PROmotion

The 1990’s was an amazing time for multimedia. Compared to what is possible today, the graphics were more simple but there were many software titles leading the charge in Animation. Macromedia Director, along with Flash, dominated the interactive multimedia market for quite some time. Eventually being picked up by Adobe and discontinued in 2013. Quite a few multimedia disc’s out there were built using Director.

Competing with Director, another company had a strong product. Motion Works International was an early pioneer in the multimedia CD-ROM scene. Rumor has it, Motion Works was started by a 12 year old. Motion Works had been making software for use with the highly successful HyperCard software since 1988. In 1992 they released the successor to their ADDmotion software, a path based animation tool called PROmotion.

PROmotion was used with with many Multimedia titles, some in cooperation with the Corel Home series. In addition to commercial titles PROmotion was a great tool for the creation of animation clips and other marketing material. I came across some stand-alone marketing files for old scriptwriting software called ScriptWare. When I unarchived the HQX file and Installed the Demo, I was presented with a set of files with the .MW extension.

ls -l@
total 10232
-rw-r--r--@ 1 tyler  staff  1392 May  1 23:17 Read me first!
	com.apple.FinderInfo	  32 
	com.apple.ResourceFork	 452 
-rw-r--r--@ 1 tyler  staff     0 May  1 23:17 begin_here.MW
	com.apple.FinderInfo	  32 
	com.apple.ResourceFork	158901 
-rw-r--r--@ 1 tyler  staff     0 May  1 23:17 characters.MW
	com.apple.FinderInfo	  32 
	com.apple.ResourceFork	387029 
-rw-r--r--@ 1 tyler  staff     0 May  1 23:17 cinovation.MW
	com.apple.FinderInfo	  32 
	com.apple.ResourceFork	189509 
-rw-r--r--@ 1 tyler  staff     0 May  1 23:17 cut paste.MW
	com.apple.FinderInfo	  32 
	com.apple.ResourceFork	608405 
-rw-r--r--@ 1 tyler  staff     0 May  1 23:17 formats.MW
	com.apple.FinderInfo	  32 
	com.apple.ResourceFork	289698 
-rw-r--r--@ 1 tyler  staff     0 May  1 23:17 modify formats.MW
	com.apple.FinderInfo	  32 
	com.apple.ResourceFork	486730 
-rw-r--r--@ 1 tyler  staff     0 May  1 23:17 notes.MW
	com.apple.FinderInfo	  32 
	com.apple.ResourceFork	319250 
-rw-r--r--@ 1 tyler  staff     0 May  1 23:17 overview.MW
	com.apple.FinderInfo	  32 
	com.apple.ResourceFork	376854 
-rw-r--r--@ 1 tyler  staff     0 May  1 23:17 scene shuffle.MW
	com.apple.FinderInfo	  32 
	com.apple.ResourceFork	359746 
-rw-r--r--@ 1 tyler  staff     0 May  1 23:17 script elements.MW
	com.apple.FinderInfo	  32 
	com.apple.ResourceFork	279052 
-rw-r--r--@ 1 tyler  staff     0 May  1 23:17 sw_menu.MW
	com.apple.FinderInfo	  32 
	com.apple.ResourceFork	421836 
-rw-r--r--@ 1 tyler  staff     0 May  1 23:17 title page.MW
	com.apple.FinderInfo	  32 
	com.apple.ResourceFork	236614 
-rw-r--r--@ 1 tyler  staff     0 May  1 23:17 transitions.MW
	com.apple.FinderInfo	  32 
	com.apple.ResourceFork	471462 
-rw-r--r--@ 1 tyler  staff     0 May  1 23:17 try it.MW
	com.apple.FinderInfo	  32 
	com.apple.ResourceFork	622312 

getfileinfo sw_menu.MW 
file: "sw_menu.MW"
type: "APPL"
creator: "AMvw"

Looking at the files in the directory with their extended attributes I can see all the .MW files have no data fork (0 bytes), only a resource fork. This is common for any Application on the MacOS systems prior to MacOS X. At first the MW extension made me thing of MacWrite, but launching one of these MW files brought up an interactive menu. The type being APPL, which is Application.

What I thought would be a demo of the application Scriptware was actually interactive animations demonstrating the software. By dumping the resource fork of one of the MW files I found some information which helped me know what software created these interactive demos.

derez Scriptware\ Demo\ folder/sw_menu.MW

data 'vers' (1) {
	$"0103 8000 0000 0531 2E30 2E33 2941 4D20"            /* ..?....1.0.3)AM  */
	$"5669 6577 6572 2031 2E30 2E33 0DA9 2031"            /* Viewer 1.0.3.? 1 */
	$"3939 3320 4D6F 7469 6F6E 2057 6F72 6B73"            /* 993 Motion Works */
	$"2049 6E74 6C2E"                                     /*  Intl. */
};

data 'vers' (2) {
	$"0103 8000 0000 0531 2E30 2E33 1E50 6C61"            /* ..?....1.0.3.Pla */
	$"7962 6163 6B20 6279 204D 6F74 696F 6E20"            /* yback by Motion  */
	$"576F 726B 7320 496E 746C 2E"                        /* Works Intl. */
};

data 'STR#' (1250, "ADDmotion HC strings") {
	$"000A 1641 4444 6D6F 7469 6F6E 5F65 7870"            /* ...ADDmotion_exp */
	$"6F72 745F 6672 616D 650E 4144 446D 6F74"            /* ort_frame.ADDmot */
	$"696F 6E5F 696E 666F 1141 4444 6D6F 7469"            /* ion_info.ADDmoti */
	$"6F6E 5F73 7573 7065 6E64 1041 4444 6D6F"            /* on_suspend.ADDmo */
	$"7469 6F6E 5F72 6573 756D 650E 4144 446D"            /* tion_resume.ADDm */
	$"6F74 696F 6E5F 7175 6974 0E41 4444 6D6F"            /* otion_quit.ADDmo */
	$"7469 6F6E 5F70 6C61 790E 4144 446D 6F74"            /* tion_play.ADDmot */
	$"696F 6E5F 7374 6F70 0F41 4444 6D6F 7469"            /* ion_stop.ADDmoti */
	$"6F6E 5F70 6175 7365 0000"                           /* on_pause.. */
};

Makes sense, MW stood for “Motion Works”. ADDmotion was another software title developed by Motion Works, most will remember it as an add-on for Hypercard for adding animation to stacks. These MW files are created using PROmotion and exporting them as a stand-alone animation which includes the “AM Viewer” built in. A regular PROmotion file, however, did not include a viewer and requires the software in order to open and run.

-rwx------@ 1 tyler  staff      0 Apr 25 15:51 Example Animation
	com.apple.FinderInfo	   32 
	com.apple.ResourceFork	495272 

The PROmotion file format also is Resource Fork only, making them difficult to manage outside of a Macintosh.

getfileinfo Example\ Animation
file: "Example Animation"
type: "ADDm"
creator: "ADDm"

The files do have a Type/Creator code of “ADDm”, but with no data fork, identification through standard means is not possible. They also do not have the “vers” string to help identify them within the Resource Fork. Since standard methods of identification are impossible, I hope in the future there will be more tools available to read the Type/Creator codes while on the Mac, or in a disk image, or within a container and return back the Software which created the file and the file type.

The products from Motion Works where significantly cheaper than animation tools such as Director, but were still pretty powerful for its day. I was surprised when I found the company didn’t last much longer than 1998 before disappearing. There are probably many stories like PROmotion, coming onto the scene with new and exciting features before thought impossible only to die out as other tools dominate the market.

If you are interested in looking at the files yourself, here is a link to some original files, and the same files encoded in MacBinary.

Writing Center

In honor of #Marchintosh, I threatened in an earlier post to discuss The Writing Center, one of the many writing programs marketed by the Learning Company for the Mac. This one was developed by Datapak Software, Inc and I think they wanted to watch the world burn.

This format was different enough from the Student Writing Center and the “Ultimate Writing & Creativity Center” to need its own post. Moreover, I am pretty sure the developers of this software were actively trying to frustrate anyone trying to document the format. Let me explain.

In the early Macintosh world, very rarely were extensions used. Current systems use extensions to link the file to an application which can open the file. On the Mac, the system would use special attributes called Type / Creator codes. These codes were registered with Apple so they would be unique to a specific software and type of file. The codes used the FourCC system and unfortunately Apple never released a full list of codes used. Some folks over the years have tried to document as many as they can. Many used simple understandable codes, for example, A Microsoft Word document has a Type / Creator of W6BN / MSWD. The creator code of MSWD is very readable, and the type code W6BN is unique to a document from version 6 of Microsoft Word.

This Sample Report file from The Writing Center, when investigated with the ResEdit tool show interesting Type / Creator codes. If we look at the hexadecimals values for the codes. The first four bytes are the Type code and the second set of 4 bytes are the Creator code.

xattr -p com.apple.FinderInfo "Sample Report" 
0000   0A 57 50 31 0A 1A 57 50 01 00 00 00 00 00 00 00    .WP1..WP........

getfileinfo "Sample Report" 
file: "Sample Report"
type: "\nWP1"
creator: "\n\^ZWP"
attributes: avbstclInmedz
created: 10/13/1990 00:10:54
modified: 07/25/1991 11:58:20

The first thing to know is the encoding for all Type / Creator codes is MacRoman, so if we look up the hexadecimal code for “0A” we learn it is the character for a new Line Feed, why in the world would you use the line feed character? The developers must have had a sense of humor, or are psychopaths, and I’m leaning toward the latter. Trying to put this character into any sort of spreadsheet or text based document with other codes throws everything off! When I try and use a spreadsheet with a group of codes and then use a script to look them up on the command line I get crazy formatting. Not to mentioned the second character in the creator code is “1A” which is a substitute character.

This is just one example of crazy characters being used in Type / Creator codes. Stay tuned for more on these in future discussions.

Even though the Type / Creator codes are very useful in identification of this format, often times the Finder attribute is lost. This can happen if the file is moved off an HFS disk, usually a network or through the internet. Then all we have is the binary data fork and a file with no extension. So finding a signature to identify this format is useful.

hexdump -C "Sample Report" | head
00000000  00 12 cf fc 00 00 05 78  00 00 00 00 01 18 01 eb  |.......x........|
00000010  ff ff ff c4 ff ff ff c4  00 00 02 82 00 00 02 28  |...............(|
00000020  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 05 76 00 00 00 30  |...........v...0|
00000030  00 00 02 70 00 aa 00 00  05 76 00 00 00 30 00 00  |...p.....v...0..|
00000040  02 70 00 aa 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |.p..............|
00000050  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |................|
00000060  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 12  |................|
00000070  d1 2c 00 00 05 3f 00 00  00 00 01 00 06 47 65 6e  |.,...?.......Gen|
00000080  65 76 61 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |eva.............|
00000090  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 0c  |................|

hexdump -C WC-s01 | head        
00000000  03 df cd 9c 00 00 00 09  00 00 00 00 02 c3 02 64  |...............d|
00000010  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 59 00 00 02 64  |...........Y...d|
00000020  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 07 00 00 00 00  |................|
00000030  00 00 00 00 00 79 00 00  00 07 00 00 00 00 00 00  |.....y..........|
00000040  00 00 00 79 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |...y............|
00000050  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |................|
00000060  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 03 df  |................|
00000070  cd 78 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 01 00 06 47 65 6e  |.x...........Gen|
00000080  65 76 61 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |eva.............|
00000090  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 0c  |................|

Looking at the hexadecimal values of the header of a couple samples doesn’t initially look promising, the first few bytes are very different meaning there is no magic bytes at the beginning of the file. In fact the only thing the same is the mention of the Geneva font used in the document. Looking further into the files.

hexdump -C "Sample Report"       
00000000  00 12 cf fc 00 00 05 78  00 00 00 00 01 18 01 eb  |.......x........|
...
000000b0  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 02  84 28 ff ff 00 00 00 00  |.........(......|
000000c0  00 17 4e 26 00 12 d2 fc  00 00 00 00 00 12 d0 88  |..N&............|

hexdump -C WC-s01        
00000000  03 df cd 9c 00 00 00 09  00 00 00 00 02 c3 02 64  |...............d|
...
000000b0  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 02  84 28 ff ff 00 00 00 00  |.........(......|
000000c0  03 e3 a5 70 03 df cd 8c  00 00 00 00 03 df cd 64  |...p...........d|

hexdump -C Stationery 
00000000  00 12 d2 e8 00 00 00 02  00 00 00 00 01 17 01 ec  |................|
...
000000b0  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 02  84 20 ff ff 00 00 00 00  |......... ......|
000000c0  00 17 56 f8 00 12 cd f8  00 00 00 00 00 12 ce 40  |..V............@|

The only bytes I could find near the beginning that seemed semi consistent is the highlighted bytes above. I did however notice some consistent bytes at the end of each of the files.

hexdump -C "Sample Report" | tail                                                      
00007250  e5 00 02 e5 00 02 e5 00  02 e5 00 02 e5 00 02 e5  |................|
00007260  00 02 e5 00 02 e5 00 02  e5 00 02 e5 00 ff 00 07  |................|
00007270  00 00 00 05 04 31 2e 30  30 00 09 00 00 00 05 04  |.....1.00.......|
00007280  31 2e 30 30 00 08 00 00  00 05 04 31 2e 30 30 00  |1.00.......1.00.|
00007290  0a 00 00 00 05 04 31 2e  30 30 00 0b 00 00 00 02  |......1.00......|
000072a0  00 00 00 0c 00 00 00 10  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |................|
000072b0  00 00 00 01 00 00 00 01  00 11 00 00 00 08 00 2b  |...............+|
000072c0  00 03 01 52 01 fd 00 13  00 00 00 02 00 00 7f ff  |...R............|
000072d0  00 00 00 00 00 00 72 dc  7f ff ff ff              |......r.....|

hexdump -C WC-s01 | tail                                                              
000003c0  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |................|
000003d0  01 00 00 80 0c 00 08 00  05 00 00 00 00 01 d2 03  |................|
000003e0  ee dc 3e 00 00 00 00 00  07 00 00 00 01 00 00 09  |..>.............|
000003f0  00 00 00 01 00 00 08 00  00 00 01 00 00 0a 00 00  |................|
00000400  00 01 00 00 0b 00 00 00  02 00 00 00 0c 00 00 00  |................|
00000410  10 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 01 00 00 00  |................|
00000420  01 00 11 00 00 00 08 00  2b 00 c7 02 fd 03 3a 00  |........+.....:.|
00000430  13 00 00 00 02 00 00 7f  ff 00 00 00 00 00 00 04  |................|
00000440  45 7f ff ff ff                                    |E....|

hexdump -C Stationery | tail
000039a0  00 02 e3 00 02 e3 00 02  e3 00 02 e3 00 02 e3 00  |................|
000039b0  02 e3 00 02 e3 00 02 e3  00 02 e3 00 02 e3 00 ff  |................|
000039c0  00 07 00 00 00 05 04 31  2e 30 30 00 09 00 00 00  |.......1.00.....|
000039d0  05 04 31 2e 30 30 00 08  00 00 00 05 04 31 2e 30  |..1.00.......1.0|
000039e0  30 00 0a 00 00 00 05 04  31 2e 30 30 00 0b 00 00  |0.......1.00....|
000039f0  00 02 00 00 00 0c 00 00  00 10 00 00 00 00 00 00  |................|
00003a00  00 00 00 00 00 01 00 00  00 01 00 11 00 00 00 08  |................|
00003a10  00 2b 00 03 01 51 01 fe  00 13 00 00 00 02 00 00  |.+...Q..........|
00003a20  7f ff 00 00 00 00 00 00  3a 2e 7f ff ff ff        |........:.....|

The four bytes at the end of each file by themselves would not be a good signature as there are many formats which end with a few “FF” sequences. But maybe combined with bytes near the beginning, a signature might be found. I added a couple samples to my Github page if you would like to take a look. In order to retain the extended attributes, I encoded the files as MacBinary.

lsar -L "Sample Report.bin"
Sample Report.bin: MacBinary
Sample Report: 
  Name:                    Sample Report
  Size:                    29.4 KB (29,404 bytes)
  Compressed size:         29.4 KB (29,440 bytes)
  Last modified:           Thursday, July 25, 1991 at 12:58:20 PM
  Created:                 Saturday, October 13, 1990 at 1:10:54 AM
  Mac OS type code:        ?WP1 (0x0a575031)
  Mac OS creator code:     ??WP (0x0a1a5750)
  Mac OS Finder flags:     0x0100
  Index in file:           0
  Length of embedded data: 29404
  Start of embedded data:  128
  Original archive entry:  Is an embedded MacBinary file: Yes

Compact Pro

In the Classic Macintosh world back in the day it was important to use compression tools to keep files small and also allow you to send Macintosh files through the internet. Floppy disks could only hold a small amount of data so utilizing compression was a way to use the space effectively. I have already made posts on BINHEX and DiskDoubler which where also used for similar purposes. The most popular compression software for Macintosh is Stuffit, which used .SIT and .SEA extensions. One of the other often used tools was called Compact Pro.

Compact Pro, originally know as Compactor, developed by Bill Goodman in the early 1990’s and was quite popular. It was generally faster in its ability to compress and decompress files on the Macintosh. By 1995 the last version was released and by 2002 the software was officially discontinued.

Also, Macintosh files often contain a Resource Fork to go along with the data. Archiving files within a Compact Pro archive could contain both forks along with creation, modification dates and the finder Type/Creator codes. Then an archive could be transferred through the internet or on a non Macintosh file system without loosing these key bits of information.

You can see from the image below, the compression of a PICT file retained the resource fork and finder data with an impressive 60% savings in size.

PICT File within a Compact Pro archive.

Compact Pro could also segment an archive into multiple parts. This was advantageous when needing to copy a larger file on to a set of floppy disks, or for transferring smaller files through the internet and combined later. Segments would be extracted by opening the final segment.

The other nifty feature of Compact Pro is it could create a Self-Extracting Archive. Archiving as an SEA, would compress the file into an archive, but contained within an application which could extract the archive without the use of the the full Compact Pro application. This was used mainly for use on distributed Macintosh file system disks as the application could only be run on a Mac OS system.

Let’s look at the actual Compact Pro file format.

hexdump -C CompactProTest.cpt | head
00000000  01 01 6f 07 00 00 00 cb  80 35 04 56 00 60 50 50  |..o......5.V.`PP|
00000010  00 50 50 00 60 05 60 50  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |.PP.`.`P........|
00000020  00 00 60 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |..`.............|
00000030  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 30  |...............0|
00000040  00 00 04 60 00 05 00 06  00 55 40 00 00 00 00 00  |...`.....U@.....|
00000050  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |................|
00000060  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 60 00 00 00  |............`...|
00000070  00 00 00 00 00 40 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |.....@..........|
00000080  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  05 08 00 01 20 00 00 00  |............ ...|
00000090  00 20 01 10 88 c1 04 f6  05 41 3e 47 56 e4 09 5f  |. .......A>GV.._|

hexdump -C CP-s01.cpt | head    
00000000  01 01 90 69 00 00 10 55  80 46 78 67 77 67 78 67  |...i...U.Fxgwgxg|
00000010  86 88 09 89 9a 70 8b 90  ba 97 0a a7 90 87 a6 bb  |.....p..........|
00000020  90 8a a0 90 ab b7 aa a0  a0 80 a8 a0 98 89 00 9a  |................|
00000030  99 80 98 99 69 a9 60 0a  79 ab 86 0a b7 98 a7 90  |....i.`.y.......|
00000040  98 a0 97 7a 90 00 09 00  07 77 80 00 aa 9b 00 ba  |...z.....w......|
00000050  99 a0 90 00 08 08 a0 8a  08 a0 00 00 b9 b0 09 7a  |...............z|
00000060  08 0a aa 90 0a aa 00 00  98 60 90 b9 9b 9a 9a 57  |.........`.....W|
00000070  a8 88 bb aa aa 00 00 77  89 7a 09 b9 89 79 9b 78  |.......w.z...y.x|
00000080  86 80 8a 96 65 55 56 66  65 17 00 02 24 35 46 47  |....eUVfe...$5FG|
00000090  57 67 67 78 88 8a 70 80  80 90 00 a0 90 a0 00 00  |Wggx..p.........|

The file format is not recognized by PRONOM, and as you can see from the headers above, identification is not easy as there are no magic bytes. Using Unarchiver they identify as Compact Pro.

lsar CP-s01.cpt 
CP-s01.cpt: Compact Pro
CP.PICT

The only bytes which seem to be consistent is the first two, but “01 01” is not a signature which is unique to Compact Pro. The Unarchiver uses a more complicated calculation of file size and the CRC for identification, from what I can tell.

hexdump -C CP-s01.sea | head
00000000  01 01 8a 89 00 00 10 55  80 46 78 67 77 67 78 67  |.......U.Fxgwgxg|
00000010  86 88 09 89 9a 70 8b 90  ba 97 0a a7 90 87 a6 bb  |.....p..........|
00000020  90 8a a0 90 ab b7 aa a0  a0 80 a8 a0 98 89 00 9a  |................|
00000030  99 80 98 99 69 a9 60 0a  79 ab 86 0a b7 98 a7 90  |....i.`.y.......|
00000040  98 a0 97 7a 90 00 09 00  07 77 80 00 aa 9b 00 ba  |...z.....w......|
00000050  99 a0 90 00 08 08 a0 8a  08 a0 00 00 b9 b0 09 7a  |...............z|
00000060  08 0a aa 90 0a aa 00 00  98 60 90 b9 9b 9a 9a 57  |.........`.....W|
00000070  a8 88 bb aa aa 00 00 77  89 7a 09 b9 89 79 9b 78  |.......w.z...y.x|
00000080  86 80 8a 96 65 55 56 66  65 17 00 02 24 35 46 47  |....eUVfe...$5FG|
00000090  57 67 67 78 88 8a 70 80  80 90 00 a0 90 a0 00 00  |Wggx..p.........|

The self extracting archive has the same basic structure. I have also noticed on all the archive samples I have, the byte at offset 8 is always “80”. This could be significant.

Another thing to note, when looking at a segmented archive, the first two bytes are in sequence, 0101 for the first, 0102 for the second and so on.

CompactPro could use some further investigation. You can find quite a few on site such as: https://websites.umich.edu/~archive/mac

For now, it would be good to add the CPT extension to PRONOM with the name CompactPro Archive.

Finale

The amazing Ashley recently did a little writeup on the Sibelius music notation software. I thought I would take the opportunity to talk about another music notation software which needs a little update. Finale was created in 1987 for the Macintosh by a company called Coda Music and became quite popular with musicians and composers. The ability to use a computer to typeset a musical score was a huge advancement. This was all possible by the use of music notation fonts.

Finale was originally written by Coda Music Technology, owned for a time by Net4Music, now currently owned by MakeMusic. Over the years there has been additional products developed along side Finale.

The first version of Finale was developed for the Macintosh and didn’t have an extension. But by version 3.5 there was a comparable Windows version and the use of the extension .MUS. In order to share the files between the different platforms Finale also created an ETF file, which instead of the binary MUS the ETF is a plain text “transportable” file.

Finale 1.0 HyperCard HelpStack

Both formats are based on the Enigma or “Environment for Notation Intuitive Graphic Music Algorithms” format. These formats were last used with Finale 2012 when a new format took over in 2014. Let’s start from the beginning.

hexdump -C Finale1-s01 | head
00000000  46 69 6e 61 6c 65 aa 20  31 2e 30 2e 30 20 45 4e  |Finale. 1.0.0 EN|
00000010  49 47 41 20 53 74 72 75  63 74 75 72 65 73 20 43  |IGA Structures C|
00000020  6f 70 79 72 69 67 68 74  20 31 39 38 37 20 62 79  |opyright 1987 by|
00000030  20 43 6f 64 61 2e 20 41  6c 6c 20 72 69 67 68 74  | Coda. All right|
00000040  73 20 72 65 73 65 72 76  65 64 2e 20 50 61 74 65  |s reserved. Pate|
00000050  6e 74 20 50 65 6e 64 69  6e 67 00 00 00 00 00 00  |nt Pending......|
00000060  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |................|
*
00000080  01 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |................|
00000090  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |................|

This is a sample of the very first version of Finale. Currently not identifiable by PRONOM. You may also noticed in this version it was called ENIGA.

hexdump -C Finale2.6.3 | head
00000000  46 69 6e 61 6c 65 28 54  4d 29 20 31 2e 38 20 43  |Finale(TM) 1.8 C|
00000010  6f 70 79 72 69 67 68 74  20 31 39 38 37 20 62 79  |opyright 1987 by|
00000020  20 43 6f 64 61 2e 20 41  6c 6c 20 72 69 67 68 74  | Coda. All right|
00000030  73 20 72 65 73 65 72 76  65 64 2e 00 00 00 00 00  |s reserved......|
00000040  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |................|
*
00000080  01 01 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |................|
00000090  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |................|
*
00000200  00 00 00 09 00 00 02 00  00 00 46 4e 50 65 74 72  |..........FNPetr|

A file from version 2.6.3 shows a different format structure, also not currently identified by PRONOM.

hexdump -C F35-s01.mus | head
00000000  45 4e 49 47 4d 41 20 42  49 4e 41 52 59 20 46 49  |ENIGMA BINARY FI|
00000010  4c 45 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |LE..............|
00000020  46 69 6e 61 6c 65 28 52  29 20 33 2e 35 20 43 6f  |Finale(R) 3.5 Co|
00000030  70 79 72 69 67 68 74 20  28 63 29 20 31 39 39 35  |pyright (c) 1995|
00000040  20 43 6f 64 61 20 4d 75  73 69 63 20 54 65 63 68  | Coda Music Tech|
00000050  6e 6f 6c 6f 67 79 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |nology..........|
00000060  00 02 00 00 00 00 7c 02  08 00 00 00 03 03 50 03  |......|.......P.|
00000070  46 49 4e 00 57 49 4e 00  02 04 50 03 03 03 50 03  |FIN.WIN...P...P.|
00000080  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 7c 02 08 00  |............|...|
00000090  00 00 03 03 50 03 46 49  4e 00 57 49 4e 00 02 04  |....P.FIN.WIN...|

By Version 3 we see the format stabilize and this header is used until Finale 2012. There was other various products which also used the format so there is some variation.

hexdump -C Tutorial1a.mus | head
00000000  45 4e 49 47 4d 41 20 42  49 4e 41 52 59 20 46 49  |ENIGMA BINARY FI|
00000010  4c 45 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |LE..............|
00000020  50 72 69 6e 74 4d 75 73  69 63 28 52 29 20 32 30  |PrintMusic(R) 20|
00000030  31 30 20 43 6f 70 79 72  69 67 68 74 20 31 39 39  |10 Copyright 199|
00000040  38 2d 32 30 30 39 20 4d  61 6b 65 4d 75 73 69 63  |8-2009 MakeMusic|
00000050  20 49 6e 63 2e 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  | Inc............|
00000060  00 02 0e 01 00 00 6a 02  0e 00 00 00 04 02 02 0b  |......j.........|
00000070  46 49 4e 00 57 49 4e 00  03 04 02 0b 0d 02 00 0b  |FIN.WIN.........|
00000080  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 6d 08 0d 00  |............m...|
00000090  00 00 31 02 00 0f 4e 54  52 00 4d 41 43 00 10 02  |..1...NTR.MAC...|

The current PRONOM identification for fmt/397 is looking for the “ENIGMA BINARY FILE” bytes but also the string “Finale(R)”, so this PrintMusic variation is not identified correctly.

Another format that is a little more rare to see, but is part of the Finale formats collection. Finale Performance Assessment File (.fpa) is an older format discontinued in 2007, but has a similar format. It was a tool similar to the current SmartMusic tool.

hexdump -C Tuba.FPA | head
00000000  46 49 4e 41 4c 45 20 50  45 52 46 4f 52 4d 41 4e  |FINALE PERFORMAN|
00000010  43 45 20 41 53 53 45 53  53 4d 45 4e 54 00 00 00  |CE ASSESSMENT...|
00000020  46 69 6e 61 6c 65 28 52  29 20 32 30 30 35 20 43  |Finale(R) 2005 C|
00000030  6f 70 79 72 69 67 68 74  20 28 63 29 20 31 39 38  |opyright (c) 198|
00000040  37 2d 32 30 30 34 20 4d  61 6b 65 4d 75 73 69 63  |7-2004 MakeMusic|
00000050  21 20 49 6e 63 2e 00 6f  6c 6f 67 79 00 00 00 00  |! Inc..ology....|
00000060  00 02 06 00 00 00 68 06  09 00 00 00 16 02 00 09  |......h.........|
00000070  46 49 4e 00 57 49 4e 00  01 04 01 09 16 02 00 09  |FIN.WIN.........|
00000080  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 68 07 0d 00  |............h...|
00000090  00 00 0a 01 00 0a 46 49  4e 00 57 49 4e 00 03 03  |......FIN.WIN...|

As for the Enigma Transportable File, there is a couple variations.

hexdump -C Finale1-s02.etf | head
00000000  45 4e 49 47 4d 41 20 74  72 61 6e 73 70 6f 72 74  |ENIGMA transport|
00000010  61 62 6c 65 20 66 69 6c  65 0d 45 4e 49 47 4d 41  |able file.ENIGMA|
00000020  20 53 74 72 75 63 74 75  72 65 73 20 43 6f 70 79  | Structures Copy|
00000030  72 69 67 68 74 20 31 39  38 37 20 62 79 20 43 6f  |right 1987 by Co|
00000040  64 61 2e 20 41 6c 6c 20  52 69 67 68 74 73 20 52  |da. All Rights R|
00000050  65 73 65 72 76 65 64 2e  20 50 61 74 65 6e 74 20  |eserved. Patent |
00000060  50 65 6e 64 69 6e 67 2e  0d 0d 5e 6f 74 68 65 72  |Pending...^other|
00000070  73 0d 5e 46 4e 28 30 29  20 22 50 65 74 72 75 63  |s.^FN(0) "Petruc|
00000080  63 69 22 0d 5e 49 55 28  30 29 20 31 20 30 20 2d  |ci".^IU(0) 1 0 -|
00000090  38 30 20 32 20 30 20 2d  33 31 36 20 0d 5e 49 55  |80 2 0 -316 .^IU|

hexdump -C Finale37-Sample.etf | head
00000000  45 4e 49 47 4d 41 20 54  52 41 4e 53 50 4f 52 54  |ENIGMA TRANSPORT|
00000010  41 42 4c 45 20 46 49 4c  45 0d 0d 5e 68 65 61 64  |ABLE FILE..^head|
00000020  65 72 0d 5e 30 31 20 22  46 69 6e 61 6c 65 28 52  |er.^01 "Finale(R|
00000030  29 20 33 2e 37 20 43 6f  70 79 72 69 67 68 74 20  |) 3.7 Copyright |
00000040  28 63 29 20 31 39 38 37  2d 31 39 39 36 20 43 6f  |(c) 1987-1996 Co|
00000050  64 61 20 4d 75 73 69 63  20 54 65 63 68 6e 6f 6c  |da Music Technol|
00000060  6f 67 79 22 0d 5e 30 32  20 31 20 30 20 30 20 30  |ogy".^02 1 0 0 0|
00000070  20 0d 5e 30 33 20 31 32  30 20 31 31 20 39 20 0d  | .^03 120 11 9 .|
00000080  5e 30 34 20 22 22 0d 5e  30 35 20 35 37 36 37 32  |^04 "".^05 57672|
00000090  32 30 34 20 0d 5e 30 36  20 22 46 49 4e 22 0d 5e  |204 .^06 "FIN".^|

The current signature of ETF files is only able to correctly identify the later version of the string in all caps. The fmt/398 PRONOM ID could use an alternate signature to ensure all variations are identified correctly. There is a couple versions of the specification out there, but does not add much to what is known.

Starting in 2014 Finale starting using a new file format to store its notations. The native format now uses the MUSX extension. This new format uses a ZIP container to store all the data. Let’s take a look at the inside.

Path = Finale26-s01.musx
Type = zip
Physical Size = 98608

   Date      Time    Attr         Size   Compressed  Name
------------------- ----- ------------ ------------  ------------------------
2022-12-19 16:28:36 .....           34           34  mimetype
2022-12-19 16:28:36 .....          252          168  META-INF/container.xml
2022-12-19 16:28:36 .....          347          218  NotationMetadata.xml
2022-12-19 16:28:36 .....         1163          821  presets/10001.preset
2022-12-19 16:28:36 .....          649          544  presets/1.preset
2022-12-19 16:28:36 .....        96140        96155  score.dat
------------------- ----- ------------ ------------  ------------------------
2022-12-19 16:28:36              98585        97940  6 files

The mimetype file appears to be “application/vnd.makemusic.notation”

The NotationMetadata.xml file stores much of the information needed and begins with the root tag.

<metadata version="26.2" xmlns="http://www.makemusic.com/2012/NotationMetadata">

It seems the presence of the NotationMetadata.xml file and the mimetype would be sufficient for identification in a container signature.

The current version of Finale can export to a few different “Music XML” versions. This includes MUSICXML, regular XML, and a compressed MXL file. The only one needs attention is the compressed MXL file and added to PRONOM. It already has a PUID, fmt/897, but no signature. Here is what it looks like inside the ZIP container.

Path = Finale27-s01.mxl
Type = zip
Physical Size = 4737

   Date      Time    Attr         Size   Compressed  Name
------------------- ----- ------------ ------------  ------------------------
2024-02-07 23:55:50 .....           34           34  mimetype
2024-02-07 23:55:50 D....            0            2  META-INF
2024-02-07 23:55:50 .....          202          144  META-INF/container.xml
2024-02-07 23:55:50 .....        18004         1996  Finale27-s01.musicxml
2024-02-07 23:55:52 .....        17554         1953  p1.musicxml
------------------- ----- ------------ ------------  ------------------------
2024-02-07 23:55:52              35794         4129  4 files, 1 folders

Looks like a standard identifiable MUSICXML file within the container with a mimetype of “application/vnd.recordare.musicxml”. The MUSICXML file will be impossible to use for identification because of the variable file name, but the mimetype should do just fine.

Hopefully that covers all the major formats that need identification. I saw on a list that I will soon be working on an old Macintosh which has hundreds of Finale files, I hope these updates cover those needs! Take a look at my GitHub for my signatures and plenty of samples.

DiskDoubler

A few years ago I had someone contact me with a desperate plea. They had a disk which contained years of journal entries and letters to loved ones she could no longer access. She had used a Macintosh in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s to create all these files, but wanted to convert them all to PDF so she could make a book. She said she had tried everything, contacted a lot of people and her son had told her it was a lost cause. In talking with others at my institution, they knew I had a background in older Macintosh formats and so she contacted me. I made no promises, but offered to try.

The files she provided were indeed early Macintosh files. One obvious trait was the lack of an extension. One might think a lack of an extension was poor planning for Apple, but they choose a different method for the operating system to know the relationship between files and applications. They did this through the use of a Type/Creator code. If you were a software developer for the Macintosh you could register a four character “Creator” code, then for all the different files you used with your software you could register a “Type” code. This told the Macintosh operating system exactly which software created the file and the type so it could be opened properly. Unlike today where an extension is defaulted to one application even if it isn’t the software which created the file.

ResEdit view of Hypercard Stack Info

In some ways this was a superior identification method as there was many software titles which could all create the same file format, but this way the correct software would open the file and render it correctly.

Looking at the files provided to me, there was a few which at first seemed like they were damaged somehow, they were extremely small compared to the other files. About half the size. When I opened them in a hex editor this is what I saw.

Usually document formats during this time would keep the text in plain ascii, but these files were different, they had binary data. In the header was the only plain text strings in the file, “WDBNMSWD”. I had seen these codes before, a Microsoft Word Document! But they weren’t….. What are they?

The head of the file has the hex values “ABCD0054”, so I started searching the internet for some help. There were others having the same problem I was having. I finally came across a tool called the “Unarchiver“. Running the command line version of the software “unar”, suddenly I had a file twice the size and could be opened by Microsoft Word!

unar Letter 
Letter: DiskDoubler
"./Letter" already exists.
Successfully extracted to "./Letter-1".

Remember back in the 1990’s when storage was expensive? Instead of dropping another $20 for a 100MB ZIP Disk, you could use Symantec’s DiskDoubler. The software would be installed on your Macintosh and then a window would come up showing you all the files on your drive. With one click you could compress a single file or a directory of files saving you tons of space. When you needed the file, just double click and the software would uncompress on the fly and then open the correct application to edit the file.

With a few clicks I was able to uncompress all the affected files and provide a PDF of all the letters and journals my new friend had tried so desperately for years to open. She was thrilled to say the least.

But why stop there? PRONOM needs to know about this format!

Once I had DiskDoubler installed I could make a few more samples, where is where I found there was a few different compression methods used by the software. They are labeled AD 1 & 2 and DD 1, 2 & 3. Making samples of each of the different types I was able to confirm the first 4 bytes of every file was the hex values “ABCD0054”. I was able to submit the format to PRONOM and it was added and given the PUID fmt/1399.

One of the other features of DiskDoubler was an ability to create a Self Extracting Archive (SEA). An sea file could contain a compressed file but also contained the code to uncompress itself. This was mostly seen with the Stuffit software, but there were many other compression tools which could write to this format. The Stuffit formats have been added to PRONOM which include identification of an SEA created by stuffit, but the SEA created by DiskDoubler is different and needs to be added.