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I'm looking at the MilkyTracker application description and it claims that

  • "MilkyTracker is and will stay a 2nd generation tracker. There are already several good 3rd generation trackers out there"

What do these "generations" of tracker software refer to?

so that can assess whether I need to search out one of these 3rd (or 1st?) generation trackers.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

It refers to the batch of tracking software that would have been out at the time. It considers itself a second generation tracker probably because it's now quite old.

Think of it as similar to generations of consoles. If the N64 and Playstation were second generation consoles, then the GameCube and PS2 would be third generation consoles, while the sega genesis/megadrive and snes would be first generation.

There are often blurred lines between generations, but each generation generally refers to a feature set or way of working that would have defined that generation of consoles, or in this case trackers.

When they say they won't become a third gen what they really mean is that they're not going to update/overhaul the system, so don't expect them to(in marketing speak).

There's a great description on the history of trackers at

The answers you look for are there, with MSDOS trackers being first generation, and trackers released past 2010 being third generation(roughly).

Hope that helps!

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I was always under the impression that the generation of a tracker was based on the generation of programming languages used: Do you have a source to back up what you say so that I can be confident that you're right before taking this as correct? – Tim Hargreaves Apr 16 '14 at 14:23

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