New (corrected) version of tap2cd

Anything related to the tools Tap2Wav, Tap2CD, Tap2Dsk, Sedoric Disc Manager, Tape Header Creator, WriteDsk, and generaly speaking tools related to the management of Oric data files and devices.
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Chema
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New (corrected) version of tap2cd

Post by Chema » Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:00 pm

Oh god! I completely forgot to announce it!

Thanks to the incredible work of Fabrice Frances in producing the ultra-fast tape for SkoolDaze, here comes a brand new version of tap2cd which seems to correct the errors of the previous version.

Sources here, including the readme file with instructions.

Binary is included in the next OSDK release:
here

The old version sometimes did not work or inhibited auto-run whether there were loading errors or not. Depending on the version of the 1.1 rom, it might display an "Errors found" message (even with no loading errors) or not (even if there were loading errors). Worse than that, with some ROMs loading errors simply went undetected.

This new version should work with most machines with the 1.1 ROM as well as different players. I tested with two old laptops and the windows sound recorder and it worked well, once the correct volume is found. It seems not to work with my iPad, though.

The best approach I found for adjusting things is the following:
1. Generate the wav with tap2cd -c (so it includes the CRC checking)
2. Set the volume to the highest level possible
3. Try to load
4. If you get an "Errors found" and the load aborts, turn down the volume a bit and get back to step 3
5. If everything went OK the program will auto-start (if saved with that option). Else there was a loading error (beware that, if in HIRES mode, you won't see the message, as it will scroll to the Ready prompt too quickly).

Alternatively, you can start from the lowest volume possible that is recognized by the Oric (it prints the Loading... message) and turn it up a little at each step.

When the volume is not set correctly the "Errors found" message appears quite quickly, so it is fast to approach the adequate level. With some programs it may need a finer adjustment or even a couple of attempts for a succesfull loading.

Please report here your experiences, whether successful or not. All the information (player, configuration, ROM version, game, etc.) is valuable.

Oh, and remember you can use the ultra-fast wav file to load your game in Oricutron. It behaves as the real hardware!

Important information in the readme file:

Code: Select all

This is version 2 of this program. It has been revised so it now works with Atmos machines 
which had problems with the previous version, as well as with a wider variety of real 
players (some seemed to invert the signal). Auto-run is now well preserved.

It now has an option to perform an 8-bit CRC on every page loaded (activate it with -c 
in the command line options), so loading errors are detected and reported inmediately.

It also has a new option to load the hires screen first (activate it with -h). Use this 
with caution, as it needs that the original tape includes the hires screen in the same file. 
Happy CLOADing :)
Last edited by Chema on Sat May 02, 2015 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: New (corrected) version of tap2cd

Post by Dbug » Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:47 am

Also this version of tap2cd works on 64bit versions of Windows (and still works in Wine for these of you using linux).

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Re: New (corrected) version of tap2cd

Post by peacer » Sat Sep 07, 2013 10:19 am

For a very long time, my Oric was waiting in cupboard and all my Oric works were thru emulators.

At last, I had chance to reutilise my beloved Oric and set up the system with microdisc years later.

Now I want to play the games and programs into real oric . I want to use tap2cd to convert files and use them on Oric but unfortunately failed all the time.

I've converted some popular games into wav files with .-c parameter. wav files are generated sucesfully.

I tried two methods to play wav files. I have a mp3 player I connect orics tape cable into its speaker out. I tried all the volumes but oric didn't recognize the sound and start loading at all, just waits in "Searching.."

I directly connect tape cable into speaker out of my laptop then. In highest volumes oric detects the beginning of sound and types "Loading filename.." but everytime it fails with errors found usually so quickly. Sometimes this lead to hang-up of Oric with many "UUUUUUUUUU" s covering the screen. Decreasing the sound didn't help and oric didn't detect lovered volumes.

Is there a special setting to play the wav files? For example, changing to mono, choosing left or right channel, equiliser settings etc. I play wav files with kmplayer program and choose mono output, give sound to right channel only. Did not helped much :( .

Do you have a software advice to play wav file correctly or software does not matter in this manner?iel

Another issue is "magnetic field" around oric. I am using a small CRT tv for display. Television is placed just next to the Oric. TV detects artifacts as if some signals are interfering on the screen. Is this can be reason of these parasites for loading issues?

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Re: New (corrected) version of tap2cd

Post by Symoon » Sat Sep 07, 2013 4:21 pm

Random thoughts based on my experience only:
- try altering the volume, lower or higher. Sometimes the correct range is quite small.
- put you mobile phone away
- if playing the file on a PC, be sure no other sound occurs (incoming email, mouse click, ...)
- play at least 11khz WAV files, not 8khz, not mp3s (especially if using the fast loading routine)
- be sure the program or player you use does not cut anything - it seems quite frequent that they don't play the very beginning or (worse for program loading) the very end of the file
- I fail quite a lot too using a mp3 player. Some hardware / network / electrical or whatever expert might explain this I guess.
- do not use equalizer, it doesn't change anything

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Re: New (corrected) version of tap2cd

Post by Chema » Sat Sep 07, 2013 5:05 pm

Well first of all try to get rid of all possible sources of interference. I have my crt TV next to the Oric too and found no problem, though. If you are using a laptop be sure to disable any sound enhancements, bass boosters, equalizes, filters, etc. what player are you using, btw? I have used the windows sound recorder and audacity both successfully.

I found some trouble with one of my laptops, as if the signal from the headphone connector were too weak and had to set the volume quite high, nearly to the max. If the Oric does not print the loading.. message a low volume is probably the case. I sometimes start from the lowest volume possible that prints the loading.. message and increase it slightly until the loading works.

If you have both headphones and line out connectors in your laptop, I think it is a good idea to use the first one, as I think I read somewhere that the latter may not have enough power.

With the new tap2cd errors are checked every 256 bytes, so the Errors found message my appear very early in the loading process. And you don't need to do anything special with the generated wav.

Do you have any trouble with the output from tap2wav? There is always a possibility of a hardware problem...

Good luck!

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Re: New (corrected) version of tap2cd

Post by peacer » Sat Sep 07, 2013 6:20 pm

Quick answers to advices ;

@Symoon
- I tried to alter volume up & down. If below some threshold, oric does not get the data at all and keep searching. Higher volumes are getting errors.
- My mobile phone is away in another room.
- All the wav files are generated by tap2cd with only -c parameter. So they should be convenient. I also tried school daze wav file downloaded from Oric.org too.
- I can hear the sound from Oric's speaker while playing from PC or mp3player. So I am sure the files are not truncated. You probaly are familiar too with the regular wav sound as in the beginning a clean sound plays, than a typical start sound and remaining sounds come. They all seems to be good as heard from speaker.

@Cheme
- There're quite annoying parasites on the screen especially when black ink on white paper. When paper 0 and ink 7 is used, screen gets more clear but still distorted.

The screen looks like this on the tv
Image
Image



- There's no hardware near oric other than my laptop and 14" CRT tv. There's microdisc unit and adaptor too. There's 5+1 sound system and another 34" CRT TV too in the room but they're turned off and speakers are away.
- There are oly two sound connectors, one for micropohone-in and one for headphones-out. I use headphone connector.
- Is there a tap2wav utility available for windows 8 64 bits? In fabrice's site I got the tape tools but those files are not run under win8. But I don't think that is the reason as tap2cd does its job nicely.


I will try to make experiments with volume alteration. I am using "kmplayer" and "vlcplayer" utilities to run wav files. Windows sound recorder does not play wav files.

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Re: New (corrected) version of tap2cd

Post by Chema » Sat Sep 07, 2013 8:14 pm

The screen looks really ugly....

Anyway if there is no strange equipment around (no magnetic fields from a permanent magnet in a speaker, for instance) I see no reason for this affecting the load.

I have no experience with those players, but I used the windows sound recorder in xp to load the files. Not sure which version you have that does not play wav files. I did have problems with the windows media player, for instance. The basic thing to keep in mind is that the player does not alter the waveform with equalizers or filters.

I also had to quit the sound card software which 'enhances' the sound.

Btw, do you have the Microdisc plugged? I seem to recall something about loading problems....

There is a version of tap2wav which works in modern windows systems in the osdk. In the latest version the name changed, I think to something as taptool... Cannot check it right now.

I asked because tap2cd uses a very high speed, which means it is more prone to errors. If you are using the pregenerated wav from skool daze, does it set hires mode and starts loading the picture?

I also heard people loading with an android phone or iPod with no issues...

If I have further ideas I will post here again.

Cheers

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Re: New (corrected) version of tap2cd

Post by peacer » Sat Sep 07, 2013 8:30 pm

I was using sound recorder in earlier windows versions, you are right. But In windows 8, sound recorder does only what its name says :)

Image

I've tried cloading both microdisc is attached and not.

I'll check osdk tap2wav utility then.

In school daze also, it only starts loading and exits with errors found. No hires picture loading.

I don't have a android phone but there's a android tablet. Let me try with that also then.

Thank you very much again for all advices.

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Re: New (corrected) version of tap2cd

Post by Chema » Sat Sep 07, 2013 8:56 pm

peacer wrote: In school daze also, it only starts loading and exits with errors found. No hires picture loading.
That means that the loader does not load correctly. And that loader is stored in normal speed. The first thing it does is setting hires with a rom call.

Usually that means too low volume, but who knows. Remember there could also be a hardware problem. There is some IC related to the loading circuitry which could be damaged... But I cannot remember which one.

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Re: New (corrected) version of tap2cd

Post by peacer » Sat Sep 07, 2013 10:12 pm

But it can load from my almost 30 years old casettes perfectly. The tape recorder was also as old as Oric.

By the way, I tried to load from my android tablet and still no success. With highest possible volume, oric did not start loading and only type "searching.." the data.

UPDATE :
I manage to get schooldaze to switch to hires but after switching to hires, it don't load any screen, just black screen . Also, in other trials, after changing to hires oric stops cloading and says ready (maybe errors found and ready ..)

Also, I tried to connect oric to other TV in different place of room and screen is the same. So, television is not guilty and magnetic field theory is probably eliminated.

One more thing : tap2wav utility in osdk bundle is not working under windows 8 64 bits..

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Re: New (corrected) version of tap2cd

Post by peacer » Mon Sep 09, 2013 4:16 pm

I've tried to connect Oric to tv via RGB port.

TV does not have a RGB-in connector. So I use RGB-Svideo-Scart adaptör like this.

Image

The result is crystal clear but unfortunately colors are shades of gray. Maybe its because of pal-secam-ntsc standarts of the TV , I am really ignorant on these subjects.

I've tried to connect oric to other "newer" tv with direct rgb-in port but again, display is gray. Scart connection is alsa in gray.

I am aware, the problem is now different from topic question about tap2cd but is there a suggestion to get colour video from rgb under this circumstance?

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Re: New (corrected) version of tap2cd

Post by Chema » Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:43 pm

Hi again!

It is a pity that you have not been able to load successfully. I am a bit lost now. I'd bet it is a problem of the player, either the software, including anything that windows 8 might be doing, or the laptop itself, which may produce a too weak signal.

My two laptops work correctly with winxp and the sound recorder, but one has a weaker signal which makes successful loading more difficult. I tried other equipment with no success: two cellphones, my MP3 player, my ipad... I also know people who were able to load perfectly with nearly no issues, and people who never were able to load anything.

Loading a normal speed wav would be a good test, but we need a tap2wav version which woks in 64bit machines... It is a matter of recompiling, so I will try to do so as soon as possible. There is yet another possibility some people have done. Using mess Oric emulation. I am not sure, but I think that mess convert tap files in sound for loading, so you can connect the PC sound output to the Oric and load on both the emulator and the real Oric at the same time.

Here is a demo video (audio in Spanish): http://youtu.be/m_B8wfpkq3s

About the RGB output it is again a difficult point and it will work on some TVs, and give trouble in others. Most of the times it is a matter of adapting voltages. The only trouble I had was setting the correct pin in the Scart connector to 9volt to force the TV go into RGB mode.

I am sorry I am not of any help in these two issues...

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Re: New (corrected) version of tap2cd

Post by Symoon » Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:20 pm

Couldn't TAP2WAV be used with Dosbox on 64 bits systems ?

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Re: New (corrected) version of tap2cd

Post by peacer » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:30 am

I am still thinking of external electrical / magnetic interfaces. When I connect the tape cable to my tablet computer, touchscreen becomes unstable and I can't press on screen succesfully as if something is blocking tocuhscreen. Probably there's electricity or something on headphone jack coming from oric.

Maybe both faulty TV display and tape reading is due to this problem.

About gray rgb output, some friends say that, its because tv can not change to RGB mode and I have to connect a 1.5 v battery to 16th pin of scart to invoke tv to change to RGB mode. Do you have suggestion about this?

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Re: New (corrected) version of tap2cd

Post by iss » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:26 am

RGB -> Scart thema is commented long time ago here: http://forum.defence-force.org/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=434
The suggestion about pin 16 is correct - it needs 1..3 V to switch TV in RGB mode. Additionally adapter can be checked
how pins are internally connected. I think I have the same adapter and can disassemble it to verify connections.

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