I want to read the MIDI messages inside one MIDI file. When I tried to open the file with notepad it looks like the following

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How to open this in notepad or any other text editor?

  • Your opening is right but take a look a midi file specifications this might help you ccarh.org/courses/253/handout/smf – JSmith Jul 29 '16 at 8:21
  • Your seeing the ANSI representation of the binary data when you open it in notepad. That's right, I'm multi-talented... ;) – Marc W Aug 5 '16 at 1:45

Standard MIDI files are in binary (see the specification), so you cannot open them directly in a text editor.

There are tools to convert between the .mid format and some text format (e.g., mid2asc, midicomp), but it might be a better idea to open the file in a MIDI sequencer.

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I know I'm a bit late to the game, but a text editor I regularly use is sublime text.

What's useful about sublime in this situation is that when it opens a midi file (.mid) it will automatically convert it to hex.

You can also use software like Sekaiju by the Open MIDI Project which views what the data actually means (View -> Show new Event list window). This software looks old, but they've been releasing new versions every year for nearly a decade now, and from my experience it is pretty straight forward.

There is of course other software out there, but I've found that these two have worked really well for me so far.

I know the original question was what text editor could be used, and my answer was sublime, but I find it's also convenient to have software like Sekaiju which decrypts all the information in as simple a way possible so you don't need to flip between raw midi and midi code sheets.

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Here's what you're looking for. Here are two good ways to do this. Even though these were written years ago, they're good & work well with all versions of Windows including 10. They convert both ways- from midi to txt and from txt to midi. So you can edit the txt as you wish, convert, & then play it. Actually, the one converts to/from a csv file that you can open and edit it in Excel. Cool. The downloads are compressed as tar and gz files so you'll need a program like 7-Zip. The source files are included, but all you need are the exe program files. These must be run from the command prompt, but the basic command is very easy. Example: "mf2t.exe -v midifilename.mid txtfilename.txt" converts the mid file to the txt file. The mf2t program and/or a slightly later version mf2tXP can be downloaded from www.midiox.com. The mf2csv can be downloaded from http://www.fourmilab.ch/webtools/midicsv/. Have fun.

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  • This describes how to open and edit them, but it doesn't answer the question. – Rory Alsop Dec 18 '17 at 8:26

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