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Translation(s): English - Français - Italiano




The MIDI standard is about signals in a cable. Many musical instruments understand those signals and can communicate through them. The computer can act as a musical instrument, and join the conversation.

There is also a standard midi file format, which describes files containing the same signals. Below is an explanation on how to enable your computer to play such files. MidiHardware describes a method to enable your musical instruments to connect to the computer and be recognised.


The MIME types are

  • audio/x-midi
  • audio/x-mid
  • audio/midi

and the file extensions


You can use Timidity to easily play MIDI and ?karaoke files in Linux and Mozilla.

You can also install a software synthesizer to play midi files in the totem media player or in VLC. It requires the following packages:

sudo apt-get install fluid-soundfont-gs  fluid-soundfont-gm 
sudo apt-get install vlc-plugin-fluidsynth


Store a midi file in your home directory. Open Nautilus and right click in the midi file. Select "Open with" (other application) or in Properties go to "Open with". Select Timidity in /usr/bin. Appears the text:


Change it to

 '/usr/bin/timidity' -ia

Now, every time you click in a midi file, timidity is going to play it.

You can use a similar procedure for *.kar (open karaoke) files.


Go to Edit / Preferences / Advanced and in "System preferences" mark the box "Use the system preferences" (if you have Timidity installed in your GNOME system).



  • jackd can work with MIDI data as well as audio.


Wiki pages

List of wiki pages about MIDI software, the MIDI formathardware setup or configuration:

CategorySound CategoryMIDI CategoryFileFormat