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About This File

A tool which manages a cache of recently extracted game archives for quick loading. Also allows per emulator file extension priority for files within an archive.


Description
When an archived game (in zip, 7z, or other compression format) is extracted and played, it is stored in the archive cache. The next time the game is played, the data is loaded directly from the cache, eliminating the extraction wait time.

As the cache approaches its maximum size, the least recently played games are deleted from the cache, making room for new games.


Features

  • Configurable cache size and location.
  • Configurable minimum archive size, so small archives aren't cached.
  • File extension priorities per emulator and platform (cue, bin, iso, etc).
    • Some combinations of emulators and file extensions don't work with LaunchBox's built-in priority.
  • Cache cleanup using either least recently played games or least played games.
  • Optional loading screen while an archive is being extracted.


Installation / Update

  • Extract the archive to your LaunchBox folder, which will create an ArchiveCacheManager sub-folder.
  • Navigate to the new ArchiveCacheManager folder and run Install.bat.
  • Within LaunchBox, ensure the desired emulator has the "Extract ROM archives before running option" checked.


Uninstallation

  • Navigate to the LaunchBox\ArchiveCacheManager folder and run Uninstall.bat.
  • Delete the ArchiveCacheManager folder.

NOTE: The archive cache is not removed on uninstallation, but can be manually deleted.


Configuration
The first time a game is extracted using Archive Cache Manager, a configuration file called Config.xml is created in LaunchBox\ArchiveCacheManager. Modify this file using Notepad or similar to make any configuration changes. An overview of each of the configuration items is below.

<MaxCacheSize>
This is the maximum size on disk (in megabytes) that the cache is allowed to grow to before cached items are deleted. The default is 20000MB, or 20GB.

<MinArchiveSize>
This is the minimum size (in megabytes) an uncompressed archive needs to be before it is added to the cache. The default is 50MB.

<CachePath>
This is the path of the cache folder. The path can be absolute or relative, where relative paths are to the LaunchBox\ArchiveCacheManager folder. The default is Cache.

<UsePlaycountWhenClearingCache>
Items can be removed from the cache based on the least recent playtime, or the least played games. Set this to True to delete the least played games from the cache. Default is False (delete the oldest game from the archive).

<ShowLoadingScreen>
Shows a simple loading screen while the game is being extracted. Note that this setting does not affect BigBox, for which the loading screen is never shown. Default is True.

<VerboseLogging>
Archive Cache Manager has extensive logging to aid in debugging, but this can also slow down the cache management due to the extra disk I/O. The default log behaviour is to now only log exceptions and other important events. Extended debug/verbose logging can be re-enabled with this setting. Default is False.

<ForceHardLinks>
The default Archive Cache Manager behaviour is to use the direct path to an archive in the archive cache. This eliminates the need for the previously used method of hardlinks and directory junctions linking the archive cache to LaunchBox's temp folder. This option forces the use of hardlinks/junctions. Default is False.

<ForceFileCopy>
This option overrides both the direct path and hardlink/junction behaviour described above. With this option enabled, a direct file copy will be made from the archive cache to the LaunchBox temp folder. Use this option if there are problems with the other two methods. Default is False.

<FilePriority>
This defines the file extension priority for the specified emulator (and optionally platform). The emulator name in the <Emulator> tag must match the emulator name set in LaunchBox. An optional <Platform> tag can be used for individual platform file extension priorities in a multi-system emulator (e.g. Retroarch). The file extensions in the <Extensions> tag are a comma separated list. Duplicate the entire <FilePriority> block to add new emulator (and platform) extension priorities.

In the example below, the Retroarch file priorities will only be applied to games belonging to either the 3DO or TurboGrafx-CD platforms. Games belonging to another platform started with Retroarch will not have a priority applied.
 

<FilePriority>
  <Emulator>PCSX2</Emulator>
  <Extensions>iso, bin</Extensions>
</FilePriority>
<FilePriority>
  <Emulator>Retroarch</Emulator>
  <Platform>3DO Interactive Multiplayer</Platform>
  <Extensions>iso</Extensions>
</FilePriority>
<FilePriority>
  <Emulator>Retroarch</Emulator>
  <Platform>NEC TurboGrafx-CD</Platform>
  <Extensions>cue</Extensions>
</FilePriority>


Known Issues

  • Loading screen game title is filename when game started as additional app
  • Cover art display doesn't yet use LaunchBox's image loading priority

What's New in Version 1.5   See changelog

Released

  • Add support for LaunchBox.Next
  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1



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