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Return to the main [[Frequently Asked Questions]] page.
==Where can I get MAME?==
==Where can I get the games (ROMs) for MAME?==
==Once I get the game ROMs, where do I put them?==
==What are samples and why do I need them?==
==Where do I put samples? Will MAME know they are there?==
==Where do I place the .CHD (compressed hard disk image) files?==
==The ROMs and samples are in ZIP (compressed) format. Do I need to extract them?==
==Do I need to put my CHD files into a ZIP?==
==Why doesn't MAME support RAR/7-Zip/xxxx compression?==
ZIP is extremely well-supported through a free, cross-platform library, and has been a standard for at least a decade. Yes, there are many new up-and-coming compression algorithms that squeeze an extra few percent out of things, but they are generally (a) strictly coded for a particular platform, like 7-Zip (though this is apparently changing), or (b) proprietary, like RAR.
Furthermore, what most people really fail to realize is that there is absolutely no incentive for the MAME developers to add support for another compression format. For one thing, it only makes the MAME core more complicated, dependent on more external libraries, and prone to bugs.
But even beyond that, what is the real benefit of getting those extra few percentage points of compression? While we realize there are plenty of people out there who feel that life is not worthwhile unless they have an absolutely perfect, audited collection of ROMs on their machines, we honestly don't see why MAME should bend over backwards to ensure that they can accomplish this in a few less MB. If you're really so cheap that you have to pirate all your software, you can at least cough up a few extra dollars to buy a bigger hard disk.
In short, ZIP is good enough, and has a ton of benefits to it. Adding support for anything else merely says, "Hey, we're in it for the ROMz." And quite frankly, we don't think that benefits MAME in any way.

Latest revision as of 02:50, 2 June 2016