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IMFCreator
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Adam Biser
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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2004 7:29 am
   Subject: IMFCreator
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I've released a public beta version of IMFCreator, a new MIDI-to-IMF convertor.

IMFs are built straight from the MIDI (no more MUS step). There shouldn't be the slow down that would happen with IMFTools and complex MIDIs should be handled better as well. IMFCreator drops of notes (does not attempt to play them) when a section becomes too complex.

There are some options for you to change how the created IMF will sound. You can enable/disabled tracks or MTrks. MTrks are not the same as a MIDI track. They are the parts of the MIDI file structure that store note, tempo, volume, etc events. An MTrk can contain multiple tracks.
You can play around with some settings to see if you can get your IMF to sound better to your ears.

There's also an instrument editor. It's not great, but it's there. It might change eventually and allow you to save to your own OP2 file for sharing.

Known bugs/issues:
- Pitch bend events are not handled.
- Volume changes might not be completely handled.
- No help file.
- A multi-file convertor will be added.

This project has been a backburner project that finally reached a release point. Try it out, have fun.
This is a beta and I would appreciate comments (good or bad), but don't expect the same 3-updates-a-day fervor you've seen with WDC.
If something is seriously wrong, though, I will fix it ASAP.

You can get the install package from the download page on my website.

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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2004 1:48 pm
   Subject: Re: IMFCreator
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Wow, I'm amazed. My IMF's actually sound vaguely like they were supposed to! WOAH! I love this editor now, it is my friend. Simple to use, with excellent results! Once again, a very decent job indeed Adam. Now I have to try and work out this instrument editor... Is it true that IMF format stores the instrument info within each IMF?

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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2004 1:56 pm
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Heheh... I'm pretty sure you'll find some MIDIs that will break it. Ripper found one already. That update will be up in a few days because I've got another project up my sleeve, so it's my main focus at the moment.

I'd really like to get the OP2 file writer incorporated... it'd be nice to be able to share sounds, maybe even come up with a better sounding instrument set. The one included is the GENMIDI chunk from Doom.
There's a cymbal sound that I find particularly annoying when repeated that I hope to track down.

Yes, IMF stores all the instrument changes needed to play the song, which is why they can get huge.
Doom got around this by having the GENMIDI chunk that is read when an instrument change is needed.

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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2004 4:38 am
   Subject: I never thought something this cool would exist... groovy
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Yeah, this "IMF Creator" program is awesome. Before you needed 2 programs just to convert the songs, with their time consuming command lines - now you have a player, converter, instrument editor, and other various tools... all in one little package! This kinda program makes IMF converting seem like alot of fun! Smile

It's really nice to be able to hear what midis sound like in IMF before they're converted, and to toggle on/off channels directly inside the program. I especially like the idea of being able to change the instrument settings (shapes, release, feedback, etc.) to whatever I want to make all the songs sound cooler, whereas people never even have this option at all before.

With Darkone's program, you'd often have to fiddle around with the more complex songs for hours to get them under the 64k barrier, but now the conversion is handled much better - around half the size as before, depending on the song. Here's a little chart showing 4 random IMF's I converted with both programs, and what they ended up as:

IMFTools / IMFCreator

47,173 - 22,734 (48%)
56,205 - 30,738 (55%)
41,073 - 23,084 (56%)
32,257 - 18,194 (56%)

Also, I remember always having to speed up the tempo in my midis with Darkone's program by around 5%, or they would sound too slow (I suppose his calculations were a little out of sync); but this one handles that aspect perfectly. The way it deals with too many notes is better too, as it doesn't speed up the song to compensate; it just keeps the flow steady - so the missing notes are much less annoying or noticable.

Ripper's comment was interesting. Almost all my midis don't give me any problems, but there was a few times when I got "Error 6 in BuildIMFData: Overflow" (possibly because the notes for those channels were very high/low on the C0-C8 scale), or "Error 9 in WriteInstrument/BuildIMFData: Subscript out of range" (I think those two used the pitch wheel, but I'd have to check to be sure), or "Error94 in BuildIMFData: Invalid Use of Null" (that one showed a Soprano Sax on track 16 - which doesn't even show up in Anvil Studios or Cakewalk! lol). Just toggling off the guilty instrument works, but I'm curious now to check out which specific events in the instrument makes the errors pop up...

Funny, like you, I also remember a certain percussion instrument that always sounded annoying when converted; I think it was one of the crash cymbals - always had to slice it out of the song; but I guess now I can just change it's instrument settings so it sounds better. Yeah, being able to export your changes to the OP2 file would be cool, although even just having the ablility to edit that stuff at all and save your changes temporarily to the IMF file is awesome alone! Wink

One thing that might be nice for your program is a list of events that shows at which positions you've gone over the maximum amount of notes being played at the same time; or on a bar graph, or just a little number that refreshes on the bottom while the song is playing - just to help users see where they're reaching high amounts of notes for that time. I don't know, just making suggestions... maybe that's a silly idea - lol.

Anyways, even if you never update "IMF Creator" again, I'm sure it'll be quite a very useful tool for alot of people who want to add new music to their games. I think that I like this program even more than the entirety of WDC already! Well, maybe not, or maybe so... it's a tough call. Mr Green
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2004 6:20 am
   Subject: Re: I never thought something this cool would exist... groov
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@Chris: It's interesting to see your side-by-side comparison. I didn't expect such a difference! The IMFs created by IMFCreator were the complete song, right? Smile Ripper's MIDI also truncated unexpectedly. I did run a test on your little lamb MIDI file from long ago and it was 882 bytes. I think I said it should be 878 bytes optimally. Off by 4 bytes isn't too bad, I think. Smile

I tried a lot of different things to get it to handle complex situations better, you can shut off some things from the Options menu, too. But frankly, I think they sound good with everything on. The accurate and more constant tempo is my main reason for writing this.

The errors you mention, Chris, are the one's Ripper had. Pitch bends are just not handled. The note will play, but go on unmanipulated (kind of annoying). I'm not sure what's causing the Overflow error. Your subscript error could be because a percussion instrument is outside of the range of the OP2 files percussion notes and I didn't make it default to a note. The Null error is curious. Could you send me the MIDIs that cause the overflow and null errors?

Instrument changes are saved into the INI file at the moment, so they are remembered from each run.

Quote:
One thing that might be nice for your program is a list of events that shows at which positions you've gone over the maximum amount of notes being played at the same time; or on a bar graph, or just a little number that refreshes on the bottom while the song is playing - just to help users see where they're reaching high amounts of notes for that time. I don't know, just making suggestions... maybe that's a silly idea - lol.
You can see how many notes are not played when it's converted by going to Options -> Calculate Discarded Notes. Is this along the same lines as what you're thinking? It would be nice to tell you which notes were discarded... I'll add it to the list of things to do eventually. Laughing

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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2004 1:10 pm
   Subject: Re: IMFCreator
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The chart shows the complete songs with all the instruments - never altering any of the variables (I played them all to be sure they were the full songs and played correctly). I just took those 4 songs at random to compare, so the chart should be pretty accurate overall. Wink

You requested a few of the songs that gave me errors, so here's a little archive. Error 9 was the most common error, so I kept that folder to a limited amount of songs of different types:

http://www.canadianphilatelics.com/choksta/badmidis.zip

All that stuff in the "Options" menu is pretty fun to tweak around with, it's cool to see how the results change when toggling them or switching their values. Yup, the idea was sort an elaborated version of the 'Discarded Notes' check - but it's no big deal; just a random thought. Good luck with getting the program to read those strange midi files! Smile
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2004 4:18 pm
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IMF Creator 1.0.4 is out (even though the news page hasn't been updated yet)

@Chris: Your MIDIs should work fine now.
@Ripper: I still don't know why that MIDI truncates.

You can now save instrument definitions to your own OP2 file.
I recommend making a copy of GENMIDI.OP2 and using that copy for your definitions (so you can retain the original definitions).
The instrument editor now works correctly with percussion instruments (it wasn't using the 'given note').

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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2004 1:01 pm
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Looks like this could be a useful program, amazing work once again by Adam. Just a few of my suggestions here.

-Would it be possible to have a tracking bar that you could use to adjust the location of the song, and possibly a speed controller on the main screen, with an updating display for the time of the song
-Real-time deactivation and activation of tracks in the MIDI and MTrks screens
-More OP2 files included. Obviously the DOOM audio has been ported over, but obviously Wolf3D, DN2, Blake Stone, C7, etc. OP2 files need to be created. If I remember correctly, there were special music configs written for ROTT and DUKE3D if you had a Gravis Ultrasound card, maybe you could use this as a base.

That's all I have for now, catch you guys later.

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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2004 1:09 pm
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Thanks, Sockman!

- The tracking bar shouldn't be difficult.
- I really wish the real-time deactivation could be done. IMF is just a big glob of data... I have to rebuild that glob when changes are made. If real-time deactivation can be done, it won't be easy.
- OP2 files can be found in Doom, Heretic, Hexen, and Strife. These files are very similar with only one or two instruments differing slightly. I don't think OP2 files could be made for Wolf3D, etc... The OP2 file comes from a Doom data chunk. This chunk doesn't exist for the earlier games. They might have used one (or something similar) to create their IMFs though.

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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2004 1:49 pm
   Subject: Re: IMFCreator
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Adam Biser wrote:
- I really wish the real-time deactivation could be done. IMF is just a big glob of data... I have to rebuild that glob when changes are made. If real-time deactivation can be done, it won't be easy.

I don't really know how you create those IMF files from MIDI, but if you use the normal 9 channels of the adlib, this shouldn't be a big problem, cause I'm going to readd a solo function to the IMFLib and therefore I could also add a mute function to mute single channels!
Perhaps I have time for this in the next week Wink

Adam Biser wrote:
- OP2 files can be found in Doom, Heretic, Hexen, and Strife. These files are very similar with only one or two instruments differing slightly. I don't think OP2 files could be made for Wolf3D, etc... The OP2 file comes from a Doom data chunk. This chunk doesn't exist for the earlier games. They might have used one (or something similar) to create their IMFs though.

Wouldn't it be possible to recreate an OP2 file from the Wolfenstein IMF chunks? Of course they don't contain any order or something like that, so it would probably be pain in the ass to sort them, but perhaps they didn't use that much different instruments anyway Wink
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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2004 10:40 pm
   Subject: Re: IMFCreator
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Ripper wrote:
I don't really know how you create those IMF files from MIDI, but if you use the normal 9 channels of the adlib, this shouldn't be a big problem, cause I'm going to readd a solo function to the IMFLib and therefore I could also add a mute function to mute single channels!

a MIDI track does not always correspond to the same adlib channel. It will most of the time, but especially in more complex songs an instrument can switch channels. And you can only use 8 channels, I believe. Wolf3D uses one of the channels exclusively for adlib sounds, right? If you re-add that solo functionality to the DLL, then yes, adlib channel muting will be no problem.

Ripper wrote:
Wouldn't it be possible to recreate an OP2 file from the Wolfenstein IMF chunks? Of course they don't contain any order or something like that, so it would probably be pain in the ass to sort them, but perhaps they didn't use that much different instruments anyway Wink

It could be possible, like you said. So, yeah, if anyone wants to take on this task... Wink
I don't think they'd be very different either.

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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2004 4:08 am
   Subject: Re: IMFCreator
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Adam Biser!!!! Thanks Smile I won't even pretend to understand all this coding talk stuff (because I don't) - I almost missed this because I often don't check the code threads for this reason. Great work Smile

Downloading this utility now! Very handy for EoD!
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2004 5:56 am
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Heheh... Well, hopefully it works out for you alright. If it causes problems, let me know and I'll get to it (eventually). Laughing

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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2004 6:00 pm
   Subject: Re: IMFCreator
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Released: IMFCreator 1.0.5
This version features the ability to import instruments from Adlib Instrument Bank (BNK) files.
Now you can scour the internet for old BNK files and import them into your OP2 file for use.

You also have a mini-piano keyboard to test your instrument sounds while you edit them (much better than that little play button).

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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 4:47 pm
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Adam, you've done it again! Another awesome program!! This should later maybe be implemented into WDC. Very Happy Sweet work man. Cool
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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 5:15 pm
   Subject: Re: IMFCreator
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ZuljinRaynor wrote:
Another awesome program!!

Thanks, man. Smile
I don't think it will get implemented into WDC, but you can set up a quick link to it (and any other program) in the User Tools menu.

The next version of IMFCreator will be out soon, but before I release it, I want to be sure it will be able to grab instruments from most of the popular adlib instrument files (some song formats also store instruments).
Here's the list I have so far: BNK, IMF, CMF, and SBI (single instrument and SBI group files).
I've looked into ROL files and they don't seem to store instrument data. Anyone know of any other popular adlib-related file types?

Eventually I will get around to adding MUS conversion (and implementing pitch bends, etc).

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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2004 4:16 pm
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WDC wishlist: "Auto convert MIDI files to IMFs"

This could be a step to adding that feature. If you are not going to implement it, well, no big deal. At least you have the Tools thing in WDC. Smile
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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2004 6:00 pm
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Sounds cool Adam. The BNK extension sounds familar, and I remember playing around with CMF files in various classic games (like Jill of the Jungle; even in the SOD Level Generator). Who knows, maybe there's people out there in other communities who would benefit from a converter with those formats too.

Maybe having a toggle so that you can enable/disable pitch bends (or adjust it's precision) would be cool? I know when I play my keyboard and try to record stuff, songs last around 10 times longer when I'm not fiddling around with the pitch bend. Not sure if it works the same for IMF (or just draws a straight line from one note to the next), but it would be cool to hear about it.
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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2004 10:15 pm
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Released: IMFCreator 1.0.6
It can now import instruments from IMF, CMF, SBI, IBK, and RAD files.

So now you can grab instruments from the wolf3d/sod music (even keen or biomenace) and build an OP2 with them.

@Chris: A toggle wouldn't be hard to do, but if they are set to off, then the note would just hold continuously (unless I stop the note when a pitch bend is detected).
As far as I can tell, IMF handles pitch bends by sending a series of frequency changes without turning off the note being held. When I understand it better, I will get it added in.

If there are no serious issues with this release, it will probably be the last one for awhile (I have other projects at hand as well).

EDIT 1: Importing instruments from IMFs causes Overflow errors in the EXE that didn't occur while running in the IDE. An update will be posted soon.

EDIT 2: IMFCreator 1.0.7 is out.
The overflow bug was fixed as well as some other playback-related bugs so sound reproduction is better.

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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 12:26 pm
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Adam,

I may be a bit late checking this one out -- just downloaded IMFCreator for the first time today -- but I am totally impressed by its capabilities and wanted to thank you for creating it. I thought IMFTools were the second coming, but IMFCreator builds on those abilities and takes it above and beyond. This is a real solution for those of us who want to dabble in custom music. Very nice work! So far I haven't found any MIDIs that the tool won't convert to IMF with reasonable to excellent results.
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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 12:40 pm
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Much appreciated. Thank you.
If you have any suggestions, feel free to let me know.

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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 4:56 pm
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This program is really taking off, just got the new version now. I've been gone awhile as I've been sick and things have been getting hectic at school with finals drawing near and all.

What I want to know is if it is even theoretically possible to create an OP2 based on the music specifications of games that use MIDI files, say, Duke Nukem 3D. It's probably in the source code, but is there something I can go on to create this file rather than experimentation?

As far as suggestions go, you could possibly have an option to have the mini keyboard be full size, or at least closer to it, maybe 3 octaves as a seperate window.

Other than that, great work as always Smile

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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2004 11:44 am
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@Sockman: Thanks. It might be possible to create an OP2 using DN3D. I'm not sure. I'd need to find out:
1) Does the music actually play through the adlib, or as MIDI?
2) If adlib, then where are the instrument definitions and how are they stored?
It's is direct yo a MIDI player, then there are no adlib instruments, so it's not possible.

Then the best I could do is let you import from DN3D's format into an OP2. I have plans for a multi-importer to make things like this easier. Just select which new instruments to import over which old instruments.
A larger keyboard is possible, but I need to make room for it on the window someplace.

Thanks again.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2004 9:52 am
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I just found out that the beta version of Hocus Pocus uses imfs while the official version uses midi.

I'm so glad I've found this out that I just had to tell someone Smile.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2004 2:47 pm
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gee its ok for most games, but if you try midis from doom, doom 2, descent, and descent 2 it stinks. and what else that annoys me is that it makes the song shorter if it is longer than 2 minutes which really annoys me. it should just convert the song at it's original length without cutting the songs length.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2004 3:40 pm
   Subject: Re: IMFCreator
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@Gex: You do realize that IMFs can only have so many channels, and that the Wolf3d engine doesn't accept files over 64k; right? There are options in IMFCreator that can help you make your song fit and sound right (toggling off specific channels, not using 2 sounds for one instrument, etc.), and you can also tweak around these things in a midi program (taking out certain drums, notes from chords) to get better results. Just try experimenting and you might get the hang of it. IMFCreator is not to blame for these problems, the Wolf3d engine is limited and this is how the program works around it.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2004 4:06 pm
   Subject: Re: IMFCreator
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Is there any way of increasing that limit, because if it could increase both sound and music size limit that would be a mericle!
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2004 5:15 pm
   Subject: Re: IMFCreator
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@gex: Well, Doom(2) had MUS files, not MIDIs. If you are using MIDIs converted from the MUS files, then it also depends on how well those MIDI files look. I've done my best to reduce the amount of redundant IMF commands, but I won't say it stops all redundancy. Like Chris said, play around with the settings, drop off a channel or two.
I don't know why it shortens some songs, it doesn't have anything to do with the actual song length, but the number of commands the song has. But it's also highly likely that IMFCreator has a bug, I know that pitch bend events cause some funkiness with the song which I haven't had time to really track it down.

When I post an update sometime, try it out again and see if they're any better. If not, let me know and send me one of the MIDIs (or let me know where I can get it) so that I can track down the bug.

IMFCreator can not increase the size limit for the Wolf3D engine. If it's possible, it would have to be changed in code. If and when someone comes up with a solution, I will make it an option in IMFCreator.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2004 12:18 pm
   Subject: Re: IMFCreator
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Since this pertains to IMFs, I figured I might as well link this here.

http://diehardwolfers.areyep.com/viewtopic.php?t=1975
The IMF Exchange

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 2:36 am
   Subject: Re: IMFCreator
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Excellent program! I might make a TWB-mod sometime and use this for the music Wink

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