To participate with MusicPath Mobile, only a few readily available items are required:
The MIDI music instrument to iPhone connection is established through a small self-powered Yamaha BT01 Bluetooth device which, once plugged in to both MIDI IN and OUT ports, seeks a connection to the outside world. Please note: MIDI ports are "handed"; that means the Bluetooth device works only if the MIDI IN port is connected to the music instrument's MIDI OUT port and vice versa. Check for the small red light flashing to assure proper connection and functionality.
If the Bluetooth pairing process is not picked up in the iPhone "settings", the Yamaha's "Digital Piano" controller app, will make it visible first under the "settings" and then the "information" tab (where available Bluetooth MIDI devices are listed and need to be selected), and the BT01 can then be activated. Once found and activated in this app, the selected devices will now show up in the iPhone settings.
A MusicPath Mobile login screen is then offered, confirming (when the green light is flashing) that the music instrument talks MIDI to MusicPath Mobile. If the “Test Input” light remains dark you will have to redo your sequence of connections, starting with proper insertion of the MIDI interface, connection to Bluetooth, and then restarting MusicPath Mobile again. If your MIDI device is able to produce sound, switch on the button to hear it.
Once logged in, the app defaults to “Friends” mode (highlighted in blue), listing currently online collaborators who can now be invited into a live session by clicking the “+” button.
Having selected one or more collaborators, touch the “Start Session” button near the bottom of the screen. You will be automatically sent to a new “Session” screen, and a message will be sent to the selected collaborators informing them that you wish to connect with them. If and when they accept your invitation, they will appear in the list of collaborators on the “Session” screen. Peers can be removed during a session by selecting the friend icon – ‘Remove Peer” command:
Referring back to the "Session" screen Fig. 4, with the upper fields give a choice of:
The short story: You might experience radio interference, which causes communication delays (or outright communication loss) with WiFi and Bluetooth, which will cause problems with MusicPath's ability to perfectly replay musical performances.
The long story: People have come to appreciate the convenience of wireless communications (WiFi) for our phones and computers, rather than having to connect our computers to our home routers with network cables. Similarly, it is convenient to connect devices to our computers and phones with BlueTooth, rather than plugging cables into our computer/phone and the external device.
However, this convenience comes at a cost for programs like MusicPath, which attempts to transmit MIDI data from friend to friend with as little delay as possible. This cost is related to the fact that wireless communication is subject to interference from a variety of sources. For example, the so-called "2.4 GHz" WiFi band (which is also the frequency band used by Bluetooth) is also used by microwave ovens. This means that using your microwave oven can interfere with WiFi and Bluetooth communication. You probably have neighbours competing for the use of these frequency bands, with their own phones, computers and Bluetooth devices.
You may also have family members or friends using your WiFi router. You may have other electrical equipment which create interference in the WiFi/Bluetooth frequency band. Finally, even a person walking between a Bluetooth device and the phone or computer using the device can disrupt the communication.
WiFi and Bluetooth are both designed to automatically resend information when interference occurs, so a moderate amount of interference does not prevent transmission or reception of information, it merely delays it.
When you are streaming video or surfing the web you may not normally notice these delays, or you may attribute them to "the internet", rather than to the wireless communication you are using. Further, video streaming programs typically "save up" five (or more) seconds of video before playing begins, so that short delays in communications are not noticed.
How to deal with this problem:
If possible, locate your phone and WiFi router as close as possible to each other. Keep in mind that WiFi signals are absorbed by floors and walls, and the WiFi signal gets weaker as you get further from your WiFi router. Avoid other use of your WiFi while using MusicPath (e.g., family members streaming video), and avoid the use of microwave ovens.
Attempt to locate your MIDI/Bluetooth adapter and your phone so that there is a short, unblocked path between them.