Generally speaking, in order to play a module you're going to need a tool to play it in. Most commercial media players do not support module formats (e.g. iTunes), and the ones that do that are in widespread use as MP3/OGG and other streaming formats generally don't do a very good job on their own (e.g. Winamp)... This is where this list may come in handy.
It's important to note that 100% module replay accuracy is not guaranteed by the majority of players.
- Lack of standardization. For example, there is a multitude of editors for the classic MOD format, each of them with their own effect implementations and quirks.
- Poorly written code, well.. it's going to happen.
- Implementation of routines without taking into consideration the flaws that were present in the original module composition tools. These flaws were sometimes inventively abused by the musicians to create new and interesting sounds. Lack of support for these bugs means some modules break, fail, or just sound wrong.
So, here is a simple selection of a few players that have been tested by the community. It is in no way a complete list, but at least a good starting point.
This is Windows based, and is (concerning the formats it supports out of the box) probably the most accurate module replayer available for this platform. The availability of plugins means you can download and drop these .dll files directly into the directory of the program to enable support for a huge range of formats. Out of the box (standard package) will only support a select few formats, if you want to replay AHX and HVL formats, then you will need to download the corresponding plugin.
- The Mod Archive utilizes zipped modules. Recent versions of XMPlay already include the ZIP plugin which you need if you want to utilize the Direct Play integration.
- Under the XMPlay options, there is a tab named integration. Via this you can enable Monitor clipboard for URLs, this is very handy if you have the ZIP Archive plugin installed, as then you can simply copy the link of your favourite module on The Mod Archive, and it will automatically download and play it.
- XMPlay supports streaming audio media, also opening of modules directly from web links is possible.
- XMPlay is also a very good MP3/OGG replayer.
- XMPlay supports skins.
- XMPlay's website is here.
- xmp-openmpt can be used to extend XMPlay's module support to even more formats.
- Plugins exist for formats like (this is only a small example): AHX, HivelyTracker, C64 SID + many console formats.
This is another windows based module player, but has not been updated since 2002, so should not be used anymore - it definitely shows its age and has many playback bugs. There is no plugin support.
Note that ModPlug Player is based on the same engine as ModPlug Tracker 1.16. ModPlug Tracker's successor (OpenMPT) is still in active development and there are OpenMPT input plugins for XMPlay, WinAmp and Foobar2000. The input plugin for XMPlay can also mimic ModPlug Player's pitch shifting and time stretching capabilities.
- ModPlug can play zipped modules directly out-of-the-box (standard package).
- ModPlug's website: here.
This is a multi platform replayer with the newset versions Windows, and the older versions (available on Aminet, I believe) for Amiga. It has similar features to XMPlay in that is supports Deliplayer plugins, and offers a reasonably accurate playback of all but a few formats. This player is almost a jack-of-all-trades as it supports a HUGE array of formats out-of-the-box (standard package), including AHX (although a buggy implementation). The user interface is split from the replaying engine, meaning that you can customize the front end with skins and different features.
- Deliplayer's website has been down since 2008-07-01 according to Exotica
This is for the Amiga. If you own an Amiga then you should have come across HippoPlayer at some stage, this player is definitely one of the better ones available for the Amiga platform, with a huge selection of formats supported (I don't think it supports the newer PC-format trackers though). It supports MED/AHX/MOD/S3M and a bunch of other formats. If you have an Amiga, this is highly recommended.
Winamp WITH OpenMPT plugin.
in_openmpt is a plugin for Winamp that takes over the majority of module replaying responsibility for Winamp. This is a very good thing - because Winamp out-of-the-box (standard package) does a terrible job of replaying many modules. If you are going to use Winamp, we will only recommend it if you install the OpenMPT plugin. This plugin is built on the OpenMPT engine, and therefore you can be more or less guaranteed that when using this plugin you get 99% accurate replay of the supported modules.
- Winamp is best known for MP3 playback.
- Winamp without the plugin supports some module formats but does not do a very good job in the accuracy department.
- Winamp's website is: here
- The OpenMPT plugin website is: here
- There are other plugins available which do a similar job, such as in_bass (plugin that uses the same engine as XMPlay, but has not been updated in a very long time) and in_xmp (an input plugin based on the xmp module playing library).
Article by m0d, 2006