Tracker's Song- / Pattern- / Instrument-Files Documentation / Specifications

As of Firmware 1.7 the .mod and .it format support has been removed.

:information_source: Update:
As of Firmware 1.1 for the Tracker Mini and Firmware 1.8 for the OG Tracker, support to import / export has been added back.

We’ve already seen utilities that have reverse engineered the .pti format, but this was based on trial and error, blood, sweat and tears (shoutout to Jaap Roes for his work on that). :laughing:

This is a formal request to Polyend, to create a living document that details these files so that community developers could create utilities for the Tracker and / or converters so that Tracker Files could be used in or with other Software Trackers and Tools. :heart:

What is the problem?

  • As of FW 1.7 there is no more importing or exporting to a common file format
  • There is no official documentation / specification to the Trackers Project / Song / Pattern / Instrument Files

What do you want to achieve?

  • Allow the community and 3rd party developers to create tools that would benefit the Tracker Ecosystem
  • Allow the community to create Conversion/Helper Utilties for interoperability with other popular tracker formats or with other tools.

To do this, it would be helpful if we knew the specs/structure/content of the following files:

  • - The Project File
  • pattern.mtp - The pattern files
  • instrument.pti - The instrument files

Or a changing the file formats to a more open/accessible format (see Any references to other products).

Are there any workarounds?

  • Reverse engineering

Any links to related discussions?

Any references to other products?

  • Most recently Bitwig has created the open exchange format for DAW Projects.
  • Microsoft Office documents have been open for a while now
  • Possibly the Deluge? This wish is not about opensourcing the firmware though. This is purely about opening up or documenting the files that make up a tracker project so developers could build tools for them or around them.


I had JUST bought Renoise last night so I could open these :frowning:

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You still can. Stay or downgrade to 1.6 and import your old projects. Save them as tracker projects. Once done, upgrade to 1.7.

Unless you want to export back to .mod or .it . Then you would have to stay or downgrade to 1.6 again.


1.7 projects are not reverse compatible with 1.6 though, correct? That seems like a deal breaker IMHO.

Maybe if you had an Easter egg mode in the OS where users in the know could access the export as an unsupported legacy feature?


I’m not entirely sure, i’ve done some testing and it seemed to work. But you are right, eventually this will become an issue, the further along we go with the updates.

I personally would love if Polyend would open up the Fileformats for the Projectfiles (Song, Pattern, Instrument) so that Devs in this community could actually build tools for the Tracker to enrich the ecosystem.

This could include importers/exporters to the now infamous .mod and .it files, but go even further with support for maybe Renoise or even other software.

It would be a benefit for the community and a benefit for Polyend, since their Team could focus on other tasks, while the community can geek out and build all sorts of funky tools.


Hell yeah!

I mean… if they did that you might get the Tracker to behave as an Ableton Push style controller for various tracker software on the PC!

That would be NEXT LEVEL, especially if later iterations allowed you to easily bring projects back and forth (certain functions excluded).

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Releasing the file format specifications certainly would allow the community to create just about any conversion utility imaginable and move the tracker onto a new level of interoperability with other gear and software.

It would however, hinder Polyend in adding or removing sections and fields in these currently undocumented files to expand the tracker’s capabilities in the future and it might involve more work than they might be willing to invest into this request.

I do think, that I can propose a solution to this. Should all three file types have a built-in version indicator, it would be possible for Polyend to create a GitHub repository with just the C/C++ data structures of the three file formats in question and update these on every major release, including the version identifier in each file format. This would allow them to make arbitrary changes and external tools could include compatibility layers for every version change. Releasing the commented data structures would also be a lot less work for Polyend than creating extensive specification documents and would allow for rapid changes. Releasing these files would also not have any negative impact on Polyend and would not disclose any sensitive or internal information.

In this way both Polyend and the community would greatly benefit from this.


Ich habe weder Programmierkenntnisse ect. oder Ahnung von Python & Co. aber vielleicht findet jemand ja auch mit dem kostenlosen Tracker für Windows “OpenMPT” irgend eine Lösung und Möglichkeit die klassischen .mod Dateien für den Polyend Tracker zu konvertieren?! …zumindest kann man in “OpenMPT” auch sehr viele Einstellungen für sämtliche Parameter einer (.mod Datei) sowie den Instrumenten und Samples ändern und anpassen damit dieser dann irgendwie kompatibel und eventuell mit weniger oder sogar ohne Fehler durch Konvertierung für den Polyend Tracker lesbar und abspielbar ist. :wink: ich habe mir den Polyend Tracker eigentlich auch gekauft um meine alten Amiga.mod Songs laden und bearbeiten zu können! …und dann wird man enttäuscht nach dem Update auf Firmware 1.7.1 und zurück auf 1.6 möchte ich auch nicht wirklich da ja 1.7 trotzdem viele neue Funktionen, sinnvolle Verbesserungen und Fehlerbehebung enthalten sind!

I don’t have any programming skills ect. or know about Python & Co. but maybe someone will find some solution and possibility to convert the classic .mod files for the Polyend Tracker with the free tracker for Windows “OpenMPT”?! ".at least in "OpenMPT you can also set a lot of settings for all parameters a (. Mod file) as well as the instruments and samples so that it is somehow compatible and possibly readable and playable with less or even no errors through conversion for the Polyend Tracker. I actually bought the Polyend Tracker to be able to load and edit my old Amiga.mod songs! … and then you will be disappointed after the update to firmware 1.7.1 and back to 1.6 I don’t really want to because yes 1.7 still contains many new features, useful business and bug fixes

Yes, this would be highly appreciated. I just got my first tracker and was actually disappointed, not by the device itself, which is great, but by the missing support for .mod files. Of course, I tried to reengineer the mt, mtp and pti files right away. But this is a long, winding and errorprone road to walk.
Opensourcing the Firmware or parts of it (e.g. Fileformats) does not mean loosing control or ownership. I mean Apples source is mostly Opensource. And they are by far not the community friendly company they like to make us believe they are.
On the contrary, you could actually use the power of the community to drive the product forward but still stay in control by leading the process.

Then you’ll find this relevant also: Reimplementation of mod and .it support - #21 by icaria36


I’ve updated the description for this wish to reflect the recent changes - as in the return of import/export for the Tracker Mini. I will update this again, once it has returned for the OG Tracker as well. :muscle:

Regardless… :laughing:

this won’t change my mind and i won’t withdraw this request. :blush:

Because i still firmly believe that allowing community developers to build tools that can read/write song, pattern and instrument files would be a beneficial boon for the overall ecosystem.