How to get the proper Bioshock soundtrack (i.e. Beyond The Sea et al)

By Alec Meer on August 26th, 2007 at 12:40 am.

An awfully good party

[Edit – please don’t request a download of these songs in the Comments below. We’ll get into lots of trouble for it. Most of these songs are available on iTunes, though.]

So, I was angrier than a wasp in a box about the Moby debacle with the Bioshock limited edition. One of 2K’s multiple attempts yesterday to avoid the flaming pitchfork treatment from furious fans was to release the game’s impressive score for free. Still not what I wanted – there’s a bunch of frankly awesome, vintage 1950s songs in the game, including Beyond The Sea, Papa Loves Mambo and, uh, How much Is That Doggy In The Window. The stuff that should have been on the much-loathed soundtrack CD, in other words.

I’ve been trying to work out myself where in Bioshock’s install directory these fine vintage ditties lurked, and how to extract the songs in question so I can listen to ‘em without the distraction of screaming Splicers in the background. I’d just about given up when I read this post on the official forums. A summary of how to get the songs playing whenever you want ‘em to follows after the jump.

First up, you need MusicPlayerEX , a free application. (If you’re not familiar with the .RAR extension the download comes in, it’s like a .ZIP file, except you need Winrar to extract it).

So, extract MusicPlayerEX somewhere handy, then run MusicPlayerEX.bat. Then browse to your Bioshock install directory (most likely C:\Program Files\2K Games\Bioshock), and go to Content\Sounds_Windows. Find the file called ‘streams_music_common_audio.fsb’ and drag it into the main bit of MusicPlayerEX. You’ll see multiple tracks listed – and you can just play them from there with a double-click if you’re not bothered about getting them into another music player or onto an iPod or something. They won’t have any names at this point, though.

To turn the tracks into a more everyday format like MP3, things get a bit complicated – both pratically and legally speaking, depending on which country you currently dwell in. I’m pretty sure it’s fine, but to be on the safe side (and to save me finding a lawyer to check it’s OK with at 1am on Sunday), I’m gonna defer entirely to the thread on the official forum for this part. So, tough titties if that thread is killed by 2K word-assassins, – I’m guessing it’ll stay though, as really it’s all in the name of celebrating the game. I can tell you that the method works. I can also tell you that, though others have had success, I couldn’t rip directly to MP3, only to WAV, so had to manually change the tracks into an iPod-friendly format with iTunes.

If it does all work out for you, you may want to rename the tracks so you can tell what they are. Here’s a mostly complete list of the gibberish filenames (ignoring the phrase ‘Music License’ at the start of each) and what the songs actually are.

Lamer Bigband – Beyond the Sea – Bobby Darin
Lamer – La Mer (aka Beyond The Sea Instrumental) – Django Reindhart
Papalovesmambo – Papa Loves Mambo – Perry Como
Thebesthingsinl@ – The Best Things in Life are Free – The Inkspots
Waltsoftheflower – Nutcracker – P.I Tchaikovsky
Wrapyourtrouble – Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams – Bing Crosby
Yourethetop – You’re the Top – Cole Porter
20thcenturyblues – 20th Century Blues – Noel Coward
Howmuchdoggy – How Much Is That Doggie In The Window – Patti Page
Beimirbistduschoà – Bei Mir Bist Du Schon – The Andrews Sisters
Brothersparedime – Brother Can You Spare A Dime – Bing Crosby
Dannyboy – Oh Danny Boy – Mario Lanza
Godblesschild – God Bless The Child – Billie Holiday
Itsbadforme – It’s Bad For Me – Rosemary Clooney
Justwalkingrain – Just Walking In The Rain – Johnnie Ray
Nightday – Night and Day – Billie Holiday
Ifididntcare – If I Didn’t Care – The Ink Spots
Worldweary – World Weary – Noel Coward
Thepartysover – The Party’s Over – Noel Coward
Jitterbugwaltz – Jitterbug Waltz – Fats Waller
Pleasebekind – Please Be Kind – Frank Sinatra
Ithadtobeyou – It Had to Be You – (Priscilla Lane, Danny Thomas, or Dolley Wilson?)
Liza – Liza – Django Reinhardt
Riserapturerise – Rise Rapture, Rise – Ken Levine/Irrational

A few of the others (including the ones with ‘jukebox’ in the title) are just snippets of tracks or ambient noises, incidentally, so don’t worry that something’s gone wrong when you play ‘em back.

Phew. Of course, if all this seems too much like hard work, at least now you know what the tracks are so you can go buy ‘em from iTunes or somewhere. Me, I’m gonna flow ‘em into the officially-released orchestral score to make a custom Bioshock soundtrack to listen to whenever I suffer Rapture withdrawal. I’m a geek like that.

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28 Comments »

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  1. Krupo says:

    Tucked away on page 9… cool.

    I’ll definitely be playing with this later.

    I wonder if it’d be possible to extract the Battlefield: Vietnam audio in a similar way? :)

  2. Soldats says:

    Wow, thanks for sharing this method! Now I don’t have to load up Youtube every time I want to hear “Beyond the Sea” or “Papa loves Mambo”. I love that Ink Spots song too; been a fan of them ever since Fallout’s “Maybe”. Irrational really did a great job with these licensed songs.

  3. Nihohit says:

    some more that weren’t referenced:
    World weary – Frank Sinatra
    You’re the Top – Cole Porter
    Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams – bing Crosby
    as they say – just google it!

  4. Kieron Gillen says:

    Soldats: I’ve been doing that too :)

    KG

  5. Ian Dorsch says:

    I had to chuckle at the contraction of “La Mer” to “Lamer.”

    Django is spinning in his grave. :)

  6. MrBubble says:

    Can someone actually upload this as a torrent for those of us who only played the console version? I’m totally mad over this soundtrack, it was brilliant!

    If you can’t torrent it, please up it on RapidShare. Thanks so much, in advance!

    [Edit – can’t be having any of that in our comments threads, we’re afraid. Of course, if anyone wants to email this guy it’s no business of ours. – RPS Admin]

  7. Alec Meer says:

    “I had to chuckle at the contraction of “La Mer” to “Lamer.””

    That’ll teach me to get stuff from forums – fixed now.

  8. SqueakyFoo says:

    >>Ithadtobeyou – It Had to Be You – Artist TBC
    Anyone know what this song is? I’m putting together my own complete OST (I own most of the songs listed here in one form or another already), but I have no idea what this one is.

    Also, is this a complete list? The manual doesn’t include individual track credits and I haven’t found any other licensed track lists for bioshock anywhere else on the intertubes.

  9. Alec Meer says:

    It’s not quite complete, but it’s getting there – I’m adding in others as they’re worked out. The tracks left hanging are Academy Award (possibly actually related to the Oscars, given where it plays in the game), Rise Rapture Rise (very possibly by the game’s composer, Garry Schyman), Liza and Wild Ride. All of these except Rise… are instrumental pieces.

    It Had To Be You is by either Priscilla Lane, Danny Thomas, or Dolley Wilson. No-one’s established precisely which version it is yet.

  10. Gabriel Frochtzwajg says:

    Does anyone happen to know which song is playing on the radio or in the background when you wake up in the Little Sisters hideaway? I love that tune, but can’t figure out which it is from the posted songs. Thanks ahead of time!

  11. Alec Meer says:

    Going on memory it’s God Bless The Child, but I could be wrong.

  12. Gamma says:

    Could someone upload these tracks somewhere? I’ve got the xbox version and I’d really like the REAL soundtrack, not the moby crap-fest we go instead.

  13. Alec Meer says:

    I’ve edited the post to include a line about folk requesting the songs, as I suspect they’ll continue to dribble in. Unfortunately the staff of RPS are simply far too poor to buy off the Music Police should they come knocking as a result of our readers swapping copyrighted material via our comments threads. If we were infinitely rich, it’d be another matter.

  14. Gabriel Frochtzwajg says:

    Hey thanks a ton Alec! I downloaded a weird version of God Bless the Child that was unlike the one in Bioshock, but found the correct one. Thanks again.

  15. DarthCat says:

    I’m getting a “could not load output_mp3 plugin” from MusicPlayerEx. Am I missing some file(s)? Drat.

  16. DarthCat says:

    Ah, terribly sorry – I’d omitted a step. Silly me! Well, being a classical music afficionado and operatic singer, I’d listened to a lot of these before, and found myself singing along as I played through the game. Fantastic findings – thanks!

  17. rob says:

    hi, i was sent here from a chain of sites. i was wondering how to get music player to work… it keeps talking about a property files missing. any help? thanks.

  18. Sucram says:

    There was a tracklisting in an interview at Music4games:

    BioShock Song Tracklisting:
    It Had to Be You – Django Reinhardt
    Please Be Kind – Django Reinhardt
    Avalon – Django Reinhardt
    Wild Ride – Faux Frenchmen
    Liza – Django Reinhardt
    Jitterbug Waltz – Django Reinhardt
    World Weary – Noel Coward
    Best Things in Life Are Free – The Inkspots
    20th Century Blues – Noel Coward
    Bei Mir Bist Du Schon (means you’re grand) – The Andrews Sisters
    It’s Bad For Me – Rosemary Clooney
    Just One Of Those Things – Lee Morgan
    Let’s Fly Away – Lee Wiley
    The Party’s Over Now – Noel Coward
    This Is A Changing World – Noel Coward
    You’re Getting To Be A Habit – Harry Edison
    La Mer (Beyond the Sea) – Django Reinhardt
    La Mer (Beyond the Sea ) – Bobby Darin
    Just Walkin’ in the Rain – Johnny Ray
    How Much is that Doggie – Pattie Page
    You’re the Top – Cole Porter
    Papa Loves Mambo – Perry Como
    Danny Boy – Mario Lanza
    Night and Day – Billie Holiday
    Brother Can You spare a Dime – Bing Crosby
    Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams – Bing Crosby
    If I Didn’t Care – The Ink Spots
    God Bless the Child – Billie Holiday
    The Waltz of the Flowers – Pytor Llyich Tchaikovsky
    Academy Award – Stanley Black

    from: http://www.music4games.net/Features_Display.aspx?id=177

  19. Jouvieje says:

    @DarthCat: Go to the MusicPlayerEx homepage and download the ‘Full Installed’ version of the player to convert in mp3/ogg formats.

  20. Armandeus says:

    The vocal version of Beyond the Sea used in BioShock is not by Bobby Darin, but Robbie Williams.

  21. Vanderdecken says:

    I’ve finally managed to identify the actual artist of You’re The Top as used in the game – although written and originally performed by Cole Porter, this version is by “Hal Kemp and His Orchestra”. Source: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Youre-The-Top/dp/B004CEVZNG/

  22. soopytwist says:

    What total rubbish. The Bioshock fsb files are unsupportd by MusicPlayerEx. Who wrote this crap?