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DZ-Jay

MAME on Mac to replace MacMAME or MAME OS X

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Hi, guys,

 

I've been using MAME for several years (and I mean several!). Throughout the decades, I've curated a rather large collection of ROMs, artwork, bezels, icons, etc. that I have carried with me from the old Windows world, to my Mac.

 

As I got older, I lost the patience needed to play around with command lines and hardcore stuff, so I started settling on GUI launchers. As I landed on the Mac back in 2004, I used MacMAME (on PowerPC) and was very comfortable with it. Eventually it stopped working when the platform switched to Intel and I had to go shopping around for something new.

 

I tried many applications, eventually settling on MAME OS X, due to the stability of the software. However, this software is no longer being maintained and I noticed that the newer and cooler stuff is only available for newer versions of OS X. I got stuck on OS X 10.8.5 (Lion), before the world went to shit and it all turned into funky colours and stupid flat icons.

 

My problem is that MAME OS X does not seem to properly use my screenshots collection to display on the front-end. In fact, the ROMs show up, but there are no images at all for any game. I thought I had this configured at some point in time (many, many years ago), but I see that it is broken now, except for launching games which works well.

 

Does someone know how to configure MAME OS X to showcase my library in a nice way?

 

Or better yet, does anybody know of a good front-end to replace it that does not require Yosemite or whatever hideous crap Jonny Ive is slinging at kids nowadays.

 

Thanks!

-dZ.

Edited by DZ-Jay

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OpenEmu (a nice front end for libretro) is the best thing going on Mac as far as I know.

http://openemu.org

 

If you want the MAME (arcade games) core, get the Experimental version.

https://github.com/OpenEmu/OpenEmu/releases

 

Thanks, Flojomojo. I have looked at OpenEmu before. Unfortunately, it requires Mac OS X Yosemite (10.11.x), so it is out of my reach. :(

 

Any other application that works on slightly older versions of Mac OS X?

 

-dZ.

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You could download an older version. https://github.com/OpenEmu/OpenEmu/releases

 

Or go straight to libretro itself, but it will not be pretty. http://www.libretro.com

 

It's my experience that Apple stuff works best if you keep current. Unless you're running 2008 or older hardware, you can (and should, IMHO) upgrade to the current OS.

 

Of course, this is AtariAge so old stuff is what everyone wants. I'll get off your lawn now.

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MameSDL is what you need. The MAME website has links to where you can download compiled binaries. You'll just need a separate front-end, for which I'd suggest QMC2.

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MameSDL is what you need. The MAME website has links to where you can download compiled binaries. You'll just need a separate front-end, for which I'd suggest QMC2.

 

Thanks. I'll try that.

 

By the way, does anybody know how to configure MAME OS X to display screenshot PNGs for each game? I know I had this working in the past (a long, long time ago), but I can't seem to get it to work now. It doesn't seem to obey the paths given in the configurations, except for the ROMs one (unless I'm missing something).

 

-dZ.

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You could download an older version. https://github.com/OpenEmu/OpenEmu/releases

 

Oh, I didn't even consider that there were older versions. I'll check them out. Thanks!

 

 

Or go straight to libretro itself, but it will not be pretty. http://www.libretro.com

 

Don't know Libretro, but life is too short for ugly front-ends. ;)

 

 

It's my experience that Apple stuff works best if you keep current. Unless you're running 2008 or older hardware, you can (and should, IMHO) upgrade to the current OS.

 

Of course, this is AtariAge so old stuff is what everyone wants. I'll get off your lawn now.

 

Well, I really hate the direction in which they are taking the Mac (and iOS, but that's another story!). Moreover, upgrading the OS will require me to upgrade iTunes, and I've already experienced on my wife's iMac how hideous, bone-headed, and buggy iTunes 12 is; so I am not ready to commit my 6.5K (fully legal) music files and 1TB of (fully legal) movies, carefully curated with meta-data throughout the past 10 years, to that. :mad:

 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go move the sign on my lawn since apparently it is not very visible to the kids. :lol:

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OK, I must be getting stupid now. I installed OpenEmu 1.x and tried to import my MAME ROM library. I got an error for every single ROM archive!

 

It gives me the option to "Fix Import Issues," but "Arcade" does not show up in the drop-down list of consoles. Digging through some threads, it appears that I need to update the supported list of file extensions for the Arcade core to include ".bin" files. However, I do not know how to do this.

 

In the OpenEmu forum, there is an old thread where someone posted a link with a plug-in, but the link is now dead.

 

Anybody has gotten OpenEmu 1.x to work with MAME ROMs?

 

-dZ.

 

 

UPDATE: I found a .plist file in the application's package that included a "file suffix" dictionary. As expected, it included a few extensions sans ".bin". I added it, and now I am happily importing as a retro-playing clam. :)

 

It has found some issues, but at least now I get the "Arcade" option in the drop-down list.

 

I'll post an update when it finishes... *crossing my fingers*

Edited by DZ-Jay

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Here's an updated: I can't get OpenEmu 1.0.4 to work. I spent a few hours setting it up with the ROMs, library groupings, images, and all, and it won't launch any of the ROMs. It just crashes when I try to launch a game. :(

 

No worries, because I figured out my problem with MAME OS X, and discovered that I had worked around its limitations several years ago, even writing some AppleScripts to set up folders and symbolic links to my image folders. That was a nice surprise.

 

For anybody struggling with MAME OS X as well, here's the scoop:

  • It looks for game images in a folder called "Screenshots" within its "~/Library/Application Support/OpenEmu" configurations folder.
  • You cannot make this folder an "Alias" to another one (e.g., if you'd like to keep your screenshots in your "Pictures" folder like I do). Aliases won't work, but symbolic links will. So crack open the Terminal window and create a symlink to the source:
$  ln -s ~/Pictures/MAME/Screenshots  ~/Library/Application\ Support/OpenEmu/Screenshots

  • The screenshot file must be encapsulated in a folder with the ROM name.
So...
    ~/Pictures/MAME/Screenshots/dkong/0000.png
 
Instead of...
    ~/Pictures/MAME/Screenshots/dkong.png
 
  • The name of the screenshot file does not matter, as long as it is a PNG format.

I have an AppleScript that finds all the PNGs with the names of the ROMs in them and consolidates them into a single folder, with sub-folders for each ROM filename containing the images for each ROM found.

 

OpenEmu looks promising, and the latest version looks even better. But for now, I'll stick with MAME OS X since it is the only one that seems to work in a stable manner for me, and even shows the images for each ROM. :)

 

-dZ.

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MacMAME? I've haven't used that in long time. I thought that was discontinued because Brad Oliver stopped working on it. Same with MAME OS X.

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MameSDL is what you need. The MAME website has links to where you can download compiled binaries. You'll just need a separate front-end, for which I'd suggest QMC2.

 

This if you want the most options.

 

OpenEMU is great for games that will work properly and you just want to play without changes. There is not much in the way of configuration options like access to the DIP switches as far as I know. Some games will not work, and then there is the whole issue of finding the right rom set for whatever Mame version the OpenEMU core is up to.

 

I don't know what kind of drive your system has, but an SSD is must with the newer OS X versions. There is a lot of painful waiting with the spinning wheel of death if you are using a slow 5400 rpm mechanical drive.

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MacMAME? I've haven't used that in long time. I thought that was discontinued because Brad Oliver stopped working on it. Same with MAME OS X.

 

MacMAME won't run on an Intel CPU, and ever since Leopard they removed the "compatibility/emulator" layer. I switched to MAME OS X after going through many of them because it was the nicest one to work with, and stable.

 

I know that it is no longer being updated, which is why I was looking to switch to something else. Seems there was a lull in MAME-for-Mac development for the past 5 to 6 years, that just re-started again with the latest versions of OS X, which I do not have. :(

 

 

 

This if you want the most options.

 

OpenEMU is great for games that will work properly and you just want to play without changes. There is not much in the way of configuration options like access to the DIP switches as far as I know. Some games will not work, and then there is the whole issue of finding the right rom set for whatever Mame version the OpenEMU core is up to.

 

I don't know what kind of drive your system has, but an SSD is must with the newer OS X versions. There is a lot of painful waiting with the spinning wheel of death if you are using a slow 5400 rpm mechanical drive.

 

I don't really care about options. I'm old enough to just care about it looking pretty and easy to use. OpenEMU really didn't work for me (the latest version doesn't support my OS, and the earlier version never executed a single ROM, just crashed on trying).

 

About the drive, I don't really get your point. I have mechanical HDD spinning disks at 7,200 RPM, and I don't really wait for much of anything. I open up MAME OS X, select a ROM from my "favourites" playlist (or the "good/working" set), and CMD+O to execute a ROM. It starts virtually immediately, and then goes through the BIOS POST of the cabinet once. MAME OS X saves state automatically, so next time it starts in "attract" mode directly.

 

Here are my requirements:

  • Native Mac program (or at least looks like one). Don't care for weird looking Java or QT or X-Windows GUIs.
  • Easy to use and set-up and pretty to look at (like any typical, well-designed Mac program, created by Mac programmers).
  • Stable (what's the point of having a MAME collection, if it crashes every time you try to play?)
  • Display cover/title/screenshot image of each ROM in the collection (several thousands of them) without problem or stutters. I like staring at the screenshots of games while I pick which game I want to play next.
  • Save state. I like keeping my high scores on the board across play sessions.
  • Supports "folders" or "collections" or "categories" or whatever means to organise the ROMs apart from the default of year/manufacturer/name.

 

MAME OS X fulfills most of these, although it's a bit crappy on the second point (pretty to look at, easy to set up). It also only supports three grouping categories: "All," "Good," and "Favorites." It also has crappy documentation that does not explain the defaults of most configurations and how to change them; and there is no more support for it. :(

 

-dZ.

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About the drive, I don't really get your point. I have mechanical HDD spinning disks at 7,200 RPM, and I don't really wait for much of anything. I open up MAME OS X, select a ROM from my "favourites" playlist (or the "good/working" set), and CMD+O to execute a ROM. It starts virtually immediately, and then goes through the BIOS POST of the cabinet once. MAME OS X saves state automatically, so next time it starts in "attract" mode directly.

 

 

 

-dZ.

 

 

My point about the drive was if you ever decide you want to run a more recent version of OpenEMU. Yosemite and El Capitan are painful to run on a mechanical drive, though 7200 rpm might alleviate some of the issues.

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OpenEmu (a nice front end for libretro) is the best thing going on Mac as far as I know.

http://openemu.org

 

If you want the MAME (arcade games) core, get the Experimental version.

https://github.com/OpenEmu/OpenEmu/releases

 

OpenEmu doesn't use libretro and actually predates it.

 

Here's an updated: I can't get OpenEmu 1.0.4 to work. I spent a few hours setting it up with the ROMs, library groupings, images, and all, and it won't launch any of the ROMs. It just crashes when I try to launch a game. :(

 

 

The latest version of OpenEmu (2.0.3 as of this writing) is the only supported version. Due to some project modernization, the minimum required version of macOS was bumped to 10.11 (El Capitan). I hope you get the opportunity to upgrade and check it out! Note that MAME is an experimental core and won't be as reliable as the cores included in the normal build.

Edited by robotoad

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I'm glad I read this thread, 'cause it clued me in regarding Openemu, and I'm enjoying it.

 

Thing is, I need rom sets for things like the Odyssey 2 and whatever else. I know we can't link to sources here in these forums, but if anybody could give me hints as to where I should be looking, I'd be most appreciative.

 

 

I've been kind of out of the loop in recent years.

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I'm glad I read this thread, 'cause it clued me in regarding Openemu, and I'm enjoying it.

 

Thing is, I need rom sets for things like the Odyssey 2 and whatever else. I know we can't link to sources here in these forums, but if anybody could give me hints as to where I should be looking, I'd be most appreciative.

 

 

I've been kind of out of the loop in recent years.

 

One thing to note is if you want the latest and greatest, you will need to build from source, but that may not be necessary if you are getting what you want out of the release version.

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I don't even know how to build from source, but I downloaded the experimental version of Openemu linked to early in this thread, pointed at my MAME Rom set, and it's working nicely.

 

Should I not expect that to be the case with console ROMs? Do I need to find bioses elsewhere? Thanks again!

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