Category Archives: Firefox

Improving MIDI Playback in Windows 10 and Firefox

Well, I finally got Firefox to play MIDI files using a Soundfont of my choice. Previously, I showed How to Make MIDI Files Sound Better in Windows 7. Well, this doesn’t work in Windows 10 mainly because Microsoft removed the MIDI Mapper functionality and the MIDI playing plugins that used to work in Firefox no longer do. Anyway, here’s what I did for Windows 10.

First thing in Firefox is to install the MIDI Player extension by Jazz-Soft. Then, install the Jazz-MIDI extension in Firefox. This is all you do with Firefox itself. The next two items are separate programs that run in Windows. You’ll need to restart Firefox after installing the other programs.

The two items are from CoolSoft. The first in their VirtualMIDISynth program which allows you to choose which Soundfont(s) to use and which MIDI device to play through (more on this later). For now, go ahead and install their MIDIMapper plugin. This is the replacement for the removed Windows MIDI Mapper.

Continue reading

How to Get RSS Working in Firefox 64

As of Firefox 64, the ability to preview RSS feeds natively has been removed, which kind of sucks. I get why they did it though (or do I? Hmmm…).  Anyway, to get the functionality back, you need to install one or more add-ons.  Since Firefox 63 came out which lost the ability to detect RSS feeds, a lot of RSS feed related extensions have started appearing.

Firefox RSS Detection
Firefox RSS Detection using Awesome RSS

At the moment, I am using Awesome RSS to add an RSS Feed indicator to the Location bar and RSSPreview to preview the feed much like before.  For this to work, the RSS option needs to be selected in the Subscribe Using option of Awesome RSS. There might be a better option but these work for now for my needs. For those that use Feedly, Awesome RSS does have a Feedly option as well.

Hopefully this helps anyone that’s missing the RSS functionality. 🙂

Migrating to Firefox 57 and Web Extensions

I’ve had the latest Beta Version of Firefox installed alongside my normal install for some time. Well, actually, I currently have Firefox 56 32-bit, 56 64-bit, ESR 52.3.0 32-bit, and 57 beta4 64bit installed. 🙂 All of them are using separate profiles. Anyway, since my beta install has been updated to Firefox 57 (beta 4 now), I’ve been using it as my primary browser to test things out and see if I can tweak it to match my normal install.

The biggest change is that it will only allow add-ons made with the Web Extensions framework to load. All Legacy extensions will be disabled. Fortunately, some of my extensions already had an updated version; however, many did not. Some extensions may be impossible as a Web Extension and have the same functionality. So, I began searching for replacements to achieve similar results. I have changed my Firefox Configuration page on my main website to show my current setup. You can visit that page to see what extensions I’ve got and the tweaks I’ve done with userChrome.css. Lot’s of Googling during this process LOL. I thought about listing my before and after extensions to show what I replaced with what but it’s all still in flux. We’ll also have to see if everything behaves the same once version 57 is released in the normal channel. Oh, for those that used Classic Theme Restorer, you might want to check out Aris-t2/CustomCSSforFx: Custom CSS tweaks for Firefox 57+ for what might be possible. I did go ahead and remove CTR because there was no need to keep it for a possible update.

Here’s what mine is currently looking like:

Firefox 57 Beta Appearance

Things have turned out not as bad as I had feared and I am happy with things so far and will continue to tweak things and see which replacement extensions work the best. 🙂 If I think of something else I’ll update this post or make a follow-up one.

Recording MP3 Versions of MIDI Movie Themes

Because Firefox has basically stopped all plugins from working except Flash since version 52 and workarounds failing with version 55 (ugh..), none of my DVD and Blu-ray pages that have an embedded MIDI player using the Microsoft’s Windows Media Player plugin work any longer. So, I decided to record MP3 versions of them which can be played using a standard HTML5 <audio> tag that all modern browsers support.

Audacity and XMPlay

Originally, I used Cool Edit 2000 which I’ve had a licensed copy of for some time. I recorded The Best of Benny Hill theme using it. Since then, I’ve been using Audacity to record the audio while using XMPlay to play the MIDI file. I then exported the audio as a MP3 using the Lame library. I used the Extreme quality preset during the export. So, now on pages like Star Wars IV: A New Hope, there’s a MP3 player as well. Since I’m using the MediaElements.js HTML5 video player on these pages, I decided to their MP3 player also.

Now I need to figure out what I’m going to do with my General MIDI page, if anything. Hmmm… 😖 For now, at least, the Windows Media Player plugin still works in Firefox ESR 52.

Website Changes During April 2013

Main Site Updates

Yesterday I noticed that my YouTube players on my Entertainment and NASCAR pages had quit working. They were completely blank. My guess is they finally pulled the plug on these old style players. So, I grabbed the latest embed code, using iframes, for my playlists and replaced the old players. I guess the added benefit with these newer players is that they will detect if your browser supports HTML5 or not and display the appropriate HTML5 or Flash based player. You need to be part of YouTube’s HTML5 Trial for it to show the HTML5 version, provided your browser supports it.

Speaking of HTML5, Firefox 20 added support for videos encoded with h.264 in certain operating systems (namely Windows 7 and above at the moment as the OS comes with the codec). This is disabled by default, however. You need to go into about:config and set to true.

Gallery Updates

April 22, 2013: Gallery released version 3.0.7 which I have since upgraded my galleries to. It addressed a couple late-minute security vulnerabilities that were discovered.

It seems that not long after Gallery v3.0.5 was released that Gallery v3.0.6 came out to fix some bugs. So, I’ve updated my galleries accordingly (actually did this a few days ago). Exact same process as before.

That’s all for now. Anything else I do this month I’ll update this post. 🙂