FretPet Crosses Over

FretPet uses an XML-based file format to store its compositions. This file format isn't yet supported by other applications, so when you want to use your music in multimedia projects or on other platforms you need to export them to a more popular standard format. FretPet provides export to QuickTime Movie and Standard MIDI Format.

QuickTime Movie Export

Use the File → Export Movie… command to export your sequence as a QuickTime Music Movie. You can use QuickTime Pro to convert Music Movie files directly to other formats including AIFF (Audio Interchange File Format) and MIDI.

Music Movie files can be extremely useful in multimedia projects. With QuickTime Pro you can copy and paste video, still images, music, sound, and MIDI all in the same simple interface. QuickTime Player is deceptively simple in appearance, but you can use it to build impressive movies complete with a soundtrack.

MIDI Export

FretPet can export directly to MIDI. These files can be read and played by any MIDI sequencer.

Use the File → Export MIDI… command to save your composition as a MIDI file. MIDI Export has two optional settings that appear at the bottom of the MIDI Export dialog.

Format 1
Standard MIDI Format specifies 3 different styles for storing multi-track compositions. Format 0 places all note events into a single track. Format 1 places all the note events for a given MIDI Channel into its own track. (Format 2 isn't useful for FretPet.) So check this box if you need or prefer to split channels into separate tracks according to Format 1.
Running Mode
Standard MIDI Format supports two different styles for storing note events. The Verbose style stores a separate command for every event. A tighter format called Running Mode only stores a single command that applies to a run of similar events. To create shorter MIDI files enable Running Mode.

Here's an example where using Running Mode saves two bytes of storage:

  • Verbose Mode: 91 20 40 | 91 22 3A | 91 3C 29 | 92 55 23 ...
  • Running Mode: 91 20 40 | 22 3A | 3C 29 | 92 55 23 ...

SunVox Export

Use the File → Export SunVox… command to export your sequence as a SunVox file. After you open it in SunVox you can edit the modules or create new ones and remap your tracks using the Edit > Remap option. The current export produces basic Generator (sine wave) modules for instrument tracks, and DrumSynth modules for any drum tracks.

If you haven't tried SunVox I encourage you to run out and get it now! It's entirely FREE for desktop platforms, including Linux, and very inexpensive for iPad and Android devices. It's an old-school tracker with a built-in synthesizer, filters, and samplers. Starting out with a simple FretPet composition you can very quickly end up with something that sounds out of this world.

Your Music on the Web

MIDI can be placed directly into a web page using the <embed> tag. Visitors will hear your music if their browser has a MIDI-capable plugin such as QuickTime. The code below demonstrates one popular way to embed MIDI in an XHTML web page. This example is non-standard in that it doesn't specify any MIME type or object class, but most current browsers know what to do with it.

  <embed src="MyMidiFile.mid" autostart="false" height="45" width="200" />

Music Movies should be placed into a web page using the correct <object> and <embed> tags to explicitly specify the QuickTime Plugin as the handler. Anyone visiting your page will see a controller for playing the music if have the QuickTime Plugin installed in their browser, or they will be directed to the Apple website to download the plugin.

  <object CLASSID="clsid:02BF25D5-8C17-4B23-BC80-D3488ABDDC6B"
    width="200" height="16"
  <param name="src" value="MyMusicMovie.mov" />
  <param name="qtsrc" value="MyMusicMovie.mov" />
  <param name="autoplay" value="false" />
  <param name="loop" value="true" />
  <param name="cache" value="true" />
  <param name="controller" value="true" />
  <embed src="MyMusicMovie.mov" width="200"
    height="16" autoplay="false" controller="true" cache="true"
    loop="true" type="video/quicktime"
    pluginspage="http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/" />