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Using an SDL (Simple DirectMedia Layer) wrapper is one way to play sound and music with Ruby. I have tested this snippet with .MID .MOD and .WAV files and it performs well. There are several SDL wrappers for Ruby available, I picked RUDL because of its simplicity. RUDL is great for writing games.

# play a midi file or mod file using the SDL wrapper for Ruby
# download RUDL from: http://sourceforge.net/projects/rudl/
# file: rudl-0.8-for-ruby-1.8.2-setup-releasebuild.zip
# includes the needed SDL .dll files
# run install-on-windows.rb and follow instructions
# tested with Ruby182 and Windows XP    vegaseat     17mar2006  (yeah Irish!)

require "RUDL"
# this gets rid of the namespace
include RUDL

# pick a midi file you have in the workfolder
# or add the full path to the filename
filename = "TeaFor2.mid"
music = Music.new(filename)
music.play

# needed to play music to the end
gets
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