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LAN storage for PSP ISOs (with a small problem)
08-20-2013, 09:16 PM (This post was last modified: 08-20-2013 09:20 PM by dlanor.)
Post: #1
LAN storage for PSP ISOs (with a small problem)
Like the thread title implies I'm using PSP ISO and CSO files stored on a PC in my LAN, regardless of which other PC in this LAN I'm running PPSSPP on.

Originally I had no problems at all in doing so. The side menu's 'Load...' command uses a standard windows browsing selector, so it allows for switching into the "Network" paths. And PPSSPP also has no problem accepting local network addresses as program launch arguments. So at this point (a few revs ago) everything worked fine, and most of it still does.

The only problem I now get is due to the new UI and its addition of the "Games" command to browse for games using a file browser implementation internal to PPSSPP. This browser has two problems with proper LAN use as described above. Fortunately it doesn't affect the other two launch methods though. So these problems are specific to the new "Games" browser (may not be so new to the devs, but is new to me as the new UI is now enforced in latest revs).

Problem #1:
The "Games" browser does not allow switching to a network path. In fact it starts giving problems even when backing to drive root level, when drive letters without media are present on the PC. (Gives one error message dialog for each such drive.) This limitation can be worked around by manually editing "ppsspp.ini" so as to add a starting network path, with an assignment like this:
CurrentDirectory = \\Ra1\g\_ISO_PSP\
When started with that variable definition present the "Games" command will start its browsing in the specified path, and allow launching of any games found there or in other folders reached by navigating from that one.

Proposed solution for #1:
Add an extra navigation button to switch between the network root and the normal drive root, so that manual 'ini' editing is not needed.

Problem #2:
When using the workaround described above, allowing the "Games" browser to find and launch games in the set directory, or navigate into its subfolders to do the same, the paths returned use forward slashes instead of the native backwards slashes of Windows. So after loading a game from such a subfolder, the new assignment in "ppsspp.ini" could look like this:
CurrentDirectory = //Ra1/g/_ISO_PSP/Currently tested/

And that is then also the form used for the game path as added into the "Recent" list, which causes the test for duplicate entries to fail in case an old entry used the native backward slashes. So after several sessions using mixed launch methods every game in my list will have a duplicate, which cuts the effective size of that list down to half its set value.

Proposed solution for #2:
Whenever a path is accepted for game launch, regardless of whether that path came from a launch argument or one of the two game browsing commands ("Games" and "Load..." I mean), search the path string for all backslash occurrences and replace each one by a forward slash. The so modified string should completely replace the old one for all further processing, whether for current game loading or adding into the ".ini" variables. Windows will happily use either forward or backward slashes, but I think the Linux/Mac platforms all require forward slashes, so that's the best choice for consistent usage.

It may also be a good idea to add similar search+replace handling of the "Recent" entry in "ppsspp.ini" at program launch, to ensure that any path string in it from older versions (or added by user editing) conform to the consistent slash usage.

In the title I called this problem 'small' because it only affects me if I use the "Games" command to launch games, which is never really necessary. I can manage perfectly well using just the "Load..." command and the Windows shortcuts I've prepared. But it would be nice if all launch methods had consistent effects.

If at all possible, a LAN browsing ability would be a terrific addition to your android releases. Several of my android units are a bit low on free local storage, forcing me to limit the number of games accessible. It would help a lot if they too could access game ISOs over LAN, just like the PCs do. Then I could use the same ISO collection for all units, regardless of platform.

Best regards: dlanor
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LAN storage for PSP ISOs (with a small problem) - dlanor - 08-20-2013 09:16 PM

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