Joshua Ellis ( writes us with an insanely cool discovery on the Mac OS X 10.4 developer DVD. I’m still waiting on my Tiger shipment, but this will definitely be on my install. Josh writes:

So I’m playing with the new Quartz Composer in OS X 10.4, which allows you to do weird sort of graphic installation-y stuff, plus design your own screensavers. It’s basically a drag-and-drop OpenGL composer, sort of like Max/MSP for making eye candy. You can load images or QuickTime movies and do real-time graphics processing on them.

In the list of controller tools? MIDI Clock, MIDI Controllers (aka pitch and mod wheel) and MIDI Notes. I haven’t gotten all my drivers updated yet, but it appears that this eye candy can be controlled via MIDI (in addition to the keyboard, an LFO, RSS feeds, the command line…pretty much anything). And you can write your eye candy out as an actual application. Which other people can download.

You have to install the XCode Tools to get this on Tiger, but they’re included free on the DVD. The app is called “Quartz Composer”. I think Macs may have just gotten a couple of hundred times more interesting.

Josh also tells us you can interactively map audio inputs to assign volume peak and spectrum to other controllers(!) While this is no substitute for Max/MSP and Jitter, for some visual fun and Swiss Army Knife-interactivity, looks like a must-install. Stay tuned.