Apple’s Yosemite has received a lot of attention for the addition of Bluetooth MIDI over Bluetooth LE. What has gotten less attention are the updates to Network Midi. Here are a few things I have learned.
Network Midi has been included in Mac OSX since about 2004. It allows computers to find one another over the LAN via Bonjour and to join each others’ MIDI sessions. The protocol spoken by Network MIDI is defined in a IETF doc: RFC 6295, which was ratified in 2011. An earlier version of this document (RFC 4695) was ratified in 2006. It seems that this protocol standard has had a long and very slow evolution.
Apple’s implementation of Network MIDI has been sometimes criticized as “buggy.” I myself had been able to isolate a bug in the implementation of the protocol. I was delighted to find that Yosemite not only fixes that one specific bug, but seems to include a Network MIDI stack with entirely different characteristics from the previous versions.
- Receive latency is much lower overall.
- An erroneous delta timestamp format has been fixed (comex algorithm).
- Realtime commands are sent (active sense, MTC).
I’ll keep this post updated as I learn more.