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Lightspeed: Ultra-Fast Mame Importer Tool

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EDIT:
Lightspeed changed quite a lot since it's first introduction and the interface doesn't look like the screenshots below anymore. Please be patient until I find some time to update those. For now, please download the latest beta from here:

Edit by Lordmonkus: READ THIS BEFORE DOWNLOADING AND USING

Just as a warning to anyone wanting to use this, do so at your own risk. It appears to have not been updated in a long time and is reported to cause serious damage to your xml files. The original author of this has also not been on the forums sine April 10, 2017. If you do download and use this and it causes problems please be advised that you will most likely not receive any support for it at all. I won't lock the thread just in case the author returns and updates or if people have something to add to the discussion.If someone can confirm that this is working as intended and not messing anything up please let me know and I will remove this warning but it is HIGHY RECOMMENDED NOT TO DOWNLOAD AND USE THIS IN ITS CURRENT STATE.
 

Version: 0.183 Beta10
Date: 3/19/2017 11:10pm
Installer: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B23vaxsfSk1yS1NCQUJmUmZHaVU
Zip FIle: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B23vaxsfSk1yc21FSkhxanNwblk

tab7.pngtab4-1.pngtab5-1.pngtab6.pngIntroduction: This program was developed as a token of appreciation towards the retro-gaming community. The current state is a combination of my own ideas, the ideas suggested by members of the Launchbox community and ideas borrowed from other softwares that came before it. It was primarily developed to be used in combination with the Launchbox FE, since it didn't have a whole lot of support for importing MAME/Arcade games back in the day, but overtime it evolved into a fully independent list generator that can now be used to create game lists to a variety of FEs. When it comes to Launchbox, it's designed to use local metadata and artwork, so if you already have roms/artwork/support files locally, then you will be able to import your collection into Launchbox, fully configured in just a few seconds, completely filtered and ready to be played, thanks to an extensive number of filters available. Lightspeed is fast and it's free. It's my way of saying “thank you” to a community that helped me many times across almost two decades, directly or indirectly. Thank you and I hope you enjoy it. Can I edit my current data with it? No. Lightspeed is not an editor (yet...). It is an importer, as the name states. It makes it super fast for you to import a brand new Mame collection right into your LaunchBox. If you later on would need to edit the information added, then you will need to use LaunchBox itself (or other third party tools). Does it Support Other Systems, like SNES? No. This is Mame specific (Mess will hopefully come next, sometime in the future) Who is The Target Audience? Someone like me who already has a complete/close to complete Mame collection, including artwork for most games but had not yet migrated the collection into Launchbox. Lightspeed doesn't rely on external websites to collect the metadata (if you already have the included support files download locally) and it will use your own mame artwork collection to populate your library. The metadata collected is probably the most comprehensive you will find in a single place, as it uses recently updated support files from multiple sources. What features does it have?

 

  • Easy to use Wizard interface.
  • Comprehensive Manual (PDF)
  • Top menu bar for quick access to any page of the Wizard.
  • Supports Catver.ini, History.dat, Nplayers.ini, Languages.ini, Series.ini, Mame's output xml file and my own ControlsButtons.ini.
  • Over a hundred individual filters that can be used in combination to produce an incredible amount of possibilities, including filtering by genre, emulation status, decade, clones, control type, number of players, number of buttons, display type, orientation, region, media type, number of screens among many, many others.
  • Removes [] and () tags from game descriptions.
  • Creates CHD dummy ROMS for those CHD based games that do not have a companion ROM, so front-ends can actually import and make those games playable.
  • Creates [TTL] dummy ROMS, so those games can also be imported and be playable from a front-end of your choice
  • The program will store all your settings on exit (as an ini file), so you don't have to check multiple boxes over and over again, every time you use the program. I'm planning to add “save presets”, where you will be able to save and load presets from.
  • No support files are ever merged. All support files are kept as-is and can be easily updated by simply copying newer files over them and any operations requiring access to those support files are handled at memory level, instead of writing files to disk. As a result, the performance is quite good: filtering a whole set of Mame ROMs from about 36,000 ROMs all the way down to a list of 2,600 working games containing no Mature, pinball, fruit machines, devices, clones, Bios etc will take about 25 seconds from beginning to end, including saving the final resulting list and with no time spent on merging external files.
  • You can either generate “offline” lists, where the program doesn't care if you have roms in your system or you can tell Lightspeed to compare that information to your Mame ROMs folder, so the final list(s) will only contain games matching the .zip/.7z files that you actually have in your system.
  • Ability to generate lists containing only the games that match your artwork folders, including, snapshots, flyers/front images, videos and/or wheels/clearlogos. This way you can make sure that only the games which you have snapshots for are imported, for example. Or lists containing only games that you have videos for, videos+snaps, videos+flyers+wheels or any combination of those. No more missing images/videos if you don't like having missing artwork showing up in your front-end.
  • Easily update your support files from within Lightspeed (but please click the links provided in the pop-up to support the support files creators/maintainers).
  • A preset filter for “All Killer No Filler!”, a list of great games compiled by the user “BadMouth” over the Arcade Controls forum.
  • Generates lists by platform using presets for: All Arcade Games, NeoGeo, CPS1, CPS2, CPS3, Cave, PGM, Zinc, Atomiswave, Naomi or Hikaru, individually or in combination.
  • Generate lists by source driver. Everything supported by Mame is listed. You just need to know which one to pick. Just select a driver from the drop-down menu, “stv.cpp” for example, to generate a list containing only Sega STV games. All other filters affect this list as well, so you can fine tune the final result according to your needs.
  • Built-in snapshot preview, so you can verify visually the games being imported into your list.
  • Built-in clone list-view, from where you can selectively add clones to your final output list using a context menu accessible on right-click.
  • Built-in game launcher. Double click any game in either list-view to launch the game in Mame, a quick way to test games when in doubt if you should or not add them into your exported list.
  • Built-in move/copy filtered ROMs and CHDs, so you can now easily create a clean set that precisely matches your exported list, great for populating and synchronizing multiple machines while saving a ton of space since you are only adding the games that you really have, want or actually play.
  • Support for multiple front-end's game list export formats. The current version supports: Launchbox, Attract-mode, Hyperspin, PinballX, Maximus Arcade*, Mala*, mGalaxy, MameUIFX, MameWah (untested), AtomicFE, Advance Menu, Cabrio, XML, Rom list, Description List and Missing Lists for Zip files and CHD folders.
  • Refine your final list even further by selecting and deleting the games your don't want or use F2 to rename the game description before exporting.
  • * Maximus Arcade and Mala require third-party programs to convert the lists generated by Lightspeed to their final format. For more info, please see the links session at the end of this document. Exclusive for the Launchbox Frontend
  • Quickly and easily imports your filtered list of Mame games into Launchbox. This is a completely automated system that will add all necessary metadata and artwork, while setting up emulators, rom paths and platforms automatically. It will also add a ton of filterable custom fields, not originally created by Launchbox. Run Lightspeed, set all paths, press export and re-open launchbox. It's that simple!
  • Imports metadata from History.dat selectively. You can choose what kind of information you want to parse: Bio, Technical, Trivia, Tips&Tricks, Staff, Ports, Scoring and/or Updates.
  • When it comes to the “export” versions of the games, History.dat only mentions that for more information you should refer to the original game, the Japanese version more than often. Lightspeed tries, as much as possible, to extract that information from the original game and recycle that information into the other sister games, so your metadata will actually look more complete since “export”.
  • games will now contain the metadata from the original game.
  • “Prevent Duplicates” prevents the same game from being imported multiple times.
  • Auto-backup of your Launchbox.xml file before it patches it, so you can revert what was done at any time by renaming the file back to "Launchbox.xml".
How To Install it? Download and unzip all contents into any folder of you preference. Try to avoid using "elevated" folders, meaning the ones that require Admin rights ("program files" etc), but if you do, make sure that all files are set to run as admin.

How Does it Work? Please read the manual. It's pretty straight forward! What's up with the name? The program is super fast when it comes to populating LaunchBox with Mame games. The copy/move roms feature is as fast as your computer can copy/move files, so it can take a while. Lightspeed will import a fully filtered, entire Mame collection (around 2700 out of 36000 games) in about 25 seconds (depending on your machine), including filtering and exporting. The filtering system is by far the most comprehensive available, with over 100 filters at your disposal. Is it Buggy? You tell me! It's a Beta :)Screenshots or it didn't happen... Lightspeed_0000_Layer-10.jpgLightspeed_0001_Layer-9.jpgLightspeed_0002_Layer-8.jpgLightspeed_0003_Layer-7.jpgLightspeed_0004_Layer-6.jpgLightspeed_0005_Layer-5.jpgLightspeed_0006_Layer-4.jpgLightspeed_0007_Layer-3.jpgLightspeed_0008_Layer-2.jpgLightspeed_0009_Layer-1.jpg Thank you: To the Launchbox team, especially Jason Carr for the awesome job done on this forntend. To a few guys brave enough to give it a spin while in alpha stage and for all the feature suggestions: DOS76, CADScott, CriticalCid, Drybonz. Cheers, -Kris ps.: moderators, please feel free to delete the other related threads. Thanks!

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Drybonz said If you have been wanting to get your MAME collection in LaunchBox, you need this!
Thanks! Btw, the code is already in there, but I disabled it for now. You will be able to drag-drop any merged set and select what clones you want to split into sets. OR you will be able to create dummy.zip files. Either way you choose will launch the game inside LaunchBox (as long as all clone roms live inside of the merged set, in the case of creating dummy files). Here's the fully working skeleton I'm testing: clonerimporter.png -Kris

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I just finished acquiring a split rom set (because everyone told me to... lol) and have been waiting for your new Lightspeed version to get it set up. Probably will do that today. I think some of the features in Lightspeed (filters, rom moving, merged roms, etc...) are going to fill in some gaps for some MAME users who don't even use Launchbox. I think it's becoming a very helpful tool.

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I love that you added checkboxes for what notes to include. I will probably leave out ports and I'm sure someone else will want those notes, so it's great to have options.

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Just finished with the first import of the new rom set, and looking things over. Everything looks perfect. Very streamlined. The only thing I could even spot as a possible bug, which is pretty insignificant, is it looks like a "blank" emulator entry was added in my list of emulators. Obviously, not a big deal. Looking good.

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Drybonz said The only thing I could even spot as a possible bug, which is pretty insignificant, is it looks like a "blank" emulator entry was added in my list of emulators.
Not sure what happened but this is a good catch. It makes me realize that I don't have a routine in place to compare checkboxes against emulator info. I will add this as well, so in the future, if the checkbox is on but the emulator info is empty, no new emulator wil be created. Thanks! -Kris

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In my last import, 1941 had double entries again... weird that it is only that game. I have not found another example like that. Simple as deleting and manually importing, but thought I would mention it.

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I was wanting to ask that after you import everything,can you change the name of the "Mame" platform to "Arcade"? Would it mess anything up or can you change the name of the platform before you import? Thanks in advance!

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You can I would suggest making a copy of your XML on your own though as I believe that the program also makes one in case you run into an issue.

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I just tried to import mame with the importer and everything seemed to go smoothly until I tried to open launchbox and a popup came up and said my xml file had been corrupted. Thankfully I have a backup xml. I wonder what could be wrong as I kept the importer tool at default for the most part. I put in my mame exe,rom and launchbox xml paths. I then unchecked include chds and changed the videos path and checked off mame and neo geo for platforms to include and checked off all the filters except imperfect and playchoice and then hit GO. I wonder what might be going on as I tried it twice without success?

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Some of the default paths you will want to change... make sure they point to where you have your various files.

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Are you using the stable version or the beta? Jason just updated the program 3 times yesterday possible the tool doesn't work any more. I really don't know. I'm glad you backedup your XML I have the backups in the program but also keep my own backups around just in case I've invested way to much time to lose my setup.

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@Drybonz I don't think it matters where you point it if the XML corrupts every time.

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Sorry, I was trying to edit that I missed that he had changed his paths already, but for some reason the forum is telling me I don't have permissions to edit my posts.

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Yes I have changed the paths to the correct ones and I am on the latest beta.

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As soon as someone else posts you can't edit any more unless you ask Jason for special privileges once you get them the math problems go away too.

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Yeah maybe something Jason did broke the importer but I don't know

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kmoney2315 said I just tried to import mame with the importer and everything seemed to go smoothly until I tried to open launchbox and a popup came up and said my xml file had been corrupted. Thankfully I have a backup xml. I wonder what could be wrong as I kept the importer tool at default for the most part. I put in my mame exe,rom and launchbox xml paths. I then unchecked include chds and changed the videos path and checked off mame and neo geo for platforms to include and checked off all the filters except imperfect and playchoice and then hit GO. I wonder what might be going on as I tried it twice without success?
I'm on the latest Beta (5.9 Beta 9) and it's working on my side. Could you post a screenshot of the error, your windows version and LaunchBox version you are using? A copy of your launchbox.xml would be the best way to investigate! -Kris
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