Open Labs is slowly teasing out the specs of a new portable music device called the MiKo, promising a complete portable workstation for everything from DJing to music production to VJing and . . . podcasting? The company won’t make a full announcement until the NAMM trade show later this month in Anaheim; in the meantime they’re releasing weekly updates, so it’s a little like watching a press release as a miniseries. But you can make a smart guess based on Open Labs’ previous products, all of which involve Windows PCs packed into music keyboard form factors. If you read the site carefully, you’ll also notice Open Labs says it has an audio interface and VGA port, and calls it a “standalone home theater PC.” I’ve also put together some additional specs on the MiKo after the break.

Here’s what else we know:

  • DJ controls, with a pro cross-fader, filters, cueing, and 2-channel mixing
  • Audio: 4-in, 6-out, 24-bit, 96 KHz with mic preamps
  • Dual-layer DVD burner/player
  • Surround: 6-out will let you test your 5.1 mix, but for home entertainment, there’s also an 8-channel optical digital port and optional decoder / breakout box in case you want to watch The Matrix. (The first one, silly.)
  • VGA out for entertainment or VJing (2048×1536 high-res, no less!)
  • LCD screen
  • 37-key keyboard
  • CDM has gathered some additional, exclusive info on the MiKo, and I think you’ll like what you see later this month: additional specs include FireWire, USB, Ethernet, and (via USB) 802.11g wireless, transport buttons for recording, and 500-note polyphony. Full details on CDM live from the Anaheim booth.

    In other words, what you’re really getting here is a mini PC / keyboard that does everything: DJ, VJ, record, play — the multi-functionality computers provide, but in a different, more music-friendly form factor. The big advancement over previous Open Labs kit sounds like ultra-portability with all the extras for DJs and laptop musicians.

    Now, will it all be enough to make you give up your laptop? We’ll know soon enough:
    I’ll be hands-on with the MiKo in Anaheim, CA and will bring you an extended report; it’s always better to try gear in person than just read about it. Hopefully Open Labs will host one of their infamous parties, too, since previous shindigs have involved Richard Devine setting keyboards on fire and synth S&M. I’ll try to smuggle out pictures, if I get out alive.

    Coverage elsewhere:

    Music thing picked this up first and has a sharp take on it


    NeKo Windows/Keyboard Hybrids: The Next Generation