Published Thursday 7. May 2009
I have a Roland JW-50 Music Workstation, and I've been worried about what would happen to all my music (stored on old 3.5" disks) when the keyboard (or the built-in floppy drive) dies one day. The JW-50 actually lets you save your songs in MIDI format, but I have had problems with that function — I have at least one song that crashes the keyboard if I try to save it in MIDI format. I searched the net for other ways to convert the files to the MIDI format, but all I could find was a trial version of a program called "Roland V-MT Visual Music Tutor", and it would not let you save your files!

I am a programmer by profession, and one of my hobbies is to reverse engineer file formats, so I looked at the Roland files to see if I could convert them myself. Roland uses their own proprietary format to store songs. Each song is stored in two files, one with extension ".rsc" and one with extension ".rsd". The rsc (Roland Song Context?) file contains the name of the song and other general data about the song. I have not decoded this file completely, but I don't think most of the data in this file is relevant when converting to MIDI. The rsd (Roland Song Data?) file contains the actual song data, and I think I've managed to decode this file completely.

I have written a program (called roland2midi) that will try to convert the Roland files to a ".mid" file. To download the offline version of the program, click here: Offline Roland to MIDI Converter. The program works only from the command line; if you click the link, you will also see a description of how to use it. I have also set up an online version of the program here: Online Roland to MIDI Converter

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