MPEG-FAQ 4.1: Maplay 1.2 for Win32
Maplay 1.2 for Win32
Maplay 1.2 for Win32 Last modified: Februrary 3, 1995
What is maplay 1.2?
Maplay 1.2 is a program written for UNIX systems by Tobias Bading. What it
does is decodes MPEG Audio Layer 1 and 2 files, which are factor of 6-12
times smaller than uncompressed audio (like Windows PCM WAVE, Sun AU, or
Mac AIFF files). Despite the huge compression, there is no audible signal
loss! You can retain CD-quality sound at compression ratios around 1:6 (128
kbit/s). Unfortunately, decoding MPEG audio streams is a very CPU intensive
process. And until now, there have been no fully-featured decoders
available for Windows.
What is maplay 1.2 for Win32?
Thanks to Bading's hard work in maintaining portability in maplay, I was
able to retarget maplay to run on the Windows 95 and Windows NT operating
systems. I also added a few features such as WAV playing, pausing,
stopping, and repeating MPEG audio playback. It took about 4 weeks, since I
had no prior Windows programming experience.
Doesn't XingSound do the same thing?
No. Compare the features in the following table:
Program L1 L2 WAV Bits/sample Sample Stereo Win3.1 Win95WinNT
XingSound1 ? YesYes 162 22.0 kHz No Yes Yes3 Yes3
Win32 Yes YesYes 16 44.1 kHz Yes No Yes Yes
1Freeware version of XingSound. There is a full-featured version, but it is
3Not a native 32-bit program
Should I even consider XingSound at all?
Yes. Maplay 1.2 for Win32 is recommended for 486DX2-66 or higher x86
machines (for stereo playback), running Windows 95 or Windows NT. It will
not run on Windows 3.1 or lower operating systems, even if you have Win32s.
It is also pretty CPU intensive due to its high precision and playing
frequency. Also, it does not work on 8-bit sound cards yet. Finally, unlike
XingSound, maplay 1.2 for Win32 cannot fast forward, rewind, or search for
tracks. If you need these features or don't have what it takes to run
maplay 1.2 for Win32, get XingSound (115k) instead. But if quality is a
priority and you have a 16-bit sound card and decent computer and
multimedia equipment, maplay is the way to go!
Cool. Where can I get maplay for Win32?
Maplay for Win32 is available here in following six flavors:
With Source Code Without Source Code
386 compatiblempw32-3s.zip mpw32-3n.zip
Intel 486 mpw32-4s.zip mpw32-4n.zip
Pentium mpw32-5s.zip mpw32-5n.zip
... Or from an FTP site to be announced later. E-mail me if you have
problems obtaining it. If you have a non-Intel CPU, choose the 386 version.
For my testers, these versions should be much smoother.
How do I use maplay for Win32?
Maplay for Win32 supports command-line playback, so you can associate MP2
or MPG files with maplay in the File Manager of Windows Explorer. You can
also use it as a viewer in Netscape. The MIME type is "audio", and the
subtype is "x-mpeg". Finally, you can use as a stand-alone program, as
there is a menu item to open files. Feel free to E-mail me if you need
How much does maplay for Win32 cost?
Nothing. Well, almost nothing. Of course you still have to pay for the
access time and the long distance charges to download it! I do request that
you e-mail me and tell me if it worked on your system. Also, your generous
donations are welcomed but not required.
Are there any bugs in maplay for Win32?
Well, as I said before, I'm new at Windows programming, so I'm sure there
are. But the following are the only bugs I know about:
* Sometimes the shortcut keys don't work. You just have to use the
I'll work on getting rid of these bugs, and if you find any others, please
Where can I get MPEG audio files?
Good news if you're into Japanese animation music because I've recorded a
number of MPEG audio files from my favorite anime. The Underground Music
Archive also has MPEG audio streams of unsigned artists. I'll list some
more sources shortly.
Well, I hope I'm not being to presumptuous by listing credits, but here
Original Source Code by Tobias Bading.
Copyright (C) 1993, 1994 Berlin University of Technology.
Win32 port and interface by Jeff Tsay.
License rights granted by the Free Software Foundation, Inc.
Academic (reduced price for students) C++ compiler sold by Borland
Thanks to my computer science teachers and professors at Eastern High
School and UC Berkeley!
Need more information? Broken links? Comments? Please contact me at