Between Linux and Anime

Kind of like Schrodinger's Cat

Playing MIDI on Linux

Just a quick note-down. I was mildly surprised to find that the modern Linux environments I use (that’s Ubuntu and OpenSUSE) do not gracefully support MIDI as they do stuff like MP3 and WAV. Too old a file format? Hmmm, come to think of it, I’ve been on Linux for more than two years now and this is the first time I have ever tried to listen to a MIDI file. Oh well.

The answer is Timidity. I won’t claim it is the best answer – I was lazy and wasn’t up to doing detailed research, so I just installed a bunch of programs off the repository that look like they might do the job, and tried them one by one. Disappointingly, most of them wouldn’t work out the box despite promising descriptions. So as it turns out, the first program that Just Worked ™ was Timidity. So here I am telling you about it to save you time ;) You’ll need to install it off the repo in Ubuntu, while OpenSUSE appears to have it installed by default.

To play a MIDI file, simply do

timidity [yourfile.midi]

Command-line haters can get a nice gtk-based GUI too by installing the extras packages for Timidity and doing:

timidity -ig

I know a complete solution should also make it so that click/double-clicking on a MIDI file automatically opens the appropriate player, but I’m too lazy to check for something that gets all that done on installation, especially since I only wanted to play one MIDI file. Just manually configure your system to call timidity or something.

Rate this post
An error occurred!

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • RSS
  • Reddit


I demand you all download Thunderbird 3 nao!


SSH browsing in Dolphin using an ssh key file


  1. hmmm? totem did not work for you?

  2. Wow, I’m really sorry my midi file caused so many problems. I’m glad you found a solution though.

  3. Jason "moofang"

    @ dai1313 : No it didn’t. It complains that it cannot find a suitable plugin. You mean totem works on MIDI for you?

    @ Dustin : Don’t worry about really, it’s not your fault at all. I wouldn’t have suspected that MIDI would require extra work too. It wasn’t much extra (since I didn’t bother looking for a full solution), and it made an easy blog post, so it’s all good :)

  4. Yea, actually. Totem plays midi on my machine – i just tried it.

  5. This isn’t on topic but I dig your Christmas Banner.

  6. Jason "moofang"

    @ dai1313: Whoa, maybe there is a plugin/codec pack somewhere that works midi after all?

    @ Dustin: Thanks! I wanted to have some ‘festive mood’ here :P

  7. Ah, sorry, i was wrong again… It was a midi converted into an mp3… The download link said midi – but the file was not one it seems…

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén