Game Music Extraction - Examples
Ok let's get down to the business end of the guide. Here is where I go through the steps necessary to extract music from several recent games which are known for their excellent soundtracks.
Even if the game you want to extract music from is not below, you should be able to see which game has a similar file structure and therefore the tools and methods required for the job. This is particularly true if the game is made by the same company, as most game developers stick to particular audio formats and file structures where possible.
Hitman 2: Silent Assassin
Hitman 2 is a great game for action and stealth fans combined. One of the magic ingredients of the game is the music, which always seems to change to suit the location and mood perfectly. The main menu music in particular is my favorite.
At first glance through the Hitman 2 directories, you will see several WAV files, which seems hopeful. Once you click on them you'll find they can't be played because the format is unsupported. Have no fear - the game's 22 music tracks are actually embedded in the Streams.wav file in the base Hitman 2 directory.
While you can't play Streams.wav, you can extract each of the music files from it by using Extractor 2.34. Run Extractor and follow these steps:
1. Click the top Select button to browse to the directory where Streams.wav is located. This should typically be in C:\Program Files\Eidos Interactive\Hitman 2 Silent Assassin\. Highlight Streams.wav and click Open.
2. Click the second Select button to point Extractor to the directory where you want the music files to be extracted and click OK. Ideally this should be an empty directory.
3. Under the Formats box, click the "-" button first to unselect all file formats. Now select only the OGG Vorbis File format, as that is the format Hitman 2's music is in. For other games where you're unsure of the music file format used, leave as many audio file formats as possible selected. Also note that the trial version of Extractor only allows 30 files to be extracted at a time, so narrow your search down to particular files/subdirectories, and unselect non-audio file formats such as TXT.
4. Click the Start button and you'll see Extractor searching through the Streams.wav file for any OGG files. It will eventually come up with 22 files of streams 000xx.ogg, all in good quality 44.1Khz Stereo.
5. If the files are not selected, select the files you want to extract (or press the "+" button to select all of them) and then press the Extract button - you may have to confirm the directory where they are to be saved. Once done they should end up in the directory you chose to extract them to.
You can now play back these files using an OGG-compatible player like Winamp 3. If you want to convert them to another format like MP3 or WAV, you can use either Audio Conversion Wizard or Super Audio Converter. I'll cover use of Audio Conversion Wizard in this case, but see the James Bond 007: Nightfire example below for instructions on conversion using Super Audio Converter.
Open the Audio Conversion Wizard and click I Agree to get past the registration nag screen, then follow these steps to convert an OGG file into another format:
1. Select Batch or Single mode - batch being for conversion of multiple files at once, single for one file. Click Next.
2. Go to the directory where you extracted the OGG files previously, and if you chose Batch, highlight the files you want to add. You can select multiple files by holding down the SHIFT key while selecting them. Click the Add File(s) button, and the selected files will appear in the box below. If you chose Single, browse to the directory where the file sits and highlight it, then skip to step 4 below. Click Next.
3. If in Batch mode, you can now convert the files to the same format (e.g. all to MP3) by selecting the first option shown, or you can choose to select a different output format for each file separately by selecting the second option. Click Next.
4. You now have the option of WMA, MP3, OGG or WAV PCM as the output type to convert the file(s) to. If you choose the WAV format, skip to step 6, otherwise for the other compressed formats see step 5. Click Next.
5. Because WMA, OGG and MP3 are audio formats which undergo compression, if you choose to convert a file to these formats you'll have to choose the Bitrate, Sample Rate and Channels (see Audio Formats section above for more information on these) for the output. If you choose settings which are lower than the source audio's settings, you are automatically reducing the audio quality of the output. However if you choose settings which are higher than the source audio, you will only expand the output file size without increasing audio quality, as the output quality is always restricted to the quality of the input. Click Next.
6. On the next screens you can select any particular filename(s) you want to give the output, or set the ID3 Tag information (not available for WAV), and finally select the output folder for the converted file(s). Click Next and you'll be given a summary of the file(s) to be converted and the quality with which the conversion will occur. If you're happy with these press Next, otherwise select Back and change your settings.
You should now see the converted files in the directory you chose earlier. Note that if you convert OGG files directly into WAV format using Audio Conversion Wizard you may have problems. Try converting first to MP3, then WAV if necessary. Also try the Super Audio Converter instead if you want to convert OGG directly to WAV. As you're beginning to see, several tools might be necessary for one job, and sometimes specific tools are better suited to specific tasks.
Now let's move on to extracting more game music.