Title: pd-mdnsbrowser Author: Albert Gräf Date: 2014-09-30


This is a stand-alone version of the OSC service browser in the pd-touchosc module. It employs mDNS/DNS-SD a.k.a. Zeroconf for the service discovery, and works with the prevalent Zeroconf implementations on Linux and Mac OS X, Avahi and Bonjour.

The software is provided as an external for Miller Puckette's popular graphical multimedia environment Pd a.k.a. PureData, so that you can interface to Zeroconf services from Pd. In difference to the oscbrowser object included in pd-touchosc, it is not restricted to the _osc._udp service type (although this is probably its most common application in Pd), so that arbitrary Zeroconf service types may be implemented. However, it's still limited to the default Zeroconf domain (usually the local network) right now.

The mdnsbrowser object provides you with a way to both discover Zeroconf services and have Pd provide such services, which makes setting up network connections between the services much easier, since the user doesn't have to figure out the actual network addresses. One obvious application are services which transmit OSC (Open Sound Control) messages from/to Pd. But this external may conceivably be used to implement any kind of networked-based protocol between Pd and other host-based or mobile applications. Note, however, that the external only provides the basic machinery for publishing and discovering services, so the services themselves still need to be implemented by other Pd externals and/or 3rd party applications. In the case of OSC this would be the mrpeach externals on the Pd side together with external OSC hardware and software such as the Lemur and TouchOSC.

There aren't all that many Zeroconf implementations for Pd. To the author's knowledge, the only other Pd object of this kind is Murray Foster's simplebonjour which doesn't seem to be actively maintained any longer and is limited to service discovery (the DNS-SD part) only.


pd-mdnsbrowser is Copyright (c) 2014 by Albert Gräf. It is distributed under the 3-clause BSD license, please check the COPYING file for details.


You need:

  • Pd. The included help patch also requires the mrpeach externals to make the OSC service example work. We recommend using one of the available compilations such as pd-extended or pd-l2ork which already includes the required OSC externals, but you can also use vanilla Pd if you install the mrpeach externals manually.

  • Pure. pd-mdnsbrowser is written in the author's Pure programming language, so you need to have the Pure interpreter installed, as well as the pd-pure plugin loader. You can find these on the Pure website.

  • For the Zeroconf implementation, you'll also need the pure-avahi or pure-bonjour module (pd-mdnsbrowser will work with either of these; usually you use pure-avahi on Linux and pure-bonjour on the Mac). These can also be found on the Pure website. Of course, you'll also need to have the Avahi or Bonjour service running on your local network. If you you have a Mac then this should usually be the case already, but on Linux you'll have to both install Avahi and enable the corresponding service so that it is started automatically at boot time.

Users of Arch Linux may want to check the Arch User Repositories (AUR), as we try to maintain a fairly complete and recent collection of Pure- and Pd-related packages there.

Mac OS X users can find a ready-made binary package for 64 bit Intel systems here: The zip file contains the mdnsbrowser directory which you'll have to copy to a directory on Pd's library path (usually /Library/Pd for system-wide and ~/Library/Pd for personal installation on the Mac). (You'll also need the Pure interpreter and the pure-bonjour module which are available in MacPorts. Please check the Pure On Mac OS X wiki page for details.)

To compile the software yourself, check the included Makefile for settings that might need to be adjusted for your system, then run:

sudo make install

This works with vanilla Pd. If you're running pd-extended or pd-l2ork then during installation you need to specify the Pd flavor using the PD make variable, e.g.:

sudo make install PD=pd-extended

Help and Documentation

A help patch is included which demonstrates the use of this external. Open the Pd help browser and look for a section named mdnsbrowser. You should find a patch named mdnsbrowser-help there.

Feedback and Bug Reports

As usual, bug reports, patches, feature requests, other comments and source contributions are more than welcome. Just drop me an email, file an issue at the tracker or send me a pull request on pd-mdnsbrowser's Bitbucket page

Enjoy! :)

Albert Gräf