Alright, lately, the forums have been flooded with questions on how to install songs. The questions variated from WHAT FOLDER to WHAT IS A .RAR.
In this topic, I, a random member of this forum, will feel free to explain this once and for all. If moderators/admins think this topic is unnecessary, please remove it.
Where to download Stepmania
Where to download Stepmania 4.0 CVS
The online version of Stepmania. Click
HOW TO INSTALL SONGS
NOTE that if you're using Linux, since you're using Linux, I'm going to assume that you're bright enough to figure out how it all works. Since I have touched Linux only once in my life I CANNOT GIVE ANY ASSISTANCE on how to install songs in any Linux version.
I will provide a walkthrough for WINDOWS, however, bear in mind that the SAME goes for Macintosh computers.
A song, or also called simfile (simulation file), needs to consist of at least three files. This is the music file, usually .mp3 but also .wav (like Eminem.mp3 or Eminem.wav), the .dwi file (eminem.dwi) and the .sm file (eminem.sm). It suffices to know that the .sm and .dwi file contain all information for the simfile: the steps, the speed of the song, the name of the song, etc. Additionally, some image files may be included, usually in the .png format, for backgrounds and banners.
So far so good. Now, when you download a song, it usually comes in three formats:
I think everyone is familiar with .ZIP. .ZIP and .RAR can both be regarded as a suitcase. No, that was no typo, just a stupid example: People usually use suitcases to pile up clothes, compress them (I usually just sit on my suitcase to make it close and make it all fit) instead of having to drag all my clothes around in my arms, yes? .RAR and .ZIP do the same. Basically, it allows you to put a lot of files in 1 file - and also, the .ZIP and .RAR even makes the filesize smaller.
To extract your files from a .ZIP or .RAR, you'll need software. A well known piece of software for this is WinZip, which can extract .ZIP. The downside of WinZip is that it ONLY extracts .ZIP, so if you only have WinZip and want to extract a .RAR, you're screwed. That's where WinRar comes in handy. WinRar extracts both .RAR and .ZIP. Download it here: Click.
.SMZIP is quite like .ZIP and .RAR, except that this is the Stepmania kind of .ZIP. Upon doubleclicking on it, the .SMZIP extracting tool will execute and usually, you just need to click a few times on Next and the song will be installed automatically. However, .SMZIP has been known to cause problems; for some people, it does not work correctly. Thankfully, .SMZIP can ALSO be extracted using Winrar. Right click on the SMZIP file, select Open With and then select Winrar from the list.
How to install the song
Now that we have that down, we're moving on to the actual installing of the song.
Stepmania will ONLY load your songs if they're put in your Songs folder. This folder is located in the folder where you installed Stepmania, by default:
You need to extract your songs to C:\Program Files\Stepmania\Songs. However, there's something tricky about that.
Stepmania would get confused, basically, if you would put just all the .sm, .dwi and .mp3s in one folder. That's why you need to put the .dwi, .sm and .mp3 files in a folder within Songs. Usually, the files are already in a folder in your .RAR, .ZIP and .SMZIP.
However, this is not all. Stepmania wants to classify your songs into songgroups. That way, when you play the game, you can select a songgroup and select a song within it, instead of having all songs in one big list. This seems like no big problem if you have 10 songs, however, when you have 5000 and more, like I do, well... It wouldn't be very convenient to have them in one list. Stepmania creates these groups by putting the folder in which you put the .dwi, .mp3 and .sm files in, in ANOTHER folder. Confused yet?
Let's say, you have this simfile called Eminem. This means you have the files Eminem.mp3, Eminem.dwi, Eminem.mp3, and maybe Eminem.png in the folder Eminem. Now, you need to put the Eminem folder in another folder, the songgroupfolder, in Songs.
C:\Program Files\Stepmania\Songs\All Eminem Songs\Eminem\
Here, "All Eminem Songs" is the songgroup. "Eminem" is the folder that contains the .dwi, .sm and .mp3 files.
Still confused? I made some screenshots for a topic about this awhile ago, which may clarify this more. For Windows (kudos for imageshack.us for letting me host):
^ These are the contens of my Songs folder.
^ This is the content of the pack Ace Megapack, which is a songgroup.
^ This is the content of the folder Center of the Universe (within Ace Megapack), which is a Song.
And for macintosh, a screen made by Akhona (I certainly hope he doesn't mind me using his screen):
Advanced Songs installation
Some people, like myself, run two versions of Stepmania: Stepmania 3.9 and 4.0, for instance. Or, some people prefer to use another folder rather than the Songs folder. It is possible to change the path Stepmania uses as the Songfolder.
Let me warn you beforehand that this is Windows only. I have no clue how this is done in Macintosh (or Linux, again).
For this, open Stepmania Tools And Package Exporter. Usually, you will find this under Start Menu, and under the tab where Stepmania is, like Start Menu\Stepmania\Stepmania Tools And Package Exporter.
Click on Open Preferences.ini or Open Stepmania.ini.
On the line
Type wherever your songs are located. For instance:
AdditionalSongFolders=C:\Documents and Settings\My Documents\Stepmania Songs\
In my case, I did this with 4.0, and typed the path of the 3.9 song folders, so that I wouldn't have to install all songs twice.
Where to download Songs
There are several places where you can download songs.
- On the Stepmania Online forums. You can download megapacks here. Click.
- On Bemanistyle (registration required, single songfiles only), Click
- For animefiles (which are great to start out with), you're best off on Otakusdream. Click.
Of course, there are many more sites, but it goes beyond the scope of this FAQ, for now, to list them.
This concludes this short FAQ about song installation. If you have any questions or suggestions, I suggest you post in the forum rather than in this thread to keep it neat and clean. People who wish to provide this FAQ with a Linux section or a more detailed Mac section, please PM me (or post one).