What is UnExoticA?
In essence, UnExoticA is the sub-section of ExoticA that focuses specifically on Amiga game music, regardless of format.
There Are Other Amiga Game Music Websites, Why Another One?
Certainly there are and have been other websites catering for Amiga game soundtrack fans, a brief historical overview is required...
The Best Game Music In The World ...Ever!
Ben 'Beej' Preece's "The Best Game Music In The World ...Ever!" was a very inspirational website that only hosted the more popular Amiga game themes - it typically didn't host complete soundtracks offering only the title music. The site ambitiously went on to include title music from other platforms too, but sadly went off-line never to return.
The Videogames Music Preservation Archive
Gabriel 'Solknight' Priarone's "The Videogames Music Preservation Archive" was a large collection that hosted complete Amiga soundtracks regardless of how popular they were. Maintained by a Windoze user, the site typically hosted MOD based soundtracks avoiding the more exotic formats, which weren't as supported on non-Amiga platforms back then as much as they are now. Ironically, the first logo XtC put together for the website contained "Bubble Bobble" and "Turrican", due to their exotic formats neither soundtrack ever appeared on the website! After repeated hosting problems requiring the entire website and archives to be re-uploaded, SolKnight gave up the ghost and the site disappeared never to return.
Hacked Amiga Music
Martin 'Amadeus' Jeppesen's "Hacked Amiga Music" was a more specialist website, providing soundtracks that couldn't be ripped without a bit of elbow grease and possibly some programming skills. Though the site still exists, the project closed after less than a year but built up a good following and some very decent contributions.
So all these great sites (and more) came and went, all the while ExoticA stayed up and running migrating from server to server, but with no specific section for Amiga game music.
XtC had been an avid contributor to all the above sites and ExoticA, both with rips and graphics. Around 1998, XtC took it upon himself to persistantly pester BuZz into opening a new section on ExoticA dedicated to Amiga game soundtracks. This pestering continued on-and-off for about 3 years until eventually BuZz gave in and agreed, so began work on this new unnamed section.
BuZz suggested contacting Kyzer to help with the archive due to his insatiable appetite for ripping Amiga music. Kyzer was then shanghaied into the team, providing numerous rips, ideas and creating the scripts that generate the web pages for UnExoticA.
BuZz never wanted ExoticA to be a refuge for Amiga game soundtracks, especially since there were other websites that covered this. ExoticA was primarily a haven for Amiga music in 'exotic' formats regardless of it's origin. Since the bulk of Amiga game soundtracks use tracker variants this new collection was destined to be less than 'exotic', hence UnExoticA was born!
So, in it's infancy, UnExoticA consisted of just tracker based soundtracks since ExoticA focused on all the other formats, but within 8 months of startup both Kyzer and XtC persuaded BuZz to allow the inclusion of 'exotic' formats. This was probably just as well since there was a plethora of new formats with replayers written by Don Adan/Wanted Team that BuZz found himself with hardly any spare time to add to ExoticA!
By the start of 2004, the collection expanded to include cassette and CDDA tracks from CDTV, CD32 and AmigaCD titles.
How Can I Play These Tunes?
Obviously, the best way to appreciate Amiga music is to play it on a real Amiga!
There are other players for the Amiga but they are not able to take advantage of the replayers still being written.
But I Don't Own An Amiga Anymore, Can I Still Listen To This Music?
Players for More than One OS
https://www.bannister.org/software/ao.htm (MacOS X / Windows / Linux)
- Audio Overload emulates the sound hardware of vintage consoles and computers, allowing you to listen to completely authentic renditions of classic video game tunes.
- Crossplatform chiptunes player. (Android / Windows / MacOS X / Linux)
- Has plug-ins for various Amiga formats, but has no support for the replayers used by DeliTracker and Eagleplayer.
- XMPlay is similar to Winamp, it has plug-ins for various sound formats, including the Amiga.
- foobar2000 supports a large number of audio file formats including additional plug-ins, has many features for organising metadata, files, and folders, and has a converter interface for use with command line encoders.
- DeliPlayer will play every Amiga format you can throw at it, provided you have the correct replayers installed.
- BZR Player is a sound player for Windows with the primary goal being able to play a lot of different file formats, currently over 640 different ones.
JAM (Just Another Musicplayer)
- Jam is a multiformat music player. Originally programmed for Atari-computers, it replays your popular oldskool music-formats from the golden days of chipmusic.
If you're using a Mac with OS X: -
- CocoModX - http://cocomod.stalkingwolf.net
Players for Macs
Want to run UADE on a Mac with OS X?
You can run the real versions of DeliTracker or Eagleplayer through emulation: -
- WinUAE - http://www.winuae.net
- WinFellow - http://fellow.sourceforge.net
Why Can't I Play A Particular Format?
This section depends on how ExoticA or UnExoticA hosts the replayers, so it's pending! [Links - Don Adan - http://wt.exotica.org.uk]
Why Are Tunes Named prefix.songname And Not songname.suffix?
For this to be an issue, you must be using Windoze! ;-)
The file naming convention is a result of the file names generated by certain Amiga music packages, typically the trackers. Not all music packages used the prefix.songname system, but the naming convention has sort of stuck!
Any player worth it's salt can handle Amiga music regardless of how it is named.
An alternate naming convention is in the works, watch this space... [This depends on whether we support the TOSEC style renaming]
Why Are Tunes Archived Using LhA?
LhA is the only open source, multi-platform archiving format that supports the Amiga's file comments.
An alternate archiving solution is in the works, watch this space... [This depends on whether we start using Zip with .nfo file]
Why Only Game Music?
XtC is obsessed with game music - and since he's the only active archiver of UnExoticA...
At some point there will be a demo section, but at the moment it is still very much in it's infancy.
Are Updates Regular?
Just like it's parent ExoticA, UnExoticA is updated as a hobby in our spare time. Remember, we do have a life outside of UnExoticA and we don't get paid for this - though we certainly wish we did! :-/
Give a thought for the team and their extra-UnExoticA lifestyles before you bite their heads off regarding lack of updates, or why your amendments/rips haven't been incorporated into the collection yet! (You know who you are!) ;-)
Who Has Contributed?
- Don Adan
- Frank 'Matrix' Briand
- Stuart 'Kyzer' Caie
- Peter Kunath
- Ian 'Codetapper' Lightbody
- Jason 'XtC' Skelly
- Jools 'BuZz' Wills
- Florian Vorberger
- Richard 'Zeg' Wagenfuehrer
(this list need completing)
Can I Contribute?
Indeed you can! Please use the Forum to ask if no one else is already working on that game or demo.
And please have a read through our rip tips before submitting anything.
Are There Any Rip Tips?
Disk rips only please!
Please don't deface your rips by replacing instrument names with your own rip credits, even if the instrument names are blank! All contributions to UnExoticA are duly credited - we're not M!cro$oft you know! ;-)
Try to provide a complete soundtrack rip. If you think there might be more music but you can't rip it, please indicate this with your submission. It will then be added to the soundtrack comments so that it can be worked on in the future.
If the game or demo uses a packed module format, then please don't convert the module back to tracker format.
Don't assume that a game or demo uses just one music format throughout. Try more than one ripper, just in case!
When ripping a game soundtrack, try to source an original version of the game. Some hacked games may be pre-release versions or have certain features removed, such as intros, to make them fit on a standard sized Amiga floppy. Also the music data could be corrupt due to a bad hack!
Hacked doesn't always mean bad! It could be pre-release version of a game, like a demo version and may feature different music.
If you own an original version of a game that has disk protection, see if a WHDLoad installer has been written for it. If one hasn't, submit a request to them as they're always hungry for fresh meat! http://www.whdload.de
I've Found A Mistake, Can I Report It?
Absolutely! This a is massive project and though care is taken mistakes can be made, we're only human after all!
If you find any mistakes, please report them to us using the Forum. It would also be beneficial is you could provide proof to support the amendment, such as a box or instruction sheet scan.
What's The Big Deal With "Disk Rips"?
All rips should be disk rips.
Modules (even exotic ones) can sometimes be modified or converted by the game or demo they are being played by, so a memory rip could potentially give you a less pure version. [Example Pending]
There are also occasions when a game or demo can corrupt the song or sample data after it has been loaded. [Example Pending]
If you were performing a memory rip on a game, you would have to play the game from start to finish if the game used different music for each level! Then there are the bonus section, high score and game over pieces. Very messy!
The same applies to demos; certain demos feature hidden sections that may also have their own music. How could you provide a complete rip if you didn't know the demo had a hidden section.
If the music can not be disk ripped then this needs to be indicated so that it can be placed in the comments for that rip. At some point in the future, these non-disk rips may be re-ripped as disk rips. You still following this? ;-)
- Devised by the creators of DeliTracker, this is typically a single file format used for Amiga music that has been written in a unique format and used only in a single game or demo. This type of module includes both the song and sample data and the replay code needed to play it. Note: The "Custom Made" format shouldn't be confused with a custom module.
- Typically refers to a non-tracker format such as the "David Whittaker" or "Ben Daglish" formats. It can also refer to certain compressed tracker formats such as "Peter Verswyvelen Packer" or "Pierre Adane Packer".
- A single file containing both the song and sample data.
- A tracker module that has been compressed with a utility such as The Player 4.x.
- Traditional music notation uses bars to separate sections of music, trackers use patterns. [screen grab]
- A small piece of code used by players such as DeliTracker, EaglePlayer, DeliPlayer and UADE to recognise and playback a specific format of music.
- An old Amiga term meaning to extract the music from a game or demo. This term has evolved to mean something quite different in computing terms these days!
- A non-favoured method of allowing the game or demo to load up naturally and then to attempt to extract the music using software or hardware that scans the memory.
- A favoured method of extracting music directly from the disk without allowing the game or demo to load up.
- A timeless act of releasing pent up gasses from the anus, typically performed after a successful disk rip! ;-)
- A piece of software designed specifically to rip recognised data (typically music) from programs. The name is also given to a person who rips music.
- Typically an 8bit digital representation of a musical instrument or sound.
- Typically made up of patterns and a sequence for the patterns to be played in, the song will also contain a reference to the sample data.
- A single module whether it's tracker or exotic can contain more than one song, these are referred to as subsongs. Any player worth it's salt can handle them!
- A generic name given to a non-notational based utility used to create music - derived from Soundtracker, the first Amiga tracker.