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Vic 20 TAP files to wave for cassette use


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First I will apologize if this has been asked and answered somewhere before here, but a cursory search didn't reveal what I was looking for.

 

How does one go about getting the .TAP extension files dumped from original cassettes back into a format that can be used and read by the Datasette? I have a TAP to WAV conversion program I've tried and an old school late 70s era tap recorder with new belts..etc. I attempted to use a standard 3.5mm male to male cable to try and "play" the wave files from my PC back to the cassette recorder and from what I can tell with wave form comparison, they seem to match. However, I've not been able to successfully convert any .TAP files back to .wav and then record the wave playback to a cassette to work.

 

Usually I get nothing as if the datasette doesn't see any data at all, or it will see something and begin loading and then after about 30 seconds or so, it will generate a bunch of gibberish on the screen and lock up the Vic-20.

 

Far as I know I'm using .TAP images that are designed for an unmodified Vic-20 as I just recently got mine for messing around with and don't yet have any of the expansion ram carts for it.

 

So..is there a documented process to doing this that I've not seen? I've tried to convert the wave files to mono channel using various bitrates without any actual success.

 

Likely easier to just get a modern SD type replacement or something, but was just hoping to check it out.

 

Oh...and yes the Datasette does work as the Vic-20 I picked up had several tape programs such as a financial program and what I believe is the default tape that comes with the Vic-20 that contains a hangman game..etc. Those all seem to work just fine when I put them in and load them up.

 

Any ideas or hints are greatly appreciated!

 

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Which exact software have you tried? While it was many years ago I had the need to convert digital files to audio, I recently read a thread at a different forum about someone doing something similar, and this was how he did it:

 

1. Install WAV-PRG (to convert PRG to TAP, oddly enough) and Audiotap (to convert TAP to WAV). Put the DLL files from Audiotap in the same folder as WAV-PRG in order to link the two programs.

2. Configure WAV-PRG with suitable settings. Apart from default settings, you will want to select Machine to VIC-20 NTSC just in case, although the clock frequency tends to be so close for NTSC computers that VIC or C64 might not matter. Select WAV output, check the box for inverted waveform (important). The output volume can be default, otherwise it is known that too low volume will be difficult to load back but too high volume also isn't good.

3. Select PRG or I presume ready made TAP file to convert to WAV. Connect the tape recorder to the headphone output on the PC, with speaker volume about 70% of max - might depend on your sound card, as I've found that not all sound cards have equally much drive. Save the program to tape.

4. Move the tape and try to load it back on the VIC-20.

 

Try with short PRG files first, to save a little time and hassle. It might be so that you basically did exactly as described, then I'm not sure what to try more.

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I did actually try this exact method stated above. That is how I compared the waveforms between what was converted to Wav format and what got recorded to the tape player via the microphone input. I even recorded one of the files from an original to wav directly into my PC and then attempted to play that wave and record it back onto a different tape. No luck. It is like there is something in the original tape recording that isn't getting brought over somehow or perhaps the bitrate. I'm just not sure.

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