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[SUGGESTION] Xonotic radio (shoutcast)

It seems that tons of people are making music and have suggested music. Yet the OST with 24 tracks or so is virtually all there is to hear in the game.
What if Xonotic played an official shoutcast radio stream by default?
In this stream, you could play only the best tracks that people have submitted. You could also announce tournaments, if popular players are playing duels or other things.
Such a stream would also be good as advertisement for Xonotic.

Personally, I always have the music on very low volume and I don't think that it impairs my gameplay if you use decent headphones. But the tracks are getting boring very fast after weeks. I think having fresh and good music all the time makes a huge difference. Xonotic is a bit like old arcade games: intense, with simple gameplay, fast, and you don't want to play hours on end. Music was everything in those games. I think a radio stream would always make the game feel fresh and interesting again, just like the first weeks when you started playing it.
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It's better to just let the user turn the OST off when they get bored with it, instead playing something of their own choosing. Spotify/Apple Music/SomaFM/etc/etc.
asyyy^ | are you releated to chuck norris?

How is it better?

Of course, it isn't that difficult to do. But I think listening to your own music is unfitting in many ways:

  1. It's just not Xonotic and it takes away an important aspect of the game. You play a game to also hear its music, which is part of the whole package. What you suggested is almost the same as playing Street Fighter 2, while listening to your own music with your walkman. Of course you can do it, and it isn't that bad. Many people like to do it and even prefer to do it. Regardless, the game should still have impressive and interesting music on its own, and it has. But keeping it fresh with even more music would make it even better and it would keep it that way.
  2. Music impairs gameplay too easily (overtunes enemy sounds). The Xonotic OST works well, if set to an exact ideal volume value. But most common online services, such as Youtube or Bandcamp, do not allow for setting very precise volumes with their tiny sliders. It really is a fiddle nightmare, where you might have to switch back and forth between game and website 2-4 times to get a usable result. And even the result you get is only a compromise, because the slider divisions are often too large. And you still live in uncertainty and fear about having selected the wrong volume, which distracts you from the game. What is the ultimate solution to this? Download all the music by hand in advance into a dedicated program... Additionally, not all types of music work well. When I listen to my own music in Xonotic, I often find that I can't really hear some tracks because they are too settle in nature or variable in volume (or vice versa it impairs gameplay if I can hear them well). Other genres might have too many aggressive or alike-sounding sounds that don't mix well with the enemy sounds. Again, since you are always walking such a thin line to not impair gameplay with music, even the choice of genres and individual tracks can be fiddly.
  3. A Xonotic radio stream consumes less bandwidth. It could run on 128kbps, which sounds good. And it couldn't even sound any better on very low volume. But video sites like Youtube or sound hosting sites like Soundcloud are using very high bitrates (twice to quadruple) for better quality or video. I think virtually anyone is using those online services now in everyday life for  music, because people rather want to listen to fresh tracks. Of course bandwidth is not an issue with modern connections. Still for people who are maybe in extreme situations it is an advantage, and you could even still just switch the radio stream off and back to the OST or disable the music entirely.
  4. A radio stream that everyone listens to by default is a community outlet and creativity inlet. I think there are a lot of artists who have suggested tracks or would like to advertise themselves on radio. I'm not an expert, but I believe for the kind of music that fits well to the game, relatively speaking, you could get very far without a mountain of skills and effort. At this point I believe people who contribute or want to contribute to the game make up a major portion of its players. There are far more maps and even servers available than people playing at any one point in time. You can make a map and upload it to the database. You can make a player model or a skin and add it on Github if it is good enough. You can open a server and it will appear in the list instantly. But music is the only aspect of the game that is almost impossible to easily contribute to within a straightforward timeframe. And for good reasons: Music means a lot in games. It is important to give off  a good impression, like fancy graphics are. A shoutcast radio stream would put this power into a a more public space by representing and advertising the game. And it would attract a lot of artists and players.
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@ballerburg9005 You can take the lead in making this feature a reality. The core/extended team is already at capacity - arguably over capacity, even - implementing our current feature set. We can review your merge/pull requests as our time allows.

One note on bandwidth: we're not streaming anything today, so how could adding a stream of *any* quality (even if it is "only" 128kbps) lead to *less* bandwidth usage?
asyyy^ | are you releated to chuck norris?

Ok! I will put it on my list.
The comparison in bandwidth was on the client side, as you suggested, vs. people listening  to their own music (which is commonly done via online streaming services that use high bitrates). Of course 96kbps would only amount to 100Mbit for 1000 people on the server side. So some €3 VPS will no longer cut it,  if the playerbase suddenly exploded 20 fold.
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Even low bitrates lead to more network packages, which increases latency and the risk of dropped packets. While some countries have really good internet even in the "wilderness", some rich countries don't manage to create good infrastructure unless you're directly in a big city.
Personally I turn of music in Xon completely and only play my local library when playing XDF. I don't see I should waste resources for a radio then.
There are also people with a metered connection. I'm pretty sure that they also don't want to waste resources on something that they don't even use.

The best solution for your problem is a good local music library:
  • no streaming overhead
  • better quality
  • full control over music choice
  • full control over volume
  • better financial support for the artists
If you still want to implement a radio, please keep the above points in mind

The radio would be optional, you could globally enable or disable it like you wish. But it should be made the new default for multiplayer instead of standard music. So that it's not some hidden feature that no one really knows about. As an alternative, there should be at least a yes/no popup choice solution, where the user is made aware and can set their preference.

I would say that people with metered connections, ISDN-alike bandwidths or unstable connections are a very small fringe minority. I say fringe, because those connections are just like very bad wifi. They are obviously bad and almost always in many ways at once (such as 3G). It's no fun to play on them with occasional packet loss and high ping, no matter what you do. A radio stream (that you can permanently disable at any time) would merely turn the situation from worse to worse (given that you chose to leave it enabled despite your poor connection). By analogy, you could make the same argument you did, to remove half of the bigger and more resource intensive maps in Xonotic from the default list (or conversely not accept new good maps). Because there are lots of people with old computers in poor countries, who then could play the game with at least 20fps on the defaults. But it wasn't really worth playing with 20fps in the first place. So why gear any default settings towards those people, at the price of hiding good content from everyone else? If you really are in such an extreme situation, just disable the stream. I don't see any issue at all there.

I am not sure exactly what you mean by library? Do you mean to push the tracks from the radio stream to the clients via pk3 updates?
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Your argument about big maps is nonsense. You can't play the game without maps, but you can play it without STREAMING music.
I'm not against adding new good music.
If you can implement a radio for which you can turn of receiving its network stream, then go for it. I just don't want it running muted all the time.

By library I meant a collection of ripped CDs and downloaded tracks that you play with an external music player.

Yes. Of course a radio stream would be really turned off, if you turned it off.
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