TSX support in OpenMSX.

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By Manuel

Ascended (18237)

Manuel's picture

16-09-2021, 20:56

saccopharynx wrote:

In addition, I think that it is also a bit about pride and not to want to admit that TSX, in some aspects, is better than WAV.

Believe me, there is no pride involved. All reasons are mentioned in that PR discussion. Pride isn't one of them. (I don't even see how pride on a WAV file could exist... it's just the digitized recording of the tape.)

By pgimeno

Champion (302)

pgimeno's picture

16-09-2021, 21:01

Any takers for a robust TSX patch for OpenMSX?

By bore

Master (135)

bore's picture

17-09-2021, 00:17

Skyblasc wrote:

But I found always reassuring the possibility of keeping a pure form of data that can reconstruct a WAVE, as if it was a MASTER TAPE, than depending of just analog recordings of various qualities.

I'm not an OpenMSX user and don't really care much about if it supports TSX or not, but isn't this something you absolutely want to avoid from a preservation standpoint?

If you have a tape you want to record the analog signal and preserve it that way as the master.
Whatever method you use to generate a clean stream from that noisy data may or may not generate bit errors, but as long as you keep the WAV data around you can always redo the conversion with a different method.

A cleaned up format could be convenient for emulators so that they don't have to decode the "analog" stream, but it seems to me that anyone using it as a data preservation tool is doing more harm than good.

By saccopharynx

Master (165)

saccopharynx's picture

17-09-2021, 01:24

Manuel wrote:
saccopharynx wrote:

In addition, I think that it is also a bit about pride and not to want to admit that TSX, in some aspects, is better than WAV.

Believe me, there is no pride involved. All reasons are mentioned in that PR discussion. Pride isn't one of them. (I don't even see how pride on a WAV file could exist... it's just the digitized recording of the tape.)

Good on you if that is the case, and thanks for clarifying, because that was not the impression I got from that endless thread regarding TSX. Obviously, I was not talking about pride on a format, but being too proud to admit the potential of TSX.

By ducasp

Champion (462)

ducasp's picture

17-09-2021, 02:12

bore wrote:
Skyblasc wrote:

But I found always reassuring the possibility of keeping a pure form of data that can reconstruct a WAVE, as if it was a MASTER TAPE, than depending of just analog recordings of various qualities.

I'm not an OpenMSX user and don't really care much about if it supports TSX or not, but isn't this something you absolutely want to avoid from a preservation standpoint?

If you have a tape you want to record the analog signal and preserve it that way as the master.
Whatever method you use to generate a clean stream from that noisy data may or may not generate bit errors, but as long as you keep the WAV data around you can always redo the conversion with a different method.

A cleaned up format could be convenient for emulators so that they don't have to decode the "analog" stream, but it seems to me that anyone using it as a data preservation tool is doing more harm than good.

Recording the analog signal is not necessarily good. First, that was something originally digital, that was converted to analog, recorded as a analog. Then you are reading it back, analog, but converting it to digital to save in a computer in wav or other format. There are several factors that make this not optimal, including the quality of the conversion, the sample rate, the chances of not getting a transition in your sample rate properly enough, one thing is to make it sound similar enough to our brain Tha is always transforming whatever we see and hear, the other is picking up proper transitions so the signal is understood... How large should be a sample rate to guarantee it is really faithful, not to our ears, but to the systems the end audio is intended for? TSX is not a faithful copy of the analog audio, but, a faithful copy of the master that created the audio that went into tape, for preservation purposes, that is second only to the original digital memory dump Cool

By Manuel

Ascended (18237)

Manuel's picture

17-09-2021, 07:38

saccopharynx wrote:
Manuel wrote:
saccopharynx wrote:

In addition, I think that it is also a bit about pride and not to want to admit that TSX, in some aspects, is better than WAV.

Believe me, there is no pride involved. All reasons are mentioned in that PR discussion. Pride isn't one of them. (I don't even see how pride on a WAV file could exist... it's just the digitized recording of the tape.)

Good on you if that is the case, and thanks for clarifying, because that was not the impression I got from that endless thread regarding TSX. Obviously, I was not talking about pride on a format, but being too proud to admit the potential of TSX.

I think the thread explains it well enough. It may have a potential for analysis and preservation, but has no benefits for an emulator user. Again, pride has nothing to do with it. Our arguments are factional. It seems the counter arguments are mostly emotional... Anyways, I am just repeating the thread again, so I'll stop commenting.

By bore

Master (135)

bore's picture

17-09-2021, 11:59

ducasp wrote:

TSX is not a faithful copy of the analog audio, but, a faithful copy of the master that created the audio that went into tape, for preservation purposes, that is second only to the original digital memory dump Cool

Unless I have missed some features of TSX that just doesn't make sense.
To be sure that you have a clean recording you will then need to obtain a real master binary from the content creator.
If you have clean data to begin with either format works fine, you can just set a samplerate of 4800 and generate a square wave at full amplitude.

The problem is when you don't have the original binary, just a tape or a recording of it.
From what I have seen you can't convert it to TSX without starting to make decisions of what the bits actually are.
Either way you are removing all the information that could be used to verify that the conversion was correct.
That is absolutely terrible from a data preservation standpoint!

So unless TSX have some way to store the analog format it seems to me that it is best for data that has never touched a tape to begin with.
There may be arguments to use TSX, but unless I have completely misunderstood what the format does, data preservation isn't a reason to use it.

By saccopharynx

Master (165)

saccopharynx's picture

17-09-2021, 13:53

Manuel wrote:

I think the thread explains it well enough.

In my opinion, that TSX thread is so extensive that some points seem contradictory. But as I said, it is my impression!

Manuel wrote:

It may have a potential for analysis and preservation, but has no benefits for an emulator user.

Believe me that I do not want to start a debate again, but a contradictory example is just right in front of our eyes in the quoted comment above. Who are the emulator users? Software analysts are a group of them, in my opinion. Therefore, the format does not only have potential for analysis and preservation, but also benefits for some groups of users, such as software analysts.

But as I said, I do not want to start a new debate :-)

By Grauw

Ascended (10146)

Grauw's picture

17-09-2021, 15:21

bore wrote:

I'm not an OpenMSX user and don't really care much about if it supports TSX or not, but isn't this something you absolutely want to avoid from a preservation standpoint?

If you have a tape you want to record the analog signal and preserve it that way as the master. Whatever method you use to generate a clean stream from that noisy data may or may not generate bit errors, but as long as you keep the WAV data around you can always redo the conversion with a different method.

A cleaned up format could be convenient for emulators so that they don't have to decode the "analog" stream, but it seems to me that anyone using it as a data preservation tool is doing more harm than good.

bore wrote:

The problem is when you don't have the original binary, just a tape or a recording of it. From what I have seen you can't convert it to TSX without starting to make decisions of what the bits actually are. Either way you are removing all the information that could be used to verify that the conversion was correct. That is absolutely terrible from a data preservation standpoint!

I concur wholeheartedly.

If you ask me TSX is a compression format, a compact representation of the tape data just like CAS is. It’s compatible with more software than CAS, but it can never beat a copy of the original audio.

By pgimeno

Champion (302)

pgimeno's picture

18-09-2021, 19:50

Patching a game distributed in WAV format sounds pretty close to unfeasible, even more so if the WAV is a faithful reproduction of an original tape. Creating the patch would in itself be a challenge. You'd pretty much have to distribute the whole modified WAV, which may be a copyright violation. It's much easier in TSX (or CAS). I see TSX as a replacement for CAS, not WAV.

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