To solve this problem, I resorted to several programs: Pykaraoke, Timidity, VLC, Audacious, and Kmid2. Here is the story.
Chapter 1. The adventure of enabling midis/.kar files in a Mandriva 2010.2 PowerPack Desktop PC and a Mandriva ONE 2010.2 netbook
When I realized that I was not ready to play .kar files (nor any midi), I checked Megatotoro's entry here on how he had done it in Mepis. The process seemed pretty straighforward, so I started by downloading Pykaraoke. However, it would not run. Pykaraoke was not my winning card.
Then I remembered that Timidity was not installed, so I grabbed it from the Mandriva repos. To my despair, although the installation was successful, Timidity simply refused to launch.
In my search for answers, I saw several plugins for midi in VLC and Audacious. I gave those programs a try, too. Concerning the latter, I installed first:
fluidsynth, fluid-soundfont-gm, audacious-fluidsynth, and whatever dependency that the system required.
|Audacious playing a midi|
The next candidate was VLC, which stubbornly gave me a warning that MIDI playback was not supported and that "there was no way to fix the problem", a pretty discouraging message that I chose to ignore because I had seen a plugin to that purpose in the PLF repositories (vlc-plugin-fluidsynth). So, I installed it, ran VLC and clicked on the Tools menu and went to "Preferences". That gave me a window. To the left, I saw the "INPUT AND CODECS" button. However, before I clicked on it, I went down and selected "ALL" for the adjustments. That converted the panel to the left in a tree-like structure with more options. I selected "INPUT/CODECS", audio codecs, Fluidsynth and wrote the following path in the panel: /usr/share/soundfonts/FluidR3_GM.sf2. That enabled midi playback with VLS alright, but still no lyrcs were displayed.
Then I installed Kmid2 and all its dependencies. When I ran it, I went to the Preferences menu and then "Configure Kmid". When I clicked the button "synthetizers" and then went to the Timidity tab, I finally discovered what the problem with Timidity was: Kmid2 reported a missing timidity.cfg file in /etc/timidity/
|My Mandriva PowerPack 2012.2 PC running Kmid|
Chapter 2. Getting the Elusive Kmid to Cooperate in a Mageia 2 laptop
With all this learning, I turned on my Mageia 2 laptop and tried to install Kmid2. At first, I did not find it in the repositories, so I enabled all the repositories I could and tried again. The Mageia control center displayed it, so I selected it with all the dependencies (fluidsynth and its own). After the installation, I started Kmid2 but it failed to lauch, reporting that the machine could not play midis or that snd_seq was missing in the modules (something about permission denied). As the latter problem sounded unsurmountable to a non-technical user like me, I decided to rule out the former first. Thus, I repeated the steps to enable midi playback in VLC and Audacious and, to my relief, both programs played the sound of the.kar file.
Without a lot of confidence in my ability to fix the missing module problem, I searched the Web and found that this had been reported as bug 5892 in Mageia. According to the report, a user had solved the problem by going to /etc/module and simply adding the line
Although I followed the path, I saw no file called module, so I got the most similar one (/etc/modules.load.d) and edited the file modules.conf with Kwrite, adding the line to it. That got Kmid2 to work in Mageia 2 as well.
I hope this experience helps those with some karaoke woes in Mageia and Mandriva.