MilkyTracker, the free and open source GPL tracker tool, is now available on Android, thanks to some cross-platform goodness. (Developers: see SDL-lib, which brings a flexible multimedia library to Android and enables a host of multimedia and games, and the NDK, Google’s JNI-based toolset for C/C++ on the platform.)

So, what does this mean? It means a tool already available on an absurd number of platforms (Mac, Windows, Linux, Windows Mobile, and even Amiga), and build-able on more, gets one additional platform. Whether it’s actually useful to have a traditional tracker on your mobile phone is another matter, and that I suspect comes down to whether you’ve either got a) an integrated physical keyboard on your device, or b) an incredible amount of patience. (Or, maybe c) you’re a magician, and have fingers that can operate this interface with touch.) But I do have to try it; I currently run a Droid 2, so the keyboard’s set. I’m curious if someone has a tablet if that works.

Updated: Hearing some feedback that touch may actually work with this UI, so, hey, I’m open to anything.

The freedom in free software, however, means you’re free to try things out regardless, which I think is a good thing. (The experimentation here is not possible on Apple iOS and Microsoft Windows Phone stores, which forbid software with a GPL license. It’s essentially a legal/political obstacle, not a technical one.)

Anyone, if you’re on Android and love trackers, go give it a try, and let us know what happens:
MilkyTracker for Android

Via two sites dedicated to chips and mobile: True Chip Till Death / Peter Swimm and Palm Sounds.

Speaking of which, I don’t know of another fully-functioning tracker on Android. SunVox could be a possibility in the future, but it’s not here yet. A ground-up mobile tracker for Android would be welcome, however.

  • Steven Hamann

    I used to use Milkytracker on an old HP Windows Mobile device. I was never much of a tracker user before that, but I was surprised how well-suited the tracker interface was for a few buttons and a phone-sized screen.I'm happy to see development continues on it.

  • Tim Bedard

    Oh man. I am on this shit.

  • dtr

    can't wait for the next train ride to try this out :]

  • AutoStatic

    Whaaaaattt? MilkyTracker for Android? I'm in! Hopefully it runs on my cheapo LG Etna/GW620, at least the Etna got a keyboard. If it runs I don't have to bother getting bored on the way back from LAC2011 :)



  • Andy

    I don't know this software. I even don't know what a "tracker" is all about. But holy shit, this program looks like software from the early 80s. Horrible.

  • dtr

    @andy: well then go look it up and learn something about electronic music history 😉

  • AutoStatic

    Gave it a testride on my phone and managed to load some of my old XM files and they played fine. Some glitches at the beginning of patterns but then again the LG Eve/Etna/GW620 was one of the cheapest Android phones available at the time I got mine. It runs a custom ROM though (Froyo from

    I still have to figure out and set up all the necessary keyboard shortcuts. And luckily (well, in this particular case) my phone has a capacitive screen so I can use a stylus to press the tiny buttons. So far everything seems to work. Would be a real challenge to actually create a song with it, I think it's feasible.



  • Random Chance

    I don't think that a tracker really works on a platform without a keyboard. You can take the basic idea, but if you don't have the ability to key in events in it wouldn't be a real tracker anymore (at least to me). 

  • Peter Kirn

    I'm surprised someone hasn't put together a master list of Android handsets with keyboards, but there are quite a few … I'm definitely going to be experimenting with input methods and keying in patterns this week.

  • AutoStatic

    What I meant to say was that my phone has a resistive screen instead of a capacitive one 😉


  • Dave

    Jeeze, nobody commented on this? I use milkytracker on my ASUS transformer tf101 with the keyboard dock, and it’s great! I’ve prepared samples of my korg ms2000’s oscillators on my PC and loaded them into separate instruments on my tablet. It reminds me of a DOS tracker.

  • Jorge

    Bien, en la pagina oficial de Milky no hay datos sobre Android ni iPad, no se de donde sacaron esto…

  • Pau MF

    Hey @Dave, how do you make appear the dock keyboard on the screen?, I also have an ASUS