Posted on September 12, 2018
Script To Download Scrillions Of Classic Modules From Modarchive.org
The Mod Archive is an incredible website that hosts literally scrillions of module files from the early 1990s all the way up to 2018! If you don’t know, a Module, or “Mod” is an oldschool type of music file that are created on a certain type of music creation software called a Tracker.
A Tracker uses samples that are arranged in vertical tracks which scroll vertically as opposed to modern MIDI sequencers which use a left to right editing patterns. Modules are made up of “lines” that combine to make “blocks” which combine to make song. As the tracker scrolls through the lines, it triggers any sample assigned to that line and track of the module. So when you play back a Mod file, it is essentially triggering samples all in real-time as you are listening to the song. To me this really seems to give them a real “life” not found in MP3s or Wav files.
Mods first gained their popularity on the Amiga Computer platform in the late 80s and early 90s that used the .mod extension, which is why the name “Mod” has stuck around to this day. When DOS started gaining popularity, programs like Fasttracker and Impulse Tracker became popular and offered more tracks and features.
Today on Linux there are several great options for Tracker programs such as Milkytracker, Schismtracker, and even the original Amiga Protracker are all available on Linux, plus many more! The three listed here can easily be installed with your distribution’s package manager.
If you just want to listen to Mods though, there’s several options to do that such as VLC, and some really cool text based players such as Mikmod.
I am a huge fan of this music and can literally listen to it all day long, which is why I wrote a bash script that automatically downloads modules from the Mod Archive and saves them to your computer. Check out the video below for complete instructions on how to use the scrpt. It’s easy!