Wavs in msx2.org, how do I know how to load them? CRT -LO ?

By DanielTkach

Rookie (18)

DanielTkach's picture

19-03-2019, 02:05

... and even if they are for MSX1 or MSX2. I've been trying quite a few, and for example Buck Rogers I know it is an MSX1 game and that I load it with BLOAD"CAS:",R
but the rest I tried (apart from my own stuff which I use CLOAD for) didn't work. One gave me an error message "Found: CRT -LO" what does that mean?

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By Wild_Penguin

Hero (542)

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19-03-2019, 03:57

Hi Daniel,

I'm surprised there is so much software distributed in .wav in there!

Originally, software came with instructions (in one way or another) to tell which way to load it.

You could take a look at castools. It has casdir which should easily display the name and type of the first (and subsequent) file(s) in the .wav (or any other sound file or .cas file).

It shouldn't be too difficult to test manually, either; there are three alternatives. "cload" for tokenized BASIC files, "load" for (non-tokenized) Basic programs and bload for binaries. You can differentiate "load"able files even by ear by the fact that the file will be loaded in short bursts (of few seconds). So try either:

cload
bload"cas:",r
load"cas:",r

These are all you need (cload can not be run automatically with ",r" - so you need to "run" it manually after it has loaded). "cload" is quite rare for commercial games, since games written in BASIC are usually quite lame and would not sell well (but they do still exist!). So for vast majority of that kind of software it's either "load" or "bload". But "cload" might be very common for homebrew software.

Found: [WHATEVER HERE]
Is not an error message, but information from the BIOS that it has actually found a sensible header. That might be just a part of a program (which might have a basic loader, or, who knows, a binary loader).

EDIT: Also, the generation of MSX will not be a factor in how to load software from cassette. I suspect there is little MSX2 software on cassette, however, but that is possible in theory. You should get some kind of clear message if you try to run software meant for MSX2 on an MSX1 (unless the programmer was very, very lazy and :evil: - in which case you could get some kind of hang or a BASIC error message like "illegal instruction" )

EDIT: A lot of the software in there are just some commercial cassette games. Why someone put them up for download as wavs is beyond my ability to comprehend. Do yourself and the file hoster a favor, download those games as .cas, and save both bandwidth and hdd space. Of course in case it is not available as .cas the .wav might make sense (and the reason it is not available as .cas might be because it uses some custom loader, in which case a .cas can not in all cases represent the data on the cassette)

By DanielTkach

Rookie (18)

DanielTkach's picture

19-03-2019, 14:46

Thank you Wild_Penguin,
I wanted to load wavs to get the feel of when I used the datassette 25 years ago haha. I think it makes it pretty straightforward if one wants to load "tapes" on an actual hardware, which is what I'm doing.
I've tried some .cas, and I use an app on my phone to play them to the hardware, but the audio plug doesn't fit very well on the cellphone earphones jack so I wanted to use the computer instead. I'm going to replace the plug for a stereo one and join both channels, so I can load directly from .cas from the Android into the Talent MSX DPC-200.

Big smile

Thank you, I'll try what you suggested.

By CASDuino

Expert (94)

CASDuino's picture

19-03-2019, 15:00

The problem with the phone apps is that they do not have motor control so games like Head Over Heels will not load. You could always get a modern cassette player replacement with Motor Control like a CASDuino and use that. I build and test them on my HX-10 all the time.

By Wild_Penguin

Hero (542)

Wild_Penguin's picture

20-03-2019, 01:44

Games that have very long pauses are rare but do exist (for example have a long mid-loading introduction or load different levels ... Head Over Heels might be doing just that? Haven't really played that much, at least not from cassette). But I think most apps for playing MSX cassette images can be paused manually just for that?

Also, when I was a kid, we had a datasette which had a cords, but the remote part was broken. As in the connector just came off the cord some day Smile - needed to pause manually even back then.

Granted repeated pausing can be annoying (if such software is in use which requires it), and this is certainly one pro for CASDuino (or something else implementing remote).

By CASDuino

Expert (94)

CASDuino's picture

20-03-2019, 15:37

Head Over heels has multiple short pauses for the loading screen of maybe half a second but these pauses are sufficient to stop it loading using an app. Pausing manually would be an option but you would be trying to pause every 5 seconds around 10 times.
There are many other examples of this happening.
I would say probably about 80% work but sods law that the other 20% are the ones you want to play.

By TomH

Champion (327)

TomH's picture

20-03-2019, 17:44

What protocol is used for the play/pause button often found on headphones? How hard would it be to engineer in motor control based on that?

There is definitely at least some MSX 2 software on cassette; see the final post here.

By Wild_Penguin

Hero (542)

Wild_Penguin's picture

22-03-2019, 21:00

Well, in my experience software actually requiring pausing is very rare... more like 1-2%. But it could be just that I never encountered those with longer pauses....

The pauses need to be very long for lack of remote to actually become a problem. There is usually an ample (one might say, needlessly so) time of silence and even the header lead-in is several seconds long (usually - this doesn't mean it is always the case! Custom turbo loaders might be different?). For example, I remember loading trantor as a kid and it had very long, something like 3-4 seconds between relay clicks when it was processing data blocks. But the lead-in haven't even begun when the relay clicked again! (remember, I had the broken relay cord, so the datasette didn't actually pause).

But Trantor was an exception, pauses are rarely more than 1 second long, unless there is something interactive happening in mid-loading, animations displayed etc.. 0.5seconds of pause shouldn't give problems in any case - unless the one who mastered the tape made the lead-ins and in-between pauses excruciatingly short for some reason, so short that these pauses actually give problems (or the playback software on android/PC makes pauses too short - and this software might not even have a possibility of wiring up a remote!).

Never tried Head over Heels from cassette actually, and from your description it sound like something a bit special. But, I've only loaded cassette games as a kid from the limited library I had ... and I have no nostalgia for that media and avoid it (or simulations / emulations of it) whenever possible. So actually, maybe my sample of loaded cassette sofware is small... about everything has also been released on disk(s) or cartridges in the end Wink

Of course, some software running from PC or Android might not have as long pauses as the cassettes did, but IIRC msx2cas also has quite long pauses between data blocks.

IIRC the only game I had problems was Shark Hunter. It has a short graphical intro (electric software animated logo) displayed mid-loading. Something like 8-16 seconds? In any case, it was too long and the header of the next data block had already been played when the computer resumed listening (unless I had paused it manually, or of course was using an intact datasette). (Jet Set Willy might have been another case, as it draws a logo by Basic, which was slow - but IIRC even that might have been short enough; but my memory is fussy and I remember it might have sometimes given problems, as in the lead-in the computer heard became too short or something?).

Also, nice to now there is MSX2 software for MSX. I was kind of assuming most MSX2 users would have had some more convenient mass media by then, like floppies...

EDIT: The HoH cassette wav I found floating on the net is loading a very long tokenized basic file. These should definitely give any problems, since the relay click is ~0.5s long - whereas the silence/lead-in is many times as long, even between basic data blocks. Haven't loaded the whole game yet - there is a custom block and then some binaries according to casdir[/b]

By Louthrax

Prophet (2076)

Louthrax's picture

22-03-2019, 20:43

Gauntlet !

By Wild_Penguin

Hero (542)

Wild_Penguin's picture

22-03-2019, 20:55

Louthrax: yes, Gauntlet is one example where levels are being loaded! Also, there was some introduction even before the menu?

Also Rambo III, which I tried for some reasons a few weeks back ... the game sucked or I didn't get how it was supposed to be played Smile