Stone Oakvalley had his Amiga 1200 playing for one year, 24 hours a day, to make the largest MP3-compilation of Amiga music. 255 000 songs and 200 days of listening. The info page shows 194 different formats, and I wanted a list of the most popular ones (amount of songs per format, rounded off).
- Protracker – 77 200
- Taketracker – 6300
- Noisetracker – 5800
- MED – 3500 + 700 in OctaMED
- Sierra AGI – 1800
- Soundtracker – 1400 + 300 in Ultimate Soundtracker
Just below 1000 we can find MusicLine, Startrekker, TFMX, Sonix, AHX and custom players. The synthetic trackers (SIDmon, Art of Noise, DigiBooster, Sonic Arranger, SoundMon, Future Composer) are all less popular. There are several noteworthy ones that I haven’t even heard about: The Player, SoundFX and MusicDiskTracker for example. Maybe worth checking out?
The high amount of Sierra AGI-songs, is probably caused by jingles and sound effects being interpreted as songs. Or is there a subculture of Sierra ravers that I don’t know about? Also – what is Taketracker? It seems to be an obscure MS DOS-tracker from 1994, but there are over 6000 songs made in it here. Is it because 4-channel Fasttracker songs were converted to Taketracker, which was Amiga-compatible?
[update: Stone used Deliplayer 2 to detect the format of the music. The songs that DP2 detects as TakeTracker are identified as as Soundtracker, Noisetracker or Protracker by other software (Eagleplayer, Delitracker, Aplayer, Hippoplayer, Noiseconverter & ExoticRipper), as Stone showed me. With artists like Maktone, Josss, Dubmood, Zabutom, Zalza, Cerror, it’s likely a PC-tracker]
As Stone suggested in an e-mail, it’s probably a specific version of a Pro/Noise/Soundtracker that is misinterpreted]
Although Soundtracker was developed (hacked) for 3 years, there are only 1700 songs. Perhaps it is because 1) people did not use the mod-format but rather the song-format (which did not include the samples), 2) the files have been re-interpreted as Noisetracker/Protracker, or 3) the music was poorly archived.
Or perhaps the home computer music revolution only got started with Noisetracker and MED in 1989? Both these programs were developed until 1991 (when MED became OctaMED). But in 1990 Protracker appeared (as a Noisetracker-hack) and became the new standard.
With almost 80 000 songs, Protracker is more popular than the PC’s Fasttracker, Screamtracker and Impulse-tracker combined (source). Did any other music software leave such a massive amount of non-recorded songs? On the C64, we can use SIDId to see that no program was used for more than 10 000 songs (scroll down here). I suppose those numbers don’t include sub-songs though.
Anyway. Protracker – the most popular tracker ever? Also, is it the most popular 8-bit tracker in terms of vinyl releases? In the timeline there are 100+ vinyls made on Amiga, most likely in Protracker or MED. Protracker was very popular in the-stuff-that-became-known-as-breakcore on labels like Bloody Fist, Digital Hardcore and Fischkopf.
Btw – check this great diagram on the history of trackers. Useful++