Sometimes I think that using dedicated hardware is better than using software products that bend and stretch the abilities of a handheld device.
The thing is that I like the swiss army knife approach of using a PDA / handheld / smartphone so I avoid using the dedicated stuff, and also it means carrying too much stuff with you.
What would be really nice was if there was a dedicated hardware / OS / software combination that included all this stuff as well as an open platform for developers. Like a PDS (personal digital studio).
For me the two main platforms for mobile music making are:
But I have to admit that I know very little about other platforms and how they shape up. I know that there was a tracker for Symbian which I did write about ages ago, but I don’t know of very much else.
Also, I think that as Styletap takes off and allows more and more Palm applications to run under Window Mobile it will become easier to run everything in one place as it were rather than keeping and maintaining multiple platforms.
Windows is still developing and moving forward, although, not in leaps exactly, but Palm don’t seem to be doing too much of anything right now.
Sure ALP is coming along, but what will that do for existing applications? Will it bring in more developers? Will it bring new possibilities in terms of hardware from palm or ease of development from ACCESS? Will it mean that Linux music applications are easier to port over to ALP?
The other possibility is that Palm will kick off their own OS separate from ACCESS and ALP altogether.
I’ve been trying to get some of the miniMusic applications to run on StyleTap and I’m having lots of problems. Mainly with MixPad and SoundPad to be fair. Anyway, I’ve been in touch with the people at StyleTap, and I’m just waiting on a response. It would be nice if these apps could run under StyleTap, it would be great to have everything in one place.
Koloroo have launched two widgets for the iPod, which, as far as I can see means it must be possible to run application software on it. If you can do that, then it is a platform, and then someone can do something really interesting with it from an audio / synthesis perspective.
I was looking at some of the other products from 4Pockets and found this.
Virtual Recorder is a personal voice recorder for your Pocket PC which works just like a good old fashion tape recorder. The program uses a ”true tape” mechanism which gives the ability to record over any portion of a previous recording, and is not limited to a simple append process.
One of the advanced features of Virtual Recorder is the ability to time stretch your recordings. This would allow you to listen to a full hours recording in as little as 30 minutes, without it sounding unnatural or like the recording had been speeded up.
This means that you can sample music and slow it down without affecting the pitch; allowing you to practice those difficult guitar solos or whatever!
The software also has a Cutting Room which allows you to splice recordings or remove unwanted sections. (Cut/Copy/Paste and Fade In/Out facilities are supported). Now that is quite advanced for a PDA application.
As more iPod mixing devices appear as I’m sure they will do, I can’t help but wonder why the use of the iPod in these devices has been restricted so severely.
The iPod has an operating system, and is capable of supporting application software like games, and games support their own sampled or synthesised sounds, so, why can’t the iPod be used in or part of some kind of software / hardware hybrid studio device?
Any thoughts? I mean, RockBox firmware has been around for a while as a replacement OS for iPod among others, and pdPod has been around for a while too offering a port of PureData, so why not some kind of music making OS or application software for the iPod?