[VLC MIDI] How to Play MIDI Files on VLC?

Tried to get VLC play MIDI files but to no avail? You are not alone. Many other VLC users have made similar complaints too. The thing is, VLC does not support MIDI files natively. You have to go through a quite complicated process of configuring a VLC MIDI plugin before you could play the MIDIs. But don’t you fret. We have a step-by-step tutorial on how to play MIDI files on VLC.

In case that you find it too troublesome for you, you could try our solution to convert MIDI to a popular audio format (e.g. WAV, MP3…) as well. Without further ado, let’s get started.

Michelle | Aug 18, 2021

[VLC MIDI] About MIDI File

How to Play MIDI Files on VLC?

How to Convert MIDI to WAV/MP3/OGG…?

[VLC MIDI] About MIDI File

To many people’s surprise, the MIDI file (a file with .mid or .midi extension) is in fact not an audio file. Instead, it is a Musical Instrument Digital Interface file that explains what to play, such as what notes are to be played at what time and how loud should be played. Since it contains only instructions for music playing, the MIDI file is so much smaller in size compared with other common audio files like MP3s and WAVs.

To play MIDI files, a device that can translate MIDI data to actual sounds is required. There are quite a few software programs that support MIDI files, including Windows Media Player, Winamp, WildMIDI, and MuseScore. Unfortunately, the most popular media player, VLC, isn’t among them. If you throw the MIDI file directly to VLC, an error message would come up saying

MIDI synthesis not set up:
A sound font file (.SF2) is required for MIDI synthesis.
Please install a sound font and configure it from the VLC preferences (Input / Codecs > Audio codecs > FluidSynth).

Codec not supported:
VLC could not decode the format "MIDI" (MIDI Audio)

Yet, as you can see, you can still get VLC MIDI support by installing a sound font and configuring it. If you want to know more details of the VLC MIDI playing, go to the next part.

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How to Play MIDI Files on VLC?

Since version 0.9.0, VLC can play Standard MIDI (.MID) and even RIFF MIDI (.RMI) files. However, it will require you to download a sound font and configure it in VLC to play MIDI files successfully. Detailed steps for this VLC MIDI SoundFont configuration are given below.

Step 1. Download and extract the SoundFont file from http://www.schristiancollins.com/generaluser.php.

Step 2. Open VLC. On the top menu bar, go to Tools > Preferences (or press Ctrl + P).

Step 3. On the bottom-left corner of the new window, switch Show settings to All to access Advanced Preferences. Next, on the left side of the interface, find Input / Codecs > Audio codecs > FluidSynth. Then on the right side, click Browse… and select the SoundFont file (.sf2) from the SoundFont folder you just extracted. Finally, click Save to finish the VLC MIDI configuration.

Step 4. Exit VLC and then reopen it. Now you should be able to play MIDI files on VLC.

How to Convert MIDI to WAV/MP3/OGG…?

If your VLC still failed to play MIDI files or you want to play MIDI files on other devices, you could consider converting MIDI to regular audio formats, like MP3, AAC, WAV, etc. Such conversions can be achieved through a powerful program called HD Video Converter Factory Pro. It can handle MPEG encoded .mid file conversion perfectly and allows you to easily convert MIDI to WAV, MIDI to MP3, and so forth. Here is a simple tutorial on how to convert MIDI files with this software.

Before start, please free download free download the software and install it on your PC.

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Step 1. Import MIDI File(s)

Launch HD Video Converter Factory and open the Converter. Next, click + Add Files to load the MIDI file(s) you want to convert. Or you can drag and drop the files into the converter directly.

Step 2. Choose Output Format

Click the right-side format image to open the output format library. Select your preferred audio format (e.g. MP3, WAV, FLAC, AAC, OGG…) under the Audio category.

Step 3. Start Conversion

When everything is ready, click Run to start the conversion.

Wrap-up

That’s all for how to play MIDI files on VLC with VLC MIDI SoundFont. Hope you’ll find this article helpful. Thanks for reading.

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