Firefox and MIDI Music Files

Subscriber to my free email computer tips newsletter Sam Boggs wrote with a question:

Here’s a computer question:

Almost every time somebody sends me an e-mail which is
supposed to have music, I get the banner in Firefox
“Additional plugins are required to display all the media
on this page”, and there is a button “Install missing
plugins” It invariably brings up Apple QuickTime, which
I’ve installed many times. But it never seems to “catch”
even though QuickTime is successfully downloaded each time
I do this.

What do I need to do to make it work? Do I need to tweak
some settings?
As an example, I’ve pasted below a recent link which gave
me that Missing Plugin message:

Sam Boggs

First, let’s clarify the issue. The email did not contain the music. The email had a link to a web site which should play music.

In this case, the music file being loaded from the web site is formatted as a “.mid” MIDI file. The MIDI player that should work in Firefox is QuickTime, and QuickTime is being correctly identified. However, by default, QuickTime is not configured to play MIDI files.

So, we have to configure QuickTime to play MIDI (.mid) music files.

Before we start configuring QuickTime, you need to make sure you have QuickTime installed. If you do not have QuickTime installed, you need to install it (even if you already have it, you can download and install over the other version).

You can go directly to Apple’s site, where you will find the option to download the combination package of QuickTime and iTunes.

Alternatively, if you can find a link, you can download only the QuickTime program (here’s a link for only QuickTime ).

Let’s start the QuickTime Player

And we see the Untitled (no music or video file loaded) player appear

From the menu, pick Edit / Preferences / QuickTime Preferences…

Select the Browser tab and click on Mime Settings

Click on the “+” box to expand the “Audio – Audio only file formats” listing

Check the box beside MIDI and then click OK and close QuickTime.

Now, Firefox will play the file TwinkiesBless.mid automatically when you go to this web site.


  1. When I download a midi file for Notation Musician it opens automatically and I don’t need to save file if I so wish. With IE8 it appears I don’t have this choice, the file must be saved?

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