MIDI hardware support has been available for a long time in most computer/tablet/smart phone platforms but until recently there has been no standard way to use local MIDI devices with a browser or a browser-based Operating System.
The Web Audio Working Group of the W3C designed the Web MIDI API to provide support for MIDI devices as a standard feature in Web browsers and operating systems across multiple hardware platforms. Google has led the way by contributing to the specification and by shipping the first implementation of the Web MIDI API (in Chrome v.43 for Windows, OSX, and Linux), continuing to demonstrate the company's interest in helping musicians interact with music more easily using the Web.
Being able to connect to local MIDI hardware will increase the creation and distribution of music-making applications for PCs, tablets and smart phones. It also means that popular MIDI hardware can be used to control any kind of software in the browser (using physical buttons and knobs instead of on-screen sliders, for example).
For hardware device makers, instrument control panels and editor/librarians which previously needed to be produced in multiple versions can now be implemented once in HTML5, and consumers can run them on any Web device (tablet, computer, or smart phone) and even "live" over the Web.
And since the browser is connected to the Internet, musicians can more easily share data and even connect music devices over a network.
Uses and Advantages
Here's why the Web-MIDI API for Web browsers is the most significant advancement of MIDI since... MIDI itself!
- Works on all platforms and devices. Anything with a web browser can run a Web-MIDI app and use local MIDI hardware.
- Works with your existing MIDI setup. If your MIDI gear is connected to your computer, tablet or phone (by a cable or even wirelessly) that same connection will connect your MIDI gear to your Web-MIDI enabled browser.
- Updates are automatic. No need to install new versions, the latest version is always available at the website URL.
- Accessible anywhere. Apps and data in "the Cloud" are available anywhere you have an internet connection.
- It's the Internet! Browsers make it easy to connect you and your music to other people via social media and on-line MIDI communities.
- W3C Web-MIDI API Specification
- Demo Apps: Web-MIDI and Web Audio Demos App Repository
- Tutorial: Creating Browser-based Audio Applications Controlled By MIDI Hardware (TopTal)
- Tutorial: Making Music In The Browser with the Web-MIDI API (KMI)
- Tutorial: Web MIDI: Music and Show Control in the Browser (TangibleJS)
Web-MIDI support is just beginning... We’ve collected some links to websites (apps) that use the Web-MIDI API so you can experiment with Web-MIDI.
Developers: If you have an App you would like listed here, please use our contact form to let us know.
- Open Labs' Stagelight
- Yamaha Soundmondo
- Host (Graph-based DAW)
- Viktor NV-1 Synthesizer
- Flat (Online Scoring)
- Traxus Interactive
Companies and products listed here do not imply any recommendation or endorsement by the MIDI Manufacturers Association.