What's this?

This page uses a reverse engineered and "web-ified" version of the "IXSPlayer Version 1.20" originally created by the no longer existing "Shortcut Software Development BV" about 20 years ago:

It plays original *.ixs music files directly in the browser via WebAudio.

The player belongs into the "Impulse Tracker" family but what sets it apart is the way by which it generates the used audio sample data. At the time it must have looked like a promising idea to save the limited Internet bandwidth by using the smallest music files possible.. and via compression and audio synthesis this player uses ridiculously small song files that are only a few thousand bytes long (see status information in the player widget). For comparison: mp3 files are typically several million bytes (megabytes) long.

As we now know, Internet bandwidth was about to evolve quite dramatically and only a few year later, people could not care less how many megabytes some silly tictoc or youtube video might be wasting. So unfortunately the idea with the micro music-files finally did not get much traction.

The amount of music files based on this player that can be found on the Internet (see modland.com) seems to be quite small and they all seem to have been created by Maarten van Strien (who also seems to have played an important part in the original development team at Shortcut Software). In the modland.com collection respective files are listed under "Ixalance" and I am therefore also using that name here. (Please let me know in case you have additional music files for this player - which BTW you can drag & drop onto this page to play.)

Before I started this toy project, the only publicly available program capable of playing *.ixs files seems to have been the initially mentioned Windows executable:

I had gotten in touch with the original developers to check if they might provide me with the source code (so that I could adapt it for use on the web - like I had done for various music formats in my playMOD hobby project). But unfortunately those program sources seem to have been lost over the years. The Windows *.exe was indeed the only thing left.

Apart from the technical challenge and the nostalgia there is really no point to engage in this type of software archeology. But then again, which software developer doesn't fall for a fun little challenge :-) More background information about this project can be found on my page here: https://jwothke.wordpress.com/

Greetings go to the Rogier, Maarten, Jurjen and Patrick who had created the original player at "Shortcut Software Development BV". Thank you for letting me use this reverse engineered version of your code.

Note: The first time a song is played, the player pre-calculates the "instruments" used during playback. This may take a while and the status window allows to track the respective progress. Typically the browser will cache the result and from there on the same song should then start much faster (unless you hit one of those instances where the Chrome clowns manage to hang their joke DB for minutes on end..).