Ableton’s Loop event brought out some really interesting things didn’t it? Live 9.5, Push 2, and of course Link. Of course Link was the big news from Loop. It was the first, and a very strategic foray for Ableton into the world of mobile. They didn’t release and app, they didn’t release a controller, they gave us a way to connect everything, without even using Live itself.
I thought it was an interesting collection of apps that are going to be amongst the first to use Link. In fact possibly the biggest surprise was seeing Korg’s apps there. It made me wonder what ever happened to their WIST technology. It was quite ground breaking when it was first released but then never followed up or developed. Also it could only connect 2 devices at the same time over bluetooth.
That of course raises another question. Will Ableton keep Link updated? They’re not going to make any money from it, so from a purely financial perspective it will be the bottom of the priority list in development terms. That bothers me a little. Of course they could open source it at some point, that would be interesting.
But for now I think it is a way to engage mobile into their ecosystem (although I’m not sure how much I like that word) without having to be in the mobile world. That’s pretty smart I think, but where it will take them eventually, that’s going to be much more interesting in the long run, and, how will it change how mobile and desktop work together?
Of course the one thing that isn’t at the party, at least so far anyway, is Android. It isn’t a big surprise though of course, Android tends not to get involved in these kinds of things, but even so, it’s a shame. I feel like I have to mention it anyway.
One last thought on the subject though, whilst there was lots of hype and excitement about Ableton’s Link technology, how many times have you actually been in a position where you decide that you want to jam along with lots of other people? It’s a nice idea, but for how many people is this actually going to be useful? I wonder that, even though I think it’s a great step forward.