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Steam getting expanded support for Soundtracks with a Sale Event on January 20

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Valve have announced that they're going to be giving Soundtracks their own special section on Steam instead of them being a generic DLC listing.

In the Steamworks Development post, Valve said that all this will properly launch on January 20 with a sale event. However, they've already begun pushing some of the changes out there in public.

Currently, if you want the soundtrack to a game you have to own the game, and download it as a DLC with the game to access it through the Steam client. Not exactly ideal, in fact the whole way it was done was a bit rubbish. With a new dedicated Soundtrack "app type" you will be able to purchase a soundtrack you like completely independent from the actual game and download it. On top of that, you can have a dedicated music folder to store it all in so you don't have to hunt across Steam for all the files.

This isn't a shock though, it actually leaked out previously when it went live for a moment before being pulled which we got a shot of in this previous article. It will look something like this:

This also fixes an issue I bugged Valve about a few times over the years, where a developer accidentally set a soundtrack DLC as available for Linux even when the game isn't. Now it doesn't matter, you can just buy and enjoy it without issues—no fuss is how I like it.

Not stopping there though, Valve are expanding it. Multiple quality levels will be available, a new interface (like the above shot), album art, notes and more little additions like you might expect when buying music.

You will be able to use the Soundtrack checkbox when searching too (try this) like you could for DLC, Demos, Software and so on. As an example store page, Valve have already switched over the Portal 2 soundtrack to the new store page format (image here if you can't view it).

What do you think of this change? Quite nice I think.

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Sparhawk 8 January 2020 at 9:03 pm UTC
Smart. Might add some more value to it in that way.
talklittle 8 January 2020 at 9:23 pm UTC
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Love it. So much better than looking up the DLC depot ID on steamdb and using the Steam console to download soundtracks after I've already uninstalled the game.
Dankrat169 8 January 2020 at 9:33 pm UTC
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I really like it, more useful.
Philadelphus 8 January 2020 at 9:35 pm UTC
Nice, I like it! It's always felt silly that I can't buy the soundtrack from a non-Linux game separate from the game itself.
Salvatos 8 January 2020 at 11:16 pm UTC
Finally a music store where my purchases will count as a Linux sale!

Seriously, though, good stuff.
Comandante Ñoñardo 8 January 2020 at 11:31 pm UTC
ElectricPrism 9 January 2020 at 4:31 am UTC
There is a 0% chance I will buy Soundtracks unless I can manually copy the MP3, FLAC, or whatever files. Is this the case?
vector 9 January 2020 at 4:53 am UTC
QuoteMoving forward, we encourage all soundtracks to use the new app type, rather than DLC.
I would prefer this be required rather than optional moving forwards, and applied automatically for prior releases (unless a publisher opts out). Perhaps I'm being too cynical, but I expect that some publishers won't retroactively apply this to older releases even with "a tool [provided to them by Valve] that can automate the conversion of that DLC to use the new app type". I think this subset of publishers would have to believe that the modicum of time required on their part would lead to a marked increase in score/soundtrack revenue for these older releases, otherwise I don't think they would bother, even though changing it requires so little of them; they certainty won't do it for the sake of consumer convenience. I've noticed some publishers who never even apply sales promotions to their scores on Steam. Maybe this will change; one can only hope. I don't think any of the ones I've noticed suffered from issues such as the publisher no longer existing or there being third-party record labels involved (I am more interested in original scores in which often the game publisher is the music rights holder rather than recycled soundtrack collections which obviously can involve a bevy of rights holders).

I do welcome this though. Moving forwards I do think it will bring an end to issues such as when the original game release has a score or soundtrack available as DLC, but the gold/GOTY/etc edition doesn't (or vice versa), since new scores/soundtracks probably won't continue to be categorized as DLC. While I can see some publishers not bothering to lift a finger to recategorize old score/soundtrack DLC (unless they thought it would generate a fair bit more revenue), I can't imagine why any publisher wouldn't use the new app type category for new musical releases. Still, I wish it were required, rather than leaving it to publishers' whims. Anyone who wants to buy a score/soundtrack on Steam without owning the base game should be able to so.

Last edited by vector on 9 January 2020 at 8:04 am UTC
furaxhornyx 9 January 2020 at 4:59 am UTC
ElectricPrismThere is a 0% chance I will buy Soundtracks unless I can manually copy the MP3, FLAC, or whatever files. Is this the case?

On the screenshot above, there's a "View on disk" button, so I guess that it would take you to the files folder ?

Right now when you buy a soundtrack, files (usually mp3 though ; I think Cuphead had soundtrack in FLAC, but I bought it on GOG, not Steam, so not sure if relevant) are downloaded within the game folder ; I don't think Valve would entirely remove this behaviour and force you to use the launcher to listen to them.
vector 9 January 2020 at 5:13 am UTC
ElectricPrismIs this the case?
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