As reported on CDMusic, Max/MSP/Jitter is in beta on Mac for version 4.6 (Max) and 1.6 (Jitter). Intel Mac native support is just half the story; Mac and Windows users alike have a whole bunch of goodies to enjoy in Jitter:

  1. More shader support: Shaders are bits of code that allow you to perform various image, video, and 3D processing magic, all while taking advantage of the high-performance capabilities of your graphics card’s GPU. In short: shaders let you do amazing stuff, really fast. 1.6 builds upon shader support in 1.5 with various enhancements, including more pre-built shaders to use, updated reference files, and expanded help and examples to get you going. (Not all of the help appears to be in the beta yet, but there are already some new example files for the shaders. It’s not totally intuitive yet, but it certainly helps ease the learning curve.)
  2. A VCR for QuickTime: The new jit.vcr object records real-time video and audio to a file.
  3. Powerful object: takes an incoming matrix and renders multiple instances of any 3D object, producing procedural as shown here from the example. (I was frustrated that Jitter 1.5 didn’t do this, since it’s a logical feature to have in an environment based on the matrix. It’s great to see it added now.)
  4. Enhanced Java/JavaScript interfacing: New hooks in Java and JavaScript for use with OpenGL sketching (the powerful drawing API that can produce either 2D or 3D graphics), plus new matrix objects in Jitter, make interfacing code and visuals easier and more powerful than in 1.5.
  5. Image Unit support (think Mac-only eye candy) Mac users can take advantage of slick Image Unit graphics effects, and even Quartz Composer patches, for processing visuals.
  6. Lots of bug fixes and OpenGL improvements: There are countless tweaks, performance enhancements, and bug fixes, plus major improvements to the OpenGL 3D engine, many of which hard-core Jitter users have been demanding. Notably, the spigot~ object, which routes audio from QuickTime into MSP for processing, has been updated to work with QuickTime 7. (I don’t use spigot~, so I can’t speak to this personally, but apparently a lot of Jitter users just breathed a sigh of relief.)

So, what about Windows? There are already Windows fixes showing up in the beta; the Windows release of 1.6 is just not public at this time. One thing I don’t see mentioned is native Windows uyvy video support; this is a specialized colorspace that yields vastly enhanced performance for GPU-native video, but it requires a special patch to run on Windows. It was originally slated for Jitter 1.5.3, but I assume (hopefully) we’ll see it when Jitter 1.6 ships for Windows, along with these other enhancements.

Mac users, start your engines: The good news is, the beta seems to be very stable and (best of all) installs alongside Max/MSP/Jitter 4.5.x/1.5.x, rather than replacing it. So there’s really no reason not to go try it out. Let us know what you discover.