Playing MIDI without a sound card! :-)

François Pinard pinard at
Mon Jun 9 04:37:06 CEST 2003

Hi, people.

A long while ago, for a special project, users asked me to implement a MIDI
file writer while I had no sound card to check if it worked.  For debugging
it nevertheless, I wrote a kludge program in C that was relying on the Linux
console beeper, multiplexing it between simultaneous voices.

To take a rest today, I rewrote that old toy in Python.  One comment says:

    # The musical ear is not tolerant at all to frequency errors, yet it
    # strangely makes some sense with music despite wide errors in duration,
    # at least given that the overall beat organisation is respected.  This
    # is the idea behind this console beep player, admittedly a toy! :-) It
    # nevertheless could be used to debug MIDI scores without a sound card.

This unfinished program is meant to have other uses eventually, but the
console beeper seemingly works enough today to be usable on many MIDI files.
Just email me for a copy, if you feel like having fun for a few minutes,
over some of your `.mid' files.  (Made using SuSE 8.0 and Python 2.2.1.)

François Pinard

More information about the Python-list mailing list