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It's Better This Way

So, doctorcomputer's Bad Sci-Fi Movie Night last night was a total success. In fact, after surviving Battlefield Earth (thank God for the RifTracks, that's all I'll say), we unanimously concluded that none of the other movies we had could match it for sheer brain-melting stupidity, and spent the rest of the evening chatting and watching QI, this British parody quiz show hosted by Stephen Fry, that kwirq introduced us to and is quite thoroughly awesome.

While Future Shop has failed to deliver (or even ship, as yet - bastards) my copy of Supreme Commander, I have contented myself with managing to get its lovely Jeremy Soule-supplied soundtrack out of its weird-ass XWB archive format and ts even weirder implementation of ADPCM WAV compression (both of which can be blamed on XNA/Games for Windows spec, thank you very much, Microsoft), into MP3 format. This involved the following steps:

1) Comprehensive Googling to discover this thread from the beta forums, wherein a group of people had managed to do the same thing with the beta, but took their results off the Net because of the beta EULA.
2) Using Luigi Auriemma's UNXWB tool (linked on said thread) to extract .wav files from the .xwb files in the game's music directory.
3) Noting that the format headers have been stripped from the files in the archiving process, then reconstructing them by hand (well, hex editor) using the WAV spec and the header file from the DirectX SDK that defines the XWB spec.
4) Finding that the only audio player I have that can even handle the things is VLC, and that every converter program I find crashes horribly upon even touching them.
4a) Going to Nathan's last night. :D (BTW, Nathan - I fucked up one of the WAV headers, and one of the build tracks cuts off after 30 seconds. Get the MP3s from me.)
5) Discovering that VLC has transcoding functions, and using them to uncompress the WAVs, then winLAME's MP3 encoder to convert them to MP3.
6) Reminiscing about ripping the soundtrack to TA right off the game disc, where it was stored in standard CD Audio format.

Sheesh. Luckily for the rest of you, the fruits of my labour are available off my FTP server (directory is SCRIP, off root).I take no responsibility for the accuracy of the filenames - they were named that way in the archive (well, I did reverse the Battle and Building categories because they were quite plainly wrong). For those of you with an account, my IP's changed recently: ask me for the new one. For those of you without an account who want one, give me a username and password and I'll make you one.



( Walk among 11 shadows — Cast a shadow )
Feb. 22nd, 2007 02:11 am (UTC)
Good show, C - I'd love an MP3 rip of the soundtrack. An L/P to your ftp server would be most generous. :p
Feb. 22nd, 2007 07:24 pm (UTC)
Amusingly enough, I am now coming up on Google searches regarding this issue. The mind boggles.

Feb. 22nd, 2007 05:03 am (UTC)
Can't wait to get the game, LAN weekend after this one coming up!

Btw, if you have issues converting an audio file to another audio file... get a cheap sound editing / recording package (easy off the net), and simply do a record of your line out... the analog trick without actually needing a little shunt of the cable...

(While this is an extra effort, it does show why all the DRM in the world is ultimately flawed).
Feb. 22nd, 2007 07:10 am (UTC)
Exactly what I've said about DRM for a long time. Except, a proper DRM solution isn't quite that simple to beat, since a DRM'ed sound system can detect that its playing protected content with an input jack plugged in, and can simply say no. But, if you have 2 computers... you've pwned it.
Feb. 22nd, 2007 07:11 am (UTC)
Hmm, you run an ftp server. I'd ask for an account, but, breaking in might be more fun... :)
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 22nd, 2007 04:57 pm (UTC)
I had reasonably high hopes for Ultra violet; perhaps its just a soft focus, stylized sword fight infront of a geodesic dome, knowing nothing of the context... Was I evrwrong; that movie sucks balls... though battle field earth is shameful in its own right.

On the flip side, I really really enjoyed Aeon Flux - though I have to admit that there is a sci fi movie built by industrial designers for industrial designers... the action and the like was almost secondary to the really really awesome architecture, gadgets, furniture, etc...
Feb. 22nd, 2007 07:24 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately, the lack of industrial designers in the general populace makes catering to your...unique sensibilities a laughably bad move. :D

Feb. 22nd, 2007 07:22 pm (UTC)
I haven't seen it, no, just heard the screams of the damned.
Feb. 26th, 2007 10:08 pm (UTC)
Congratulation on extracting the sound tracks, I haven't got much success on this side. Could you give me access to your FTP to retrieve them please ?

Thank you
Feb. 27th, 2007 04:00 am (UTC)
Heh, I finally stopped being lazy and put it up on BitTorrent here.

Feb. 27th, 2007 08:26 am (UTC)
Many thanks !
( Walk among 11 shadows — Cast a shadow )