New front-end for openMSX and WebMSX

Door oelsha

Resident (44)

afbeelding van oelsha

25-04-2021, 19:31

I've been working on a new front-end for openMSX for a while and I think it is ready to share with the community. I called it Novo Player and it has a subset of functionality of openMSX Launcher so far, but it already has two new features unique to it:

  1. Launch on WebMSX in offline mode. WebMSX starts embedded in the front-end itself and not as a separate window.
  2. Play music from the games. The music comes from an optional collection of MP3 tunes that you can download separately. The package currently includes tunes from 42 games.

The complete list of features can be found on the website. The size of Novo Player is HUGE - 92.4 MB zipped and 232 MG after unzipping. The large size is due to the technology that I picked to develop it and it is Electron. The final package includes Google Chromium and Node runtime environment. I may be able to trim it a little in future versions though.

Currently only the Windows version is available. I can build a Linux and MacOS ones as well if there's interest, but I'll have to make some minor code changes in a few places.

You can get Novo Player from MSX Launchers.

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Van tfh

Prophet (2938)

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25-04-2021, 19:51

Nice to see it also supports WebMSX. I'm gonna give it a go. Thanks!

Van santiontanon

Paragon (1437)

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25-04-2021, 20:24

Cool! I've been looking for alternative launchers for Mac (I used to use Nekolauncher, but it's not been maintained for a while). So, I'm looking into catapult, but if this was available for Mac, as you mention, I'd love to try it out!

Van oelsha

Resident (44)

afbeelding van oelsha

25-04-2021, 21:56

I just need to clarify that the WebMSX support now is basic. Configuration per game such as machine, etc is based on openMSX. Launching on WebMSX is an option and it uses the default machine of MSX2. Currently roms, disks and tapes work on WebMSX.

I will work on a MacOS build in the next few days, but I just wanted to point out that openMSX Launcher, which has been around for years, works on MacOS. You just need to download version 1.13 and upgrade it from within the launcher itself to the latest 1.14. All these launchers are not meant to be a replacement for Catapult, and they are geared towards organizing and launching your collection of games, but I do have plans to add support to control openMSX from Novo Player to do things such as switch disks, etc.

Van Manuel

Ascended (18083)

afbeelding van Manuel

25-04-2021, 22:53

As it appears, it is possible to compile Catapult for Mac nowadays (as Niek found out), but it doesn't seem to work and it would need some proper packaging into a DMG to be usable. Support welcome, of course.

Van santiontanon

Paragon (1437)

afbeelding van santiontanon

26-04-2021, 00:06

Thanks oeisha!

@Manuel: I just tried compiling catapult on Mac, and it builds, but indeed it fails to launch. I'll respond or start a separate thread to talk about it for not hijacking this one Smile

Van OeiOeiVogeltje

Paragon (1398)

afbeelding van OeiOeiVogeltje

26-04-2021, 00:16

a (mint) linux version would be very welcome from where i sit..

Van oelsha

Resident (44)

afbeelding van oelsha

01-05-2021, 16:36

I uploaded the Linux and MacOS version to the site.

@OeiOeiVogeltje, for the Linux version, after unzipping run and binary novo-player. I tested it on Ubuntu, but I expect it to work on other Linux flavors.

@santiontanon, for Mac, after installing from the DMG, you may need to give it a security exception to get it to work. When I ran it on my MacOS VM (running on VirtualBox on Windows), there was a lot of flickering on the window. I don't know if this is because I am running it on a VM (I guess slow refresh rate would explain it). Please let me know how it goes.

I guess it's worth mentioning the steps to get the player to work after starting it if it wasn't clear:
- Go to settings (gears icon in the navigation menu), and set the location of openmsx (e.g. /usr/bin on Linux, /Applications on Mac, whatever on Windows). Optionally set the location of WebMSX embedded folder, screenshots and game music).
- Click on the little dropdown near the top to scan your harddisk to add games.
- Now you see the games! Click on a game to view its details. Games can be launched on openmsx by pressing Enter, click on the little play icon on the selected game row, or from the Launch menu. To launch on WebMSX, use the Launch menu.

Van santiontanon

Paragon (1437)

afbeelding van santiontanon

01-05-2021, 20:49

Thanks oelsha! I just gave it a try, it launches fine, but I was not able to add games. I see the dropdown to specify folders, etc. but the "Start" button is greyed out, and I cannot press it, even if I add a folder or two where I have a few roms, or even if I try to select or even drag individual roms. Is this expected? I might be missing something Smile

Also, btw, is it possible to launch games without adding them first?

Van oelsha

Resident (44)

afbeelding van oelsha

01-05-2021, 23:38

To enable the Start button, you need to specify folders and/or files (which you did), select the machine from the machines dropdown (that will only be visible if the path to openmsx is set correctly) and finally specify the listing name. I think the listing name part is the confusing one because in order to set it you need to type a name and either click on the little arrow on the field or press Enter. Games can only be added to a listing. The idea is to be able to specify as many listings as you like as a way to segment/organize your roms/disks/etc.

It seems that specifying the listing name in the little scan window is not very intuitive. I can add a a little popup or something to make it clearer to the user.

Van santiontanon

Paragon (1437)

afbeelding van santiontanon

01-05-2021, 23:53

Ah! I see, indeed, that was the problem! I worked fine! I only tried OpenMSX, but all worked smoothly for me, and I see no flickering at all. Maybe you could just have a default listing, since games can later be moved to other listings.