Many free and inexpensive apps are available for recording music and podcasts. Some of these programs are especially useful for playing MIDI files with some control.
Click on the program name to get to the appropriate website.
Audacity is a simple sound recorder and editor. It is well designed, very functional and easy to use. Audacity is free and open source. It is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems. One of my personal favorites. Audacity is not studio software, and it will not play MIDI files.
While technically a music notation program, Sibelius has many excellent playback features. There are three in particular which make it stand out. First of all, it can open and play midi files. (Many free notation software programs do not have this feature). Second, tempo is easily adjustable. Third, it has a mixer, so that individual parts can be boosted, and other parts can be softened. Since Sibelius is notation software, it also shows notes on the screen. The demo version has most of the functionality of the full version, except for the ability to save and print. (Mac and PC).
Anvil is studio software and its graphic interface looks somewhat like a mixing board. It will open and play midi files, tempo is relatively easy to control, and individual parts can be boosted. (PC Only)
MuseScore is a free, open source full featured music notation program. With this software you can control tempo and boost your own individual part using their mixer interface. MuseScore is available for Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems.
Sound Studio allows you to record, edit, and produce audio. It is not free, but relatively inexpensive for what it does. It cannot handle MIDI files. Mac only. Available at Mac App Store.
Amadeus Lite is a wave (sound file) editor supporting a variety of sound formats including AIFF, Wave, MP3, WMA, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, Apple Lossless, and many others. Mac only. Available at Mac App Store.
WireTap Studio allows you to record the audio output of any application, as well as all system audio, or record audio input from any microphone, line-in, or audio input hardware. In the company’s words, “If you can hear it, WireTap Studio can record it”. This is one of my favorite applications – it does what it says it can do, and does it well. Not particularly inexpensive, and Mac only, but worth it if you need its features.