In addition, the small size of MIDI files is great for saving disk space (I have to store all the measures here on the server) and makes manipulation of the measures fast and easy, especially since they can be converted into readable, changeable text files, using the great utilities MF2T and T2MF by Piet van Oostrum.
The drawback is that the quality of the sound you will hear depends on the sound you have. If you have a MIDI instrument with a sampled Grand Piano, it will sound reasonably like a piano. If your MIDI instrument's has poor quality sounds, the music will not sound very good.
If you are using a MIDI player instead (see below), it is more that likely that you will be listening to a cheesy, dreamy, synthesized "piano" sound. Don't let that discourage you though. The Minuets are pretty cool.
Playing MIDI on a Mac
Microsoft's Internet Explorer 2.0Beta, which is now available for the Mac, supports MIDI as a background sound within the web browser.
Mac Netscape 2.0 Users! You can now obtain KM's Multimedia Plug (0.3.2) which allows embedding of the MIDI file into the web page. The most recent copy can be obtained here. Just throw it into your Plug-In's folder. Requires the QuickTime Musical Instruments extension. Thanks to Gary Markowitz (firstname.lastname@example.org) for the information. (~35K)
Another Netscape 2.0 Plug-In solution! You can get LiveUpdate's Crescendo 2.0, which allows embedding of a MIDI file into a web page. It has a nice CD player interface.
Two other possibilities I know of:
If you have a MIDI instrument, but can't get your MIDI software to recognize MIDI files you download, try using Midi Typer 1.0 (freeware, by Peter Castine). This a drag and drop utility which alters MIDI files so your Mac will recognize them (48K).
Other Mac MIDI information is available at Big Sky MacEzine Issue 22. You can find other Mac MIDI software at Harmony Central.
Playing MIDI on a PC
Microsoft's Internet Explorer 2.0Beta actually plays MIDI files in-line, using the BGSOUND SRC=URL tag. This is the easiest way.
If you are using this browser, you should hear your piece from within the output Web page.
A Netscape 2.0 Plug-In solution! You can get LiveUpdate's Crescendo, which allows embedding of a MIDI file into a web page.
Otherwise, you will need to acquire a MIDI player. You may have received one with your Sound Card (if you have one).
Thanks to Joshua Shagam (email@example.com) for this info: Under DOS, you use the one which comes with your soundcard or you can use a nifty shareware utility called Play (don't know filename, author, etc. since it's been a LONG time since I've used it). Under Windows, you can use Media Player, which comes with Windows, MIDISoft Recording Session, which comes with just about every soundcard, Cakewalk (nice - and expensive), and any other Windows program which supports the Win3.0MPC extensions or Win3.1 and later. You can even play MIDI files through Windows Write, Word for Windows, Cardfile, and Object Packager! :) (Well, those all call Media Player, but it's a neat trick nontheless) Also, with installing helper apps, you only need to create a MIDI type on Mac and UNIX. Under Windows, MIDI is a standard type already. (Windows already comes with all the MIDI extensions, drivers, etc. built in.)
I know nothing about this. If you know of solutions, please send detailed information (so I can put it here) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!