I was really pleased to see this update from miniMusic today as their site has been very quiet for a while now. According to the news page, Pianofly is now due in November. Here’s what the Pianofly page says:

Unfortunately, we had a serious family medical emergency and had to essentially shut down development for all of September. We are now back to work and have found a solution to our design issues (more about that below) and are working toward a final version of the software. The first version might be released without recording capabilities (to be added in a later upgrade) since that is the area that still needs the most work. Unexpected problems could still arise, so we cannot yet give a final release date, although Apple’s recent changes to the NDA and introduction of developer forums will help immensely with such problems. Although the iPhone offers a rich platform with exciting possibilities, development continues to take longer than we expect. Since we have thousands of paying customers waiting for the 1.3 upgrade for our non-music product, No.2, we will be pushing that out before the first Pianofly release.

If you look at a screenshot of our SoundPad application for Palm, the interface is basically divided into three parts: the piano keyboard (bottom), the oscillators (middle), and the envelopes (top). Our initial approach was to make these three separate screens in Pianofly, so when editing an envelope, for example, the envelope interface would zoom to fill the screen so that you could make accurate adjustments with your fingertip. A fingertip just doesn’t offer the accuracy needed to interact with all three portions on screen at the same time. However, in testing we found that it was annoying to have to switch back and forth to test sounds with the piano keyboard. We can fit a good, usable keyboard in half the screen, so our new design has reduced the oscillator and envelope areas to also also be usable in half the iPhone screen, so the piano is always accessible while working on either part of a sound.

SoundPad also has a whole 2nd screen for editing the sound bank (choosing sounds, adding new sounds, etc.). For use in musical performances, we wanted this to also have access to the keyboard so you could quickly select a sound and play it immediately. This is now a third display that can accompany the piano keyboard in Pianofly. You can select a sound and play it, edit the oscillators while playing, or edit the envelope for each oscillator while playing.

Thanks to everyone for your interest in our iPhone products and your patience; we’ll try to make it worth the wait! Alongside Pianofly we are also working on music notation software for iPhone and a version of BugBand, our sight reading game. We hope to release one of those in December.

We will post further updates here, but will probably hold off on screen shots until just before the actual product launch.

I’m looking forward to seeing the new miniMusic app, and the ones that are to follow.

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