My MAME set is currently updated to version 0.244
Frequently Asked Questions

In no particular order, here are some of the more common questions I have received...

I just found this site. Do you still offer this service?

As of late, this is the question I am asked most often; probably because there are so few ROM burners left out there. The answer is "YES!" If you are reading this page, then I am still providing this ROM copy service, and all of the information you read on this site is current and accurate.

(Last updated:  7/12/2024)

Will you burn files to CD or DVD for me?

Ahh... the good old days, when emulation was still in its infancy and ROM sets were small and would easily fit onto a few CD or DVD discs. As the sets grew in size over the years, however, so did the number of discs required to copy them. It eventually got to a point where it was no longer feasible for me to continue burning discs because of the time requirements. That was also right around the time that portable, USB hard drives were becoming more compact and more affordable. Still wanting to contribute to the gaming community, I was the first "burner" to change my service to begin accepting USB hard drives. For many reasons, it just made sense, and other burners soon began to do the same.

So, to answer the question, no. I no longer burn rom sets to CD or DVD discs.

Do you still compile update sets?

No. I used a program called MAMEDiff for many years to compile update sets. It's a nifty little program, and I'd highly recommend it to all. It allowed me to easily identify those files that were added or changed between any two MAME releases. Since I no longer burn CD or DVD disks, I don't compile the small update sets.

What is a CHD file?

CHD stands for Compressed Hard Disk (or Compressed Hunks of Data, depending upon which guide you read) - it's basically a file that conatins all of the data from a hard drive that came out of a late-model arcade game. Older games just had ROM chips on printed circuit boards that conatined all of the game data. But as game makers got more sophisticated and technology evolved, they started including actual hard disks in the game cabinets. Therefore, to emulate the game in MAME, you need BOTH the rom file and the CHD file.

Is it legal to acquire or possess these roms?

Keep in mind that the primary mission of MAME is preservation - emulating the software of older arcade machines in order to preserve it for the next generation(s). Eventually, the original hardware that those games work on will expire and cease to function, but through the efforts of the MAMEdev team, the games will survive. Being able to actually *play* those games on your home PC is just a convenient consequence of their efforts. :)

The Library of Congress granted copyright exemptions in the Digital Millenium Act to obsolete games. The exemption applies to games that require the original hardware as a condition of access, and if the game is “no longer manufactured or reasonably available in the commercial marketplace.” This means that old, unsupported PC, console and arcade games will now be legal to own (so your illegal copy of Mame roms are now legit). The only muddy side is if publishers consider their old games to be “reasonably available” and plan to release classic games as bundles or bonuses, then the copyright protection still stands.

The Digital Millenium Copyright Act, or DMCA was passed on October 12, 1998 to address piracy and copyright concerns specifically pertaining to software and the internet properties. Some of the notable provisions included the outlawed circumvention of anti-piracy laws and distrubition or sale of code-cracking devices. Brewster Kahle from the non-profit company Internet Archive petitioned the US Copyright office, and to the delightful surprise of many, the petition was approved. While game companies will undoubtedly cling on to as many of the old games as they can, many of the older unsupported titles are now free game. Those who have been downloading such games can now keep them in their hard drives with a clear conscience.

The MAMEdev team will not include games in the MAME emulator that are generally still available in the commercial market place for this very reason. Nobody is out to rip off commercial gaming companies. We simply want to play the older games that are no longer available to play anywhere else.

Make a donation

Serving the retro-gaming community since 2001!