Oh, no. Not Ken. I f***in hate that guy. Um.... sorry, photo courtesy Apple.

Oh, no. Not Ken. I f***in hate that guy. Um…. sorry, photo courtesy Apple.

You’ll recall I predicated music app developers would try to do something with Apple Watch. (That was a relatively easy prediction, like suggesting that warmer months with longer periods of sunlight would follow the colder, snowier bits occurring in winter.)

Well, the Apple Watch isn’t even out yet, and we’re already seeing a couple of apps – one for guitarists with a particular Bluetooth amp/speaker, and one for DJs.

Since we first looked at Apple Watch, it’s become clear that the device isn’t in fact an iPhone on your wrist. Apple has chosen lightweight interactions – stuff to glance at and quickly respond – rather than the full-functioning computer in your pocket that is the phone. That’s obviously necessary to making the thing make any sense on your wrist, and to avoid it demolishing battery life.

I have no idea whether musicians will start buying Apple Watches. But if nothing else, the appearance of apps for this device do give us some indication of how developers will think about other kinds of computing interactions in the future.

The first two apps spotlighted by Apple – and there are sure to be more – Each acts as a remote control for other apps. And interestingly, neither is a remote for the iPhone per se.

AMPLIFi from Line 6 is already a really cool product: it’s a Bluetooth wireless speaker combined with a guitar amp. It has the convenience of a lot of consumer products we’ve seen lately, but it’s built for musicians in a way those things aren’t. (Think sound quality and power – 75 watts or 150 watts.) You can read our coverage from last year. You can control AMPLIFi from iOS or Android apps.

Now, Line 6 is adding support for Apple Watch. AMPLIFi Remote is simpler on the wrist than on phones and tablets, but it gives you quick controls for switching amp models and using the guitar tuner function, each with visual feedback. That obviously makes a lot of sense for an instrumentalist, as it allows you to keep your hands free.

I’ll be asking Line 6 more about their plans here. For one thing, I believe that even though you can leave your iPhone in your pocket or plugged in somewhere in range, I’m believe you may need both an iPhone and and Apple Watch to use the remote app with your speaker.

amplifi

Pacemaker DJ is a remote control for the iPad app Pacemaker – demonstrating that iPad, and not just iPhone, integration could be something we see evolve. That’s relevant, given so much of the mobile production scene is really on tablets rather than phones.

Pacemaker DJ isn’t so much a serious DJ app as it is a great party solution – especially if you like having seamless mixes rather than iTunes skipping from one track to another. It works with Pacemaker’s Autopilot feature, so the app keeps mixing and cross-fading in time, while you can choose or skip tracks.

In other words, this is now the best solution for your next barbecue or perhaps those times when you skip out to the dressing room toilet or can’t find anyone to bring you a beer?

(Thanks to digitaldjtips for spotting this one – great site, in fact!)

amplifi

I really don’t expect the Apple Watch to get widespread use. On the other hand, being able to wear a transport control or punch controls on your wrist could be nifty. Reason to buy a watch? Absolutely not. But for the few early adopters who do buy them, I’m sure they’ll find some apps.

And for frequent travelers and gigging musicians, I could imagine some of the other productivity apps could come in handy. See Apple’s full lineup:

http://www.apple.com/watch/app-store-apps/

I’m not terribly interested in owning one, but I’ll be watching (ahem) just to see what people do with interaction design. And I expect at some music developer or another, I’ve just justified your expense account for the thing. Here, you can cut this out and print it:

Dear Boss at Music Instrument Product Developer,

Yes, little [Johnny/Sally/your name here] urgently needs an Apple Watch, and Peter from CDM says you should totally spend the money on one. Untold future riches will surely be yours, and you absolutely don’t want to get beaten to the market by the bozos over at [Rival Music Instrument Product Maker here].

Also, on Friday, he/she will be sick. I’m not a doctor, but – yeah, just trust me.

Sincerely,
Peter of House Kirn, First of His Name, Editor-in-Chief, King of the Nerds and the First Geeks, Lord of the Dork Kingdoms, and Protector of CDM.

  • I am tuning with my left hand. But the Watch will also be on that hand. Maybe it should be turned the other way around. That could work even while playing guitar. And while we’re at it: why not create a metronome app which can stream a visual pulse over wifi for keeping the time with other systems.

    • Ross

      Or it could even use the taptic engine to give you the pulse as a “beat” on your wrist instead of visually.
      In case it wasn’t clear, the Apple Watch can be worn on either wrist, the display just flips around to be upright whichever hand you use.

      • In fact, that is an interesting piece of info. I was wondering how the problem would have been solved that left handed users would obviously have with the wheel on the right side… Looking forward to trying that in real action.

        • Mactley

          Left-handed people have had the wheel on the right side for as long as there have been watches, it’s no big deal really.

          • I’m sorry, but the fact that it has been like that for years does not make it more right. It has been annoying ever since. Are you left handed? Have you tried to have your watch on the right wrist with the wheel on the right side and then use the wheel with your left hand? You have to do quite some arms and wrists gymnastics to actually use it – not even speaking about covering the watch while you reach for the wheel. So, yes it is an issue that is more often than not overlooked by manufacturers. And it becomes even more disturbing with watches becoming computers with an actual user interface.

          • Mactley

            Fair enough, I’m a lefty but I wear my watch on the left and assumed everyone else did too. I can see how this would be an issue if you like to wear it on the right, especially since the wheel is such a core way of interacting with the apple watch. Not such a big deal with traditional watches which only require you to change the time once in a blue moon.

            Actually, now that I think about it, if the display rotates then you can simply spin the watch so the crown is always facing out, no?

  • I am tuning with my left hand. But the Watch will also be on that hand. Maybe it should be turned the other way around. That could work even while playing guitar. And while we’re at it: why not create a metronome app which can stream a visual pulse over wifi for keeping the time with other systems.

    • Ross

      Or it could even use the taptic engine to give you the pulse as a “beat” on your wrist instead of visually.
      In case it wasn’t clear, the Apple Watch can be worn on either wrist, the display just flips around to be upright whichever hand you use.

      • In fact, that is an interesting piece of info. I was wondering how the problem would have been solved that left handed users would obviously have with the wheel on the right side… Looking forward to trying that in real action.

        • Mactley

          Left-handed people have had the wheel on the right side for as long as there have been watches, it’s no big deal really.

          • I’m sorry, but the fact that it has been like that for years does not make it more right. It has been annoying ever since. Are you left handed? Have you tried to have your watch on the right wrist with the wheel on the right side and then use the wheel with your left hand? You have to do quite some arms and wrists gymnastics to actually use it – not even speaking about covering the watch while you reach for the wheel. So, yes it is an issue that is more often than not overlooked by manufacturers. And it becomes even more disturbing with watches becoming computers with an actual user interface.

          • Mactley

            Fair enough, I’m a lefty but I wear my watch on the left and assumed everyone else did too. I can see how this would be an issue if you like to wear it on the right, especially since the wheel is such a core way of interacting with the apple watch. Not such a big deal with traditional watches which only require you to change the time once in a blue moon.

            Actually, now that I think about it, if the display rotates then you can simply spin the watch so the crown is always facing out, no?

  • I am tuning with my left hand. But the Watch will also be on that hand. Maybe it should be turned the other way around. That could work even while playing guitar. And while we’re at it: why not create a metronome app which can stream a visual pulse over wifi for keeping the time with other systems.

    • Ross

      Or it could even use the taptic engine to give you the pulse as a “beat” on your wrist instead of visually.
      In case it wasn’t clear, the Apple Watch can be worn on either wrist, the display just flips around to be upright whichever hand you use.

      • In fact, that is an interesting piece of info. I was wondering how the problem would have been solved that left handed users would obviously have with the wheel on the right side… Looking forward to trying that in real action.

        • Mactley

          Left-handed people have had the wheel on the right side for as long as there have been watches, it’s no big deal really.

          • I’m sorry, but the fact that it has been like that for years does not make it more right. It has been annoying ever since. Are you left handed? Have you tried to have your watch on the right wrist with the wheel on the right side and then use the wheel with your left hand? You have to do quite some arms and wrists gymnastics to actually use it – not even speaking about covering the watch while you reach for the wheel. So, yes it is an issue that is more often than not overlooked by manufacturers. And it becomes even more disturbing with watches becoming computers with an actual user interface.

          • Mactley

            Fair enough, I’m a lefty but I wear my watch on the left and assumed everyone else did too. I can see how this would be an issue if you like to wear it on the right, especially since the wheel is such a core way of interacting with the apple watch. Not such a big deal with traditional watches which only require you to change the time once in a blue moon.

            Actually, now that I think about it, if the display rotates then you can simply spin the watch so the crown is always facing out, no?

  • Consider the environment before printing this letter… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Consider the environment before printing this letter… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Consider the environment before printing this letter… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Mutis Mayfield

    There are some interesting functions even without “full wrist computer” like adaptative beat (song part/generative music) heartbeat monitoring for aerobics/running/dancefloor, accelerometer based visual drwaing (imagine out one of these on the feet for breakdancer (windmill) or contemporany dancer… Music automation recorder based on gestural (like Orchestral Master) and feeling (heartbeart once again). The list goes on and on… If someone wants to know more drop me an email with your crowdfunding idea or money proposal (lol)

    ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • jjbbllkk

      “(imagine out one of these on the feet for breakdancer (windmill) or contemporany dancer)”

      This is a great idea, actually. 4 watches, each running some kind of tracking / accelerometer software. Coupled with mocap and you have yourself some very interesting data to play around with.

      • lala

        yeah, great on paper, but terrible interaction
        take the phone and tape it to your wrist,
        now play some theremin app or something
        uh, it hurts – don’t make me do that

        • Mutis Mayfield

          Theremin needs very accurate accelerometer resolution where dance tracking in bigger ROM could moudlate these innacuracy to achieve the goal. Did you play wii sports?
          If actual hardware/sdk can’t match wii sensors… Then the next release should be!

          • lala

            i don’t think the watch is made for any of these use cases, apple always talks about “glances”; so its made for very short interaction with the object on your arm, lets say max 15 sec or something …

          • Mutis Mayfield

            Well the ipad wasn’t designed to be a musical instrument and well, it is nowadays… So as I understand apple give devs a platform most “blank canvas” possible (with the best implemented APIs in the trend) and then people develop amazing things not possible in android/win8 due to their lacks in realtime audio (ie) or non-globalized vision (ecosystem).
            We are in 2015 and few dj apps were ported to android and have the same latency as iOS version.
            Thinking in iwatch or appletv only for its niche is being too conservative if we take in consideration that apple sells “difference”

            Let’s will see. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Mutis Mayfield

        if apple implement the audio muscle sensor used in myo for the wrist you will have the perfect interface to tv (and videogames)

  • Mutis Mayfield

    There are some interesting functions even without “full wrist computer” like adaptative beat (song part/generative music) heartbeat monitoring for aerobics/running/dancefloor, accelerometer based visual drawing (imagine out one of these on the feet for breakdancer (windmill) or contemporany dancer)… Music automation recorder based on gestural (like Orchestral Master) and feeling (heartbeart once again). The list goes on and on… If someone wants to know more drop me an email with your crowdfunding idea or money proposal (lol)

    ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • jblk

      “(imagine out one of these on the feet for breakdancer (windmill) or contemporany dancer)”

      This is a great idea, actually. 4 watches, each running some kind of tracking / accelerometer software. Coupled with mocap and you have yourself some very interesting data to play around with.

      • lala

        yeah, great on paper, but terrible interaction
        take the phone and tape it to your wrist,
        now play some theremin app or something
        uh, it hurts – don’t make me do that

        • Mutis Mayfield

          Theremin needs very accurate accelerometer resolution where dance tracking in bigger ROM could moudlate these innacuracy to achieve the goal. Did you play wii sports?
          If actual hardware/sdk can’t match wii sensors… Then the next release should be!

          • lala

            i don’t think the watch is made for any of these use cases, apple always talks about “glances”; so its made for very short interaction with the object on your arm, lets say max 15 sec or something …

          • Mutis Mayfield

            Well the ipad wasn’t designed to be a musical instrument and well, it is nowadays… So as I understand apple give devs a platform most “blank canvas” possible (with the best implemented APIs in the trend) and then people develop amazing things not possible in android/win8 due to their lacks in realtime audio (ie) or non-globalized vision (ecosystem).
            We are in 2015 and few dj apps were ported to android and have the same latency as iOS version.
            Thinking in iwatch or appletv only for its niche is being too conservative if we take in consideration that apple sells “difference”

            Let’s will see. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Mutis Mayfield

        if apple implement the audio muscle sensor used in myo for the wrist you will have the perfect interface to tv (and videogames)

  • Mutis Mayfield

    There are some interesting functions even without “full wrist computer” like adaptative beat (song part/generative music) heartbeat monitoring for aerobics/running/dancefloor, accelerometer based visual drawing (imagine out one of these on the feet for breakdancer (windmill) or contemporany dancer)… Music automation recorder based on gestural (like Orchestral Master) and feeling (heartbeart once again). The list goes on and on… If someone wants to know more drop me an email with your crowdfunding idea or money proposal (lol)

    ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • jblk

      “(imagine out one of these on the feet for breakdancer (windmill) or contemporany dancer)”

      This is a great idea, actually. 4 watches, each running some kind of tracking / accelerometer software. Coupled with mocap and you have yourself some very interesting data to play around with.

      • lala

        yeah, great on paper, but terrible interaction
        take the phone and tape it to your wrist,
        now play some theremin app or something
        uh, it hurts – don’t make me do that

        • Mutis Mayfield

          Theremin needs very accurate accelerometer resolution where dance tracking in bigger ROM could moudlate these innacuracy to achieve the goal. Did you play wii sports?
          If actual hardware/sdk can’t match wii sensors… Then the next release should be!

          • lala

            i don’t think the watch is made for any of these use cases, apple always talks about “glances”; so its made for very short interaction with the object on your arm, lets say max 15 sec or something …

          • Mutis Mayfield

            Well the ipad wasn’t designed to be a musical instrument and well, it is nowadays… So as I understand apple give devs a platform most “blank canvas” possible (with the best implemented APIs in the trend) and then people develop amazing things not possible in android/win8 due to their lacks in realtime audio (ie) or non-globalized vision (ecosystem).
            We are in 2015 and few dj apps were ported to android and have the same latency as iOS version.
            Thinking in iwatch or appletv only for its niche is being too conservative if we take in consideration that apple sells “difference”

            Let’s will see. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Mutis Mayfield

        if apple implement the audio muscle sensor used in myo for the wrist you will have the perfect interface to tv (and videogames)

  • Jesse

    Apple has not yet given all developers the ability to use the features of the watch that would be most interesting for musicians – no access to the taptic feature, no access to sensors. I’m assuming this will come eventually, but don’t expect anything particularly cool until they do.

    • subshell001

      it’s already been confirmed a full native SDK is coming later

    • Yes, what @subshell001:disqus said – watch for the more complete SDK to come. And frankly, speaking as a sometimes-developer and often-developer-observer, I’d rather *wait* for a stable SDK than develop against a unstable SDK, deal with bugs, and then have to redo all the work later.

      Consider this a first glimpse. I think it was smart for these guys to get out in front, though.

  • Jesse

    Apple has not yet given all developers the ability to use the features of the watch that would be most interesting for musicians – no access to the taptic feature, no access to sensors. I’m assuming this will come eventually, but don’t expect anything particularly cool until they do.

    • subshell001

      it’s already been confirmed a full native SDK is coming later

    • Yes, what @subshell001:disqus said – watch for the more complete SDK to come. And frankly, speaking as a sometimes-developer and often-developer-observer, I’d rather *wait* for a stable SDK than develop against a unstable SDK, deal with bugs, and then have to redo all the work later.

      Consider this a first glimpse. I think it was smart for these guys to get out in front, though.

  • Jesse

    Apple has not yet given all developers the ability to use the features of the watch that would be most interesting for musicians – no access to the taptic feature, no access to sensors. I’m assuming this will come eventually, but don’t expect anything particularly cool until they do.

    • subshell001

      it’s already been confirmed a full native SDK is coming later

    • Yes, what @subshell001:disqus said – watch for the more complete SDK to come. And frankly, speaking as a sometimes-developer and often-developer-observer, I’d rather *wait* for a stable SDK than develop against a unstable SDK, deal with bugs, and then have to redo all the work later.

      Consider this a first glimpse. I think it was smart for these guys to get out in front, though.

  • Clydicus

    The only thing less interesting than watching a DJ “perform” on a laptop would be to watch them twiddling with their wristwatch.

    I’m really struggling to find any meaningful use-case for the Apple Watch, musical or otherwise. It just doesn’t seem to solve any problems other than the “problem” of having to reach into your pocket to pull out your phone.

    • I don’t think that’s really the idea here. This is more something you’d do at a party. Remember, DJ apps are used for listening, not only people playing Berghain and Ibiza. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Clydicus

    The only thing less interesting than watching a DJ “perform” on a laptop would be to watch them twiddling with their wristwatch.

    I’m really struggling to find any meaningful use-case for the Apple Watch, musical or otherwise. It just doesn’t seem to solve any problems other than the “problem” of having to reach into your pocket to pull out your phone.

    • I don’t think that’s really the idea here. This is more something you’d do at a party. Remember, DJ apps are used for listening, not only people playing Berghain and Ibiza. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Clydicus

    The only thing less interesting than watching a DJ “perform” on a laptop would be to watch them twiddling with their wristwatch.

    I’m really struggling to find any meaningful use-case for the Apple Watch, musical or otherwise. It just doesn’t seem to solve any problems other than the “problem” of having to reach into your pocket to pull out your phone.

    • I don’t think that’s really the idea here. This is more something you’d do at a party. Remember, DJ apps are used for listening, not only people playing Berghain and Ibiza. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • ksandvik

    I would be interested in a BPM tempo heptic system for drumming purposes, key in let’s say 110BPM and feel that on my wrist while playing drums.

    • NRGuest

      I’ve wondered about that, but I currently take my watch off while drumming. Nothing like an errant stick destroying a several hundred dollar watch to ruin your day…

  • ksandvik

    I would be interested in a BPM tempo heptic system for drumming purposes, key in let’s say 110BPM and feel that on my wrist while playing drums.

    • NRGuest

      I’ve wondered about that, but I currently take my watch off while drumming. Nothing like an errant stick destroying a several hundred dollar watch to ruin your day…

  • ksandvik

    I would be interested in a BPM tempo heptic system for drumming purposes, key in let’s say 110BPM and feel that on my wrist while playing drums.

    • NRGuest

      I’ve wondered about that, but I currently take my watch off while drumming. Nothing like an errant stick destroying a several hundred dollar watch to ruin your day…

  • vehka

    When will the bass drop? Let me check my watch…

  • vehka

    When will the bass drop? Let me check my watch…

  • vehka

    When will the bass drop? Let me check my watch…

  • Man this is just awesome news. A guitar tuner on your watch? NICE! Going to get one, as that is brilliant. These features are more important than time itself!

  • Man this is just awesome news. A guitar tuner on your watch? NICE! Going to get one, as that is brilliant. These features are more important than time itself!

  • Man this is just awesome news. A guitar tuner on your watch? NICE! Going to get one, as that is brilliant. These features are more important than time itself!

  • I am definitely getting one. I read a blog post about the watch’s business functions and apps available those were my convincing points for purchase. These are good additions.

  • I am definitely getting one. I read a blog post about the watch’s business functions and apps available those were my convincing points for purchase. These are good additions.

  • I am definitely getting one. I read a blog post about the watch’s business functions and apps available those were my convincing points for purchase. These are good additions.

  • rockarollr

    “But for the few early adopters who do buy them, Iโ€™m sure theyโ€™ll find some apps.”

    Few early adopters? You mean like… the 7+ million few? And yes, they’ll “find some apps”… maybe amongst the 3,000+ that were available AT LAUNCH.

    Dude… you’re a d0uChEbAg for judging the way others choose to spend the money they’ve earned. In addition, your “journalism” sucks balls because these things you’re saying aren’t based on facts at all.

    A piece of advice for you, Peter. Get get a job that better suits you. You obviously don’t even come close to understanding what it is you’re supposed to be doing.

  • rockarollr

    “But for the few early adopters who do buy them, Iโ€™m sure theyโ€™ll find some apps.”

    Few early adopters? You mean like… the 7+ million few? And yes, they’ll
    “find some apps”… maybe amongst the 3,000+ (and climbing) that were available AT
    LAUNCH.

    Dude… you’re a d0uChEbAg for judging the way others
    choose to spend the money they’ve earned. In addition, your “journalism”
    sucks balls because these things you’re saying aren’t based on facts at
    all. It’s purely opinion.

    A piece of advice for you, Peter – Get a job that better
    suits you. You obviously don’t even come close to understanding what it
    is you’re supposed to be doing.

  • rockarollr

    “But for the few early adopters who do buy them, Iโ€™m sure theyโ€™ll find some apps.”

    Few early adopters? You mean like… the 7+ million few? And yes, they’ll
    “find some apps”… maybe amongst the 3,000+ (and climbing) that were available AT
    LAUNCH.

    Dude… you’re a d0uChEbAg for judging the way others
    choose to spend the money they’ve earned. In addition, your “journalism”
    sucks balls because these things you’re saying aren’t based on facts at
    all. It’s purely opinion.

    A piece of advice for you, Peter – Get a job that better
    suits you. You obviously don’t even come close to understanding what it
    is you’re supposed to be doing.

  • rockarollr

    “But for the few early adopters who do buy them, Iโ€™m sure theyโ€™ll find some apps.”

    Few early adopters? You mean like… the 7+ million few? And yes, they’ll
    “find some apps”… maybe amongst the 3,000+ (and climbing) that were available AT
    LAUNCH.

    Dude… you’re a d0uChEbAg for judging the way others
    choose to spend the money they’ve earned. In addition, your “journalism”
    sucks balls because these things you’re saying aren’t based on facts at
    all. It’s purely opinion.

    A piece of advice for you, Peter – Get a job that better
    suits you. You obviously don’t even come close to understanding what it
    is you’re supposed to be doing.