I have been professionally working with CD-i for a long time,
until the "demise" of the CD-i system somewhere around 1999.
I own or have access to a number of CD-i players and have an impressive
but certainly not complete collection of CD-i titles, both games and
non-games, including a few professional titles with which I've been
involved in the past.
You can reach me via the CD-i Emulator Support Forum hosted by the CDinteractive
website. Most questions about CD-i Emulator
should be directed there so that the answers benefit the entire user
community. You can also reach me directly via cdifan (at)
gmail (dot) com.
Information about the development of CD-i Emulator and related software
can also be found on my blog CD-i Bits; I plan to do regular (but not daily) posts about anything CD-i related that I want to share.
Several years ago I started investigating the CD-i emulation scene;
there did not appear to be any viable offerings so I endeavored to
start my own. Not wanting to raise any false hopes and not even sure
that I would ever finish, I kept quiet about this for a very long time.
It was all done on private time anyway so I didn't want to commit to
anything until I was sure the commitment could be met.
As I expected, the project has taken a considerable amount of time;
this should not surprise anyone who has investigated the matter somewhat
because the CD-i system is quite complex. The results of my efforts
currently amount to over 70,000 lines of commented C++ code in over 350 files.
Around Christmas 2004 my emulator
started being somewhat usable, to the extent that I began
thinking about distributing my work to other people. This raises a
problem because my CD-i Emulator program is basically a hardware
emulator and thus needs basic system software to make it into a functional
CD-i player. This software is normally contained in the CD-i system ROMs inside the CD-i player. Luckily, you can upload the
ROMs from an actual physical CD-i player via the serial port, allowing
anybody to obtain the required ROM files for himself.
The CD-i system ROMs are copyrighted and cannot be distributed freely,
but using them for emulation purposes should be allowed as
long as you own the CD-i player they were obtained from.
I started writing a program to make the uploading easy which ultimately
grew into CD-i Link, which can do much more
then just upload the ROMs although its primary purpose remains just that.
The program was first made
available for download in April 2005.
At the time I didn't have a website and so asked Arno Witkamp from
to host it for me, which he kindly did. He also knew what the program
was intended for and posted a somewhat cryptic hint that very few people
seemed to get. I was actually hoping for feedback but this
proved to be sparse, probably not surprising since I hadn't announced
the real purpose of the program.
After this I continued with the emulator program; it still needed
quite a lot of work to make it generally usable. Work remains to
be done as there are still a few unsupported CD-i player models
and probably quite some emulation bugs as well. To find the latter
I need users, however, and I think that the
program is now good enough to actually be useful to people. As of
June 2005 I started distributing version 0.5.1-beta to a limited
number of people. This produced enhusiastic responses which even
resulted in the setup of a teaser website, using screenshots and screen movies
provided by me. The beta test period is now over and the program
is available to everyone.
However, because of the amount of work involved I've decided to
not just give the program away but to ask for a small payment.
A three-minute time-limited edition can be downloaded for free
so that people can try before they buy, and I heartily recommend
everyone to try this before buying the unlimited edition.