Screenshot fixes

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PeterJ
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Re: Screenshot fixes

Post by PeterJ » Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:53 am

Hi, yes the database in this case ZXDB is the structure. It doesn't contain any files, screens or other material. It stores directory paths for files. SC stores those files in the places where ZXDB expects to see them. This is just the same as other sites which use ZXDB.

We are all keen to store any material which helps preserve things for future generations. If you want to preserve anything just get in contact and we will find a place to store it, and make it publicly available.
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Einar Saukas
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Re: Screenshot fixes

Post by Einar Saukas » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:01 pm

richl wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:18 pm
Ast A. Moore wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:21 pm
I think it’s best to take ZXDB for what it is—a database, rather than a preservation archive. Some compromises have to be made.
I agree but aren't the screenshots we're talking about just those that are hosted by Spectrum Computing (i.e. part of the archive here), they're not actually part of zxdb as such... right? By that I mean anyone can set up their own site based on zxdb and choose to do whatever they want with regard to screenshots etc... or have I goofed? I thought the database just holds info on the titles such as author(s), publishers, all that sort of thing; it doesn't have anything to do with specific screenshots, inlays etc. and any archive is just a separate entity that uses zxdb as a sort of index or whatever a better term may be.
Kinda :)

ZXDB is just a database, that holds info on the titles such as author(s), publishers, all that sort of thing. It doesn't contain any files. However it also indexes external files at WoS, Spectrum Computing, Archive.org, and a few other sources. Choosing external files to be indexed (therefore what's the screenshot that will be displayed for a certain game) is also part of ZXDB responsibility.
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Einar Saukas
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Re: Screenshot fixes

Post by Einar Saukas » Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:21 pm

Ast A. Moore wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:21 pm
My understanding is that the strive for “authenticity” can sometimes outweigh usefulness, practicality, or representativeness. So, no animated GIFs, I’m afraid.
That's the general rule. ZXDB strives for authenticity, and original unedited unconverted SCR screens is the closest we can get to fully authentic material.

However in rare cases where an SCR cannot represent a loading screen accurately, and an animated GIF does a better job, then I think it's reasonable to make an exception. Martijn originally created an animated GIF for Heavy on the Magick, I think it was a good idea in this case. I previously remove this GIF because I thought it was redundant but you all made a good point here, so I have reconsidered and it will be back in the next update. Thanks for bringing this up!

Ast A. Moore wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:21 pm
The long, short, and curly of it is that loading screens (and in-game screens) are not necessarily what the user would see on the screen, but rather the 6192 bytes that occupied the emulated display file at the moment of capture. There are some exceptions of course. For example, MLT files are used instead of SCR for capturing some tricky (mostly multicolor) screens.
This is a different problem. I was going to suggest Fuse to implement saving SCR exactly like MLT, but I forgot about it. Thanks for reminding me! I will do it now.

Ast A. Moore wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:21 pm
Still, there’s no way to retain the border or some other special effects.
In rare cases where border effects are really important, ZXDB also makes an exception. See for instance Bordertrix and Rotatrix.

Ast A. Moore wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:21 pm
I think it’s best to take ZXDB for what it is—a database, rather than a preservation archive. Some compromises have to be made.
ZXDB tries to be both. Sometimes it's a trade-off, and I realize it's not perfect. Constructive criticism is always welcome! I try to be open for suggestions and reconsider decisions whenever it makes sense, like in this case about a Heavy on the Magick animated GIF.
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Einar Saukas
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Re: Screenshot fixes

Post by Einar Saukas » Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:38 pm

Ralf wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:28 am
I can confirm - yes, tzx images don't capture everything.
I have seen cassettes with some tones or music marking start or end of the programs. I have even seen programs with some human voice announcing program title. It's lost when converting to tzx.
True.

Whenever a tape has extra sound (such as music between programs or a voice recorded story), it's certainly worth it to preserve everything, either as WAV or MP3. If you have this kind of material, please send it! We will find a place to store it, and get it referenced in ZXDB too.

In the remaining 99.9% of cases, then TZX is a perfectly accurate representation of all program blocks. Usually the only difference between TZX and original WAV is extra noise from the cassette, that's different for each cassette copy anyway. I see no possible reason to preserve random noise. But I'm open to arguments otherwise. :)
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