MoonShell is a homebrew multimedia player for the Sony PSP, Nintendo DS, Nintendo DS lite, Nintendo DSi, and Nintendo 3DS. It is a well known, popular piece of Nintendo DS homebrew software, and offers a way to play videos and audio on the DS, along with other homebrew games.
Published development versions of MoonShell began with “ver0.1″ on August 2, 2005. Current releases of the player support DPG video files, MP3 / OGG / MOD / SPC / MDX (no PCM) / GBS / HES / NSF / XM / MIDI / WMA / low bit rate AAC audio / non-progressive JPEG /BMP / GIF / PNG images, text files, and ebooks. The latest version (2.10) can play FLAC files, though with some audible sound distortion. Both screens on the DS are used, with the bottom screen allowing file selection and control via touchscreen. The integrated plug-in system provides extensibility of program features. To add a feature, the plug-in files are simply copied to the appropriate folder. In order to function as a media player, several plug-in files are distributed with the software.
MoonShell is included as the default multimedia player for the commercial products N-Card, R4 DS, EDGE, CycloDS, i-cheat XTRA, M3 DS Simply, M3i Zero and SuperCard DSTWO. The EZFlash V Flash Card and SuperCard One has modified Moonshell source code for firmware use which can be used for booting NDS files. Another modification made for the product M3 Real is the DSM Player. MoonShell installation depends upon the modchip built into these products.
Although its main feature is media playback, MoonShell has added additional features to provide basic PDA functionality to the Nintendo DS.
MoonCalc is a basic linear scientific calculator which can optionally be added to MoonShell.
A simple doodle editor is integrated into MoonShell. It provides four colours (black, red, blue and green), two stroke options (regular or thick), an eraser and an undo feature. Files are saved with a name selected by the user, with the date and time appended to this file name.
Plain text files can be read in read-only mode or edited by using a text editor bundled with MoonShell. After the text editor is closed, the main MoonShell app is loaded.
A simple Twitter client can be added to MoonShell. It is currently unusable.
MoonShell plays videos at 20fps (higher frame rates are possible but slowdown may occur, especially in video scenes with a lot of motion), with joint stereo sound at a sample rate of 32.768 kHz.
There are several methods of encoding standard video formats into the DS-native DPG video format. On Microsoft Windows, the programs
dpgenc, the latter being included with the MoonShell package, and Daniusoft video converter ultimate, are able to convert a wide variety of video formats into
DPG format. There are also other alternatives for Windows. On other platforms, such as Linux and Mac OS X, MEncoder is capable of producing compatible files if given the right settings, and numerous scripts such as
DPG Converterexist to automate this process. Additionally, the Moon Books Project website offers browser-based online video conversion, providing another platform-neutral alternative. The program iWisoft Video Converter is also able to convert files into MoonShell format.