PiooPioo!

PiooPioo player is one of those applications that you almost forget you have around, but is a fantastically useful little application. Apart from being a great add-on application to Bhajis Loops allowing you to play song files without having to open them, it has that wonderful visualisation which I love.

I was using it today to play a whole bunch of tracks all in the same folder, really handy.

TuneStudio Price check $249

Thanks to PetitsPieds for the tip off that the price tag for the TuneStudio has risen to $249 from the original £180. Makes you start to think about it differently maybe.

What would Bhajis Loops 2.0 have looked like?

This is one of those “what if” type posts about Bhajis Loops. What would it have looked like if it had got to a version 2.0? I can imagine lots of features that could have been added along the way, but I bet there’s an even longer list somewhere of all the feature requests from users.

Anyway, for what it is worth, here’s my list:

  • Audio support. Two channels (or more) of audio to go alongside the instruments.
  • Synth plug ins. Like an FM synth.
  • Bluetooth support. To sync multiple handhelds to the same clock.
  • Increased effect plug ins. What kind I’m not sure.
  • Ability to connect to a bluetooth keyboard (for input)

What would you have liked?

AxisPad: A real PDA instrument

Of all the applications I’ve looked at for PDAs I have to say that I think that AxisPad is the only true instrument.

If you think about it all the others are sequencers of one form or another, that allow you to take sounds or create sounds for use somewhere else, or in another application, but AxisPad is an instrument in itself. It is the only handheld music application that you actually play.

Now, that in itself makes it very unique, but it also makes me wonder what are the attributes of a PDA (or smartphone) instrument application. So, what makes a PDA music applcation an instrument?

Here’s my first stab at a list of those attributes:

  • It has to be playable, like a real instrument
  • To play it well will take time
  • It must have an interface that copes with expression in some form
  • It must be more than just recording or sequencing

For me AxisPad is the start of a new form of music application for handheld devices that is more than just making music on the go or arranging new tracks. It is about giving mobile musicians the ability to find new forms of expression in mobile music.

According to the miniMusic development calendar the next step for AxisPad will be the ability to record and export. I am really looking forward to having the ability to record performances and then export them to enhance and manipulate them, I think that opens up some interesting possibilities.

QOTD: Mobile music platforms?

Following on from the last post on this subject I had some more thoughts (especially after yesterday’s news about the new Palm OS) on the pros and cons on either side:

Palm OS (pros)

  • Simple clean interface
  • Good range of applications available (MiniMusic, Chocopoolp, Psytexx)
  • Hardware still being developed (Treos)

Palm OS (cons)

  • Current OS is old and out of date
  • Only a liimited number of true music applications available
  • Double headed development
  • Uncertainty over what the new OS will look like and support

Windows Mobile (pros)

  • OS and interface being developed
  • Relatively large number of applications available
  • Styletap platform allows use of palm apps such as Bhajis Loops and Microbe

Windows Mobile (cons)

  • Many developers no longer working in the mobile music space

Ok, now that surprised me as I expected to have lots more negative things to say about Windows Mobile, but when it came to it I couldn’t think of any really!

So, what do you think, which is best for mobile music, and how will Palm’s new departure impact mobile music making?

Palm’s new OS?

So Palm announce today that they have been working on their own new OS based on a linux kernel. This leaves me with lots of questions.

  • When will palm bring out new hardware and will it have the new OS on it?
  • How compatible will old apps be with the new OS?
  • Will the new OS give new musical possibilities?
  • Will a linux kernel mean it is easier to port existing linux music apps to the new palm OS?

I’m sure that more details will appear as the days go on, and I dare say that there will be lots of speculation on how this new OS will change the palm ecosystem.

QOTD: Audio recording on a Palm device

There are a number of audio recording solutions available. I’ve only really used Bhajis Loops and Wave Edit Pro Enterprise edition, which is really good, and my preferred application for field recording and other audio.

However, there are loads of other applications out there which could be used, I’d be interested in any opinions?

ittyMIDI SysEx Manager


ittyMIDI SysEx Manager is a universal SysEx dump utility for the Palm OS.

SysEx Manager can do the following:

Record Bulk SysEx into the MIDI books used by the ittyMIDI Player. With the latest release of Player, you can incorporate these SysEx files into normal playlists. Send Bulk Sysex with the ability to set a time delay between each message to give slower devices the time to process it. The latest version of Songloader, available with the installation for Player, you can load .syx files directly into books for use with SysEx Manager or Player. Send All SysEx Messages located in any standard MIDI file.

Whilst not something that I am going to find that useful I am sure that others would value this application.

Pocket RTA Professional from 4Pockets


Pocket RTA Pro is a real-time spectrum analyser for your Pocket PC. I like RTAs, and this one is particularly fully functional.

PocketRTA samples sounds picked up by the built-in microphone on the Pocket PC and then applies a Fourier Transform to the samples to obtain a frequency spectrum. The result is an accurate representation of the sampled sound broken down into its frequency components.

PocketRTA gives total control over input sample rate and FFT length, so you can tailor the display to your needs. Sample rates up to 44Khz allow frequencies of up to 22Khz to be measured. Various display modes include, linear narrow band, logarithmic narrow band, Octave, 1/3 Octave, 1/6 Octave, Sample, SPL and Spectrogram displays with ANSI A and C weighting curves. PocketRTA allows real-time magnification (up to 250 times) of a selected frequency range. The touch screen allows selection of the nearest FFT point giving a display of it”s frequency and decibel level. Up to 64 times averaging and variable decay settings allow more stable readings for fluctuating or unstable input signals whilst our unique noise cancellation system allows you to remove unwanted background noise.

New Features of the Professional Edition:

PocketRTA Pro features the ability to calibrate the display using a 1/3 Octave display in order to compensate for imperfections in frequency response of the internal microphone.

Another new feature is the ability to capture any input signal and overlay it as a reference for a live signal. Captured traces can be saved and later loaded as a reference or exported to ASCII text for use in packages such as Microsoft Excel. You can even take snapshots of the screen which are saved in BMP format.

PocketRTA Pro also introduces a Compare / Transfer mode which allows you to compare a captured input signal against a live trace. The difference between the two traces are displayed using a 0dB reference point making it ideal for calibrating EQ”s. A smoothing option has also been added (wide band averaging) to remove unwanted spikes and make the display more readable.

Another new feature is the ability to capture a peak trace over time. Again this can be saved or exported for use in external packages.

I’ve not had a chance to play with this as yet, but it looks like one of the most rounded RTA apps I’ve seen so far. At some point I will get around to trying it out and then I’ll post a review.

MOVEMENTO 0.1

This has been around for some time, and I don’t know if it is ever going to be updated or developed further.

MOVEMENTO FEATURES:

  • Powered by MODULA Audio Engine
  • MOD song player
  • Background playback
  • Powersave mode
  • Playlist
  • FREEWARE (always nice)

MOVEMENTO REQUIRES:

  • PalmOS 5.x powered device (SndStream API required)
  • MCA2 tool by CliePet for Sony Clie NX/NZ/TG series devices
  • SD/MMC/MemoryStick card

Not all devices MOVEMENTO works on are displayed here!!!

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