Difference between revisions of "M"

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! Sample
! Sample
| 1988-??-??
| 1989-02-??
| [[Times of Lore (DOS)]]
| [[Times of Lore (DOS)]]
| {{Song-Box|101 - Times of Lore - DOS - Title.ogg}}
| {{Song-Box|101 - Times of Lore - DOS - Title.ogg}}

Revision as of 16:03, 16 September 2016

Developer: Origin Systems, Inc.
Header: Custom
Content: Notational
Instruments: Optional
Target Output
Output - Digital Audio - No.png Output - MIDI.png Output - FM Synthesis.png Output - PSG.png
Released: 1988-??-??
First Game: Times of Lore (DOS)
  • *.m
  • *.tm

M, it is assumed that M stands for Music, is an audio format created by Origin Systems and was used in several of their games from the late 1980s to the early 1990s. The format stores game music and, using drivers, can be sent to various output devices including AdLib, Creative Music System, Roland MT-32, Sound Master, SSI 2001, and Tandy 3 Voice, although not every game that used the M format supported these devices.

Due to an engineering oversight, care must be taken when playing the music on a Roland MT-32 or compatible. The M format does not include system exclusive data, so if an earlier program changed the instruments of your MT-32, it must be manually reset to clear the SysEx data. SysEx data is sent by the game prior to each song being played.


There are multiple versions of the M format. The format was made for Times of Lore (DOS) where it is compressed with an LZW algorithm. The AdLib and Creative Music System formats are stored in the M files, and the Tandy 3 Voice music is stored in separate TM files.

Ultima VI: The False Prophet (DOS) uses the same LZW compression, but it incorporates the Tandy music into the M file and adds support for the SSI 2001 and Sound Master.

Finally, Bad Blood (DOS) appears to use a new compression format.

It is assumed that the two Ultima Worlds games use the M format as well, since they were built on the Ultima 6 engine, but they have yet to be extracted properly.


  • AdPlug - DOS, foobar2000, UNIX, Winamp, XMMS (Doesn't handle all compression formats)


Released Title Sample
1989-02-?? Times of Lore (DOS)
1990-??-?? Bad Blood (DOS)
1990-??-?? Ultima VI: The False Prophet (DOS)

How to Obtain

For Times of Lore, Ultima 6, and Bad Blood, the M files are located in the root install folder. The two Worlds of Ultima games (Savage Empire and Martin Dreams) probably use M, but they're kept in compressed resource files.


If you want to study the structure of M files, they can be decompressed with the Ultima LZW Decompressor, although AdPlug can only play compressed files.