How to Enjoy Video Game Music Offline: Download Free VGM from These Sites
A gamerip is a collection of music that has been extracted directly from the game, and sometimes it has been tagged with correct song names and numbers, and the songs have been looped for a better listening experience. Some gamerips are so good, they function as soundtracks.
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An original soundtrack or OST is an album that has been either physically or digitally released by the game's developers. These albums have correct track lengths, loops, track names and numbers, but often are incomplete, as representing every sound in a game can be cumbersome.
Some enjoy a game's music so much, that they want to create their own take on it. These are uploaded as either arrangements, remixes or unofficial soundtracks. Some arrangements are official, as they are done by the game's creators.
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Video game music is incredibly iconic. For older games, it invokes nostalgia of childhood and a simpler time. Newer games often have world-famous musicians collaborating on the soundtracks. And there is a whole lot of content in-between that appeals to both casual fans and hardcore gamers.
Before you download anything, you need to make sure you have the right players and plugins on your computer to be able to read play the music. The exact plugins depend on whether you download C64 soundtracks, NES soundtracks, or SNES soundtracks.
OverClocked ReMix has been online since 1999 and is still going strong. In that time, it has built up a huge library of video game music for a number of different consoles and platforms. They include the Game Boy, N64, SNES, Wii, Dreamcast, Game Gear, Mega Drive, Xbox, PlayStation, and even Amiga and Atari.
Where the site really thrives, however, is the fan arrangements. OverClocked ReMix has a massive number of users who use the original tracks as inspiration for their own version. That might be modernizing music from an old 1990s title, converting a classic video game song into a different genre, or something else entirely.
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If you want to grab all the music released on the site, make sure you subscribe to the site's RSS feed. You can use it to instantly download the video game music to your computer or mobile without needing to visit the site itself.
The Khinsider site is focused on official soundtracks for PC games. And unlike many other sites that let you download video game music and soundtracks, all the files on Khinsider are available in the MP3 format.
Even though PC games are the main focus, Khinsider offers plenty of official music from other platforms and consoles too. They include NES, SNES, PlayStation PSP, Sega Saturn, Game Boy Advance, and many more.
Zophar's Music Domain is the perfect video game soundtrack repo for any retro gaming systems. The most recent console on the list is the Xbox 360, but the site really excels with platforms such as the NES, SNES, Nintendo 3DS, Sega Dreamcast, and other consoles from around that era.
What is great about Zophar's Music Domain is the choice of audio format. You can either download video game music in MP3 format or can download it in its original format. If you opt for the original format, you will either need to use an emulator or a plugin. Plugins for more obscure older systems might not be easy to come by.
And while the narrow focus won't suit people who are looking for diversity, it does mean that SNESmusic has been able to build up one of the most complete libraries of SNES soundtracks anywhere on the web.
At the time of writing, there are more than 2630 games covered. Considering the SNES system only has 3127 known games ever released, and many of those were obscure titles with very few sales, the number is mightily impressive.
To play the music from SNESmusic, you need to download an SPC player and/or plugin. The most popular is SNESAmp, which is a plugin for Winamp. It plays SPC, ZST, and RSN files, works with 8-, 16-, 24-, and 32-bit samples, and has an 8-192kHz sampling rate.
Sadly, the selection of games isn't quite as extensive as some of the other sites that we have covered, with 705 titles available. However, Project2612 does have quite a few less-known titles that you might struggle to find elsewhere (Bible Adventures, anyone?!), and as such, it is worth being aware of.
The Rock Band series of music video games supports downloadable songs for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and Wii versions through the consoles' respective online services. Harmonix typically provides three to six new tracks per week available to all consoles as listed below. From March 2010 until September 2014, authoring groups could submit their own tracks for peer review through the Rock Band Network.
Players can download songs on a track-by-track basis, with many of the tracks also offered as part of a "song pack" or complete album, usually at a discounted rate. Tracks released for Rock Band 2 on the Wii platform are only available as singles while Rock Band 3 offers multi-song packs as well as singles. Since on-disc songs are not available for download, some albums are incomplete. For example, the album Blood Sugar Sex Magik is available for download; it contains the song "Give it Away" on Rock Band 2 and Blitz, so the downloadable album does not include "Give it Away".
Most downloadable songs are playable within every game mode, including the Band World Tour career mode. All downloadable songs released prior to October 26, 2010, are cross-compatible among Rock Band, Rock Band 2, Rock Band 3, Rock Band Blitz, and Rock Band 4, while content released between October 26, 2010, and October 5, 2015, is compatible with the latter three titles only, and all content released on or after October 6, 2015, is only compatible with Rock Band 4. Also, certain pre-Rock Band 3 songs deemed "suitable for all ages" by Harmonix are also available for use in Lego Rock Band.
The Wii version of Rock Band did not support downloadable content; however, Rock Band 2 and Rock Band 3 do, with DLC first made available in January 2009. Harmonix has said it will continue to release songs from the back catalog of downloadable content each week for Wii until all songs are available, and starting in March 2009, is making new DLC available for Wii at the same time as Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. All songs are available for download on Wii unless otherwise noted.
After more than 5 years of uninterrupted DLC releases, Harmonix ended its regular releases of DLC on April 2, 2013, as it transitioned to other games, with the final song being Don McLean's "American Pie". Although no new DLC was scheduled for release after that date, Harmonix did not rule out the possibility of releasing DLC in the future should the right opportunity arise. On January 12, 2015, Harmonix announced the first of one-off releases of new DLC. The sudden release, along with a survey posted by Harmonix a few days later, hinted at the possibility of a new Rock Band game for eighth generation consoles. Harmonix later confirmed Rock Band 4 on March 5, 2015, and the game was released on October 6, 2015, on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
After the initial announcement, Harmonix intended to support the Rock Band Network for Xbox 360 so long as the backend tools were still supported; however, due to technical issues and the company allocating its resources to other projects, Harmonix terminated support for the RBN in September 2014. Additionally, RBN ports to the PlayStation 3 have ended on April 2, 2013, along with regular DLC. Rock Band Network content is not forward-compatible with Rock Band 4. Harmonix stated that they would explore the logistics of bringing RBN songs over to Rock Band 4 once core DLC and previous game exports are all addressed; however, all RBN content was delisted on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 platforms in February 2018. Harmonix initially reported in March 2018 that Xbox 360 users would not be able to recover their RBN content via the Xbox 360's download history due to technical issues, with Harmonix recommending that users back up their RBN song libraries to an external storage device; however, Harmonix subsequently reported in June 2018 that Xbox 360 users are now able to re-download their RBN content as needed. In May 2018, Harmonix announced that they have secured licensing for a portion of the Rock Band Network library to be released as regular DLC; however, entitlements for re-released RBN content would not be supported due to technical and licensing restrictions.
The following songs have been released for the Rock Band games. All songs available in packs are also available as individual song downloads on the same date, unless otherwise noted. From May 4, 2010, to December 29, 2020, new songs were usually released on Tuesdays across all participating consoles - this cadence shifted to Thursdays starting January 7, 2021. Dates listed are the initial release of songs on Xbox Live. Starting May 20, 2008, all downloadable songs are available in both the North American and European markets, unless noted.
Starting October 26, 2010 (with The Doors), new songs are no longer playable in Rock Band, Rock Band 2, or Lego Rock Band due to a change in the file format. All songs released via downloadable content prior to October 6, 2015, are playable in Rock Band 3, and support its new Pro Drum mode. Most songs released for Rock Band 3 include core features for keyboards, Pro Keyboards, and backing vocals in the core song, where they are appropriate. Additionally, some of these songs features charts for Pro Guitar and Bass that can also be purchased. Songs released on and after October 6, 2015, are playable only in Rock Band 4. In addition, all applicable songs released via downloadable content feature backing vocals when played in Rock Band 4, but no longer include keyboard or Pro Keyboard support, due to those features being removed in Rock Band 4.