Saturday, March 10, 2012

How to Listen to Music From Old Video Games

I like video game music, and sometimes I want to listen to it outside of the context of playing a game. For newer games, soundtrack CDs or MP3s are available in many cases, but for older games you’ll have a little more difficulty getting the music into your media library.

A quick search on Google will yield plenty of results if you want the music for a more popular game (like, say, Final Fantasy VII), but what if you want to listen to something that you enjoyed that wasn’t quite so mainstream?

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to listen to music from older game systems.

  1. The first thing you’re going to need is Winamp (Sorry, Mac/Linux users, it’s Windows only. You can use Audio Overload, but I’m not very familiar with it so you’re on your own). Winamp is a media player that used to be wildly popular about 10 years ago, but has become less so in recent years as other media players have started to match (or exceed) its features and accessibility. It’s still one of the most versatile players out there, though.

    Note: If you don’t plan on using Winamp as your primary media player, pay attention during installation so you don’t set it as the default player.
  2. Once you’ve got Winamp installed, you’ll need Chipamp, a plugin for Winamp that will enable it to play special files that contain video game music.
  3. Next, you’ll need some music. The Chipamp Website has a large list of associated websites that host music for various game systems, and I’ve found that they usually have what I’m looking for. For example, I could head over to to get anything from an obscure title like E.V.O. Search for Eden to something as well-known as Final Fantasy VI.
  4. Load the music up in Winamp, and enjoy!

These special music files have several advantages over MP3s. First, they’re really small in comparison to MP3s. Second, they don’t suffer compression or distortion because they actually aren’t compressed at all. Finally, many of them will come with bonus sound effects or hidden tracks (Final Fantasy VI, for example, has an unused fanfare from the game, and some of the ambient effects, like waves or the sound of the Ghost Train running on the tracks.)

Do you have any game music that is particularly special to you?

1 comment:

  1. 1. Go to youtube
    2. Search
    3. Listen


    Actually I usually use iTunes. Yeah, yeah, Mac Snob.