playmidi, xplaymidi, splaymidi - midi file player
[s|x]playmidi [-8cCdeEfF4gGiImoprRtvVz] [file ...]
playmidi is a full-featured midi file player for Linux systems or others
using the Voxware 3.5 sound driver or newer. It can play back midi files
on general midi devices or FM or Gravis Ultrasound. If no files are
specified, playmidi will give a summary of all command line options. If
more than one file is specified, you can use xplaymidi or splaymidi or -r
mode for interactive control, allowing you to skip to the previous song,
next song, speed up or slow down the midi file, or repeat a midi file
while viewing a real-time display of data in the midi file.
Command line options are described below. (make sure to precede them
with a dash (``-''))
force the use of 8-bit patches with the gravis ultrasound to conserve
memory. Patches are automatically reloaded as 8-bit when memory runs
out, but if you know in advance, you can save a step and speed up the
set the channel mask (in hexidecimal) of which channels to play from
the midi file. This is useful if you have a midi file with some chan-
nels that don't sound very good on your hardware.
ignore any drum (percussion) tracks in a midi file. (See also -m# ).
This is useful for FM or any other hardware where percussion sounds
especially bad. Also useful for midi files where the percussion is
send output to external midi. This is what you'll want to do if you
have any midi hardware connected to your system. This option is the
default for playmidi as distributed.
send output to fm synth using fm patches. You'll need to use this
option to playback on any non-midi soundcard with the exception of the
send output to fm synth using 4-op OPL/3 patches (BROKEN!) Don't use
this option since it doesn't work yet.
what channels to send to the external midi port. For example, 00FF
would send channels 1 - 8 to external midi.
set mask of channels to always output to fm. Used as above.
set mask of channels to always output to gus. Used as above.
set the channel mask (in hexidecimal) of which channels to ignore from
the midi file. This option is good for midi files with a few channels
you don't want to listen to.
set the channel mask (in hexidecimal) of which channels to consider
percussion channels. See also -d
This option is good for midi files that don't conform to the default
percussion arrangement of playmidi. GM standard specifies percussion
in channel 10 only. Some files disobey that requiring this setting.
forces output to a given synth number (0-4). This option is old and
obsolete. Don't use it. It's probably been removed by the time you
forces a given program number (1-128) to be used for all output on
given channel, or if no channel is specified, program will be used for
all channels. For example: -p33 sets all channels to program 33,
-p5,124 sets just channel 5 to program 124, and -p1,33,2,55,9,22,10,17
sets channel 1 to program 33, channel 2 to program 55, channel 9 to
program 22, and channel 10 (percussive) to use the Power Drum Set. If
you're using a Waveblaster, you'll want to use -p10,129 to set channel
10 to playback percussion. You should quote arguments to -p if you
want to include whitespace between them.
shows a list general midi programs and numbers. This is intended to
make it easier to use the above option.
skews tempo by a factor (float). This is good for files you think the
author wrote too slow or two fast. Also good if you want to listen to
lots of files at high-speeds, or play a file at slow speeds in order to
learn to play a song on some instrument (like piano).
midi hardware only supports percussion on one channel. For example
-P10 would send all percussion channels to channel 10.
set initial reverb level. Valid range is 0 - 127. For fm, the setting
is either "on" (nonzero), or "off" (zero).
set initial chorus level. Valid range is 0 - 127.
set velocity for all notes in a channel. All velocity information for
the given channel will be replaced by the given velocity. One day I'll
change this option to allow all channels to be modified as with the -p
excludes the given channel number from the mask of channels to load
from the midi file.
zero channel data in output stream -- for special applications.
Nathan Laredo (firstname.lastname@example.org)
playmidi was originally designed out of impatience with other midi play-
ers. The startup time is negligable on all devices except gravis ultra-
sound (must wait for patches to load). The meaning of the various real-
time displays is yet-to-be-documented.
Playmidi 2.x is nearly a total re-write compared with the original 1.1
splaymidi doesn't properly restore terminal mode on exit; you may want to
use ";stty sane" at the end of any splaymidi command. GUS playback qual-
ity will improve as kernel driver improves. A lot of new features of
playmidi are as of yet undocumented. 4-op FM playback doesn't work.
Some incomplete or corrupted midi files may cause unpredictable results
or seg faults. No other known bugs. If you want new features or find
undocumented ones (bugs), please email email@example.com.
Linux 1.3.60+ October 13, 2003 Linux 1.3.60+