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Midi Music at Studio Dust


Studio Dust Palace uses Midi files for the jukebox in the Dance Hall and from time to time in other areas. This page explains a little about Midi files and provides some tips for setting up your computer to play them with the Palace. Use these links to jump to a specific topic:

Windows Client MIDI
Macintosh Client MIDI
Palace Viewer MIDI
Palace Server Scripting

What is MIDI?

The word, MIDI, is an acronym for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. It was invented as a way for electronic keyboards and synthesizers to comunicate with each other. Midi files are data files of a specific format that are used to store Midi data. Most of the Midi files we find use a convention called General Midi which means that they follow certain standards for what the various instruments should sound like. For example, the sound of instrument number 0 should be a piano and the sound for instrument number 26 should be a guitar, etc.

Midi files contain musical instructions such as what notes to play, what sounds to use to play them, how loud to play them and at what tempo. This Midi data is not the actual sound data. It is a computer version of a written musical score. Instead of musicians playing the score, Midi data is interpreted by a sound card or software synthesizer to reproduce a facsimile of the music. The quality of the music depends on how well the Midi score was created and the capabilities of the software or sound card synthesizer. The songs will sound different from computer to computer.

The music produced from Midi files on most computers will not sound as if it is played by real instruments and there are no vocals. However, Midi files are much smaller than actual sound sample files (such as WAV and MP3 files) so they are less cumbersome to download. Studio Dust tries to select Midi files that make the best use of the medium to provide listening enjoyment as well as musical fun.

MIDI File Names

Studio Dust uses Midi files with the standard ".mid" file name extension to allow Macintosh Client users to play them using the Internet Config interface and for Palace Viewer users to play them through their WEB browser. The current version (3.5) of the Windows Client also works with Midi files named with a ".mid" extension. Using this standard file name extension means that you can easily play Midi files outside of the Palace program, as well.


Windows Client MIDI

Recent versions of the Windows Palace Client is able to play Midi files without any additional setup - assuming your computer is equipped with a Midi-capable sound card. Older versions of the Windows Client may also work.

When you click on a spot that plays a Midi song, it will start to play if the file for that song already exists on your computer.

If the file is not on your computer yet, the Palace will download the file for you. You should see a message in the Palace log window and on the status line when file has completed downloading. Be aware that the song will not play by itself after it downloads. You will have to request the song to play again.

Once the song starts playing you won't be able to play another Midi until it is finished or you stop it. To stop the song before it finishes enter the following in the chat box:


Unfortunately, older versions of the Windows Client will not download files with a ".mid" extension. So, for users who have not yet upgraded to version 3.5 or higher, we provide the files with a "_mid" extension. Some newer Midi scripts may only support ".mid" files so we strongly suggest that you do upgrade to version 3.5 soon.


Macintosh Client MIDI

You need 3 things to hear Midi files on your Macintosh at Studio Dust:
1) Version 3.0.1 or higher of the Palace Client
2) A program to play Midi Files
3) The Internet Config program and system extension

Please visit our Macintosh Media Help page for information on Midi players and how to set up the Internet Config program.

When you select a song that is not yet on your computer it will begin to play after the file downloads without having to select the song again. If you use Quick Time Player, you may see a new player window open for each Midi song played and you might have to use its play control to start it. If you use SoundApp, each Midi song will play in the order they were selected. To stop a song from playing and skip to the next, bring SoundApp to the foreground and type a . (period).


Palace Viewer Client MIDI

The Place Viewer is a Java Applet that runs in your WEB browser. Currently the Palace Viewer does not play Midi files by itself. However, the WEB browser you are using most like can handle Midi files either using its built-in media player or through a plug-in or external helper program.

For the Palace Viewer we use a NETGOTO command with the location of the Midi file on our server. This will have your WEB browser download and play the song. You may see the Midi plugin open in a new browser window the first time you play a song and you will have to click back into the window that the Palace Viewer is running in.


Palace Server MIDI Scripting

Below is an example of the scripts used at Studio Dust to play Midi files. The example uses the ON SELECT handler. It starts by setting the name of a song, determines the type of client the user has. Then it executes the appropriate commands for the client with the appropriate file name extension added to the song name.

You are welcome to use this code and modify it if you wish. You will atleast need to modifiy the song name and the URL used in the NETGOTO command for Palace Viewer.

     ON SELECT {
         "pennylane" song =  ; modify for the file you have

        ; Determine what kind of client
        { ; IPTVERSION > 0, use CLIENTTYPE to determine type
           {  "tpv" client =
           } {
               {  "win" client =
               } {
                  { "mac" client =
                  } {
                    "unknown" client =
                  } CLIENTTYPE "MACPPC" ==
                    CLIENTTYPE "MAC68K" == OR IFELSE
               } CLIENTTYPE "WINDOWS32" == IFELSE
           } CLIENTTYPE "TPV" == IFELSE
        } { ; IPTVERSION is 0, use DATETIME to determine Mac or Win
            {   "oldwin" client =
            } {
                "oldmac" client =
            } DATETIME 0 >= IFELSE
        } IPTVERSION 1 >= IFELSE

        { ; for Macintosh and Windows peoples
            song  ".mid" & SOUND
        } client "mac" ==
          client "oldmac" == OR
          client "win" == OR IF

        { ; for TPV peoples - modify URL for your file server
               song & ".mid" & NETGOTO
        } client "tpv" == IF

        { ; for old (pre-3.5) Windows peoples
           song "_mid" & SOUND
           song "_mid" & MIDIPLAY
        } client "oldwin" == IF

Note that if you include support for old Windows client versions, the file must exist in the server's media directory with two file names; one ending in ".mid" and another ending in "_mid".

If you are using a Unix server and have direct access to the system you can create two file names for a single file using the Unix ln command. First upload the files named with ".mid" to the media directory. Then for each one create a link for the names with "_mid". For example:

     ln pennylane.mid pennylane_mid

Now the same data may be referenced using either name. This can save a bit of disk space if you have many Midi files on your server.



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