Here’s a phrase you won’t hear often on, say, Download Squad:

"PS The AmigaOS port will be up in a few days."

Welcome to the wacky world of trackers, the music production tools time forgot. While the rest of the world frets over the environmental impact of computing and the cost of digital tools, the music community has a solution: recycle that garage sale / $50 eBay computer as a powerful music tool that might even be better than what you’ve got now.

If you have something with a CPU, odds are pretty good MilkyTracker runs on it. That includes Mac OS X (PowerPC and Intel), Windows Vista and XP — oh, and 2003, 2000, NT, Me, 98, and 95, Windows CE, Windows Mobile, FreeBSD, and emerging builds for popular Linux distributions and, yes, AmigaOS. It’s not just cross-platform. It’s pan-platform. (Hey, just for old time’s sake, anyone want to start a Mac versus Amiga flame war in comments? Go for it. Be brutal.)

MilkyTracker has some other good news: as of this weekend, it’s fully free and open source (GPL).

The new release (unceremoniously titled 0.90.80) has new features, too: tabbed modules so you can see up to 32 modules at once on the desktop version, playing simultaneously and copying-and-pasting between, new resamplers (even including Amiga-style resamplers) for better sound quality, direct rendering, and lots of other goodies.

So, this means MilkyTracker is the tracker to beat, right? Wrong. Tracker preferences are personal and nuanced, and competing tools offer subtle, unique workflows, plus features like the ability to run as plug-ins or support ReWire, and support for gaming platforms and other devices. But if you’re looking for a tracker to try, this should definitely be on your list. And soon you may be able to get that Amiga out of the closet. Reusing beats recycling any day.


Proof in pictures that MT can run on lots of different platforms

  • dan s.

    I can't beleive how lame macs are, they don't even have true multitasking!!!

  • Darren Landrum

    I used to use Impulse Tracker 2.0x back in the day. To be honest, as if I would be anything else, I never did get into the swing of tracking. It doesn't really fit how I think.

    Lately, though, I've been researching, listening to, and appreciating musique concrète, thanks to finding a documentary on the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. It seems that trackers were made to approach music from that angle, so maybe it's time I looked into them again.

  • ian

    pretty badass it's fully open-source now – i tinkered with it a bit some time ago but had a couple of bugs (of course this was right when i was getting into linux so it was probably "user error" 😉

  • Amiga are so much better than Macs. I still have one or two left with both Protracker and Bars & Pipes (the shizznit DAW). I did give Milkytracker a go as well a while back, but since I had got fairly used to Renoise it didn't feel really necessary for me.

  • Screamtrackers and Fast Tracker were my daily bread for a long time. They shaped how I visualise beat structures – I can't write good drum patterns in any other program!

  • Varthall

    The Amiga version has been released in the meanwhile, though you'll need a fairly recent and powerful Amiga to run it (PowerPC CPU and AmigaOS 4 are required).

  • gray47

    In the platform pics, the one with the PDA/internet phone and the folding keyboard. Awesome, I want to give that a try. What are the PocketPC specs required for this tracker?