Music Mondays: Keygen Music


So here’s something slightly interesting that I’ve been listening to lately: keygen music. I didn’t actually know that this was a thing that existed until I stumbled on it the other week. Now I’m plowing through hundreds of tracks and am pretty enchanted with many of them.

The interesting thing with these is that they are usually paired with an illegal activity: software pirating. According to Nest HQ:

“For those not familiar, a keygen, short for key generator, is a tiny piece of illegal software, usually bundled with a torrent download, that generates an unlock code to the full version of an application. Just click “activate” and your trial version of Photoshop is now the full suite. The best thing about these apps is the music that plays every time you open one. There are thousands of these things out there and all of the tracks in them are amazing, but until today, most of the artists and track titles have remained largely unknown, or unlooked-for.”

So while the keygens are illegal, the music isn’t — and some of it is pretty darn good. It’s hard to classify them, as they’re mostly electronic with some that riff off of classic video game tunes, pop culture hits, and whatever else they want to throw in there. Here are a few that have caught my attention so far!

One thought on “Music Mondays: Keygen Music

  1. cerement July 12, 2016 / 1:57 am

    Demoscene, chiptunes, mod tracks … effectively programmed music, combine samples with a MIDI-like trigger notation – pre-MP3s, took up less space than MP3s or WAVs, neat notes hidden in the “metadata” – started with Commodore SID tunes, but really grew with Amiga’s MOD format, reached its height during the 90s, pretty well killed off by Napster and MP3s …

    Original Deus Ex music was all mod tracks (UMX format)

    Still find a LOT of good stuff at the Mod Archive:

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