MIDI and Computer Generated Music/MIDI file standards


Hi. I have been using a set of MIDI hymn files on 3.5" diskettes to drive our Church organ for a number of years with no problem! We have now been supplied with samples of some modern hymns, also in a MIDI format, but these are not recognised by our 3.5" diskette player. I assume that this must be due to a MIDI header format change. Is there a way of editing the header of these 'newer' midi files to be compatible with our older player? Better still, is there a (hopefully freeware) program that will do this for me?....and hopefully in batch mode....as there are more MIDI files to come!
Thank you for your time.
Ray Hughes (UK)

I do not have enough detailed information to properly answer your question, however, I can provide some insight in response to some of the subjects that you mentioned in your message. With exception to file system formats, different storage mechanisms - such as diskettes - do not factor into compatibility of stored files. MIDI only has one format, which is then universally read on multiple file systems. Any changes that occur within MIDI files are superficial and do not affect the actual file format or how it is read on a device. The issue that you are facing could be related to either the software and/or hardware. It will help to use the process of elimination to verify the incompatible component. If possible, try to test the new samples on a newer device, likewise with testing the older samples on a newer device. The key to compatibility might be in either the file system and/or the applications. If you are unable to find a source of the incompatibility, then it might be a matter of restrictions being applied due to licensing. The following might help:

1. Try to find out what kind of file systems are used on the instrument and on the new diskettes.

2. If possible, create back-up copies.

3. Obtain extra diskettes and format them so that they use the same file system as your instrument.

4. Copy the files onto the new diskettes.

You might have to contact the manufacturer of the instrument to determine the correct file system. In case it is a unique file system, you might also have to ask that company how to format diskettes using that file system.

It appears that as long as you use the older instrument with those specific diskettes you might have to continue to copy the MIDI files onto diskettes with a compatible file system. When you speak with the manufacturer of the instrument, ask them if there is a short-cut so that you do not have to go through that process with every new diskette. They might refer you to the source of the new diskettes, in which case you should contact the manufacturer of the new MIDI files and ask them for those diskettes in a compatible file format.

Best of luck!

MIDI and Computer Generated Music

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