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One New Thing
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
One New Thing: Researching music files.

I have some sheet music for a choral piece, and want to know how the music sounds without going to the effort of learning how to play it (don’t judge me, I gave up piano lessons many years ago!). Quite often using Google and typing the song’s name plus the word “midi”, to find a MIDI file, is an easy way to find out how songs go. This piece is pretty obscure though I think, so I’ve had to expand my searching techniques, and found that although there are quite a few MIDI search engines about (none of which found this piece, so I won’t recommend any yet!) the bigger search engines (Google, Teoma, Yahoo) don’t have an option to limit to a MIDI filetype. I would have thought the filetype limiter would just look at file extensions and match them to whatever text you type into the search box – but apparently not. AltaVista and Lycos both have an Audio/MP3 search function but it doesn’t look like they extend to MIDI files specifically. There’s an article at SearchEngineWatch about finding multimedia content, from which I was led to try SingingFish (don’t you love the name?), and it seems to give a pretty decent number of results – although I don’t see any MIDI files in their drop-down search box, or listed in the results.

OK, back to the piano…

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