SysEx Librarian


version 1.3
1.3 MB

What is it?

SysEx Librarian is a utility for Mac OS X which lets you communicate with MIDI devices using System Exclusive messages, also known as SysEx. The most common use is to backup patch data from synthesizers, although there are others (such as sending firmware updates).

SysEx Librarian makes it easy to keep a library of the SysEx files you use most often, and to record new SysEx files.

SysEx Librarian is free to download and use. The source code is available as Open Source (under the BSD license).

Screen Shots

System Requirements

  • Mac OS X, Intel, 10.5.8 or later
  • MIDI hardware interface with Mac OS X driver



3 September 2012: 1.3 released.

  • Picked a better font for the long data views.
  • Added automatic updating via Sparkle.
  • Built for 32- and 64-bit.
  • No longer works on PowerPC or 10.3 or 10.4, sorry. If necessary, get version 1.2.3, which does.
  • If the SysEx Librarian directory can't be created, the error message is now more informative.

5 November 2011: 1.2.3 released.

  • Updated the list of manufacturer IDs.

28 September 2009: 1.2.2 released.

  • SysEx Librarian can now listen for MIDI program changes from other applications, and will react by sending sysex files. This feature is intended for use with MainStage, but may be useful in other situations too. Thanks to Robert Chin for the code.
  • Updated the list of manufacturer IDs.
  • Fixed a race condition in incoming MIDI processing, which could lead to a crash.

18 August 2009: 1.2.1 released.

  • Fixed a bug: in the Destination menu, some one-port MIDI interfaces did not have names.

9 September 2008: 1.2 released.

  • Show progress when sending sysex via "Act as a source for other programs". to avoid confusion. (It happens instantaneously, but without feedback, it wasn't clear that anything was happening.)
  • Spin progress indicators while waiting for incoming sysex, so it doesn't look like the app is stuck.
  • Simplified some threading code, which makes the app more stable, especially as MIDI devices are added and removed.
  • Updated the source code to work with Xcode 3.1.
  • Now requires OS X 10.3.9 or later. If you're still on 10.2, use the old version, 1.1.

10 September 2006: Universal, open source, and more!

  • SysEx Librarian is now a Universal application. It is 100% native on Intel and PowerPC.
  • The source code is now available.
  • You can now change the sysex transmission speed, on a per-device or per-port basis. A few older MIDI devices may need the speed to be turned down to work consistently.
  • Added a "save as .syx" feature, just like the existing "save as standard MIDI file". Now you can convert .mid to .syx!
  • We now show checksums at the bottom of the sysex data in the details window, to make it easier to check if two sysex dumps are the same or different.
  • Rewrote some code to remove dependencies on the Omni frameworks. This makes it easier for me to distribute the code, and easier for others to build the code. It also makes the application slightly smaller.
    • The downside: SysEx Librarian now requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later. I don't think this will be a hardship since most MIDI drivers and applications are now built for 10.2. If you need a version which runs on 10.1, download it here.
  • Fixed an undo problem: undo looked enabled but did nothing.

15 August 2004: Documentation updates.

  • Sorry, I haven't had as much time to devote to SysEx Librarian as I used to. I have, however, updated the Troubleshooting section of the documentation, including some new details about MIDI interface drivers.

15 November 2002: 1.0.4 released.

  • Fixed a bug that caused a crash when receiving sysex under Mac OS X 10.2.2.
  • We now take advantage of some new MIDI capabilities in 10.2. We show the names of devices which are attached to input and output ports, and handle device and property discovery more efficiently.
  • Fixed problems with resolving aliases to the Documents folder.
  • Fixed a couple of other obscure bugs which could cause incoming sysex messages to be ignored or the playback status display to work incorrectly.

2 August 2002: 1.0.3 released.

  • Fixed a bug which caused "Act as a source for other programs" to not work on Mac OS X 10.2.
  • Rewrote the code for reading standard MIDI files (SMF) which should make it more reliable.
  • Added the ability to export one or more SysEx files to a standard MIDI file. Select the files you want to export, and choose "Save As Standard MIDI..." from the File menu.

12 April 2002: 1.0.2 released. Fixed a number of little bugs:

  • Renaming a file to use '/'or ':' characters didn't do the same thing as the Finder does.
  • The app could become unresponsive if you unplugged the MIDI interface while sending SysEx through it.
  • Added a way to change the duration of the pause between SysEx messages, and the timeout when receiving messages.
  • The pause between the 1st and 2nd messages was about half a second longer than it should have been, since we were pulling down a sheet at the same time. Fixed this to pull down the sheet first and then start sending messages.
  • In the warning when an item is deleted, the "Don't warn me again" checkbox was hooked up to the wrong preference, so it wouldn't appear to work.
  • If there are multiple destinations with the same name (including the device name), only one of them would appear in the menu. This turned out to be a Cocoa bug, but it was easy to work around the problem.

23 February 2002: 1.0.1 released. Fixed a number of bugs (thanks to the bug reporters!):

  • Fixed a crash that could happen when sending many small messages to another application (not an external MIDI port).
  • Show an error message if an added file does not contain any SysEx data, instead of silently doing nothing.
  • Show an error message and quit if the MIDI system cannot be initialized, instead of failing in incomprehensible ways.
  • Made recording large numbers of messages much faster.
  • Opening files from the Finder could cause odd results if the main window was not open.
  • Select All in the Contents window now always selects the hex dump.
  • Fixed arrow keys in table views.

21 February 2002: 1.0 released!

  • First public release.


Please send questions or comments to: SysExLibrarian@snoize.com