Custom Music

One thing about TS3 that had bugged me for the longest time was the age-old issue of custom music either not playing or stopping after one or two songs. For me the custom music in Sims 3 was not working or would stop playing. I finally figured this out and want to share how I solved the issue. Maybe everybody already knows this, but if this helps one person then I am satisfied.

Every so often I looked for a solution and never found one. Last week I was digging around and looked at the default custom music files that are stored on my machine at “C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\The Sims 3\GameData\Shared\NonPackaged\CustomMusic” For some people these files may be in a different location. One thing I noted about the files stored here is that these .mp3 files all have a bit rate of 128 kbps. I wondered if that is the key to this problem.

So I googled for “Sims 3 custom music 128” and I found a post at MTS that confirmed my theory (http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=484679). This article not only suggests that the bit rate is the issue, but also the file name could be a factor.

So rather than experiment, here is what I did…

  1. I copied the MP3 files that I wanted to hear in TS3 to a separate temp directory.
  2. I then renamed all of the files to give them nice short names like track01.mp3, track02.mp3, etc. (I constructed a batch file that uses the DOS move command to rename the files)
  3. Then I used an audio file converter by NCH (http://www.nch.com.au) to batch convert the MP3 files to WAV files and set the option to “preserve original format”. Also I told it to Normalize the files based on what I read in the MTS post.
  4. Now with the WAV files created in step 3, I did a batch convert back to MP3 and set the options to “Constant Bitrate (CBR)” and the bitrate to 128 kbps. Also I made sure that the channel encoding was set to stereo.
  5. I then copied the converted MP3’s to the \Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\Custom Music directory under my documents.

Now the custom music plays nicely without stopping on my Sim’s stereos. (Yay!!!)

One trick I discovered was that if you use the NRAAS DebugEnabler you can easily wire and un-wire a stereo for the whole house with the auto-upgrade feature. Great for parties!

Another thing that I found was a mod at MTS called “Shimrod’s Altered Music Stations, Custom WallSpeaker” at http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=370767

This mod alters community lot wall speakers to replace Kids music with Custom Music.

The trick to using this mod is to limit the number of wall speakers to one per community lot and then use Debug Enabler to upgrade the wall speaker to be wired for the entire lot. So the music is coming from one wall speaker, but can be heard loud and clear in all rooms and all floors of the lot.

Now I have custom music playing anywhere, anytime throughout my town and I am happy!!!

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