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What are Software Lists

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"What is a Software List?

Prior to MAME v0.162, MAME had a sister application called MESS (the Multi Emulator Super System) which attempted to do for Consoles, Computers and Handheld devices what MAME was doing for Arcade Machines. Version 0.162 saw these two applications merged into a single app dropping the MESS name in the process.

If you are emulating a console or a computer you will need software to put into it. That is what Software lists are for. They are a curated list of the available software for an emulated (formally MESS) system core.

There are two common set online Software List ROMs and Software List CHDs. If you managed to get all the way to here (well done!) you should know what both of those are now."

Software List for MAME are basically ROMS for consoles, computers and handhelds. The biggest issue is that they are named in a MAMEesque file naming stucture and when imported into LB they won't be recognized as any of the games or match with any metadata. This is one of the options on the latest poll but unfortunately it seems to be below the cutoff point and won't be making it into the program with this round of feature improvements.

This is unfortunate as they would offer a plethora of good things to the end user. For one its an easy obtainable source of ROMs as it is released every month at PleasureDome the same time that the MAME update is released so its pretty readily available. Secondly the SWL contain parents and clones of ROMs which are all identified through the xml files located in the hash folder of your MAME install. This means for those users that like to have different regions of games and prototypes and all that is already included in these sets. Meaning that if LB was to be able to read those xml files it could add the games as additional apps for the parent automatically the same way that it does for the arcade portion of MAME. Thirdly all the SWL CHDs for things like Sega/Mega CD PS1 TurboGraphic/PC Engine CD Saturn Dreamcast would already be available to the end user without converting any files in the smallest compression format currently available. Also since I've brought up disk space the SWL for carts and floppys are also already in the same compressed format that your MAME ROMs are in. Lastly SWL Roms work outside of MAME with other emulators so even if a system doesn't work in MAME you can still use the ROMs in other emulators. Currently the SWL consist of 515 systems (or that is how many individual folders the torrent has) and the SWL CHD set consist of 30 folders (but is over 2TB in size) of course any systems you aren't interested in can easily be deleted if you don't care about keeping your set up to date with what MAME has in it (I do I know many do not care at all).

Obviously at this point this isn't going to make the cut so I was hoping that maybe someone on here would read this and realize what the addition of SWL support could offer the users and that if possible someone that has a little coding skills might be interested in attempting to make a plugin that utilizes the hash folder in MAME to use the xml files to match the title with the ROM name and use the parent clone data to populate the additional apps.  Logistically it would probably need to support a region priority that would override the parent clone relationship and make clones the facing game if they matched your regional preference thus making the parent one of the additional apps instead. Don't know if anyone is capable or willing to do so, shit I don't even really know if a plugin is capable of doing so in the program. I just know I would love to see this supported so I could delete a lot of my ROMs and just use the SWL sets that I keep to have MAME up to date.

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I would love to see this implemented too. Right now, there's no frontend that makes software lists even remotely usable. MAME is a pain in the butt to navigate, MESSUI is deadly slow, and Negatron is just painful. Getting software list support in LB would be huge.

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Do you envision these to get imported into the Arcade Platform?  I think it could get messy to use say the (existing?) Atari 2600 Platform.  Or maybe create a new Platform(s)?  Atari 2600 MESS, Arcade Software, Mame Software Lists or something like that?  

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I personally would get rid of my other ROMs and just use these as my platform Atari 2600. Not really looking to use these in conjunction with other ROM sets but instead of.

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