MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface and is a sort of technical standard for musical instruments. It covers a really wide area in terms of usage (even older joysticks used these ports!) but with Colibri, we are only focusing on the file format.
What’s a MIDI file?
Usually an extremely small file that contains musical note information and playback instructions, such as volume, notation, velocity, pich, vibrato and panning. If you do not recall hearing such a file then try recalling the earlier days as most cellphones had their ringtones in this format. Think of MIDI files as a special kind of sheet music document, which itself does not contain audio data. It needs a proper player with a Sound Bank/SoundFont to do that!
What are SoundFonts and why are they necessary for MIDI files?
SoundFonts contain musical instrument samples, they are a library of sounds which a player uses to play back such files. There are a lot of different kinds of SoundFonts from free to commercial ones – Colibri uses a freely available font to render the audio output.
Is it popular?
Yes, very much! OSX (now macOS) does not offer a convenient built-in MIDI playback possibility – although there are some audio players to choose from. A fresh install of macOS does not have a convenient way of playing such files, which brings us to…
Colibri – Native Lossless Audio & Music for your Mac
Colibri represents a simple playback solution while hiding the required complex machinery under the hood. A Mac MIDI audio and music player with custom SoundFont (SF2) import capabilities and per song bank switching. Bit-perfect audio playback, accurate stereo-balance. You can assign different SoundFonts to different songs in the playlist, so it doubles as a SoundFont Player for Mac as well.
Visit the Gallery to see Colibri in action!. I’m trying my best to make Colibri come close to being the Best MIDI file / audio / media player for Mac, MacBook and iMac that is currently available, take it for a spin!