What will you do with this blank slate? Photo (CC-BY) Yutaka Tsutano.

Apple yesterday described their iPad as “this magical pane of glass that can become anything you want it to be.” So – how about making mobile devices into what you want it to be?

With the help of author Peter Brinkmann and publisher O’Reilly, we’d like to give you a taste of Peter’s new book, Making Musical Apps: Real-time audio synthesis on Android and iOS. Imagining that a lot of you are especially curious about iOS, we’ll include the chapter on how to get started with development. It really gives you a sense of how easy this can be; the challenge is, as it should be, coming up with musical ideas. And Apple did say that they thought that technology was at its best when it was “invisible,” not when it was “inaudible.” So let’s make it make some noise.

(Android developers, libpd actually got its start on Android and runs quite well even on very primitive Android handsets, so consider this a sample; the full book – and the libpd site – include loads of examples on the Android side, too. In fact, because libpd works basically identically on the two platforms, it’s a great choice for making cross-platform development easier.)

In this excerpt, Peter covers:

  • How to set up your development environment
  • Starting a project with Xcode, and including Pd
  • How to make a Pd patch run in your app
  • Making the Pd patch and your UI connect with each other (here, from the app’s UI to Pd; the book covers both directions)

In fact, in just a few pages, you’ll have a working guitar tuner for iOS. Have a look:

Read it on CDM’s Scribd page:

Making Musical Apps (Excerpt: How to Build a Music App for iOS)

Direct PDF download link, hosted by CDM (please don’t link to this file directly):
Making Musical Apps (Excerpt) [PDF]

I’ve read an advance copy of the whole book, and my review is simple: if you’re curious about this stuff, get this book. Peter’s style is friendly and precise; no technical detail is left out, and yet those details aren’t overwhelming. The book can be accessible to those new to development, which is essential for a title that’s likely to be read by people who are used to Pd, but dipping their toes into Java and Objective-C for the first time in order to get their patches running on a device.

Ready for the full book?

Get a printed copy on Amazon:

Or read the Kindle edition:

For multi-platform epub, mobi, and PDF formats, head straight to the O’Reilly page:
Making Musical Apps [shop.oreilly.com]