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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.
See the MidiHardware page to connect a musical instrument to your computer using MIDI.

Translation(s): English - Français - Italiano



For a full list of MIDI software, see the Multimedia page.

MIDI file MIME types are audio/x-midi, audio/x-mid, and audio/midi. The file extensions are .mid, .midi.

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

The fluid-soundfont-gs fluid-soundfont-gm vlc-plugin-fluidsynth packages allow you to play MIDI files in any Gstreamer-based media player or VLC.


See the MidiHardware page to connect a musical instrument to your computer using MIDI.


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).


Other MIDI systems

Wiki pages

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

CategorySound ?CategoryMidi CategoryFileFormat