Be vewy vewy qwiet — I’m hunting Widgets.
Yes, widgets are all the rage these days. Between Apple’s Dashboard, included with Mac OS X Tiger, and Konfabulator, which just became free for Windows and Mac and has morphed into Yahoo! Widgets, nary a desktop shall be without little floating things. The idea isn’t entirely new — look back to the 1984 Mac’s Desk Accessory, or, well, to all the stuff that’s sitting on my real desk. But tools for easily creating your own widges are making these proliferate.
Anything useful for music? Well, yes and no. onetonnemusic has a roundup of music widgets for Konfabulator that are mostly on the side of silly. Funnel found three keyboard widgets (basically useless), and one kind of nifty drum pad/pattern machine. These should at least provide amusement and inspiration for something more practical.
On the OS X side, there are some semi-useful Dashboard widgets. Check out Guitar Chords, which displays fret positions for any chord you enter. (Nifty!) If you’re stuck in a creative rut, I’ve always been a fan of Oblique Strategies, a fabulous fortune cookie-esque set of admonitions to think outside of the box, developed by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt. While it’s geared to music listening more than music making, I also like Symphonic, which lets you type in a song to have iTunes play it for you (especially useful for tuning in Net radio). I’ll pass on many other widgets, just because I don’t like to crowd my Dashboard.
But there have to be other options for Konfabulator — ahem, Yahoo! Widgets and Dashboard. Got favorite widgets? Designed any yourself? Send them here, and I’ll do a roundup; hit comments or drop me a line.