Pd runs on iPodOur mention of mobile-ready Windows UMPCs has triggered a Goldilocks-style discussion of just how tiny is tiny enough — and what musical functionality people want from mobile devices. Needless to say, for most people this leads back to the laptop. For about 15 years, the laptop has unceremoniously eclipsed other form factors for mobile computing; it doesn’t need hype. But nonetheless, it’s interesting to see what’s possible — like running Pd (aka Pure Data, the open source cousin of Max/MSP) on an iPod.

PdPod Wiki Page
Via a discussion on the Cycling ’74 Forum

Actually, even for Max users, porting simple patches to Pd may be the best bet. This isn’t limited to iPod, either; PdPDA is a Linux-based, PDA-ready version of Pd. So you could run this on any number of Linux mobile devices. That could be useful for simple MIDI gadgets you can tote with you. Anyone doing stuff with this, we’d love to hear from you.

It sounds like there are possibilities that go beyond the “because it’s there” rationality, to custom mobile patchers running on pocketable devices for, say, triggering MIDI sequences, etc. Well, and because it’s there.

Further down the road, it’s also not inconceivable that a clever software developer might take this idea and run, providing Linux-powered devices that run alongside their software on a PC/Mac. Think of smarter keyboards and control surfaces running embedded software, remote controls, and the like. Further-out possibilities spring to mind, too. Game developers like Nintendo have done mobile-to-console connections, where you can continue to level up a character built on your console while you’re on the bus. Imagine fine-tuning Reaktor sequencers on a mobile phone.

Video demo (thanks, Donald and Crave!):

  • It also runs on the gp2x: http://mccormick.cx/projects/gp2xPd/

    Maybe someone can get it to spit midi out using firestarter's midi interface!

  • Yeah, to me, MIDI out is the key… that takes this from interesting proof-of-concept to something you'd actually use. Anyone know?

  • audioworld

    thanks, peter:

    from PdPOD I crossed over to PdPDA, and to my surprise they have a linux package for the MAEMO plattform available (hint: I do own a Nokia N800 which I bought in Chicago on the day of the DemoSwap…).

    This fits perfectly to the news-of-the-day from NOKIA: the N810 (yes, runs LINUX)

    best regards from Vienna, Austria,


  • Adrian Anders

    Now this is the kind of portable music making I like! Using cheap off the shelf electronics to do music making on the go. The only problem I had with UMPCs was that the interface and lower clock speed wasn't well suited to typical sequencer duties. But Max/PD stuff is a great idea as you can tailor the interface to match the environment you're working in.

  • Just this for ipod pd;



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    If you want to see Pd for PDAs in action in NYC, go to the lobby of the new New York Times building. There are 560 little embedded GNU/Linux boxes there running Pd. Pd is used for all the sound coming from each little box.

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