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Moving Non Sega 8-bit VGM Packs to their own-site
Post Posted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:03 pm
We're all very happy that non Sega 8-bit VGM took off, but I think it would be good if they eventually found their way into their own site because this forum became really off-topic lately :)

We won't kick you off in urgency of course, but can some of you organize setupping a site? With a PHPBB+Attachment enabled it would cover everything that SMS Power provided, shouldn't be too difficult. Happy to keep ties and maybe discussion about VGM tools etc, but we can't really host every non Sega 8-bit VGM packs in the future - and I hope/imagine there will be many!.
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:26 pm
Bock, I was actually about to post a thread about this in the next days, you beat me by a few days :)
I might as well get serious and post my thoughts about this matter in this thread.
As I said a few times in the past I am seriously willing to register and maintain a website with a hypotetical name such as vgmrips.org or something similar. However there are a few issues that should be pointed out. First of all, the legality of said vgm rips. While Sega and the other guys probably don't care about vgm rips being made and shared, and it's probably considered fair use, it's also true that many hosting companies (such as the one I use for other websites I maintain) explicitly forbid the hosting of illegal content, no matter what. I actually asked about this on ocremix.org using one of my various alternate accounts (since I'm banned there for no good reason, I made at least 12 alternate accounts, but that's another story) a few days ago, in preparation for this very project: http://ocremix.org/forums/showthread.php?t=37364
That said: I am completely able to set up a forum similar to this one, but I don't believe attachments are the way to go, and I'd rather take the project2612 route, with a submission system (such as an email address where people send their rips) and download pages for all the rips, possibly sortable by category (system, genre, ...) and/or tag, where only the staff can upload "approved" packs.
Right, the staff. I'm up to help with this, and as I said I can set up a functional forum in just a matter of hours is needed, but I would need some help to set up the PHP frontend for the download pages themselves, as I never did anything like that. There are probably some good freeware solutions around, but I never really looked into them. As for the actual staff, ValleyBell in a PM told me he'd be willing to help as well, and I believe that his support is a must since he's basically carrying over the vgm format by his own these days; additionally I think Maxim's help would be much appreciated as well.

So, in a nutshell. Legality is the first issue, and technical aspects are a close second. Once those are settled I wouldn't be surprised if we can launch something by the end of this year.

I'll probably post a similar brainstorming thread on project2612 eventually as well, to gather more feedback on the best way to do things.
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:29 pm
Quote
blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

Don't worry and do it!
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:06 pm
I think the first thing to do (and biggest problem it seems) is to find a hoster for the website.

If that problem is solved, the rest should be a piece of cake, I guess.
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:25 pm
If you can purchase a domain name and setup the site yourself we can host you for a while (just don't loose sight of eventually finding an host :). Its a better solution for both anyway since it gets you started and we're hosting it right now anyway, so it could be as well on a different domain.
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:50 pm
I would advocate using a wiki system for ease of collaboration, especially if you lack a web designer/developer. Saying that, some forum software has well developed file download systems as well.
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:55 pm
Last edited by Wraithverge on Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:57 pm
Nah, Bock is right, but you can't know the story behind me, I'm as random as it can get, I might procrastinate for months until I actually do something for real. I just like to have everything set and clear ideas on how to do things, I'm not someone who would jump into a pool without knowing how to swim, despite this being the best way to learn how to swim.
Don't worry, though, I am having some ideas and I confirm that we'll probably be able to get something functional up by the end of the year.
I realised later that the files can be hosted somewhere, after all I'm the guy who's hosting a rom mirror, so...

Trust me, you won't be disappointed. Maybe.
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:20 pm
Yes sorry it was just a gentle push headed toward Tom's habit to procrastinate sometimes :)

Honnestly my thoughts are:
- You should not rely on MediaFire. Those things are flaky and opaque as hell. Get yourself a virtual machine on any Unix box (many geeks have one) and you can move it around if necessary.
- You should not worry about legala aspect of things too much. As long as you aren't abusing no one gonna come after you. As proven by the fact that SMS Power! has been up for fifteen years now.
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Post Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:27 am
I agree, Mediafire and variants sucks, and people in certain countries even ban those sites, just like torrents.

If I selected a site, I'd find or make a free site for uploading stuff like this, But there is one easy suggestion: Google Sites
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Post Posted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 12:27 pm
Last edited by Wraithverge on Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 1:47 am
I suggest a FTP site, like kss.joshw.info or ftp.modland.com...
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Post Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:52 am
Since this thread should be used to address issues, I'll crosspost a message from another thread:
Wraithverge wrote
Another request: In the future, could y'all please include the console- / machine-name after the title-name in the file-name, so that it will avoid confusion (not to mention, potential file-name clashes) about the pack's system-of-origin?
I have to agree with this one, as I already had problems with some packs with the same name (8-bit and 16-bit Sonic, not to mention the (at least) 3 different versions of Outrun), so I had to manually rename the zip files. I can see how smspower and project2612 aren't going to rename their huge collections of vgm files, so the contents of Sonic_the_Hedgehog.zip will always be a mystery until you actually open the file, but I don't think it would be a bad idea to settle a new naming convention for non-8-bit and non-16-bit packs.
There are some ways to do this:
  1. Arcade_Outrun.zip
  2. YM2151_Outrun.zip
  3. Outrun_(Arcade).zip
  4. Outrun_(YM2151).zip
  5. Arcade_Outrun_(YM2151).zip
  6. Please suggest other ones if you have better ideas
Option 4 is similar to what we've been doing for the YM2413 Master System packs, which have the (FM) suffix in their filenames. Options 1 and 3 are inaccurate to some extent, as there can be various versions of the same game on the same console/system (case in point: the YM2413 Master System games); options 2 and 4 might be too technical for the random user, not to mention potential issues with multiple chips (I admit I wouldn't want to see things like Sonic_the_Hedgehog_(YM2612,_SN76489).zip). Options 1 and 2 would allow for easy sorting by console/chip; option 4 (and to some extent option 3) would be similar to the existing system. Option 5 would probably be the best of both worlds, as it would allow for sorting AND it would easily disambiguate between different versions; the filename would be a bit long, but eh, the 8.3 days ended more than 15 years ago by now.
Ideas? Opinions? All of the above? :O
Perhaps a dynamic download page written in php with a couple of option boxes: "[ ]prepend/append (console)/(chip) to the filename", which, if not checked, will give you Outrun.zip plain and clean, but, if checked, will give you a customised filename. Of course such an option should be cookie-based or the downloader would need to check those options all the times.
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Post Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:24 pm
Last edited by Maxim on Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
In general, the zips only last as long as it takes to unzip them into a sensible place - except for the strange cases of people with music players that support zipped files. As such, I'd expect people to organise them into some structure anyway, e.g. directories per system, hence no conflict between SMS Power! and P2612. VGM7z is another issue, of course.

I suggest keeping things simple and getting something going in an imperfect state instead of worrying too much. Files can be renamed later, but worrying about these sorts of details is a dangerous form of procrastination.
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Post Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:32 pm
I agree - don't worry about such small details.

I personally would use option 3. It works well - I have "Tetris (S16)" and "Tetris_(SystemE)" in my archive.
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:05 am
Last edited by Wraithverge on Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:28 pm
I don't think it is a very common occurence for system to have chip variations and thus including the chip name in package sounds rather unnecessarily geeky to me.

I would go for:

Out Run (Arcade)

With maybe specific tagging for the non default case

Out Run (Arcade, Rainbow Course Edition)
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:32 pm
Tom wrote
I can see how smspower and project2612 aren't going to rename their huge collections of vgm files

And actually, renaming is what we do best really :) A lot of what I've been doing for years involve renaming and tagging stuff.
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:44 pm
Bock wrote
Rainbow Course


This can be a reference of Non Sega game (and from a rival company!)
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Post Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:56 am
Last edited by Wraithverge on Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:49 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Post Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 3:13 pm
Maybe I should clarify better my position about this since I have a feeling that my words have been misinterpreted.
While I said I would be up to register a domain and maintain the new website to some extent, I never said (yet) that I'm actually going to do it. My hope is that someone else, more qualified than me, would step up and take this challenge.
If nobody else is interested, well, I will bite the bullet and do it myself, but I want to wait a few more days, just in case someone pops up and says "hey I have a free server you can use" or something like that. In which case I would definitely be up to collaborate.
Let's put it in this way: if by the end of november nobody else made serious claims, I will proceed by my own.
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Post Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:44 pm
Hi guys,

I kinda happen to work in this industry and currently I do have a virtual web host with not many real bandwidth limitations, the server is housed in the Primus DC in Adelaide, and yes I have personally seen the hardware its hosted on myself, and I do work with the guy who hosts it (its a good friend of mine), I can't remember how much space I physically have but we are talking about VGM packs, most of them are quite small so im willing to host and/or mirror these VGM files, even if the main site sits on another server.

I could also speak to my boss at work, see what sort of pricing he could do me on a shared hosting solution on either our cPanel host, or Plesk machines, its no real trouble for me.

I know im not overly active on this site much nowadays, but I still do check over the forums most days of the week :)

Let me know your thoughts!
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 3:59 pm
Last edited by Wraithverge on Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:49 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:30 am
@Wraithverge

My hosting is all ready to go, infact there is a site sitting on it at the moment, but that can be changed.. (Its just where I develop websites)

https://shared02.afoyi.com/~adelaideconcertband.org.au/

All we need to do is either
A. Register a domain then point appropriate A records etc
B. Ask these guys for a subdomain, however I would recommend just making a completely different website to this, maybe keep the same themes etc but yeah make it a place of your own...

I am not an over technical guy, I just happen to work in the industry and am able to offer you guys this stuff (and yes im happy to pay for it, ive been with this community for a while, and I feel I should give something back in return for their friendship over the years).
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:09 pm
Last edited by Wraithverge on Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:44 pm
Wraithverge, please stay on-topic and straight to the point on this forum. Your signal-to-noise ratio isn't good.

I propose ValleyBell, Sonic of 8! or Tom purchase a domain name. We're fine helping with the hosting for a while to get your started as mentioned above. *EDIT* Else note that we could host you on subdomain as well.
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:59 pm
Sorry, but I cannot purchase a domain (I'm not work).
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Disregard everything i said :)
Post Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:44 pm
That just occured to me - considering the fact that we've moved all the Non Sega 8-bit VGM threads into their own topic. you're welcome to stay here as long as you want. I'm happy with that. :)
Originally the intent to what to find a solution to the fact that half of the forum view were Non Sega 8-bit thread, with topic merged its not an issue anymore.

(In the process Wraithverge decided to delete all his messages including the legit sections. Sorry for that, it's unfortunately out of our control.)
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Post Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:00 am
Last edited by Tom on Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:08 am; edited 1 time in total
Facts:
  • I'm not going to register a domain or purchase any webspace from the host I use for other serious websites I maintain, because they're very strict with illegal stuff and I don't want them to terminate my account (I know, Sega doesn't care, but my host does). As I said I would be up to register a domain there and put only the forum on their webspace, but the actual vgm files must be hosted somewhere else (e.g. a dropbox account or even a digilander webspace like the one I use for the rom mirror, since they don't seem to care). However it might be possible that even incouraging the sharing of copyrighted material could be enough for my host to be unhappy, so I'd rather not risk that if someone else can purchase domain and webspace from a host that doesn't mind very much about these things.
  • I have a fully functional and completely modded phpBB2 forum, yes phpBB2, I don't like phpBB3, and this one is so modded that it's awesome anyway (more than 100 official mods plus lots of custom code I wrote), I can install it in mere minutes on any server which supports php and a mysql database. Using a forum in a wise way can avoid us the need to create download pages for the vgm packs. How? Simple, a subforum for each system (arcade, neo geo pocket, ...), with a thread for every vgm pack for that system. Of course the default thread sorting method for those subforums would be alphabetical and not chronological. In this way the description and the download link can be put in the first post, and the thread itself can be used to post comments and/or report issues about the vgm pack. Of course only staff members would be able to post new threads in those subforums. Other subforums in another section can contain guides and other general informations / FAQ.
  • This time I'm not waiting because of my usual procrastination habits, I'm seriously concerned about the legality issues to begin with, and I'm also not sure if I would be the best one to maintain this website, as I would design it in a certain way with the forum in mind, and maybe some people would disagree with me (for example I don't believe in attachments so the submission process would be different).
  • That said, I confim I would be up to be part of the staff, including but not limiting to being a forum moderator even if the forum won't be the one I provide (e.g. you might like IPB2 or vBulletin more, but I still believe phpBB2 is the best if you mod it right).
  • I don't have a job either, but I am up to contribute to a reasonable extent if money is needed.
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Post Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:08 am
How to moving the releases from the mirrors that distributes the SMS Power! ROM releases?
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Post Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 7:24 am
I'm a student, so I also can't purchase a domain. Sorry.
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Post Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:30 am
I would consider buying a domain if necessary since the "core" is made up of people in that magical "no money, lots of time" world I used to inhabit, and now I'm in "no time, but enough money for a .org for a few years". For now we can start with a subdomain of this site as it's free. Are you going to go with Jacko's hosting? Any ideas on a domain? I like the sound of vgmpower.org...
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Post Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 7:28 pm
If Jacko's host supports php and a mysql database, then yes, it would be great. Without php we'd need to rely on static pages, e.g. create a page by hand for each and every vgm pack, and forget about a forum.
Note that the vgm packs themselves can still be hosted somewhere else (like, as I said, a dropbox account, since it provides direct links to files), so the server disk space / bandwidth requirements would be very very low, just enough to store the forum and its database.
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Post Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:08 pm
Good day folks, allow me to offer my server for hosting the site until it takes off (read: as long as the server can handle it =P)

I can provide the following: A home-server built by myself and hosted in collaboration with my friend and me. It is located in the Netherlands and has ~15MB/s downstream, and ~2MB/S upstream (MB, not MBit).

It runs Apache2 (from xampp), has MySQL and PHP support. Available disk space would be around 20-40GB, and unlimited traffic per month.

Until your domain name kicks in, you could pick any subdomain you like (x.mdscene.net).

I'd suggest allvgm or something (since it shouldn't only contain rips and remakes, but also original music composed on old machines).

Cheers,
Oerg866
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Post Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:17 pm
Awesome, we have a winner. I'll try to set up something during the weekend, I have A LOT of stuff to translate since all the mods I did to my forum are in Italian >_>
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 1:26 am
According to PackList.txt there are 73 existing packs so far. Since I can't perform bulk downloads from Mediafire (and I hate Mediafire in general), would it be possible for ValleyBell (or anyone else) to prepare a gigantic archive (either zip or rar) that contains all the packs (yes, a zip file with zip files inside it) and send it to me via email? I'm not sure if my mailbox has an upper limit but if the gigantic archive is bigger than 10 megabytes you might split it into 2 or 3 parts just in case -- just don't send me 73 emails or that would defeat the point.

Also sorry if -once again- I am late with this, but I've had a quite bad week.
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:12 pm
The archive has 46.1 MB. (Honestly I thought it would be larger.)
5 E-Mails or Mediafire?
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 3:06 pm
Probably Mediafire is better. I totally overlooked the size of the archives.
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:06 pm
I put it into the VGM Pack folder.
But you can also use the direct link.
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:10 pm
Thanks. Feel free to take it down now if there is a size limit to your mediafire account.
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Post Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:39 am
There's no traffic or size limit that I know of.
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:54 pm
Everything is almost ready. I hope to launch it by this week.
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:23 pm
Hold on a second, maybe I was trying to be over-zealous when I wanted to come up with a consistent naming format, but, come on, most of those packs are full of crap, and not only when it comes to the names (which are quite inconsistent, but that's the last problem as of now).
No I won't calm down.
Whoever took the screenshot for the Neo Geo Bios should be shot in the forehead, and what's with the "screenshot" for Puzzle Bobble? Who can even THINK about doing something like that?
Furthermore: the .zip files and the .png files weren't optimised. I ran them through deflopt.exe but only God knows if the zip files were created with optimal compression and the png files were pngout'd, I am not going to double check 73 packs at the same time, this is something that should have been done pack after pack to settle some sort of standard while we were still in time.
Also: zip files that contain png files with a different name. Wasn't this a standard on both smspower and project2612?
Lemmings_DOS and Columns (MSX, FM)? Why is the system name fluctuating like this?
Tetris (S16) and Tetris_(SystemE)? Spaces or underscores?
Man you have no idea how much I feel like giving up right now. But I never leave things half done, I will finish with the forum and with the uploads, and only then I'll step aside, making ValleyBell an admin or something.
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:40 pm
Now you see why it took me 10 years to fail to get the VGM section on here sorted out :)

One option is to say "to hell with it" and post the files anyway, and maybe have a way to tag the problems and make it easy-ish for people to upload fixed versions. So far we've had zero fixes submitted for the "help wanted" on VGM files here.

For the compression thing, I have a script to recompress everything automatically (and rename the PNG file). Doing that by hand would suck.

http://www.smspower.org/Music/Help-VGMPackStandards#PackingHelper

Making people provide square images is a constant struggle :) and personalised non-standard .txt files... *sigh*
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:48 pm
Either way I just found a major problem with Oerg's server: I can't get it to send activation emails, neither from the standard phpBB2 emailer, nor from an external smtp server, and this is bad.
ValleyBell tried to register, and I had to activate him by hand. So I tried to create a few test accounts and I never got a confirmation email for any of them.
I hope Oerg and I can find a solution for this.
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:29 pm
Well Tom that's the way it is, trying to get something good often requires solving a bunch of problems. Don't get discouraged and work things out step by step :)
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:34 pm
Tom wrote
the .zip files and the .png files weren't optimised. I ran them through deflopt.exe but only God knows if the zip files were created with optimal compression and the png files were pngout'd, I am not going to double check 73 packs at the same time, this is something that should have been done pack after pack to settle some sort of standard while we were still in time.
Some of the early packs that were not made by me had unoptimized PNGs, I know that. (All ZIPs are made with kzip.) I updated my script to pngout the screenshots before packing shortly after you complained about it. (Windows says that the pngout.exe in my folder was created on 29 June 2011, so all packs packed after that date are optimized.)

Tom wrote
Also: zip files that contain png files with a different name. Wasn't this a standard on both smspower and project2612?
I only made sure that the png name matches the playlist and description file.

Tom wrote
Lemmings_DOS and Columns (MSX, FM)? Why is the system name fluctuating like this?
That's because the "_DOS" was a last-minute-addition (my file is called Lemmings.zip only) and it was one of the earlier files. Same for Final Fantasy MSX.
MSX has the "FM" note, because there's also a PSG version of it. (You know that from SMS games.)

Tom wrote
Tetris (S16) and Tetris_(SystemE)? Spaces or underscores?
I noticed the mistake just after completing the upload, but haven't renamed them since then, sorry.
(And yes, I know the naming format is very inconsistent in general, SORRY.)

At least I made sure that the txt-files and playlists are standardized. (And that the VGMs have no errors.)

btw: I gave up on making square images for my packs, because it takes my quite long to make them. (and I don't want to simply crop them and make them look terrible)
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:54 pm
To be honest I actually like the idea to use actual screenshots instead of made-up square images.
Now that I calmed down I agree that the priority should be to get everything online in a reasonable state. The lack of optimisation isn't likely to eat *that* much space, and files can be renamed later (but not MUCH later, since it will take more and more time).

Right now the main real problem is the fact that I can't get Oerg's server to send emails and he isn't replying right now so we can't rely on activation emails and I've set the forum on admin activation for now. I created a dedicated email address for this, [email protected] (reversed to discourage bots), but even if I tell the forum to use yahoo's smtp server it still doesn't work.

On retrospect my post looked a bit like a rant so I apologise about it and I confirm my full support for this project. Once all the packs are uploaded we shall take a few days to review and standardise them. And future packs will have to be validated in a better way to begin with.
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:12 pm
Congrats Tom, sounds like you have things sorted out :) Please let me know if you need help with anything at all with the site. Does PHPBB do any stupid email relaying? Have you tried sending test emails out through telnet to see if they are ok? Any stupid settings in the DNS zones anywhere? Just a few simple things to check for with your email problem.

I haven't closely been following all the packs being released because they weren't in a consolidated place, but this should make my life a lot easier.

Thanks again for all your hard work!
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:10 am
Sadly I don't have low level access to Oerg's server, so I could only report this issue to him, I hope he will look into it. For now I am temporarily on hiatus waiting for the development.

EDIT: fixed.
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