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Orange Box soundtrack for sale soon

What of existing owners? :: October 23rd, 2007 :: New products :: 16 Responses (Feed)

Update: the soundtrack has appeared on Amazon and at Valve’s Store, but there is no sign of it on Steam yet.

Steam is to begin selling music “in the coming weeks”, starting with the OST from Valve’s Orange Box.

So far the success of “Still Alive” can be measured only in indirect ways like word of mouth or the 149 comments on Coulton’s blog post about the song. Valve marketing director Doug Lombardi told me that the song will be released early this week on Valve’s Steam download service as well as through the iTunes alternative TuneCore. It will also be included on “The Orange Box” soundtrack which Lombardi said will be sold on Steam “in the coming weeks.”

I don’t think it’s likely that Steam is going to become a full fledged music store any time soon, and the songs on offer are unlikely to ever extend beyond soundtracks. But even within a targeted remit like that, how much commercial demand can there be? If you own a game you already have access to all of its songs (even if they take a bit of getting at), and, with the possible exception of Still Alive, there isn’t much music from games that would interest anyone who’s never played the title it came from.

It could be that enabling purchases was so easy that Valve decided to go ahead and do it anyway — or it could be that they intend to charge people again to download music that they already own. After the non-arrival of the Black Box package on Steam, I’m not as inclined to dismiss the latter as I once was…


16 Responses to this post:

15 Comments

  1. ATimson Says:

    Valve could decide to start encrypting the music, even within the GCFs, as was done with Emergence.

    I’d certainly be willing to try at least one soundtrack; while Valve’s soundtracks aren’t typically all that “listenable” outside of the games, maybe as part of the process they’ll clean things up instead of just ripping the Half-Life CD to MP3s.

  2. Andy Simpson Says:

    You’d hope they’d give the OB soundtrack to people who’d bought the OB for free, otherwise they’re basically just charging people for the metadata.

    Anyways, to solve the problem of them being hard to get at, I wrote this quick program which uses Nem’s cut-down version of GCFScape, HLExtract, to grab Portal’s songs and copy them to your Music folder, whilst adding the right tags. It’s (fairly) trivial to extend to the other games, and I’ll probably get around to it at some point.

    Anyways: http://aiusepsi.co.uk/steamsoundtracks.zip

    It’s in C#, and you’ll need .net 2.0 or greater (i.e. if you can run GCFScape, you’re sorted).

  3. ATimson Says:

    You’d hope they’d give the OB soundtrack to people who’d bought the OB for free, otherwise they’re basically just charging people for the metadata.

    Just like they’re charging people for HL2/E1 even when they already have them.

  4. Olivier Beaton Says:

    You’d hope they’d give the OB soundtrack to people who’d bought the OB for free, otherwise they’re basically just charging people for the metadata.

    Just like they’re charging people for HL2/E1 even when they already have them.

    I think what you forget is that HL2 came with HL1, OpForces, BlueShift. Valve has already made a history of giving away legacy titles away as part of bundles years later.

    You payed for HL2 almost 4 years ago, and episode 1 over a year ago. You got your value out when it was cool and everyone else was doing it. To suggest that they are ripping you off by giving away content that is no longer worth what you originally payed for it, like a car you’ve run into the ground, is a bit sad at your appreciation for what they are doing.

    I don’t like what valve is doing in a lot of places (read: online activation), but people need to stop misrepresenting this. The fact they are letting you give them away to others is mindblowing (although a direct result of people bitching about something that is a non-existant problem. The whole problem with the gifts is that anyone you give it to will just buy the OB, nice marketing but it really means they have no initial value).

  5. Tom Edwards Says:

    Valve originally planned to release the Black Box, containing just the new games at a lower price than the Orange Box. It was cancelled.

    I’m not of the opinion that Valve are ripping anyone off, as the Orange Box is excellent value even without HL2 and Ep1, but they did once plan on giving even more of that value.

  6. Ortziantor Says:

    I think what you forget is that HL2 came with HL1, OpForces, BlueShift.

    No it didn’t. At least not originally, but I wasn’t aware that it ever did.

  7. sawo Says:

    This is the lamest article i’ve read around….
    The soundtrack in the GCF’s is 128kbps mp3 i would like to get FLAC version or atleast 320kbps mp3 as many others

  8. ATimson Says:

    You payed for HL2 almost 4 years ago, and episode 1 over a year ago. You got your value out when it was cool and everyone else was doing it. To suggest that they are ripping you off by giving away content that is no longer worth what you originally payed for it, like a car you’ve run into the ground, is a bit sad at your appreciation for what they are doing.

    Except they’re not giving it away; I’d be paying $10 for them (assuming the announced MSRPs for the Black Box were accurate—and I don’t see the difference being any less than that, or retailers would’ve been even more adamant about only having one SKU).

    Between the lack of the Black Box on Steam, and the fact that Episode 2 doesn’t come with Portal as we were promised, Valve’s having a really hard time keeping their promises…

  9. ATimson Says:

    This is the lamest article i’ve read around….
    The soundtrack in the GCF’s is 128kbps mp3 i would like to get FLAC version or atleast 320kbps mp3 as many others

    It hasn’t yet been announced what format/quality the files will be released in; you might well get your wish. 🙂

  10. Tom Edwards Says:

    Episode 2 doesn’t come with Portal

    Huh?

  11. ATimson Says:

    We were told that Portal would ship with Episode 2. Not that it would ship in some packages with it, not that it would only be in the Black Box/Orange Boxes, but that it would come with Episode 2, period.

    And yet when I go to the Steam store, and try to buy Episode 2, it doesn’t include Portal unless I also add in the rest of the Orange Box.

  12. Ne0nguy Says:

    Even though I can (and already have) extracted the music from the GCF’s I will still buy the soundtrack.
    I am counting on the fact that the Team Fortress 2 songs will be much higher quality and louder than the ones that play when you launch the game.

  13. Andy Simpson Says:

    Huh… it’s been a good three weeks since this was posted and the song still isn’t up on Steam. I wonder what the hold-up is?

  14. Tom Edwards Says:

    Never forget the conversion to Valve Time

  15. Kuromatsu Says:

    Well, from the point of view of a soundtrack enthusiast, this could be a good thing.

    For one, it benefits people who played on the console and loved the music from it.

    If valve adds extra, unreleased tracks, different mixes and versions of it at a higher quallity, that would be quite great. Really love the silent hill soundtracks, yet it’s so hard to get full copies of ALL the music used, Akira yamaoka is usually limited to CDs where you can only get a certain ammount of tracks on it. Fans then have to go and do the full soundtracks through recording it off game audio via their consoles then posting it on the net. Valve isn’t restricted to a CD this time like they were with the HL2 soundtrack gold package people got, they can fit a lot into it.

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