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OK, one more on the subject:

> > Problem is, popen
> > doesn't give you the return value of the command you ran.
> The good news is that closing the handle from io.popen in
> Lua 5.2 does give you the return code.

That it means p:close waits for the command to finish:

  local p = assert(io.popen('aplaymidi -', 'w'))
  p:write(my_midi)  -- fast; the MIDI is compact :-)
  p:close()         -- waits several minutes :-(

Is there a way of letting aplaymidi run on in the background?
  p = io.popen('aplaymidi - &', 'w')
fails with
  - is not a Standard MIDI File   (it's empty :-( )
and I get the same message from:
  io.popen('sh -c "aplaymidi -" &', 'w')
and likewise at the command-line:
  cat t.mid | sh -c 'aplaymidi - &'

Although at the command-line:
  cat t.mid | sh -c "aplaymidi -" &
works as intended, so by now I'm starting to get confused...

Is there a right way to background the aplaymidi process ?

Regards,  Peter Billam      (03) 6278 9410
"Was der Meister nicht kann,   vermöcht es der Knabe, hätt er
 ihm immer gehorcht?"   Siegfried to Mime, from Act 1 Scene 2