"Christians And The Internet" newsletter CATI, Vol. 3, No. 4: January 25, 2002. _______________________________________________________________ TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. NEW: DOWNLOAD, UNZIP, & INSTALL FILES FROM THE WEB (#2) 2. UPDATED: MIDI MUSIC FILES: AN INTRODUCTION 3. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: INFORMATION ON CATI NEWSLETTER _______________________________________________________________ The latest revision of this issue of "CATI" can be accessed online at http://traver.org/cati/archives/cati67.htm. The Web page edition makes it especially easy to visit the links. Unless otherwise indicated, all material in this newsletter is Copyright (C) 2002 by Barry Traver, All Rights Reserved. See the end of this issue for more information on "CATI." _______________________________________________________________ 1. NEW: DOWNLOAD, UNZIP, & INSTALL FILES FROM THE WEB (#2) Before you read this part in the series on the subject, you should read this article: Updated: Download, Unzip, & Install Files from the Web (#1) http://traver.org/cati/archives/cati66.htm#3 In fact, some of what is said here is dependent upon your having done so. In that article, instructions were given on how to download and install a program called Freezip, a free and easy-to-use program for unpacking files that have been packed in a "zip" archive. By the way, what we are talking about here has nothing to do with Omega's Zip disks. We are using "zip" in an entirely different way, i.e., a file format that allows several or many files to be packed (or "zipped") into a single file, a file that takes up less space than the separate files that make it up. (Here's a situation where the whole is less than the sum of its parts!) A "zip" file can usually be recognized by the file extension ".zip" which appears at the end of the filename. Windows, unfortunately, may hide that information from you, unless you tell it not to do so. Here's one way to do that for some versions of Windows: (1) Double-click on "My Computer" on the Windows desktop. (2) Click on "Tools" and then on "Folder Options." (Another way to get to "Folder Options" is to click on "Start," go to "Settings," click on "Control Panel," and double-click on "Folder Options.") (3) Click on the "View" tab, and make sure that the box next to "Hide file extensions for known file types" is NOT checked. I strongly recommend that you do this, for many reasons. One is that the file extension often indicates the type of file (.gif and .jpg are graphics files, .mid and .mp3 are sound files, .doc is usually a Word document, and so on). Another is that such information helps you not only know what kind of file you have before you, but also helps protect you against computer viruses (e.g., unless you're sure that it's safe, do not click on files ending in .exe, .com, .bat, .pif, or .scr). Here's where you'll find more information on file extensions and how such information can be helpful to you: The (Un)Hidden Secrets of (Un)Hidden File Extensions http://traver.org/cati/archives/cati54.htm#2 Again, if you see .zip at the end of a filename, you know that it's a "zip" file. If you have Windows set to "Hide file extensions for known file types," it is likely that you will NOT see the .zip extension. For example, both Jigsaw.exe (a program file) and Jigsaw.zip would show up simply as Jigsaw (with no extension), as would Jigsaw.txt (a text file). In my opinion, it is important NOT to hide such information from yourself. The instructions in this article are oriented toward those who consider themselves to be somewhat novices. If you would like to do things differently and know how to do so, by all means feel free! The steps I provide are not the only way to do these things: they do, however, provide one safe way such things can be done, and you can't harm your computer if you do it exactly as described here. So what are we going to do? Assuming that you have completed last week's assignment (which needs to be done first), this week we are going to download and unzip (unpack) some MIDI files of tunes used for various Psalms and hymns. Next week the plans are to download and install Traver Mini MIDI Player, a simple player for MIDI (and MP3) files which takes up much less screen space and is easier to use than Windows Media Player, Winamp, MusicMatch Jukebox, or other such programs. That installment will complete this series on downloading, unzipping, and installing files from the Internet. The first thing we are going to do is download _all_ of the tunes for the 730 hymns in the Trinity hymnal! It's a lot easier than it sounds, since the files are packaged together in one file (and it's not difficult to download one file). The MIDI files are found on the Orthodox Presbyterian Church Web site at the following address: OPC: Trinity Hymnal http://opc.org/books/TH/ Look for the phrase "Download all the MIDI files at once in .exe (2,795 K) or .sit (2,398 K) format" (with ".exe" and ".sit" underlined). You will be clicking on ".exe" (unless you have a Mac and then you'll want the ".sit" version). Then you will be following steps similar to those presented in the last issue, except that designating the destination for the download will be a bit different. But there are two matters to mention before you download the file. First is a warning: Caution: This is a fairly large download, so if you have a slow connection to the Internet (e.g., 26,400 bps), the file may take as much as twenty minutes to download, so you should keep that in mind when you're deciding on the best time to download the file. Second is an explanation: Did you happen to notice that the file extension for the file is ".exe" rather than ".zip"? How then can it be a "zip" file? The answer to that legitimate question is that it is a special kind of zip file, known as a "self- extracting zip archive." What this means is that it's a special format where, in essence, you have the zipped file combined with an unzipper, so that you do not need a program like Winzip or Freezip to unzip this particular file. Most people do not bother to create a "self-extracting zip file" for your convenience. W.H. Bacon (to whom we are indebted for the MIDI files) was being kind in providing the material to you in this format. To unzip the files contained in his archive, all you have to do is run the .exe program. No separate program is needed. (Again, this is not the usual situation with zip files. Shortly we will be downloading and unpacking a normal zip file, after we finish with the Trinity Hymnal MIDI files.) All right. Here are the steps to follow after clicking on ".exe" on the OPC Web page when you're ready to download: (1) Choose "Save this program to disk." (2) Click on "OK." (3) At the next display, keep clicking on the icon at the top right with the arrow in the yellow box until it says "Desktop" to the left. (The yellow box at this point probably turned gray.) (4) Double-click on "My Downloads." (If you deleted or never created such a folder, you can create one at this time or cancel the download to do it at a later time.) (5) Click on "Save." When the download is finished, you may or may not be expected to click on "Close" to close that box or window. For most people, the download will take perhaps ten to fifteen minutes, which isn't that long when you consider that you're downloading a zipped file that contains more than seven hundred files, including music in MIDI format for all of the music in the Trinity Hymnal! Now let's unpack the package. To do that, double-click on the "My Downloads" folder, and once inside double-click on the file Th1.exe. ("Th" stands for "Trinity hymnal," and the "1" stands, I think, for the fact that it's the first rather than the second edition that is in mind.) My recommendation is that you stick with the default here ("C:\music\hymns\Th1") as you unpack (or unzip) the archived file that you downloaded. That will make my comments later on easier to follow. Click on "unzip," and before you know it, you'll be told that no fewer than 783 files have been unzipped successfully! At that point, click on "Close." Next week we hope to provide you with an easy-to-use player for MIDI files, but you don't have to wait until them to listen to what you downloaded. You can use the default MIDI player on your computer (and if you're running Windows, it is almost certain that you have one). Try the following to play the music through your sound card. On your Windows desktop, double-click on "My Computer", double-click on "C:", double-click on "Music", double-click on "hymns", double-click on "Th1", and double-click on the file Th1_402.mid. You should hear a piano playing "Amazing Grace." (That's because "Amazing Grace" is hymn #402 in the first edition of the Trinity Hymnal.) Likewise, you can listen to any of the over seven hundred other tunes for hymns or Psalms in the Trinity Hymnal by double-clicking on the appropriate filename. You'll find some comments on the MIDI files by their author, W.H. Bacon, on this page on the OPC Web site: Trinity Hymnal Music Collection http://opc.org/books/TH/Readme.html Unless you have specialized music software, however, you can probably disregard his comments about using "inst" files to change the musical instrument. Without such special software, I think you will find that these MIDI files will only emulate the sound of a piano. (The Cyber Hymnal site has some MIDI files that emulate other instruments, such as organ.) That was our first project for this week. Our second project will be to download and unzip MIDI files from the Cyber Hymnal Web site. (This download, however, should take less than one minute!) Before we do that, let's first prepare a place to put them. On your Windows desktop, double-click on "My Computer", double-click on "C:", double-click on "Music", double-click on "hymns", and at this point you'll see the "Th1" folder where the Trinity Hymnal MIDI files were put. At this point, do NOT double-click on the "Th1" folder, but instead on the top menu bar click on "File," click on "New," click on "Folder," and name the new folder "Cyber Hymnal." You now have a place to put the new MIDI files you will be downloading. Now let's go get the files! We start again at the OPC Web site: OPC: Trinity Hymnal http://opc.org/books/TH/ On that page, click on the link that says "Cyber Hymnal." On the next page, click on "Downloads." On the next page, click on "MIDI Files" to get to their compressed zip archives which contain their public domain MIDI files. Click on TCH-MIDA.ZIP and then follow these steps: (1) Choose "Save this program to disk." (2) Click on "OK." (3) At the next display, keep clicking on the icon at the top right with the arrow in the yellow box until it says "Desktop" to the left. (The yellow box at this point probably turned gray.) (4) Now double-click on "My Computer", double-click on "C:", double-click on "Music", double-click on "hymns", and then double-click on "Cyber Hymnal." The purpose of all this is to put the file in the directory where we want the unpacked files to be. There are other ways to accomplish this, but this is probably the easiest. (5) Click on "Save." When the download is finished, you may or may not be expected to click on "Close" to close that box or window. The last thing we will be doing (and you may have wondered if we were ever going to get to it) is to unzip a normal zip file. In case you're not there, here again is how to get to the appropriate folder: Double-click on "My Computer", double-click on "C:", double-click on "Music", double-click on "hymns", and double-click on "Cyber Hymnal." Now to unzip the TCH-MIDA.ZIP file.... Double-click on the file. That's it! It's as simple as that! Unless you have told it to do otherwise, Freezip unzips the files to the current folder. (And note that you didn't even have to do anything to get Freezip to unzip the archive other than to double-click the file you wanted to unzip. Again, it's as simple as that!) If you right-click on TCH-MIDA.ZIP, you can choose "FreeZip Help" to learn more about the program, but usually you will just be using the program as an easy way to unzip files to the current directory, and that, as you have seen, is very simple to do. (Can you see why I like Freezip so much?) Cyber Hymnal creates a lot of subfolders for you, and I'm afraid I don't see much sense to them. In the alphabetical folders are put tunes according the second(!) letter of the filename. (At least that's the only pattern I can find.) Rearrange the files and directories to your own liking. The important thing is that you now have lots of new MIDI files downloaded to your hard drive, and you can decide what to do with them (including deciding which ones to keep and which ones to delete). Speaking of deleting, that's one thing that you can now do with the zip file you downloaded (unless you want to keep a copy as backup). To delete TCH-MIDA.ZIP, simply click once on it to highlight it and then press the delete key. (You can do the same for Th1.exe in the "My Downloads" folder on the Windows desktop). Two points before we stop.... (1) The reason I went so much into creating new folders for specific purposes is that when you start to do downloading (and ever after), it is very important that you learn to be organized (with a place for everything, and everything in its place). Otherwise your hard drive will soon become chaos out of which it may be impossible later to bring forth order. (2) I would also like to emphasize the importance of getting rid of "clutter." If you don't want to keep anything that you may have downloaded in trying out the specific examples in this article, feel free to delete everything that you downloaded (by removing entire folders, if you like). I do think the Trinity Hymnal files are worth keeping (even if you happen not to believe in the use of musical instruments in public worship itself, it may be helpful to listen to the tunes), but that's your decision. Next week we hope to go over downloading, unzipping, and installing a program from the Internet (and this time it will not be as easy to install as Freezip was). Hang in there! _______________________________________________________________ 2. UPDATED: MIDI MUSIC FILES: AN INTRODUCTION [This article is being reprinted with some updating from CATI, 1/9. One reason I'm reprinting it is that many of the links in the earlier article - although working at the time - no longer are accurate. The Web addresses (URLs) in this updated version are all working. In addition, another article in this issue (i.e., 3/4, not 1/9) shows how to download and unpack MIDI files, and not all present CATI readers may be familiar with what MIDI files are. This article provides some helpful background. Finally, this updated article does contain some new information, including changes at the Classical Music Archives site plus a URL for a site where you can download MIDI files of tunes on Scottish bagpipes (just what you always wanted to know! <grin>.] MIDI files are great for everyone. If your computer can play music, it can play MIDI music files. It doesn't matter how old or new your computer system is. And you can download MIDI music files from the Internet. It doesn't matter how fast or slow your modem is. One of the nicest things about MIDI files is that they are "mini" in size. If a nice thing about MP3 music files is that they are one-tenth the size of corresponding WAV music files, a nice thing about MIDI music files is that they are one-tenth the size (or even one-hundredth the size) of MP3 music files! (This means, for example, that if it takes minutes to download a MP3 file, a corresponding MIDI file can be downloaded in seconds.) What is "MIDI"? "MIDI" stands for "Musical Instrument Digital Interface." Essentially, it's a standard format by which a computer may talk with an electronic musical instrument. That musical instrument may be an electronic keyboard, a digital piano, a music synthesizer, or -- surprise! -- the sound card (and speakers) in your computer. In one sense, MIDI music files are different in an important respect from the other music files you'll find around for computers, such as MP3 files, WAV files, and so on. All of these are generally what I call "microphone-music files." To create them, somebody played music, a microphone recorded it, and the result was placed in a computer file. When you play the file, your computer does its best to reproduce the actual sound that was recorded. MIDI files are different. They are what I call "player-piano- music files." No microphone was used to record them. Rather, the file is like a player piano roll. It can be played back on an electronic musical instrument that can act like a player piano. Remember: your sound card (helped by the appropriate software) can be that kind of musical instrument! MIDI files thus cannot attempt to reproduce the sound as it was originally recorded by a microphone, because there never was sound recorded by a microphone. Instead, essentially the MIDI file is a set of directions (or, to change the analogy, some sheet music) to be used to create the music. And since MIDI is a "musical instrument digital interface," forget about voice. (Yes, some computers can be taught how to speak, but we don't have any electronic music instruments yet that can sing words, as far as I know.) To sum up, MIDI files make no attempt to supply detailed and precise information to allow exact reproduction of music originally recorded with a microphone. Instead, MIDI files simply provide sort of a player piano roll (or sheet music) to your computer, and then your computer has to try to play the music on its own as best it can. With the right software, almost any computer with a sound card can do this. The resulting music may vary considerably (just as a player piano roll played on different player pianos will vary more than, say, an audio CD played on different stereo systems), but the approach means that file sizes can be very small ("mini" in size) and thus the files are fast to download and do not take up much space to store. And many people (I am one of them) find the music entirely adequate (but then again I always loved player piano music, and we even at one time owned a player piano). By the way, don't let the player piano analogy fool you into thinking that we're simply talking piano music here. It's more like a roll for a nickelodeon, because other instruments (such as violins or guitars or drums) can also be involved. MIDI files of Christian hymns, for example, will most often sound like music played on an organ. If you visit a Web page containing a MIDI file, you can often play the file immediately using your Web browser (both Internet Explorer and Netscape have this capability built in, I believe). To play the MIDI files off-line (that is, when you are not connected to the Internet), you will need special software to do that. For those running Windows, the Windows Media Player will do that just fine. (A bit later I will explain how to download MIDI files from the Web.) The same warning I gave concerning MP3 files apply here as well: in obedience to the commandment "you shall not steal," you will want to avoid downloading any MIDI files that are copyrighted unless appropriate permission has been granted for you to do so. Fortunately, most church music, classical music, and ragtime music do not present a problem in that regard, and the sample sites I'm suggesting in this article fall into those three categories. First, church music. One of the best sites here is The Cyber Hymnal (also discussed in another article in this issue): Cyber Hymnal http://www.cyberhymnal.org/ As their home page says, "This site has over 3,300 Christian hymns and Gospel songs from many denominations. You'll find lyrics, scores, MIDI files, pictures, history, and more." (When I wrote the earlier version of this article, they only claimed 2,100 files, so their collection has increased by 50% since that time!) And they describe their copyright policy here: http://www.cyberhymnal.org/misc/copyrite.htm Regarding their MIDI files, they say this: "Material on our site which does not have a copyright notice may be considered in the public domain." They do ask, however, that you do observe copyright restrictions: "Please do not download or reproduce any material with a copyright notice, unless the notice grants permission to do so. However, the vast majority of the material in the Cyber Hymnal is in the public domain, so enjoy!" http://www.cyberhymnal.org/misc/copyrite.htm Let's download a sample file. Go to the Cyber Hymnal home page: http://www.cyberhymnal.org/ Click on "Titles." On the next page click on "A" at the left. After the page reloads, click on "AMAZING GRACE" in the list of titles at the right. (You will probably have to scroll down to get to it.) At this point, you should be hearing the music for AMAZING GRACE (and it should sound as if it's being played on an organ). But we are not finished yet. Click on the words "John Newton" to the right of the picture. A window should load which includes interesting biographical information about John Newton as well as links to thirty or more other hymns for which he wrote the words. Close that window and go back to the "AMAZING GRACE" window. A moment ago, you (left-)clicked on the phrase "John Newton." Looking this time at "Music" rather than "Words," right-click on "MIDI" (not left-click as you did before). You should see a "pop-up" menu. If you're using Internet Explorer, click (that is, left-click) on "Save Target As." If you're using Netscape Communicator, click on "Save Link As." (If you're using another Web browser, you may see something different.) At this point you'll have an opportunity to save the MIDI file for "Amazing Grace" to disk (or simply click on "Cancel" if you choose not to do so at this time). The name of the MIDI file is newbrita.mid. The "newbrita" part of the filename refers to the fact that the tune for "Amazing Grace" is sometimes known as "New Britain," but the part I want to say something about is the "mid" part. As you probably know, "mid" is short for "MIDI" (short, because DOS and Windows before Windows 95 could only handle three letters maximum after the period as well as, for that matter, eight letters maximum before the period, which is the explanation for "newbrita" rather than "newbritain" in the filename). Anyway, MIDI files can ordinarily be recognized by their file extension (that is, the letters after the period). Just as MP3 filenames ordinarily end in .mp3, so MIDI files ordinarily end in .mid (which you may or may not see if you are using Windows 95 or later - it depends on whether you have your computer set to show or not show file extensions). Here's another site where you'll find MIDI church music: Favorite Hymns http://www.planetkc.com/puritan/hymns.htm The advantage (for some) of this site is that the hymns are all keyed to the 1990 edition of the Trinity Hymnal, which is a hymnbook used by many Presbyterian and Reformed churches (as well as by some Baptists and others). If you choose "Amazing Grace," you can download to your computer the MIDI music file by right-clicking on the words "AMAZING GRACE" in the top right corner and proceeding accordingly as before (although you'll see a different filename this time). Let's move on to classical music. In my opinion, if you like classical music the best place on the Web to find good MIDI files is the Classical Music Archives site: http://www.classicalarchives.com/ At that site you will find a really outstanding collection of classical music in MIDI format. Although the site is more complicated to use than earlier had been the case, if you like classical music you will find it worthwhile to take the time to learn how to use the site (as well as to become familiar with its various rules and regulations). In particular, I recommend that you read through the "Terms and Conditions" (some of the musical compositions and/or the MIDI arrangements are copyrighted, so you need to know what you do and do not have permission to do with them), as well as whatever is relevant to you in the "Help and FAQs" ("FAQs" are "Frequently Asked Questions") area. In general, the files may be used freely for your enjoyment, but there are a number of restrictions (in addition to how many files can be downloaded per day): "YOU CANNOT USE OUR FILES IN ANY WEB PAGE, EMAIL, OR OTHER ARCHIVES.... These files are licensed for your own non-commercial and personal use only.... [A]ll users are limited by their respective daily limits of downloads. Media files that are STREAMED ARE NOT MEANT TO, AND SHOULD NOT, BE DOWNLOADED (COPIED) TO YOUR PC, only listened to at the time of the visit. TO ATTEMPT TO SAVE OR COPY A STREAMED MEDIA FILE FROM THE CMA [Classical Music Archives] IS AN INFRINGEMENT OF...COPYRIGHT." http://www.classicalarchives.com/copy.html#s The site has some particular amenities it offers to paying subscribers ("Friends" who pay $25 a year), but it welcomes "Free Users" as well. Here are the differences between the two: "Free Users: ...Listen up to 25 files/day. No HiFi MP3 files can be downloaded. Other material may also be restricted to paying subscribers only. Free users can store a total of 100 files from the CMA on their PC. Subscribers have no such limitations. Friends: ...Listen to up to 100 files/day. Download up to 25 Zip Collections or HiFi MP3 files/day." http://www.classicalarchives.com/terms.html By the way, to listen to a MIDI file while on-line, click on the link (the title of the composition). To download a file to disk, click on the disk-shaped icon in front of the title. Do you like Debussy's "Clair de Lune"? Do you like "Jesus Loves Me"? If you answered "yes" to both questions, then I have a real treat for you! Go to the following page: http://www.classicalarchives.com/encores.html Then try out "Bradbury/Debussy 'Jesus Loves Me'" (arranged by Fred Boch). You'll hear the children's "Jesus Loves Me" in the style of Debussy's "Clair de Lune." (I know, it boggles the mind: you have to hear it to believe it!) Also on that page be sure to try out "Happy Birthday!" (near the bottom of the page). You'll also find lots of "normal" classical music on the site as well, of course. In addition to general alphabetical listings, there are special sections devoted specifically to J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Debussy, Handel, Haydn, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Scarlatti, Schubert, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, and Vivaldi. Consider, for example, the music of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). Take your choice of over a thousand musical compositions, including Sonatas and Suites, Preludes and Fugues, Concertos, Cantatas, Motets, Passions, Oratorios, Complete Chorales, and more! Johann Sebastian Bach: Main Page http://www.classicalarchives.com/bach.html Johann Sebastian Bach: Sacred Music http://www.classicalarchives.com/bachsacr.html Johann Sebastian Bach: Cantatas, Motets, Passions, Oratorios, and Complete Chorales http://www.classicalarchives.com/bachchor.html (Remember, however, that these are all instrumental versions, since MIDI files cannot include voice.) Incidentally, J.S. Bach was a great Christian composer (some regard him as the greatest composer ever!) who wrote music to the glory of God. If you're interested in exploring Bach further, check out the J.S. Bach Home Page at this address: http://www.jsbach.org/ And you can also find some good classical MIDI files at the Classical MIDI Connection: http://midiworld.com/cmc/index.htm Here are some of the kinds of music you'll find there: Renaissance http://midiworld.com/cmc/renaissa.html Baroque http://midiworld.com/cmc/baroque.html Classical http://midiworld.com/cmc/classica.html Romantic http://midiworld.com/cmc/romantic.html Impressionistic http://midiworld.com/cmc/impress.html Twentieth Century http://midiworld.com/cmc/twenty.html You can find classical music and ragtime music (how's that for an interesting combination of interests? - it's one that I happen to share) in MIDI format at the Primetime MIDI Library: http://primeshop.com/midilist.htm Here's where you'll find their main ragtime page: http://primeshop.com/midlist2.htm You'll find lots of music there by many ragtime greats: Scott Joplin http://primeshop.com/midlist2.htm#joplin James Scott http://primeshop.com/midlist2.htm#scott Joseph Lamb http://primeshop.com/midlist2.htm#lamb Charles L. Johnson http://primeshop.com/midlist2.htm#johnson Eubie Blake http://primeshop.com/midlist2.htm#blake Jelly Roll Morton http://primeshop.com/midlist2.htm#morton Here's where you'll find some interesting Swedish ragtime: http://primeshop.com/midlist2.htm#swedish And here's where you'll find another page on their site, this one with nearly 300 additional rags: http://primeshop.com/midlist3.htm Another good site for ragtime music is Warren Trachtman's Ragtime Piano MIDI Files: http://www.trachtman.org/ragtime/ And on that site you'll find many of the same ragtime greats: Scott Joplin http://www.trachtman.org/ragtime/ragpage.htm#joplin James Scott http://www.trachtman.org/ragtime/ragpage.htm#scott Joseph Lamb http://www.trachtman.org/ragtime/ragpage.htm#lamb Ferdinand ("Jelly-Roll") Morton http://www.trachtman.org/ragtime/ragpage.htm#morton James Hubert ("Eubie") Blake http://www.trachtman.org/ragtime/ragpage.htm#blake Charles L. Johnson http://www.trachtman.org/ragtime/ragpage.htm#johnson Tom Turpin http://www.trachtman.org/ragtime/ragpage.htm#turpin For various other ragtime composers on the same page, check out this link: http://www.trachtman.org/ragtime/ragpage.htm#various If you look around the site, you'll also find references to some contemporary syncopators. Not your type of music? You'll find lots of other kinds of MIDI files on the Internet. Before downloading files, you should check out the site's policy on copyrighted material, if you can. Reputable sites like Cyber Hymnal and Classic Music Archives will include no copyrighted material without the permission of the copyright holder. Other sites may not exercise as much care concerning copyrighted material, so it may be up to you to attempt to exercise such care. In particular, do not download files and pass them on to others unless you have good reason to believe that the music is not copyrighted or that you have the permission of the copyright holder to do so. Here's an example of a site where the status of some MIDI files is clearer than the status of others: Bagpipes at Best http://www.bagpipesatbest.com/index.html If you are a genuine Scottish Presbyterian, you may find such a site to be of significant interest. Not all of the files on the site, however, appear to be of equal status. You should feel free to download tunes designated as composed by J.P. Johnson or his father (since - if these files are copyrighted - you presumably have the permission of the copyright holder), and likewise there should be no problem concerning tunes that you may recognize as traditional (i.e., not copyrighted). But it would appear that not all of the MIDI files on that site may fall into those two categories. To be specific, note what the person who maintains the site has to say in the following Question and Answer: "Q: I've noticed you have a lot of tunes. Could you be so kind to post sheet music or send me a copy of my favorite tune? A: No. I'm sorry, but there are copyrights on many of the books I get the tunes from. This site is merely for entertainment, and I had to pay for the sheet music." http://www.bagpipesatbest.com/FAQ.htm The situation isn't clear. Are the tunes copyrighted? Or is it the books that are copyrighted, with the copyright covering the particular arrangement of the tune (something that J.P. Johnson may replace with his own arrangement of the tune)? In such a situation, you'll have to decide what to do on the basis of Christian discretion or "sanctified common sense." Copyright violation that is prosecuted in court generally involves evidence (1) that it was known that the material was copyrighted, (2) that the act produced economic benefit to the copyright violator, and (3) that the act produced economic harm to the copyright holder. Under these guidelines, for someone to use Napster or its equivalent to get, say, copies of MP3 files so that he doesn't have to spend money to buy the latest CD put out by his favorite pop/rock group, would clearly be wrong, since (1) he knows the material is copyrighted, (2) he has the economic benefit of saving money, and (3) the record company has the economic harm of losing a sale. In general, MIDI files are not likely to present the same moral dilemmas that MP3 files may present. My own "best guess" is that new arrangements of traditional tunes (even if found in copyrighted books) are unlikely to constitute copyright violation, particularly if the person downloading such files intends them for personal, private use with no financial benefit gained thereby. Since, however, I make no pretense of being a trained lawyer, I'm willing to be corrected if I'm wrong on that inference. What is clear is this: in many situations the material is obviously in the public domain or you have the permission of the copyright holder to download it for personal use. Now, there may be a scarcity of "Great Highland Bagpipes" on the Web, so there may not be alternatives to "Bagpipes at Best," but more often we can find sites with clear principles that do not create ethical dilemmas for us. For example, if you like marching band music by John Philip Sousa, you can find it (perhaps surprisingly?) at Classical Music Archives, a site that treats copyright matters with seriousness. Other sites may also offer Sousa MIDI files, but those sites may or may not be as clearly law-abiding as the Classical Music Archives site. Well, that's it on MIDI files this time around. Enjoy! _______________________________________________________________ 3. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: INFORMATION ON CATI NEWSLETTER Like to know what this is? This is the sixty-seventh issue of a free newsletter devoted to "Christians And The Internet" ("CATI," pronounced "Katy," but spelled with a "C" and an "I" for "Christians" and the "Internet"). Like to subscribe to this free email newsletter? Just send an email to email@example.com (but be sure to include your name in the note). Like to read past CATI issues and articles (or even search CATI for a particular subject)? Go to http://cati.org and you'll find an archive of past issues (arranged in reverse chronological order), a partial index of articles (arranged alphabetically by topic), and a search engine specifically for use with CATI. Like to pass along this issue to others? You may. Permission is hereby granted to pass along any issue of CATI to someone else, provided that it is passed along in its entirety with no changes made. (For now, I prefer that you send the complete issue, although I may in the near future provide guidelines for passing along individual articles.) Like to use material from this newsletter (say, on a Web page or in a publication)? For permission to do that, send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org (explaining what you'd like to use and for what purpose). Reasonable requests are usually granted. Like to unsubscribe? That's also easy. Just send an email to email@example.com (but if you decide to unsubscribe, you'll be missed, so any thoughts about the newsletter that you would be willing to share at that time would be much appreciated). Like to tell your friends about CATI? That is not only much encouraged, but also an encouragement to the editor! CATI is a lot of work (albeit a labor of love) and (since it is a free newsletter and I intend it to stay such) provides no financial income, so what keeps me going with this personal endeavor is knowing that people are finding it to be helpful, instructive, and enjoyable. (Comments from readers are always welcome, so let me hear from you!) Unless otherwise indicated, all material in this newsletter is Copyright (C) 2002 by Barry Traver, All Rights Reserved.