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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus thegooseking's Avatar
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    Steam Music goes Open Beta

    So Steam has finally incorporated a much-requested music player into the client, for those of you who hate games' original soundtracks. It's now available to everyone who's using the Steam Beta client (which you can opt into by going to Steam>Settings>Account>Beta participation). You can get Steam to crawl your music library, play your music from the client, and control the player using the Steam overlay.

    I was looking forward to this a lot, but now that it's here, I've realised that the cases I want to mute a game's music and play my own tunes are kind of marginal, since a game's music is so integral to my experience of the game (I'd probably actually be more likely to buy a game if all the screenshots of it were replaced with music samples). But maybe that's just me. You might find it more useful.
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    PoP: Warrior Within just went from good to all time great game.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fanbuoy's Avatar
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    Why not just turn in-game music off and have Spotify or whatever on in the background? I've never done so myself, but there are definitely games that would benefit greatly from a better soundtrack. For example, I found DMC 4's music to be utterly dreadful.

  4. #4
    Lesser Hivemind Node postinternetsyndrome's Avatar
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    I sometimes play stuff like roguelites and mp shooters listening to podcasts, but I never replace the game's music with my own.

  5. #5
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    The first thing I do when launching a game is go into the options and - among other things - turn down music a lot and effects some, so voices are the loudest. If the game is kind enough to provide one, I also turn down the master volume.

    In other words: music in games is good enough, if it doesn't get in my way.

    P.S.: Warrior Within had cool music. :p Just didn't fit the theme at all.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanMan View Post
    The first thing I do when launching a game is go into the options and - among other things - turn down music a lot and effects some, so voices are the loudest. If the game is kind enough to provide one, I also turn down the master volume.

    In other words: music in games is good enough, if it doesn't get in my way.

    P.S.: Warrior Within had cool music. :p Just didn't fit the theme at all.
    Weird. You're the first person I've ever seen saying that on the internet. Or indeed anywhere.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eight Rooks View Post
    Weird. You're the first person I've ever seen saying that on the internet. Or indeed anywhere.
    Godsmack is alright. I'm not a fan, but they have some nice songs. So why would I hate the music, if it was included in a game?

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus thegooseking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fanbuoy View Post
    Why not just turn in-game music off and have Spotify or whatever on in the background?
    Two reasons, I think - convenience and memory footprint. You don't have to worry about whether your game will behave with tabbing out to control your music player, because you don't have to tab out.

    You could do that with Overwolf, too, but Overwolf is a little clunky, and game + Steam + Overwolf + music player takes up more memory than just game + Steam. As for how adding a music player has affected Steam's memory footprint, I'm really impressed. The basic footprint when you're not playing music hasn't changed, and when you are playing music it goes up by a whole five megabytes.
    "Moronic cynicism is a kind of na´vetÚ. It's na´vetÚ turned inside-out. Na´vetÚ wearing a sneer." -Momus

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by thegooseking View Post
    So Steam has finally incorporated a much-requested music player into the client, for those of you who hate games' original soundtracks. It's now available to everyone who's using the Steam Beta client (which you can opt into by going to Steam>Settings>Account>Beta participation). You can get Steam to crawl your music library, play your music from the client, and control the player using the Steam overlay.

    I was looking forward to this a lot, but now that it's here, I've realised that the cases I want to mute a game's music and play my own tunes are kind of marginal, since a game's music is so integral to my experience of the game (I'd probably actually be more likely to buy a game if all the screenshots of it were replaced with music samples). But maybe that's just me. You might find it more useful.
    About 30 years too late. I can multitask. So can my PC. I can alt tab (though annoying). I run a radio/web broswer/media player in the background. I agree alt tabbing is annoying, but sometimes it's quicker than Steam overlay! :D

    Though for SteamOS/Consoles this is required... it's a waste on PC.
    It is a technical difference, but's there none the less.

  10. #10
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    Alt Tab is the same as bringing up the steam overlay for me. Play all games in Window-Borderless. Keyboard LCD shows what is playing. My Keyboard has media controls that work with Winamp and Spotify. Then I always have the option to put my music player up on the smaller second monitor.


    It will be nice on SteamOS tho. Xbox usually had good music playing features and tuning out the game music. Some games were built to completely replace the in game soundtrack with your own custom soundtrack.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanMan View Post
    Godsmack is alright. I'm not a fan, but they have some nice songs. So why would I hate the music, if it was included in a game?
    No, no, you misunderstand, or I'm not making my point properly - the game's art design and story are, to quote Penny Arcade, smoldering with generic rage, so they soundtracked it with a band/a musical genre which is widely associated with growling about how the world just doesn't understand me, man, but that's all right because GRRRRAAAAAAARRRR. A great many people would say (have said, even) that they're perfectly suited, regardless of whether or not they liked either one. You're seriously the first person I've ever seen saying oh, they're both fine, but they don't go together at all.

    EDIT: To clarify, while I don't hate nu-metal by any means and I kinda liked some of Warrior Within's visuals and storytelling, I thought it was one of the stupidest, most blatant attempts I'd ever seen at making an IP over to fit a trend. On the other hand, without WW we'd never have had Two Thrones, which is arguably the best example ever of a developer going "Oh, Christ, what were we thinking? How pathetic and needy and driven by marketing were we? We're so sorry" and working their apology into the actual storyline for the next game.
    Last edited by Eight Rooks; 25-07-2014 at 10:48 PM.
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  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus thegooseking's Avatar
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    Media keys might work with borderless windows, but they don't work when actual fullscreen applications have focus. Windows prevents it. (That's not strictly speaking true, since Windows does allow them to control Windows Media Player, but only WMP.)

    They don't actually work with Steam Music either (in-game; they do work in the desktop client), but since Steam hooks into your game for the overlay anyway, there's no real reason why they couldn't, so I'm tentatively chalking that up to "not yet".

    As for replacing the game soundtrack with your own custom soundtrack, this is actually something Microsoft has made very easy for Windows developers with its MCI layer in the Windows API - essentially getting Windows Media Player to decode and play the tracks for you so you don't have to do it in your program (and hence don't have to license MP3 tech) - but I can think of few games other than Grand Theft Auto (San Andreas and IV; Vice City handled MP3s with a built-in decoder) that actually use it.
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  13. #13
    Obscure Node Elendil's Avatar
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    I'm just old fashioned and play CD's in my CD player right next to me, no tinkering required.

  14. #14
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    I just run an old winamp on others screen and use global hotkeys (ctrl-alt + pg up / pg down / home for last-next-play buttons respectively). Works through fullscreen applications (games) too generally actually (i think i got 1 or 2 games which stop them, i'm always surprised when it happens) This setup has worked for me for years.

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    Good tip. I'll try it out. Mostly I just wish everything had windowed fullscreen so I could easily swap between the game and my own music.

  16. #16
    Lesser Hivemind Node Henke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fanbuoy View Post
    Why not just turn in-game music off and have Spotify or whatever on in the background?
    Oh yeah, I love doing this. Picking my own soundtracks. Like for instance playing the Moon soundtrack with Lunar Flight works great. I even compiled a few of my own, like my Kung Fu Strike Hip Hop soundtrack, and my Minecraft Beats. Only really works with games that are light on story though, you don't want your music drowning out dialogue heavy cutscenes.

    Alt-tabbing really isn't an issue with most modern games. I can't remember the last time doing so made a game crash.
    Last edited by Henke; 28-07-2014 at 01:21 PM.

  17. #17
    Network Hub Maurish's Avatar
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    I tried it out a few days ago, added my music library folder and was surprised that only a small amount of my music showed up. Only some old bootlegs, singles, demos, stuff that I haven't listened to in years. Then I realised that it's only picking up .mp3 files. Since it's still in beta, I assume other file support will be added in at a later date.

  18. #18
    Lesser Hivemind Node L_No's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maurish View Post
    I tried it out a few days ago, added my music library folder and was surprised that only a small amount of my music showed up. Only some old bootlegs, singles, demos, stuff that I haven't listened to in years. Then I realised that it's only picking up .mp3 files. Since it's still in beta, I assume other file support will be added in at a later date.
    If they're wise, they'll add support for other file types too. I have music in 3 or 4 file types, so it would be quite annoying if the Steam music player would only allow mp3 playback. Do you think playback of the iTunes filetype (AAC?) could be added, or is that something that only Apple is able to do?
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    Quote Originally Posted by L_No View Post
    If they're wise, they'll add support for other file types too. I have music in 3 or 4 file types, so it would be quite annoying if the Steam music player would only allow mp3 playback. Do you think playback of the iTunes filetype (AAC?) could be added, or is that something that only Apple is able to do?
    There are free libraries out there, so it could be included without asking Apple for anything.

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus somini's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanMan View Post
    There are free libraries out there, so it could be included without asking Apple for anything.
    They should just go with gstreamer or whatever the VLC equivalent is, saved them some hassle.
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