meaning again, we're using Microsoft's player, and they pay the license to decode.
Okay, I laughed a little at this phrase like "Poor Microsoft..." xD
However the media player has its limitations. Like the one MP3 must be playing at once, no sound effects etc. And like gnysek said, the whole MP3 licensing thing is a nightmare, there are so many pitfalls.
I'd be more happy to see GameMaker's sound pipeline designed to convert everything to OGG. Like e.g.
User loads a new sound > Open File (Available formats: OGG, MP3, WAV, AIFF, FLAC etc.) The sound gets loaded and converted automatically to OGG by ffmpeg, whatever the format is (except if already OGG) and then placed in the gmx sound directory. Then the sound is played through OpenAL. You don't need abstraction layers for DirectSound or to worry about MP3s and stuff because all is OGG format.
In case of browsers, the very first time the game is run/exported as HTML5 the OGG sounds are also converted to MP3s, otherwise nothing is converted to MP3s.
Also from another bug report, I mentioned MP3s have "built-in" gaps making seamless looping nearly impossible. OGGs do not have that by default. (More info http://en.wikipedia....apless_playback ) This mostly depends on the sound editor I believe, but the majority of them always add these gaps. Don't know if the current setup of ffmpeg with GameMaker adds them as well but I suppose it does. I have even searched and found an utility that makes seamless MP3 loops because I had a problem in the past with Flash that could not load OGG loops.
but how do I load it AND populate the grid with the file's data?
Use data grids and write a customised sort. It's just interchanging rows a bunch of times, there is a script out there in the big bad Game Maker Community ready for you to steal if you don't want your own.
Could you direct me to a sorting script? Preferably a sort by column would be nice.
Just add the sounds as MP3s, and play them as normal, and GameMaker will do the rest.
The problems I have with MP3s are 3, first the licensing in cause you need to sell your game, second MP3s don't loop too well, and finally I believe GM uses MP3 codecs, as opposed to an audio library, which they don't come with some Windows XP & Vista installations.
I noticed you're experimenting with OpenAL on the Windows C++ runner? Is there a possibility that OGG will be available in GM Studio if you make it in the timeframe?