A8CAS - software for reading/writing Atari 8-bit cassettes
The aim of the A8CAS project is to create software to read, save and archive tapes for Atari 8-bit computers.
Early Atari computers could store their programs on Compact Cassettes. Lots of commercial software was also sold on tapes. Some of the tapes employed different tricks to prevent creating illegal copies. A8CAS aims to correctly read and write all such tapes.
A8CAS is inspired by existing utilities, Ernest R. Schreurs' WAV2CAS and CAS2WAV. Schreurs' tools however did not support tapes with non-standard data (copy prevention mechanisms), and reading tapes from audio files was very unreliable. A8CAS addresses both of those issues. A8CAS now provides a superset of WAV2CAS' features.
A8CAS consists of:
- a shared library, liba8cas, that contains all routines needed to read and write cassettes (support for CAS, HEX, FSK and sound files WAV, OGG, FLAC etc. is implemented). The library can be used in emulators and drivers for SIO interfaces such as SIO2PC;
- a set of command-line tools, a8cas-tools, that contains
a8cas-convert, a utility similar to WAV2CAS/CAS2WAV. The tools use the A8CAS library;
- a patch for the Atari800 emulator, that allows to load and save tape files (CAS, HEX, WAV, OGG, ...) using liba8cas.
This software has been created by Tomasz Krasuski. You can contact me by e-mail:
kr0tki (at) poczta DOT onet DOT pl.
Feel free to share questions or suggestions related to the A8CAS project.
All source files are available under the GNU General Public License ver.2. See COPYING for details.
To download the liba8cas library, a8cas-tools and/or the patch for Atari800, go to the SourceForge download page.
First, get libsndfile - it is required by the A8CAS library.
Then, get the A8CAS library itself. It is needed for a8cas-tools and for the patched Atari800 to work.
The sources compile under Linux and MinGW. Windows builds are also available.
Here are some CAS files that can be used to play with the emulator's new features. These are 100% exact copies of original tapes. Some of these have non-standard blocks or blocks with non-standard length - these could not be converted to CAS format nor used in Atari800, until now.
Play with these in Atari800, or convert them to various formats and back again using
- Robbo side A, side B
- Kissin' Kousins
- Miecze Valdgira 2
- Operation Blood side A, side B
- Images of Atari Super Turbo tapes - see details
Also check out AtariArea's Tape Preservation Project, which, among others, hosts several audio (FLAC, MP3) tapes, which can be converted to CAS using
a8cas-convert, or loaded directly into the patched Atari800. (First you should convert the MP3s to WAV, though). Some of them contain an audio track - see for example An Invitation to Programming.