So it turns out Apple can deal with a two-button mouse — so long as those buttons aren’t invisible. Meet Apple’s Mighty Mouse, peculiarly named after a cartoon. (Note to Apple: why not Danger Mouse? He’s the quickest! He’s the best! Etc.)
So why is this mouse useful to musicians? Because Apple may finally have gotten horizontal scrolling right. Sure, there are Windows mice with horizontal scrolling, but nothing with the 360 degree design of the Apple scroll wheel. I’ve also found that horizontal scrolling seems to be universally broken on the Mac and works only sporadically on Windows (Word — yes; other apps — not necessarily).
As Apple points out, this should be pretty nice for navigating GarageBand and Logic. Horizontal scrolling makes more sense than vertical scrolling for timeline-based applications. Go left in your music by pushing left, right by pushing right, etc. And if you have a big Logic Pro project, 360 degrees makes perfect sense: up and down moves through tracks, right and left through time, or use a combination. (Scrolling Reason is fun with vertical scrolling, too, but you can do that with any mouse.)
That, and this looks like something some of you forward-thinking interface designers might have come up with. Force-sensing side buttons? A built-in speaker that provides aural feedback? Not sure that’s useful, but it’s at least . . . different:
Apple.com: Force-sensing buttons on either side of Mighty Mouse respond when you press in with your finger and thumb . . . the audio feedback built into Mighty Mouse provides an aural sensation that responds to your movements. A tiny speaker inside Mighty Mouse produces button-clicking and Scroll Ball-rolling sound effects.
This one deserves a verdict when it ships. In the meantime, I’m sticking with my Logitech.