libreplayer: toward a generic interface for replayer cores and music players

I've been taking a break from focusing on fediverse development for the past couple of weeks — I've done some things, but it's not my focus right now because I'm waiting for Pleroma's develop tree to stabilize enough to branch it for the 1.1 stable releases. So, I've been doing some multimedia coding instead.

The most exciting aspect of this has been libreplayer, which is essentially a generic interface between replayer emulation cores and audio players. For example, it will be possible for a replayer emulation core to simply target libreplayer and an audio player to target libreplayer and allow these two things (the emulation core and the libreplayer client) to work together to produce audio.

The first release of libreplayer will drop soon. It will contain a PSF1/PSF2 player that is free of binary blobs. This is an important milestone because the only other PSF1/PSF2 replayer that is blob-free has many emulation bugs due to the use of incorrectly modified CPU emulation code from MAME. Highly Experimental's dirty secret is that it contains an obfuscated version of the PS2 firmware that has been stripped down.

And so, the naming of libreplayer is succinct, in two ways: one, it's self-descriptive, libreplayer obviously conveys that it's a library for accessing replayers, but also due to the emulation cores included in the source kit being blob-free, it implies that the replayer emulation cores we include are free as in freedom, which is also important to me.

What does this mean for audacious? Well, my intention is to replace the uglier replayer emulation plugins in audacious with a libreplayer client and clean-room implementations of each replayer core. I also intend to introduce replayer emulation cores that are not yet supported in audacious in a good way.

Hopefully this allows for the emulation community to be more effective stewards of their own emulation cores, while allowing for projects like audacious to focus on their core competencies. I also hope that having high-quality clean-room implementations of emulator cores written to modern coding practice will help to improve the security of the emulation scene in general. Time will tell.