The storied iThing. Photo: CC Nathan Makan, via Flickr.

Multi-touch controller goodness is now as close as your nearest iPod Touch or iPhone; all that remains is to hook it up to some creative music, visuals, or others. (I would prefer the iPod Touch for this reason; then you don’t have to worry about using it as a phone — draining the battery in the process — or needing AT&T service.)

Olle Holmberg has a new solution for using the Touch/iPhone as a controller, by translating input to OpenSoundControl (OSC) and, if you prefer, MIDI messages. He writes:

I was searching everywhere for a way to get my new iPod Touch to work like a wireless touch controller to Pd (and hence to everything else), but couldn’t find one — so I made one. It’s really just an OSC mapping for routing the default Mrmr “Performance.mmr” interface, but if you’re interested it would save you heaps of time, even though it’s not really anything difficult to make.

Mrmr is an “open protocol for mobile devices” for dynamically creating interfaces; we’ve covered it on Create Digital Motion, where vade has interviewed the creator, and we’ve seen it in action coupled with upcoming visual app 3L. Those solutions used proprietary software like Max/MSP/Jitter, though, whereas this works with the free and open source Pd. (We love Max, but having an alternative is good, especially if you just want to hook up your iPod Touch to Ableton Live or Reaktor, etc.) As far as I know, this should also mean compatibility with Windows and Linux, but maybe someone can verify that.

The Pd patch is below — homely but functional, and you can extend it if it doesn’t do what you need.

For more information and download of the first release:

PdiPod – Mrmr to Pd on iPhone & iPod Touch [on pissypaws.tumblr, Olle’s blog]
Pd Forum Announcement and Discussion