Niffty NIFF File Viewer

Niffty is a Java applet which allows a composer to display NIFF formatted music notation on a web page. The user can format the page and print it using the browser's own Print function and, with the right Java version, play it as MIDI.

There are already programs to compose musical notation and export NIFF files, such as Lime from CERL Sound Group. But this is shareware and someone viewing a web page would have to download and install it. The idea of Niffy is to just be an easy-to-use free viewer which can display NIFF files created by Lime, etc.

NIFF is the Notation Interchange File Format. It is a standardized specification created by music editor software companies as an interoperable file format. For more information, see the NIFF web page.

Installing Niffty

Niffty is still "alpha" code. Not all features work and not all bugs are fixed.

1. Download niffty.jar and place it in the directory for your web page. [download statistics]
2. Place your NIFF file in the same directory.
3. Add the <applet> tag to your web page. For example:

<applet code="org.niffty.Niffty.class" archive="niffty.jar" width=650 height=850>
<param name="file" value="prelude.nif">

You can view this example. This tells the browser to use the Niffty.class in the niffty.jar you downloaded to display the file prelude.nif. (You should change prelude.nif to your own NIFF file.)

The width and height are chosen so that, if the applet is the only thing on the web page, then your web page visitor can use their browser's print function to print the music.


See the Niffty Project Page on to get the source and check the status of the project.

Also, there is a progammer's guide for those who want to work with the source code.

On this site, there is a proposal for NIFF XML format.

Other Music Display Projects

There are other open source music display projects which could be ported to Java and serve the same function as Niffty if they could import NIFF.