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View Full Version : MP3's or MIDI?


DustyPorViva
01-21-2010, 01:55 AM
What do you think would make a more productive game environment? From a scripting, from a download, from a player and from a end-game result perspective? Simply, what do you think would end up complimenting a server the most if it was done right?

MIDI's are small, but quality is way lower than MP3. MIDI's are also processed by the sound cards, thus different cards can produce different sounds. However, from what I remember, they are a bit easier to work with in terms of getting it to work with the gameplay, ie fading in and out and such.

MP3's have quality, but much larger download sizes. Also, possibly harder to make... I dunno, I'm no composer. However, I believe you can better access MP3 data, like the current position, and even alter it? So potentially you can define a position where the MP3 should loop, and change it via script resulting in more seamless looping than MIDI's(which would actually only loop when the song restarted). Again, I'm not entirely sure as I haven't work with MP3's much. Not sure if you can actually change the volume levels and such with this though.

Overall, music and sound control is very... well, it sucks in Graal. However, if it was done right with what we have, what do you think the better choice would be? Ideally, a server that had music and treated it like any professionally made game would. Fading, looping, starting/stopping on command, balanced with file-size and quality, and all other aspects.

Immolate
01-21-2010, 02:03 AM
If you can compose a decent MIDI, it's really not hard to compose a decent MP3, to be honest with you.

cbk1994
01-21-2010, 02:11 AM
Well, first thing, if you're still using MP3s, you really need to stop. AAC (usually put in an MPEG-4 container (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MPEG-4_Part_14), and called MP4, or M4A) achieves much better quality with similar bitrates and file sizes. Not sure how much, or if at all, Graal supports it, though. Graal can play Ogg files, so I assume it can also play AAC. It also might depend on the version of WMP on the user's computer, but I have no idea.

And, of course, it depends on the situation. I don't find MIDIs very useful, and file size is getting to be irrelevant. I don't have any statistics to point to, but I believe the majority of Graal users can download a 5-6 MB file in about 10-15 seconds. I can get up to 2 MB/s online, but it depends on the download source (Graal is actually really (really) fast, I can download 100 MB files from RC in about a minute on Era).

Ultimately I think MIDIs are only good for very limited number of things. Now that we're at the point of the internet where things can be downloaded in virtually no time at all, quality is the focus, and MIDIs don't always provide that.

12171217
01-21-2010, 02:13 AM
How about MOD? It's a compromise between the two, it's stored the same way as MIDI, synchronized sound effects, but the sounds are stored in the file itself, and thus playback doesn't differ on different soundcards, and thus has a lower file size than an MP3 file.

cbk1994
01-21-2010, 02:16 AM
How about MOD? It's a compromise between the two, it's stored the same way as MIDI, synchronized sound effects, but the sounds are stored in the file itself, and thus playback doesn't differ on different soundcards, and thus has a lower file size than an MP3 file.

Sounds interesting after doing a little bit of research. I don't think file size should be a huge concern anymore, though, but it's nice to have a format with a small footprint. It would be especially useful if you could layer sounds that can't be achieved with instruments (voices, whatever) on it. Only drawback is that some computers might have trouble playing intricate pieces, but I think that can be pretty much disregarded as it's a small percentage of people (if any).

DustyPorViva
01-21-2010, 02:23 AM
And, of course, it depends on the situation. I don't find MIDIs very useful, and file size is getting to be irrelevant. I don't have any statistics to point to, but I believe the majority of Graal users can download a 5-6 MB file in about 10-15 seconds. I can get up to 2 MB/s online, but it depends on the download source (Graal is actually really (really) fast, I can download 100 MB files from RC in about a minute on Era).
I don't like that approach at all. Even if a majority have broadband, it doesn't mean it's necessarily fast enough to deal with whole a whole soundtrack of mp3's(I personally have very crappy cable speeds). Especially because ideally I'd want to make a download pack of them(so they don't have to download first to play), which means downloading them all at once. I also don't like excluding dial-up playerbase. That doesn't mean I wouldn't use mp3's, but in the end it depends on balancing the pros and cons.

MOD sounds interesting, but does Graal even support it? Also, if it does, is it treated like a MIDI or MP3(Graal handles them differently, scriptwise). Graal sound scene is so very outdated, and it seems like Stefan has no interest in improving it.

12171217
01-21-2010, 02:27 AM
I don't like that approach at all. Even if a majority have broadband, it doesn't mean it's necessarily fast enough to deal with whole a whole soundtrack of mp3's(I personally have very crappy cable speeds). Especially because ideally I'd want to make a download pack of them(so they don't have to download first to play), which means downloading them all at once. I also don't like excluding dial-up playerbase. That doesn't mean I wouldn't use mp3's, but in the end it depends on balancing the pros and cons.

MOD sounds interesting, but does Graal even support it? Also, if it does, is it treated like a MIDI or MP3(Graal handles them differently, scriptwise). Graal sound scene is so very outdated, and it seems like Stefan has no interest in improving it.

Graal's supported MOD since, like, Graal 2.0 ;O

I think.

cbk1994
01-21-2010, 02:34 AM
I don't like that approach at all. Even if a majority have broadband, it doesn't mean it's necessarily fast enough to deal with whole a whole soundtrack of mp3's(I personally have very crappy cable speeds). Especially because ideally I'd want to make a download pack of them(so they don't have to download first to play), which means downloading them all at once. I also don't like excluding dial-up playerbase. That doesn't mean I wouldn't use mp3's, but in the end it depends on balancing the pros and cons.

In the world of business (or games) you work to please the majority. Downgrading sound quality in order to avoid "excluding" the 15% or so (and that's extremely generous) of internet users still using dial up (and remember that most of these users aren't the kind of people who would be playing online MMOs either) seems like a really bad business move. If anything, maybe offer a lower quality version.

If internet users don't keep pushing their ISPs for faster and faster connections, the internet will cease to progress further than it is now.

Either way, the world is starting to move to broadband. Some governments are even trying to make (or have made) broadband access a human right. Pretty soon it will be a waste of time to cater to people stuck with slow connections, as cruel as that may sound, especially since you don't have a speedy line.

DustyPorViva
01-21-2010, 02:34 AM
Also, Gamecube is probably a good example of how to use MIDI's and still sound amazing. Pretty sure Wind Waker and Twilight Princess used MIDI's... and even though they got a lot of crap for it I thought it sounded great. Sure, the vocal emulation didn't sound amazing but I thought it was passable. However, consoles have the added advantage of all being developed with the same sound cards... but MOD format would alleviate that problem.

DustyPorViva
01-21-2010, 02:37 AM
In the world of business (or games) you work to please the majority. Downgrading sound quality in order to avoid "excluding" the 15% or so (and that's extremely generous) of internet users still using dial up (and remember that most of these users aren't the kind of people who would be playing online MMOs either) seems like a really bad business move. If anything, maybe offer a lower quality version.

If internet users don't keep pushing their ISPs for faster and faster connections, the internet will cease to progress further than it is now.

Either way, the world is starting to move to broadband. Some governments are even trying to make (or have made) broadband access a human right. Pretty soon it will be a waste of time to cater to people stuck with slow connections, as cruel as that may sound, especially since you don't have a speedy line.
Except there are no numbers to prove that the majority of players can download these large MP3's in a quick and unobtrusive manner... ESPECIALLY if they don't offer that much of a quality difference over well-made MIDI's. Graal is one of the more low-end MMO's out there(in terms of PC requirements and internet speed requirements), so it's not crazy to imagine that it attracts a lot of people with slower speeds.

Rufus
01-21-2010, 02:42 AM
MP3's with converted midi counterparts!

DustyPorViva
01-21-2010, 02:43 AM
If music was better handled I could allow players to choose MIDI or MP3's. However since they're handled differently, and I probably wouldn't be able to achieve the same effects between the two it doesn't seem like it'd be a possible way to go.

cbk1994
01-21-2010, 03:03 AM
Except there are no numbers to prove that the majority of players can download these large MP3's in a quick and unobtrusive manner... ESPECIALLY if they don't offer that much of a quality difference over well-made MIDI's. Graal is one of the more low-end MMO's out there(in terms of PC requirements and internet speed requirements), so it's not crazy to imagine that it attracts a lot of people with slower speeds.

Here's what I'm getting on Era for a 1 MB file download with 39 people tested:

≤2 sec: 3 (7%)3 people
≤5 sec: 22 (49%)19 people
≤10 sec: 34 (30%)12 people
≤30 sec: 38 (10%)4 people
≤120 sec: 39 (3%)1 person

There were 43 people online excluding RCs, so I assume the others are either observer mode, taking longer than 2 minutes, logged off before download, etc.

12171217
01-21-2010, 03:45 AM
Here's what I'm getting on Era for a 1 MB file download with 39 people tested:

≤2 sec: 3 (7%)3 people
≤5 sec: 22 (49%)19 people
≤10 sec: 34 (30%)12 people
≤30 sec: 38 (10%)4 people
≤120 sec: 39 (3%)1 person

There were 43 people online excluding RCs, so I assume the others are either observer mode, taking longer than 2 minutes, logged off before download, etc.

This doesn't really work with the point you're trying to make, but Hell, at least you didn't tamper with the results. Good for you :)

A 3-minute AAC file at a standard bitrate of 128 would be around 6 megs.. That's 12 seconds, even for your best group.

MOD is fine, it fits Graal's style of music perfectly, at least if you go by the style of the default MIDI songs.

DustyPorViva
01-21-2010, 03:47 AM
Seems musicpos is read-only :( Wish simple things like that could be fixed. Mixing and all that fancy stuff would be amazing, but right now just basic functionality would go so far.

Clockwork
01-21-2010, 06:07 AM
Flac please.

xXziroXx
01-21-2010, 02:29 PM
MP3 ftw. Used to have them setup as an optional download package on Mythic.

Soala
01-21-2010, 07:25 PM
I'm for MP3 for myself. No real reason why, just seems like an universal format for me, but MIDI's aren't bad at all. It just depends how you use them, and what you are going to do, but hell I'd rather wait some more seconds to get a quality sound.

Crow
01-21-2010, 07:28 PM
Depends, really. Oldschool video game music? Midi, of course! Some fancy new piece, or just some other music you want to show off/play on a playerworld, Ogg.

Vima
01-21-2010, 10:38 PM
I have a song(.mp3) that is about 2,5MB. I need to make it lower than 1MB to make it available for Graal people to listen to it. Any ideas on how I can do that without losing the allready good quality?

Soala
01-21-2010, 10:46 PM
Maybe here (http://www.giveawayoftheday.com/commercial/2005/10/20/mp3resizer/)?

cbk1994
01-21-2010, 11:31 PM
I have a song(.mp3) that is about 2,5MB. I need to make it lower than 1MB to make it available for Graal people to listen to it. Any ideas on how I can do that without losing the allready good quality?

Upload it to a web server somewhere.

Stefan has also said he will increase the file size limits if you can prove that you made the music. The reason for the limits is because he understandably doesn't want to deal with people uploading copyrighted music.

12171217
01-22-2010, 01:31 AM
Split into parts, join via GScript, could be an interesting experiment.

Mark Sir Link
01-22-2010, 02:35 AM
lol @ people saying MIDI are low quality

DustyPorViva
01-22-2010, 07:38 AM
50291

Elk
01-22-2010, 07:50 PM
Flac please.

second

Vima
01-23-2010, 03:21 PM
Which music files does Graal only allow?
Is it just .wav, .mid & .mp3?

Crow
01-23-2010, 03:32 PM
Which music files does Graal only allow?
Is it just .wav, .mid & .mp3?

Ogg as well.

Vima
01-23-2010, 03:37 PM
Not .wma?

xXziroXx
01-23-2010, 03:44 PM
.s3m, .xm and .mod works as well.

DustyPorViva
01-23-2010, 04:09 PM
- Graal now supports more music formats: ogg, mp3, mod (and other
tracker formats), radio streaming, wma;
^^^

12171217
01-23-2010, 05:38 PM
Just use MOD. Anyone who tells you it's "lower quality" is completely and utterly retarded.

Vima
01-23-2010, 07:51 PM
How do I get .ogg to work though?
It didn't work to just use
play("ELANTHEME_Cold Immunity.ogg");

WhiteDragon
01-23-2010, 11:42 PM
MIDI can sound great when someone who knows what they are doing creates one.

cbk1994
01-23-2010, 11:43 PM
Not .wma?
You shouldn't be using WMA anyway.

How do I get .ogg to work though?
It didn't work to just use
play("ELANTHEME_Cold Immunity.ogg");

Chances are it's probably not in the folder config.

BigBear3
01-29-2010, 01:53 AM
.acc

It plays on my DSi!