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added feedback effects. (See "About" tab for credits.)
The PlayMOD project derives its name from “module files” (MOD) music – which signifies computer music that has been created using some kind of tracker software (see music tracker). In addition to being the most comprehensive online mod player available, it also plays a multitude of other legacy chiptune/music formats.
In its current state, PlayMOD plays music originally composed for a large variety of home computers, arcade machines and game consoles (see 'Basics' tab for more details). It provides browsing functionality for the modland.com and vgmrips.net - "video game music" collections. The currently available emulators/player engines allow to play more than 99.9% of the respective music files streamed directly from these two collections.
This page is non-commercial and is meant as a means to easily access/experience the history of the computer music of the past 40 years.
The page does not reproduce recordings (e.g. mp3) of the respective songs but instead plays the original music file directly by emulating the original hardware (and/or music player engine) within the browser. Depending on the flaws of the available emulators, the results may somewhat deviate from the original. One benefit of using an emulation approach is the availability of extra realtime information that would be lost in a recording - e.g. see "Scope" tab.
Note: The modland.com file server might be offline or overloaded occasionally and in such situations, this page will obviously not be able to play any music. Try switching to one of the modland.com mirror servers via the ("Settings") tab. A respective mirror is currently not available for the vgmrips.net collection.
This is a hobby project and as such competes for my time with my other endeavors (e.g. see https://jwothke.wordpress.com/). Whether or not I'll put more time into it (and how much) depends on its reception by the "general public". Maybe it is a bad idea after all and nobody cares to use it - let alone needs any functional enhancements.
You can send project related suggestions like feature requests, bug reports
(etc) to: playmod [@] wothke [.] ch
Or you can participate in the respective group on Facebook.
Still it costs not only time to maintain and enhance this site but also money to pay for the internet service provider, tools, or the hectoliters of coffee to keep me going. So if you want to please me, show your appreciation for the project, or just keep this site up and running, a contribution would be very much appreciated. (Feature requests received via PayPal are always taken more seriously ;-) ) Thank you!
Most of the tunes contained in the modland.com & vgmrips.net collections are copyrighted. Such copyright may be owned by the original authors/software companies or a third-party publisher or other organisation.
The emulators used in PlayMOD may display the copyright information directly available in the played music files (eventhough there is no guarantee that the information is always correct). If you are a respective copyright owner and for some reason do not like your song being used here, then let me know and I'll block it for playback and furnish it with a respective comment. (Note: PlayMOD is in no way affiliated to the operators of modland.com and/or vgmrips.net and/or their mirrors and it has no influence on what is and what isn't hosted there.)
The information displayed in the composer "Profile" tab might also be protected by copyright and is used under the premise of "fair use" (see Google's more extensive handling of the topic What is 'Copyright'. If you feel you should be credited, let me know and I will add you to the below "Credits" section or if you insist by sending me a complete and valid takedown notice I'll remove the information completely.
With regard to the "privacy" of personal data: The available composer information is limited to what is already publicly accessible elsewhere on the internet or directly originates from the respective music files. However, if you don't like any of the information about you used here, just let me know and I will of course remove it or correct potential mistakes in it (see contact email address above). You are also most welcome to send me a replacement if you don't like your currently used photo.
PlayMOD was created and is currently maintained by Jürgen Wothke.
The images for composer profiles (as well as some extra trivia) have been collected/edited by JCH for his DeepSID project and by default they are reused here as is (A snapshot of the respective DeepSID data is reused in PlayMOD - though it isn't kept in sync with updates that might be performed on the DeepSID side.). Here is what JCH says about them: "[They] come from all over the internet. I have tried to be fair and not use images that the composer did not already have available on a personal web site, social media, interview, or another public place."
Some additional infomation for vgmrips.net related composers then originates from:
The used emulators/players were originally written by a very large number of people: see respective emulator sub-projects on bitbucket. Credits can sometimes be found in the respective project docs or source code. I appologize for not having gone to the trouble of extracting/summarizing the available information here but I feel that even under be best of circumstances a respective list would be incomplete. If you contributed to one of those emulators and want to be mentioned here, please let me know. The mostly C/C++ projects were ported to the Web by Jürgen Wothke and are integrated via https://bitbucket.org/wothke/webaudio-player. Also see "Basics" tab for more information on the used emulators.
Most of the emulators were originally written in C/C++ and their respective adapted code is compiled to asm.js/WebAssembly using emscripten.
jQuery custom scrollbar by Manolis Malihutsakis (malihu)
THREE.js is used as a sandbox for the various "visuals".
The Wiz mode in the "Scope" tab is losely based on C# implementation of SidWiz2 by RushJet1 & Rolf R Bakke.
Torus_Thingy_8 by bal-khan (shadertoy )
was the starting point for creating the "twisted thingy" visuals.
Isolines by Inigo Quilez (shadertoy )
was the starting point for creating the slightly customized "isolines" visuals.
Grid of Capsules by Inigo Quilez (shadertoy )
was the main starting point for creating the slightly customized "capsules" visuals.
Basic Audio Visualizer by chronos (shadertoy )
is used practically unchanged.
Audio Eclipse by airtight (shadertoy )
was slightly patched to increase the effect of higher frequencies.
The user name and password boxes are used for both registering and logging in. To register, just type the user name you want. If it is available (a status message tells you) then type a password and hit the button.
The maintainers of the original song collections occasionally reorganize their folder structures (e.g. moving "unknown" composers to correctly names composer folders, etc). The vgmrips.net collection seems to be prone to respective changes. PlayMOD is not automatically aware of those changes and it instead uses an "older" snapshot of the respective folder structure (this is why newly added songs may not show in PlayMOD yet). Loading song files that have meanwhile been moved elsewhere will then obviously fail. Re-synchronizing PlayMOD's respective data requires a manually triggered data migration and that effort is usually postphoned as long as possible. (If you have programming skills and you want to help out with this kind of maintenance work, please let me know.)
A problem that haunts the modland collection in particular is data inconsistency: Players like UADE strongly depend on certain file naming conventions in order to automatically select the correct playback routine (e.g. see "TFMX" songs). The names used in the modland collection are oftentimes plain garbage which then leads to the automatic selection of unsuitable player routines. Similarly separate "sample/instrument" files that some song formats depend on are also often named incorrectly or they are just hidden in some non-standard folder. While PlayMOD already uses some workarounds to deal with these inconsistencies, these workaround may not work in all scenarios and they may occasionally get broken when the original collection decides to replace one inconsisteny with another.
Some song formats just take a while before they play: Larger files of more recent formats (e.g. Playstation, N64, etc) may just be slow to download. "Ixalance" format files perform a slow decompression (10-20sec) the first time they are played. In some cases you may just need to be more patient.
Finally the PlayMOD UI is still an early alpha version with known bugs. You may just need to click on the same song again to make it play.
Yes, if you type e.g.
3- for a search for ratings, you will get a list of all the
tunes and folders you have rated three stars or more. If you type
1-, you will
see all of your ratings.
p in desktop web browsers to pop up a tiny version of the player.
i to toggle the info box on or off.
You can hold down the key just below the
ESC key to fast forward.
If you hold down
Shift while clicking rating stars, you will clear them. (However,
it's usually easier just to click the same star again if you want to clear the rating.)
You need to be using a mouse to create and manage playlists. This cannot be done on a mobile device (although you can enjoy your existing playlists there). Also, you must of course be logged in.
Published playlists appear further up in the root and can be seen by everyone (even those that are not logged in) but you're still the only one that may edit it. When you enter a public playlist, you can see who made it.
It's where you choose a handler for the music files. Most of the time the drop-down will show just one entry. But there are music file formats that can actually be played by different emulators and for such songs the drop-down will show the available options. (When a song is played a suitable default player will always be selected automatically.. )
That's by design, actually. Only the player pane is supposed to be visible on mobile devices because of the limited screen space. This right text area is only really available for desktop computers.
You can achieve the same thing by selecting the
Shuffle option in the sort
Some sound formats (like 'RealSID') do not have a built-in playtime information and in addition they play the song in an endless loop. There is usually no pause that could be detected and the only way this kind of song can be properly used in automatic playlists would be to maintain respective information separately (e.g. like it is done in the "High Voltage Sid Collection"). Unfortunately such information is not available for the modland.com collection and the only workaround left would be the use of some fixed timeout. Presently no such timeout is used.
Display of the folder content is an operation that blocks the browser. For small and medium sized folders the effect is usually negligible (depending on the speed of your machine).
But for very large folders (e.g. "Protracker") the browser may become unresponsive for some seconds. The root cause is that the GUI has never been designed to deal with large lists and even scrolling in such lists may be annoying. As a workaround you may try to use the "folder size threshold" setting: By suppressing the small "one hit" folders the list sizes shrink considerably.
Some song formats do not report a total song length in advance but give a "progress indicator" during playback. The fluctuating song length results from extrapolating the respecive imprecise "progress" information.
The first time you use a specific emulator it needs to be downloaded: The amount of data that must be downloaded varies from 120kb (for WebSid) to 5MB (for ZXtune). Normally the browser should then use the cached version once it has downloaded the emulator.The sizes of the actual music files that must be fetched from the modland server then also differ by serveral orders of magnitude: Music files of old systems are tiny but files for more recent systems (e.g. PlayStation, Nintendo64) in size are more like MP3 files and this may cause a lag before playback (depending on the bandwidth of your internet connection).
Sometimes the composer information displayed in the "Profile" tab does not match the one shown in the player widget. One reason may be that more than one composer has been involved in the creation of a song. The "Profile" tab has not been upgraded to deal with those scenarios yet and similarily the information directly extracted from the song file (with is shown in the player widget) may be incomplete (though it should usually be better than the "profile" information which is derived from the folder structure). Another reason may duplicate "handles" (nicknames) - e.g. with 10 composers calling themselves "smith" the automatic matching logic may just have chosen the wrong one.
Some sound formats (like 'HES') contain multiple tracks but no useful default track information. Many of the "available" tracks in such formats are actually empty and will just be mute (e.g. Rob Hubbard's "populous.hes"). Try switching to another track number to make it play.
Another pitfall may be the automatic assignment of a suitable emulator: Formats like the popular *.mod files are in fact a family of different sub-formats. But players like "UADE" or "XMP" may have restrictions to certain sub-families. If different emulators are available for a song, then try if another emulator works better.
Emulators like UADE depend on specific filename conventions for their internal format detection logic. Unfortunately these filename conventions have often been messed up on the modland server (example: the file "crystalhammer.mod" will NOT play in "UADE" but it would play if the same file was named "mod15.crystalhammer.mod"). It may be useful to check the browser's "console" to look for clues if something does not play as expected.
Data consistency on modland is very bad: Resource files often have completely wrong filenames or they are missing completely and some songs just seem to be corrupt. When reporting a "bug" to me, please tell me what other player successfully plays the respective song.
All "main" music files are shown: Some music formats use multiple files for one song (e.g. PlayStation songs rely on additional library files, etc). Respective "resource" files are not shown in the browser.
There are music formats that cannot currently be played by this browser and respective files and folders are greyed out. Please note that the displayed folder structure actually represents a cached snapshot and if changes have meanwhile been made on the modland server these will not be reflected.
Over time composers may have been using different alias names ("handles") and their names may be subject to spelling issues (e.g. "ü" => "ue"). Surprisingly there are "handles" that where very popular and used by many different people. This may lead to situations where the same person is listed as "different" composers as well as to situations where "one composer" should rather be multiple persons.
Within PlayMOD "composer information" is NOT maintained manually but generated automatically based on three existing information sources:
When a specific song is played, additional information that is directly extracted from the respective music file may be shown in the player widget (this information is not available in advance - but ideally it should match the one in the profile).
Some of those formats originate from proprietary closed "source code" products (e.g. Renoise, etc) and unless respective source code might eventually be released they cannot be handled here at all. Some formats are just too insignificant (see number of songs) to justify the effort of creating a Web port, or their "unusual" source code language would require excessive efforts (e.g. BeRoTracker). In some cases the available songs data just has too many unresolved external dependencies (e.g. add-on plugins used in Renoise, etc), i.e. the data available in the collection is actually useless until the respective plugins are also provided.
Then there are tracker source formats (e.g. GoatTracker) that can be easily transformed into formats that are already supported (e.g. RSID).
The audio handlers all use an API called Web Audio which is not supported by Internet Explorer. You need a modern web browser to use this site.
I do not have any devices of said manufacturer that I could use for debugging purposes and it would be futile for me to even try to find workarounds for problems that I cannot reproduce myself.
Sorry to break the news, but it seems you are stuck with a crappy device of a greedy but incompetent manufacturer (also see You asked for Apple's abuse ).
The following URL parameters currently work:
|file||A file to play or a folder to show (use full root paths for both)|
|emulator||Set to desired emulator.|
|search||A search query (just like when typed in the bottom)|
|mobile||Set it to
An example to show a specific folder:
An example to play a tune: