timidity - Play MIDI files in a browser with a simple API.
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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. But using the power of WebAssembly, Emscripten, Web Audio, and Web Components, I was able to bring MIDI and <bgsound> back from the dead!
BitMidi is a website that plays back MIDI files directly in the browser and has a collection of over 100,000 MIDIs to browse and choose from.
You can check out the slides “The Lost Art of MIDI – Bringing <bgsound> Back to the Web” from a talk I gave at JSConf Colombia 2018 to learn more about how BitMidi uses WebAssembly to play back MIDI files.