Music Studio Files for the Atari ST
And a Clone for Windows

First Posted February 15, 2011
Updated December 22, 2016

Well, I don't know if you are like me or not, but I have been searching for Activision Music Studio Song Files for quite some time.  I managed to find a few out there on the internet, but, I knew I had a huge collection of them here, someplace.  Well, it wasn't easy, but I finally found my collection and managed to locate them, recover them from an ST floppy, decompress them, and then finally zip them together again.
Music Studio 88 Manual, RAW .PNG files
Music Studio Song Files Archive
More Music Studio Files

Also, I wrote two programs to play music studio files.  One is still lost.  But the other was a desk accessory.  I have no idea which version of the desk accessory this is.  Butm, it is something at least.  Source code is included.

    Music Studio Player Desk Accessory

I hope to add more items to this page as I find them.

Various bits of code that have to do with music studio.  This was uploaded Aug 1, 2015

A whole bunch of code in various stages of Disrepair

Work In Progress.

Music Studio for Windows as of Dec 22, 2016

Music Studio Source for Visual Studio 2015 Community Updated December 22, 2016

How to Subclass a ComboBox in MFC for Visual C++ 6.0

December 22,2016

Bug Fixes.  I have updated the Music Studio Source for Visual Studio 2015 Copmmunity source code.  I used the program recently and discovered that there were several boo-boo's in it.  Those have been fixed.  There are still more, but the program works much better now.  One of the bugs involved the use of Ties.  I also updated the screen shot for the Windows Version.

November 6, 2015

I have just added the source  code for compiling the program with Visual Studio 2015.

October 15, 2015

    I have been a busy beaver on this program.  But, I really haven't had a lot to show for it.  I recently migrated from Visual C++ 6.0 to Visual Studio 2015.  Visual Studio 2015 is the first version I have used since 6.0 that I have actually enjoyed using.  AND IT IS FREE!.  However, here is the rub.  I still have not learned all the ins and outs of 2015.  Right now, it will only compile programs that will run on systems with Vista or newer on it.    Where as, 6.0 will create programs that will run on Windows 95 on up.  But, migrate, I will.

    Another thing I have been doing is trying to learn how to SubClass windows.  It is actually not all that tricky, but getting your head around it does take a bit.  To celebrate the fact that that I have more or less learned how to do this, I am posting the lessons I went through to learn these concepts, at least for Windows98.  I will probably have to go through the same pain to figure it out for Windows10..

September 22, 2015

The most major addition is the fact that you can now save a file.  I have also fixed a few more of the things that make the program crash.  I am hoping to have this project wrapped up fairly soon.  Things I am not planning on duplicating from the original program is  the following:

1. Lyrics
2. Music Paint Box

September 21, 2015

I made some big changes to the program internally.  The main view was implemented with a CStatic derived class, and I soon found out that implementing ScrollBars in that class were rather awkward.  After doing some researching on the Internet, I discovered that I was not the only one experiencing these problems.  I also learned that using a class like CView was a much better idea.  The change was not too awful difficult. and I like the way it works a lot better.  The functionality of the program is pretty much complete.  I need to fix some of the Boundry Condition problems, in other words the program will crash when you try to do some things, but hopefully I will have those complete rather shortly.  Overall, I am very happy how this program turned out.  It started out to be just a player, and turned into an Editor as well.
September 19, 2015

I am continuing to work on this project.  I have added a few more features, the latest is adding the the capability to add repeat bars.  I have fixed a lot of various little problems, probably while adding even more.  This has been a fun project.  Things to be done  yet include adding more functions to the context sensitive menu, such as allowing the user to edit objects, still need to do a lot of the block operations, such as copy, move, change duration, etc.

September 6, 2015

For those who are interested, you can now download the Music Studio Player I am writing for Windows.  As of today, it does not really work at all, but I think you will get an idea of where it is going.  All of the source code is included.  This is a Visual C++ 6.0 project.

September 2, 2015

So, I am in the process of writing a version of music studio for Windows.  Here is a screen shot of what I have done so far.  Still not sure when I will be done.  I still have to come up with draw routines for some of the objects.  And while I can move some of the objects around the scrren, I still am not editing/creating files.  Another project is to extract the Music 88 program off of the original floppies.  I am not sure, but I think that the code will need to be cracked in order to run on an ST emulator.

February 25, 2011

    Well, I have made a bit of progress in decoding the Music Studio Song File.  I was pretty close, and there are still a few things I don't know yet, but I am better off than I was.  I can no longer write programs for the Atari.  Between my loss of eysight, and the fact my ST no longer is functional enough, I am basically doomed to only writing windows programs.  So, I am writing a program for windows that will at the very least play Music Studio Files, and maybe, I might even be able to write a program that can create and edit music studio files.  I am hoping to be able to make a program that is as easy to use as Music Studio was to use on the ST.  It is about time that Windows finally catches up with the ST :-).  I should have some prelim files to download here soon, I hope.

February 26, 2011

Program to dump a Music Studio File for Windows 98/ME/2000/XP

    Ok folks...

    This is my first release on the way to making a program for Windows that will be able to play and edit Activision Music Studio Files.  If I can ever get my ST working again, maybe I will port thse over to work on the ST.  Anyway, all sorce code is included in the above package.  Basically, it just parses a Music Studio file, prints out the parsed song, and then prints out which notes get turned on and off, in order., then it displays the midi track information.

March 1, 2011

    Well, I am slowly getting the Windows App going.  I have it loading a music file, and it prepares it for playing, and the player, using the Multi Media Timers, is going through all of the events....and it seems to be doing it correctly.  The next step is to actually get the program to play a song on the computer speakers.

April 2, 2011

    I am still making slow progress on this project.  This is really my first major windows project that uses the  Windows GDI interface.  There is a lot of Bitmap work to be done here which is a little tricky.  Sometimes stuff works, sometimes it doesn't.  I think I am beginnning to learn just why things sometimes don't work.  When this thing is working, I am going to have to do some rather major code cleanup.

August 1, 2015

    Don't know why I got back to this project.  Probably because I am doing some MIDI work and this is a project I never completed.  I still have bugs in the code for playing back Music Studio files, but the work I did last night got rid of some of the worst errors.  However, I really need to go back and write this stuff from the ground up.  I am still trying to modify the code I wrote for the Atari ST all those years ago, and there are some real serious problems with that code..  However, I put in a new link to download a whole bunch of stuff all at once.  See Above.

Another thing I need to do is document the music studio file format.  I am afraid that the only info I seem to have is what you will find in the various C files.  And this info was from reverse engineering the file.  So, reliabilty may not be good.

August 19, 2015

Lots of good things have happened.  First, I found a copy of Music Studio 88 on the web that I could run in STeem.  This will allow me to figure out the last of the things I do not know about the Music Studio 88 song format.  But this caused another problem.  I could not remember how to operate the program.  So I needed a Music Studio user manual.  I do have one, but could not even remember what it looked like, let alone where it might be.  After about a week of searching, I found it.  And I have scanned it, and you will find the link to download it above.  

Work on a Windows version continues.  I have the player working pretty good at this point.  But I do stilol need to verify that certain things actually work, and clean the program up a bit.  I should be posting it real soon.  As soon as I can find a program to turn these into a PDF, I will do that as well.