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MIDI Studio Consortium: Help
  Windows® Media Player 9 and MIDI
  Windows® 98/ME/SE/NT/2000/XP
Part 2 of 3 - Set Up
  Author: Les Gorven
  Following installation of Windows® Media Player 9, it will open in it's full state which will cover most of your screen.  This is required if the media content is a movie or video.  However, for MIDI use it can be reduced to a Compact Player.
There is no visible menu bar at the top.  The menu is required to perform some setup options. In Figure 1. the illustration shows the top left corner of Media Player 9.  We have circled in red the button you click to open the Menu bar and leave it displayed.
Figure 1.
Placing the mouse pointer about 1/2" above the player will also open the menu on a temporary basis for access to the commands.  Once the pointer is removed, the menu will disappear. Figure 2. shows the Menu bar that is available by either method.

Figure 2.
To select the Miniplayer to use with MP3, other audio files or MIDI, click on the Skin Chooser button located in the lower left corner of the full player.
(Figure 3.)
Figure 3.
After opening the Skin Chooser option, select 'Miniplayer' from the list, and then at the top, click 'Apply Skin'.  Drag the Miniplayer to the top right of your screen. Once chosen and placed, Media Player 9 will remember the state and always open in the Miniplayer mode. (Figure 4.)
Figure 4.
If you operating system is Windows XP, you may have a different version of Miniplayer.  Illustrated below. (Figure 4B.)
Miniplayer image
Figure 4B.
The center red circle in Figure 4 is the volume control slider.  This is relative to the overall volume set by the Windows volume control that should appear in the lower right task bar. Click the red circled area on the right to return to the full Media Player 9.

Return to full mode to make a few settings. Open the menu bar.  Click on 'Tools' then 'Options' and a dialogue box will open with several Tabs. Figure 5 illustrates only the top portion of this window.

Figure 5.
  It is recommended that you set the Player options as shown.  Further down (not illustrated) under Player Settings, make sure that 'Display on top when in skin mode' is checked.
Now click on the 'File Types' tab.  You will find all of the file types supported by Windows Media Player 9.  If you do not have Crescendo or a plugin/active-x on-line MIDI player, ensure that 'MIDI file (midi)' is checked.  This will NOT change your File associations under Windows for any off-line MIDI Player you may be using.

This screen will also allow you to associate or remove other file types that you do not wish to play in Windows Media Player 9.  For example, you may previously have used WinAmp to play your MP3 files.  You can uncheck 'MP3 audio files (mp3)' if that is your wish.
All other settings would have been made during installation and do not require any changes.

  Many of you may have MIDI players for off-line use, or will be familiar with the Crescendo Player.  Many of these players had the option of selecting which MIDI Device you wanted to use for MIDI playback. If you have a good wavetable sound card such as SoundBlaster Live! or Audigy, your output device would be 'Synth A'.  You may also have a software synth such as the Roland Virtual Sound Canvas.  This is also a valid MIDI Device that could be selected.

If you operating system is Windows 2000 or XP, the Microsoft GS Soft Synth will have been installed on your system.  If you have a poor, or onboard sound chip, then the Output Device selected should be 'Microsoft GS Soft Synth'.

There is no Option in Windows Media Player 9 that selects the MIDI Output device.  You must do this from the Windows Control panel.  Using Windows 2000 as an example:

  1. Click on the Start button
  2. then Settings and Control panel.
  3. Click on the Sounds & Multimedia icon.
  4. Click on the Audio tab.
  5. The third section is headed "MIDI music playback"

A list box (click the down arrow) will display all the valid MIDI Output devices on your system.  Choose your soundcard wavetable or other synthesizers shown.  Do NOT select 'MIDI Out' or 'MPU 401' as those devices send MIDI signal to an external keyboard or sound module that is attached via a MIDI cable.

If you have several one and close the dialogue.
Load and play a MIDI file in Windows Media Player 9, (File | Open on the menu).

Now go back to Control panel and try another device.  You will soon know which one results in the best sound for you.

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