stymulator: Every little thing it does is magic

I never was much of an Atari computer user; I had more than one console but never made the leap to the 400 or 800, let alone the XL machines or even the STs. I cut my teeth on the competition and only casually used Atari machines when visiting friends or if they were still at the back of a classroom.

Not that there was a huge difference, and I think you’d be surprised to find any kind of real rivalry between the two camps, in this day and age.

However, if you stuck with Atari all the way to the 16/32-bit era, you’ll probably enjoy this: stymulator.


stymulator — which executes as ymplayer, so you know — plays back ym files, which I understand to be the standard for digital music from that time frame in Atari history, converted into a form usable by contemporary machines.

I do believe, but haven’t really checked, that this might be the analogue for sidplayer, at the console. Actually, come to think of it, I don’t know what sidplayer’s console-only counterpart would be. … 😕

That’s beside the point. As you can see, and as you can hear if you decide to try it out, stymulator can give you that rush of nostalgia that we all biologically yearn for, in a matter of moments.

Provided of course, that you have some music files to pump through it. stymulator (in the AUR rendition) comes packaged with a few so you can make sure it’s working.

As a playback tool, it’s more than just satisfactory — written in pure C, on-screen controls, single keypress commands, file information display, a time counter and a few other things. That’s at least as much as you would get with a lot of other console music players.

Whether or not stymulator is interesting to you is a bit of a long shot though: Did you partake in the Atari heyday? Did you make the leap to the ST machines? Did you use them enough to recognize the music of the era? Do you have access to any ym-format files? Do you have a Unix-ish machine to run stymulator on?

Answer yes to all those questions, and you too can start your own late-80s-16-bit-retro-techno dance club. If you do, I demand an invitation to the grand opening. 😉