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Symmetries by Syrynx

Browsers and Music Players

This site is designed to let you listen to the music while you browse through the graphics. I've tested it on Windows 95 (the only platform available to me), using Netscape Navigator 2.0, 3.01, and 4.05; Internet Explorer 3.02; Opera 2.12 through 3.21; and NCSA Mosaic 3.0, with several different music players. Here are some problems I've found, along with solutions I have implemented or ways I have worked around them. Even if you have a different platform, or a browser I haven't tried, this page may still suggest ways you might deal with any problems you encounter at this site.

You may want to glance at the Display Note, but it really isn't necessary.

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Netscape & Internet Explorer:
You should have no difficulty with the 3.0 or 4.0 versions of these browsers if you use the default MIDI player. (Netscape 2.0 is a different story.)

If you have chosen a different player, you may have to do a little extra work to hear the music while you browse the graphics. Two such players are Apple QuickTime 3.0 and the Beatnik Plug-in Player. When you click a link to a MIDI file, both of these devices force the browser to open a new page, blank except for the player's control panel. When you click the Back control, the music stops. Work around this by right-clicking the link to open the MIDI file in a new window; return to the first window to continue browsing the site.

Note: Both Apple QuickTime 3.0 and the Beatnik Plug-in Player include software synthesizers, which use your computer's CPU rather than your sound card's processor to play MIDI music. Depending on your CPU speed and available RAM, you may experience momentary interruptions in the music when you change pages. Also, these players may slow down the animations; they do on my 133MHZ Pentium. These phenomena may occur with other softsynths such as the Yamaha MidPlug, though I haven't tried any others.

Netscape 2 has no default MIDI player; I use the Windows 95 Media Player (not the more recent Microsoft Media Player). To do this yourself:

  • Click Options | General Preferences | Helpers
  • Look for the file type "audio/midi". If it is there, select it.
    If it is not,follow these steps:
    • Click "Create New Type..."
    • In the "Configure New Mime Type" dialog box, after "Mime Type:", type (or copy and paste)
      audio
    • After "Mime SubType:" type (or copy and paste)
      midi
    • Click OK
  • After "File Extensions:", if it isn't already there, type (or copy and paste)
    mid
  • Under "Action:", click the radio button next to "Launch the Application:", and type (or copy and paste)
    c:\windows\mplayer.exe /play /close
  • Click OK
Opera:
Opera's built-in MIDI player stops playing when you click a link to another page. Work around this by shift-clicking the MIDI link to open it in a new window; return to the first window to continue browsing the site.

I avoid the problem by using the Windows 95 Media Player (not the more recent Microsoft Media Player). To do this yourself:

  • Click Preferences | Associate...
  • Click the dropdown Type menu
  • Select "audio/midi" on the menu
  • Click the "Show with Application:" radio button
  • Type (or copy and paste)
    c:\windows\mplayer.exe /play /close
  • Click OK

One of Opera's little idiosyncracies is that, if you click on a link to a graphic page that you've already seen, it will display a blank screen. If you're using the frames-free version of the site, clicking Reload will instantly restore the image; in the framed version, click Previous, then Next.

NCSA Mosaic 3.0:
This browser doesn't have a default MIDI player. I use the Windows 95 Media Player (not the more recent Microsoft Media Player). To do this yourself:

  • Click View | Options | Preferences | Viewers | Add
  • Under "Associate MIME Type of:", type (or copy and paste)
    audio/midi
  • Under "With this/these extensions:", type (or copy and paste)
    .mid
  • Under "To This Application:", type (or copy and paste)
    c:\windows\mplayer.exe /play /close
  • Click Apply; click OK

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Display Note:
I have checked the appearance of this site at 24-bit (16.7 million colors), 16-bit (65,536 colors), and 8-bit (256 colors), and with display sizes of 640x480, 800x600, and 1024x768. Happily, the patterns show nicely at all combinations.

If the option is available to you, consider setting your display to 800x600. I created most of the graphics to fit this display size, so the result is a bit neater than with other sizes.

~ Tile Territory ~ Canon Corner ~
~ Animation Alley ~ Mixed Media ~

Copyright by Syrynx