How to handle problems with this site or our registered
tune-book versions, site content & advertising policies etc.

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For copyright info or to use my midi or graphic scores on your site see my about page.


Firefox does seem to have problems playing music from web pages. The cause seems to be that in most cases it does not have the right plugin installed. My suggestion is to go to:

Here you will find, almost at the end of the page, the Windows Media Player Plug-in for Firefox
Use this plug-in to add the Windows Media Player ActiveX control to the Firefox browser. This certainly handled my problems with Firefox 3.5 with Windows. WARNING though, on some pages Firefox will suggest you install the Quicktime plugin, this involves installing the Quicktime package which in my opinion is an annoying piece of bloatware that tries to take over all you media playing (and gives you adverts), the same applies to Realplayer. Another common reason for midi or other sounds not playing in IE or Firefox is if the sound controls of your PC are set too low or muted, see HERE for info on how to fix it.

Your browser may also be set to block or prompt if whether to run active content such as sound on webpages, obviously these actions can also also prevent the sound playing. To modify the safety level for active content in IE follow these steps:




I pretty much ALWAYS respond within 24hrs, if you don't get a reply don't sit there fuming, it means either your email has not reached me or mine has not reached you, unfortunately it does happen from time to time, the usual reasons are:

1) I have not received the email from Paypal informing me of your order and payment. Solution, email me and let me know of your lack of response to" rodsmith at rodsmith. org. uk" (reformat before use)

2) This one is becoming more common with the increasing use of spam filtering. I HAVE tried to answer your email or acknowledge your order but for some reason it has not reached you. The most common cause is that your spam filtering has dumped me some where, or your ISP or domain uses some sort of blacklist which has erroneously exclude emails from my domain.

The suggestion here is to use a different email such as one of the free web mail services such as Google, Hotmail or Yahoo.

Earthlink is particularly bad, it apparently even blocks mail from me after I have been added to the approved list; if you have the misfortune to be an Earthlink user you will have to provide a non Earthlink address where I can reply or disable their email pre-approval system.
I would strongly advise against using or subscribing to any sort of "blacklist/whitelist" spam filter schemes as there is a very good chance you will loose wanted emails. These systems can be stupid enough to bar all emails from all users of a large ISP because possibly 1 of the hundreds of thousands of users of this ISP sent a spam mail. This is akin to saying I don't want any mail from anyone in London because I once got a piece of junk mail from a company in London. It is better to use one of the "intelligent" spam filters like Spambayes, at least with such a program you can check your Junk mail box incase something got put there by mistake.

What standards of content and advertising to expect on this site.

Site Content Policies

My general policy is to provide only family suitable material that is related to traditional music. This is not usually too much of a problem, as most of the material originates from the 19th century, a time when, arguable, in many resects, moral standards were higher than today. However, some common cultural values of that era, particularly in the area of ethnicity, would be considered unacceptable by today's standards.

Another potential problem area is that of bawdy songs, the lyrics of some of which may be found offensive. These too are part of our musical and cultural heritage, albeit one you may not want to know about. Most of them will be found in the Bawdy Songs section of the library which is easy to avoid, but beware there are a few scattered among the 3700 or so song lyrics in the in the Traditional & Folk Songs - Lyrics collection. There may also be a few in the Traditional & Folk Songs With Lyrics & Midi Music collection. These last two collections each contain 3000+ songs and the bawdy content is only a handful.

In general, I hope you will consider this site as you might a regular library, there may be some books here that you don't like, but don't blame your librarian too much. If you find an item on this site that you really think is unsuitable, and has no redeeming academic or historical value, let me know about if and I will seriously consider removing it.


This site does take paid advertising, the revenue from which helps to pay for site expenses such as web hosting and domain rental. Unfortunately, the amounts earned are tiny, but they do make it possible for me to continue with this hobby site, whereas I would be tempted to give it up if I had to pay for it entirely from my small retirement income.
I also suspect that many other excellent hobby sites may be in the same situation.

Most of my adverts are from Google, who on the whole, serve relevant, appropriate and non-aggresive adverts.
If you do see any inappropriate advert on this site (one that is too pushy or you would not be happy to let your child or granny see) please let me know the URL of the offending advertiser and I will block them.


This site and the tunebooks based on it have been tested with Windows 98,ME,2000 & XP and Internet Explorer 5.5/6/7/8 & Fire fox and should work fine with either.


1) Microsoft screw up again, IE7 will sometimes not print graphics from this site properly, instead it prints our hot linking error message. This problem does not affect our downloaded or CD versions. (If your IE7 is up-to-date you should no longer get thei problem.)

2) When accessing the password protected download pages IE7 reports the web page is attempting to access the clipboard, you need to say yes to allow this, to get to the page. note that this does not always work and you may just get a blank page.

Firefox or IE6 does not have these problems. If you use IE7 it is strongly recommended that you have Firefox as a second browser on your PC as you will surely run into other sites that have problems with it.


Both IE6 and IE7 seem to have problems displaying and printing some pages that use CSS. Overlapping, misplaced or clipped text and graphics on screen or printout is the most common symptom. Again try FIREFOX it does seem to handle a lot of these problems.

AOL problems

Probably about half the computer problems I run into are somehow AOL related. If there was ever a "great satan" of ISPs then AOL are it. Their software is particularly bad. It routinely disables or messes up other browsers on your system as well as messing with dial up settings; making it dial AOL even when you don't want to be on line. It has also been reported to disable printing from Internet Explorer. Just add this to other AOL nastiness like erroneous filtering of emails, default storage of email of only 7 days, incompatibility with email and browser standards, no news groups and so on. About the only thing that is good is that they have a free help line, only trouble is the support staff patter is limited to " get the latest drivers" or " we do not support that". They just don't seem to care that their software messes up anything else or that anyone would want to run anything apart from AOL. They really are bad news, don't use them, there are plenty of much better ISPs.

PROBLEMS WITH DOWNLOADING our retail versions & passwords

I have prepared a separate document about this HERE.


This site includes many musical reference works, many of these are my conversions of image versions of PUBLIC DOMAIN status or out of copyright books. Unfortunately the OCR process is far from perfect and I will be attempting, as time allows, to go back and correct some of the problems.

PROBLEMS WITH PRINTING - how to print pages & scores from this site.

I have only had problems reported with Internet Explorer which sometimes will not print the pages in full width. The suggestion here is to instead use Firefox. Some printers also have a "shrink to fit" option which may help.

PROBLEMS WITH MIDI - How midi files play

Windows associates certain file types with certain programs so for example if you double click on a DOC file it will bring up WORD or when you double click on a text file it will open it with NOTEPAD. It is the same with MIDI files, by default they are associated with Windows Media player, so it will play them when you click on one.

However, there are many different programs that can play MIDI files E.G. Cakewalk, Musicmatch, Siren Jukebox, Realplayer, Quicktime, and many others. When you install one of these it will often set itself as the default player for midi files - in other words when you click on a midi file it will run instead of Mediaplayer. This can be very annoying because some of these programs are quite large, slow loading programs that want to sit on top of everything else. MS Media player and most of the juke box type programs also want to "phone home" and every time you run them they will try and connect to the Internet. This can be a big problem if you are not on-line as it can often cause your computer to freeze or stick for a long time.

My suggestion is to use the VANBASCO ( midi and Karaoke player. It is small and quick to load does not phone home, and allows you to change instruments tempo and other playback features and best of all its free. You may have to go into the settings of any other programs and tell them NOT to play midi otherwise they may keep reinstalling themselves as the default midi player.

Probably one of the most common causes of no midi sound is that somehow the computer sound has been turned right down or muted. You should have a speaker icon on your taskbar (bottom right corner of the screen) double click this to bring up the volume controls you may have several channels each with a slider. To start, make sure none is muted or turned right down. if this gets you sound back you can then experiment to find which ones need to be on. If you have no speaker icon go to control panel> sounds & audio devices>volume control, and make sure that show icon on taskbar is ticked.

Of the MS mediaplayers 6.4 is the best for midi, later versions are not bad but with each new version gets bigger, slower and add more features only intended to sell you stuff, restrict your freedom or add more DRM features.

Disabling other programs such as Cakewalk etc. as the default midi player will NOT prevent you from using them on midi files it will just stop them running automatically when you click on a midi file.

QUICKTIME also causes problems. Although Quicktime does not usually set itself as the overall default midi player it does set itself up as the default for Internet explorer midi clicks. Unfortunately it is junk for this purpose, not only does it not play midi files properly but it also seems to mess up viewing of certain web pages.

REAL player is even worse and it forever phones home and pops up adverts. This program is bad news, uninstall it as soon as you can. If you need to play REAL or QUICKTIME files there are advert and popup free versions called ALTERNATIVE REAL PLAYER and ALTERNATIVE QUICK TIME which you can get from our a Google search will find other sources.


The sound quality you get from playing midi files usually has more to do with the sound card, speakers and player software than the midi file itself. Sometimes it can be that a particular instrument on may not sound nice so it can be worth while trying a player like the VANBASCO midi player which will allow you to choose a different instrument.


The midi files on this site and on our CD are standard GM(general midi) type 1 or type 2 format. The have no protection or other special features and you should be able to load them into other applications with no problems. They are exact representations of the musical score only with many repeats. The multi repeats are handy for play along if you have a player without loop features but they can cause a problem if you are trying to edit them. The suggested procedure is to first print out the score for the tune then when editing it locate the first full tune occurrence and delete all other repeats.


This section of the site is provided in a format which can be played or viewed from the NOTEWORTHY COMPOSER program. This program is NOT our product and we cannot provide support or registration for it. If you want to have access to it's full editing features you need a registered version. To get this contact the author direct. However, a FREE Noteworthy player and browser plugin are available and you can get these from here or by following the links from the Noteworthy tune book menu, or copies are provided on our tunebooks. (see below for Mac)


If you don't have a full version of Noteworthy you can use either their free player or browser plugin. However, the browser plugin may not work right away on all systems this is due to security changes on the latest versions of IE causing plugin support to be turned off. Noteworthy have not got round to fixing this problem with their plugin, so in the meantime here is a workround. Another company, MYRIAD SOFTWARE do some excellent music notation software and also provide a free browser plugin. Unfortunately, their plugin will not allow you to view NWC files but it will, when installed allow the Noteworthy plugin to work


Our purchase-download versions are provided as self extracting files which probably will not be possible to unpack on a Mac once unpacked on a PC you may be able to use them as below.

As you can probably guess I'm not a Mac person, and I don't have one. However, I have been told that it is possible to use our unpacked files with a Mac. Because basically the tune book consists of HTM, GIF and MIDI files it is not system specific. The only specific Windows stuff is the autorun program and you can bypass this by just navigating to the index.htm file. As far as I know there is not a version of Noteworthy Composer for the Mac so you wont be able to use those files but the rest should be ok. In the case of the Just the Tune Series the tablature and music scores are provided as PDF files which should be no problem and the audio track are provided in .WMA format and I don't know if there is a player for this format on the MAC.

The download versions come as self extracting RAR archive files, which are intended to run on PC, it may not be possible to use these on other systems unless they have something capable of handling .RAR and .EXE rar files. The exception is the Folk song collection which is available as a ZIP file which most systems can handle.
As far as I know there is no Mac program that can read NWC files, but one route might be to convert them to midi on a PC running Noteworthy composer then transfer the midis to your Mac most notation program can import midi files.


The graphics for the music scores on the web site are low definition, the ones supplied with the CD are 300 dpi. This means that you get much better quality on a PRINT OUT, unfortunately they may not display as well on the screen as the lower definition ones. At the moment I don't have any solution to this.


The pages have been set up for A4 size paper. Mostly the US 8x11 size will also work ok. If you have problems try setting your printer properties to "fit to page" or if you don't have this try setting the margins as small as you, can .3 of an inch or so.


DON'T just be a BUTTON PUSHER. Learn more about your computer and understand what is going on in the background, such knowledge will protect you from most computing problems. Unfortunately, there are many companies and individuals who are only too willing to trick or mislead computer users for their own purposes, even if only to tie you into using one particular product. I hope the following will help to protect you from some of the possible pitfalls.

System restore will handle most bad installations BUT NOT ALL, to be 100% safe you should make an image of your system disk(C:) to an external hard drive using ACRONIS True Image or similar

USE A FIREWALL. Just being connected to the Internet without one can give you a virus in two seconds flat, and you did not even have touch a key or the mouse for it to happen. ZONEALARM (WWW.ZONELABS.COM) is a good one (and there is a free version) this will alert you to programs that "call home".

Another good free one that also incudes anti-virus is s COMODO This is the one I currently use and can recommend it haveing installed it on several pcs with no problems.

Windows XP does have a built in Firewall but it does not tell you when some program is trying to connect to the Internet. Take the utmost care with mail attachments, probably 90 percent of virus infections come from opening an infected email attachment or being fooled into downloading & running a program from a malign website. Such items are usually described as views, download accelerators and the like.

STOP AUTOSTARTING PROGRAMS (This action will probably speed up and stabilize your PC more than anything else.)

Programs that set themselves to auto-start with Windows are probably the biggest cause of problems such as slowing down your computer, using its resources and causing conflicts. There are HARDLY ANY programs that need to auto start with windows, the ones that do are mostly things like graphics or other device drivers and ones that have to monitor whether an external device such a scanner or camera requires service. Some software can install up to 5 or 6 unnecessary self starting items E.G. Soundblaster. Internet setup software can be particularly bad, AOL & BT setups quite often may install 10 or so autostarting programs. The easiest program I know to to manage auto starts is STARTMAN, it will even identify what unknown auto start entries are for you. And its freeware, get it from or if you are a more experienced user AUTORUNS from Sysinternals is very good, has more facilities, is free and is available from


Unfortunately more and more programs nowadays want to track you, tie you down and generally use your computer resources for someone else's purposes. Some of this can be beneficial but mostly it is not. Programs that install themselves to auto-start with Windows, set themselves as the default, prevent you from using competing products and so forth are just abuse of the computer user and can cause all sorts of mysterious problems. USE A SPYWARE CLEANER such as ADAWARE (WWW.LAVASOFT.COM) (see under their freeware section) which can find and clean out spyware programs and files.


Occasionally you should go to Disk properties, General, Disk clean up, to get rid of the old files that accumulate. While you're there I would also recommend to disable "allow indexing" as this slows things down and writes annoying desktop.ini files all over. I also recommend that you do NOT use compress drive to save space as this will slow things down a lot - unless of course you are really desperate for space.


Use a program such as Registry First Aid or JV16 to clean out the dross entries that accumulate in your registry. Your registry can have 100's or even 1000s of useless entries that just slow things down. The occasional clean out can work wonders.


If you are using Windows XP or ME make sure system restore is enabled and before you install a new program or driver create a system restore point. Although System restore will sometimes do this for you automatically it is safer to make sure. For other versions of Windows you should use a registry backup program such as Winrescue to make a registry backup before any installation. For a more drastic backup solution which can allow you to recover from almost any disaster you can use disk imaging software such as Acronis trueimage, this will allow you to create an image of you hard disk on CDs or another hard disk or even on a network drive.


REAL PLAYER, QUICK TIME, (use the alternative versions). NORTON/SYMANTIC products tend to be VERY invasive and sometimes cannot easily be uninstalled, and often will even prevent you using competing products, E.G. If you have had Norton Anti virus and want to change to a different AV prog this can be difficult as NAV reportedly sometimes does not fully uninstall and blocks other AV progs.

Hope this helps.


PS I have also done a quick guide to safe on-line buying here.

(The above is based only on my personal opinions and experiences and reflects my personal viewpoint, it is suggested you make your own investigations before acting on anything herein.)