I remember running into a top Apple music rep at Macworld. I said something involving the phrase "OS X transition."

"Can't we stop referring to it as a transition now?" said the Apple person.

I think at the time Digital Performer lacked AU support, Pro Tools
wasn't available, things were crashing, audio support was undocumented
and didn't work, and mysterious winged demons flew out of my PowerBook
every time I booted it up. And even that wasn't the point — I
explained to him that the bottom line was, the "transition" was an
individual thing, and it wasn't over until you finally had everything
on X that you had on 9, not only with new features you didn't have
before but with the old stuff you used to make music.

Now, of course, matters have been different for some time and OS X has made OS 9 look downright draconian for music. But for me, there was one application I missed.

That's it. It's over. I'm running MetaSynth Pro 4 native under OS X.
And if I pull up Classic or (god forbid!) boot into OS 9, it'll be just
like those times I pull out my Apple IIc.

So, on Friday, February 4, 2005, the transition ended for me. Now let's
hope Microsoft doesn't spoil everything with Windows and I can make
music for a while!

  • Guest

    I hear you, and I have been waiting for MetaSynth all this time too, to complete the transition. But there is still nothing close to SoundEdit for OS X. Bias Deck seems to have a similar feature set, but it is cumbersome and expensive. Where is the quick and easy multitrack audio editor to replace SoundEdit? Please, someone, complete our transition! =]

  • Guest

    For the hobbyist e-musician, though, it has been nearly impossible to make the move…too much invested in Classic software and (otherwise) incompatible hardware; it's just too expensive for someone like me to switch. however there is still a ZEN to booting in OS9 (besides nostalgia). It's clean, uncomplicated from the ties of an IM/Net life that sits on my X partition (where my real, day-to-day, work happens). Perfect, still, for channeled creativity.

  • admin

    Well, I hear you — use OS 9 if it's working for you! Use an Atari ST if it's working for you! (Speaking of which, I bet the next big thing will be vintage computer synthesis . . .)

    I do feel like the computer music community has made the right decision to focus on Windows XP and OS X. It's just too complicated to have to support these older OSes. It's been a tough decision I've had to face for my digital audio book, and the bottom line is, while I know there are people like you out there using OS 9 I have to focus on instructions for the modern OSes or the prose bloats really fast.

    As for a replacement for SoundEdit, how about Audacity? It's free, and does plenty SoundEdit couldn't do! I'll talk more about it soon . . . it's one of the best utilities out there for Windows / Mac / Linux.

  • Guest

    Yes, it's great that MetaSynth has been ported to native OSX code, but comparing going into OS9 to Apple IIc just shows how full of the "latest is greatest" you are. I mean, once you get into the app, often the OS doesn't mean anything. OS9 and it's direct access to the CPU make it a faster system for those using slower processors like G4/450-800. Plus. as others have pointed out OS9 is a much simpler OS then Unix. I think it's great that you don't have to go into OS9 as this makes things simpler for you but to compare OS9 to Apple IIc is ridiculous.


  • admin

    Thanks for the engaging ongoing comments here . . .

    MC, you took me a bit too literally: I'm not suggesting a ProDOS versus MacOS bake-off here. The Apple IIc – OS 9 comparison is simply one of two technologies I no longer use, and no longer need to use — or want to.

    I can't possibly agree that OS 9 compares favorably to the current release of OS X. Yes, early versions of X were buggy, slow, etc. But if we pit 10.3.x against OS 9.2.2, there's just no contest. That's not me being full of "latest and greatest" — on the contrary, I want an OS that's less of a HEADACHE than what we had under many versions of the legacy Mac OS.

    Frankly, I think we shouldn't have had to wait as long as we did for decent OS-level MIDI support. OS 9 and earlier were a bear to configure, unstable, bugprone, crash-prone, slow, and inflexible. OMS was unsupported for years, itself a kludge invented by a third party to make up for Apple's own horifically-bad MIDI Manager. We also had half a dozen competing driver models for audio, making it impossible in many cases to route audio between apps — something we take for granted now. Not trying to rant, here, but it's worth remembering how much better the current generation of both Mac and Windows. The technology isn't so much more advanced as it is less broken than it was before.

    And, of course, you're missing my whole point here: switching to new technology doesn't happen for everyone simultaneously. The fact that we've had to live with OS X for so many years before it's fully replaced its predecessors is proof of that. I do hope the Mac (and Windows) continue to improve, naturally — and users will take advantage of those improvements on whatever timescale is comfortable for them.

    And the even better news is now we do have some "latest and greatest" stuff at the OS level that, not only is "less broken" but actually IS "more advanced." The OS makes a major difference in the experience you have of apps. It took Apple and Microsoft years to understand that. I hope now they finally do.


  • Guest

    Still waiting for Karma MW 🙁

    (Fortunately the "unsupported" Nord Modular OS-X editor is actually pretty solid!)