More thoughts on Droid and Android

PatternMusic has interesting thoughts on the Droid:

The Droid may represent a sea change for Android and music software.

From a music app developer’s perspective Android has been a difficult target. The platform promises to be fragmented. But the presence of a dominant powerful device like the Droid could counter that trend. We will have to watch that trend and see whether Android becomes synonymous with “Droid”, or whether Android remains “Google” and “let a thousand (mediocre) flowers bloom”.

The lack of a standard floating point unit on most of the Android devices to date has been a deal-breaker. But the Droid is finally a mainstream Android device with a state of the art CPU with a FPU and vector unit – the same ARM Cortex A8 CPU chip used in the iPhone 3GS and 3rd gen iPod touch. (Clocked about 10% bit slower than the iPhone, but that shouldn’t matter.) (The new myTouch and Hero still use a dreary CPU just like the G1 with no floating point!)

There’s not been much developer experience with with the new Droid yet. A potential issue with Android that’s generally considered an asset for the platform but may be a liability for music apps is the multi-tasking. Music apps are typically pushing the performance limits of these small devices. Whether you buy their story or not, the very reasons Apple cites for why they don’t allow 3rd party apps to multi-task are the same issues that are critical for glitch-free real-time music generation. So we will have to see how the issue of performance balancing plays out with sophisticated music software on the Droid.

Anyway, Droid looks like a great product and finally some robust competition for Apple. It will be interesting to see whether that’s enough to create a healthy new music app platform too.

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Watchlist update

Following comments on the last two versions of this list I thought I’d update it again with some extras and also some stuff that has happened.
Stuff I’m hoping for:

  • Touch DJ, it has been such a long wait, it must be almost 8 weeks now
  • Mixtikl 2 on Windows Mobile 8th December and iPhone (when Apple approve it)
  • Sonorasaurus, more than 8 weeks at the time of writing?
  • The next Noise IO update (no idea how long it will take Apple to do this one)
  • A new (music) app from Yonac
  • A little more on the next big thing to come from Amidio (I just hope they stay with the iPhone platform)
  • DopplerPad synth editing
  • FourTrack and DopplerPad integration, we’ve been waiting for this for a long time too
  • An update to MultiTrack
  • Some signs of YUDO adding functionality to RecTools08
  • The big update to Jasuto
  • Hitchcock video export (3G and 3GS)
  • Beatmaker 2.0!
  • Knowing what Olivier’s new project is
  • A working version of BeatSequencer?
Stuff that’s arrived:
  • Auteureist (it has, but you still can’t get it, and thanks Apple for billing me for it even though I can’t download it!)
  • Slice

Of course, I’d love to see loads of other new music making software and hardware before the end of the year too, but if I could get even the majority of the above it it would be great.

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Blue FIRe

Blue FIRe is a free version of FIRe the audio recorder for the iPhone. The app’s been released today with a reduced set of features from the full FIRe app.

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Looking back: miniMIXA and Mixtikl

With the launch of Mixtikl V2 in just over a month I thought I’d take some time each day to look back at where this app has come from and how it has changed over time.

I can’t be sure when I first got hold of it, but I think it was around summer of 2006 from this post. miniMIXA was featured at the Mobile Music Workshop that year and is the MMW Catalogue too.

Mobile music making has come a long way since 2006 and the whole world of mobile devices has changed immensely. There aren’t many applications that are still in active development over that length of time, but Mixtikl (miniMIXA) is one of the few.

In the run up to the launch I’ll be looking back at how the app has changed and moved forward so it’ll be interesting to see how V2 builds on the long history of this application.

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Time for another top 10 iPhone apps …

This time it is from GiuseppeL. Here’s his Top Ten Music Apps:

1. FourTrack
I use this daily, it’s a fantastic application and was my introduction to the possibilities of mobile hardware for musical purposes. Great for laying down ‘demos’ but there is no real limit on what you can do with it. It’s only downfall is the stability issues that seemed to come with the last update, it crashes a lot more (I suspect these are memory issues, a 3GS would fix this..)

2. Cleartune
A great, accurate and fast tuner application. I have used this to set up for live performances and it hasn’t failed me. It has support for alternate tuning and some technical stuff that I do not understand.
Cleartune - Chromatic Tuner

3. Xewton Music Studio
Great app, good for getting down ideas. Imagine Garageband scaled down and with a virtual touch keyboard and you’ve got Xewton. I’d like the ability to lay vocals down and more instruments or the ability to tweak the ones we have.
Xewton Music Studio

4. iGOG
DigiDrummer previously had this slot but iGOG’s multi-sampled pads are far better. DigiDrummer has more kits though.
iGOG: Massive Drums

5. Piano Studio
Useful for putting down a song structure on pads to work through without hastle.

6. Virtuoso Piano
Best sounding piano app by far but I am still awaiting the ability to scroll the keyboard rather than jumping octaves or using a dual keyboard setup. The developer said it would come but it never did.
Virtuoso Piano

7. Tab Toolkit
Does what it says on the tin and does it WELL.

8. EveryDay Looper
Another new addition, Great little app. I am already using it lots.
Everyday Looper

9. Toro Mini
Lots of sounds, took NLog’s spot (I still love nlog but the stock sounds here feel more usable.. and it’s new!)
TORO mini: Digital Synthesizer

10. Colors!
This is not a music app but I use many times a day and I reakon it needs more exposure. Here’s a shameless plug to my latest drawing.

Thanks, Giuseppe.

I really loved the drawing, especially the playback on that page! I’m going to have to check out that app myself now.

If you’d like to see your top ten on Palm Sounds, just email me at the usual address.

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Michael Nervous 1st RJDJ scene

Michael (of All Things DS-10 fame) has made his first scene for RJDJ. The details are here.

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Vintage Synth Top Trumps

Well, although you can’t make any music with these they are handheld!

More at Matrixsynth.

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