Watch a movie with the music stripped from it and you’ll get a very different experience. Audio is an essential tool to instill dread, sadness, joy or victory to parts of the story. The devs at Valve heard you and at long last, they’re adding a music app to Steam that allows players to listen to music during gameplay without the hassle you’ve had to deal with for years.
How is This Better?
From the company’s announcement, this app would be expected to be more similar to the ones we’re familiar with, such as Spotify. Soundtracks would be pre-uploaded so gamers can choose, purchase and download them when they want to. All this is accessible without having to purchase the game itself.
Right up to the release of this new function, users had to buy and install the game before gaining permission to the soundtrack list. Then each song was manually downloaded and reuploaded to your account in order to create a playlist or have your own song library. It’s hassle and time-consuming with just the downloading and uploading alone, particularly on days when the internet decides it doesn’t feel like working.
Don’t Believe Us?
Steam released the news on January 9, a mere two weeks ago. In the article, they gave us a list of the changes to expect for both gamers and developers. Like we mentioned earlier, it includes allowing players the option to purchase game music and download it, even without having the game they were made for.
Designed for more ease, you can view all music on a unified Steam library, instead of having to dig through subfolders, and you only need to use the Steam Library to manage your acquired soundtracks. Developers will be able to control the availability of their game’s songs using the partner site, and opt to sell them, even if the game isn’t on Steam.
Yes! No one has to sort to jumping hoops to have that awesome track of some game that’s not designed, published or distributed by Valve. No more wrestling with the green-eyed monster as you and your friends make epic wins but secretly wishing you had the right music to further heighten the feeling of that moment. It will all be eventually at the tip of your fingers.
Great! Is There Anything Else I Should Know?
Not everyone has the same audio needs. Some want nothing but high-definition. Others don’t mind, as long as the song plays. At times, again, there’s the internet speed that always changes the dynamics. To cater to varied preferences, Steam will be releasing options for quality, from your typical MP3 to more high-quality choices to soothe different kinds of audiophiles.
Also, prepare to see a major facelift as the days go by. The initial changes were conservative, keeping to the essentials, namely Managing Contents, Browsing and Playback. More are expected but whether they’ll drop it as one big change, remains to be seen. Valve is quiet on the timeline but here’s to hoping for a not-so-drastic-confusing-kind-of release. *Clink glasses*
What’s Going to Happen to All My DLC Soundtracks?
Before you panic at the possibility of losing your favorite pieces, breathe. Valve is giving ample time for their users to convert them. Does that mean you have to pay for the ones you downloaded for free? Valve explicitly said no.
You will continue to own what you already do and any bundles, promotions and pricing at the time you bought them will still apply. Other information used such as your app IDs will also be retained.
Simply go to the Conversion app under the Basic Info tab. You’ll find a step-by-step guide to walk you through the process. There’s no date to when they’re completely getting rid of the DLC-style soundtrack library but it’s best to get started soon before you find yourself cramming.
Again, your internet might decide not to cooperate on that day. Do it in bunches like albums or playlists before you find yourself crying in regret. Better to be safe.
One Last Thing…
As part of the music library functions brought about by their new partnership, you can create playlists on the partner website for non-Steam games. They’d still be subject to review but, hey, you get easy access through Steam.
This music app is more than just a shiny new upgrade to your favorite game portal. It’s a peek at what else there is to come to whet your appetite. Valve explicitly mentioned that this is just one of the new features they’re bringing in with this partner company. Do you have a guess as to what’s up next? Drop them in the comments below.