Tips and Tools

If the page is working fine on your computer and you'd like to know more about how I put it all together, skip to the end.

If the MIDIs don't play, check this list:

First of all, you need a soundcard in your computer and speakers or headphones attached. If there is nowhere to plug in speakers at the back of your computer (on your CD drive doesn't count) you're out of luck. Make sure the speakers are turned up enough.

  1. Nothing happens when I click; or I get a 'File not found' error.
    I may not have the file done yet - I'll put up the hymn numbers and piece titles in advance and add the music as I get it ready. Try another piece. I intend to omit the icon for missing files, but may mistakenly include one.
  2. I get an error such as 'Unable to start playing MIDI'
    Your browser may not know what to do with a MIDI file. Try these: WAV file, MP3 file. If they don't work either, your sound card may not be set up properly - check the settings.
  3. Confused? That's allowed. The vast variety of computers, browsers, sound setups, and programs makes it impossible for me to tell you exactly why it won't work. I'm willing to help, though, so drop me a line - the site's for you.

Technical details:

I'm using a Pentium II 350 PC running Windows 2000, with Yamaha soundcard and Acer flatbed scanner (plus a whole lot of other toys). I scan the printed music at 300 dpi using Irfanview, a multimedia viewer and editor; save the image as a TIF, and feed it into SharpEye, a sheet-music OCR program. This produces a pretty good digital version, but not perfect, so I can use SharpEye to edit the file and fix any obvious problems or missed notes. When it's tidied up, I output it as a MIDI file and bring that into Noteworthy Composer. I then type in the lyrics and check the piece again against the printed copy, listening to each staff and fixing any pitch, accidental, or timing problems, and decide on a tempo. (Rather, applying the director's tempo decision as best I can.) At last, I re-output the MIDI file for the whole piece, and each staff (for anthems) or just the melody (for hymns). I used Microsoft Frontpage 2000 to create the framework for the site, and HTML-KIT, an HTML editor, for updates. I send the files up to the server via FTP (and do all of my other file management) with Windows Commander.