MIDI Mobilizer, iOS Hardware MIDI Adapter, Roundup and Open SDK

2010, meet 1984. For all the wonderfully-futuristic qualities of the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, electronic musicians have reason to scoff now and then: sometimes you want to be able to plug into good, old-fashioned, physical MIDI hardware. Line 6’s MIDI Mobilizer is a nifty little gadget that provides MIDI input and output via the Apple Dock Connector, on iPhone, iPod touch, and (while it’s not listed on their site at the moment) iPad. As-is, it’s a decent purchase, but as was the case with MIDI on the computer back in the 80s, software is really the key. Line 6’s …

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Apple iPad: Limited Options for Video Output, Visualists?

Image Courtesy of Apple. I’ve already expressed my personal disappointment (though not surprise) with Apple’s direction on the iPad, on Create Digital Music. Having gotten that out of my system, however, you can expect remaining iPad coverage on CDM to stick to the facts – and, as always, to track the way people use technology. On the specs side, though, there’s not much good news to report. Some of the facts remain unclear, so expect more details to emerge over time. Here’s what we know so far: No camera(s). Status: CONFIRMED. The iPad not only lacks the dual-facing cameras some …

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Tutorial: Send Video Between Two Macs, with DV Over Firewire

Capturing the screen as a DV signal over Firewire from Udart (Vibeke Bertelsen) on Vimeo. Udart aka Vibeke Bertelsen writes with a nice hack for video on the Mac: using the ability of FireWire to stream DV, she routes video output of one computer into another. That could make for nice multi-computer processing capabilities. The basic ingredients: the FireWire SDK plus Quartz Composer. My tutorial is a hack for making a quick screen cast from one Mac to another – without the need for any extra hardware apart from a Firewire cable. This way the owners of two Macs will …

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Music Goes Peer-to-Peer, Multiplayer: Smule Leaf Trombone for iPhone 3.0

iPhone users today started downloading the new iPhone OS, 3.0. One interesting feature of the new mobile software is peer-to-peer communication for collaborating in person. If you’re looking for an app that takes advantage of that, and can embarrass you in front of friends / workmates, Smule Trombone could be your answer. The touch-and-breath-controlled social music app/game from synthesis wizard Dr. Ge Wang has a special 3.0-only version. It uses the new iPhone push notification for achievements, but more importantly, features peer-to-peer Bluetooth for in-person “Duet Mode.” I think these sort of networked features will increasingly become not only a …

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iPhone 3.0 SDK “Library Access” Won’t Allow Effects, DJ Apps, Games?

The iPhone 3.0 SDK is a fantastic update, bringing a lot of what was on developer wish lists for the device. But some of the early speculation – that the so-called “library access” would enable music games and DJ apps — may have been premature. Jordan Balagot writes to let us know that, at least in the current SDK, access to media is very limited. The “library access” in the 3.0 SDK is only a player control API similar to that of the iPod; there is not even read only file access for MP3s nor any way to modify the …

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Why iPhone 3.0 SDK is Almost, But Not Quite, Great News for Creative Musicians

The tech press stopped today to keep up with Apple’s new SDK, version 3.0. It is a huge overhaul, and let’s give Apple credit where it’s due: they’re relentless in improving their mobile software, and they do listen to complaints and respond. I don’t think you can classify copy and paste as news, given Apple is the company that popularized the concept eons ago. (How long ago? Not only was Reagan President, but MTV still played music videos.) But 3.0 is a huge upgrade. Most mobile devices develop some usability quirks and functionality holes and leave them for years on …

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Can Rhythmic Analysis Demonstrate the Use of Robotic Beats?

Photo (CC) Nigel Appleton. News may filter through Boing Boing, Slashdot, and Reddit – and certainly, this story already has. But oddly, I learned of this item when I happened to meet up with the blog item’s author in Somerville, Massachusetts. He has digital analysis he believes may prove that a track was recorded to a click track. Paul Lamere is a developer at Echo Nest, a brainy think-tank of music geeks developing new ways of processing musical metadata in the cloud. Whereas services like Last.fm focus mainly on content and community, Echo Nest’s API wants to make the computers …

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Apple Reality Check: iPhone 3G is Just the Tip of the Mobile and Rich Media Iceberg

Screen grab: John Biehler For those of you who are interested, Apple’s WWDC keynote has focused today on the iPhone 3G and the iPhone SDK. Macworld has a nice live blow-by-blow. Here’s the bottom line for me. First, Apple has done an incredible job of demonstrating the potential of rich media apps in general, mobile and otherwise. They’ve showed off a powerful set of third-party applications that go beyond what most people think of on phones, including rich 3D, positional 3D audio (via OpenAL), and music apps. And it’s nice to see those rich media apps alongside things like push …

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Asus Eee PC Gets SDK; Anyone Using Eee for Music?

While mentioning the OLPC XO laptop, I have to point, as well, to Asus’ Eee. Sure, it’s not necessarily designed for being in the middle of a sub-Saharan desert, but it has some of the other hallmarks of OLPC — low power use, light weight, extremely low cost, and open-source, Linux-based software. These little machines are underpowered for many digital audio tasks, but MIDI and basic live audio are certainly feasible. I’ve heard at least a couple of readers using them. Anyone using them for musical tasks? Asus has launched an “SDK” — a bit of a misnomer, as you …

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iPhone, iPod Touch SDK Coming February: Multi-Touch Mobile Music Love

Mobile music creation week continues! Happy Valentine’s Day, a few months early. This February, you’ll be able to light some candles, pour a bottle of wine, and start developing real applications for the iPod Touch and iPhone, fulfilling a dream a lot of us had when we first saw the iPhone last January. (And yes, this means that iPod Touch interface for MainStage you’ve been imagining can now be a reality.) Sayeth CEO Steve (on Apple Hot News; no direct link yet): Let me just say it: We want native third party applications on the iPhone, and we plan to …

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