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LaunchBoxAnnotator Tool


mathflair
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Hey everyone. I recently started using LaunchBox, and while LaunchBox is the best front end I had found so far, there were also several features it didn't support that I wanted. Since Jason is not currently looking for collaborators on the LaunchBox project, I decided to create LaunchBox Tools as a way to add features I wanted. LaunchBox Tools can be used to help you better manage your LaunchBox library, including scraping additional data for games and hiding duplicate entries in your library. I hope LaunchBox Tools is helpful to the community. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Also, if there are any features you want in the tool, bring them up here and if there is sufficient interest I'll try and implement that feature. Or, feel free to write some code yourself and send me a pull request on Bitbucket.  

Download: link
Wiki: link
Bitbuck repo: link


Everyone, I've updated LaunchBox Tools to version v1.1. New in this version is a scraper for the EmuXtras synopsis files. I have also added a tool for hiding duplicate games, helping you to clean up your game collection.


Welcome

Welcome to the wiki for LaunchBox Tools. Here you will find details about the tools that make up this project.

Overview

This project is a collection of utilities that modify the game library for LaunchBox. It includes tools that modify games (e.g., hide duplicate games) and also that scrape additional meta-data for games (e.g., System INI).

Game Tools

These tools operate on the games in your library and help you manage them.

  • Rename Titles. Rename titles using the meta-data for the game.
  • Rename Platforms. Rename one or more platforms. Also moves the media for each platform, with LaunchBox currently does not do when renaming platforms.
  • Move Files. Rename files according to a naming convention. For example, can be used to rename your ROMs to use the No-Intro naming convention.
  • Hide Duplicates Hide duplicate games so that only one game with the same platform and title is shown.

Scrapers

Scrapers are used to gather additional meta-data from external sources and add it to launch box.

Options common to all the scrapers can be found here

Custom Fields

Some features require the use of LaunchBox’s custom fields, which are only available in the premium version of LaunchBox. These features are always marked by an asterisk “(*)”. While anyone can use these features, non-premium editions of LaunchBox will delete custom fields when you next start LaunchBox, and any of this data will be lost.

Using LaunchBox Tools

The best way to use LaunchBox Tools is to experiment with the different tools. Each tool has the option to test out the functionality of tool without actually changing your data. Use this to see if any given tool will help you accomplish your goals. When you first start LaunchBox Tools, you will be asked to select the LaunchBox.xml file you want to modify. You will then be asked which platforms you want to operate on. It is then up to you to decide what to do next.

My Personal Build

When I setup my own library I used the following tools:

  1. I used the System INI scraper.
  2. I used sselph’s scraper to generate a gamelist.xml file for all my ROMs. I then scraped this gamelist using LaunchBox Tools.
  3. I started LaunchBox and had it redownload meta-data, as sselph’s scraper added TheGamesDB Ids for a number of games.
  4. I used the filename parser to grab region, version, langauge, and other data from the filenames. I also used it to rename the title on all games to match the filename. My files were in the No-Intro style.
  5. I used the duplicate hider to clean up my library. I first ran it preferring games with the USA region, then the World region, then the Europe region, by the English language, and finally by version and release date.
  6. I used the platform renamer to name files according to my preferences.

History

This project was originally known as LaunchBoxAnnotator. It started when I wanted a tool that would grab the region and version from ROMs named using the NoIntro convention, and stick that data into LaunchBox. Since then I have added additional features based on what I needed and what others have asked for. LaunchBox Tools is what I personally use to keep my large library manageable and easily usable on my HTPC.

Edited by mathflair
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@Bil I'm currently working on improving the interface, especially the useless progress dialog box currently in use, but once that is done I'll add scraping of the file you mention. It shouldn't be too bad. @Maddoc1007 You mention you are using a previous version of LaunchBox. Do you know, is the XML structure the same as it is now? Also, is there a imdb file I can parse, or would I need to scrape their website?
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As a newbie to LaunchBox, I imported a few platforms/roms and notice that there was quite a few front box art missing. Is this program meant to automatically find front box art for all roms and update accordingly? I need some pretty basic instructions about what/how I should use this Tool. Thanks
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@bjwest This tool will not download images for you, but it can help you get more of the images. Probably the easiest way to do that is use my tool in conjunction with https://github.com/sselph/scraper. That scraper will create an xml with data for your rom files and also pulls front images. You can then run my tool with this XML file and it will update the games in your LaunchBox library. At this point, you can also re-run LaunchBox's scraper and it will be able to find more images and meta-data.
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@bil I've attached a development build that has parsing of Synopsis files. I based it on the format of the file you uploaded. It seems to be working for me. Give it a try and let me know if it works for you. @Maddoc1007 I did find that there are files for parsing IMDB data. Before I get to writing a scraper for that data, I need to finish two things first: (1) I need to finish testing of this dev build. I have tested everything and it seems to be working, but I want to try using it on a fresh scrape of my data in LaunchBox and make sure it doesn't have any unexpected side effects. (2) I need to write a better readme. The current one is very tech-spec like, and I want something a little more approachable. If you can help out with either of those two tasks, I'll be able to get to the IMDB stuff sooner ;) @bjwest Have you tried using the tool. If not, try playing around with the version I posted in this post. Every scraper / game tool now has a test option, so you can see exactly what they do with your data. Feel free to ask questions as you run into them. I'll be quick with replies.
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@mathflair I tried the tool with three different synopsis files, and on the whole it worked. I did get a error a couple of times though, which I have attached. There is one synopsis I tried which has " CD32" appended to the title, however I do not use this in LaunchBox. I would have to go through the synopsis and delete the CD32 part, so that the tool would match. Is there a workaround you could do, such as having a option in the tool to omit keywords in the title when matching? Capture.PNG
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@Bil I could certainly look into that. Could you send me the synopsis file that caused that error, and I'll do my best to track it down. As for removing keywords, I am certainly amenable to doing that. Could you give me directions on where to find / generate the synopsis files. Edited: I'm actually pretty sure I figured out the error. I'll post a new version after my own testing today.
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The errors occurred when I scraped the Master System and Mega Drive synopsis files Here is the EmuXtras Synopsis Editor - http://www.emuxtras.net/syn3 The synopsis can be exported under site tools - export I'll ask an admin over at EmuXtras to add you if you like, so that you can view the Synopis Editor and export.
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@Bil Question for you. Is there a way to export the images as well? I like how this data set has both a CRC value as well as data from hacked versions of ROMs. I can see the value in this data set. I'll do some more testing of the data this evening. I might try to integrate CRC matching at some point as well. We'll have to see.
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