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                          Review: Mods Anthology
                            By:  Jason Compton 
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Now that Mods Anthology is out, I don't want anybody to ever ask me again
if I know where they can find any mods.  The fact that this is billed as
"Volume 1" positively frightens me.

Uncompressed on 4 CD-ROMs, Mods Anthology 1 represents over two gigabytes
of MOD songs.  If you figure the average mod is 140k and lasts 4 minutes
(completely arbitrary figures), this means you're buying 61,371 minutes of
music.  That's 2557 days.  That's 7 years.

Now, granted, a whole lot of MODs are just awful.  And a lot of others
sound suspiciously similar.  (Yes, I understand the concept of a remix, but
that's not what I mean.)  But the fact remains that there are so many MODs
here that you've GOTTA find something you like.

Nicolas Franck, himself an Amiga composer and programmer, has been
collecting MODs for years.  And this is the motherlode.  Organized on 4
CD-ROMs by author (alphabetically spread out over CDs) with the fourth CD
dedicated to synth tunes, miscellaneous music, and "exotic formats",
there's a ridiculous number of MODs here.  Included is a version of
DeliTracker, one of the most versatile MOD players out there.  (Personally,
I find the Genie system it uses to be a bit overwhelming at times, but they
do allow the program to be very modular and powerful.)

There is an informative AmigaGuide readme file included and a search
facility.  Unfortunately, the search script does not seem to work
completely on my system: it will locate strings in song titles on all four
CDs, but will not interactively load them.

There are a great number of old favorites and modern classics on here, as
well as just about every MOD author on record.  Franck made every attempt
to contact all of the authors and gain their permission, which basically
just means that U4ia wouldn't allow for his MODs to be on the CD.  No news
here.

Each disc has a "click me first" icon, which brings up DeliTracker and a
few dozen of the best mods on each disc.  It's a good starting point,
although your taste may vary wildly from his.

Call me nutty, but one of my favorite parts of the collection is the
"PlaySID" collection on disc 4, which is a whole lot of C-64 SID tunes,
playable through DeliTracker.  You haven't lived until you've heard JCH's
West End Girls. :)

Despite the problems with the search engine, Mods Anthology 1 is just
that: an anthology, a tome, a massive collection of tunes.  If your
"music/mods" directory is boring you, pick up the Anthology.  Enjoy!

Published by Stefan Ossowski's Schatztruhe
45131 Essen
Germany
+49 201 788778 voice
stefano@tchest.e.eunet.de e-mail
http://www.schatztruhe.de/