BitMidi

🎹 The wayback machine for old-school MIDI files

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In the days of Geocities and Angelfire, a quirky HTML tag called < bgsound > enabled sound files to play in the background of webpages. Usually, these files were in the MIDI format. What a glorious era that was! Sadly, <bgsound﹥ has been removed from browsers and MIDI is obscure and hard to play back. UNTIL NOW! Check out BitMidi! ✨

Reviews
  • Guillaume Bardet
    Guillaume BardetWorking on Qlearly.com
    Pros: 

    113,000 MIDIs? Yes please!

    Cons: 

    None so far.

    You can actually use the site without getting attacked with ads and popups. :)

    Guillaume Bardet has used this product for one day.
  • Pros: 

    It works like a charm!

    Cons: 

    nothing

    Sometimes there is a lag while playing the audio, is it because of internet speed?

    Rohit Jain has used this product for one day.
Discussion
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Hey folks! So, the context for this site is that I was reminiscing about the days of Geocities and Angelfire, back when the web was quirky and fun. I remembered how sites used to use the <bgsound﹥ HTML tag to include an autoplaying background MIDI file. Those files had such a nice, old-school aesthetic. I wanted to hear some MIDIs, so I searched and found a .zip file with 100K+ MIDI files that someone posted to Reddit. I tried playing a few in Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc. and then realized that they've all dropped the <bgsound﹥ tag. Even Quicktime and VLC couldn't play back the files.* There were some websites that could convert MIDI to low-quality MP3, and technically Apple still offers Quicktime 7 for download which can play MIDI, but it wasn't easy or fun to do. Some websites offered inline playback with Flash (but it was flaky and hard to get working in Chrome), and the JS-based ones were missing many instruments or multi-MB Emscripten-compiled monstrosities! I decided that I'd compile the best MIDI player written in C (libtimidity) to WebAssembly and put in lots of effort to optimize the bundle and include the minimal amount of code. The result of that is here: https://github.com/feross/timidity It's quite lightweight - just 34 KB of JavaScript and 23 KB of lazy-loaded WebAssembly. Then I put a frontend on it, so it's easy to browse that .zip file's contents. And that's BitMidi. I plan to ingest a lot more MIDI files in the future, perhaps from the Geocities MIDI archive on the Internet Archive. Feedback welcome! * I later learned that VLC can actually play most MIDIs and I just got unlucky with the few I tried! That's okay though – I got to learn a lot about MIDI files, Emscripten, WebAssembly, and modern front-end web techniques. And I made a cool site too :)
Rui Ramos
Rui Ramos@ruimramos · Web Developer
Well done @ferossaboukhadijeh this is great, love the aesthetics as well!! :) Small thing but maybe you could find a way of docking the player somewhere so it's possible to stop the currently playing midi after you navigate away? Cheers well done!
Justin Johnson
Justin JohnsonPro@justinotherjohnson · I've got a few things going on...
@ruimramos Yep, docking the player so you can control play/pause/prev/next while still browsing is a great idea. Working on it!
Ryan Hoover
Ryan HooverPro@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
Guillaume Bardet
Guillaume BardetPro@guillaumebardet · Working on Qlearly.com
This is awesome Feross, I will definitely be using this when playing around on logic. I noticed you had quite a wide catalogue, that's really helpful. It probably would take a little while to get to that but it would be cool to feature tracks made using the midis from the site :) I'm curious to know what some will come up with.
@guillaumebardet If you make a track using MIDIs from the site do let me know and I'll see what I can do about adding a Featured Songs section! This is a cool idea!!
This is the best!!!!!