Changing your in-game music
Some time ago, ArenaNet announced that you would be able to use your own music (playlists) in the game:
...no matter how fantastic a game’s music is, when you hear the same music for the thousandth time, you start wanting to change things up a bit. Many players will simply turn the game music off and play their own collections. The problem is that an external music player has no context as to what’s going on in-game. Guild Wars 2 will offer a solution for this as well. We’re giving players the option of choosing external music playlists that the game’s audio engine will use as a replacement for the default in-game music. Players can choose different playlists for background ambience and battle music, for instance. Additionally, when appropriate, such as during cinematics, the game can revert back to in-game music temporarily to give the best possible cinematic experience, then resume the custom playlist when it’s done. Apparently this feature was already in the beta... they just didn't tell anyone how it works. So here's the scoop, so that you can give this a try in the next beta:
It’s actually in and working, but the feature wasn’t publicly documented. Here’s how it currently works:
Under [Your Name]\Documents\Guild Wars Gw2Dev folder, you’ll see that GW2 creates a Music folder next to the Screens folder (where screenshots go). All you need to do to get your external music collection playing in the game is to create a playlist of the appropriate name and type in this folder.
Supported playlist formats are .wpl, .m3u, .pls, .asx, and .wax.
Supported audio types are everything FMOD supports by default, which includes .mp3, .ogg, .flac, .wav. aiff, and a bunch of old-school music formats, like .mid or .it files.
There are eight specific playlists the game recognizes, and these are designated simply by the playlist’s file name. They are: Ambient, Battle, Underwater, City, Crafting, BossBattle, NightTime, and MainMenu. Hopefully these are somewhat self-explanatory in terms of when you might expect to hear them play.
So, for example, if you create a playlist called Ambient.m3u, anything in that playlist will be heard instead of the standard in-game ambient music (the general music you hear when running around in the world).
Each internal playlist can designate a primary and secondary playlist to look for. Most of the playlists will fall back to Ambient if they do not exist. This means that if you’d like to simply replace the majority of the music in the game, you can just create an Ambient playlist, or maybe just Ambient and Battle. However, if you really want to customize your playlist in detail, you can create the more specialized playlists such as NightTime or Crafting.
The easiest (and at the moment, the only) way to test this is with a MainMenu playlist, since that will replace the music at the login screen. Also:
iTune’s native playlist format isn’t supported. If there’s a way to export to a different format (.m3u, for instance), be sure to do that. Also, the file HAS to have one of the supported extensions for GW2 to recognize it. And finally:
We can easily change up how this works. Instead of a generic “City” playlist, we could just as easily have specific playlists for each city in the game (e.g. “Lion’s Arch.m3u”, “Black Citadel.wpl”, etc). Initially, I really had no idea how specific people would want to make their custom playlists, so I chose a somewhat conservative set. If there’s enough interest in making them more specific, then we can do that as well.