MIDI Files

MIDI files

MIDI messages (along with timing information) can be collected and stored in a computer file, in what is commonly called a MIDI file. A number of music file formats have been based on the MIDI bytestream. These formats are very compact; a file as small as 10 kB can produce a full minute of music or more due to the fact that the file stores instructions on how to recreate the sound based on synthesis with a MIDI synthesizer rather than an exact waveform to be reproduced. A MIDI synthesizer could be built into an operating system, sound card, embedded device (e.g. hardware-based synthesizer) or a software-based synthesizer. The file format stores information on what note to play and when, or other important information such as possible pitch bend during the envelope of the note or the note’s velocity. Small MIDI file sizes have also been advantageous for applications such as mobile phone ringtones, and some video games.
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Listing of available MIDI files