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Creative Music File
Developer: Creative Labs
Header: Custom
Content: Notational
Instruments: Internal
Target Output
Output - Digital Audio - No.png Output - MIDI - No.png Output - FM Synthesis.png Output - PSG - No.png
Released: 1989-??-??
First Game: Sound Blaster (DOS)
  • *.cmf
Not to be confused with CMF (Macs Opera).

The Creative Music Format (CMF) was created by Creative Labs in order to play music on their Sound Blaster sound cards equipped with an FM synthesis chip. The file structure is similar to Ad-Lib's ROL formats, as it contains all the necessary information to be sent to an OPL2 chip. However, unlike ROL, CMF files have the instrument definitions built into the file. This means you don't need a separate BNK file, but it also means that CMF files are intrinsically larger than ROL files.

Creative Labs never released a CMF editor program to compete with the AdLib Visual Composer. Without an editor, CMF files could only be made by converting songs composed in other more-common formats, a process which invariably lost some of the sound of the original.

Few players properly play CMF files. The most accurate CMF playback comes from Creative Labs's Play CMF program since it was developed by the same group that created the CMF format. However, the program is lacking in features. There is another program called MuchMusic for DOS which plays CMF back very accurately, and supports looping.







CMF to ?

? to CMF


These programs can extract songs in this format from game data files.


Released Title Sample
1991-??-?? The Magic Candle II: The Four and Forty (DOS)
1991-??-?? Megatraveller 2: Quest For the Ancients (DOS)
1991-??-?? Scud Atak (DOS)
1992-03-?? Word Rescue (DOS)
1992-0?-?? Jill of the Jungle (DOS)
1992-??-?? Dyna Blaster (DOS)
1992-??-?? Kiloblaster (DOS)
1992-1?-?? Brix 1 (DOS)
1992-1?-?? Brix 2 Deluxe (DOS)
1993-02-?? Game-Maker (DOS)
1993-0?-?? Solar Winds (DOS)
1994-0?-?? Pea Shootin' Pete (DOS)
1994-0?-?? Traffic Department 2192 (DOS)
1994-0?-?? Xargon (DOS)
1994-0?-?? In Search of Dr. Riptide (DOS)
1994-??-?? BattleStar (DOS)
1994-??-?? Blackstar Agent of Justice (DOS)
1996-09-07 Death Rally (DOS)
1996-??-?? Alien Incident (DOS)

How to Obtain

CMF files usually have to be manually extracted from game files, a process that is different for pretty much every game that uses them.


  • All CMF files begin with "CTMF".
  • There are two versions of CMF files, 1.0 and 1.1. They're similar, but there are internal structure differences.
  • CMF files uses MIDI format to store music notation data.