Today we're enabling new functionality to better support gaming soundtracks on Steam. 


© Steam | Steam Soundtrack Updates

This new functionality can broadly be broken into two categories: fixing customer experience issues with the current "soundtrack-sold-as-DLC" model, and completely new features.

Fixing Existing Issues
Up until now, there was no "soundtrack" app type on Steam. The closest was "DLC", and so it became common to sell soundtracks as a type of DLC. This made sense at the time but over time has tied existing soundtracks to a large amount of DLC-specific functionality.

Today there's a new "soundtrack" app type. For music content, this has many improvements over DLC:

  • customers can now purchase soundtracks without purchasing the base game.
  • customers can now download soundtracks without downloading the base game.
  • customers can browse and manage their owned and downloaded soundtracks directly from the new Steam library.
  • customers can configure a Steam "music" directory where all soundtrack content will be placed, rather than having to locate it in subdirectories of game content.
  • developers can upload and manage soundtrack content entirely through the partner site, without using steamcmd.
  • developers can sell soundtracks where the base game itself is not available for sale on Steam.
Moving forward, we encourage all soundtracks to use the new app type, rather than DLC.

New Functionality
Besides fixing the user experience issues mentioned above, we've also added some brand new functionality.

First, soundtracks can support multiple quality levels. Every soundtrack will contain a set of standard MP3s, but soundtracks can also include optional high-quality audio depots (ie., FLAC, or raw WAV). Individual customers can opt-in to these larger, higher-quality audio files.

Second, there's a new interface for soundtracks in the Steam Library. This interface is minimal for now but is designed to make it as painless as possible to perform the most common actions: playback, browsing, and managing contents.

Third, soundtracks can now contain bits of associated content, including album art and liner notes. These bits of content can also be viewed from the details page for a soundtrack in the Steam Library.

Existing Content
There is a huge set of amazing soundtrack content already on Steam. To help you migrate your existing soundtracks that were set up as DLC, we've created a tool that can automate the conversion of that DLC to use the new app type. You can find that tool on the bottom of the Basic Info tab for your store page configuration.

Once you push that button, you'll have a list of instructions to follow to finish the conversion process.

Converting a piece of DLC will re-use all your existing app IDs, packages, bundles, pricing, etc. Customers who own the DLC version of your soundtrack will continue to own the new version after you publish your changes.

Moving Forward
You can create a new soundtrack for your existing Steam game from the Associated Packages & DLC page for your game, or you can create a soundtrack for a non-Steam game from the partner site landing page. Soundtracks are subject to the same creation and review processes as other app types. Additional documentation is available through the partner site's Game Soundtracks on the Steam page.

This is an initial release of these features for partners. We're planning on launching these features in a wider way, including a sale event, on January 20th. We're excited to release, even in this early stage, so we can get more feedback from both partners and customers and figure out what makes sense to do next.

This article was originally published by Steam.
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