chip is still a bitch). (And let’s not even get into the 60hz/50hz/NTSC/PAL speed differences, either!)