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[Beta] Advanced Emulator Launcher - Multi-emulator frontend for Kodi
#1
Brick 
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Welcome to Advanced Emulator Launcher

Advanced Emulator Launcher is a multi-emulator front-end for Kodi scalable to collections of thousands of ROMs. Includes offline scrapers for MAME and No-Intro ROM sets and also supports scrapping ROM metadata and artwork online. ROM auditing for No-Intro ROMs using No-Intro XML DATs. Launching of games and standalone applications is also available.

Features
  • Runs ANY Windows, Linux, Android, and OS X Application.
  • Populate thousands of ROMs metadata within minutes with powerful offline scrapers. The offline scraper for MAME is custom made (based on MAME XML database and Catver by AntoPISA) and other platforms use Billyc999 GameDBInfo.
  • Online metadata & artwork scrapers for TheGamesDB, GameFAQs, MobyGames and Arcade Database.
  • Optimized for blistering speed and efficiency.
  • Highly scalable in accommodating vast libraries without compromising performance.
  • Solid reliability. AEL maintains launcher integrity and completely eliminates the XML database corruption issues with Advanced Launcher.
  • Expanded artwork & asset support including titles, snaps, clearlogos, banners, trailers, boxfronts, boxback, manuals, and more.
  • ROM auditing for No-Intro ROMs using No-Intro or Redump XML DATs.
  • Parent/Clone view mode and 1 game 1 ROM (1G1R) Launcher display modes.
  • Organise and unify all your treasured titles with the special in-built Favourites category.
  • ROM Collections: Bring together all the games from a series that spans over various years and systems.
  • Virtual Launchers: Allows for browsing collections by Name, Studio, Genre, Year and Category.
  • Display the most played ROMs.
  • Display the last played ROMs.

Advanced MAME Launcher or Advanced Emulator Launcher?

Why two different addons capable of launching MAME? Should I use Advanced MAME Launcher or Advanced Emulator Launcher?
 
  • AML is much easier to configure than AEL. AEL is a general launcher whereas AML is tailored specifically for MAME.
  • AEL only shows the MAME ROMs you have. As opposed, AML shows every single MAME machine, even the ones you don't have the ROMs for.
  • AML includes a set of powerful Machine/ROM filters that makes navigation of MAME and Software Lists easy and convenient.
The answer is that you can use both! AML and AEL have been designed to work in tandem to enrich the retrogaming experience for Kodi users.

Installation & Downloads
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Current Stable Version: 0.9.7

If you are upgrading AEL make sure you read the release notes before installing the new version! You have the links to the release notes at the end of this post.

Development builds are also available from GitHub by clicking HERE.

WARNING: Advanced Emulator Launcher is currently under active development and is offered as a public beta. Until version 1.0.0 is released, storage of metadata, assets, and naming conventions may be subject to change.

Getting Started

Instructions for Advanced Emulator Launcher usage are available from the GitHub Wiki. Currently the status of the wiki is not great and I will update/improve its contents over the following weeks.

A Getting Started tutorial is available here.

How to configure a LNK ROM launcher in Windows

How to use AEL to launch Retroarch in LibreELEC with a wrapper script to close and reopen Kodi

Explanation of AEL ROM assets and how they are mapped to Kodi standard assets

AEL Metadata and Asset scrapers demistified

Categories/Launchers metadata and assets

To help with your AEL setup process, an AEL asset library of metadata NFO files and assets/artwork for popular categories/launchers is available in Github. You can download the whole repository and place it in the machine where Kodi is installed to be used when configuring AEL categories/launchers.

To use the metadata for categories/launchers, first create the launcher/category using AEL context menu. Then, using the "Edit Category/Launcher" context menu, go to "Edit metadata" and load the corresponding NFO file.

To use the assets/artwork, use the "Edit Category/Launcher" context menu, then go to "Edit assets/artwork". I tried to include icon/fanart/banner/poster for each category/launcher but the AEL asset library is still incomplete.

The AEL asset library also includes a collection of XML auto-configurations you can use to easily setup your emulators. Browse the files in Github and check the emulator parameters in the XML files. Alternatively, you can download an XML auto-configuration and install it by going to AEL addon settins, "IO" tab, and selecting "Import configuration". Remember to change the ROM path, assets path and application path before importing (or you can change after importing using the "Edit Launcher" context menu).

Contributions to this Github repository are welcomed and encouraged Big Grin

Skin Support

AEL supports all Kodi skins including Confluence for Jarvis and Estuary for Krypton or higher. However, what metadata and art assets that can be presented to the user is entirely skin dependent thus different skins may yield different visual results. As AEL is an evolution of Advanced Launcher, any skin which provides support for the latter will actually support both.
Currently, there are no skins which fully support the new changes introduced into AEL though some skins / views with robust support for Advanced Launcher presently exist. This is anticipated to change shortly as skin developers become familiar with AEL.

List of skins that display AEL metadata/information:
List of skins with true Advanced Emulator Launcher support:
  • Arctic: Zephyr Plus, Estuary AEL MOD (see second post), Confluence AEL MOD (deprecated, see second post).

Getting Artwork for Games / ROMs

Although AEL incorporates online scrapers that will download artwork for your ROMs due to the large number of artwork pieces it is recommended that you get whole artwork collections, specifically, if you have launchers with many ROMs. These are some places you can download artwork to use with AEL.
 
  • EmuMovies: The most complete emulation asset site on the net (excluding MAME). *Registration Required*
  • HyperSpin Media: Forum for HyperSpin users containing artpacks. Clearlogos are called 'Wheels' in HyperSpin parlance. *Registration Required*
  • Libretro Thumbnails: The Libretro GitHub collection of Boxfront, Titles, and Snaps. Most of them have been scraped from TheGamesDB.
  • Internet Archive: The Internet Archive is full of treasures! Make sure you do a comprehensive search!
  • Progretto Snaps MAME Artwork: The definitive place in the universe for MAME (and Software Lists) assets.

Notes to Advanced Launcher Users

Both AEL and Advanced Launcher can coexist on the same Kodi installation. AEL supports importing Advanced Launcher launchers and ROMs in a very easy way. In AEL, go to Settings > Advanced > Import Launchers.xml.
 
  • You can delete ROMs/Launchers in AEL without affecting AL. You can later reimport AL launchers.xml but keep in mind that previously imported launchers will be overwritten and every time you do the import a new 'default' category will be created.
  • If you use an AEL online scraper to download thumbs and/or fanart those will overwrite the artwork you already have.
  • If you use AEL to export NFO files and you already have AL/RCB NFO files they will be overwritten. AEL format for NFO files has changed a bit, so be careful about this.

Bugs & Feature Requests

You can ask for feature requests in this thread or directly on GitHub.

If you find a bug or Kodi shows an error in AEL you can report it in this thread or in GitHub. In your report try to be descriptive about the problem and the steps you do that cause it. Also, report your operating system, Kodi version and AEL version. If AEL crashes it is very important that you post a debug log in order to locate the cause of the bug so I can fix it.

To generate a debug log, unless otherwise told, follow these steps:
  • In Kodi Settings, turn Kodi debug log OFF.
  • In AEL addon settings, go to "I/O" tab and set the "Log level" option to DEBUG.
  • Reproduce the bug.
  • Put your Kodi log file in Ubuntu pastebin or PasteBin.
You can use the Kodi Logfile Uploader addon to help with the log upload process. Thanks to Ronie for this fine addon.

TODO - Known issues
  1. The offline scraper does not contain yet databases for all platforms. You can see the list of currently supported platforms here.

Release history (and release notes)
  1. Advanced Emulator Launcher 0.9.7
  2. Advanced Emulator Launcher 0.9.7-beta2
  3. Advanced Emulator Launcher 0.9.7-beta1
  4. Advanced Emulator Launcher 0.9.6
  5. Advanced Emulator Launcher 0.9.6-beta1
  6. Advanced Emulator Launcher 0.9.5
  7. Advanced Emulator Launcher 0.9.5-beta2
  8. Advanced Emulator Launcher 0.9.5-beta1
  9. Advanced Emulator Launcher 0.9.4
  10. Advanced Emulator Launcher 0.9.3
  11. Advanced Emulator Launcher 0.9.2
  12. Advanced Emulator Launcher 0.9.1
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#2
Skin Estuary AEL

LAST UPDATED ON Tuesday 24 Oct 2017: Trailers are supported in "ROM Console", "ROM MAME", "ROM Simple" and "ROM Shots" views. If trailer is found it will be played on the Snap position. If trailer is not found then Snap will be rendered as usual. Thanks to jmriego for the patch.

Estuary AEL MOD is compatible with Kodi Krypton only. I will update the skin from time to time to follow Estuary releases and AEL/AML/ADL new features.

Estuary AEL MOD adds some views to Estuary skin that fully take advantage of all the metadata and assets AEL supports. It also changes the Text Viewer dialog to use a monospaced font and make easier to use AEL's Launcher/ROM "View" context menu.

The main purpose of this mod is for myself to do internal tests of AEL, Advanced MAME Launcher and Advanced DOOM Launcher, and as template for other skinners who want to support AEL in their skins. Keep in mind that I'm not a skinner and that the views are cheap and far from perfect! As you probably know, a much better and refined skin is under way. Any help with this is totally welcomed.

Installation instructions and notes

1) Go to Github and click on "Clone and Download", then click on "Download ZIP".

2) Decompress the ZIP file. This will create a directory named "skin.estuary.AEL-master". Rename this directory to "skin.estuary.AEL".

3) Compress "skin.estuary.AEL" into a ZIP file and install this ZIP file in the addon manager.

4) Enable the skin in Kodi settings.

Home menu

There is a link to AEL in the Home menu with a couple of widgets showing your Launchers and Categories.

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AEL Matrix view

This view allows you to display all metadata and assets that AEL supports. Use it for debugging purposes when setting up.

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ROM Console view

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ROM MAME view

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ROM Simple view

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ROM Shot view

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ROM Launcher view

This view is perfect for ROM launchers.

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Std Launcher view

This view is intended for Standalone Launchers.

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Skin Confluence AEL

Confluence AEL MOD is compatible with Kodi Krypton only.

IMPORTANT Confluence AEL MOD has been deprecated. This doesn't mean that it doesn't work. Instead, Confluence AEL MOD will not be updated frequently and development will be focused in Estuary AEL MOD.

Installation instructions and notes

1) Go to Github and click on "Clone and Download", then click on "Download ZIP".

2) Decompress the ZIP file. This will create a directory named "skin.confluence.AEL-master". Rename this directory to "skin.confluence.AEL".

3) Compress "skin.confluence.AEL" into a ZIP file and install this ZIP file in the addon manager.

AEL Debug Matrix view

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ROM List view

Console ROMs

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MAME ROMs

The ROM List view dynamically changes for MAME ROMs.

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Launcher List view

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#3
Skin Confluence (Kodi Jarvis)

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Skin Estuary (Kodi Krypton)

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Skin Cirrus Extended with SexyCirrus mod (Kodi Jarvis)

You can find SexyCirrus mod here. Rufoo has published some patches that make use of Snaps and Clearlogos in here and here. Note that Cirrus Extended and SexyCirrus mod only work in Kodi Jarvis.

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Skin xxxxx (Kodi Krypton)

Kudos to Rufoo for sharing this work-in-progress views.

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*Keibertz Series based off original views by Keibertz.

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#4
Nice job Wintermute!
Works like a charm with good loading speeds.Great improvement on that old AL version. Finally can start building up my big rom collection in Kodi.
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#5
Great Smile I will test tonight . Nice job.
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#6
Congrats, mate. Smile
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#7
Awesome!

Was waiting for that, thank you so much Smile
Will test tonight, am at work right now.
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#8
Awesomeee! Now bite_your_Idols gamestarter addon will geht some love in my pi3. Smile
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#9
(2016-08-23, 23:20)Arokhaerr Wrote: Awesomeee! Now bite_your_Idols gamestarter addon will geht some love in my pi3. Smile

I tested it into my LibreELEC 8 alpha/Kodi 17 addon version and it is awesome!! I need tomodify some script lines in order to include it in the next release... WIP
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#10
I've got a problem:

I can't set the directories for the artwork for my roms.
If I go to: C (context menu) - Edit Launcher - Manage Rom Asset Directories ... and then for example "Change Fanarts Path" (which is empty right now) the context menu is disappearing and I'm back at my collection without a chance to change/add the directory. So all my roms are now without any artwork Sad
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#11
(2016-08-24, 10:10)BugRaider84 Wrote: I've got a problem:

I can't set the directories for the artwork for my roms.
If I go to: C (context menu) - Edit Launcher - Manage Rom Asset Directories ... and then for example "Change Fanarts Path" (which is empty right now) the context menu is disappearing and I'm back at my collection without a chance to change/add the directory. So all my roms are now without any artwork Sad


You can solve the problem temporary.
open the advanced emulator launcher folder in userdata --> addondata (C:\Users\YOURNAME\AppData\Roaming\Kodi\userdata\addon_data\plugin.program.advanced.emulator.launcher)

There is a XML File called categories. Open it, i recommend Notepad++. Scroll down and look at this.


<s_thumb>YOUR FOLDER</s_thumb>
<s_fanart></s_fanart>
<s_banner></s_banner>
<s_flyer></s_flyer>
<s_trailer></s_trailer>
<path_title>E:\Roms\N64\</path_title>
<path_snap></path_snap>
<path_fanart>E:\N64\</path_fanart>
<path_banner>E:\N64\</path_banner>
<path_clearlogo>E:\N64\</path_clearlogo>
<path_boxfront></path_boxfront>
<path_boxback></path_boxback>
<path_cartridge></path_cartridge>
<path_flyer></path_flyer>
<path_map></path_map>
<path_manual></path_manual>
<path_trailer></path_trailer>

Change it, Save it and be happy ;-)
Reply
#12
(2016-08-24, 14:58)bushida87 Wrote:
(2016-08-24, 10:10)BugRaider84 Wrote: I've got a problem:

I can't set the directories for the artwork for my roms.
If I go to: C (context menu) - Edit Launcher - Manage Rom Asset Directories ... and then for example "Change Fanarts Path" (which is empty right now) the context menu is disappearing and I'm back at my collection without a chance to change/add the directory. So all my roms are now without any artwork Sad


You can solve the problem temporary.
open the advanced emulator launcher folder in userdata --> addondata (C:\Users\YOURNAME\AppData\Roaming\Kodi\userdata\addon_data\plugin.program.advanced.emulator.launcher)

There is a XML File called categories. Open it, i recommend Notepad++. Scroll down and look at this.


<s_thumb>YOUR FOLDER</s_thumb>
<s_fanart></s_fanart>
<s_banner></s_banner>
<s_flyer></s_flyer>
<s_trailer></s_trailer>
<path_title>E:\Roms\N64\</path_title>
<path_snap></path_snap>
<path_fanart>E:\N64\</path_fanart>
<path_banner>E:\N64\</path_banner>
<path_clearlogo>E:\N64\</path_clearlogo>
<path_boxfront></path_boxfront>
<path_boxback></path_boxback>
<path_cartridge></path_cartridge>
<path_flyer></path_flyer>
<path_map></path_map>
<path_manual></path_manual>
<path_trailer></path_trailer>

Change it, Save it and be happy ;-)

Hey bushida87,

thanks for your quick reply Big Grin

It's kinda working now ... so I do get the covers/posters/boxfront or whatever you might call them, but even though I didn't change any settings within the asset/fanart options it does not scrape fanart, logos, videos etc correctly. instead it only scraped the box front into every fanart directory and thats it. Even when I'm manually trying to add the fanart by looking for fanart at thegamesdb it always only picks out the boxfront
weird one Confused

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Reply
#13
(2016-08-24, 16:08)BugRaider84 Wrote:
(2016-08-24, 14:58)bushida87 Wrote:
(2016-08-24, 10:10)BugRaider84 Wrote: I've got a problem:

I can't set the directories for the artwork for my roms.
If I go to: C (context menu) - Edit Launcher - Manage Rom Asset Directories ... and then for example "Change Fanarts Path" (which is empty right now) the context menu is disappearing and I'm back at my collection without a chance to change/add the directory. So all my roms are now without any artwork Sad


You can solve the problem temporary.
open the advanced emulator launcher folder in userdata --> addondata (C:\Users\YOURNAME\AppData\Roaming\Kodi\userdata\addon_data\plugin.program.advanced.emulator.launcher)

There is a XML File called categories. Open it, i recommend Notepad++. Scroll down and look at this.


<s_thumb>YOUR FOLDER</s_thumb>
<s_fanart></s_fanart>
<s_banner></s_banner>
<s_flyer></s_flyer>
<s_trailer></s_trailer>
<path_title>E:\Roms\N64\</path_title>
<path_snap></path_snap>
<path_fanart>E:\N64\</path_fanart>
<path_banner>E:\N64\</path_banner>
<path_clearlogo>E:\N64\</path_clearlogo>
<path_boxfront></path_boxfront>
<path_boxback></path_boxback>
<path_cartridge></path_cartridge>
<path_flyer></path_flyer>
<path_map></path_map>
<path_manual></path_manual>
<path_trailer></path_trailer>

Change it, Save it and be happy ;-)

Hey bushida87,

thanks for your quick reply Big Grin

It's kinda working now ... so I do get the covers/posters/boxfront or whatever you might call them, but even though I didn't change any settings within the asset/fanart options it does not scrape fanart, logos, videos etc correctly. instead it only scraped the box front into every fanart directory and thats it. Even when I'm manually trying to add the fanart by looking for fanart at thegamesdb it always only picks out the boxfront
weird one Confused

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Hi, that's a known problem of the scrapers that I need to solve. Regarding the problem of setting the paths please post debug log and I will have a look.
Reply
#14
(2016-08-24, 16:11)Wintermute0110 Wrote: Hi, that's a known problem of the scrapers that I need to solve. Regarding the problem of setting the paths please post debug log and I will have a look.

Alright, good to know it's not on my end Tongue

Well, I'd love to provide a log but I can't upload it. Seems to be broken atm. Where or how should I upload the log to?
Reply
#15
Who can make viewtypes for artic Skin?
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