The TAPClean utility is designed to check tape images for known patterns/loaders. On recognition of supported loaders, the tool can be made to optimise the image, which generally sets known pulse lengths to their optimal values, unifies pauses and for loaders that contain checksums it will report if the data within the file is intact without errors.
The resulting image can therefore be regarded as a ”master image”. Infact, the cleaned tape image data is probably of better quality than the original cassette that the data was extracted from. This is due to the fact that the data in the cleaned tap file is digital, as opposed to analog on the original cassette.
However, not all loaders have checksums to verify the integrity of the data and therefore, the best course of action to make sure the optimised tap files contain accurate data is to use TAPClean to compare dumps from multiple tapes of the same title, or at least compare both sides of the tape on tapes that have the data recorded on both sides.
TAPClean is based on the ”Final TAP” software that was written by Stewart Wilson (aka Subchrist).
The source code for the windows commandline version 2.76 of the software was made available via the Gnu General Public License Agreement and the project was continued by Commodore 64 preservation enthusiasts who wanted to continue the work started by Stewart in order to preserve even more commodore software stored on cassette tapes.
Users and developers of TAPClean have come to the conclusion that the current design of TAPClean is too limiting and demands too much work to fix completely to our satisfaction. We've therefore decided to start a project with the ultimate goal of creating a new and better TAPClean. Check out the requirements for the new TAPClean.