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Play CAS


Use your PC as a cassette player for your TRS-80 Model I/III/4 Level I and II

Play CAS dialogbox

Ok, the long promised Play CAS, finally.

Main use:
Connect your TRS-80 cassette input to your PC soundcard. If you have the standard TRS-80 cable plug the plug that normally goes into the 'Ear' output of a CCR-8x into the PC's headphones output. Then use Play CAS to playback emulator CAS files on the PC side while you CLOAD etc. on the TRS-80 side.

Installation:
There is no automatic installation so you need to extract Play CAS and put it somewhere on your harddisk for example C:\Program Files and create and create references to it (Desktop icon, Quick launch and/or start menu). Shouldn't be too tricky. It will work on Win95 and will use the soundcard through the windows drivers.

There is included a truetype font which you can install if you like. TRS-80.TTF - it is the TRS-80 characterset as it is found on a Model I including the block graphics (it has arrows instead of square brackets). Play CAS detects the presence of the font and uses it if it is there. To install the font extract it. Then go to Fonts in the Control Panel and Install New Font... it is named 'TRS-80'. With the hyphen it will not conflict with previous TRS-80 fonts. The font is adjusted for aspect so it will not match pixel by pixel however it is used (unless you have a 384 by 192 compatible graphics mode). It definitely looks better with font smoothing. Look at the screenshot above to see how it looks (96 dpi). Play CAS will use the default monospaced font if it the TRS-80 font is not installed.

Loading a CAS file:
Start Play CAS and press the Open New button. Drag and drop a CAS file on the dialogbox. Create an icon on your desktop and drag and drop a CAS file to that icon. Make an association for CAS files to be opened by Play CAS.

Autoplay:
If you enable Autoplay an opened file will start playing immediately. Autoplay can only be enabled in the dialogbox.

CAS format files:
CAS file format is an efficient binary representation of cassette contents used by emulators. Not all emulators use the CAS file format for Model III highspeed but here Play CAS can help as it can save wav (options menu).

CAS file format does unfortunately not represent pauses thus if a software requires pauses that was on the original tape Play CAS can't provide them.

Play CAS checks the CAS and to determine what type it is out of the 3 types available; Level 1, Level 2 and Highspeed. If this can't be determined you will be asked. Unfortunately we have to put the limit somewhere and Play CAS requires the headers to be at least 17 bytes (ROM requires 2 for Level 1 and 2 and 25 for highspeed). 16 00's and A5 or 16 55's and 7F.

Analysis:
Play CAS is now better than ACAS at analyzing CAS files. Saving text is found in the options menu (see below).

Types supported:
Level 1 - "250 Baud" Level 1 Model I/III
Level 2 - "500 Baud" Level 2 Model I/III/4
Highspeed - "1500 Baud" Model III/4

Formats supported:
SYSTEM - Level 2 machinecode (SYSTEM command)
BASIC - Tokenized Level 2 basic CSAVE
EDTASM - Microsoft EDTASM assembly source
L1 BASIC - Untokenized Level 1 basic CSAVE
L1 SYSTEM - Level 1 machinecode

Special case Level 1 CSAVE with no program "BIOS quirk" is detected but can't be played, only saved as text. (Use a hex editor if you want to save a binary version.)

Anything else is considered "bad" and assumed to be data. It is of course not possible to do any error checking as we know nothing about the rules that apply.

Unfortunately Scripsit save files and Level 2 basic saved as ASCII are still on the wish list. They will be reported as bad but if they look ok they will probably load perfectly.

Multiple "files" in one CAS:
Is handled but have to be same type. No pause is inserted between "files". Play CAS will ask you if a conflict or ambiguity arise. As there is no pause concept in the CAS format it would be better to split such CAS files up. Some commercial programs employ own loaders (Kansas and Micro-Ware), here the loader is started automatically and loading of the data commence directly making it perfectly ok to keep both parts in the same CAS file (the data part will be reported as bad because it is not recognized).

Other output:
Play CAS does have some extra items in the options menu obtainable by left-clicking the little icon in the taskbar or right-clicking in the taskbar of Play CAS. Save text means to save what is in the listing window to a textfile. Save wav saves the audio output as a wav. Note that text will be in PC format so for a TRS-80 to understand it some conversion is needed.

Explanation of the short status given for each "file" inside the CAS:
ok! - the file is ok as far as we can see, should load well
ok? - suspicious, something is legal but not typical
bad - not recognized or has serious errors
..? - not recognized but too short to be anything but garbage

Please remember that a badly disturbed file might be wrongly detected

Warranty:

There are no warranties of any kind! You use or don't use this software at your own risk.

Download:
Play CAS
PlayCAS.zip
(57K)

This version (v1.1) may experience problems on Win7/Vista. If download do not complete try the version (v1.2) below.

Download update:
Because of a bug in the Win7/Vista audio drivers for some audio hardware I have created a workaround.
Play CAS
PlayCASv1.2.zip
(58K)

What happens is that my wav stops short some milliseconds, a few final bits for us.
So I have added some silence at the end of the wav.

Why haven't anybody else noticed... some milliseconds, human ear and brain is not capable of noticing.

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