Victoria 2 music is great and adds a lot of immersion to the game, but the collection is limited. There are 17 pieces with a total running time of just over an hour. Meaning that if you play a V2 session for 3 or 4 hours you are bound to hear the same music two, three or more times. AMP Features over 300MB of music, 44 different compositions with total playing time of over 4 hours. I have created this collection to complement the excellent music already in the game with actuall music from the second part of the 19th and early 20th century.
I choose those pieces of music that I thought would work well with the game and create a nice atmosphere without being too imposing. There is an excellent thread here about what people like to listen to while playing Victoria. While being very useful for ideas I thought of creating a collection that would be accessible for everyone. This is the process of selection I went through while collecting these musical pieces:
My primary concern were copyright and other legal issues, as even though all of the pieces are old enough not to be protected, performers' interpretations are. In the first step I made a selection of authors from the era and searched the sites like Musopen or Free Music Archive for all the compositions created by said authors and preformed by artists who are either too old for the copyright to apply or made recordings under the GNU, GGND or similar, meaning they are free to be redistributed as long as it's non profit and the authors are mentioned. This made a huge selection (over 3GB) from which I made the choice.
I selected only the instrumental pieces (to keep with the spirit of the original V2 music) with a maximum length of 8 minutes, to make things more dynamic (with the exception of few overtures by Berlioz and a rhapsody by Liszt, which just seemed perfect for the game). From those I selected what I think would suit the V2 best discarding poor quality recordings in the process. There are a lot of piano solos, some chamber music like string quartets and some orchestra compositions. I added a few waltzes in the mix, as they describe the era well. A few pieces are from years preceding the game start, but most are from the second part of the 19th century.
Not all the pieces I wanted made it as I didn't find good enough copyright free performances. All *.mp3 files are in the „Composer-Name of the piece_preformer“ format and have an AMP_ prefix, to be easily distinguishable from the original V2 music.
Note that not all of the recordings and performances might be perfect, but I think they are definitely good enough. If you thing a piece or two is detrimental for immersion and should be discarded, or if you notice I failed to cut out the applause somewhere, please feel free to post.
Note: 2nd option is recommended!
1st option: Extract the archive in your Victoria 2 install directory. Or copy the *.mp3 files from the archive to the /music folder in the Victoria 2 install directory.
2nd option: As was noted later in the post, the game wasn't built to handle so many different files, so the best way to proceed would be the following:
1) Create a new folder in your Victoria 2 folder and call it AMP.
2) Copy the *.mp3 files from the Victoria 2\Music to the AMP folder.
3) Extract the *.mp3 files from the AMP.zip file in the same folder.
4) Play all the *.mp3 files from that folder in a program like Windows Meadia Player or WinAmp and put on shuffle.
5) Start the game and turn the music off in options, but leave the sound FX on.
With the 2nd option, you'll get the sound FX to work great, and have access to both the original V2 music plus this extra stuff on shuffle for 5 hours of non-repeating music awesomeness. You can later adjust the volume of the music in the Media player or WinAmp to your liking.
Well, hope you like this, it took me a few weeks of work and quite a bit of effort. Please post your feedback and suggestions for further improvement here.
P.S. If anybody knows a way how to designate which pieces the game should play in early, middle and late parts of the game, would be greatly appreciated.