OpenSMDI Shared Library

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What is OpenSMDI ?

If you're an electronic musician and use a digital sound sampler, you probably know that you can transfer your samples directly from your computer to your sampler and back through an SCSI interface. When I first got a sampler, I of course wanted to benefit from the immense speed advantage compared with normal floppy disks. But I found out very fast that there are very few programs which can do such SCSI transfers, and the few which can are mostly very huge "virtual studio" software packages which can do 1000 more things beside that and which are of course very expensive.

It happened that I didn't want to spend so much money just for this one functionality. So I decided to develop a program for it on my own. The only thing I needed was the specification of the SMDI protocol. Fine, but where can you find that ? I tried several search machines in the Internet, including, but didn't have any success. Finally I got it from Jay Vaughan of Teklab and I wrote an SMDI transfer tool for myself. After some time I started to extract all the SMDI functions from the program code into a separate library which I later ported to Linux. OpenSMDI was born.

So, the whole SMDI transfer "standard" among samplers is absolutely annoying, because the protocol specs are
  • pretty hard to obtain
  • quite buggy and inconsistent
  • published in a PDF document as a "preliminary copy"
  • therefore hard to implement in an application

which is probably the reason why there are only few, expensive applications which support it. It is far too hard to implement in a program. OpenSMDI has the goal to change that situation by providing an easy to use, consistent, multi-platform, open source library implementation of the SMDI protocol, in the hope that it will encourage more programmers out there to offer SMDI functionality in their audio applications - programmers who are scared by all the ASPI (SCSI) and SMDI programming hassle.

Keep making those great audio applications !

- Chris Nowak,

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