Steam Is Overhauling How You Listen to Game Soundtracks

Valve has announced a substantial Steam music update allowing tons of new features for PC gamers who buy and listen to game soundtracks.

In a post on the Steamworks Development group board on Steam, publisher Valve revealed new updates to how game soundtracks would function. Additionally, the team also announced brand new features that will give more options to creators and players alike. The new features will easily peak the interests of audiophiles and gaming music enthusiasts alike.

Prior to the update, some Steam games would their soundtrack bundled with the game. These soundtracks were then considered simply as DLC to the main game, not as some separate form of media. This new update to Steam’s client creates a “soundtrack” app type that fundamentally changes these systems. With the addition of the soundtrack app type, these music downloads now have a home all to themselves. This feature gives players a better way to sort and organize their purchased content, while also allowing customers to buy the soundtracks as a standalone purchase. In other words, you will no longer have to pay or download the game first in order to get the music.

Additionally, settings are also in place to allow players to set a specific destination and music directory, making finding said music easier to find. No more scouring through all of your game’s individual directories in obtuse PC file locations.

The benefits of this new system extend to the developers too. Managing and uploading of soundtracks can be done via their partner site, easing some headache for the studios involved.  Developers can even sell their game’s soundtrack whether or not the game itself is available on Steam. Associated content for the tracks, including album art and liner notes, can also now be included with the purchase.

For the audiophiles out there, you’ll be happy to hear this: soundtracks will now support a variety of quality levels that you will be able to opt into using or not. The typical MP3 files will still be standard, but if you prefer a higher quality, you will be able to download those as well. Including raw WAV files as a possible option.

So you have all of these glorious high-quality game soundtracks, you’ll need a convenient audio player to play them on! Valve has you covered here too. A new interface, designed specifically for this purpose, will give you the ability to browse, manage and listen to the tracks. While on the more bare-bones side currently, this interface will continue to develop and evolve as time goes on.

On the developer side, these features are only available to Steam partners — however, Valve has plans for a larger and wider roll out later this month, alongside a sale to celebrate. We’ll keep you updated on those deals as they come around.

Valve continues to step up their game lately with recent competition from other competitors like Epic Games Store — including the reveal of Half-Life: Alyx and quality of life changes. As mentioned above, the new music update to Steam is available now for everyone using the client on PC.

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Scott White

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