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