Saturday, July 9, 2011

Cataloguing, Scanning and .TAP Files ?

With any collection or collecting, there involves a process of counting, creating an inventory and to some extent, labeling. This sounds like a seemingly boring process, but can also prove fairly interesting and important process when it comes to adding and accounting for any item.

Cataloguing ::

In true, geek fashion, here is a screenshot of a sample from my Mastertronic Spreadsheet :

Although, there doesn't seem to be any such order, the Code number when on an Inlay or Game Title can always be put into numeric or alpha order. I have even gone to the extent of recording the Tape Counter and .TAP file for use with an Emulator or modern day SD Card Reader Cartridges, like the 1541 Ultimate II which has a marvellous piece of hardware that allows the Loading of a .TAP in real-time through a *real* Commodore 64 Computer. Simply amazing !

Scanning ::

Just to make the collecting process a little bit more special, I decided to Scan every Inlay. Although, it this has only applied to just the front Cover only. Eventually, all Inlays will have the main part cropped. As an example, let's take Milk Race :
The above image doesn't really reflect on the true size of the resolution and quality of the original scan. All of the Inlays are scanned at 300 dpi, croppped and rotated where needed. I usually leave a bit of space on the outer sections of scan, but this could quite easily be tidied up if need be.

The above image ( not true size ) of Milk Race, is the cropped version from the original Inlay. The dimensons were measured from the front usually seen through the Cassette / Tape Case.The dimensions for these are : 6.5 cm x 10.2 cm. A defined crop area was used in Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0 and moved over the desired area of Inlay, then cropped. A spot healing and smudge tool was then used as a final touch to clean up any areas that appeared to have blemishes or scratches.

TAP Files ::

Just to go that extra bit further, I decided to archive and collect all of the .TAP Files that are associated with the original Mastertronic release. These were sourced from a couple of websites that host a fair number of Titles : [ ] and [ ]. A TAP File is basically an audio dump from the original Tape, which has been digitally cleaned through an audio process, all ready for use with all or most Emulation programs and Hardware based products.

The above is just a sample of the .TAP Files are have in the archive and can be easily used, currently any such File is used with C64 Forever or Vice. Emulation is one the greatest way of reliving old software and systems, it's a preservation that should always be accepted and appreciated, as with anything historical.

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