Modland

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Modland is a very large, and well organised module archive created and maintained by Coma (Daniel Johansson), which contains over 400,000 music modules in more than 300 different formats. The collection is distributed over FTP from the main site and a few mirrors as well as a searchable web interface available here on ExoticA (detailed below). Modland has been online since 2001.

Web Interface and Instructions for use

You can find the interface at the Special:Modland page.

Because of the size, navigating the collection can take some time, and looking for a specific file can at times be difficult. To remedy this, ExoticA provides an interface to the collection which allows searching and browsing by filename, author, format and collection. It even allows searching the instrument texts of some music formats.

The collection field handles an additional grouping level which some tunes have, and helps to find music from a set, for example the tunes from a game might well be together in a collection. Custom playlists uploaded to Modland also appear as collections. If you would like to add a module grouping, you will need to submit an m3u playlist to the Modland archive. Take a look at the playlists currently available ftp://ftp.modland.com/pub/playlists/ to help. Then generate your own and upload to modlands incoming folder ftp://ftp.modland.com/upload/.

The instrument search will allow you to search the instrument texts or other information stored inside the modules. Currently Fasttracker, Fasttracker2, Protracker and PlaySID formats are supported. You can also display this information when browsing or viewing search results.

Browsing

Use the A-Z links for module name, author, format or collection. After choosing the starting letter, you can filter the results down further by adding additional letters. There is a button to switch on the display of instrument data. Only the formats mentioned above are currently supported.

Searching

By default the search boxes use a boolean search. To make a search enter one or more keywords with an optional prefix of +, - or |. + means the word must appear in the data. - means the word should not appear in the data. If no prefixes are used, the + prefix is assumed so the word must appear in the search results. To match an exact phrase enter the string in quotes. To make this clearer here are some examples

  • apples oranges would match data that contains both the words apples and oranges (in any order)
  • +apples +oranges is equivalent to above.
  • +apples -oranges would match data that contains the word apples but not oranges.
  • |apples |oranges would match data that contains either the word apples or the word oranges.
  • "apples and oranges" would match data that contains the phrase apples and oranges

You may also use the wildcard * for partial word matching. For example

  • lem* would match any words starting with lem such as lemons or lemmings.

Note that in boolean mode the wildcard only works appended to a word. You can not use it at the start of a word.

The boolean search can only search on words of 3 characters or more in length, unless searching for a phrase where it can match against phrases containing shorter words (so long as one word is more than 3 characters).

Some of the input fields also have a check box next to them. This enables exact mode. In this mode, the search doesn't recognise the entered text as separate keywords but one entire string (similar to that of the boolean phrase mode). This is useful to match against exact module names especially if they contain non alphanumeric characters which the boolean mode does not handle. The exact search also supports the wildcard * for partial matching. For example searching for format: *tracker* will return any formats with the word 'tracker' in the name, or a search for author Coma* would return any authors which start with 'Coma'. Note that the exact search with wildcards is *much* slower than the default boolean search (although a wildcard can be can be used at the start and end of a string so it can be useful in a few cases).

The quick search box works as the other search boxes, but matches against filename, author and collection fields. You can also search by md5 checksum by pasting the 32 character hex representation. this is useful if you have a module which you want to identify, or check if it is already part of the modland collection.

An additional feature available in the quick search allows the pasting of a md5sum directly into the search interface in the form of a 32 character hexadecimal string. This can be useful to check if a tune you have already is included in the archive. Software for generating such checksums can be found on the m5sum link above on wikipedia.

The instrument search only supports a boolean search method. The same rules apply as explained above.

Ogg Downloads

The search supports downloading of the music in Ogg Vorbis format as well as mp3. We recommend using the ogg download, but the mp3 download is there should you need it. This feature allows you to play the music on the site with most media players, without having to download a variety of different specialist players. The oggs/mp3s are created on the fly in real-time, and as such are provided for convenience rather than 100% accuracy, however you may well be surprised at how good they sound. To access the ogg/mp3 downloads browse or search for a tune, and a button will be displayed above the results that allows you to show the ogg/mp3 download links.

Thanks to the creators of the following software that is used for the music playback and encoding

  • UADE - Unix Amiga Delitracker Emulator, used for playback of the Amiga formats
  • XMP - For the playback of the multichannel PC formats.
  • Blargg's Audio Libraries - For console music playback
  • ASAP - Another Slight Atari Player, used for the playback of the Atari 8 bit music.
  • Sidplay-residfp - For playback of the Commodore 64 Music.
  • sc68 - For the playback of the sc68 format and SNDH Atari ST music.
  • sexypsf - For the playback of the Playstation music.
  • oggenc - To encode the ogg audio.
  • Lame - To encode the mp3 audio.

The following formats should work via the MP3/OGG downloading interface:

  • Protracker - mod suffix - Originally an Amiga tracker but format used for other platforms
  • Fasttracker 2 - xm suffix - PC music tracker
  • Impulsetracker - it suffix - PC music tracker
  • Digibooster Pro - .dbm - Amiga multichannel tracker
  • Playstation Sound Format - psf/minipsf suffix - Music from Playstation games
  • Video Game Music - vgz suffix - various platforms:
    • BBC Micro
    • Colecovision
    • Sega 32X
    • Sega Game Gear
    • Sega Master System
    • Sega Mega CD
    • Sega Megadrive
    • Sega SC-3000
    • Sega SG-1000
  • Gameboy Sound System - gbs suffix - Music from the Nintendo Gameboy handheld
  • AY Emul - emul suffix - Music from the ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC
  • Nintendo SPC - spc suffix - Music from the Super Nintendo console.
  • SNDH - sndh suffix - Music from the Atari ST
  • Various exotic Amiga audio formats (unusual or specialized music formats) including TFMX, Fred, SoundMon, Sonic Arranger, Hippel and so on.
  • Various PC and other tracker formats including Digitrakker, Epic Megagames MASI, Farandole Composer, Graoumf Tracker, Imago Orpheus, Liquid Tracker, Multitracker, Octalyser, Polytracker, TCB Tracker, Ultratracker and X-Tracker. Quality / accuracy may be variable.

To listen to Commodore C64 recordings, use the specialised High Voltage SID Collection Search interface To listen to Atari 8 bit (Atari 400/800/xl/xe) recordings, use the specialised Atari SAP Music Archive Search interface

Changelog

v1.8
Now uses a many-to-many relationship for collections
v1.7
Support for ogg downloading/streaming for some formats.
v1.6
Added md5 sums to the database. They can be searched for via the quick search box also. Improved fulltext searches to make a boolean "and" for keywords if no operator is specified.
v1.5
DB Schema changes and search speed improvements.
v1.4
Added default boolean search mode which is much more flexible. Also included other optimisations and improvements.
v1.x
Display of instrument data and other improvements.
v1.0
First version

Structure

Because the database is created from a filesystem structure, there are some discrepancies. For example if two different authors have the same directory name in two areas, they will be considered the same author. To avoid confusion, different authors with the same name should be separated through adding country codes to the folder name. If you find two folders which accidentally have the same name, please notify Coma so he can correct it: coma [at] modland.com

Contacting

For questions regarding the collection, please contact Daniel Johansson at coma [at] modland.com. For problems or queries regarding the web interface please contact BuZz at buzz [at] exotica.org.uk

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External Links