Ultimate List Of Mega Man Songs

The Mega Man series of video games has a distinctive soundtrack. The music from the games is so influential that a bunch of cover bands have incorporated the melodies into their own versions of the popular songs.

Mega Man 1 -10 soundtracks – This is the full collection featuring music from Mega Man 1 for the original NES all the way through the recently released Mega Man 10. It weighs in at 684 MB and you will need 7 Zip for the PC or keka for OS X. The password for the archive is reddit.

8-Bit Instrumental is a video game-focused instrumental band from Brazil popular for their covers of Contra, Super Mario Bros, Street Fighter II, Altered Beast and others. They have an entire album dedicated to Mega Man 2 songs available for free on their website. The release was so popular that a hacked version of Mega Man 2 was released replacing the original soundtrack with the cover songs by 8-Bit Instrumental.

Project X has a 14-track album based on Mega Man 2 available for download in one 33 MB zip file. The Boston-based band produces guitar/electronica music.

Overclocked Remix has several remixes (mostly techno) based on Mega Man songs. The songs can be streamed via YouTube or downloaded for free.

Game Over, a Swedish Nintendo metal band, has three songs based on Mega Man. They’re kind of catchy.

Finally, thepulperizer.com breaks down the top 25 Mega Man songs. It is a pretty thorough list that I mostly agree with except I think the Bubble Man theme song should be number one, not number two.

So there you have it, the ultimate list of Mega Man songs for any video game aficionado. After all, the best thing to do when you’re not playing video games, is to rock out to their soundtracks until you can.

Move Over Pandora, Hello Grooveshark

I’ve been a long time fan of Pandora, an automated music recommendation and Internet radio service. Users enter a song or artist that they like, and Pandora responds by playing similiar music. The recommendations come from the Music Genome Project, a complex mathematical algorithm to organize songs using more than 400 attributes. You can give a song a thumbs up or thumbs down to help tweak the station to your liking. Pandora has been my sole source of music while at work. Programs like PandoraBoy for the Mac and Open Pandora for Windows turn the web player into a standalone desktop app complete with keyboard shortcuts. Pandora offers it’s own standalone application with higher quality sound and no ads for $36 a year.

While the musical recommendations have been very good, my radio stations quickly become stale. The same songs keep coming up again and again and the only way to rectify it is to create a new station. You also can’t search out a song and play it on demand. You give Pandora a song or artist to use as a seed for generating similiar songs that make up your station.

Compare this with Grooveshark which provides the ability to listen to single songs from the 7-million song catalog on demand, save playlists, and embed both on other sites; all for free. The user interface borrows heavily from the iPhone with sliding menus and a minimalist design. The application is a cinch to use.

Grooveshark interface screenshot

Hovering over a song brings up four small icons: play, add to queue, more info, and embed. The more info menu brings up more options like browsing the artist or song, adding it to a playlist or your favorite list that you can recall later, and a list of similiar songs. After you get tired of looking up every song you can think of, make use of the autoplay feature which keeps the songs coming based on your listening history. You can also like/dislike songs which Grooveshark suggests to further tune your song list. You can see it in action below thanks to ben westermann-clark:

Grooveshark is reminiscent of the golden age of Napster where nearly every song was available at your fingertips only without downloading anything. What’s the legality of Grooveshark? I’m not really sure, but the company claims to have license agreements with a long list of record labels. It doesn’t really matter since you can use the site without signing up, which you only have to do if you want to save songs or playlists.

The only thing Grooveshark is missing is a desktop client with keyboard shortcuts though it sounds like that is coming sometime real soon. In the meantime I’ll just use Fluid or Mozilla Prism with a nice custom icon to complete the effect. It seems crazy to use any other online or offline music client now that I’ve gotten to know Grooveshark.

Using A Skateboard To Control Music

Who would think to strap a MIDI controller to a skateboard? Apparently new media artist Simon Morris did with his project Musique Concrete which aims to “explore sound and the urban landscape through the movements on a skateboard.”

The Musical Skateboard Set-up

This is how it works according to the site:

Mounted underneath the skateboard is an interface which transmits data wirelessly to a laptop computer. Physical actions are detected using three sensors connected to the interface. Acceleration, turns and vibration are monitored by a photoresistor, a flex sensor and piezo sensor respectively. Using the MIDI protocol, a software program enables the skateboarder to control and modify real-time sounds directly from the skateboard.

There are a couple of videos showing the set-up in action but the results aren’t really music, more like a cross between a machine gun and a jack-hammer. It is still a cool idea nonetheless.

5 MP3 Related Freeware Apps

I recently spent a weekend ripping all of my old CDs to my music hard drive and got me thinking about all of the great MP3 freeware that is out there. Here are my five must have freeware apps for MP3 nirvana.

Audiograbber – This CD ripper is the easiest way to convert your CDs to MP3s. While it may look like any other CD rippers, Audiograbber has lots of tweakable options to make your ripping session more flexible. Features worth noting are per track checksums to ensure each file was duplicated exactly, normalizing to prevent jarring sound levels from track to track, delete silence from the end and/or start of a track, encode to a variety of formats including WAV, MP3, or WMA (other encoders can be set up in the Settings menu), and automatically load track information from the freedb CD database.

Picard (from MusicBrainz) – Gigabytes upon gigabytes of MP3 files collected from various sources can lead to some wacky, hodgepodge ID3 tags. ID3 tags are MP3 metadata that describe things like the album title, artist, track, and genre. The MusicBrainz service aggregates metadata from various community members in an attempt to house the largest music information database in the world. Songs can be uniquely identified by their sonic pattern which is used to match up the MP3 file with the correct metadata. Picard is a piece of software which lets you easily drag a bunch of files to batch process all at once. When the program is done you can overwrite the ID3 tags and live in MP3 organization utopia for the time being.

MediaMonkey – Lots of people rave about the brilliance of iTunes but I just don’t see it. Winamp was my player of choice for years until it became too system resource greedy. Then I found MediaMonkey which is fast, flexible, and incredibly organized. Remember all that talk about properly tagging MP3 files with MusicBrainz? MediaMonkey uses that information for searching. In addition you can edit the ID3 tags right in the interface as well as download album covers from Amazon. A bunch of Internet radio stations can be streamed from the player when your days of MP3s become repetitive. If that is not enough you can also batch rename the filenames of your music files matching their ID3 tags, connect and sync with a variety of MP3 players, and generate reports and statistics based on your listening habits. The MediaMonkey system also supports an open plugin architecture as well as scripting support to extend the functionality. All of this from a lightweight music player that won’t bog your system down without skimping out on features.

Music IP Mixer – Do you find it hard to come up with a good play list to listen to? Does the random shuffle option not do a good enough job satisfying your musical pallets? Music IP has a free download that lets you make play lists based on their acoustic fingerprints. When you first start the program up it scans your music directory and analyzes each and every MP3 file. Then using a specialized algorithm based on a variety of factors, the program can create a sophisticated mix based on a selected “seed” song. The MusicIP Mixer lets you tweak the mix by selecting songs and selecting “More like this”, “Less like this”, or “Replace this song”, “Replace this artist”. After specifying the number of songs you can save the play list for later use of send it directly to your audio player of choice.

– Controlling your media player by clicking on the software interface is for people with too much time on their hands; Real power users set up hot keys to do their important music tasks. I originally stumbled on Sound Control while looking for a program to visually display the volume level when I turn it up or down like an on screen TV display. But it turns out there are a lot of hidden features in this puppy. For one, I set up hot keys to play, pause, play the previous track, or play the next track all without bringing up the program. Another hot key lets me mute, increase, or decrease my sound volume just like those keyboards with dedicated keys.

So as you can see, it is important to have a properly tagged and organized MP3 collection, that you ripped from your old CDs, that can be easily made into play lists based on moods, that you play on your light-weight music software, where the volume is controlled via customizable hotkeys all for the price of zilch.