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Eris Falling

MP3/OGG music and WAD filesize

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Sometimes WAD authors get jumped on from great heights for including MP3/OGG music in their WADs. Usually this happens when the audio files take up a pretty large portion of the total filesize, as the WAD would be like 50kb without it, so these sentiments are understandable.

 

In larger WADs, people tend not to give it a second thought, so I'm wondering at what point does it become acceptable? Where to draw the line?

What about, for example, a 25MB WAD, 11MB of which is music?

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I'd say it becomes excessive if the music takes up more than half of the overall filesize. Of course we aren't as limited nowdays with filesize as those who came before us so we can download pretty much whatever we want, but all the same I reckon half is a good measure regardless. Perhaps a third if you aren't feeling generous, heh.

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Why not using tracker module music (.mod, s3m, xm, it)?

It can be better than using .mp3 or .ogg sometimes for filesize.

And yes, using those 2 file formats are excessive.

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eh, whenever I've heard module music it just sounds like MIDI but with some additional features - that's not really what I'm going for here.

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I personally don't like it when they include such files in the WAD. 

 

Doom mods have relatively small filesize. If we're talking about maps and those kind of things, then the music should be an optional WAD, like the Doom 64 OGG music pack for Doom 64 Retribution.

 

If we're talking about things like actual mods (eg ZDoom mods), then I can make an exception. Those things can grow big pretty quick with all those resources crammed in there anyway.

 

Lilium (a map) had an OGG file in it IIRC and after I recompiled the WAD without the file, I was surprised at the new filesize. And felt a bit angry for a split second. What can I say? I prefer to save my bandwidth even if I have more than 1 gb available to use.

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Also, you probably know that there's a bunch of wads with a single map and a mp3/ogg track in it, which can have mixed feelings depending of the player.

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I think usually it's just people complaining because they like complaining. Very few people actually experience problems because of this.

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1 minute ago, Memfis said:

I think usually it's just people complaining because they like complaining. Very few people actually experience problems because of this.

I never complained tbh, if that's what you're saying. Some people are bandwidth freaks like me. Some get butthurt when something doesn't match their tastes. Some are purists who try to enforce the "pure" way.

 

It's really a matter of personal taste in the end. Some like the music, some think it's dead weight.

 

Although I doubt anyone's ever experienced any problems because of this.

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2 minutes ago, Memfis said:

I think usually it's just people complaining because they like complaining. Very few people actually experience problems because of this.

Actually, I don't complain for the music since the wad/mod has the right music for many reasons. Unloved and Stronghold (which have ogg tracks) are good examples 

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I have mixed feeling about this. "High quality" mp3 coupled with oldschool doom doesn't make the most of sense to me. Ironically, I usually play something of my own choosing like +90% of the time, so the additional filesize is oftentimes nothing but dead-space on my hard drive. That's not to say I never listen to anything people put in their wads or pk3s at all, but it's really a rare occurrence in my case.

 

I can see why people would want to use mp3s or so. There's just more you can do with them, I get that, but I'd much prefer that filesize be kept reasonable. anything that makes up more than a third of the filesize is something I find questionable, anything +50% is absurd in my opinion. Sure, nearly everybody can download as much they want, but eventually I find myself confronted with an insanely huge folder for Doom that makes me want to weed out all the stuff that I play once and then don't look back at for a very long time.

Why not give people a choice and have a wad with MIDIs uploaded to the archives, and an optional wad availbable via dropbox or google drive for those who want that little something extra?

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I don't mind it, but I do prefer for the music to be something original composed for that wad, rather than just borrowed from someplace else. It seems a bit gratuitous when such a huge percentage of the filesize is something that wasn't actually made for that wad. (I'm not really going to complain, though, as long as the music is good and the wad is worthwhile!)

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39 minutes ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

Why not give people a choice and have a wad with MIDIs uploaded to the archives, and an optional wad availbable via dropbox or google drive for those who want that little something extra?

Maybe 1 player out of 10 will do it and get the intended experience.

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I don't mind it. The mid 90s saw a lot of developers switch from midi to CD audio tracks for their games, so the combination of low fidelity graphics with high fidelity music feels quite natural to me. Additionally bandwidth today is such that I don't even think about file sizes under 100MB.

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We're not in the 1990's anymore, I'm sure I can download a three-figure-MB mapset to enjoy it with nice music without many problems.

But then, there are all sorts of enhancements (I play a lot of WADs in GZDoom with Smooth Doom and PSX sounds) to freshen up the experience, high quality music doesn't go amiss with these - nay, I would argue it complements them.

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To be honest, I don't care much about music formats. If author chosen nice track for suitable map, I won't complain. For example, Violence has mp3 or ogg music(I'm not sure, because I'm lazy to check it right now) and maps played good and music fitted in presented theme. I can't imagine that mapset with midi music. 

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1 hour ago, Myst.Haruko said:

For example, Violence has mp3 or ogg music(I'm not sure, because I'm lazy to check it right now)

Ogg format ;)

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If the music is OGG and the smallest it should be AND is meant for the WAD or map in question, it's fine with me. It's huge MP3s and out of place music that bothers me.

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What about midis with custom soundfonts (not tracker music, I mean making your own soundfont and using that for all the songs in the wad). I figure that could be a nice compromise for when using a bunch of presampled music or mod files with lots of samples could be too big but you still want more than the default midi sound

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On 10/18/2017 at 8:15 AM, Urthar said:

I don't mind it. The mid 90s saw a lot of developers switch from midi to CD audio tracks for their games, so the combination of low fidelity graphics with high fidelity music feels quite natural to me. 

Even more than that, it technically meant a game of a few dozen megabytes could have 600Mb+ of music. Talk about unbalanced file sizes!

 

Personally I don't mind mp3s. It's the overall file size that's important. I'd feel about the inclusion of a 20Mb MP3 against a 1Mb map in exactly the same way I'd feel about the inclusion of a 20Mb ultra HD texture against a 1Mb map.

 

It better be damn good to warrant the file size!

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On October 20, 2017 at 0:43 PM, Bauul said:

It better be damn good to warrant the file size!

Quoted for truth.

 

I'm naturally suspicious, so I tend look at the reviews of a WAD that has a big filesize to try to get an understanding on the quality of the WAD.

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On 10/20/2017 at 7:43 AM, Bauul said:

It better be damn good to warrant the file size!

Ah well I'm making it so never mind ^_^

 

I have to agree though, I've come across a few obnoxious blaring MP3/OGGs that are louder than a MIDI could ever hope to be. Unfitting and shit, the filesize just adds insult to injury with those.

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I don't care, if you want to include a high quality remastered track, by all means go for it and I'll be more than happy to play it. Just make sure it's not d_runnin.

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I dont get the stigma. This is 2017, people generally have multiple terabyte drives, many backup devices, and connections good enough to download movies and episodes of shows nonstop, illegally or otherwise. If a developer makes an MP3 soundtrack for their work, thats part of thier overall vision for their project. Especially since, as mentioned, many gmaes from those eras did move to CD audio, and we already have PSX Doom and Doom 64 with low graphics + CD audio

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57 minutes ago, Devalaous said:

I dont get the stigma. This is 2017, people generally have multiple terabyte drives, many backup devices, and connections good enough to download movies and episodes of shows nonstop, illegally or otherwise. If a developer makes an MP3 soundtrack for their work, thats part of thier overall vision for their project. Especially since, as mentioned, many gmaes from those eras did move to CD audio, and we already have PSX Doom and Doom 64 with low graphics + CD audio

Because MP3 specifically is a poor format for level music as it's not widely supported on all platforms out of the box. It's usually also a sign that the author didn't make the music, as usually composed music within the community is OGG from the start, due to the previous rule. There's only a handful of composers within the community, so it's not as if that goes unaccounted for, and just exploding filesize just to cram in other people's music is in poor taste, and you might as well be padding out your WAD file with nill bytes at that point.

 

The gist is, it's not MP3s itself (except the compatibility problem), but usually what it represents in terms of effort and quality. It's a symptom, not a cause.

Edited by Edward850

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I believe a wad should aim to contain at least 75% essential data. Map data (things, lines, sides, sectors etc.) is essential obviously, as are any new textures the maps use, although that does not extend to merging in a dozen texture packs and never removing the patches you never used. Music in particular is not essential. You can play the game without it, and I always do. Your precious 20MB mp3/ogg that came with your 1MB map? Never listened to it. Deleted it out of the file. Sorry! Nor are high-resolution PNG/JPEG textures (useless in software rendering) or hundreds of recoloured monster sprites just so you can have a fancy palette replacement.

 

For example: Hell Ground's 65MB reduces to 19MB once you trim the fat. Community Chest 4 is justifiably 70MB as 50MB of it is map data. BTSX would be fine if it didn't include an entire copy of the iwad sprite set. And so on.


Some of these are source port problems that have never been fixed of course, forcing wad designers to work around them. There is no way for a wad to tell the engine it needs X iwad and Y, Z resource wads to run on top of it, this is why you get huge wads bloated by statically linked texture sets. One could envisage a palette translation system to convert iwad graphics to a pwad's PLAYPAL. Or just do everything in 32bpp and work with rgb triples everywhere. Palettes are annoying.

 

Edit: @Gez yeah I was sure the idea wasn't new but didn't feel like looking up the thread. Thanks :)

 

Edited by RjY : replying to post below

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6 minutes ago, RjY said:

One could envisage a palette translation system to convert iwad graphics to a pwad's PLAYPAL.

One could indeed!

 

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1 hour ago, RjY said:

as are any new textures the maps use

I disagree. If you're already opening wads and deleting music lumps in defiance (must have a really old HDD to do that for practical reasons), perhaps you could go even further.

 

Custom textures are only essential in the sense that if you remove them, the maps will contain errors. But no one stops you from fixing said errors by retexturing the maps to only use stock textures.

 

Screw those artsy types and their fluff.

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