Difference Between MIDI & MP3 Audio File Format

Digital audio files are the raw material of music production. To accomplish the entire music production process, all the music work has to be stored somewhere in a file. However, various types of audio formats are used in diverse situations, and it is essential to know about them to get the best results.

In this article, we will explain everything about MP3 & MIDI files and how they are different from each other. This will help you in choosing the suitable files that suit best for your job.

Let’s get started!

What is an MP3 File?

MP3s are the most common audio format generally used for listening. It has gained popularity because of its versatility. The use of MP3s exploded during the file-sharing transformation of the mid-2000s. MP3s were the primary audio file format that made music simple to send to and fro across the web in listenable sound quality.

They were also simple to encode from tracks on a CD, which prompted the multiplication of illegal music downloads.

MP3 files are still prevalent today, and some digital stores even sell these files as their primary format.

No matter what the operating system, platform, or programming, an MP3 will in all play – pursuing it an excellent choice for anybody hoping to have their music immediately playable.

Obviously, with this adaptability, there is a disadvantage – the MP3 is obviously a lossy format, yet dissimilar to the compression used by other lossy formats, the MP3 is really unforgiving with what it decides to delete.

MP3’s quality can easily be noticed in comparison to other high-quality files; however, it is always a good choice for people opting for small file size, stream ability, and ease of use. Moreover, for professional usage, high-quality MP3 Karaoke files are also easily accessible.

It is a protected encoding format for digital sound. It uses a compression algorithm that is intended to decrease how much information is expected to address the sound recording while still sounding like a reliable reproduction of the first uncompressed sound. MP3 uncompressed audio files are somewhat bigger and occupy a ton of space. This is primarily because of the way that sound is exceptionally complex, and the interpretation of it into a digital format can take up a ton of information. An MP3 file compresses this information using a 128 kbit/s setting that results in a file that is around 1/11 the size of the original data. In addition, the MP3 files can be made at sequential bit rates, with higher or lower resulting quality.

What is a MIDI File?

MIDI is an acronym used for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. It is a file that records music and controls the notes of each instrument, how noisy finishes, what note of the scale is, and so forth. This record can be of any MIDI instrument.
This digital audio format was first announced to people in 1982. After that time, electronic musical devices progressively turned out to be exceptionally common. MIDI files are commonly used in instruments that have sound cards, synthesizers, and sound generators that control music. It is a universally accepted audio file format and can be easily modified.

It permitted musical instruments from various companies to communicate with one another, and that too digitally. Understanding its immense potential, different producers before long came on board to form a MIDI standards alliance, which continues to this day.

This transformation in communication permitted clients to blend and match brands and instruments openly. In a short time, drum machines, samplers, synthesizers, impact units, and even mixing controllers came fitted with MIDI’s five-pin DIN connectors.

Along with this, a whole industry of PCs and software also sprung up for the purpose of recording and editing music rapidly and innovatively. Unfortunately, though, the usage of MIDI is still not very clear to people.

MIDI vs MP3 – Everything You Need to Know


  • Filename extension –.MIDI or .MID
  • Format Type – Compressed
  • Storage – Less
  • Application – Compose
  • File Format – Narrow
  • Sound – Versatile
  • It is commonly used in computer-based musical tools
  • It does not contain a recording of sound

MP3 –

  • Filename extension – .mp3
  • Format Type – Lossy Compressed
  • Storage – More than MIDI
  • Application – Record
  • File Format – Wide
  • Sound – Less Versatile
  • It is commonly used in mobile phones
  • It contains a recording of sound

What are the Advantages of MIDI Files?

1. Size –

This is the most significant advantage of MIDI files. These are tiny in comparison to MP3 files when stored on a computer. This is because the data is in the form of a series of simple numbers, which does not raise any issue for the storage space. These smaller files reduce the amount of work required and make everything run smoothly & quickly.

2. Editability –

MIDI files can be easily edited anytime you want. As the data is stored in DAW as a series of numbers, you can easily modify it whenever needed, even after you have input the data. Furthermore, MIDI files provide the specific elements to make the alterations accurately and in a quick time.

3. Budget –

This is possibly the most important advantage which makes MIDI a much-loved option. Many home musicians do not have enough budgets to open up a world of musical opportunities. Still, by using MIDI files, they can use virtual instruments to produce a masterpiece. It has made it extremely easy for musicians to record an entire song using various instruments in the comfort of their homes.

4. Input Ways –

MIDI files offer a great option to send signals through a variety of input ways as per the requirement. For example, keyboards, electronic drum kits, etc., are used to send messages via MIDI.

What are the Advantages of MP3 Files?

1. Practicality –

MP3 is an audio format that can be distributed effectively over the network because the MP3 format compresses the repetitive information of a sound file, requiring less extra room and subsequently working with network distribution.

Assuming we consider that in the past, broadband didn’t exist. The internet was very slow; one can figure out why this format turned out to be so exceptionally famous as a true audio format, yet additionally opening the opportunities for the improvement of different business sectors, for example, book recordings, the creation of gadgets, incorporation into video formats, etc.

2. Quality –

Although the quality of MP3 is not much considered, it manages to reach a degree of clearness of up to 320 Kbps which, as far as consumption, is very significant. This is the main reason behind the conversion of massive distribution files to MP3.

3. No Patent Required –

The MP3 format is free right now; it doesn’t need paying licenses or eminences for licenses, so it is feasible to use this format monetarily for the diffusion of original music, podcasts, in sites like tubidy, etc. For some beginner music producers, utilizing MP3s is a saving step.

4. Cost –

The expense of music distribution through streaming is modest, which makes it feasible for new artists to share their creations since they don’t need to spend on an actual medium, for example, CDs, to get their music to other people; this has also made conceivable the broadcast of audiobooks, podcasts, sound effects, etc.

No doubt there are many differences between MIDI & MP3 files; however, they have their place and will continue to color the world music scene for the next few years. Above is some info to help you differentiate between the two, and we hope it will be easy for you to choose the best as per your needs. 

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