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ScummVM Tutorial 2 – Copying CD audio files

Several old adventure game titles used CD audio files in order to produce high quality music in-game. These files or tracks are the same format as you will find on a regular audio CD. In order for them to work correctly in ScummVM (or with the _inmm.dll tool), you need to copy these files to your computer. However, you cannot copy them with File Explorer or Windows Explorer like regular files. In order to extract the CD audio tracks, we are going to use a program called CDex.

If you prefer to watch rather than read, check out this handy video tutorial. The video shows how to copy the CD audio from a typical adventure game and then use it in ScummVM.

Using CDex

To get started, first download the program from the official CDex homepage here. Use the link at the top of the page and download version 1.70 beta 4. Once the program has downloaded, simply double click on it or chose “Open” or “Run” from your browsers download manager and follow all on-screen prompts in order to install it. Make sure your adventure game CD-ROM is inserted then start the program once it is installed. A window similar to the one shown below should appear (click on the picture to enlarge it).

scummVM-cdex-step1

At the top of the window (under the “Help” menu) there is a drop down box. This box allows you to choose the optical drive in your PC to use for CD audio extraction. If you don’t see a list of tracks in the bottom of the window, make sure this is set to the optical drive you want to use.

Now you have verified that the correct CD or DVD drive is selected, the next thing to do is change “Track Offset” (circled in red in the picture) from 0 to -1. CDex counts the first track on the CD as the data track, but ScummVM counts the first track as the first CD audio track. By setting the track offset to -1, the program will name the tracks in the same format as ScummVM expects them.

If the game CD you are working with has more than one game on it, you may need to do a little detective work to determine which audio tracks belong to which game.

Setting program options

Before you can extract the audio files, there are several options you need to configure. Click on “Options” at the top of the window and then choose “Settings”. A CDex configuration window will then appear. Choose “Directories & files”.

On this window we first need to choose a “Filename Format”. This tells the software how to name the files as it extracts them. ScummVM expects the tracks to be named “track1”, “track2” etc. In the Filename Format box, enter “track%3” (without the quotation marks). Where the program sees the “%3” it will replace it with the track number, thus naming the files in the correct format.

Before we finish with these settings, we also need to choose a directory for the extracted CD audio files. As you have probably guessed, this is the folder where you copied your games data files (not the ScummVM folder itself). Click on the “…” button next to “Recorded Tracks” and then browse to your games data folder. The picture below shows an example configuration with the Filename Format option set and the data ready to copy to the games data folder on the users D: drive (click on the picture to enlarge it).

scummVM-cdex-set-paths

Once you have configured these options, click on “Encoders” under “Encoding” on the left hand side of the screen to open up the encoding options.

On the Encoders window, you need to choose an Encoder. In the drop down box choose either “FLAC Encoder DLL” or “Lame MP3 Encoder”. FLAC files are slightly higher quality (theoretically they are exactly the same quality as when played directly from the CD) but have a higher file size. MP3 files are smaller but not quite as good quality, though many people cannot tell the difference. If you choose MP3 files, you must choose “Disabled” under “VBR Method”. Under “Bitrate Min” choose at least 128kbps. The other options can be left as the defaults. Note – If you’re using _inmm.dll and not ScummVM, we recommend always using MP3 files. You can also use VBR with _inmm.dll if you wish.

Once you have chosen your encoding settings, click on “OK”. The last step is to select all the audio tracks (but not the data track) and then click on the “Extract CD track(s) to Compressed Audio Files” button. Click on the first audio track in the list, then hold down shift and click on the last track to select them all, then click on the second button from the top on the button bank on the right of the window. The button is circled in red in the picture below (click on the picture to enlarge it).

scummVM-cdex-start-extract

If you followed all the steps correctly, you should now have the extracted CD audio files in your games directory. You are now ready to play your game with full music!

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