Linux MIDI Applications
Playmidi is a command-line MIDI file player.
It is not an editor - playing midi files is all it does, but
it does it very well.
In the case of playmidi, simple does not mean "no features".
Playmidi is rich in command-line options, which
- MIDI output can be played on a variety of different devices,
- FM-Synthesis sound-cards (SoundBlaster compatibles)
- Gravis Ultrasound
- AWE-32 (currently requires a patch)
- External MIDI devices
- Individual MIDI channels can be split between different devices,
or selectively disabled.
- Text and lyric events can be printed on the screen
- ncurses-based real-time playback "graphics" are available
- Xaw-based "xplaymidi" is also included.
Don't forget to install XPlaymidi.ad
xterm snapshot of playmidi "real-time" ncurses graphics
snapshot of xplaymidi
Because of it's inherent simplicity, "playmidi" gets my awards for:
- MIDI-software which is most likely to work the first time
- MIDI-software which is easiest to compile and install
- MIDI-software which supports the widest range of output devices
I recommend playmidi for all debugging and testing of your MIDI setup.
Playmidi does not have a dedicated www-site, but it is included with most
Linux distributions. The current version (as at March 1997) is playmidi-2.3
It is available by anonymous FTP from any sunsite-mirror in:
playmidi-2.3 requires a patch in order to support the AWE-32 driver.
This is available from the same place as the AWE-32 driver patch.
Quickstart guide to playmidi
- playmidi -f myfile.mid
- ... play on FM Synthsis device (Yeesh!)
- playmidi -e myfile.mid
- playmidi -D 0 myfile.mid
- ... play on 1st external MIDI device
- playmidi -D 1 myfile.mid
- ... play on 2nd external MIDI device
- playmidi -g myfile.mid
- ... play on Gravis Ultrasound (sound-patches must be pre-loaded)
- playmidi -a myfile.mid
- ... play on AWE (sound-patches (font) must be pre-loaded)
(requires playmidi AWE-patch)