What about the subject at hand.
I finally made progress on getting midi playback to work under linux, I uninstalled timidity and installed fluidsynth instead. It turns out that out of two options, I was using the wrong one.
Linux is always like that, you waste weeks and monthes on a piece of crap and the whole time you had no idea you were using deprecated, unsupported software or software that was crap all along, while switching to the other piece of software would have solved the problem six monthes ago but you have no idea whether it's also crap.
Mind you, timidity was wonderful (well it was best under windows XP where it did system wide midi with no configuration). But I could use it to play midi files from the command line, or with VMPK, a toy piano (sending a huge peak of garbage on my right speaker when it starts), and that's all.
With Fluidsynth I had no peak in VPMK and I ended up getting music under dosbox! and I ended up getting a smooth MS-DOS doom2!, by setting a stupid high cycle number in dosbox.conf and tweaking the video output parameters. It didn't sound as good as I remember with using timidity on Windows but that's because my flat is too small and maybe Linux damaged my speakers.
I still have no music in prboom (with timidity I could get some with the incomplete and garbage "freepats.cfg sounds" ; a known and unresolved bug prevented from using a soundfont). Nothing in prboom.cfg, nothing in in-game menus, nothing in prboom manpage. I have to look for garbage pages in google, such as end of this one http://prboom.sourceforge.net/linux.html and this one http://www.libsdl.org/projects/SDL_mixer/
So, under linux prboom uses garbage midi synth in "SDL_mixer" that uses timidity but only supports Gravis Ultrasound Patch (a thing that was hot in 1994 and ignored outside the MS-DOS demo scene). Under Windows prboom supports system wide, real midi. This is nuts.
BTW with fluidsynth you have to launch a GUI (qsynth, which I formerly believed to be a synthesizer of an undefined kind) whereas with timidity you have a daemon running, which I felt was the sensible thing.
Last edited by grok; 10-08-2012 at 10:12 PM.