One of the most beloved tools in Nintendo DS homebrew has become free software, under the GPL v3. Talk about restrictive platforms – the DS requires special hardware just to get this app to run. But even with a couple of people involved in development, that could mean better, more frequent updates. I also wonder if we might see this largely-native code ported or adapted to another platform. (It’d work especially well with hardware that’s got a stylus.)

The code release is not for everyone, as indicated by the phrases that mark the site:

Do you write VBlank handlers instead of main loops?
Do you like your REG_MASTER_VOLUME set to 0x7F?

Geeky as they wanna be. (Seriously, having had a look at the code, it’s pretty friendly. And because it runs on ARM platforms, it could be a candidate for Android or even new hardware like the ARM-powered BeagleBoard – if someone is savvy and patient, unlike me.)

Creator TobW has done a terrific job of documenting development for the DS as well as creating some lovely wireless MIDI tools for DS and iPhone.

Thanks for the news, andars!

And lest you think this is only for cheery chiptunes, here’s a track and video made with the tool that takes a different direction:

  • Jordaan

    I'm a huge fan of Nitrotracker and can't wait to see what others will take it.

  • This iPad looks like a Nitendo DS!

    Sorry i know the way ->

  • hopefully there'll be more made of the osc library that came out dsmidiwifi…

  • radian

    Hopefully someone can get FT2 FX commands up in it.

  • Koratanu

    Seems like this would be well suited to port to Always Innovating's Touchbook. Its arm/beagleboard based and has a touchscreen.

  • I created Scaffold – the odd little Nitrotracker track above from samples of workmen on scaffolding outside a hotel window in Sitges. It is part of my ongoing daily music bean project – a new sonic something and more every day. Among lots of other stuff there are a bunch more Nitrotracker and Nanoloop based tracks.

  • This is good news for everyone who loves fiddling with trackers. This will be especially once you see people using it alongside DSs running misc apps. I cannot imagine where I would be some days on the happy scale without the array of great free PC and DS music apps available out there from lots of talented folks. Thanks to those involved in allowing the infection of inspiration to spread.

  • Wow, great news. Might have to get into that source and learn a few things about programming the DS. Kudos for putting the code in the open.

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  • This page seems to recieve a good ammount of visitors. How do you get traffic to it? It gives a nice individual twist on things. I guess having something real or substantial to give info on is the most important factor.

  • cool app! been using since 2007