GB2427049A - Synchronised playing of a MIDI file - Google Patents

Synchronised playing of a MIDI file Download PDF

Info

Publication number
GB2427049A
GB2427049A GB0511792A GB0511792A GB2427049A GB 2427049 A GB2427049 A GB 2427049A GB 0511792 A GB0511792 A GB 0511792A GB 0511792 A GB0511792 A GB 0511792A GB 2427049 A GB2427049 A GB 2427049A
Authority
GB
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
midi
means
midi file
apparatus
subset
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Withdrawn
Application number
GB0511792A
Other versions
GB0511792D0 (en )
Inventor
Paul M Stephens
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Motorola Solutions Inc
Original Assignee
Motorola Solutions Inc
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

Links

Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G10MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACOUSTICS
    • G10HELECTROPHONIC MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
    • G10H1/00Details of electrophonic musical instruments
    • G10H1/0033Recording/reproducing or transmission of music for electrophonic musical instruments
    • G10H1/0041Recording/reproducing or transmission of music for electrophonic musical instruments in coded form
    • G10H1/0058Transmission between separate instruments or between individual components of a musical system
    • G10H1/0066Transmission between separate instruments or between individual components of a musical system using a MIDI interface
    • GPHYSICS
    • G10MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACOUSTICS
    • G10HELECTROPHONIC MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
    • G10H1/00Details of electrophonic musical instruments
    • G10H1/0033Recording/reproducing or transmission of music for electrophonic musical instruments
    • G10H1/0083Recording/reproducing or transmission of music for electrophonic musical instruments using wireless transmission, e.g. radio, light, infrared
    • GPHYSICS
    • G10MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACOUSTICS
    • G10HELECTROPHONIC MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
    • G10H1/00Details of electrophonic musical instruments
    • G10H1/18Selecting circuits
    • G10H1/24Selecting circuits for selecting plural preset register stops
    • GPHYSICS
    • G10MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACOUSTICS
    • G10HELECTROPHONIC MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
    • G10H2230/00General physical, ergonomic or hardware implementation of electrophonic musical tools or instruments, e.g. shape or architecture
    • G10H2230/005Device type or category
    • G10H2230/021Mobile ringtone, i.e. generation, transmission, conversion or downloading of ringing tones or other sounds for mobile telephony; Special musical data formats or protocols herefor
    • GPHYSICS
    • G10MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACOUSTICS
    • G10HELECTROPHONIC MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
    • G10H2240/00Data organisation or data communication aspects, specifically adapted for electrophonic musical tools or instruments
    • G10H2240/011Files or data streams containing coded musical information, e.g. for transmission
    • G10H2240/046File format, i.e. specific or non-standard musical file format used in or adapted for electrophonic musical instruments, e.g. in wavetables
    • G10H2240/056MIDI or other note-oriented file format
    • GPHYSICS
    • G10MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACOUSTICS
    • G10HELECTROPHONIC MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
    • G10H2240/00Data organisation or data communication aspects, specifically adapted for electrophonic musical tools or instruments
    • G10H2240/171Transmission of musical instrument data, control or status information; Transmission, remote access or control of music data for electrophonic musical instruments
    • G10H2240/201Physical layer or hardware aspects of transmission to or from an electrophonic musical instrument, e.g. voltage levels, bit streams, code words or symbols over a physical link connecting network nodes or instruments
    • G10H2240/241Telephone transmission, i.e. using twisted pair telephone lines or any type of telephone network
    • G10H2240/251Mobile telephone transmission, i.e. transmitting, accessing or controlling music data wirelessly via a wireless or mobile telephone receiver, analog or digital, e.g. DECT GSM, UMTS
    • GPHYSICS
    • G10MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACOUSTICS
    • G10HELECTROPHONIC MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
    • G10H2240/00Data organisation or data communication aspects, specifically adapted for electrophonic musical tools or instruments
    • G10H2240/171Transmission of musical instrument data, control or status information; Transmission, remote access or control of music data for electrophonic musical instruments
    • G10H2240/281Protocol or standard connector for transmission of analog or digital data to or from an electrophonic musical instrument
    • G10H2240/321Bluetooth

Abstract

An apparatus, such as a mobile phone, comprises a receiver (201) which receives a Musical Instrument Digital Interface, MIDI, file comprising playing information relating to a plurality of instrument tracks. The receiver (201) may be coupled to a MIDI storage where the file may be stored. A selection processor (209) selects a subset of MIDI instrument tracks and a data extractor (207) extracts data of the MIDI file in response to the subset of instrument tracks. Specifically, only the data for the selected subset of instruments is extracted. The data is fed to a MIDI player (205) which plays the extracted data in synchronisation with a received synchronisation signal that is common for a plurality of MIDI players. The invention may allow a synchronised playing of individually selected instruments by a plurality of devices.

Description

APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR PLAYING A MIDI FILE

Field of the invention

The invention relates to an apparatus and method for playing a Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) file and in particular but not exclusively to the playing of a MIDI file by a plurality of mobile phones.

Background of the Invention

As cellular communication systems mature, there is an ever increasing trend to provide new services, facilities and options which provide differentiation and the possibility of additional revenue. For example, customisable ring tones for mobile phones have become a large source of additional revenue for many service providers as well as for independent businesses.

Also, mobile phone manufacturers tend to include more and more functionality in their phones in order to provide a differentiation to other phones. For example, mobile phones comprising functionality for playing music files (e.g. MP3 files), taking pictures etc. are currently well known. Many phones also comprise functionality for composing individual ring tones or otherwise customising the user experience.

Some mobile phones comprise functionality for playing and composing MIDI files. MIDI is an acronym for "Musical Instrument Digital Interface" and is a standard that allows * . * . S..

* S * * S * S S * S S S S S SSS * S S S. S S *S S * * S S S S S S S * S.. * S. S S electronic devices to interchange data for playing music.

Specifically, MIDI specifies a protocol for interconnecting electronic musical instruments and other devices. The MIDI data format allows a data file to specify the operation of a plurality of musical instruments/devices and may specifically include information defining when a specific instrument should start and stop playing a specific note, at which volume the note should be played and which modulation should be applied to the note. MIDI files may also define and control more advanced and complex functionality and may e.g. include information instructing a synthesizer to change sounds, master volume etc. Although it is known for some mobile phones to play MIDI files, such playing is typically limited by the capabilities of the mobile phone. For example, in order to keep cost down, the functionality of the music generation functionality is typically restricted. Typically, the number of parallel channels is restricted to a relatively low number. Consequently, the quality of the presentation of more complex MIDI files having a large number of parallel instruments tends to be limited.

Hence, an improved system for playing MIDI files would be advantageous and in particular a system allowing increased flexibility, enhanced user experience and/or improved playing quality would be advantageous.

Summary of the Invention

* * * S *SI * S * * S S S * S * S * S * *SS S S * SS * S ** S S S * * S * S * S S S 555 5 *S a S Accordingly, the Invention seeks to preferably mitigate, alleviate or eliminate one or more of the above mentioned disadvantages singly or in any combination.

According to a first aspect of the invention there is provided an apparatus for playing a MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) file, the apparatus comprising: receiving means for receiving the MIDI file, the MIDI file comprising playing information relating to a plurality of instrument tracks; selection means for selecting a subset of MIDI instrument tracks; extraction means for extracting first data of the MIDI file in response to the subset of instrument tracks; means for receiving a synchronisation signal common for a plurality of MIDI players; and means for playing only the first data of the MIDI file synchronised to the synchronisation signal.

The invention may allow an efficient and synchronised playing of part of a MIDI file. The playing may be synchronised with the playing of the same MIDI file by other players thereby allowing a synchronised shared presentation of the MIDI file. An improved quality of the presentation of the MIDI file may be achieved. In particular, the presentation is not limited by the restrictions and functionality of the individual apparatus but may exploit the combined functionality and capabilities of a synchronised group of MIDI playing apparatuses. An enhanced user experience may be achieved.

The synchronisation signal may be received from an external source such as from a different MIDI player. The synchronisation may for example be an activation indication * * * *** * * * S S S S S a S S S S * 515 5 S * IS * S S* S S * S a S I * I * I S IS. S *a a * such as a signal indicating that the playing of the MIDI file should be initiated.

According to an optional feature of the invention, the selection means is arranged to select the subset in response to a user input.

This may provide a practical means of controlling the operation of the apparatus and may provide an enhanced user experience.

According to an optional feature of the invention, the selection means is arranged to select the subset in response a configuration setup of the apparatus.

The configuration setup may correspond to a set of operating parameters which are used to select the subset without involvement of a user for the specific MIDI file. The configuration may comprise an identification of specific instruments or patches to select from MIDI files being played.

According to an optional feature of the invention, the selection means is arranged to select the subset in response to data of the MIDI file.

This may allow an improved presentation and/or interoperability with other players and/or different MIDI files. For example, the subset may be selected in response to the specific instruments used in the specific MIDI file being played. w. .

* I S S

I I I SI I S

* S.s S. * * S S * . *5 5 According to an optional feature of the invention, the selection means is arranged to select the subset by selection of at least one instrument patch.

This may provide for a low complexity, efficient and/or practical way of selecting instruments to be played.

According to an optional feature of the invention, the apparatus further comprises means for receiving selection information from a remote source and the selection means is arranged to select the subset in response to the selection information.

This may allow an improved interoperability with other players. The selection information may for example relate to a preferred or instructed selection by the apparatus or may relate to selection information of another player. For example, a master player may send information to other players indicating which instruments each player of the group must present, or a player may provide information of the instruments selected by it thereby providing for other players not selecting the same instruments.

According to an optional feature of the invention, the receiving means is arranged to receive the MIDI file from an external source over a wireless communication link.

This may provide a particular advantageous communication of the MIDI file. The MIDI file may e.g. be transmitted as a point to multipoint communication on the wireless communication link. In particular, a system with efficient sharing of a MIDI file between a plurality of MIDI players * S S S 505 I... * S 5 S I S S *Ss S S IS I S *5 S - I S 5 5 S I

SS S OL

in order to provide a synchronised group presentation may be achieved using efficient group communication.

According to an optional feature of the invention, the means for receiving the synchronisation signal is arranged to receive the synchronisation signal from an external source over a wireless communication link.

This may provide a particular advantageous communication of the MIDI file. The MIDI file may e.g. be transmitted as a point to multipoint communication on the wireless communication link. In particular, a system with efficient sharing of a MIDI file between a plurality of MIDI players in order to provide a synchronised group presentation may be achieved using efficient group communication.

According to an optional feature of the invention, the wireless communication link comprises a BluetoothTM communication link.

A BluetoothTM communication link may provide for a particularly advantageous implementation as the characteristics of BluetoothTM may be particularly suitable for many devices, applications and scenarios wherein the current invention may be used.

According to an optional feature of the invention, the apparatus further comprises means for receiving a MIDI file identifier, and means for selecting the MIDI file from a plurality of locally stored MIDI files in response to the MIDI file identifier.

* * S S *SS * * * * S S S S S * S S S S *SS S * S S. S S *S * * S * S S S S 5 I S S *S5 S *I * S This may facilitate operation and may allow increased flexibility and user experience. For example, a number of MIDI files may be centrally located and a user may from one device select a MIDI file to be played with this consequently being automatically selected by other players.

According to an optional feature of the invention, the apparatus is arranged to play the first data of the MIDI file as the MIDI file is being received by the receiving means.

This may allow a streaming presentation of the MIDI file.

The feature may provide for a reduced delay and/or a reduced storage requirement.

According to an optional feature of the invention, the MIDI file is received from a local source of the apparatus.

The local source may for example be a local storage. The local source may be an internal source. This may allow an advantageous functionality and implementation in many embodiments. For example, a synchronised and coordinated presentation of a specific MIDI file by a plurality of players may be achieved by a communication of a single synchronisation signal. Any communication and/or distribution of the MIDI file may be performed completely independently of the timing of the presentation and using any suitable communication means and strategy.

According to an optional feature of the invention, the synchronisation signal is comprised in the MIDI file.

* * * S *S* * S S S S S * S * * S * S S.55 5 5 5 *S I S *5 S * S S

S S S S S I S S

S.. S 55. I This may allow a practical implementation and operation in many embodiments. For example, it may allow a synchronised presentation without requiring that a separate synchronisation signal is generated.

According to an optional feature of the invention, the apparatus further comprises means for transmitting the MIDI file to a remote destination.

The MIDI file may for example be transmitted to another MIDI player and specifically to another MIDI player of the group of MIDI players sharing the synchronisation signal. This may allow an efficient communication, sharing and/or distribution of the MIDI file in a group of MIDI players.

According to an optional feature of the invention, the apparatus further comprises means for transmitting the synchronisation signal to a remote destination.

The synchronisation signal may for example be transmitted to another MIDI player and specifically to another MIDI player of the group of MIDI players sharing the presentation of the MIDI file. This may allow an efficient communication, sharing and/or distribution of a synchronisation signal in a group of MIDI players.

According to an optional feature of the invention, the apparatus is a remote terminal of a cellular communication system.

The remote terminal may be e.g. a 3rd Generation cellular communication system User Equipment (UE), a Global System * * * S 555 * 5 S S S S S S S * S S S S.55 S S S 5* S S ** S S S S

S S S S S S S S

S.. S 55 5 5 for Mobile communication (GSM) remote unit, a subscriber unit, a mobile station, a communication terminal, a personal digital assistant, a laptop computer, an embedded communication processor or any physical, functional or logical communication element which is capable of communicating with a base station over the air interface of a cellular communication system.

According to an optional feature of the invention, the apparatus is a mobile phone.

The invention may allow an improved functionality of a mobile phone and may in particular allow an enhanced user experience and user service. The invention may allow an improved differentiation and/or improved revenue generation.

According to an optional feature of the invention, the apparatus further comprises means for playing all instruments of the MIDI file, and means for selecting between playing only the first data or all data of the MIDI file.

The apparatus may for example be capable of operating in a single operational mode wherein the file is played by the individual apparatus only, or of operating in a shared synchronised operating mode wherein the MIDI file is presented by a group of apparatuses. The selection between the different operating modes may be performed in response to a manual user selection or an automatic selection e.g. depending on the availability of other suitable players.

* * * * *** * * * * S S * S S * S S S S 555 S S S *. S S *S S S S S S S S S S * S * S.. S *5 * . According to a second aspect of the invention, there is provided a system for playing a MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) file comprising playing information relating to a plurality of instrument tracks, the system comprising: means for transmitting a synchronisation signal for the MIDI file to a plurality of terminals; a first of the plurality of terminals comprising receiving means for receiving the MIDI file, selection means for selecting a first subset of MIDI instrument tracks, extraction means for extracting first data of the MIDI file in response to the first subset of instrument tracks, means for receiving the synchronisation signal, and means for playing only the first data of the MIDI file synchronised to the synchronisation signal; and a second of the plurality of terminals comprising receiving means for receiving the MIDI file, selection means for selecting a second subset of MIDI instrument tracks, the second subset being different than the first subset, extraction means for extracting second data of the MIDI file in response to the second subset of instrument tracks, means for receiving the synchronisation signal, and means for playing only the second data of the MIDI file synchronised to the synchronisation signal.

According to a second aspect of the invention, there is provided a method of playing a MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) file comprising playing information relating to a plurality of instrument tracks, the method comprising: transmitting a synchronisation signal for the MIDI file to a plurality of terminals; a first of the plurality of terminals performing the steps of: receiving the MIDI file, selecting a first subset of MIDI instrument tracks, extracting first data of the MIDI file in response * S S * *** * S S S S S S S S * S S S S *SS S S S S. * 0 *s S * S S

S S S S S S S S

555 S *. S S to the first subset of instrument tracks, receiving the synchronisation signal, and playing only the first data of the MIDI file synchronised to the synchronisation signal; and a second of the plurality of terminals performing the steps of: receiving the MIDI file, selecting a second subset of MIDI instrument tracks, the second subset being different than the first subset, extracting second data of the MIDI file in response to the second subset of instrument tracks, receiving the synchronisation signal, and playing only the second data of the MIDI file synchronised to the synchronisation signal.

These and other aspects, features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from and elucidated with reference to the embodiment(s) described hereinafter.

Brief Description of the Drawings

Embodiments of the invention will be described, by way of example only, with reference to the drawings, in which FIG. 1 illustrates a group of mobile phones in accordance with some embodiments of the Invention; and FIG. 2 illustrates a remote terminal in accordance with some embodiments of the Invention.

Detailed Description of Some Embodiments of the Invention * * * * *S.

* * * S S S S S S * S S S * 555 5 5 S S. S S *S S S * S S S * * S * S S **S S ** S * The following description focuses on embodiments of the invention applicable to a remote terminal of a cellular communication system and in particular to a mobile phone of a UMTS or GSM cellular communication system. However, it will be appreciated that the invention is not limited to this application but may be applied to many other devices and applications.

FIG. 1 illustrates a group of mobile phones in accordance with some embodiments of the Invention. In the example of FIG. 1 four mobile phones 101, 103, 105, 107 are served by a single base station of the cellular communication system (not shown) and may communicate over the air interface of the cellular communication system. In addition, the four mobile phones each comprise a BluetoothTM transceiver allowing them to communicate directly with other BluetoothTM devices. In particular, the mobile phones 101-107 may communicate directly with each other using BluetoothTM communication links.

In the example of FIG. 1, all of the mobile phones 101-107 have identical copies of the same specific MIDI file stored in a local memory. A first mobile phone 101 operates as a master and controls the four mobile phones 101-107 to synchronously play the MIDI file. Furthermore, each of the mobile phones 101-107 play only a part of the instruments of the MIDI file such that the total MIDI file is played by the group of mobile phones 101-107 rather than by an individual phone.

Thus, in the example, the presentation of different instruments specified in the MIDI files are distributed * * * * 4** * * I I * * * . * * * a 0 **4 S 0 a ** * 0 *. * S * 0 * . * * 0 0 S S S.. * ** S * between a plurality of mobile phones 101-107 which are in close proximity, such as for example in the same room.

In the specific example, four users having compatible mobile phones 101107 may e.g. individually configure their phones such that each is responsible for a different group of instruments. When a user activates the playing of the MIDI file, the user's mobile phone may automatically become the master mobile phone 101 and may transmit a synchronization signal to the other mobile phones 103-107. This results in all mobile phones 101-107 starting to synchronously play different instruments of the same MIDI file. Thus, a much improved presentation of the MIDI file is achieved which is not limited by the functionality of the individual mobile phone but only by the combined functionality of the group of mobile phones 101-107. Specifically, a number of instruments higher than the number of independent sound channels of the individual mobile phone may be simultaneously played.

The described embodiments may thus provide a novelty mobile phone application that allows a group of mobiles to play the separate instrumental parts of a MIDI tune in synchronization.

FIG. 2 illustrates a remote terminal in accordance with some embodiments of the Invention. The remote terminal is in the example one of the mobile phones 103 of FIG. 1.

The mobile phone 103 comprises a BluetoothTM receiver 201 which is arranged to receive and transmit data over one or more BluetoothTM communication links. *..

- I S S * * . * * a spa - 4 I I.a p * o I 4 I S S.. * In the specific example, the BluetoothTM receiver 201 receives the MIDI file from the master mobile phone 101 in advance of the playing of the MIDI file. The MIDI file comprises data for a plurality of instruments. The structure and processing of MIDI files will be well known to the person skilled in the art and will for brevity and clarity not be described further.

It will be appreciated that in other embodiments, the MIDI file may be received from other sources and in other ways.

For example, the MIDI file may be downloaded over the air interface of the cellular communication system or may be received from an internal source.

In the example, the MIDI file is stored in a local MIDI storage 203 in readiness for being played. The MIDI storage 203 may for example be a local non-volatile solid state storage of the mobile phone 103.

The BluetoothTM receiver 201 is further operable to receive a synchronisation signal from the master mobile phone 101.

Specifically, the synchronisation signal may be a simple activation signal that indicates that the presentation of the MIDI file should begin immediately. In other embodiments, the synchronisation signal may for example be a synchronisation message containing an absolute or relative time indication of when the presentation should be initialised.

The BluetoothTM receiver 201 is also coupled to a MIDI player 205. In the specific example, the MIDI player 205 is * S. * * I I S S I * S I S S 1*5 S I I5 I S *5 I S ? SI - S I S * S. I S activated to immediately begin to play the MIDI file when the synchronisation signal is received.

The MIDI player 205 is coupled to a data extractor 207 which is further coupled to a selection processor 209 and the MIDI storage 203.

The selection processor 209 is operable to select a subset of MIDI instrument tracks to be played by the specific mobile phone 103. In some embodiments, the selection processor 209 may provide user interface means and the user may specifically and manually select one or more instruments to be played by the specific mobile phone 103. For example, the selection processor 209 may present a number of MIDI instrument patches on a display and the user may select one or more of the displayed patches.

The data extractor 207 is operable to extract data of the MIDI file in response to the subset of instrument tracks.

Specifically, the data extractor 207 accesses the MIDI storage 203 to retrieve the MIDI file. It then proceeds to filter the data of the MIDI file such that only the data related to the instruments included in the subset received from the selection processor 209 is forwarded to the MIDI player 205.

The MIDI player 205 is arranged to play the data received from the data extractor 207 synchronised to the synchronisation signal. In the specific example, the MIDI player 205 receives the filtered data from the data extractor 207 and immediately begins the playing of this data when the synchronisation signal is received. Thus, the 4, *4 ** , * 44. t * t 4 0 . 4. 4 *

MIDI player 205 proceeds to play only the data for the instruments which are selected by the user.

The other mobile phones 101, 105, 107 filter the MIDI file in a similar way and thus a sound signal is produced wherein different mobile phones 101-107 originate different sounds for different instruments.

In some embodiments or scenarios, the group of mobile phones may for example select instruments such that all instruments are played by one and only one of the mobile phones.

However, in other scenarios, the users may select other configurations. For example, a novelty group application may be generated wherein the individual users may dynamically modify the created sound thereby allowing a group mixing functionality.

In the example, the generic MIDI file is thus distributed to a plurality of mobile phones 101-107 without any indication of which instruments should be played by which mobile phones. Rather, a synchronisation signal is distributed to ensure synchronous playing but the individual instruments may be locally selected by the individual mobile phone.

Thus, in the example, the participating mobile phones each play their individual and locally stored copy of the MIDI file while achieving that a full tune is generated.

In the embodiment of FIG. 1 and 2, the communication of the MIDI file and of the synchronisation signal is over a wireless communication link and in particular over a BluetoothTM communication link. This may be particularly useful for the described application as many mobile phones *1., * I. II *. * " .. , . . % SI,a,.e 3 * S.. * comprise BluetoothTM communication functionality for other purposes. Furthermore, BluetoothTM is a standard which has been optimised for ad-hoc low distance communications and is therefore very well suited for the current application which is specifically suited for scenarios where groups are dynamically formed when the mobile stations are within a short distance of each other.

Currently Bluetooth'IM is aimed at a direct communication between only two parties. Thus, in the example of FIG. 1, the master mobile phone 101 may set up three separate parallel communication links with the three slave mobile phones 103-107 in order to communicate the synchronisation signal and/or the MIDI file. Alternatively, the master mobile phone 101 may sequentially set up three separate parallel communication links with the three slave mobile phones 103-107 in rapid succession. This may cause some synchronisation loss between the mobile phones 101-107 due to the delay associated with tearing down and setting up of new BluetoothTM communications. However, if this is achieved sufficiently fast, the synchronisation offset may be insignificant and not noticeable to the listeners.

Furthermore, it is currently the intention to enhance the BluetoothTM standards to accommodate multicasting wherein the same communication is simultaneously transmitted to a plurality of receivers. In many embodiments, it may be advantageous to use such multicasting of particularly the synchronisation signal in order to reduce the synchronisation offsets between different mobile phones.

- S. St j .t.. S. I, * 5.. 5.

5.5. (5 5.. - In the described example, the user of each individual mobile phone directly and manually selects which instruments should be played by the specific mobile phone 103. This may for example be achieved by a selection of individual patches of instruments which should be played. Specifically, the MIDI format divides instruments into a number of specific patches and rather than selecting an individual instrument, the user may select a patch resulting in the mobile phone playing all instruments of that patch.

In some embodiments, the selection processor 209 is arranged to select the subset in response to a configuration setup of the apparatus. For example, a user may specify a configuration wherein the mobile phone in response to receiving a synchronisation signal will always play the rhythm instruments. Thus, the selection processor 209 may in such cases be performed without any specific involvement of the user with respect to the individual MIDI file.

In some embodiments, the BluetoothTM receiver 201 may receive selection information from a remote source. For example, the BluetoothTM receiver 201 may receive selection information from the master mobile phone 101 indicating that the specific mobile phone 103 should select a specific patch to be played. As another example, the BluetoothTM receiver 201 may receive selection information from the master mobile phone 101 indicating what instruments will be played by the master mobile phone 101 or one or more of the other slave mobile phones 105, 107. The selection processor 209 may then restrict itself to only select instruments which are not selected by other mobile phones. *1 %

S. .. S. C I. - 0 5*__ - . The example of FIG. 1 may allow the presentation of the MIDI file to be based on group behaviour and functionality. Thus the mobile phones 101-107 may support the ability to define a group such that each mobile phone within the vicinity can choose to become part of that group and thus receive BluetoothTM broadcasts from any other member of the group.

In the example, each member of the group may have identical copies of the MIDI files that they wish to play and can configure their own MIDI preferences to select the instrument(s) that they want their phone to play.

When a member of the group plays a MIDI file on their mobile phone, theycan specifically select to play it in a shared or individual mode. Thus, the mobile phones 101-107 may comprise functionality for playing the MIDI file by itself.

In this case a larger number of instruments and possibly all instruments of the MIDI filed are played by the mobile phone (if possible).

If the shared mode is selected, the mobile phone proceeds to send a synchronization signal to the other mobile phones of the group and in response the participating members of the group proceed to play the individually selected subset of instruments.

It will be appreciated that in many embodiments, any member of a group can initiate the playing of the MIDI file. Thus, any member may initiate the BluetoothTM communication and may specifically become the master device. I \\

*0. I. . - - I 4 % 44 *0 In some embodiments, the MIDI storage 203 comprises a plurality of stored MIDI files possibly received from different destinations. Rather than transmitting the MIDI file itself, the master mobile phone 101 may transmit a MIDI file identifier. The MIDI file identifier may for example be transmitted as a message on the BluetoothTM communication link and may be received by the BluetoothTM receiver 201. In some embodiments, the identifier may be transmitted with the synchronisation signal or the MIDI file identifier message may itself be considered an activation! synchronisation signal.

The MIDI file identifier is passed to the data extractor 207 which uses this to select the corresponding MIDI file from which the data corresponding to the subset of selected instruments is extracted and fed to the MIDI player 205 for presentation.

In some embodiments, the MIDI file is not pre-stored but may be played as it is being received. For example, the data extractor 207 may be directly coupled to the BluetoothTM receiver 201 and may receive the MIDI file as it is being received over the BluetoothTM communication link. It may then dynamically extract the data for the selected instruments and feed this to the MIDI player 205.

In some such streaming embodiments, the master mobile phone 101 may broadcast the complete MIDI file with the other mobile phones 103- 107 continuously filtering and playing the individually selected instruments. - 0 "0.

-e - - c. *0

-C. - p. In some embodiments, the MIDI file may itself comprise the synchronisation signal. For example, some data of the MIDI file may be used to synchronise the playing of the MIDI file. As an example, the synchronisation information could be derived e.g. from a midi drum track or (as in the described streaming embodiment), could even be the full MIDI file itself.

In some embodiments, the individual mobile phone may comprise functionality for transmitting the MIDI file and/or the synchronisation signal to a remote destination, the remote destination may specifically be another mobile phone which is part of or may potentially become part of the group.

For example, in the described system of FIG. 1, the master mobile phone 101 comprises functionality for transmitting both the MIDI file and the synchronisation signal to the other mobile phones 103-107 over the BluetoothTM air interface. In some embodiments, one or more of the other mobile phones 103-107 may further comprise functionality for sending this information on to other mobile phones.

As a specific example, the master mobile phone 101 may transmit the MIDI file and/or the synchronisation signal to the first mobile phone 103. The first mobile phone may further setup a new BluetoothTM communication with the second mobile phone 105 and forward the MIDI file and/or the synchronisation signal to this.

It will be appreciated that the above description for clarity has described embodiments of the invention with - .. . .v I 4 a.. a.. .

reference to different functional units and processors.

However, it will be apparent that any suitable distribution of functionality between different functional units or processors may be used without detracting from the invention. For example, functionality illustrated to be performed by separate processors or controllers may be performed by the same processor or controllers. Hence, references to specific functional units are only to be seen as references to suitable means for providing the described functionality rather than indicative of a strict logical or physical structure or organization.

The invention can be implemented in any suitable form including hardware, software, firmware or any combination of these. The invention may optionally be implemented at least partly as computer software running on one or more data processors and/or digital signal processors. The elements and components of an embodiment of the invention may be physically, functionally and logically implemented in any suitable way. Indeed the functionality may be implemented in a single unit, in a plurality of units or as part of other functional units. As such, the invention may be implemented in a single unit or may be physically and functionally distributed between different units and processors.

Although the present invention has been described in connection with some embodiments, it is not intended to be limited to the specific form set forth herein. Rather, the scope of the present invention is limited only by the accompanying claims. Additionally, although a feature may appear to be described in connection with particular embodiments, one skilled in the art would recognize that

- - S

.. I.' * .. .. 0 ttt - .

various features of the described embodiments may be combined in accordance with the invention. In the claims, the term comprising does not exclude the presence of other elements or steps.

Furthermore, although individually listed, a plurality of means, elements or method steps may be implemented by e.g. a single unit or processor. Additionally, although individual features may be included in different claims, these may possibly be advantageously combined, and the inclusion in different claims does not imply that a combination of features is not feasible and/or advantageous. Also the inclusion of a feature in one category of claims does not imply a limitation to this category but rather indicates that the feature is equally applicable to other claim categories as appropriate. Furthermore, the order of features in the claims do not imply any specific order in which the features must be worked and in particular the order of individual steps in a method claim does not imply that the steps must be performed in this order. Rather, the steps may be performed in any suitable order. In addition, singular references do not exclude a plurality. Thus references to "a", "an", "first", "second" etc do not preclude a plurality.

- .. . , 0.. - - ., . - S fle - S.

Claims (20)

1. An apparatus for playing a Musical Instrument Digital Interface, MIDI, file, the apparatus comprising: receiving means for receiving the MIDI file, the MIDI file comprising playing information relating to a plurality of instrument tracks; selection means for selecting a subset of MIDI instrument tracks; extraction means for extracting first data of the MIDI file in response to the subset of instrument tracks; means for receiving a synchronisation signal common for a plurality of MIDI players; and means for playing only the first data of the MIDI file synchronised to the synchronisation signal.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the selection means is arranged to select the subset in response to a user input.
3. The apparatus of any previous claim wherein the selection means is arranged to select the subset in response a configuration setup of the apparatus.
4. The apparatus of any previous claim wherein the selection means is arranged to select the subset in response data of the MIDI file.
5. The apparatus of any previous claim wherein the selection means is arranged to select the subset by selection of at least one instrument patch. a 0
* a'. ..
a. - - ç a-- *.. - a.
6. The apparatus of any previous claim further comprising means for receiving selection information from a remote source, and wherein the selection means is arranged to select the subset in response to the selection information.
7. The apparatus of any previous claim wherein the receiving means is arranged to receive the MIDI file from an external source over a wireless communication link.
8. The apparatus of any previous claim wherein the means for receiving the synchronisation signal is arranged to receive the synchronisation signal from an external source over a wireless communication link.
9. The apparatus of claim 7 or 8 wherein the wireless communication link comprises a BluetoothTM communication link.
10. The apparatus of any previous claim further comprising means for receiving a MIDI file identifier, and means for selecting the MIDI file from a plurality of locally stored MIDI files in response to the MIDI file identifier.
11. The apparatus of any previous claim arranged to play the first data of the MIDI file as the MIDI file is being received by the receiving means.
12. The apparatus of any previous claim wherein the MIDI file is received from a local source of the apparatus.
13. The apparatus of any previous claim wherein the synchronisation signal is comprised in the MIDI file.
a - - % * .* i4 - a.. ... a.
0e. a.
14. The apparatus of any previous claim further comprising means for transmitting the MIDI file to a remote destination.
15. The apparatus of any previous claim further comprising means for transmitting the synchronisation signal to a remote destination.
16. The apparatus of any previous claim wherein the apparatus is a remote terminal of a cellular communication system.
17. The apparatus of any previous claim wherein the apparatus is a mobile phone.
18. The apparatus of any previous claim further comprising means for playing all instruments of the MIDI file, and means for selecting between playing only the first data and playing all data of the MIDI file.
19. A system for playing a Musical Instrument Digital Interface, MIDI, file comprising playing information relating to a plurality of instrument tracks, the system comprising: means for transmitting a synchronisation signal for the MIDI file to a plurality of terminals; a first of the plurality of terminals comprising receiving means for receiving the MIDI file, selection means for selecting a first subset of MIDI instrument tracks, *.*.I , " ., * * $*.* % * * . 0-s 4 d*. * extraction means for extracting first data of the MIDI file in response to the first subset of instrument tracks, means for receiving the synchronisation signal, and means for playing only the first data of the MIDI file synchronised to the synchronisation signal; and a second of the plurality of terminals comprising receiving means for receiving the MIDI file, selection means for selecting a second subset of MIDI instrument tracks, the second subset being different than the first subset, extraction means for extracting second data of the MIDI file in response to the second subset of instrument tracks, means for receiving the synchronisation signal, and means for playing only the second data of the MIDI file synchronised to the synchronisation signal.
20. A method of playing portions of a recorded Musical Instrument Digital Interface, MIDI, file among a plurality of terminals, the MIDI file comprising playing information relating to a plurality of instrument tracks, the method comprising: transmitting from a master device a synchronisation signal for the MIDI file to a plurality of terminals; a first of the plurality of terminals performing the steps of: receiving the MIDI file from the master device, 25 selecting in the first terminal as a slave device a first subset of MIDI instrument tracks to play on the first terminal in response to a user input, extracting first data of the MIDI file in response to the first subset of instrument tracks, receiving the synchronisation signal from a master device common for the plurality of terminals, and CE 141 O6EP.GB playing only the first data of the MIDI file on the first terminal synchronised to the synchronisation signal; and a second of the plurality of terminals performing the steps of: receiving the MIDI file from the master device, selecting in the second terminal as a slave device a second subset of MIDI instrument tracks to play on the second terminal in response to a user input, the second subset being different than the first subset, extracting second data of the MIDI file in response to the second subset of instrument tracks, receiving the synchronisation signal from the master device, and playing only the second data of the MIDI file on the second terminal synchronised to the synchronisation signal while all the remaining tracks of the MIDI file are distributed to the other players of the group such that the full MIDI file is generated.
CE141O6EP GB
20. A method of playing a Musical Instrument Digital Interface, MIDI, file comprising playing information relating to a plurality of instrument tracks, the method comprising: transmitting a synchronisation signal for the MIDI file to a plurality of terminals; a first of the plurality of terminals performing the steps of: receiving the MIDI file, .. . i.
selecting a first subset of MIDI instrument tracks, extracting first data of the MIDI file in response to the first subset of instrument tracks, receiving the synchronisation signal, and playing only the first data of the MIDI file synchronised to the synchronisation signal; and a second of the plurality of terminals performing the steps of: receiving the MIDI file, selecting a second subset of MIDI instrument tracks, the second subset being different than the first subset, extracting second data of the MIDI file in response to the second subset of instrument tracks, receiving the synchronisation signal, and playing only the second data of the MIDI file synchronised to the synchronisation signal.
- ii
AMENDMENTS TO THE CLAIMS HAVE BEEN FILED AS FOLLOWS l4zq
1. An apparatus among a group of Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) players, the apparatus for playing a portion of a recorded MIDI file, comprising: receiving means for receiving the MIDI file from a master device, the MIDI file comprising playing information relating to a plurality of instrument tracks; selection means in the apparatus as a slave device for selecting a subset of MIDI instrument tracks to play on the apparatus in response to a user input; extraction means for extracting first data of the MIDI file in response to the subset of instrument tracks; means for receiving a synchronisation signal from the master device common for a plurality of MIDI players; and means for playing only the first data of the MIDI file on the apparatus synchronised to the synchronisation signal while all the remaining tracks of the MIDI file are distributed to the other players of the group such that the full MIDI file is generated.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the selection means is ) ))) arranged to select a predefined patch of instruments such that all instruments of that patch are played by one and only one of the group.
3. The apparatus of any previous claim wherein the selection means is arranged to select the subset of MIDI instrument tracks in response to a configuration setup of the apparatus.
CE141O6EP GB 4. The apparatus of any previous claim wherein the selection means is arranged to select the subset of MIDI instrument tracks in response to data of the MIDI file.
5. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein the selection means is arranged to select the subset of MIDI instrument tracks by selecting selection information from the master device indicating what instruments will be played by the other devices of the group, wherein the selection means is restrict to only select instruments which are not selected by others of the group.
6. The apparatus of any previous claim further comprising means for receiving selection information from a remote source, and wherein the selection means is arranged to select the subset of MIDI instrument tracks in response to the selection information.
7. The apparatus of any previous claim wherein the receiving means is arranged to receive the MIDI file from an external source over a wireless communication link.
8. The apparatus of any previous claim wherein the means for receiving the synchronisation signal is arranged to receive the synchronisation signal from an external source over a wireless communication link.
9. The apparatus of any previous claim further comprising means for receiving a MIDI file identifier in a message, and means for selecting the MIDI file from a plurality of locally stored MIDI files in response to the MIDI file identifier.
CE141O6EP GB 10. The apparatus of claim 10 wherein the MIDI file identifier message is used as the synchronisation signal.
11. The apparatus of any previous claim arranged to play the first data of the MIDI file as the MIDI file is being received by the receiving means.
12. The apparatus of any previous claim wherein the MIDI file is received from a local source of the apparatus.
13. The apparatus of any previous claim wherein the synchronisation signal is comprised in the MIDI file.
14. The apparatus of any previous claim further comprising means for transmitting the MIDI file to a remote destination.
15. The apparatus of any previous claim further comprising means for transmitting the synchronisation signal to a remote destination.
16. The apparatus of any previous claim wherein the apparatus is a remote terminal of a cellular communication system.
17. The apparatus of any previous claim wherein the apparatus is a mobile phone.
CE141O6EP GB 18. The apparatus of any previous claim further comprising means for playing all instruments of the MIDI file, and means for selecting between playing only the first data and playing all data of the MIDI file.
19. A system for playing portions of a recorded Musical Instrument Digital Interface, MIDI, file among a plurality of terminals, the MIDI file comprising playing information relating to a plurality of instrument tracks, the system comprising: means for transmitting from a master device a synchronisation signal for the MIDI file to a plurality of terminals; a first of the plurality of terminals comprising receiving means for receiving the MIDI file from the master device, selection means in the first terminal as a slave device for selecting a first subset of MIDI instrument tracks to play on the first terminal in response to a user input, extraction means for extracting first data of the MIDI file in response to the first subset of instrument tracks, means for receiving the synchronisation signal from the master device common for the plurality of terminals, and means for playing only the first data of the MIDI file on the first terminal synchronised to the synchronisation signal; and a second of the plurality of terminals comprising receiving means for receiving the MIDI file from the master device, selection means in the second terminal as a slave device for selecting a second subset of MIDI instrument tracks to play on the second terminal in response to a user input, the CE141O6EP GB second subset being different than the first subset, extraction means for extracting second data of the MIDI file in response to the second subset of instrument tracks, means for receiving the synchronisation signal from the master device, and means for playing only the second data of the MIDI file on the second terminal synchronised to the synchronisation signal while all the remaining tracks of the MIDI file are distributed to the other players of the group such that the full MIDI file is generated.
GB0511792A 2005-06-09 2005-06-09 Synchronised playing of a MIDI file Withdrawn GB2427049A (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB0511792A GB2427049A (en) 2005-06-09 2005-06-09 Synchronised playing of a MIDI file

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB0511792A GB2427049A (en) 2005-06-09 2005-06-09 Synchronised playing of a MIDI file

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
GB0511792D0 true GB0511792D0 (en) 2005-07-20
GB2427049A true true GB2427049A (en) 2006-12-13

Family

ID=34855298

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
GB0511792A Withdrawn GB2427049A (en) 2005-06-09 2005-06-09 Synchronised playing of a MIDI file

Country Status (1)

Country Link
GB (1) GB2427049A (en)

Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US8779265B1 (en) 2009-04-24 2014-07-15 Shindig, Inc. Networks of portable electronic devices that collectively generate sound

Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20030121401A1 (en) * 2001-12-12 2003-07-03 Yamaha Corporation Mixer apparatus and music apparatus capable of communicating with the mixer apparatus
US20040159219A1 (en) * 2003-02-07 2004-08-19 Nokia Corporation Method and apparatus for combining processing power of MIDI-enabled mobile stations to increase polyphony
WO2004069358A1 (en) * 2003-02-07 2004-08-19 Nokia Corporation Control of multi-user environments
US20040176025A1 (en) * 2003-02-07 2004-09-09 Nokia Corporation Playing music with mobile phones
US20040209629A1 (en) * 2002-03-19 2004-10-21 Nokia Corporation Methods and apparatus for transmitting midi data over a lossy communications channel

Patent Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20030121401A1 (en) * 2001-12-12 2003-07-03 Yamaha Corporation Mixer apparatus and music apparatus capable of communicating with the mixer apparatus
US20040209629A1 (en) * 2002-03-19 2004-10-21 Nokia Corporation Methods and apparatus for transmitting midi data over a lossy communications channel
US20040159219A1 (en) * 2003-02-07 2004-08-19 Nokia Corporation Method and apparatus for combining processing power of MIDI-enabled mobile stations to increase polyphony
WO2004069358A1 (en) * 2003-02-07 2004-08-19 Nokia Corporation Control of multi-user environments
US20040176025A1 (en) * 2003-02-07 2004-09-09 Nokia Corporation Playing music with mobile phones

Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US8779265B1 (en) 2009-04-24 2014-07-15 Shindig, Inc. Networks of portable electronic devices that collectively generate sound
US9401132B2 (en) 2009-04-24 2016-07-26 Steven M. Gottlieb Networks of portable electronic devices that collectively generate sound

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
GB0511792D0 (en) 2005-07-20 application

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US20030223604A1 (en) Audio output apparatus having a wireless communication function, and method of controlling sound-source switching in the apparatus
US20080092201A1 (en) Providing a supplemental content service for communication networks
US7697925B1 (en) Synchronized light shows on cellular handsets of users at a gathering
US20090143007A1 (en) Methods and systems for mixing media with communications
US20080152165A1 (en) Ad-hoc proximity multi-speaker entertainment
US8233648B2 (en) Ad-hoc adaptive wireless mobile sound system
US20070223666A1 (en) Electronic equipment and service providing personalized call features
US20030126211A1 (en) Synchronous media playback and messaging system
US20070065794A1 (en) Methods, devices, and computer program products for providing a karaoke service using a mobile terminal
US7693535B2 (en) Communication systems and methods for providing a group play list for multimedia content records
US20070061725A1 (en) System and method for managing content between devices having different capabilities
US20050106546A1 (en) Electronic communications device with a karaoke function
US20090077046A1 (en) Content usage system, content usage method, recording and playback device, content delivery method, and content delivery program
US7142807B2 (en) Method of providing Karaoke service to mobile terminals using a wireless connection between the mobile terminals
US20060209174A1 (en) System and method for selective media recording and playback
US20080109852A1 (en) Super share
US20100041330A1 (en) Synchronized playing of songs by a plurality of wireless mobile terminals
US20080045140A1 (en) Audio system employing multiple mobile devices in concert
US20070087686A1 (en) Audio playback device and method of its operation
US20070196802A1 (en) Visually Enhanced Personal Music Broadcast
WO2007131555A1 (en) Mobile wireless communication terminals, systems, methods, and computer program products for managing playback of song files
US20110053491A1 (en) Tagging of broadcast content using a portable media device controlled by an accessory
CN101465910A (en) Control method, terminal and system for playing stereo based on mobile terminal
EP1443737A1 (en) Headset comprising a wireless communication device communicating with at least two remote devices
US20070291709A1 (en) Wireless media player

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
WAP Application withdrawn, taken to be withdrawn or refused ** after publication under section 16(1)