[elportal] Snatcher MP3 sync tutorial/hack

I managed to get the elportal MP3 dump of Snatcher in sync with Gens, here's how I did it:

tools needed:


Sound Forge 5.0 (earlier versions may/may not work). You can try other audio editors, but I don't know how well they'll work for this.

1) First, back up all your files, of course.

2) Open all the MP3 files in Sound Forge. Grab a beer or something, it's gonna take a few minutes.

3) Look at what the CD track times (in minutes and seconds) are SUPPOSED to be by looking at this fellow's page (and if he's reading this, thanks, your site really helped):


4) Look at the waveforms in Sound Forge, there seems to be no "rhyme or reason" to where the actual AUDIO part of the tracks would start. This gives me the impression, whatever was used to rip the tracks, it was anything but accurate.

In fact, a lot of the MP3 tracks are off by several seconds, which gives some explanation why some scenes weren't even loading...

- With each file, and clip the ends by selecting Process, Auto-Trim/Crop.

The Preset I used was "Trim silence from both ends", with the Function "Keep Edges Outside of The Selection". Everything else was left at default settings (1% for both Attack & Release Thresholds, 20 ms for both Fade in & Fade out)

This simply shaves off the inaudible data at the beginning/end of the file.

(Be sure not have only part of the MP3 file selected when you do this, or it will screw up the aduio. Don't select anything, and it will treat it as a whole)

5) We have to get the MP3s with the same time as what the original files are. There is some math involved here.

Look at the status bar at the bottom of Sound Forge's window, for example my copy of MP3 # 02 (after editing) had a time of 00:00:02.519, a little over two and a half seconds.

Acoording to the web page, the track on the CD clocks in at 00:06, so I need to add 03.481 seconds of non-audible data to the end of the MP3 track.

- On the file window, click on the >| button, this will take the cursor to the absolute final frame of the track.

- Next, select Process/ Insert Silence.

- For this file, I enter 03.481, then for "at", I select "End Of File", and click OK (make sure "Preset" at the top isn't selected to something other than this custom setting, just to be safe)

Checking my math, I look at the status bar at the bottom of Sound Forge's window, where I see track 2 now has a time of 00:00:06.00, or 6 seconds. This is what the game will expect to see.

7) Now I'm gonna save the file, so File/Save As

Under type, I'm going to use MP3 Audio, of course.

For Template, "128 Kbps CD Quality Audio" (which is shitty audio, but since I started with a 128kbps file, that's as good as it gets)

Under the Rgns/Playlist, I select (Do not save Regions or Playlist), then save the file as "Snatcher 02.mp3", since my .iso is named "Snatcher"

8) Okay, now just do the rest of the files the same way, just make sure the MP3 times are equal to the CD track times :p

9) So far, there has only been one track that needed further adjusting - Track 04 (if I recall correctly). Track 04 is the music intro credits, also where Jamie and Gillian have their chit chat before he's whisked away.

I could tell the audio was coming "too soon", so I had to insert Silence in front of the track. I only worked in full second intervals, nothing more precise than that.

I wished I'd have written it down, but I believe I had to add either 2 or 3 seconds at the beginning (and remembered to take 2-3 seconds off the end of the track, to keep the time duration the same). It is in sync now.


Try inserting 3 secs of silence for track 4.

Also, try inserting half-second increments of silence for the beginning of tracks 18 & 19 (don't forget to adjust the tail ends to compensate). Thanks and credit to Aeris for this information.


This is for the elportal dump, your mileage may vary, if you have something different.

I haven't tried burning to disc, so no promises, stick with Gens for this. It's just to help those on slow connection from having to get the same files again.

(Edited by archiver at 6:56 pm on Mar. 3, 2002)
now you guys see why bin/cue is so important why go through ALL of that shit above to get a game to work when all that is needed is a perfect rip in the first place....geeeez

EDIT....Woooo guys dont take it harshly...Im just throwing in my littlte sarcastic bs I say sometimes LOL dont take it personally....Im just sayin my tiny 2 cents....heheheh ok. ;)

(Edited by FAKK2 at 6:28 pm on Mar. 4, 2002)
Quote: from FAKK2 on 1:53 pm on Mar. 4, 2002

now you guys see why bin/cue is so important why go through ALL of that shit above to get a game to work when all that is needed is a perfect rip in the first place....geeeez

You know, the idea here wasn't to start a .bin/.cue vs. iso+mp3 debate.

I posted it so some people could fix what they have and not have to redownload the same files in a different format (assuming they could find them, or had the bandwidth/time to do so). It's exactly what I presented it as, a hack of a bad dump to get things in sync for use in Gens.

I still see a lot of people being referred to elportal (not from here), so I don't see the problem going away.

Those that want 100% total accuracy should buy the game and a Sega CD+Genesis, period.
The pros for iso/mp3 are threefold. 1 not all of us have working mega/sega cd systems anymore. 2 Often (certainly in Snatcher's case), they tend to work better with emulators. And 3, ftps are a pain in the arse. It's not like the cutting was much hassle anyway

I forgot to mention something else i noticed when cutting. One of my elportal mp3s (can't remember which, i'm pretty sure it was one of Jamie's videophone calls) has some kind of crackle at the start which fools Sound Forge into thinking that the original source audio begins early. You can hear/see it if you look out for it. Just lop it off before you trim and it will sync fine

(Edited by aeris at 4:06 pm on Mar. 4, 2002)
can i do this with wav's.? i converted them to wav form because i was gonna burn it but decided not to.
oh i also have another question, i'm not using elportal, but my track two is 2.506 after editing. Is that ok?
I don't know how accurate it'd be on any other dump, to be honest, there's a lot of of room for error when you rip audio data, depending on what tools are being used.

If your files are out of sync, it's possible the audio was "binchunked" which means it might have an extra 2 seconds at the beginning of each file... I might start there.

You might try MP3 direct cut for this

I haven't tried it yet, but the advantage is that you can trim your files without having to reencode them as MP3s (which will reduce quality, think f it like a xerox machine)

I think the site for it is at


Just be sure to back up your original MP3s, and test it in Gens before you burn (and I think Snatcher requires perfect sync, too)

Another thing:

Snatcher seems to be pretty dependent on the lengths of the audio tracks as I mentioned above. It's possible that a few of your tracks are off enough to cause the errors in the game.

The link I originally posted has the actual times for the audio tracks.
Quote: from Gallstaff on 8:51 pm on Mar. 18, 2002

oh i also have another question, i'm not using elportal, but my track two is 2.506 after editing. Is that ok?

Try sticking 3.494 additional (blank) audio time at the end of the file in the same manner I did as mentioned above

You can still do it, but your audio times are slightly different, so you can't use the same time as I did for track 2

These are the track times:

Track 01 - 12:28 (Data Track)

Track 02 - 00:06

Track 03 - 02:14

Track 04 - 04:34

Track 05 - 00:21

Track 06 - 01:12

Track 07 - 02:46

Track 08 - 03:34

Track 09 - 01:27

Track 10 - 02:09

Track 11 - 01:48

Track 12 - 04:29

Track 13 - 01:54

Track 14 - 01:21

Track 15 - 01:18

Track 16 - 00:17

Track 17 - 01:38

Track 18 - 00:47

Track 19 - 07:02

Track 20 - 00:33

Track 21 - 06:56
I'm having brain farts today, so bear with me

Example: track 8 that I listed above is "Track 08 - 03:34"

In Sound Forge that would look like 3:34.00

So if (an example) your track #8 is 3:31.592, add 0:02.408

this should make it 3:34.00, or 03:34, which is 3 mins, 34 seconds
Yes, either that or find the original (if you're lucky!).

What pains me to no end is that despite doing all this nonsense, I owned the friggin' thing, and loaned it out to someone who loved it....

someone who now can't find it, grrrr }:-(
Good post, archiver! I added it to my site (hope you don't mind) - the one you got the CD track lengths from.

Supergrom, aceroms should soon have a bin/cue of Snatcher for download:


If they never seem to post it, I might consider uploading one to FTP (and im on 56k!). Im trying to avoid that, though.

In the meantime, my homemade ISO+Mp3 rip works 100% perfectly with high quality 192kbs Mp3s that sound as good as the CD! Since all the ISOs out there are fine already, I'm thinking about just uploading my Mp3s (62 megs). See my post in the FTP forum. You guys think that's a good idea? If so, what is a good FTP to upload to?


BAMMFrazer, that's very cool with me, I'm honored. I saw you added Aeris' additional notes in as well so that's great, he/she deserves credit as well.

Snatcher's such a good game it's a shame so many people are playing it with an out of sync dump.

On uploading the Mp3s, I think that's a fine idea.

There's a bad set of MK MP3s going around (again from elportal), they're ridden with skips thorughout many of the tracks. I do have the *original* disk now, and I've already ripped the tracks to 192kbps, they come to ~41MB rar/zipped.

I'd be happy to up them overnight to a public server, but maybe there's a better set going around that I just don't know about.
Cool, but how is it that your Mp3s come to 41 megs Rared?!?

Mine are 62 megs rared with max compression! I ripped them with Audioactive - 192kbs, max quality settings.

Id love to know how you got them to be 41 megs, cause then I could fit the entire game on a ZIP disc to pass around to friends. However, I am not willing to sacrifice quality. How do your Mp3s compare to the CD? Mine sound virtually the same.
I went back to look at the MP3s, and I mistyped 41MB, but not by much. The Mp3s are 42.1MB rar/zipped. Unzipped, they are 45.2MB.

What I do, I rip with EAC, and compress with Dmitry Kutsanov's latest stable Win32 LAME binary at 192kbps constant bit rate, high quality. I don't normalize the audio or "tweak" it in any way, just to preserve things as they originally were.

Lame is a console (command line) program, but you can set the compression parameters from within EAC's GUI. I haven't tried Audioactive, maybe there's a way you could have it rip/compress with Lame if you wanted to try it out.

In terms of quality, I cannot tell much difference between the MP3s/CDs, personally. I send my audio out to a Pioneer VSX-D6065, running a pair of Bose 301's.

This is all my opinion - anyone can easily hop in and point out what they like as well. I really think it comes down to the codec/format, which is a matter of preference. I have used many of them, both commercial and open sourced, and Lame seemed to give the best quality (to my ears :) ) in the 192 kbps range.

(Edited by Archiver, because he's not as 1337 with HTML as he used to be...lol!)

(Edited by archiver at 2:25 pm on Mar. 20, 2002)
Hmm, maybe LAME has a better compression ratio. Audioactive uses the original Fraunhofer codec. Ill try the software you linked to and see how it compares. If I could rar both my ISO and Mp3s into a file that will fit onto a zip disc, it would be very helpful. Thanks, Ill let you know how it goes.

Oh, Supergrom, I don't know when aceroms will post their stuff. Sorry :(

(Edited by BAMMFrazer at 9:57 pm on Mar. 20, 2002)
Ok, I just did a little test. First, I ripped Track 7 to a wave (28 megs). Then I used the LAME you linked to encode at 192kbs, high quality and got a 3.81 meg Mp3. I compared that to the Mp3 I got using Audioactive. Both are 3.81 megs. Next, I played all 3 sound files back to back. To my ears, they all sound exactly the same.

So the question is, if the file sizes are also exactly the same, how did you end up getting a smaller total size for your Mp3s?

Did I do something differently? I uses command line:

lame -b 192 -h Track07.wav Track07.mp3

How large is your track 7 Mp3?

Thanks for your time!