Amiga Forever by Cloanto
 
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TITLE

Referencing External Content in RP9 Files

 

TOPIC

This document explains how to create RP9 files that reference external content, e.g. Amiga files on dedicated partitions or directories.

 

DISCUSSION

While the most common way of referencing disk and other media in RP9 files is to embed them in the RP9 package itself, advanced users often prefer to access content which is outside of the RP9 and/or outside of the Amiga Files, CBM Files or other folder used by the player. This preference may be due for several reasons, for example, to keep personal files separate from the application installation, or to share a folder or partition across different environments, or because embedding a very large data set in an RP9 file would be inconvenient.

As a rule of thumb, we recommend embedding content in the RP9 package if it is within a few dozen megabytes. This is generally enough even for the most sophisticated Amiga software applications. For content that exceeds 100 MB or more, faster loading times are achieved by referencing the content as external to the RP9. This is because RP9 packages are decompressed when they are started, and recompressed to commit confirmed disk changes (if any). The location can be changed at any time by editing the disk entry in the Media tab of the RP9 editor.

Large disk image files may also be embedded only temporarily (e.g. for ease of distribution), by using the "deploy" option.

The RP9 format supports mounting image files and entire directories that are located outside of the RP9 package.

To create a new RP9 package either select New from the File menu of the player (e.g. Amiga Forever RP9 Editor or C64 Forever RP9 Editor), or right-click a title (for example a default configuration in the Systems tab) and select Create Copy, followed by Edit.

In the Media tab or group of the RP9 Editor:

  1. Click the Add... button
  2. Select an appropriate Type (File to mount a media image, such as an ADF or HDF file, or Directory to mount a directory or hard disk partition)
  3. Select a file or directory, and note the different options listed for the Location. Specify an Absolute location is outside of the Amiga Forever or other player installation.
  4. Refer to the context help for additional guidance (click "?" on the window title, then a user interface element)

For example, if you are a musician with a large repository of Amiga MIDI projects, in Amiga Forever you could create a copy of the "Workbench 3.X" configuration, then in RP9 Editor (General tab), set the Type to Application, the Genre to Productivity, and set a new title like "My MIDI Work Configuration". Then in the Media tab click the Add... button and mount a Directory selecting an Absolute location "F:\Amiga MIDI Projects" to mount an additional partition (possibly an image of your old Amiga disk) that will be seen by the Amiga emulation environment. You can also specify the Amiga volume name, for example "MIDI". As a final personalization step, you could add a custom screenshot in the Extras tab. After closing the RP9 Editor, go to the Applications tab, right-click the new "My MIDI Work Configuration" entry and select Open File Location. As you can see, there is now a new RP9 file, which you can easily edit, move and back up. When this RP9 is launched, it will mount the standard Amiga Forever 3.X Workbench "System" and "Work" partitions, and it will also mount a disk named "MIDI", containing the files from your "F:\Amiga MIDI Projects" directory.

Even if a player like Amiga Forever is upgraded in the future, custom RP9 files (i.e. with names you set, not with file names that were part of the distribution) are not overwritten by new installations (although it is always prudent to back up all files), even if they reside in "Amiga Files" (or another player folder). In addition to this peace of mind and ease of maintenance, all external data that is referenced by the RP9 configurations will remain completely independent and external from the software installation, and can be used, shared and maintained as necessary.

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Article Information
Article ID: 19-112
Platform: All
Products: RetroPlatform Player
Additional Keywords: None
Last Update: 2017-06-23
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