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Gaming Hacks by Simon Carless

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Play Movies and Music on Your Dreamcast

Turn your favorite bargain console into a multimedia workstation.

Since the Dreamcast is a relatively powerful beast, it’s easy to play MP3-encoded music and watch reasonably good quality movies on it using self-burned discs. However, there’s a multitude of players available, and some of the rules for encoding or playing content aren’t exactly straightforward. Let’s sort the wheat from the chaff when it comes to ways to turn your $30 console toy into a jazzed-up multimedia player.

Watching Movies

It’s both easy and difficult to play movies of your choice on your Dreamcast, whether it be home videos you’ve created or freeware movies you’ve downloaded from the Net. Both easy and difficult? How can that be? Well, it’s easy to find good-quality, multiple-format-reading freeware movie programs for the Dreamcast, because there are two of them:

  • DC Movie Player (http://www.decemulation.com/dcmovieplayer.shtml), from the Japanese coder Bero, copes with a multitude of complex movie formats, including MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG4 (DIVX4/5 and XviD), and Microsoft MPEG v1, v2, and v3 (Div-X 3), but lacks good English-language documentation.

  • DCDivX (http://www.dcdivx.com/), despite its misleading name, actually supports a host of different movie formats (OGM, VP3, DivX 3.xx, DivX 4.xx, DivX 5.xx + Pro, OpenDivX, XviD, AVI) and has much better documentation, but lacks the common MPEG formats that DC Movie Player supports.

Both players allow disc switching, and ...

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