A Mido port is an object that can send or receive messages (or both).

You can open a port by calling one of the open methods, for example:

>>> inport = mido.open_input('SH-201')
>>> outport = mido.open_output('Integra-7')

Now you can receive messages on the input port and send messages on the output port:

>>> msg = inport.receive()
>>> outport.send(msg)

The message is copied by send(), so you can safely modify your original message without causing breakage in other parts of the system.

In this case, the ports are device ports, and are connected to some sort of (physical or virtual) MIDI device, but a port can be anything. For example, you can use a MultiPort receive messages from multiple ports as if they were one:

from mido.ports import MultiPort

multi = MultiPort([inport1, inport2, inport3])
for msg in multi:

This will receive messages from all ports and print them out. Another example is a socket port, which is a wrapper around a TCP/IP socket.

No matter how the port is implemented internally or what it does, it will look and behave like any other Mido port, so all kinds of ports can be used interchangeably.


Sending and receiving messages is thread safe. Opening and closing ports and listing port names are not.

Common Things

How to open a port depends on the port type. Device ports (PortMidi, RtMidi and others defined in backends) are opened with the open functions, for example:

port = mido.open_output()

Input and I/O ports (which support both input and output) are opened with open_input() and open_ioport() respectively. If you call these without a port name like above, you will get the (system specific) default port. You can override this by setting the MIDO_DEFAULT_OUTPUT etc. environment variables.

To get a list of available ports, you can do:

>>> mido.get_output_names()
['SH-201', 'Integra-7']

and then:

>>> port = mido.open_output('Integra-7')

There are corresponding function for input and I/O ports.

To learn how to open other kinds of ports, see the documentation for the port type in question.

The port name is available in port.name.

To close a port, call:


or use the with statement to have the port closed automatically:

with mido.open_input() as port:
    for message in port:

You can check if the port is closed with:

if port.closed:
    print("Yup, it's closed.")

If the port is already closed, calling close() will simply do nothing.

Output Ports

Output ports basically have only one method:


This will send the message immediately. (Well, the port can choose to do whatever it wants with the message, but at least it’s sent.)

There are also a couple of utility methods:


This will send “all notes off” and “reset all controllers” on every channel. This is used to reset everything to the default state, for example after playing back a song or messing around with controllers.

If you pass autoreset=True to the constructor, reset() will be called when the port closes:

with mido.open_output('Integra-7') as outport:
    for msg in inport:
# reset() is called here

outport.close()  # or here

Sometimes notes hang because a note_off has not been sent. To (abruptly) stop all sounding notes, you can call:


This will not reset controllers. Unlike reset(), the notes will not be turned off gracefully, but will stop immediately with no regard to decay time.

Input Ports

To iterate over incoming messages::

for msg in port:

This will iterate over messages as they arrive on the port until the port closes. (So far only socket ports actually close by themselves. This happens if the other end disconnects.)

You can also do non-blocking iteration:

for msg in port.iter_pending():

This will iterate over all messages that have already arrived. It is typically used in main loops where you want to do something else while you wait for messages:

while True:
    for msg in port.iter_pending():


In an event based system like a GUI where you don’t write the main loop you can install a handler that’s called periodically. Here’s an example for GTK:

def callback(self):
    for msg in self.inport:

gobject.timeout_add_seconds(timeout, callback)

To get a bit more control you can receive messages one at a time:

msg = port.receive()

This will block until a message arrives. To get a message only if one is available, you can use poll():

msg = port.poll()

This will return None if no message is available.


There used to be a pending() method which returned the number of pending messages. It was removed in 1.2.0 for three reasons:

  • with poll() and iter_pending() it is no longer necessary
  • it was unreliable when multithreading and for some ports it doesn’t even make sense
  • it made the internal method API confusing. _send() sends a message so _receive() should receive a message.


Instead of reading from the port you can install a callback function which will be called for every message that arrives.

Here’s a simple callback function:

def print_message(message):

To install the callback you can either pass it when you create the port or later by setting the callback attribute:

port = mido.open_input(callback=print_message)
port.callback = print_message
port.callback = another_function


Since the callback runs in a different thread you may need to use locks or other synchronization mechanisms to keep your main program and the callback from stepping on each other’s toes.

Calling receive(), __iter__(), or iter_pending() on a port with a callback will raise an exception:

ValueError: a callback is set for this port

To clear the callback:

port.callback = None

This will return the port to normal.

Port API

Common Methods and Attributes


Close the port. If the port is already closed this will simply do nothing.


Name of the port or None.


True if the port is closed.

Output Port Methods


Send a message.


Sends “all notes off” and “reset all controllers on all channels.


Sends “all sounds off” on all channels. This will abruptly end all sounding notes.

Input Port Methods


Receive a message. This will block until it returns a message. If block=True is passed it will instead return None if there is no message.


Returns a message, or None if there are no pending messages.


Iterates through pending messages.


Iterates through messages as they arrive on the port until the port closes.