Several years ago, on the Commodore Amiga, a group of programmers released a music-creation package, known as Soundtracker. This package was immensely successful, and it was refined and re-coded over the years, in the form of Protracker, OctaMED and many other packages. These packages sparked off an enormous surge, sometime in the early 1990s, in the abundance of "computer music". First the songs were very basic, but with the addition of more-and-more samples (that is, sounds used to imitate different instruments), and the release of new enhanced packages, such as ScreamTracker v3.1, the songs grew to an enviable standard. However, one problem remainied -- although largely all the programs were compatible with the original "Protracker" format, they themselves produced song files in an enormous variety of forms, meaning that several different "players" (a program that takes a file on disc and replays it as music) had to be written to cope with all the different formats of music. However, the user interface to all these different players is typically much different, meaning that the user must keep several different desktop programs for each type of song.
Last year, QTMPlay was released. QTMPlay is a program which tries to combat this problem in the most efficient and modular way, allowing all kinds of different song formats to be played under one interface. The interface itself has warranted comments such as "[the author] should be programming the next version of RISC OS" from an Acorn User review. QTMPlay makes life easy for the programmer, too, by defining an easy-to-use standard which allows other formats of song file to be easily added in to QTMPlay's capabilities (through use of QTMPlayer). This sets QTMPlay apart from other such offerings in the Acorn world (such as Harmony, PDTracker and RiscTracker).