Debugging is a never-ending process, especially for music software which must interact with operating systems, drivers, and other software changing simultaneously. Programs like Max are a unique case, as users are building their own software inside someone else’s software environment. Here’s the latest for Max: Even as Cycling ’74 is working on Max 5, Max/MSP 4.6.3 is a significant bugfix release.

One example, very useful to those of you building audio patches: “- sfplay~: fixed problems with crashes when clearing cues, fixed problem with crashes when loading files and playing in reverse, fixed problem with playing files with very slow playback speeds.” It goes on from there. I had noticed a launch bug in Max/MSP/Jitter when loading Java support on Windows; apparently this is related to Java 1.6; an existing workaround has now become built-in. (That was a Sun bug, by the way, not Cycling.) As with many other music developers, a lot of the bugs come from Sun, Apple, Microsoft, driver vendors, et al — not all of them, but a significant number. Even then, it may be difficult to blame any one developer; it’s easy to forget just how complex these platforms have become.

Lots, lots, lots more to talk about, so Max users, head on over to Cycling ’74. Next Max post from me: entirely in French, in IRCAM’s honor. Okay, maybe not.