XM (file format)

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Filename extension.xm
Internet media typeaudio/xm
Developed byTriton
Type of formatModule file format
Extended fromMOD

XM, standing for "extended module", is an audio file type introduced by Triton's FastTracker 2. XM introduced multisampling-capable instruments with volume and panning envelopes, and basic pattern compression. It also expanded the available effect commands and channels, added 16-bit sample support, and offered an alternative frequency table for portamentos.

XM is a common format for many chiptunes.

The file format has been initially documented by its creator in the file XM.TXT which accompanied the 2.08 release of FastTracker 2, as well as its latest known beta version: 2.09b. The file bears the header "The XM module format description for XM files version $0104.", is therein attributed to Mr.H of Triton (Fredrik Huss) and has been written in 1994. The contents of the file have been posted on this article's Talk subpage for reference.

This documentation is however said to be incomplete and insufficent to properly recreate the behaviour of the original program. The Milky Tracker project has however put a lot of effort in expanding and completing the documentation of the XM file format, in an attempt to faithfully replicate not only the behaviour of the original software but also its quirks. Their documentation of the XM file format is available on the project's GitHub repository.

Supporting Media Players[edit]

  • Windows Media Player – Build-in windows audio player which supports .XM files as long as the Windows Media Player version is x86(32-bit) (can have either x86 or x64 installed)
  • Media Player Classic – K-Lite Codecs video player which also able to play the .XM files as long as person also installed the x86(32-bit) version of the player (can have both, x86 and x64 installed at the same time)
  • Cowon jetAudio – A freeware audio player for Windows which supports .XM files
  • Xmplay – A freeware audio player for Windows which supports .XM files
  • VLC Media Player – A freeware media player for Windows, Linux, & macOS which supports .XM files

See also[edit]