Depending on the phone device capabilities, it may happen that the composed song cannot be played back on the target device. Typically this happens if the playback-time memory usage of the MIDI song exceeds the capabilities of the device, and applies to devices other than the Nokia 7650, 3650, and 6600 which are capable of playing back all typical MIDI songs. Of the remaining MIDI enabled Nokia phones, the Nokia 3300 and 6650 have higher memory capabilities than the other devices and the limitations discussed here affect these devices somewhat less than the others.
The playback-time memory usage for the MIDI songs consists of the actual MIDI song data (SMF format), and the instrument data and waveform data of all the instruments used in the MIDI song. Of these components, the instrument waveform data is typically the highest contributor to memory usage. Different types of instruments use different amounts of memory.
Obviously the more instruments used in a song, the higher the total memory usage caused by the instrument waveform data. The composer should experiment to find a set of instruments that will fit the device memory, enabling the song to be played back. Experiments should be performed by trying the song playback on the actual device. Percussive instruments in particular (including cymbals) can consume a lot of memory since these are easy to add by the composer; a smaller selection of drum instruments on the percussion channel might provide satisfactory results. With melodic instruments, a smaller selection of instruments will often suffice. For example, developers should try reducing the different kinds of strings, guitars, and pianos used in the song.