RTP-MIDI (IETF RFC 6295) is a specification for sending/receiving standard "MIDI 1.0" messages using standard networking protocols ("Real Time Protocol" and "Internet Protocol"). RTP-MIDI includes a data recovery mechanism (MIDI event journaling) to address packet loss that can occur on networks, eliminating the need for packet retransmission (which would increase latency and reduce throughput). A thorough description may be found here:
As an IETF standard, RTP-MIDI is not proprietary technology exclusive to any specific company, and is intended for use by anyone without obtaining a license or paying any royalties.
How do I use RTP-MIDI?
RTP-MIDI allows a standard network (wired or wireless) connection to be used for carrying MIDI data.
On Mac OSX and iOS, Apple's CoreMIDI technology automatically handles the transfer of MIDI data between software apps (sequencers, softsynths, etc.) and external MIDI devices connected via USB (USB-MIDI), FireWire (1394-MIDI) and on a network (RTP-MIDI):
- About Apple's "CoreMIDI"
RTP-MIDI support for the Windows (desktop) MIDI API is available from Tobias Erichsen. Erichsen's implementation is compatible with Apple's:
- Tobias Erichsen's RTP-MIDI Driver for Windows Desktop
Windows RT (the OS used on Windows tablets) does not yet have a MIDI API (it is still in development as of December 2013) but there is code available for developing apps that support RTP-MIDI:
- An RTP-MIDI SDK for Windows RT (Beta)
RTP-MIDI can also easily be implemented in hardware such as keyboards, mixers, break-out boxes, etc., since the required memory footprint, processor usage, and hardware requirements are compatible with modern low-cost microcontrollers.
Is RTP-MIDI a replacement for MIDI 1.0 protocol?
RTP-MIDI uses and does not replace MIDI Protocol. RTP-MIDI allows the transport of MIDI 1.0 messages using standard networking hardware (as well as over the Internet), and is an alternative to MIDI DIN, USB-MIDI, and other transports which also use but do not replace MIDI protocol.
Compared to other transports for MIDI 1.0 messages, RTP-MIDI is especially useful for applications where MIDI devices are separated by long distances (for example in a studio, a live event, or a themepark) and anywhere that modern networking technologies are typically used.
Links of Interest