Why not a ".TSX" Format for MSX Tapes???

Page 1/11
| 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

By manolito74

Paladin (782)

manolito74's picture

28-01-2013, 14:51

Hellow:

Some time ago some MSX Users were talking-considering the possibility of create a new format for the MSX Tapes like the ".TZX" format that Spectrum Users have. It could be named als ".TSX".

According to the comments of some Users ".TZX" contains a tape image more exact, near 100% the exact and original tape format (data, noise, gaps between data blocks, etc).

Has anyone considered the possibility of create a ".TZX" format for the MSX tapes?. Has anyone done any test, any program...? Anyone has a good knowledge of the ".TZX" Format?

I don't have the necessary knowledge to give support in order to creat the ".TSX" Formar or Tools in order to manage them but I can work as Beta-Tester.... ;-)

Thanks a lot. ;-)

Login or register to post comments

By mars2000you

Enlighted (5036)

mars2000you's picture

28-01-2013, 15:14

I don't think the MSX community is interested by such format, because 99 % of the MSX games on tape can enjoy a very fast (and correct) loading in blueMSX with the CAS format; a few games fail with the CAS format and require the WAV format, supported at the moment only by openMSX.

Remark : openMSX can also run CAS files, but it converts them internally into WAV files, and some tricks can be used for a faster loading than the 'normal' WAV loading.

By RetroTechie

Paragon (1414)

RetroTechie's picture

28-01-2013, 23:36

TZX format might be useable as-is for MSX tapes. It has many options to represent an arbitrary tape, no need to create another format. Note it's designed to preserve custom loaders, which (afaik) are pretty rare on MSX.

Also most games on tape have been converted to disk, and disk is very standard for MSX.

mars2000you wrote:

I don't think the MSX community is interested by such format, because 99 % of the MSX games on tape can enjoy a very fast (and correct) loading in blueMSX with the CAS format;

See above - no custom loaders.

Quote:

openMSX can also run CAS files, but it converts them internally into WAV files, (..)

That's just stupid (no offense to openMSX dev's Wink ).

By Edwin

Paragon (1178)

Edwin's picture

29-01-2013, 00:51

RetroTechie wrote:

That's just stupid (no offense to openMSX dev's Wink ).

It's funny how you can always recognise the most clueless people by comments like this.

By manolito74

Paladin (782)

manolito74's picture

29-01-2013, 00:59

There is peace, there is peace...! ("Haya Paz, haya Paz...") (I don't know how to say that in English, jajaja).

Please, don't argue and lets go to focus on the topic: ".TZX" format for MSX Tapes.

So, RetroTechie, do you think is easy to adapt the TZX format to MSX Tapes?. So we need to modify the MAKETZX in order to can select an MSX Tape Output.

What do you think about that? Could it be easy, possible...?

Thanks a lot. ;-)

By enribar

Paladin (892)

enribar's picture

29-01-2013, 01:02

Instead, TZX would be useful to dump some Italian tapes with custom "Turbo Loader".
For example "MSX Hit Parade" and "Super MSX": http://msx.altervista.org/
Some others are difficult to dump (Edigamma ones) because of a short "strage" signal at the end of blocks.

By manolito74

Paladin (782)

manolito74's picture

29-01-2013, 01:14

It is really interessant what you say, Enribar. I haven't heard that about those games: "Msx Hit Parade" and "Super Msx".

;-)

By Metalbrain

Expert (66)

Metalbrain's picture

29-01-2013, 08:35

mars2000you wrote:

I don't think the MSX community is interested by such format, because 99 % of the MSX games on tape can enjoy a very fast (and correct) loading in blueMSX with the CAS format; a few games fail with the CAS format and require the WAV format, supported at the moment only by openMSX.

Remark : openMSX can also run CAS files, but it converts them internally into WAV files, and some tricks can be used for a faster loading than the 'normal' WAV loading.

The main advantage of the .tzx format is that it allows for a perfect representation of the tape (and doesn't need to take a huge space like the WAV format does), and therefore is very useful for preservation purporses. When you preserve a tape with Tape2cas, it may generate a file with a patched loader with a fixed speed that doesn't faithfully represent the content of the original tape. I preserved El Equipo A (gunstick version) that way, and I don't think it's properly preserved.

When you convert a .cas to .wav, if you try to re-record a tape with that wav (because it stopped working, and you want to fix it), it might not fit the tape, being of different lenght than the original. Also, the coloured border stripes may differ from what you remember (different thikness or colours). The tzx format also preserves the exact pauses, some of which may be needed while the loading routines are showing logos in the middle of the load.

So sure, CAS files may load correctly, and you end with the same game in memory, but it's still a hack. I know the MSX community doesn't care too much for tape games (as most of them used to be poor speccy conversions, and the best games were released on cartridge), but I think proper preservation of all legacy is a good thing (and I'm used to the higher speccy preservation standards Smile ).

By manolito74

Paladin (782)

manolito74's picture

29-01-2013, 12:13

That's the matter Metalbrain!. I agree with you.

The experts said that ".Tzx" is a "100%" image of the Tape, with all the data, pauses, length, etc.

I'm trying to involve some other MSX Users on this task and I know could be a little hard to involve people but I belive in the Project and I think it could be done actually.

The problem is that I don't have tecnnical Knowledge about te ".Tzx" Format and I don'k know how to start with this Project.

What's supposed to be the first thing to be done?. Define rules-format and modify the MakeTzx program...?.

I can be voluntary to check and/or make ".TSX" files (this would be the denomination of the ".Tzx" format to Msx) once a Program/Tool has be done/modified in order to do that.

We need of course that Msx Emulator Comunity implies too in this Project and give ".Tsx" support.

Once we had done a Tool for do ".Tsx" files and has been completely tested and be Ok it is necessary to preserve tapes, original Tapes. Users must to make a ".Tsx" file from a Original Tape and scan the cover-instructions of the game and upload all of that in a Web in order to preser, classify it, etc.

Thanks a lot. ;-)

By wouter_

Champion (374)

wouter_'s picture

29-01-2013, 13:10

Hi, I'm one of the openMSX developers. And I've been following this discussion from a distance.
Once there are good tools and a reasonable amount of TZX (or TSX) data files available we can consider adding support for it in openMSX. Though frankly I don't really see the advantage of this new format:

* TZX files can support all tapes, but so can WAV files.
* Adding support for WAV files to an emulator is easy. Adding support for TZX will always require a moderate amount of extra code. Maybe this is not a big problem if there's a good open source library available.
* CAS files load faster than WAV files (in emulators like blueMSX). This advantage disappears when using TZX files: it's technically not possible (or extremely difficult) to implement fast-loading of custom tape loaders.
* There are lots of tools available to create/manipulate WAV files. There are also a good amount of tools that work with CAS files. But there are no tools yet for TSX. Are there tools for TZX? Can they be reused for MSX?
* TZX files are a lot smaller than WAV files, but those WAV files can be compressed very well (and openMSX directly supports .wav.zip and .wav.gz files, no need to first extract them). It's possible (though not even sure) that the TZX file is still smaller than the corresponding compressed WAV file. But is this file size advantage (_if_ the TZX is smaller) really worth the extra complexity?

By manolito74

Paladin (782)

manolito74's picture

29-01-2013, 13:25

Hi wouter_:

Thanks for your opinion as OpenMsx Developper. ;-)

I think both systems (".Cas" and ".Tsx") can live perfectly together.

We can use a ".Tsx" Format and Tools in order to obtain a Tape Image as "pure" as we can. After, this "perfect" image obtained in a ".Tsx" file could be used to differents purposes: manipulate it to obtain a ".Wav" file, to obtain a ".cas" file, to load it from emulator directly, to revert it and save in a physic tape...

There are a lot of possibilities to explore!

I don't really know what could be the best way of working:

- Use just only Tool, by example "MAKETZX" that supports differentes file outputs: ".TZX", ".TSX", Amstrad & Commodore tape Formats??

- Create/Modify and develope an especific Tool only for the ".TSX"??

Perhaps it's time to revise the "TZX Format / Stantard / Rules" and confront ideas between Users of all the 8 bits Systems in order to do all in the best way.

Regards. ;-)

Page 1/11
| 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
My MSX profile