Everybody wants to play their favorite games on an
emulator. If that particular program is not
converted to an emulator file yet or you just want to try for yourself, the
following programs will come in handy.
There are 3 ways of converting programs from real tapes:
Directly load them into your emulator
Not many emulators can do this. To name a few:
Notice that you can usually only make a snapshot once loaded. Only Z80 can
create TAP files while loading (so this only works for ROM-saved programs)
ZXAM and Spectrum v1.7 only load ROM-saved programs though.
Use a program that converts real-time
TAPER v2.04 and up (PC/DOS) by ThunderWare Research Center,
MakeTZX v2.0 and up (PC/DOS),
MakeTZX (Unix) and
MakeTZX (Amiga) by Ramsoft,
(PC/DOS) by Rui Ribeiro.
This program samples and stores in TAP format, and therefor can only
handle ROM-saved programs. Custom loaders are off...
Reader v2.00 (PC/Windows) by
Saves out in the TZX format!
The program is still fully in development and at the moment only
ROM-timed blocks and fully generic turbo loaders can be handled
(and the user needs to know the exact timing values of turbo loaders).
Sample and convert in 2 stages
This technique should give the best results and can be used to convert any
(Spectrum) tape you will find.
The first stage is sampling your real tape. This can be done with any decent
sampler program, or with dedicated Spectrum sampling programs such as
READVOC and READSB that come with the registered version of Z80.
It's important that the sampling program can save directly to disk (as such
samples are usually several megabytes in size), but without generating gaps
at the locations where it saves data. You will want to save in VOC format
and 8-bit mono. If your sampler program does not understand VOC files,
simply save in a format that it does understand (e.g. WAV) and convert the
resulting file to VOC (e.g. with SOX).
The higher the sampling rate, the easier the next stage will be.
The second stage is converting the sound sample file to an emulator file.
Several utilities are available these days, and most of them create files in
the new TZX format:
As far as I know, only TAPER can save at other
formats (such as TAP).
EMULATOR BACK TO REAL SPECTRUM
If you own an actual ZX Spectrum, you may want to play the games on the real
thing. So, you will want to upload the programs from the emulator files.
The choise you have depends on the type of emulator file you wish to upload.
In stead of transferring to a Spectrum, you can of course also write (back) to
Tape files (TAP, TZX, LTP, ZXS, etc)
These are easy to understand. Just pick up a copy of one of the following
Otherwise you must convert the snapshot to tape file yourself and use one of
the programs in the first section.
Converting can be done either with an emulator, if it emulates the
Multiface interface and understands tape files, or with external software.
Other tools include: