With gaming giant Epic buying Bandcamp, why not let music-makers put their albums on indie gaming darling itch.io, too? Thanks to homebrewed, customizable, free players, it’s now totally doable.
Let’s start with the freshest of these. Developer torcado was already busy on game distribution tool itch.io – it’s a sort of underground answer to bigger players like Steam. Their creations include puppies playing with yo-yos, firing a malfunctioning gun into a bunch of bugs, and a “bullet hell” card game — not to mention a puzzle game called self reflection that tells you simply to “look deep inside your soul.”
Today, they announced they’ve whipped up a basic media player, complete with graphical Web editor, so you can put music on itch.io. And it looks great – and frankly far more customizable than what Bandcamp gives you.
Now, before you get excited and assume this is the first shot fired before a mass exodus from Bandcamp to itch.io – that would make little sense at this point. What is intriguing here is for music for games – and game-music hybrids – this means easier native distribution on itch.io to their highly targeted community.
Sure enough, the demo is also the original soundtrack to torcado’s own game Heck Deck. And if the idea was to help promote that, well – job done. It’s an adorable, ultra-happy, whimsical good time.
Wait, does it have an embed? Yes, it does – though hidden all the way at the bottom (would be great if that were more prominent). Oh, iframes:
For now, it’s not as embeddable as the Bandcamp player, as you’ll see, but it gets the job done.
Plus the graphical editor, live online:
More on Twitter on how it works:
h/t here to @fluffy, there are also some nice Bandcamp-ish tools that let you roll your own players for various other services, perhaps useful not only on itch.io but for anyone wanting to create their own label store on another platform or their own servers. And that’s a good thing, even to augment your Bandcamp presence.
A couple of these already had itch.io in mind – since the player can be “played” online like an itch game:
[blamscamp] lets you create a bandcamp-style audio player for an individual album. The player is an entirely self-contained website, and can be hosted on a variety of platforms, but was designed specifically for itch.io.
There is actually already a ton of music already using the tool, including royalty-free music libraries for game developers:
Those look very Bandcamp-y but aren’t immediately embeddable.
There’s also a Python-based companion which lets you encode albums into a bunch of different folders and – frankly looks just generally useful to everyone, all this itch.io business aside.
I mean, sure, I have other tools that can transcode music files, but this is insanely easy as a timesaver even just for formats and organizing. It also then outputs for itch.io:
Being a Broadway nerd, I can’t read “Scritch” correctly and keep thinking of Elaine Stritch. Apologies if I mistyped that anywhere.
Anyway, if anyone tries this on, send me your music.