Yamaha Corporation of Japan, through its U.S. Office of Strategic Business Development, announced the availability of the beta version of the Yamaha MIDPlug, the company's new plug-in module for Netscape NavigatorTM 2.0 or later. MIDPlug is a self-contained MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) file playback system for use on the worldwide web. It features a powerful, GM (General MIDI) software- based music synthesizer which makes it easy to enhance web pages with high-quality music. Once "plugged in," websurfers can enjoy listening to MIDI files embedded in a web page, even before the page is fully loaded. According to Yamaha, MIDPlug is complementary to emerging web digital audio playback methods. However, MIDPlug offers several advantages, particularly when it comes to speed and sound quality.
- For example, MIDPlug requires no extra equipment or software to produce high-quality music; however, it does require a Pentium processor (Windows(R) 3.1, or a version of MS-DOS which is capable of running 3.1) or Power Macintosh (MacOS(R) System 7.5) with 8MB available RAM (16 MB recommended).
- Additionally, MIDI data is far more compact than digital audio wave data, requiring much less disk space (i.e.--a three-minute MIDI file is usually less than 50 kilobytes; a three-minute digital audio wave file is usually many megabytes).
- Most significantly, General MIDI is an established standard throughout the world.
Explained Michael G. D'Amore of the Yamaha Office of Strategic Business Development, "Entire musical compositions may be embedded and subsequently utilized in a home page without tediously long download times." The "Soft Synthesizer" built into MIDPlug features 360 voices (128 General MIDI voices), 8 drum kits, and clean- sounding reverb for extra warmth and sonic depth. And while MIDPlug offers stunning sound quality, even higher sound quality may be attained through the use of MIDI playback equipment such as Yamaha's XG sound cards. D'Amore concluded, "Through the years MIDI has evolved to become a powerful standard in professional music. With MIDPlug Yamaha has optimized this standard for the web." Updates to the beta version will be provided as they become available, and full commercial versions are planned for both Macintosh and Windows platforms.
Download MIDPlug for PowerMac.
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