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In macOS (or any other OS), if you have a Bluetooth mouse it works right away after booting the computer (after the first pairing when it's new), and if you turn it off and later turn in back on, it gets automatically detected by the computer and just works, no fuss, no trouble, as it should.

But with Bluetooth MIDI devices it's not like that. Every time you boot the computer you have to go to Spotlight and type "Audio MIDI Setup", then go to its top menu and click on "Window" > "Show MIDI studio", then in the new window that appears, click on the "Bluetooth icon", then in yet another window find your device name and click on the "Connect" button.

Why has it be so convoluted? And that's not the worst part. If you have to switch off the MIDI instrument for any reason (even just to save power) or it just loses power for whatever reason (battery runs out, for example), then, after switching it back on, you have to go through all of the unnecesarily long process in the previous paragraph just to be able to click again in the "Connect" button. It might not seem like much but when you have to do it over and over and over, it gets old very fast and consumes way too much time when adding all of the times you have to do it.

Why do I have to click on that "Connect" button (which is really buried into several UI windows) EVERY new time I switch on a MIDI instrument? If I don't have to do all those steps with a Bluetooth mouse, then why on earth I have to do all that with a Bluetooth MIDI instrument, which is just a Bluetooth device like any other, after all?

So my question is: Is there any workaround or any app that will detect and automatically connect Bluetooth MIDI devices like the OS should be doing in the first place?

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This will need work as the mice keep trying to reconnect and MIDI devices do not.

I had the same question and asked the Roli Support about it, who told me it would be an Apple MacOs issue and they couldn´t do anything about it. Then after I sent them the following link, stating it should be possible with MacOS Ventura, they thanked me for the link and told me they will probably update their software so Auto Connect should work in the future.

https://developer.apple.com/documentation/coremidi/midi_bluetooth/

So maybe we need to share the link with all Manufacturers of Bluetooth midi devices.

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  • While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. - From Review Commented Sep 14, 2023 at 11:19
  • I've changed the implied answer to be included at the top of the post. Thanks for researching the correct API developers need to use for that class of hardware to be more copacetic with the design of the OS and bluetooth stack.
    – bmike
    Commented Sep 14, 2023 at 12:24
  • Thank you for your reply! I actually tried with a different computer with macOS Ventura and it automatically reconnects to my Bluetooth MIDI device without having to click on anything! (I'm using a CME WIDI Master device connected to my instrument through a standard MIDI connector). So, does this mean this can't be fixed in older versions of macOS? The computer I use for my live gigs is a Macbook Air 2015 which can't upgrade all the way to Ventura, unfortunately. Am I stuck with having to click on "Connect" EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. (prob. several times each session) while using this computer? :(
    – OMA
    Commented Sep 14, 2023 at 18:31
  • So, since this was only fixed on macOS 13 (Ventura) and newer OSes, is there a third-party solution which can reconnect a Bluetooth MIDI device automatically when it's turned on? The highest I can update my Macbook Air is to macOS 12 (Monterey). There's probably not any good reason for that computer not to be able to upgrade to macOS 13 but Apple just won't allow it. Damned Apple and their planned obsolescence! :(
    – OMA
    Commented Oct 30, 2023 at 23:19
  • Well, since this seems to be impossible to fix in versions of macOS older than 13 (Ventura), the only "solution" I've been able to find is installing Korg's app "Bluetooth MIDI Connect" from the App Store. This app is intended for some Korg devices I don't have, but that's no problem. What is does is detecting when a Bluetooth MIDI device (by Korg or any other manufacturer) has been powered on, so it shows a notification you can click to bring quickly the window with the absurd "Connect" button so you can click it (absurd because you shouldn't have to click a fkn button every time).
    – OMA
    Commented Apr 18 at 1:44

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