Steam announced new soundtrack updates and functionality in a development update today . Based on user feedback, Steam’s new system moves away from their current model with a new app to host soundtracks.
Music is a key part of a game. Good music inspires and adds to the experience. And if it’s really good, players will want to enjoy it outside of the game. This is where soundtracks come in.
The gaming platform sold soundtracks as DLCs, which created issues for many Steam users, ranging from requiring game purchase to get the soundtrack to forcing players to download the game before the soundtrack.
Steam’s new soundtrack model doesn’t treat music like a DLC add-on anymore. Instead, Steam added a soundtrack app. “Up until now, there was no ‘soundtrack’ app type on Steam,” the team said in the post today. “The closest was ‘DLC’, and so it became common to sell soundtracks as a type of DLC.” Steam developers state that while the choice made sense at the time, the soundtracks became bound to “DLC-specific functionality.”
According to the announcement, soundtracks can now be purchased without buying the game, downloaded without downloading the game, sold when the game isn’t on Steam, and more.
Steam encourages users to migrate to the new app system instead of the old model. In addition to fixing the issues, Steam added new functionality to the app: multiple quality levels, a new interface, and associated content like album art which can be found in the Steam Library.
Existing content will need to be moved over to the app. Steam hopes to make this as painless as possible and created a tool that will automate the process for users. This tool can be found in the Basic Info tab of the store page.
Steam’s new system is a marked improvement from the limited soundtrack functionality before. Soundtracks will act more like actual soundtracks instead of content linked directly to the base game. While it might be a pain to transfer previously owned soundtracks to the new app, it will be worth it.