Playing CDs on CD game system

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VideoGameCritic
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Playing CDs on CD game system

Postby VideoGameCritic » May 11th, 2020, 8:21 pm

I had always heard about the special effects that systems like the Sega CD and Jaguar CD are supposed to produce when you put a music CD in them - like a laser light show. Well I finally got around to trying it tonight.

First the Sega CD. I put in my Stone Temple Pilots CD and it was just a normal CD control dashboard. I could listen to the music but no fancy graphics or anything. So I popped in the music sampler discs that were shipped with the system. One is called "Rock Paintings" and uses CD-G technology. These contained some moderately popular acts included like Fleetwood Mac and Information Society. When these songs play, the screen shows artistic images - usually stylized photos. One slowly overlays the next, as the lyrics are displayed along the bottom. Not too exciting. The second CD Hot Hits is just a regular CD with random artists, so no graphics at all.

Next I tried the Jaguar CD. Took two tries for the disc to spin up, which is understandable because the Jag hardware isn't the most reliable. Anyway I put the STP in there and once I figured out the lousy user interface, I was treated to a pretty psychedelic display of colors and patterns. I have to admit it's pretty mesmerizing. Sometimes you feel like you're traveling down a tunnel. If I was using a large TV and under the influence I'm sure I would have enjoyed it more. I can't tell if the hypnotic patterns are affected at all by the music or if they are at random. The graphics don't appear to change in tempo, but always seem to sync with the songs, fading out nicely at the end. Chalk one up for the Jag CD.

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Retro STrife
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Re: Playing CDs on CD game system

Postby Retro STrife » May 12th, 2020, 9:03 am

The only system I knew for doing this was the original Playstation. Have you ever watched the PS1 with a music CD? I thought it was kinda cool back when I got my PS1 in the 90s. I'd listen to music on it and watch the visuals, and it was a decent novelty for the time but not all that special. But I discovered it by accident one day and that made it seem cooler to me, thinking it was meant to be hidden. Anyway, I think Sony called it the Soundscope, and it looked like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81NMXYzNYgY . To access it, press "select" while a song is playing, and then you can cycle through different effects with the D-pad and face buttons.

I just watched this video of the Jag CD's "virtual light machine" and it looks much cooler. I assume this is what you're referring to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0aGJLte13A

ActRaiser
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Re: Playing CDs on CD game system

Postby ActRaiser » May 12th, 2020, 10:35 am

The 360 does this nicely! And I could have sworn the Xbox did this as well, but my memory is fading a bit these days.

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Retro STrife
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Re: Playing CDs on CD game system

Postby Retro STrife » May 12th, 2020, 11:16 am

ActRaiser wrote:The 360 does this nicely! And I could have sworn the Xbox did this as well, but my memory is fading a bit these days.


Never knew this! I just watched a video of it. Interesting stuff.

And I just googled it and, get this, the music visualizer on the Xbox 360 was designed by Jeff Minter (of Tempest 2000 fame) -- who also designed the music visualizer on the Jaguar CD.

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Marriott_Guy
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Re: Playing CDs on CD game system

Postby Marriott_Guy » May 12th, 2020, 12:28 pm

The 3DO also featured an audio visualizer (which I believe was the first for a game console). Just pop in an audio CD and while it is playing, just press the A button twice. Quick youtube video showing it in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VqPhN07r2Q

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zetax
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Re: Playing CDs on CD game system

Postby zetax » May 13th, 2020, 6:44 pm

The PS One (mini) had a built-in visualizer that you could manipulate with the controller.

The Saturn had the starfield with random spaceship.

Xbox and Xbox360 (especially 360) had visualizers.


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