Freebe 4 - Music Player


  This program got started because I got tired of trying to navigate through a number of CDs full of MP3 files that I could not identify.

  They had been burned with Windows long file names, and very, very few ID tags, and I was starting to lose patience with selecting stuff to play and not knowing what I was actually going to listen to.

  I don't do Windows 9x and above, and I had CDs full of THEBI~27...99.MP3 sort of files, which don't mean a lot to me.

  It also made finding favourites a very hit and miss affair. And there were/are an awful lot of favourites among them - thanks Ken !

  I figured it should be possible to write a file-finder with the ability to call an external player to deal with MP3 files, and using one of Odi's LFN utilities to list the long file names in parallel with DOS' "DIR" output.

  This is the result. Current version 1.40 as at 25th October 2002.

  Mouse AND keyboard control.

Click on the screen shot (below) to download the F4.ZIP file (about 620,000 bytes).

  Of course, I couldn't leave well enough alone and just stick to MP3 files. So this package will "play" MIDI, MOD, MP3 and OGG files, as well as display (and print) ASCII text files. I may add other sound formats in due course, or even program-in a CD player.

Later: I have added the Audio CD player, thanks to Johan Mattson, now living in Australia.

  I know this runs under MS-DOS 6.20 on my machine. You will need enough grunt to run the players, so anything about 100 MHz or less is going to be marginal.

  This GUI front-end will run under Win3.1, but it will crash as soon as one of the players is called, so don't bother trying.

  Don't know about Windows9x.       Don't much care, either !

Copyrighted freeware
email: Ron Clarke
Tadpole Tunes - the website

Screen Shot


Click on the Screen Shot to download the F4.ZIP file (570 kb).


All screens:
F1 Context-related Help panel.
F4 Configuration menu
PgUp/PgDn Move up/down one screen
File Index: (Note: DOS short file names on the left in pale blue, and long file names in yellow on the right)
on a file:
on \directory:
on .. :

Play the sound file, or view the text file.
go to that directory
go up a directory (unless already at root)
D Choose a (different) drive - goes to root directory
Up/Down arrows Move the highlight bar up or down one line
Home Move to the top of the current screen
End Move to the bottom of the current screen
Alt+Home Move to the very top of the file index
Alt+End Move to the very bottom of the file index
V Invoke the pop-up Volume Controller
F3 Refresh the file index (e.g. if you have changed the CD)
ESC Exit the program
Text File Display Screen:
PgUp/PgDn Scroll up or down one screen
Space bar Scroll down one screen
Home Go to the top of the file
End Go to the bottom of the file
F2 Invoke the "Print file" dialogue
ESC Return to the File Index

Configuration Options

  Pressing F4 at any time will bring up the main configuration menu.
You may:

Note:     You will need to edit those batch files yourself, so that they will call the players you already have.
    Read the notes (rem'd) inside the batch files for a little guidance there.
    Some of the examples may work for you (they work for me), but you will still need to set the paths to suit your own machine.
    It is unlikely that any of the batch files will work "out of the box".

Utilities and Players

  All of the utilities and players bundled with this package (except for the internal text-file viewer) are written by other, more talented programmers, who have kindly made them available as freeware.
  They are:

LDIR.EXE   One of a suite of long file name utilities from ....
  Odi's DOS Tools for Long File Names
  email:   odi at odi dot ch
  See:   LFN.TXT
MSP.EXE   Miscellaneous Sound Player by ........ Sevy & Marp
  email:   Sevy at
  See:   MSP.TXT
SVC.COM   Pop-up volume control program from ....
  Andrés C. Mazzocchi
  See: SVC.TXT
CDP.EXE   FreeCDP player from Florian Xaver
  See:   CDP.TXT
  I am grateful to:
    Florian Xaver for kind permission to include CDP.EXE.
    Ortwin Glueck (Odi) for kind permission to include LDIR.EXE.
    Stephen Fancsali (Sevy) - co-author of MSP.EXE.

  I thank the other authors, in anticipation of getting permission to use their excellent programs with this "player", although my emails have gone un- answered so far.

  And I am grateful to my good friend the late Ken Copeland, formerly of Jo'burg, South Africa, and Calgary, Canada, for so generously sharing his MP3s and sending me the CDs that started it all -
you are sorely missed, my friend.

Known bugs