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Old 03 August 2009, 17:56   #1
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Paris / FRANCE
Age: 42
Posts: 1,248
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The undergoing changes in Laser Disc emulation (Daphne v1, preliminary MAME support..

Did anyone took notice of the drastic changes in the way Laser Disc emulation was handled these last weeks ?

After a 7-day period Daphne v1 probation & mitigated attempts to restore my mpeg2 & roms folders manually, I think I can safely say that I dig what the author of Daphne has in mind.

The general idea is to have you shop for some of the DVDs containing games you badly want to play
(they have reinforced their partnershit with Digital Leisures).
Also, distracting you from downloading the illegal unencrypted .d2v + .ogg files.

Under the game options, you only have two other choices left :
Playing the game with an actual LVD player connected to your machine
disabling playing for this game (ah, I'll post a screen capture eventually)

So, first statement :
Daphne v1 makes the old method of downloading MPEGs completely obsolete (moar on that later) and rightly so.

In fact, the 2 Big Torrent Sites have accompanied this policy :
They still propose the old files, even though after having done some testing, I wouldn't recommend that method. They also propose newer "Daphne approved" MPEG downloads (which won't load in 0.99.7 Daphne versions, don't waste your time on that).

I am not implying the 0.99.7 series won't work at all, especially since there are numerous MPEG rips available for Digital Leisure instant classics, but as would say nvidia, it's not anymore the way it's meant to be played.

For example, the widely available rip of Thayer's Quest, which is considered by many the best DL inspired LD game (ranks inferior to DLII & Space Ace, but close second), with its intriguing 1 key = 1 action control panel instead of stick + buttons, won't work in Daphne v1 at all, and may work, albeit with great difficulties in older unsupported Daphne versions.

Apparently, Daphne author was fed up with the numerous error reports due to bad rips floating around, so he decided to use the torrent technology to make his exclusive high quality & functional ones (doesn't impact how well the game is supported in Daphne, you will have to refer to the what's new section of Daphne website & to Daphne service messages from title screens for that) available.

While some will inevitably complain that
  • It's tens of gigabytes of audio/video files that will have to be replaced by fresher versions
  • They can't be bothered to buy every LD game DVD they want to play since they only used the resources for their personal use (e.g not for having the game rips included in arcade cabinets players and similar)
it's actually a rather clever move INMHO.

Think about it :
  1. Although it's easy to recreate the framefiles with the provided tool or even intuitively, I noticed .dat files appear under the game directories here and there, and those can't be recreated
  2. Although not nearly as puzzling as manipulating MAME roms, there are alternates and hacks at Daphne disposal which may need rearrangements
  3. Automatic download of the support files to play such and such LD games bring the distinct advantage that there will be near to zero error when parsing the video file & assessing the support files
  4. As you may have noticed, the old rips look rather dull compared to those obtained from restored, resampled media the Daphne dev. team have access to...

But, but... I have kept the best part for the ending :

Rumor has it that along with a simple hack (hint : for dummies, another hint : don't update Daphne loader at first run), Daphne loader, which incidentally has became the de facto Daphne download manager, will allow the download of completely unlocked game Audio/video filez, so that Daphne would play them without requiring one of the original DVDs to be detected !

NOTE : In case Daphne uh-oh's for missing roms, the latter (not the .d2v files) can be downloaded here

NOTE 2 : One drawback of the new Daphne method is that it is HDD space consuming : the encrypted m2v and ogg files must remain along with the newly unencrypted ones, so you're stuck with redundant +1GB .m2v files in Daphne subfolders .

And then, there's the preliminary MAME support evoked on my MAME thread, with the huge .CHDs files to download only to notice the LD MAME catalog consist of mainly dull games...
Like if Daphne were beginning to trim the rotten tree from the most buggy games to retain only the golden nuggets in their newly shared catalog with Digital Leisures .

Last edited by NewDeli; 16 August 2009 at 19:56.
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