Stephen S. Lee wrote:
Actually, where can I find a collection of such extractions? I was
I wasn't aware of a collection, hence my desire to someday make a radio station for it :-)
planning to do this myself for a bunch of older games (Might & Magic III-V, Civilization I, Lands of Lore I, etc.) I was planning to extract all the music from each game; is there a faster way of doing this than just getting the game to play each tune and recording it?
There are three main ways of doing (IBM PC) music:
1. Extract the files and try to get them to play in a player. Works best for MOD, MIDI, and some other formats like .ROL/.CMF (Adlib/Soundblaster). When playing MIDI you *might* be able to improve quality by playing it on a modern sound card under Windows, but it depends on the wavetable quality of your card and/or whether or not the MIDI is General MIDI (fixed instrument patches) or had custom instruments/instrument mappings. As for Redbook (CD) audio, just rip the tracks. For ripping, I recommend EAC (Exact Audio Copy), as it has special processes for dealing with scratched CDs to produce the least errors, and besides it's free. Most online databases like CDDB and FreeDB will *not* have the individual tracks named, so just rip everything as Track01, Track02, etc. and sift through it later.
2. Emulation. DOSBox (dosbox.sourceforge.net) does a 95% job of emulating PC Speaker, Sound Blaster, Adlib, and Tandy/PCjr *and* you can record the output to a mono .WAV file. If emulating anything OTHER than PC Speaker, you need to change the output rate from 22KHz to 44.1KHz or else it may sound muted (not as "bright"). For PC Speaker, 22KHz is perfect.
3. Record the actual games themselves with a sound card (play game on one machine, run a cable to another machine, record). Use high-quality cables and recording settings (at *least* 32KHz, 16-bit) for the best results. If you're lucky, you can "cheat" a little by having cards that do things digitally -- on an AWE32, you can use the digital out connection to record Adlib, and on a Pro Media Spectrum 3D card (one of the last cards Media Vision put out before they died) you can play and record on the same card. I believe SB Live! cards can do this as well (you select the "what I hear" source for recording) but it is hard to get SB Live! and newer cards to actually *play sound* from older games.
Regardless of how you get the sound, if you're going to preserve it properly in MP3 format, use LAME with "--preset standard" if you want to ensure nearly transparent quality without unnecessarily wasting space.
Jim Leonard ([EMAIL PROTECTED])
World's largest electronic gaming project: http://www.MobyGames.com/
A delicious slice of the demoscene: http://www.MindCandyDVD.com/
Various oldskool PC rants and ramblings: http://www.oldskool.org/
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