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Thank you! (and a few feature requests)


Zombeaver
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First of all, I want to say thank you for this wonderful piece of software! I’ve been fiddling with emulators basically since their inception back in the mid 90’s. I remember scouring Zophar’s Domain for every tidbit of information I could get - it was a real treasure trove in its heyday! I’ve been consistently amazed at how far emulation has come since those early days and by the hard work of so many enthusiasts out there. Having something like Launchbox bring this all together in such an organized and aesthetically pleasing way is a godsend. I didn’t realize how much I needed something like this until I used it; and now, after using it for only a week, I know that I could never go back! It helps that it totally feeds into my own OCD tendencies when it comes to organizing and showcasing large amounts of media (you should see my Plex/Kodi libraries) Laugh I’ve been hard at work for the last week getting everything set up the way I want (and I still have a LONG way to go), and during that time I’ve come across a couple things that I’d love to see added and a few things that I think might need to be tweaked a bit. I apologize in advance if there’s already a way to do any of these that I’m just not aware of yet. Anyway, here goes.

1. I'd like an option to play music instead of video preview audio; as in, it still shows the video preview when you select a game, but it plays music that you've imported for that title rather than the video's audio. The way it works now is certainly serviceable, but I just think this setup would make it really classy!

2. Don't play the "move selection" sound for each entry while scrolling through titles; maybe just the first move and again when it stops. I think the sound in and of itself is fine, but when you hold down a direction and scroll through a lot of titles and hear that "GRRRRUUGGGGGG" noise that it makes... it's pretty awful. I had to disable the sound as result

3. Horizontally center video previews - this would make vertical shooter previews look a bit less odd (they seem to be left-aligned currently)

4. My 360 controller (official) is recognized and works perfectly under normal usage in both Launchbox and Big Box; however, the inputs aren't recognized when using Steam's in-home streaming. The keyboard input still works, and the 360 controller works just fine once an emulator is actually launched and running, but it's not working to navigate Big Box itself. I don't have a Steam Link yet but I'm planning on getting one and have been testing out their normal In Home Streaming in the meantime (which is functionally identical). I'm not sure how much you can do about this, and it's certainly asking a lot, but it would definitely be nice to be able to navigate with my controller while I'm on my couch. I'm going to have a wireless keyboard/mouse combo hooked up to the Link anyway, so it's not a huge deal, but it would definitely be nice. The only thing I can assume is that Launchbox isn't actually using Xinput? Everything that I've tested with In Home Streaming that actually uses Xinput (or even hacked/patched Xinput support ala ePSXe) has worked flawlessly. I know that when the controller is connected to the computer it does show up as “Xbox 360” controller in the input section of LB/BB but the buttons for the various functions are “Button 1, Button 2, etc.” as opposed to “A, B, X, etc.” which is how they normally appear via Xinput.

5. ePSXe crashes through a Launchbox launch if you're using Shark; not a huge deal though because all I was using Shark for was Pokopom's Xinput plugin and I can achieve the same result with the PeteOpenGL2Tweak plugin. Definitely not a big issue for me, but may be a problem for some.

6. Big Box mode doesn't appear in the windows taskbar. If you alt-tab the only way to get back to it is also with alt-tab. It’s not a huge deal; it just seems a bit odd to me.

7. When hovered over a platform name (and probably anything in the corresponding "recent” section) I’d like it to play a random song from that platform's music folder.

8. In Big Box I think pressing up or down while in a platform’s recent list should move to a different platform - it currently does nothing and you have to move all the way back to the left in order to change platforms. I’ve had a few instances of “Why isn’t it letting me change platforms? Oh...right.”

9. I’m a little concerned about multi-disc games. I’ve got several multi-disc PSX and PS2 games setup via the “additional apps” method but unless it’s a game that prompts you to save prior to switching discs (some will do that, and those should be fine) I’m not sure how exactly that’s going to work since 1) as far as I know, doing it via additional apps isn’t really a disc swap - it’s just re-launching the emulator with a different predefined disc and 2) most of the emulators need to be setup to close on ESC to really work the way you would want them to in BB. ePSXe won’t even launch a game correctly unless you use -nogui which kills it on ESC anyway. I haven’t had a chance to really test it out other than to simply check that the right click menu option and the corresponding Big Box menu option for the additional discs are, indeed, loading those discs properly (which they are). I’ll probably mess around with this on Riven on PSX since that game has 5 discs and you can get to a disc swap very early. I just have the feeling that this could be problematic as currently designed.

10. An option to preview art prior to importing. I’ve come across a number of games that have had some extremely questionable “fanart” that I would never have imported in the first place if I had seen them beforehand. I’ve just gone back in and deleted them afterwards, but having an option to approve/reject individual images prior to pulling them in would be nice.

11. Setting up PS2 games to launch with custom configs for each game (which is really the only way to go) is pretty time consuming currently. In fairness, it’s really no less time consuming to setup outside of LB, but having to go in and tell it “not to emulate” and then adding in custom launch commands to direct it to the correct config file...and then LB tells you that you “need to use an emulator” to play the game... The process just feels a little unrefined at the moment. I’m not sure how many people even use custom configs per game, but for me it’s a must since there is no “one size fits all” setup for PCSX2. Ideally you could have a checkbox when you edit an entry in LB that says “Use custom config (for use with PCSX2)” or some such - when you click on it, it appends --cfgpath=”...” to the game's launch options and then enables a field/button to browse to a folder, select it, and then it inserts it into the cfgpath string. This would make my life so much easier!

That’s all I’ve got...for now :D In all seriousness though, thank you so much for everything you’ve done here. I LOVE IT! Thank you thank you thank you! Smile

Oh...and if anyone’s interested (and as a show of my appreciation), I’ve made a number of platform banners for myself that others might enjoy as well. I’ll probably submit these to the images thread as well. I'm planning on creating more (and maybe some alternates - I discovered by accident that they can have multiple images associated with them which Big Box seems to choose at random when you select a platform... which means I'll probably make multiples with different games in the background) but I've still got a lot more work to do elsewhere!

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So, regarding 11 above, I just now noticed the "Use Custom Command-Line Parameters" option under a game's "emulation" tab and feel like a bit of an idiot. Confused Doing it that way maybe isn't quite as fast as it could potentially be (you still have to type the cfg path in), but it's much faster than the way I've been doing it previously - which has been unchecking "Use an emulator", pointing the rom file field under the game's "Launcher" tab to the emulator itself, and then putting the full string of commands into the "Application Command-Line Parameters" field (like -fullscreen --nogui "X:\Emulation\PS2\Final Fantasy XII\Final Fantasy XII (USA).iso" --cfgpath="X:\Emulation\PS2\Final Fantasy XII" for example). So uh, yeah, no big deal there. Just disregard :P
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Regarding the disc swap I would recommend looking into launching your PS games using RocketLauncher. I'm using that at the moment for swapping discs/floppies etc. For discs it works great with daemon tools and swapping discs with epsxe etc :) You could use it for only PS1/PS2 etc. but I personally use it to launch all my emulators, it's fantastic! It takes care of all the "esc" to close, various settings and a bunch of stuff I haven't fiddled with myself like fade in and out. It also works great with Launchbox which is my main frontend. The combo of these two are essential for me these days, especially since I was using the nightmare of Kodi beforehand. ugh..
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I appreciate the suggestion, but I'd prefer to remain within Launchbox/Big Box. The ultimate goal is to get everything setup so that I can browse and play via Big Box by way of Steam Link. From what I've seen, RocketLauncher looks fine for desktop usage but isn't really conducive to couch use unlike Big Box; and I mean if I were to do something other than Big Box, I'd just be using the emulators themselves - ePSXe and PCSX2 both have disc swapping functions built in which work just fine; the problem is there's not really a way to get to them (as far as I know) if they're setup to close on ESC (which they pretty much need to be). I've been looking into ways to remap hotkeys for them but it doesn't look like there's a disc swap function for either that's actually mapable. There might be something that can be accomplished via AutoHotkey, but I have absolutely zero experience with AutoHotkey programming. Even if that's possible, I'm not sure if it would work for ePSXe because you have to use --nogui for Launchbox to be able to launch specific games directly. I've considered specifically configuring multi-disc PS2 games to not close on ESC so that I can use the built in disc-swapping functionality, but that wouldn't help with PSX due to the --nogui issue. Edit: Upon re-reading your post, it could be that I just don't understand how exactly you've got things setup. I did look up RocketLauncher but it looked like it was just a different frontend. How exactly are you using it in conjunction with Launchbox? Edit 2: I also found this, which could work. I don't have any experience with Retroarch, but I've heard good things. I may give that a shot.
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I use RocketLauncher to manage all my emulators and handle the launching, fullscreen, closing etc, but it's all in the background. RL isn't really a frontend itself, it used to be part of the HyperSpin frontend, but they split a little way back. What I find handy is that there is so much already done out of the box in RL and I hardly need to touch the settings for my emulators. It does it all when it launches it via scripts that come with it. I have my PC set up in the living room and use an xbox pad to control everything :)
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This seems interesting how do you set it up in LaunchBox though do you still point to the emulator that you want or do you point it to a RL file that is linked to your emulator (sorry for my ignorance in advance as I have no clue really how RL works).
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polygonslayer said I use RocketLauncher to manage all my emulators and handle the launching, fullscreen, closing etc...
Those are things that LB/BB are already setup to do as well though. How exactly is RocketLauncher going to help me with disc swapping in some way that LB doesn't currently? I've got them setup in LB already as additional apps, I just don't know if that implementation is necessarily always going to work. If the game asks you to save specifically for the disc swap then it's not a big deal, but I know some games don't do that and I think that's going to be a problem. By the way, I messed around with Retroarch and it was a complete disaster - I just kept getting crashes through the Mednafen core. I made sure I had all the bios files where they needed to be and even verified that the MD5 checksums were identical to the suggested ones. A couple games loaded but most just crashed outright - ones that work perfectly fine in ePSXe. Not sure that I'll be going back to RA anytime soon, unfortunately. I actually thought the m3u idea for multi-disc was pretty brilliant :( I've also read about savestating and then renaming your save-state file to the appropriate disc file name, loading that disc, and then loading the savestate, but that just seems like a bit of an unwieldy/impractical nightmare. Edit: I can confirm that creating a savestate on the disc swap screen, exiting, renaming the savestate file to the name of the second disc, loading the second disc in LB/BB and then loading the save state works... A very inelegant and impractical solution, but it should at least allow for overcoming situations where a game doesn't specifically ask to save for the disc swap. Mednafen apparently allows you to just create a text file with the name of each disc (disc1.cue, disc2.cue etc.) and then save it as a .m3u file in the same folder, then you load the .m3u file instead of the .cues and while in game press F8 to switch to the next disc in the list. That sounds awesome, but I wasn't able to get Mednafen to work sufficiently to even test that out :(
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Zombeaver said By the way, I messed around with Retroarch and it was a complete disaster - I just kept getting crashes through the Mednafen core. I made sure I had all the bios files where they needed to be and even verified that the MD5 checksums were identical to the suggested ones. A couple games loaded but most just crashed outright - ones that work perfectly fine in ePSXe. Not sure that I'll be going back to RA anytime soon, unfortunately. I actually thought the m3u idea for multi-disc was pretty brilliant :(
I would suggest having a look at the .cue files for the games that are crashing. I've found that the .cue files often contain an absolute path to the .bin file. If they do then unless your games are located in the same exact file path as the person who ripped the disc then RetroArch won't know where to find the .bin and just crashes out. For example if it says something like:
FILE "C:/ROMS/GAMES/XENOGEARS.BIN" BINARY
then that is likely what's causing your crashes. If you change it to a relative file path such as
FILE "XENOGEARS.BIN" BINARY
then it should work fine. RetroArch can really be confusing and hard to set up at first, but once you have everything working right then it becomes amazing. Especially once you get into using CRT shaders to make the games look how they're supposed to or if you end up using different controllers for different systems. I always recommend that people use RetroArch when possible so if you have any other issues with getting it working then let me know and I'll try to help.
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That is odd, but I haven't used ePSXe in several years so I don't know exactly how it goes about loading the .cue. It could just be looking for a .bin with the same name instead of actually reading the data in the .cue file. If the .cue looks good and the game still crashes then make sure to reply with an example of a non-working game, what version of RetroArch you're using, and preferably also the MD5 hash of the .bin. Another thing you can try is to update the Mednafen core. To do that just go down to Online Updater > Core Updater > Playstation (Mednafen PSX). It'll automatically grab the newest core for that system and install it.
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You can edit a .cue sheet with Notepad++. In the case of one image file, there will be one directory listing. In the case of a game with multiple files (like music files) there will be several. You just need to make sure that it is set up correctly and pointing to the proper location. Most of my cue sheets say "FILE "CD.iso" BINARY". It says CD because I went through and created cue sheets for all of my games that were missing them using IsoBuster and it renames the disc during conversion. There doesn't necessarily need to be a full path inserted, but if there is it is probably wrong as its more than likely from someone else. Also, I didn't see you mention it, but all of the BIOS are named correctly too right? It needs to be specific versions, but also named properly.
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So...I think I figured out the problem here... It's actually a combination of a couple things. 1) I've got quite a few .ecm roms which Mednafen doesn't seem to like. I know there are conversion tools, but I've never needed them for ePSXe 2) The second issue I'm running into is the .cue path problem you mentioned. They're not directed to the wrong directory...but they sure as hell are directed to the wrong file name considering...I rename almost all of them so that they don't have a bunch of SLUS#### garbage in them. I'm not sure how/why this isn't a problem for ePSXe but is for Mednafen. Actually...
Blu_Haze said It could just be looking for a .bin with the same name instead of actually reading the data in the .cue file.
I bet that's it exactly. That's the only thing that could explain it really. I tried renaming some of the cue entries (that weren't for .ecm roms) and it worked. That's gonna be a ton of work to fix. What a nightmare :(
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I don't rename the files for the cue sheet reason, instead I'll just rename the folders which is why I am ok with using IsoBuster and it renaming all of my discs. ePSXe doesn't require cue sheets, but cue sheets can be superior as it can point towards multiple pieces of data. A Japanese rip of one of the DDR games will best illustrate this. So will some older TurboGrafx CD and Sega CD / Saturn games where there are music files in the folder as well. There can be compatibility issues if you loaded the image and not the cue sheet. RetroArch has a seriously steep learning curve, but once you're in and know what you're doing (like most anything) it's great personally.
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Zombeaver said I rename almost all of them so that they don't have a bunch of SLUS#### garbage in them.
Yep, that'll definitely make it crash. Laugh I went through the same thing as you since I rename all of my ROMs to match the No-Intro standard after verifying the MD5 checksum. I spent hours troubleshooting everything with RetroArch until I finally decided to have a look at the .cue sheets. I felt pretty silly once I realized what was actually wrong. I know it seems convenient for ePSXe to load a game even when it has a bad .cue, but I think you'll end up having trouble with that later on. Several popular games like Tomb Raider use multiple .bin files that all need to be correctly listed in the .cue. If it's just guessing the name when you first load it then you might end up with missing music or other assets half way through the game. If you're also using the No-Intro naming convention then I can send you the .cue sheets for all of my PS1 games. Might save you some time. Later on if you decide to try some of the shaders in RetroArch and want some guidance there just let me know.
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SentaiBrad said ePSXe doesn't require cue sheets, but cue sheets can be superior as it can point towards multiple pieces of data. [...]where there are music files in the folder as well. There can be compatibility issues if you loaded the image and not the cue sheet.
Yeah, I figured that out with Loaded/Re-Loaded/Twisted Metal 2 where it pulls the music directly off the disc. The weird part about that is that once you direct ePSXe to the .cue that's named identically, the music plays correctly, regardless of the fact that the cue sheet itself is directing it to the wrong file. Files: Re-Loaded.bin Re-Loaded.cue The text in the .cue? FILE "Re-Loaded [U] [SLUS-00382].bin" BINARY TRACK 01 MODE2/2352 INDEX 01 00:00:00 TRACK 02 AUDIO PREGAP 00:02:00 INDEX 01 13:13:23 TRACK 03 AUDIO INDEX 01 17:20:19 TRACK 04 AUDIO INDEX 01 21:25:11 TRACK 05 AUDIO INDEX 01 26:07:05 TRACK 06 AUDIO INDEX 01 31:25:01 TRACK 07 AUDIO INDEX 01 36:06:19 TRACK 08 AUDIO INDEX 01 40:42:58 TRACK 09 AUDIO INDEX 01 44:48:16 TRACK 10 AUDIO INDEX 01 49:32:00 TRACK 11 AUDIO INDEX 01 54:10:69 TRACK 12 AUDIO INDEX 01 58:15:34 TRACK 13 AUDIO INDEX 01 62:49:00 No music if the bin is loaded directly. Music works normally if loaded via .cue. I guess ePSXe must take the "file" field and replace it with the file that it actually finds that's named identically to the .cue? I had no idea... I may just end up making the necessary changes only to multi-disc games since ePSXe is working just fine and serving my purposes for everything else.
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Some of the data on the disc may be written oddly, copy protected or written in such a way that loading just the image might give some odd errors. The cue sheet just provides exact information. Almost all error's I find related to cue sheets, assuming the file path / name's are correct, is music related. I wish there was an easier way. xD
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Zombeaver said How exactly is RocketLauncher going to help me with disc swapping in some way that LB doesn't currently?
With RL I currently press the "-" key (planning to set up with gamepad combo) on my keyboard to bring up a screen which lets me pick what disc to swap without the emulator closing. It works great in any game I've tried it so far. Great for those games that doesn't allow you to save before the disc swap. No need to quit back to windows, rename save state files etc. It all happens like you would want, like as if you were swapping the discs in a real system. :) Sure, Launchbox can set up emulators, but it doesn't seem to have all the options that you get with RL and I always had problems getting emulators to "behave" the way I wanted before with other frontends. Can't comment on LB since I found it would be simpler for me to just stick with RL instead setting everything up again in LB. I think that if I were to set everything up from scratch I would probably do a lot of it in LB, but for select systems would probably use RL for things like disc/floppy swapping etc. Another good thing regarding PS1 emulation (LB might have similar options, not checked) is that you will find that a lot of times you can get some games that just don't work right with your chosen emulator. For example I have never gotten Toshinden working right with epsxe, it always runs way to fast, but in RL I have that game flagged to be launched using Xebra instead.
DOS76 said This seems interesting how do you set it up in LaunchBox though do you still point to the emulator that you want or do you point it to a RL file that is linked to your emulator (sorry for my ignorance in advance as I have no clue really how RL works).
I point to RL as the emulator and have every system use it to launch. There are some commands to put in that let's RL know which system your launching, but I'm at work at the moment so can't remember it at the top of my head. :) Regarding the CUE/BIN issue people are discussing. I seem to recall that epsxe doesn't load CUE files correctly and that it won't play the music tracks. At least I seem to have that problem before so I use Daemon Tools to mount it and then have epsxe launch the disc that way and it worked. Not updated my epsxe emulator in a while though so not sure if it's a bug that is still around. :/
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@polygonslayer thanks for the info I will have to look into getting to work outside of LaunchBox and then see how it goes from there. As to the .cue files in ESPXE I have LaunchBox linked to all of the .cue files and they all seem to work without any issues. I had problems when I renamed a few .cue files but neglected to rename the .bin to the same thing but quickly making the change to the .bin fixes any issues with that.
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polygonslayer said With RL I currently press the "-" key (planning to set up with gamepad combo) on my keyboard to bring up a screen which lets me pick what disc to swap without the emulator closing.
That sounds great! I'll have to check that out.
polygonslayer said Another good thing regarding PS1 emulation (LB might have similar options, not checked) is that you will find that a lot of times you can get some games that just don't work right with your chosen emulator. For example I have never gotten Toshinden working right with epsxe, it always runs way to fast, but in RL I have that game flagged to be launched using Xebra instead.
You can setup LB to use whatever emulator you want, on a game by game basis. I've currently got both ePSXe and RetroArch (Mednafen core) setup as usable emulators in LB. Guess I'll have to add RL to that list.
polygonslayer said I seem to recall that epsxe doesn't load CUE files correctly and that it won't play the music tracks.
It might have been an issue in earlier versions, but it works just fine with 1.9.0. Loaded, Re-Loaded, and Twisted Metal 2 are all games that play the music from the disc as specified in the cue sheet and they work in ePSXe. Back to the topic of feature requests in general, one thing did jump out at me last night: 12. There should be a "previous" button when importing games - currently there's only a "next" button. I've had a couple instances where I realized I had made the wrong selection in an earlier part and then had to close out the import and start over. On a related note, I think there should be a "remove" button once you get to the final screen that shows the files to import. I know (now) that you can just hit delete to remove them, but it wasn't initially obvious. Edit: Initial impression of RocketLauncher is that it's an overly-convoluted mess with seemingly little to no setup instructions on the actual site - a bunch of stuff for setting up HyperLaunch (apparently the older version of RL?) transitioning from HL to RL, and how to use it in conjunction with HyperSpin (which I don't care about). I can't get anything to launch through it at the moment - I have the path to ePSXe setup in the ePSXe module, added a PSX "system" and associated it with that module, directed it to the rom path...and that's as far as I can get. It doesn't seem to find any games at all. Edit 2: Okay, so I finally got it working, including the disc swapping. Apparently you have to add in a database XML file for the platform (I got the PSX one off of Hyperlist) and then you have to have your file(s) named exactly the way they want it. The whole process seems pretty unituitive/non-user-friendly but it should work once I get everything squared away... which is gonna be a while Cry. It's something at least, though. I will say, I definitely appreciate having the on-the-fly swapping functionality regardless of whether or not it's a built in feature of the emulator itself. Now I just have to test to make sure it works over Steam's IHS (I think it should, but who knows).
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Yep, I will totally agree that the initial introduction to RL is a complete mess haha. I ended up getting most of the "how to" from the forums from what I remember. Once you get over the initial hump though it's fairly easy to use :)
DOS76 said @polygonslayer thanks for the info I will have to look into getting to work outside of LaunchBox and then see how it goes from there.
Regarding setting up RL in LB I got these command-line parameters for each associated platform: Example for Mega Drive/Genesis: -p LaunchBox -f "C:\Users\xxxxx\LaunchBox\LaunchBox.exe" -s "Sega Genesis" -r The platform (Sega Genesis) at the end needs to be spelled the exact same way as RL does in it's listing. Hope that helps :)1
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