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Steam update overhauls game soundtrack support, so they won’t be DLC anymore

There’s a lot of incredible videogame soundtracks out there – and it’s just about to get easier to buy and listen to them on Steam. A new update to the platform brings a new soundtrack app type and other improvements, so soundtracks will no longer be treated as DLC.

The Steam update addresses two key areas: “fixing customer experience issues with the current ‘soundtrack-sold-as-DLC’ model” and adding some brand new features. There was previously no dedicated soundtrack app type on the platform, which meant that you had to buy soundtracks as DLC. This brought some limitations, such as needing to buy and install a base game first, and having to browse your PC for it manually, as Steam didn’t have its own functionality for the music.

Now, thanks to the new app type, you’ll be able to buy and download tunes without needing to have the relevant base game. You’ll also get to browse and manage the tracks you own from within the Steam library via an all-new interface, as well as set up your own Steam music directory, giving you the option to keep all your soundtracks in one place. Developers will even be able to sell soundtracks for a game that isn’t itself available on Steam.

In addition, the update brings support for multiple quality levels, so alongside MP3 tracks soundtracks can also optionally include high quality file types, like FLAC or raw WAV.

The Steam update has already gone live, but it’s worth noting that it probably won’t have an immediate effect across all the soundtracks you might want to grab or listen to – developers need to convert their existing soundtracks to the new app type from the DLC format. However, Valve’s created a tool that will automate the process for devs, so hopefully you’ll start to see all your favourite soundtracks supported soon.

Valve says this Steam update is “an initial release of these features for partners. We’re planning on launching these features in a wider way, including a sale event, on January 20.”