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Steam Music Now Accepting Beta Signups

samzenpus posted about 8 months ago | from the listen-up dept.

Music 102

dotarray writes "Valve continues in its quest for world domination with the announcement of Steam Music, soon to be a part of SteamOS, Big Picture and — eventually — the desktop Steam client. Promising a way for you to 'Listen to your music collection while you play games', beta signups (of a kind) are open now."

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DRM (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46144107)

You know it won't be DRM free. That makes it a do-not-want from me.
 
I was hoping for something better but I think in that SteamOS is going to show how crippled Linux can be.

Re:DRM (5, Informative)

glavenoid (636808) | about 8 months ago | (#46144215)

From the announcement: [steamcommunity.com]

With Steam Music, you can now listen to your music collection while playing games. Once you’ve pointed Steam to your local music directory, your Steam Library will include Album and Artist views of your collection.

Sounds like, for now, this is a convenience feature for steam users to access their own music while gaming rather than a distribution method.

Formats (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 months ago | (#46144369)

If it is a method of playing custom soundtracks from local music, the announcement doesn't seem to state what formats can be used. Does it support mp3, ogg, m4a, wma, flac, and others (nsf, mod, etc.)?

Re:Formats (5, Informative)

glavenoid (636808) | about 8 months ago | (#46144407)

From the FAQ: [steamcommunity.com]

Supported Audio File Formats
At the moment only MP3 files are supported. This will change over time.

Re:Formats (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46145057)

That's unfortunate, but as long as people are willing to violate the MP3 patents, it's pretty easy to transcode on-the-fly these days. Shit, lots of people are doing that sort of thing even with video(!), where they have a Sony or Apple product that doesn't play the common codecs, and yet they're still able to watch their video in nearly real time on those devices.

Besides, how much longer can the mp3 patents still be in effect? I'm pretty sure I was playing MP3s in 1997. That's getting to have been quite a while ago, and patents still haven't been extended since they went from 17 to 20 years. (Makes you wonder: why not? Where are the 40 year patents?)

Re:Formats (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46145925)

Violating MP3 patents? What the fuck are you talking about? Any software you have for encoding is already licensed and any non-commercial usage doesn't require a license at all.

You just like to whine, don't you?

Re:Formats (1)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | about 8 months ago | (#46146837)

Any software you have for encoding is already licensed

That's not guaranteed. Most open source software isn't licensed.

and any non-commercial usage doesn't require a license at all.

Not accurate. Some, but not all, non-commercial usage doesn't require a license for the media, but the software still needs a license.

Re:Formats (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46147833)

The software license is the responsibility of the software developers. End users are immune to any repercussions.

ALL non-commercial usage of the MP3 format is allowed without any licenses. Look it up.

Re:Formats (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 months ago | (#46155359)

Are people who compile LAME from source considered "software developers" in this sense?

Re:Formats (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46157579)

Yes. That's why LAME is only officially distributed as source code.

Re:Formats (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46144427)

If it is a method of playing custom soundtracks from local music, the announcement doesn't seem to state what formats can be used. Does it support mp3, ogg, m4a, wma, flac, and others (nsf, mod, etc.)?

If you are the type that has to ask all sorts of questions before even trying it, the feature isn't for you. Wait until it's released and shut the fuck up in the mean time.

Re:Formats (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46144945)

Hey bro, don't be so mean.

Re:Formats (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 8 months ago | (#46151429)

If that's what Steam Music is, it's a really stupid concept. You can already play any music you want while playing a game! Hell, just start up any music player before your game, or plug your phone into a pair of speakers.

This does nothing except add bloat -- if it is, indeed, what the GP says.

Re:Formats (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46152827)

It's useful for those people who don't have multiple monitors. Adding a music player interface into the Steam overlay would allow them to play/control their music more reliably than alt+tabbing. Especially since there are STILL games these days which can't properly deal with being alt+tabbed.

Re:Formats (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46156911)

All praise be to the overlay for working around idiot developers who can't understand that people sometimes DO want to put their shiny thing in the background.

Re:DRM (2)

jandrese (485) | about 8 months ago | (#46144939)

Yeah, at first I thought this was going to be another music service, which I thought would be a bad idea for Valve, but it turns out this is just a minor feature enhancement to the Big Picture mode, and I think it is perfect. Well, maybe not perfect, it needs to support Ogg at the very least, but it's still beta so I can't fault them for it yet.

Re:DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46145649)

Yeah, at first I thought this was going to be another music service, which I thought would be a bad idea for Valve

Off the top of my head Valve have said that they're working on video streaming agreements for SteamOS as part of their attempt to move Steam into the living room. If you've got gaming and movie/TV streaming in a box then music streaming would be a fairly logical extension of that.

Whether they had their own service or just piped it in from somewhere else is a different matter, but it wouldn't surprise me to see this expand in a few years time if SteamOS/Steam Boxes go down well.

Re:DRM (1)

jandrese (485) | about 8 months ago | (#46151561)

Video Streaming services put you in licensing hell. I really hope Valve isn't too serious about it.

Re:DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46145891)

So basically, it's pointless. I already use foobar2000 to play my music in the background when I play games. It's easily controllable by media keys, global hot keys or from any Android device.

Re: DRM (0)

SCPRedMage (838040) | about 8 months ago | (#46147305)

Pay attention, will you; this is a feature for SteamOS and Big Picture mode, meaning it's meant for the living room, where you use a controller, not a keyboard.

Re: DRM (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46147847)

Are you a tech noob or just an idiot? I can use a gamepad to control my media player easily.

Re: DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46148647)

As I said, I can control fb2k from any Android device. I could also use a remote control, which is far more likely to be in a living room than a controller.

Re: DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46156937)

Right, because your average console-using fucktard (whom Steambox is really targetted at) has the technical competence to add an IR receiver to their computer, let alone not throw a tantrum and smash their controller when they get killed while they were using their phone to change the audio track, or something of a similarly idiotic nature.

Re:DRM (-1, Offtopic)

MrBigInThePants (624986) | about 8 months ago | (#46144587)

Also the support.

Have you ever used steam support before?

It is THE WORST support I have ever encountered and that is saying something. (and this was backed up by the countless other experiences I read on their forums etc also)

Basically he never read a word I wrote and just sent back copy and paste responses that had nothing to do with my problem over and over again no matter how many times I tried to explain the problem.
By the end I was considering that it was not a real person and just a robot firing off canned responses based on a machine learning algorithm.

(and I am not joking here - I have a MSc in AI and I am pretty sure I could come up with something as good and probably better than the person I dealt with)

Since then I have not spent a dime with them and do not intend to unless I absolutely have to. (i.e. an app I cannot get anywhere else)

So in summery: Steam can suck my balls.

Re:DRM (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46145127)

I've read about reports about Valve's anti cheat software triggering from things like an installed copy of Visual Studio, or some other program that might find and phone home with a false positive. Think Valve support is bad? Good luck with any help when their snooper program hoses up. Issuing bans and taking access away to thousands of dollars of purchased games may be a way for Valve to make good money forcing people to re-buy, but even though I've not had any issues, I won't buy from them in the future.

There are ways to block cheats that are far better than VAC's implementation. Blizzard has mastered this. So has SOE.

Re:DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46146603)

I've not been VAC'd for having Visual Studio installed for at least a decade... 10 year old account still in good standing.

Re:DRM (1)

tibman (623933) | about 8 months ago | (#46147349)

I have VS 2010 and 2013 installed. Eclipse, Arduino, PhpStorm, WebStorm, and MonoDevelop as well. I don't think an IDE is going to set VAC off. I'm not even going into all the various services, emulators, and editors running either. Other than something deciding to randomly update and steal focus when i'm playing Rust, it has been just perfect. I get lazy sometimes and don't shut everything down : /

Re:DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46157075)

Right, because Visual Studio 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, IDEA, Poke (a tool actually used for hacking game memory), VirtualBox, VMware, various hex editors, and some experimental injected DLLs I've been playing with that actually DO modify the game memory of several single-player Steam games have all NOT triggered VAC in a decade. You're just angry because you actually WERE hacking and got your ass banned.

Re:DRM (1)

MrBigInThePants (624986) | about 8 months ago | (#46157981)

But apparently their employees have mod points...

This music is currently unavailable (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46144129)

"Wrecking Ball - Miley Cyrus" was unable to start. Please try again later.
"Wrecking Ball - Miley Cyrus" was unable to start. Please try again later.
"Wrecking Ball - Miley Cyrus" was unable to start. Please try again later.
"Wrecking Ball - Miley Cyrus" was unable to start. Please try again later.
"Wrecking Ball - Miley Cyrus" was unable to start. Please try again later.

Re:This music is currently unavailable (4, Funny)

EvilSS (557649) | about 8 months ago | (#46144329)

This sounds like a feature.

Re:This music is currently unavailable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46144377)

You know, that joke might actually be funny if that stuff happened to anyone anymore.

Re:This music is currently unavailable (1)

asretfroodle (811847) | about 8 months ago | (#46145563)

It still does.

The More "Questing" for Domination the Better (4, Informative)

TheSwift (2714953) | about 8 months ago | (#46144155)

OP seems to think Valve's aspirations are deplorable for consumers.

The more companies (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Valve) who vie for control of the modern omni-market, the better it is for us. Someone tell me how more choices is a bad thing.

Valve, you can send me my check in the mail, please.

Re:The More "Questing" for Domination the Better (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 8 months ago | (#46144203)

There's probably a sweet spot somewhere along the line.

1 service is bad; 1000 services fracture the market so much that you miss out on too many niche artists, can't share content with the person you marry, since they were on service #349, etc.

I suspect we're getting pretty close to that sweet spot for major label music.

Re:The More "Questing" for Domination the Better (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 months ago | (#46144409)

1 service is bad; 1000 services fracture the market so much that you miss out on too many niche artists

So long as one or more of the services offers a service tier without charge (possibly with a monthly cap), one could sign up on multiple services to find niche artists.

can't share content with the person you marry, since they were on service #349, etc.

Even two services (PlayStation Network and Xbox Live) fracture the market in the same manner that 1000 do.

Re:The More "Questing" for Domination the Better (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 8 months ago | (#46145039)

At least with "only" PSN and XBL, I have a 50% chance of being on the same "team" with my next roommate or wife.

Re:The More "Questing" for Domination the Better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46144451)

No, there is no sweet spot. There is a local maximum at a fairly small number of services (5-10, maybe), after which the benefits start going down. However, once there's enough services, interoperability and standardization start taking over, and after that the only way is up.

Re:The More "Questing" for Domination the Better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46145375)

1 service is bad; 1000 services fracture the market

1000 services only fracture the market if they're proprietary; i.e. if there are laws or trade secrets to prevent people from making interoperable implementations.

There are over 1000 websites, but my browser works with all. No "fracturing" happens, unless you travel back in time to the MSIE days.

As long as you keep away from the proprietary services, then you can use as many as you want; numbers and diversity aren't serious problems.

Alas, it looks like we're talknig about a proprietary service in this context (Steam), so the outlook appears grim and broken. But that's when, and only when, you're talking about Steam's music. Turn off the music within your games, and turn on your own music player and I bet all the "1000 services are bad" problems go away.

Re:The More "Questing" for Domination the Better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46144287)

Pretty much this right here.

It will undercut those that are specialist services for sure, but hey, it is no different from the physical world right now.
Does it suck? Sure it sucks. But that is the way the world works.
Although, you cannot deny how considerably better it is for small business and single employee businesses these days than it was even 20 years ago.
A single person can reach almost the entire world trivially. (ignoring the fact that there is still that awful 1st / 3rd world divide that is)

Sure, you have the semi middle-ground area, Malls, where large companies can rent out spaces for other companies, large or small.
Technically that already exists anyway. Steam itself already is such a service. Amazon also have such a service, Google, etc.
So even that middle-ground already exists.

Still not sure how well Steam Machines will do though. It seems so horribly hit or miss, it is literally right in the middle, it can go either way.
It certainly will not make a dent in the console business though, which a lot of people seem to think.
Of course, that is unless Valve have a RRP of a similar price and hope to make money back with the MASSIVE increase in numbers. But given the servers get crippled horribly when a moderately large update comes out... yeah that will be a horribly shaky year or two. Oh well, easy enough to force offline play and use Hamachi for most games.

For $499 MSRP of Xbox, buy a Steambox instead (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 months ago | (#46144425)

It certainly will not make a dent in the console business though, which a lot of people seem to think.
Of course, that is unless Valve have a RRP of a similar price

Xbox One has AMD graphics and an MSRP of $499. Steambox One also has AMD graphics and an MSRP of $499 [theverge.com] .

Re:For $499 MSRP of Xbox, buy a Steambox instead (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 8 months ago | (#46145191)

If the Steambox One is open enough where I can run Linux stuff in the background, this might be useful for a general home server. If it is locked down just like every other console, meh, I'll pass.

Re:For $499 MSRP of Xbox, buy a Steambox instead (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 months ago | (#46145253)

SteamOS lets the user exit to GNOME, as I understand it.

Re:For $499 MSRP of Xbox, buy a Steambox instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46145415)

It's an ubuntu box that defaults into steam big picture mode on start, it's not locked down.

Re:For $499 MSRP of Xbox, buy a Steambox instead (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 8 months ago | (#46146873)

How the hell is something that can run whatever you want, upto and including whatever software you want "locked down like every other console."

Re:For $499 MSRP of Xbox, buy a Steambox instead (1)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | about 8 months ago | (#46147081)

As the others have already stated, it's not locked down. And even if it is, you could just install a generic Linux distro instead and run Steam on that.

Re:The More "Questing" for Domination the Better (1)

yincrash (854885) | about 8 months ago | (#46144345)

This isn't a spotify/rdio etc competitor. It's just a network music player for Steam. That's all. A dude at valve who likes listening to music while playing videogames probably really wanted to continue listening to music while playing videogames on SteamOS

Re:The More "Questing" for Domination the Better (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 8 months ago | (#46144559)

I'm sorry, Valve only deals in a currency knows as 'Hats'.

heh

So you're telling me... (1)

default luser (529332) | about 8 months ago | (#46151381)

Valve is entirely run by Jagermonsters [wikia.com] ?

Suddenly Valve Time makes perfect sense!

Re:The More "Questing" for Domination the Better (1)

radarskiy (2874255) | about 8 months ago | (#46144961)

"Someone tell me how more choices is a bad thing."

Because having more alternatives increases the cost of making a choice: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H... [wikipedia.org]

See also "You Want More Choices and Information Than You Can Actually Process" by Susan Weinschenk: http://www.blog.theteamw.com/2... [theteamw.com] and _The Paradox of Choice_ by Barry Schwartz

Re:The More "Questing" for Domination the Better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46147197)

Nothing wrong with having more choices. But all these big corps and megacorps battling for control does mean that if you don't particularly fancy ANY of them, you'll get completely ignored. A minority opinion is much, much harder to sustain when companies which don't care about you are all dominating for the same thing.

Or put another way, I don't like Valve because they peddle a little drug called Steam that people can't seem to get away from.

I don't dislike Valve (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about 8 months ago | (#46144169)

But what can they bring to the table that old winamp and mp3s can't do better?

Re:I don't dislike Valve (4, Interesting)

mythosaz (572040) | about 8 months ago | (#46144225)

Not everyone wants to maintain a library of their own MP3 files.

As much as I like the idea of owning things, services get more and more attractive to me every day in terms of convenience and cross-platform usability.

I ripped my massive DVD collection to a convenient set of well organized files a few years back, but that doesn't mean that Netflix doesn't make more sense to me more often than not.

Re:I don't dislike Valve (1)

FatAlb3rt (533682) | about 8 months ago | (#46144275)

That's where I'm at. Once upon a time I thought I'd build a neighborhood movie-sharing vault. Now it's just easier to pay a few bucks to stream that movie that I watch every once in a while instead of the thought of maintaining terabytes of static data, or data that we'd have to pay to add to it.

Re:I don't dislike Valve (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 8 months ago | (#46144373)

As it stands, I don't care enough about music to subscribe to something like Google Play's all-access thing.

I got on the XM bandwagon back when they came online, and their streaming service offers me most of what I want to listen to when the mood strikes me.

...but as the price gets lower and lower, and the services get better and better, I might just jump on that too.

Re:I don't dislike Valve (1)

FatAlb3rt (533682) | about 8 months ago | (#46144653)

I had XM a few yrs back, but dumped it after trying Pandora. I'm usually not anywhere I don't have wifi or cell data, so for $36/yr, it works for me.

I guess I'm just at a different time in my life than I was in the past. The DRM thing used to really get to me, but maybe I'm just not as involved so I no longer care. :)

Re:I don't dislike Valve (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 8 months ago | (#46145025)

XMOnline is a byproduct of my service in the car, which I enjoy. Traffic to and from my job gives me long windows to listen, and I prefer uncensored long-form talk, and much like my first post, I don't want to manage a bunch of podcasts when, for the most part, XM is just going to play the people I like listening to anyway in realtime, discussing in-the-news-today, which I prefer to the more abstracted nature of podcasts.

I pay a couple bucks extra a month for XMOnline, but it's worth it to me.

Re:I don't dislike Valve (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about 8 months ago | (#46144357)

That makes sense. That's how it works for me for movies and shows. I don't really even have any DVDs because of services like Netflix and Amazon. The issue for me is that I already have the infrastructure in place for music. I have my backed up mp3 collection, organized better than they'd probably let me on their service.

I've looked into other cloud services too. I have a google music account with my music uploaded there, but it's generally inferior to the local player. Somewhere in the last 5 years or so, we decided that features like virtualizers weren't necessary. That's usually a dealbreaker for me.

Apologies if I come out ranty. Pulled an all nighter for work so I'm not entirely lucid.

Re:I don't dislike Valve (1)

JustNiz (692889) | about 8 months ago | (#46144455)

Wait so you would really rather pay everytime you want to listen to/watch something, even if you've paid for it before? Wow. I have this swamp land you might be interested in...

Re:I don't dislike Valve (3, Interesting)

FatAlb3rt (533682) | about 8 months ago | (#46144797)

I would. Instead of buying a $15 DVD, I'll pay $4 and watch it once. If it's good enough, I might watch it 2 or maybe 3 times, but odds are, I'm coming out ahead.

Re:I don't dislike Valve (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 8 months ago | (#46144973)

Could be worse. At my peak I bought DVDs I never watched. I'd gladly PPV them :)

Re:I don't dislike Valve (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46145129)

It depends on what you mean, exactly.
 
I have a large music collection and I doubt any streaming service would carry about 50% of it since I listen to a few niche genres but I've spent somewhere in the area of 20k on my collection over the years. If I could get all the music I wanted for 10 dollars a month over a reliable streaming service it would have saved me thousands plus all the music I like that I don't own because I already own so much and there's just so much out there.
 
But again, I don't listen to tons of mainstream so I don't see this service happening anytime soon but if it did I would drop my buying habit and just subscribe instead at this point in the game. I certainly have amassed enough music that if I ended up someplace where streaming wasn't possible I could keep myself entertained for some time.

Re:I don't dislike Valve (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about 8 months ago | (#46146053)

I...I genuinely don't know where you got that notion from.

That aside, I'd much rather pay $2.00 to sit down and watch a cheesy movie with some friends I'll never watch again than $15.99 for a DVD that takes up space, but I seldom ever watch something twice. Music is a different story altogether.

Re:I don't dislike Valve (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46144729)

Not everyone wants to maintain a library of their own MP3 files.

coverred [shoutcast.com] and often available free (as in radio).

Re:I don't dislike Valve (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46144251)

But what can they bring to the table that old winamp and mp3s can't do better?

Implement an audio player to their overlay so you shift+tab instead of alt+tab. Convineant to those use it and a nifty feature for their OS I guess.
But I am more curious about how is this news or interesting at all?

Re:I don't dislike Valve (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46144257)

In-game interface by hitting shift-tab. Maybe you could also set specific playlists per game.

Re:I don't dislike Valve (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46144267)

Integration.

With... things that you can integrate with. Using some kind of specific program to play music? That's, like, so 90's, man! Now ALL your programs will play music, except for the lame ones. And Steam isn't one of the lame ones. You know because it plays your music. The future: No matter what you're doing, your programs will do it all for you. You just have to choose which integration solution you want.

Re:I don't dislike Valve (2)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about 8 months ago | (#46144317)

Winamp can't run on Steam OS, it's Windows only.

It's all about bringing common, expected PC functionality to Steam OS... listen to music, browse the web, and perhaps more with time. Power users can drop to Gnome and do stuff but Valve likely does not find that acceptable for causal users I bet.

Re:I don't dislike Valve (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 months ago | (#46144475)

Winamp can't run on Steam OS, it's Windows only.

Let me rephrase: What does this bring to the table that XMMS doesn't?

It's all about bringing common, expected PC functionality to Steam OS

I expect PCs to be able to play obscure music formats like NSF and MOD, even if I have to install a third-party decoder. There are plenty of third-party decoders for Winamp (called "input plug-ins"). I wonder if Valve plans to allow developers of third-party decoders that already run in a framework such as GStreamer to port their decoders to Steam Music.

Re:I don't dislike Valve (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46144659)

Have you ever set up XMMS? I did it on a Raspberry Pi. It's certainly not the easiest thing in the world to do.

Re:I don't dislike Valve (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46147103)

XMMS or XMMS2? XMMS is very simple.

Re:I don't dislike Valve (1)

glavenoid (636808) | about 8 months ago | (#46144675)

What it brings to the table is the ability to select from your music library and play the music from the steam overlay in-game or from the steam big picture interface. No need to leave the game to open another shell or DE, no need to fiddle with the commandline, none of that. Instead, pause game, select music, resume game rather than pause game, switch to xmms (or whatever), manage music from xmms which may or may not work with a joypad, switch back to the game then resume play. It's just convenience.

It's a way of integrating the user's local music library with their local steam game library from within the steam application interface. Basically it's one step towards making the steam application into a general purpose media player rather than just a game library management interface.

Re:I don't dislike Valve (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about 8 months ago | (#46145765)

Exactly. Ideally, for the console crowed, Steam will be the Desktop. For the PC crowed, Steam will be an app for gaming.

Re:I don't dislike Valve (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 8 months ago | (#46144321)

For starters, Valve can bring integration with the many Source games so your own library is dynamically mixed with the game's sounds, rather than just playing both at constant volumes. With more effort, the game could request certain kinds of music, so your zombie-slaying sessions are accompanied by a perfect energetic theme song, while the sad story moments are set to a more melancholy tune.

Re:I don't dislike Valve (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46145217)

Whoa! That would be awesome. Hey, you could even go one step farther and include music with the game so you don't have to mix in your own library!

Re:I don't dislike Valve (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about 8 months ago | (#46144649)

Integration with the Steam overlay.

Most games are full-screen. The Steam Overlay currently gives you a lightweight web browser and chat. It's very useful for, say, checking a walkthrough while playing, because switching from a fullscreen app to the desktop is a slow and bug-prone process, while throwing a Direct3D/OpenGL overlay with that stuff in it is fast and relatively safe. Even with multiple monitors, just changing inputs is tricky.

Adding a lightweight media player to it is a fairly logical step. I've actually wanted just that - give me something that can play my own music, and control it without having to quit the game. That would work well for games like Civilization, Minecraft, or Kerbal Space Program, to name a few.

Re:I don't dislike Valve (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 8 months ago | (#46144865)

But what can they bring to the table that old winamp and mp3s can't do better?

In game control of volume and play list management via the steam overlay.

Integrated mixer to easily manage volume levels, via the steam overlay; separate game audio, music volume, and voice (as well as setting different audio devices for each...)

Runs everywhere steam os runs. (winamp doesn't run on mac or linux ...)

"Big picture mode" support - means being able to control everything easily with a game controller.

I can see it being useful. Potentially.

Re:I don't dislike Valve (1)

FalleStar (847778) | about 8 months ago | (#46145995)

But what can they bring to the table that old winamp and mp3s can't do better?

Here's a few thoughts:

  1. 1) Manage/Control music without leaving Big Picture mode, not useful for keyboard & mouse really, but if you're playing with a controller on a television I think this would be very useful.
  2. 2) Add a way to mix your music library with the in-game sounds. You could set the music volume to lower than the sound effects and dialogue volume, so that you could hear the music just fine, but without drowning out the noises from the game that might be useful to the player to hear (gunshots, mission directions, etc).
  3. 3) Integration with games to allow the music to pause automatically when a player enters a cinematic or cut-scene.
  4. 4) Use your own music library as background music for subtle immersion. Maybe you're playing GTA and walking down the street, as NPCs drive passed you might hear some of them listening to songs from your own collection. Not sure that this would be done, but it's possible.
  5. 5) The ability to maintain playlists that will trigger per game. To take it a step further even, perhaps you'd want to listen to different music when questing in World of Warcraft as opposed to when you're PVPing (I know I do).

I'm sure there's more creative uses for a feature like this, but these are just what came to me off the top of my head.

FuCk You ValVe (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46144249)

WON was shit, Steam is shit, and Valve is shit.

Where's the Source CODE to Source, you assholes? You fuckers would be NOTHING without id, fuckers.

Re:FuCk You ValVe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46144415)

FCYVV? ukouale?

Please, if you're going to capitalize letters in unexpected ways, at least make them spell out some kind of clever message.

A music store would be nice (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 8 months ago | (#46144309)

When I first read the headline, I was hoping this was an announcement of a music store. While integrating a music player into the system is interesting, I really hope they do go that far. A lot of people making the move from OS X to Linux find themselves at a loss when it comes to finding a comprehensive music store alternative. If not DRM laden, such a thing could be a huge win in Linux.

Oh well.

Amazon MP3 (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 months ago | (#46144487)

Some flavors of Ubuntu bundle a client for the Amazon MP3 store in countries where it is available. But you're right that I've discovered several songs that are on iTunes but not Amazon.

Re:A music store would be nice (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46145763)

No, in in-game music player is just fine, especially if it lets me control my content without uploading it anywhere if I don't want to.

Speaking as a Canadian who isn't allowed to buy MP3s from US based services like Amazon

Re:A music store would be nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46151985)

https://one.ubuntu.com/services/music/

Undescriptive summary (5, Informative)

gman003 (1693318) | about 8 months ago | (#46144521)

Steam Music, from Valve's description, is basically just an in-game music player (they already have the Steam Overlay running things in-game, for chat and web browsing). You pick your media folder, it lets you play stuff from it. I see absolutely nothing about selling music via Steam.

And this makes sense. There's many games I would want to play my own music in (Civilization springs to mind), and be able to control it from inside the game. It probably won't be the greatest music player, but much like the Steam Overlay web browser is just a simple WebKit browser that doesn't really compete with Chrome or Firefox as standalone browsers, this doesn't need to compete with whatever passes for a top-notch media player. It just needs to play music from my hard drive, and let me pause/play/change tracks by pressing Shift+Tab and some buttons.

That said, Steam *already* sells music - several games have their soundtracks in the Steam store, usually as a bundle with the game for an extra buck or two. As far as I've seen, they're all DRM-free, just plain MP3 files.

Re:Undescriptive summary (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about 8 months ago | (#46148297)

Totally agree with this. Some games don't have a great sound track, or in cases like Path of Exile, Kingdoms of Amalur or Skyrim, you play the game so much you get bored of even good music. Tabbing out, while not hard, can sometimes destabilize a game or just be inconvenient. Adding a music player to the overlay which just reads from your library is a small and simple quality of life improvement.

More info on Steam music here: (3, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | about 8 months ago | (#46144527)

Re:More info on Steam music here: (1)

hey! (33014) | about 8 months ago | (#46145631)

Better link here [youtu.be] .

OK (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 8 months ago | (#46144825)

I'm all for listening to your own music while playing games, but I can do that right now very easily without Steam.

I love to play NFS -style racing games and turn down the game's music and start AIMP3 or Spotify in the background. It's like being a teenager again, driving around listening to my tapes or the radio, except I'm doing it in a Lamborghini Vaneno, running from cops and jumping over rusting airplanes.

When I want to hear my own collection, I've got that, when I want to listen to the "radio" I can open the Hype Machine app in Spotify and hear music curated by any one of hundreds of music blogs.

OK, so Valve wants to offer this all within Steam. Fair enough. More the merrier. But if they really want to do something for me, they can fix it so the songs start at the beginning of a race, they way they do in NFS: Rivals or Most Wanted or Burnout Paradise. I can't do that right now and I would really like that.

Re:OK (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 8 months ago | (#46144999)

That would be a great feature.

ON the plus side, with steam it looks like you will be able to set playlists to games.

Rumor is you will be able to do that based on tempo as well

Probably because of winamp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46146697)

Let's face it, most people probably use winamp to listen to music even today. When they announced they were getting out of the game, Steam probably thought it was a good time to tap the market so that's what they are doing? But, winamp recently stated that they got purchased by some other company but I'm sure steam could still take over the PC market since most steam users run steam in the bg while doing net stuff so why not have a music player? Hopefully the quality will be good because if you're comparing WMP with winamp, winamp sounds a lot better but will this steam one sound better? Not sure.

Re:OK (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 8 months ago | (#46146977)

I picked up a four channel mixer at the flea market for ten bucks. Now I can play my own music while playing console games... at least, in the ones that let me turn their crappy music off. That's my favorite feature of GTAV.

Food for thought... (1)

Dega704 (1454673) | about 8 months ago | (#46145003)

Considering that Steam is also getting into software distribution in general and not just games, could it be that SteamOS has the potential to eventually compete with Windows as a consumer desktop OS? Obviously Valve has made no indication of such intentions, but they are Valve, after all. To quote their own TF2 character: "One shudders to imagine what inhuman thoughts lie behind that mask." Honestly I'm partly fantasizing, but at the very least they intend to take the PC gamer crowd, and that would be a critical blow to the Windows consumer space if they succeed.

Awesome! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46145047)

I can play my final fantasy music collection while playing final fantasy!

GTA Live Radio (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 8 months ago | (#46145059)

Not directly related to Steam Music, but a simple feature for Grand Theft Auto games would be to have real radio stations (MP3 streamed) as the in-game radio stations.

Global hotkeys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46145255)

A lot of music players support global hotkeys which allow you to change track, stop/pause/play/whatever using your keyboard's media keys or if not available, a specific key combination, regardless of whether the player is the focus application or not. Winamp does this and it works well.

Having said that, one thing I hate about Linux is that said global hotkeys do not seem to function in most fullscreen programs (games) due to them taking all input, which also prevents system hotkeys like mute and volume changing. I guess in this case it makes sense for Valve to create a music player to deal with this usability issue.

I have a similar idea. (1)

future assassin (639396) | about 8 months ago | (#46146245)

I run a few Xonotic servers and was thinking of promoting CC licensed artist or ones that would allow me to use their music for free in game by changing the in game music on the server once every two weeks, dont want to do it too often as the players have to dl the music serverpackage everytime the music is changed. Then on my site I'd do profiles of the artists and make the music bundles adailable for download.

Steam Client (3, Interesting)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 8 months ago | (#46146573)

They better try to lose some bloatware from their Steam Client. On my Mac mini, it's faster to start fucking Photoshop CS6 then to start Steam.

Re:Steam Client (1)

Zyrill (700263) | about 8 months ago | (#46147899)

Could be a new art form if transferred to RL: oil paintings on post-it notes. About the same concept as PS on a mac mini... Royalties, please!

Re:Steam Client (1)

antdude (79039) | about 8 months ago | (#46148467)

Ditto on my ancient, updated Windows XP Pro. SP3 machine. :(

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