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How to Fix MIDI Not Playing in Windows Live Mail or Outlook Express

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The MIDI background music in your treasured stationery won't play? A friend is complaining they cannot hear your background sounds and you want to help them?

Fret not. When MIDI files suddenly stop to play in Windows Live Mail, Windows Mail or Outlook Express, the causes may be manifold and mysterious, but you can try a number of quick hacks — and one typically will work.

Fix MIDI Not Playing in Windows Live Mail, Windows Mail or Outlook Express

To make MIDI files play again as background music in Windows Live Mail, Windows Mail or Outlook Express:

  • Make sure you have Windows Media Player installed. If you don't, download and install it with default settings.
  • Check the SW Synth or MIDI Synth volume in your volume control panel. Make sure it is not set to zero or muted.

If you are using Windows Vista:

  • Select Default Programs from the Start menu.
  • Click Associate a file type or protocol with a program.
  • For the .mid, .midi and .rmi types:
    • Highlight the file type.
    • Click Change program.....
    • Highlight Windows Media Player.
    • Click OK.

If you are using Windows XP:

  • Select Control Panel from the Start menu.
  • Select Tools | Folder Options... from the menu.
  • Go to the File Types tab.
  • For the MID and MIDI extensions:
    • Highlight the file type.
    • Click Change under Details.
    • Select Windows Media Player under Opens with.
    • Click OK.
  • Now click Sounds, Speech and Audio Devices.
  • Select Sound and Audio Devices.
  • Go to the Audio tab.
  • Make sure Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synth is selected under MIDI music playback.
  • Click OK.

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