[sdlsound] Module formats don't repeat correctly

Peter S. May psmay at gwu.edu
Mon May 30 19:12:56 EDT 2005

Like I said, dissenting opinions aside.  It would be dumb for me to sit 
here and argue over formats.  Which format is hot right now is of no 
importance.  The formats do different things; it's that simple.  Here's 
why I'm presently uninterested in using Vorbis instead of modules:

Firstly, of course, it's straightforward to convert the substantive 
portions of a module file to Vorbis, but it's overkill to do so; a 
Vorbis file ripped from an IT tends to end up larger.  (This point 
doesn't matter to those who produce music using something other than a 
mod tracker, but I actually have nothing else at my disposal.)

Secondly, modules contain a great deal more semantic information.  The 
formats contain simple looping and jumping mechanisms that are necessary 
to execute the typical game music idiom of infinitely looping all of a 
song except for a specified intro portion (revenge_of_cats.it is an 
example).  As I recall, many Amiga games (and a few DOS games) actually 
exploited this mechanism to place the entire game soundtrack into a 
single module file, specifying different starting points for each 
round/level and using jump commands to loop the piece instead of playing 
through to the next song.

Thirdly (or secondly part B), unlike waveform music, it is possible to 
programmatically scale up the tempo of a module song without ruining the 
pitch (think Tetris or Puyo Puyo once the pieces get stacked too high 
for comfort).

I wouldn't think these are by any means compelling arguments against the 
existence of Vorbis as game music, but they explain fairly well the 
continued existence of module formats in the realm.

-- dro

Ryan C. Gordon wrote:
>> Hopefully I'll have time to look at it this summer.  Module support is 
>> really important to me; modules are _the_ video game music (dissenting 
>> opinions aside ;-).
> (Actually, Ogg Vorbis is the hot thing right now, at least in the 
> commercial sector. Modules were more important in the late 90s/early 
> 2000s, after Midi petered out.)
> --ryan.

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