> I've only tried this with the audio preloaded into memory. I'm not sure if streaming it (ie, putting it in the "Music" folder in C2) will have an effect. I put everything in the "Sounds" folder, personally, and just preload everything I need.
Now that you can unload sounds it's less of a problem but still.. you need to be careful here.. loading music fully into memory can take up a lot of space quick! If I remember correctly audio is uncompressed in memory so your 8MB song can easily be 80MB in memory. Add a handful more tracks and suddenly your footprint is half a GB... and that's no good.
You're not thinking realistically about it. Uncompressed audio is about 10 MB per minute. Your scenario implies loading in nearly an hour of music at once, which is more than many games have for music in their entire soundtrack. In actual practice, particularly with interactive music, you'd never load in more than a couple minutes of music (15-30 MB) at a time, and you totally get more mileage out of less audio content with interactive music. This also is loaded into system memory and not vram, which most PCs have tons of. Even on mobile, which is quite limited, it's not even close to being an issue. Even before the ability to unload it was barely a problem in nearly all cases, but now it isn't at all.