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Composers play with game tunes

A new Web site is hoping to improve the quality of video game soundtracks by inviting fans to submit their own renditions of classics such as the theme to "Super Mario Bros."

A new Web site is hoping to improve the quality of video game soundtracks by inviting fans to submit their own renditions of classics such as the theme to "Super Mario Bros."

Launched last week, VGMix.com gives people a new venue to download and upload video game music arrangements. The site features a database of tunes from today's video games and from classics such as "Super Mario Bros.," Atari's "BallBlazer" and "Final Fantasy." The site encourages composers to post and trade music, and provides a section where people can offer critiques and discuss video game music.

The site taps into a growing mix of self-publishing on the Web, where would-be DJs, composers and even filmmakers can now submit their works on sites run by giant media companies such as Vivendi Universal and Sony.

Whether submissions will score a hit remains to be seen.

VGMix.com is "a venue for not only video game music enthusiasts, but also writers, creators and producers of video game music, where they can have an open forum to test out their wares and get people to openly discuss and review their content," said T.S. Kelly, principal analyst at research firm Nielsen/NetRatings. But "I look at this as a little bit more niche oriented. Its focus specialty is on video game music, which has never really been an explosive sector."

Still, VGMix is aiming to be a tight-knit community where people can have fun creating their own compositions. VGMix said it allows people to produce up to 15 minutes of music in an MP3 format.

"What you upload is yours, and you control how it's presented to listeners," the Web site said. "We're not about brand loyalty or buzzwords, we're about giving you a place to speak your mind, share your music, and grow as a composer."