Learn how to configure VLC media player on windows to play midi files easily and quickly.

How to play Midi files on the VLC  Media Player 3.0.8

On the recent days, i was experimenting with guitar tabs software, which lead me to work with Midi files, weird XML files and other stuff. For my surprise, my favorite open source media player VLC was unable to play Midi files by default, so i need to do some extra stuff to make it work.

In this article, we will explain you how to configure VideoLan VLC media player to play Midi files on your Windows system.

1. Download SoundFont file

In order to play Mid, Midi files in VLC player, you will need an extra file that is required for the synthesizer to work properly. This file is a SoundFont file. SoundFont is basically a file format for sample-based instrument sounds. This has a deeper background, however if you only need to play General Midi files, these SoundFonts are known to work quite well:

In this case, we will use the GeneralUser sound font which is very complete and lightweight. You can download it on the mentioned link, it will contain a zip with multiple files, of our interest is however the sound font file (GeneralUser GS v1.471.sf2), which is necessary to play midi files. We will place the file in the same VideoLAN\VLC directory as we don't need it in other places:

SoundFont VLC Player

2. Configuring VLC Player

Now, you will need the following steps to configure properly VLC to play Midi files. Open VLC Player and go to Tools > Preferences:

VLC Open Preferences

On the emergent dialog, go to the left bottom area and check the Show All radio button, this will allow you to see the preferences window with all the available settings of the program:

VLC Show All Settings

Then, on the Advanced Preferences dialog, go to Input/Codecs > Audio codecs > FluidSynth. On this tab, you will be able to select the SoundFont file downloaded on the first step, just click on Browse, select the path to the file and save:

Load SoundFont VLC

This should be enough to let you play that Midi file that you want to listen on your computer with VLC.

Senior Software Engineer at Software Medico. Interested in programming since he was 14 years old, Carlos is a self-taught programmer and founder and author of most of the articles at Our Code World.