W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-svg@w3.org > August 2003

Re: MIDI

From: Simon St.Laurent <simonstl@simonstl.com>
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2003 10:26:18 -0400
To: www-svg@w3.org
Message-ID: <r02000000-1026-EFFB6E1DCCD011D791BB0003937A08C2@[192.168.124.11]>

dean@w3.org (Dean Jackson) writes:
>> May I also suggest MIDI files?  They're common, readily available,
>> widely supported and very very compact.  
>
>Interesting suggestion. You're the first to make it (unless I've
>forgotten). 

So far as I can tell, sound hasn't been a big priority for SVG, so I'm
not surprised.

>Any idea how much a MIDI implementation would be (ie. is it small
>enough for SVG Tiny)?

MIDI implementations vary tremendously.  RealPlayer downloaded a 587K
plug-in last night while I was experimenting, but the core of MIDI is a
lot simpler than that - at least it was back in 1986, the last time I
used MIDI in any great volume.

(Tiny SVG seems designed for devices which have more capabilities than,
say, J2ME MIDP 1.0.  I suspect those devices have enough capabilities to
deal with MIDI, but can't say for certain.)

>> I'm trying to figure out how best to distribute a presentation I
>> recently gave using SVG, minus the impediment of a 2MB MP3 file. The
>> corresponding MIDI file (not ideal sound, no, but it'll do) is 24K.
>> MIDI is also sort of the vector format of the music industry, so it
>> seems to me like a good fit for SVG. (Especially SVG for smaller
>> devices.)
>
>OK. Can someone tell me if there is a standard audio format for
>ringtones (or is it phone specific)? 

It seems to be by manufacturer, though there are converters:
http://www.codingworkshop.com/ringtones/about.html

Most of the MIDI->ring tone conversion seems to take place on the
computer as preprocessing, but Nokia does have a pretty interesting
document on how SP-MIDI makes this more plausible in cell phone
environments:

http://www.nokia.com/nokia/0,,5343,00.html

I also found mention of MIDI SMS, though it's not clear how that works.

>What audio does 3GPP mandate?

I hope someone else knows; searching through 3gpp.org is not
particularly profitable.

>> I'm aware that there are MIME type issues - audio/mime wasn't
>> registered, and audio/sp-mime seems to have disappeared from the I-D
>> archives.  I don't know if the W3C has any relation with the MIDI
>> Manufacturers Association (MMA - http://www.midi.org), or what their
>
>None that I know of.
>
>> licensing is, but it looks reasonably unencumbered, though
>> publications cost money.
>> 
>> Also, they're working on an XML format:
>> http://www.midi.org/dtds/midi_xml.shtml
>> 
>> Might be a nice audio complement to SVG.
>
>It's a valid suggestion.
>
>However, to be honest the feeling is that it will be really
>difficult to mandate any audio format for SVG. THe arguments
>are usually: too big or not common or requires a license.

I think MIDI may have advantages here, though I'd want more details
about their terms of use before reaching conclusions on the license
issue.

MIDI files are themselves very small relatively to digitized sound,
designed to be playable with a graceful (tinny?) degradation approach.
Because they use a command-based approach rather than a wave-based
approach, different devices can play them differently as appropriate to
their needs. 

Whether this makes it easy _enough_ to mandate is a good question.

>Multiply this by 10 for video.

If I encounter a command-based video format, I'll be sure to let you
know. :-)

>I'd still like it to happen though.

I would too.

-- 
Simon St.Laurent
Ring around the content, a pocket full of brackets
Errors, errors, all fall down!
http://simonstl.com -- http://monasticxml.org
Received on Tuesday, 12 August 2003 10:26:37 GMT

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