You might want to first download to, and then play any music (or audio) file from, your local computer.
Otherwise, your browser might try to "stream" it (start playing while it's still retrieving it). If the network connection doesn't keep up with the pace of the music, that might produce some "interesting" effects such as pauses or instruments seeming out of step with each other.
An advantage of streaming (audio or video or both) is that very large files don't need to be first completely transferred from a server (a computing system that serves up content like web pages) to a user's computer for that user to start hearing or seeing the content.
Another advantage is that the files don't have to be stored on the user's computer, saving disk space.
But streaming works well only when the network connection is consistently fast enough to transfer the data. So it has one disadvantage of requiring good network connections.
Further, the data itself must be stored in a format that is well-designed for streaming. That can be a disadvantage when the size of a file ends up being larger than it could be if the format wasn't required to be suitable for streaming.
I don't know how well MIDI files are designed for streaming, or how well MIDI players (in web browsers, for example) handle streaming problems such as a too-slow network connection. My wife (Barbara) reported hearing some "timing problems" in my MIDI file for Pachelbel's "Jauchzet dem Herrn" the first time she tried it. The second time, she said it sounded fine. My theory is that her browser "cached" it (kind of like a behind-the-scenes download while streaming) so when she played it the second time, it wasn't streaming from the server, but using the local file (the one cached on her own computer by her browser) instead.
Copyright (C) 2000 James Craig Burley
Last modified on 2000-06-14.