URL is an old software I wrote and maintened around 1997.
Essentially it was a MS-DOS shell targetted toward using emulators and managing games collection. The basic feature was to associate extensions or directories to different programs, but it would try to handle all the quirks of this era (1997 was the boom of emulation). One could transparently use compressed roms for emulators that didn't support them, setup all kind of flags or custom parameters (eg: to run a specific game on a specific emulator version) and generally do all your emulation related micro management. I think its greatest feature was that it would maintain an association of file and virtual names, so you could browse your hard-drives seeing and editing proper long filenames for each game (whereas most people were still dealing with 8.3 style filenames). It would scan into the header of known-system roms file to extract names or use a provided database, etc.
To provide context, internet was kinda cluttered with overweight, custom non-flexible software trying to serve similar purpose, so URL had some value in being lightweight, generic and customizable. It became my DOS shell for all kind of jobs, and it would not be surprised if some people used it this way too.
Engineering wise it is total crap internally, but on the outside one can easily witness my early obsession for love and details in software (eg: the input waiting prompt is animated and the text viewer scroll and bounce on a per-pixel basis).
It is practically worthless in our days but has quite some nostalgia value. I fondly remember receiving my first post-card from a user in Switzerland, and e-mails from hundreds of users. Those are small defining moments that keeps you going. For archival purpose here's is a copy of its webpage (previously hosted at www.emucamp.com/url but the domain is down).

Universal Rom Launcher

1. Tell me

URL (Universal ROM Launcher) is a powerful DOS based front-end that will work with any and all emulators. It can be used to manage your roms through various customizable features.
  • Author: Omar Cornut
  • System: DOS (no visual basic inside ;-)
  • Filesize: About 100 kb
  • 100% Universal - able to support any emulator
  • Easy to use interface
  • Fast and flexible - totally customizable
  • Directory specifics options
  • Individual ROM options for each emulators
  • Internal ROM name recognition
  • Configurable list generator
  • Full ZIPped rom support
  • Keyboard and mouse support
  • Based on a file browser/manager
  • and more..
3. Gimme

"URL is an amazing front-end that acts as an 'emulation shell' for DOS, allowing command lines for ANY emulator and ROM image."

"Great universal front-end. Probably the best."
    2. Prove me

Successfully tested with the following emulators:
  • Annoid
  • BrMsx
  • BrSms
  • Cage
  • Callus
  • Chopsuey
  • CPE
  • DragoNes
  • DVE
  • Esnes
  • Fellow
  • Gameboy 97
  • Gekko
  • Genecyst
  • fMsx
  • Kem
  • KGen
  • Madnes
  • Magic Engine
  • MAME
  • Massage
  • Master Gear
  • Meka
  • Msx2
  • Multi Gauntlet Emulator
  • NeoRage
  • Nesemu
  • Nesticle
  • NlkE
  • Nlksnes
  • No$cpc
  • Nofrendo
  • PacifiST
  • PcNes
  • Rage
  • Raine
  • Retrocade
  • System 8
  • System 16
  • Sneese
  • Snemul
  • SneQR
  • Snes9x
  • SPCPlay
  • Tnzs Emulator
  • Virtual Gameboy
  • VPCE
  • xDragon
  • xNes
  • ZEM
  • ZSnes

4. Show me

Others interesting frontends to try:
Emulator Runner - Gamemenu - UFE

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