Burning Mega-CD ISO+mp3 rips to CD-R

Discussion in 'Engineering & Reverse Engineering' started by Elusive, Mar 23, 2005.

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  1. Elusive

    Elusive

    Sparkster the Rocket Knight Member
    Hi there. This is Elusive, bringing you another useful general tutorial. This time, I'll be instructing you on how to burn ISO and MP3 rips of 'Mega CD' (or Sega-CD for American readers) games to CD-Rs.<BR>
    The advantages of this are not only freed up hard drive space, but also should you have a real Mega-CD it will allow you to play your 'backups' on the real hardware. I hope that this is newbie-friendly, if you need any clarification just give me a shout. If anybody spots any glaring errors, feel free to correct me.<BR>
    <BR>
    <U>WHY HAVE I DONE THIS?</U><BR>
    Because I'm a nice guy. =P No, I really wanted to share information that isn't readily and easily accessible from your standard Google search. While this seems fairly complicated at first (especially to emulation newbies in general), it is really a fairly simple process once you have the basics learnt.<BR>
    With this tutorial you will also learn the basics of how a Mega-CD game disc is structured, and vaguely how a CUEsheet works.<BR>
    <BR>
    It should also be noted that I am assuming that you know how to run an emulator, set up Mega-CD BIOS files, load a CD-R into a drive, and so on. If not, you should'nt really be using a computer. Go for a walk or plant a tree or something. =P<BR>
    <BR>
    I will also use the term 'Mega-CD' for the console, and 'Mega-CD disc' for the game - American readers can substitute 'Sega-CD' and 'Sega-CD disc' with no hassle, doing the same with replacing 'Mega Drive' with 'Genesis'. This will avoid clumsy 'Mega/Sega-CD console', 'Mega Drive/Genesis' faffing around. Also, emulation-heads will notice I only use ISO+MP3 rips in this tutorial, rather than the more accurate BIN+CUE system. I am using ISO+MP3 because is is the most common and easy-to-use form of rip available. This is the format most convenient to view/rip, and besides I only have experience in ISO rips. All I'm doing is spreading my knowledge, folks.<BR>
    For my tutorial, I will use 'Sonic CD', the European version.<BR>
    <BR>
    <U>TO DO THIS YOU WILL REQUIRE</U><BR>
    An ISO+MP3 rip of your chosen game - obviously. I can't tell you where to get these from, but for legal purposes I'm assuming you've ripped your own games (mm-hm...).<BR>
    A CD burning program that can handle .cue</B> files. If you're not sure, check the Help/About file that should have come with your software. I'm using Nero in this tutorial; however, you can use any CD burning program you like that supports .cue files.<BR>
    A spare CD-R - but this should be blindingly obvious.<BR>
    <BR>
    <U>BEFORE YOU START</U><BR>
    <B>1</B> - Make sure that you have all the necessary files in one directory. If you're like me, and have a central 'ROMs' directory, your rip should be placed into a convenient folder. Mine is currently in 'Sonic CD (E)'.<BR>
    <B>2</B> - Your directory's contents should look like this: 'Sonic CD (E).iso'; 'Sonic CD (E) 02.mp3'; 'Sonic CD (E) 03.mp3' and so on. If not, rename them properly. you'll see why this is neccesary to play the game in an emulator later.<BR>
    <B>3</B> - The .iso file is important. If you open it up in a program such as WinRAR, you will see a load of files, some .BIN, some .MMD, some .TXT, and so on. None of these are important, and you shouldn't fiddle with them. Just leave them in their ISO file, you don't need to extract them or anything.<BR>
    <B>4</B> - Make sure your CD is fresh and clean. The dirtier your CD, the less the chance there is of your game burning to CD. Again, this may seem blindingly obvious, but still.<BR>
    <B>5</B> - Make sure your emulator of choice is set up correctly - I use Kega Fusion, but the choice is not necessary. Make sure the BIOS files for the Mega-CD are set up correctly, you'll need them to run Mega-CD games. How to do this will be documented in the readme file for your emulator. RTFM!!11
    <BR>
    <U>THE PROCESS</U><BR>
    <B>1</B> Find your ISO+MP3 rip in its folder, using Windows Explorer.<BR>
    <B>2</B> Fire up Notepad, and copy out what's typed below. You'll have to replace asterisks with spaces.<BR>
    <BR>
    FILE "Sonic CD (E).iso" BINARY<BR>
    **TRACK 01 MODE1/2048<BR>
    ******INDEX 01 00:00:00<BR>
    ******POSTGAP 00:02:00<BR>
    FILE "Sonic CD (E) 02.mp3" MP3<BR>
    **TRACK 02 AUDIO<BR>
    ****PREGAP 00:02:00<BR>
    ****INDEX 01 00:00:00<BR>
    FILE "Sonic CD (E) 03.mp3" MP3<BR>
    **TRACK 03 AUDIO<BR>
    ****INDEX 01 00:00:00<BR>
    FILE "Sonic CD (E) 04.mp3" MP3<BR>
    **TRACK 04 AUDIO<BR>
    ****INDEX 01 00:00:00<BR>
    FILE "Sonic CD (E) 05.mp3" MP3<BR>
    **TRACK 05 AUDIO<BR>
    ****INDEX 01 00:00:00<BR>
    FILE "Sonic CD (E) 06.mp3" MP3<BR>
    **TRACK 06 AUDIO<BR>
    ****INDEX 01 00:00:00<BR>
    FILE "Sonic CD (E) 07.mp3" MP3<BR>
    **TRACK 07 AUDIO<BR>
    ****INDEX 01 00:00:00<BR>
    FILE "Sonic CD (E) 08.mp3" MP3<BR>
    **TRACK 08 AUDIO<BR>
    ****INDEX 01 00:00:00<BR>
    FILE "Sonic CD (E) 09.mp3" MP3<BR>
    **TRACK 09 AUDIO<BR>
    ****INDEX 01 00:00:00<BR>
    FILE "Sonic CD (E) 10.mp3" MP3<BR>
    **TRACK 10 AUDIO<BR>
    ****INDEX 01 00:00:00<BR>
    FILE "Sonic CD (E) 11.mp3" MP3<BR>
    **TRACK 11 AUDIO<BR>
    ****INDEX 01 00:00:00<BR>
    FILE "Sonic CD (E) 12.mp3" MP3<BR>
    **TRACK 12 AUDIO<BR>
    ****INDEX 01 00:00:00<BR>
    FILE "Sonic CD (E) 13.mp3" MP3<BR>
    **TRACK 13 AUDIO<BR>
    ****INDEX 01 00:00:00<BR>
    FILE "Sonic CD (E) 14.mp3" MP3<BR>
    **TRACK 14 AUDIO<BR>
    ****INDEX 01 00:00:00<BR>
    FILE "Sonic CD (E) 15.mp3" MP3<BR>
    **TRACK 15 AUDIO<BR>
    ****INDEX 01 00:00:00<BR>
    FILE "Sonic CD (E) 16.mp3" MP3<BR>
    **TRACK 16 AUDIO<BR>
    ****INDEX 01 00:00:00<BR>
    FILE "Sonic CD (E) 17.mp3" MP3<BR>
    **TRACK 17 AUDIO<BR>
    ****INDEX 01 00:00:00<BR>
    FILE "Sonic CD (E) 18.mp3" MP3<BR>
    **TRACK 18 AUDIO<BR>
    ****INDEX 01 00:00:00<BR>
    FILE "Sonic CD (E) 19.mp3" MP3<BR>
    **TRACK 19 AUDIO<BR>
    ****INDEX 01 00:00:00<BR>
    FILE "Sonic CD (E) 20.mp3" MP3<BR>
    **TRACK 20 AUDIO<BR>
    ****INDEX 01 00:00:00<BR>
    FILE "Sonic CD (E) 21.mp3" MP3<BR>
    **TRACK 21 AUDIO<BR>
    ****INDEX 01 00:00:00<BR>
    FILE "Sonic CD (E) 22.mp3" MP3<BR>
    **TRACK 22 AUDIO<BR>
    ****INDEX 01 00:00:00<BR>
    FILE "Sonic CD (E) 23.mp3" MP3<BR>
    **TRACK 23 AUDIO<BR>
    ****INDEX 01 00:00:00<BR>
    FILE "Sonic CD (E) 24.mp3" MP3<BR>
    **TRACK 24 AUDIO<BR>
    ****INDEX 01 00:00:00<BR>
    FILE "Sonic CD (E) 25.mp3" MP3<BR>
    **TRACK 25 AUDIO<BR>
    ****INDEX 01 00:00:00<BR>
    FILE "Sonic CD (E) 26.mp3" MP3<BR>
    **TRACK 26 AUDIO<BR>
    ****INDEX 01 00:00:00<BR>
    FILE "Sonic CD (E) 27.mp3" MP3<BR>
    **TRACK 27 AUDIO<BR>
    ****INDEX 01 00:00:00<BR>
    FILE "Sonic CD (E) 28.mp3" MP3<BR>
    **TRACK 28 AUDIO<BR>
    ****INDEX 01 00:00:00<BR>
    FILE "Sonic CD (E) 29.mp3" MP3<BR>
    **TRACK 29 AUDIO<BR>
    ****INDEX 01 00:00:00<BR>
    FILE "Sonic CD (E) 30.mp3" MP3<BR>
    **TRACK 30 AUDIO<BR>
    ****INDEX 01 00:00:00<BR>
    FILE "Sonic CD (E) 31.mp3" MP3<BR>
    **TRACK 31 AUDIO<BR>
    ****INDEX 01 00:00:00<BR>
    FILE "Sonic CD (E) 32.mp3" MP3<BR>
    **TRACK 32 AUDIO<BR>
    ****INDEX 01 00:00:00<BR>
    FILE "Sonic CD (E) 33.mp3" MP3<BR>
    **TRACK 33 AUDIO<BR>
    ****INDEX 01 00:00:00<BR>
    FILE "Sonic CD (E) 34.mp3" MP3<BR>
    **TRACK 34 AUDIO<BR>
    ****INDEX 01 00:00:00<BR>
    <BR>
    Don't forget to remove the asterisks! That's the '*' files!<BR>
    This may seem a lot , just copy & paste, romving all the asterisks.<BR>
    I'll explain how this works (vaguely) after the tutorial. For now, all you need to do is copy the above into Notepad.
    <BR>
    <B>3</B> Save the file into the Sonic CD directory along with the ISO and MP3s as 'Sonic CD.cue'. To save it as a .cue file, you'll need to select 'All files' from the 'Save as type' dropdown box in the Save As... box, then add .cue onto the end of your filename. If you like, you can test this .cue by opening it from Gens or Fusion.<BR>
    <B>4</B> Here's the actual process! Fire up your CD burner of choice, put a blank CD-R in the burner, and open the .cue file. If you're using Nero, it'll halt while it searches for the files you specified in the CUE sheet, then jump to the 'Burn Image' screen. I don't know about other burners, but the process should be similar.<BR>
    <BR>
    A CD burning screen should pop up now, showing the burning process of your game. When it's done, pop it back into your CD drive, and open up Kega Fusion or Gens. Now, load up the game with the 'Boot CD' option, and cross your fingers. If it's worked correctly, you'll see the BIOS screen, with a 'Press Start Button' message underneath the Sega logo.
    <BR>
    <BR>
    Well done! That's it! You've successfully made a CD-R of your Mega-CD game rip. Of course, you don't need it, because you legally own the game anyway, right...? ;D<BR>
    <BR>
    <B>OH SHIT! IT'S NOT WORKING! WHAT DO I DO?!?</B><BR>
    (or, the FAQ section)<BR>
    Right. You've followed the above to the letter? Made sure you've done what I've told you? Okay. Here are a few troubleshooting tips. Sadly, it's most likely your CD is now a nice coaster, but read anyway.<BR>
    <BR>
    <U>I get stuck with a 'Checking Disc' message. What do I do?</U><BR>
    You've made an error in the .cue file. This message is usally seen when the data track is screwed up, or burnt in the wrong place. For instance, you can't burn the data track as track 2, 6, 34, and so on. It must be Track 01. Another cause could be the ISO file itself is broken. If you have a pirated ISO (heaven forbid =0), redownload the file. If you own the disc, re-rip an ISO. A less likely cause of an error is a dirty disc. Give it a good wipe centre to outer edge with a soft cloth. If the problem persists, try again with a new disc, the one you used could be faulty. Make sure you've re,pved the '*' asterisks - do I need to stress this more? =P<BR>
    <BR>
    <U>When I press Start, it only goes to the CD player screen! Help!</U><BR>
    Your data track is either not there or faulty. Again, check the .cue file and make sure you've copied everything right.<BR>
    <BR>
    <U>My music is hissing and buzzing! My ears hurt!</U><BR>
    Check your MP3 rips for ID3 tags, by selecting them all in Explorer and selecting 'Properties' from the right-click menu. Click the 'Summary' tab. If there are any entries under the 'Music' and 'Description' subheadings (you may need to click 'Advanced'), delete them and try again. For some reason, emulators don't like these tags.<BR>
    <BR>
    <B>ARRGH! THE THING'S STILL NOT WORKING!</B><BR>
    Sadly, all I can suggest is you try again. If it STILL won't work, I can't help you I'm afraid. You'll need to check your burner and software are working (make sur eyour software supports .cue, .iso and .mp3 burning), use a different disc, different emulator, etc. etc. There's no real solution, other than either staying with the ol' emulator or trying over and over.<BR>
    <BR>
    <U>SO HOW'S THIS THING WORK, ANYWAY?</U><BR>
    The Mega-CD, like many other CD consoles of the time, relied on CD audio for most of their background music. This offered a huge improvement over the PCM sound chip inside the Mega Drive, which was at the time of the Mega CD's release, beginning to show its age. However, as CD technology progressed, more advanced techniques flourished such as .XA files which allowed for loops and other fancy effects - but that's another story. The Mega-CD, basically, was a CD player with extra stuffs for interpreting the game data found on the disc. When a game wanted to play music, all it had to to was instruct the Mega-CD to play a certain track number.<BR>
    The data that contains the actual game is located at track number one. The Mega-CD would load this data from the disc to play the game. This is the information which makes up the files you see inside any ISO rip of a Mega-CD game. By modifying these files, you run the risk of breaking the game, hence my warning.<BR>
    <BR>
    A cuesheet (the technical name for a .cue file) works by telling the CD burning software exactly what to burn, how, and where on the disc. For example, the first line of a CUEsheet track indicates the file that is to be burnt, the second line the burn format; for example, the first track is a data file, and is burnt in Mode1/2048 format. It's this format that allows the Mega-CD to read CD-Rs - the format is unprotected, unlike modern CD consoles which won't read CD-Rs usually without a modchip. I won't go into much more detail, as much of the information's irrelevant for general purposes.<BR>
    <BR>
    <U>NOTES</U><BR>
    <B>1</B>Make sure you associate .cue files with Notepad, it makes it easier and quicker than faffing around with an 'Open With' screen.<BR>
    <B>2</B>If you want to burn a game other than Sonic CD, simply rename the parts in the cuesheet which reference Sonic CD. For example, if you wanted to burn Slipheed instead of Sonic CD, replace "Sonic CD (E).iso" with "Slipheed.iso", "Sonic CD (E) 02.mp3" with "Slipheed 02.mp3", and so on. Delete tracks that are unneccesary, or add new ones in the following style:<BR>
    <BR>
    FILE "(mp3 filename)" MP3<BR>
    **TRACK (track number) AUDIO<BR>
    ****INDEX 01 00:00:00<BR>
    <BR>
    <B>3</B> Nope, no #3.<BR>

    And that's it, folks! Here's a link that contains the tutorial above in a handy downloadable format:
    How to burn ISO+MP3 Mega-CD rips to CD-R
    Open the .sg file in Kega Fusion and see what I mean. [/showoffpatheticnovelty]
     
  2. ICEknight

    ICEknight

    Researcher Researcher
    Add-endum: Never re-rip these CDs back into whatever format and distribute over the net.
     
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