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PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 7:45 am 
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The OpenTTD Music Replacement Project
As OpenTTD is a clone of Transport Tycoon Deluxe, a lot of effort was put into replacing the original TTD graphics and sounds with new, open-source and freely-distributable graphics and sounds. As the project neared the 1.0.0 milestone at the end of 2009, however, there had not been a lot of discussion about replacing the TTD music in the same manner. The OpenTTD Music Replacement Project is a community-based effort to provide new base music files which can be distributed with the game and completely free OpenTTD from any dependencies on having the TTD files in order to enjoy a full, robust game.

How To Contribute
If you can create original General MIDI music, post your submission here in the forum. All musical styles and lengths are acceptable for consideration of inclusion in a base music pack, they do not have to be a copy of the original TTD music. If you know of somebody else who produces MIDI music who would like to contribute his or her works, you can also reach out to them, or provide their contact information so that a project member can do so.

Licensing
For the MIDI files to be distributed through the in-game content downloading system (BaNaNaS), the files will need to be licensed under the GNU Public License v2 license. Otherwise, base pack developers and artists can create their own license terms and the files can be made available through the forums.

About OpenMSX
OpenMSX is the first release of base music files from the Music Replacement Project. The goal of this project is to release a full set of 31 MIDI files in the jazz and blues styles of the TTD music set that can be freely distributed with the game, with a secondary goal of having all of the music come from within the OpenTTD community itself. Version 0.1.0 was released on February 27, 2010 with a small set of files to start the project off. As of version 0.3.0 the project was released with 31 MIDI files, although many of the files came from two contributors outside of the community. More information about OpenMSX can be found on the OpenTTD wiki, http://wiki.openttd.org/OpenMSX.

Other Projects Managed Through The OpenTTD Music Replacement Project
  • Scott Joplin Anthology - version 2.0.0 released January 10, 2011
  • Traditional Winter Holiday Music - still in development

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Base Music Sets: OpenMSX | Scott Joplin Anthology | Traditional Winter Holiday Music | Modern Motion Music
Other Projects: Sprite Sandbox & NewGRF Releases | Town Names | Isle of Sodor Scenario | Random Sprite Repository
Misc Topics: My Screenshots | Forgotten NewGRFs


Last edited by kamnet on Thu Aug 07, 2014 12:55 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 7:46 am 
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Frequently Asked Questions

What music formats are used?
At this time, only MIDI music files (.mid or .gm) are acceptable for inclusion. This is due to the fact that the original TTD game used MIDI files, and OpenTTD is a faithful open source clone aimed at being backwards-compatible with TTD. In addition, the files must conform to the General MIDI standard and must not contain any sound fonts or features which require additional software or hardware dependencies.

Why can I not use MP3 or OGG files?
At this time there is no support in the game for playback of MP3 or OGG files. There have been discussions about creating a new in-game music player, but those efforts have not yet materialized. The development of such a player inside the game is beyond the scope of this project.

What music styles can I use?
A base music pack can be made of any style of music, or any mix of styles. While the OpenMSX project tries to emulate the blues and jazz style pieces from TTD, other styles will be considered. Other projects are free to use whatever they wish.

What is a base music pack?
A base music pack is composed of a meta data file (with a file extension of .omb), along with a collection of MIDI files (with a file extension of either .mid or .gm).

The meta data file will contain five sections:
  • Metadata - the name, version number and description of the music pack
  • Files - the file names of each MIDI file included
  • MD5 - the MD5 checksum of each file, to ensure that they are the original and correct file
  • Names - linking of each file name to a human-readable title that displays in the in-game player
  • Origin - expanded information about the music pack

The music pack can support a total of 31 MIDI files. The songs are organized into four categories: Theme (the theme song for the music pack), Old Style, New Style and Ezy Street. These are the categories as named by the original TTD game and the music in each category matched that theme. New music packs do not have to adhere to this style, or any style at all. The Theme category can only list one song, while the other categories can have up to ten songs each. Each category does not have to be filled with ten songs, but if there are not ten songs in each category there must still be a place listing in the meta data file, which can be left blank.

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Base Music Sets: OpenMSX | Scott Joplin Anthology | Traditional Winter Holiday Music | Modern Motion Music
Other Projects: Sprite Sandbox & NewGRF Releases | Town Names | Isle of Sodor Scenario | Random Sprite Repository
Misc Topics: My Screenshots | Forgotten NewGRFs


Last edited by kamnet on Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:40 am, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:50 am 
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Engineer
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Hi,

As I mailed to you, i'm interested in creating some midi tracks similar in style to the original tracks, so called sound alikes.

You might want to be a bit more specific about MIDI to avoid confusion: what you need is midi files that comply to the General Midi standard, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_MIDI to guarantee compatibility between different soundcards :)

TBH i have no idea if you could even license midi files under said license, so that's worth investigating. But i think it will indeed be far more likely that composers will donate midi files just for this free project and not to be available for other (commercial) projects as well.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:03 am 
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And now for my own comments...

The last few weeks I have already been in communication with several composers whose works I found online through several MIDI archive sites. Sofar two composers have replied, both of them initially agreeing to have specific works re-distributed. I am currently waiting their approval of the CCSP license, so that they can be considered for inclusion of OpenTTD. If this is not available, then I may be able to secure their distribution individually through another license, and offer this as an independent third-party project. However, I would like to see OpenTTD used as a tool to give these composers an opportunity to distribute their works.

Sofar I have found 32 tracks which I myself think would sound good. Seven of these are classified as Ragtime, eight of them are Jazz, eight are variations of Funk and Groove, five are Pop, two are Country and two are Rock. The majority of them stick to the "classic" TTD style of music, while the rest I considered just for the opportunity to expand upon the idea that no one single style needs to dominate. For inclusion in OTTD, however, I don't think we should stray very far, and the "non-traditional" pieces I think inspire game play in the same way that the original music does.

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Base Music Sets: OpenMSX | Scott Joplin Anthology | Traditional Winter Holiday Music | Modern Motion Music
Other Projects: Sprite Sandbox & NewGRF Releases | Town Names | Isle of Sodor Scenario | Random Sprite Repository
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:14 am 
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-lucas- wrote:
Hi, As I mailed to you, i'm interested in creating some midi tracks similar in style to the original tracks, so called sound alikes.


Great! I was just getting ready to mention you in my previous post, but you've already introduced yourself so no need to do that now :-)

Quote:
You might want to be a bit more specific about MIDI to avoid confusion: what you need is midi files that comply to the General Midi standard, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_MIDI to guarantee compatibility between different soundcards :)


Thank you for pointing that out. I'm no expert inanything here, I'm just trying to help get things lined out, so all tips, specs etc are greatly appreciated contributions.

Quote:
TBH i have no idea if you could even license midi files under said license, so that's worth investigating. But i think it will indeed be far more likely that composers will donate midi files just for this free project and not to be available for other (commercial) projects as well.


I did just see a non-commercial version of the Sampling Plus license, so that may be more compatible. If not, we can figure out what works best here for the composers and developers both.

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Base Music Sets: OpenMSX | Scott Joplin Anthology | Traditional Winter Holiday Music | Modern Motion Music
Other Projects: Sprite Sandbox & NewGRF Releases | Town Names | Isle of Sodor Scenario | Random Sprite Repository
Misc Topics: My Screenshots | Forgotten NewGRFs


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:46 am 
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OpenSFX only 'chose' CC Sampling Plus because all (minus one) samples came from freesound.org, which licenses everything under CC Sampling Plus. Which is not free enough for some; under Debian's terms of freeness, CC Sampling Plus is considered non-free.

So if you can get the composers to agree with GPL(v2) that would be better, although I reckon that they want to be fairly restrictive about the use of their creations. Nevertheless, as long as it may be distributed via 'BaNaNaS' it should be fine.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 2:36 pm 
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyleft

Interesting read.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 3:17 pm 
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Why does it need to be a pack, why not handling the midi files like newgrfs?

So someone can upload his midi file to bananas and others can download the midi files they like, it would be much easier for the license stuff and also wouldn't need a need of discussion, which song should go into the replacment pack, which not.

Greets
Ammler

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 5:26 pm 
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Ammler wrote:
Why does it need to be a pack, why not handling the midi files like newgrfs?


You wouldn't be able to just download and install individual songs as with a NewGRF. There must be a "base pack" that OpenTTD loads before a game. For example right now you can choose to load either the original TTD graphics or the OpenGFX graphics, and likewise you can choose to load either the original TTD sounds or the OpenSFX sounds. They are loaded as an entire pack, although in this case there is no requirement for a minimum number of files required (although I can't say if there is a maximum, I haven't tested it that far yet). But there has to be a data file which links all of the music files being used to a human-readable name and there must be a MD5 checksum created for all of the included music.

Quote:
So someone can upload his midi file to bananas and others can download the midi files they like, it would be much easier for the license stuff and also wouldn't need a need of discussion, which song should go into the replacment pack, which not.


The goal I'm trying to focus on here is to encourage the creation and approval of MIDI files specifically to be distributed with the game, so that it is closer to being a complete clone of the original TTD. Part of the TTD/OTTD experience is the excellent music that inspires gameplay and keeps the player engaged.

That said, it is still possible for somebody to develop an independently distributed collection on their own for users to download without all the discussion, licensing etc. All the user has to do is install all the files in the /gm directory themselves, and then select which pack they want to use when they start OTTD. I actually have my own ideas of putting together a replacement music pack of certain themes (holiday songs, ABBA's Greatest Hits, etc.) for users to download themselves, but as I said at the moment I'm trying to focus on getting a base set of MIDI files distributed with the game itself.

As far as downloading/installing packs via BaNaNaS, I'm not sure if the current OTTD 1.0.0 beta 1 can do this. As far as I know the files MUST be installed in the /gm directory where the OTTD installation is located, and not in the global file area. If it requires a re-write or inclusion of new code to accomplish that part, then I honestly don't want to hold this project up while we wait for somebody to find time to do that, if anybody is even interested in doing that. It's taken long enough just to get the OpenSFX project to a point where it was considered done enough to be released as part of installation and to get everybody to work on sound samples and such.

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Base Music Sets: OpenMSX | Scott Joplin Anthology | Traditional Winter Holiday Music | Modern Motion Music
Other Projects: Sprite Sandbox & NewGRF Releases | Town Names | Isle of Sodor Scenario | Random Sprite Repository
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 5:33 pm 
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Rubidium wrote:
OpenSFX only 'chose' CC Sampling Plus because all (minus one) samples came from freesound.org, which licenses everything under CC Sampling Plus. Which is not free enough for some; under Debian's terms of freeness, CC Sampling Plus is considered non-free.

So if you can get the composers to agree with GPL(v2) that would be better, although I reckon that they want to be fairly restrictive about the use of their creations. Nevertheless, as long as it may be distributed via 'BaNaNaS' it should be fine.


Is it acceptable to provide different distribution licenses for different files within the same distribution pack? If so, then the whole issue of licensing can be just reduced to agreeing with whatever terms the composer requires and putting a notice in the distribution of what those terms are.

For example, I just received word back from one of the composers. He was happy with giving his own, written approval for releasing some of his works for personal, non-commercial use, but when I brought up the issue of licensing he grew cold, and as he bluntly put it, "I'm 78 years old, and all this talk of licensing is just too confusing."). That would work for anybody who wanted to develop independent third party downloads, but I didn't know if the same could be said for including those items in OTTD itself.

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Base Music Sets: OpenMSX | Scott Joplin Anthology | Traditional Winter Holiday Music | Modern Motion Music
Other Projects: Sprite Sandbox & NewGRF Releases | Town Names | Isle of Sodor Scenario | Random Sprite Repository
Misc Topics: My Screenshots | Forgotten NewGRFs


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 7:00 pm 
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There is a 31 file limit; 1 theme song, 10 new style, 10 old style and 10 ezy style. That only means that if you choose the e.g. ezy in game you get those songs. The style names can't be changed by the pack, primarily due to translation issues.

For the downloading/finding it works just like AIs/OpenGFX/OpenSFX, just instead of 'ai' or 'data' 'gm' is used. So it can also be in the 'content_download' directory. For the record: downloading of music sets doesn't work in 1.0.0-beta1 because I forgot to add some code, however from the next nightly it should work. Only BaNaNaS needs to be 'improved' to handle base music sets too.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 7:40 pm 
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As an idea for the website: Merge those base data sets in one page else you might lack of space there. And I don't think there will be many new data packs in the next time. ;-)

Base Graphics, Base Sounds, Midi-Music -> Base Data Sets

Greets
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:35 pm 
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I have been wondering for a while how i can help the openttd development, and my coding isn't good enough to help yet and norwegian doens't need another translator.
But music is something i have the skills, will and time to do :D . I would gladly try to compose some music and i wouldn't mind realeasing it under a GPL license. Maybe we should see if anyone are willing to compose some music just for the game, and set up a "team" to be in charge of it, or maybe we should just look for music out there wich someone can "donate" to openttd :?: or a combination of both :?:

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:36 pm 
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Rubidium wrote:
There is a 31 file limit; 1 theme song, 10 new style, 10 old style and 10 ezy style. That only means that if you choose the e.g. ezy in game you get those songs. The style names can't be changed by the pack, primarily due to translation issues.


Is that such a big problem? After all the song names are not translated either. Why not allow grouping them into custom (as in definable by the set developer) presets, even if they aren't translat[ed/able]? It could also be made possible to specify translations for the groups (maybe even for the songs themselves) in the .obm, like it's already possible for the set description. If no translation for the selected language was defined, fall back to english.

Maybe a new category like this:
Code:
[presets]
old = Old Style
new = New Style
ezy = Ezy Street


The pieces defined in the [files] category as {presetname}_* would then be associated with the preset {presetname}.
A new set could e.g. define instead
Code:
[files]
theme = awesometheme.gm
rock_0 = foo.gm
rock_1 = bar.gm
...
pop_0 = sub.gm
...

[presets]
rock = Rock Songs
rock.de_DE = Rocklieder
rock. etc...
pop = Pop Songs
...

...or something like this.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 11:06 pm 
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My old patch, which is lurking around somewhere, simply used an industry-standard M3U playlist file to store the list of files to play. There was no 31-file limit, and of course you could play MP3, Vorbis, FLAC as well as MIDI. While the mixing code probably needs rewriting, I don't see why the general concepts behind the patches, along with the decoders, wouldn't be able to be adapted for the current OpenTTD code base.

As for the "style" buttons, they were greyed out in my patch - I hadn't got around to implementing anything for those, but I can't see why it wouldn't be too difficult to define those in an overall data file if necessary - you'd have your .obm file or whatever, which would contain something along the lines of:

[playlists]
main=classic.m3u
custom1=ezystreet.m3u
custom2=oldstyle.m3u
custom1name=Ezy Street
custom2name=Old Style

Then you'd have the separate playlists for each style.

Just my 2p, anyway. :)

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 2:13 am 
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We have OpenGFX, then OpenSFX, and now OpenMSX!

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 2:20 am 
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2006TTD wrote:
OpenMSX!

What exactly does OpenMSX stand for? OpenMusix?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 9:37 am 
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Would it be possible to make songs changing to other theme depending on circumstances?
Like in RT2 it was different depending on your profit - (plus original RT2 had awesome industrial sound, would love to see it)

We could also had more than 31 songs and be able to download theme (from bananas?) depending what player wants - Classic Music, Blues, Industrial, etc ...

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 3:25 pm 
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SHADOW-XIII wrote:
We could also had more than 31 songs and be able to download theme (from bananas?) depending what player wants - Classic Music, Blues, Industrial, etc ...

That's what Ammler suggested, but it would mostly defeat the point of OpenTTD being a standalone game. Read this post: viewtopic.php?p=843492#p843492


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 4:09 pm 
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Not at all, petert. One could have multiple base packs, just as one can have multiple graphics packs (eg, OpenGFX vs the TTD DOS graphics vs the TTD Windows graphics). Although I agree that it would be better to concentrate on one core pack for now.

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