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Old 04 January 2009, 19:32   #1
pubzombie
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Preserving my C64 collection

Hi guys,
i know this isnít amiga related but just wondered if you could help me. I just got my Commodre 64 breadbins out of the garage and cant believe they still work. I have well over 200 games on tapes and have been given many from a friend. Is there a way of getting the data onto my PC and vice versa, or to protect them am i going to have to pay the kids to make tape to tape back ups of everything?
Any advice or a poke in the right direction is appreciated.
Cheers
\pz
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Old 04 January 2009, 19:41   #2
s2325
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Maybe you will find rare game(s) on these tapes.
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Old 04 January 2009, 19:43   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by http://perso.numericable.fr/ckckck/C64.html
How to transfer a C64 tape on a PC ?
First plug a tape player on your PC sound input and record the whole tape. I sampled the tape with high volume, near to saturation. Same your sound to a MONO WAV PCM file. Then use "wavprg" program to extract PRG from tape raw file. If wavprg complain for errors, try to filter the wav file. I used CoolEdit to remove noises. WavPrg was ok for the first tape, but not the 6 next. In fact only a small boot program was found on the tapes. That boot program load data directly from tape. This can not be extract as PRG file (maybe yes, but I do not how). So I try another software : "wav2tap" This one convert a full raw tape into a full raw tap format called ".tap". This is supported by VICE (and PSPVice of course ) This way I extracted all the 12 tapes sides of my tapes.
And here's the util to do it: http://wav-prg.sourceforge.net/


Best of luck !!
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Old 04 January 2009, 20:02   #4
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I did all my tapes with the original tape deck and some custom hardware as detailed in this post. It was a lot of work. Most tapes had to be read several times before they gave a good reading. I wouldn't be surprised if recordings through a soundcard were no better or even worse, as I never had any success with that method.

Either way, Finaltap is your friend.
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Old 04 January 2009, 20:26   #5
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You probably want to check to see what games you own which have already been preserved. Then download what you want.

It seem to me pointless to go through them when the hardwork has already been done?

I converted a load of my (Sinclair Spectrum) tapes (and a few I didnt own ) to low bitrate accelerated MP3's so they only take a fraction of the time to load, take up a few hundred KB and I can use a £10 MP3 player.

http://code.google.com/p/otla/

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=TkSb9upLpXM

Last edited by alexh; 04 January 2009 at 20:38.
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Old 04 January 2009, 21:36   #6
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For me the point was to preserve the exact versions that are recorded on my fond tapes. Would probably have elected to do it myself even if there had been some way to reliably match whatever can be found out there with whats physically sitting on my shelf.

I'm surprised that your tapes still work as low-rate mp3. My guess would have been that the psycho-acoustics of a lossy compression scheme would lose a bunch of detail irrelevant to your ear (still sounds like screeching even if its muffled a bit) yet relevant to the data. If one wanted to keep c64 tapes around in .mp3 format, it could still be a good idea to convert any recordings to .tap, to optimize them with Finaltap and then to synthesize a clean waveform prior to compression. One will also probably want to have them around as .tap for emulator use.
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Old 04 January 2009, 23:09   #7
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This is not an amateurish hack of simply converting an audio tape into an MP3 using something like LameMP3!

OTLA is a program designed from scratch to analyse the input WAV or tap/tzx file, extract the data from the recording, work out the maximum speed it can be accelerated to for the target computer and convert to MP3 in such as way to be lossless and nice and small.

As for preserving YOUR tapes, all well and good if they are unique, but to me, a complete waste of time if they are commercial and identical to everyone elses (which have already been preserved).

Surely you need only the name of the game title and language to see if the game has already been preserved in original TAP format? There are 10's of databases for many platforms which CRC check files against known good recordings.

Last edited by alexh; 04 January 2009 at 23:26.
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Old 05 January 2009, 01:18   #8
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That OTLA seems like a useful and a well-thought-out piece of software then. I have little interest in the platforms its listed to be intended for use with, so I didn't look further than the front page.

As for identifying a release by name and language - titles can and have been released more than once and then there is compilations. Twice I tried to repair a persistent read error in some title manually by comparing the data to something that I found, but in both cases it was a different release and thus useless. Even if the end result turns out to be the same as what is already out there, how would you ever know if you didn't look? And if you do read it yourself, you already know.

My objective was to instead of having my collection slowly and uselessly gather dust and bit rot, to be nice to it and make an effort to preserve it past its magnetic decay. Emphasis on it instead of something that kinda looks like it a lot.

The end result may or may not be the same as what is already available, because for the most part I've not compared them. Whatever the case may be I've got something extra: certainty over it being what I really wanted. And the fact that not only are the games for sure the same versions I played back in the day, they actually come straight off the very same tapes I held in my grubby little palms warms my heart some more.

Pointless? Certainly, pretty much everything one does with twenty year old hardware or software is pointless if one decides to view it that way. I'm assuming the original poster is well aware that all the games are available on the net in one form or the other, but that doesn't keep him from wanting to "preserve his collection". Of course I don't know what he ultimately wants but this is what I did and why, when I had that thought.
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Old 05 January 2009, 03:25   #9
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wow guys you are real bunch of cool dudes. along with my new miggy this little lot is going to keep me busy for ages - unfortunately I have to go to work which just wastes all my valuable time. There are a few pieces of software i want to preserve, one was written by a friend who has now passed away and the other is a Chaos clone called Arena by Cult software who nobody else seems to have ever played. unfortunatly one breadbin has just died on me - it just gives me alternating coloured screens and the other has a very dodgy RF modulator so a bit of hacking is required. also all five of my data cassette players have just ground to a halt so i had better get some silicone and elestic bands.
cheers dudes
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Old 06 January 2009, 01:55   #10
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NOOOOOOOOOOOO my other c64 breadbin just died on me after an afternoon repairing a data drive and ordering the bits to start saving wav files of my fave software, and getting ear ache about making a mess and not packing up the xmass tree; I got halfway through loading Way of the Exploding Fist (amazed the tape worked) and the C64 black screened on me. it will reboot but then dies after a few mins with characters dissipating and black cubes dancing around the screen.
However, all may not be lost I brought a C64dtv a couple of years ago at a car boot for a couple of quid.

http://pepm.bluedomino.com/c64dtv/

and have discovered they can be hacked and modded - I just wondered if any of you guys have tried any of this, as I am thinking of having a go of putting some of my fave software on there. i have seen a few knocking about on ebay if anybody else fancies a go and may pick up another for myself to mod and give to a friend as a present. Not sure i could do it without some help though, but fingers crossed.

do you think i could use the parts from my old breadbins?
has anybody done this already?

http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...41728616509649
http://pepm.bluedomino.com/c64dtv/support.htm#hacking
http://picobay.com/dtv_wiki/index.php?title=DTV_Mods
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Old 06 January 2009, 18:15   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pubzombie View Post
NOOOOOOOOOOOO my other c64 breadbin just died on me
Bummer

Thought I'd point out before you toss your units that even broken ones sell for spare parts. Not for a lot of cash, of course - there was really many of these computers made so the supply isn't running out yet - but they still don't need to go to waste. There are even some creative uses for the sound chips
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Old 10 January 2009, 23:34   #12
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Interesting as I was thinking of doing the exact same thing. I have around 400 original games (sure there must be a list out there saying what people need an original image off) and the C64 / tape drive / 1541MK2 / Action Replay 6 all work remarkably well.

I still have a couple of boxes of tapes to collect from the fathers but they all seem to work after being in storage for years.



M.
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Old 11 January 2009, 01:30   #13
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have you got a copy of Arena? its clone of the speccy classic Chaos and was done by Cult software. there were very few made as i think it was withdrawn due to copyright issues. I have an original copy, but have yet to find anybody else who has played it let alone got it.

check this out http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/C64TPC-Connect...3A1|240%3A1308
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