Thinking a bit more about older apps

Something about Jakob’s video started me thinking about older apps, apps that haven’t been updated for a while and that we, as a community might think are abandoned (although that’s a different debate really), and what we do with them.

Often I think that the mobile music community is overly obsessed with the ‘new’. New apps, new devices, new ways of connecting things (i.e. AU). But that we don’t spend enough time thinking about how we use existing apps. Perhaps it is simply because I spend a lot of time talking about and posting about what’s new and that my view is somewhat skewed as a result, but I think that there’s a lesson here about using what’s good for what you want to do, and also about getting the best out of a piece of software and using it for what it is.

There are a bunch of apps that I go back to regularly because they simply fit my workflow. Some get updates, on occasion. Others, not so much. Some I suspect will never be updated. But that’s ok. Just because something doesn’t move forward doesn’t mean that it’s no good. Developers stop updating things for a host of reasons. Many of which we will never get to know about, but what they made in the first place is worth celebrating. Bhajis Loops is a good example. Palm OS is long gone, but Bhajis is still one of those things that works really well and does some amazing things and is never going to be updated, moved to another platform, or anything else. But it’s still great.

So, what am I saying here? I guess I’m saying that it is perhaps important to focus on what something does rather than what it could do but hasn’t been updated to do (possibly as yet), and work with what you have. Older doesn’t mean bad. It just means older.

Food for thought? Possibly, but probably just time for a few revisits. That’s my take anyway.

Music Box Composer is now on the Mac App Store too

Remember Music Box composer? Well it’s available for your Mac now too.

Create your own Music Box music, and easily share your compositions with others.

Designed to aid composing your own music prior to punching the paper strips for Music Boxes, MBC allows you to compose, preview and play your creations before printing out the physical strips.

A small but growing library of Music Box Strips can be viewed here, via webplayer or loading into MBC on device:

Demo of composing, printing, punching an playing:

  • Supports 15, 20 and 30 note music boxes.
  • Share your compositions with others via sharable link.
  • Multiple undo
  • Disable Notes for temporary changes
  • Ripple edits
  • Sounds sampled from physical Music Boxes
  • Save strip to JPG file, auto creates PDF resized for printing.

The physical Music Boxes with the paper punch strips and are great fun – what I found was missing was an easy way to preview either transpositions or original creations. This aims to fill that gap but it’s also a fun music creation tool in it’s own right.

The Mac App is priced at $14.99.

Use iPad effects apps in Ableton and Logic

Audulus for Mac loads iPad patches

Great news for Audulus users (iPad or Mac). Audulus for Mac now loads patches created with Audulus for iPad! I’m not sure (and haven’t tried either) if this works in reverse though. Anyone know?

Audulus for iPad
Audulus - Wilson Holliday

Audulus for Mac
Audulus - Wilson Holliday

Audulus coming to the iPad!

Excellent news from Synthtopia. The Mac OS app Audulus is on its way to iOS and the iPad in particular.

If you don’t know about Audulus you should watch the videos below to get a feel for this synth building app, it’s really worth a look at, and I think it is one of the few apps I know of that’s moved from Mac OSX to iOS, which is an intriguing turn of events.

Anyway, have a look at the videos and also take a look at the Mac app on the Mac App Store too.

Audulus on the Mac App Store
Audulus - Wilson Holliday

20 years after the first Koan beta, Noatikl adds Koan file support

Ok, this isn’t a mobile news story but it’s about Intermorphic who make the awesome Mixtikl for a number of platforms and who were involved in the original Koan software. 20 years since the first Koan beta was issued Intermorphic have added support for opening original Koan files in Noatikl desktop.

It’s a more than fitting way of celebrating the anniversary of Koan and also supporting users who’ve been waiting patiently for a way to use their old files. Koan was the start of the generative journey and Intermorphic have been taking it forward and developing it ever since.

If you don’t know Noatikl or Mixtikl, then you should take a look at them for sure.

Intermorphic at the iOS App store:
Intermorphic Ltd.

Intermorphic at the Mac App store:
Intermorphic Ltd.


Fair enough, this has nothing to do with handheld music making, but I so wish it did. I think that the idea of having a whole environment for creating new effects or synths in your pocket is wonderful. Of course, I have no idea of who difficult something like this would be, but I wonder is it that difficult from latest additions to miniMIXA in terms of modular synthesis?

The Mobile Studio: Libretto

I’m still trying to find good workable software for my Libretto. Rebirth didn’t work out really as you need to run the CD with it and that isn’t much good for a machine the size of a Libretto.

I really need something that will run in Windows 95 within 32mb of RAM, which I know is not much at all.

Any suggestions / links gratefully received.

Libretto Reborn!

Well, finally I’ve got ReBirth running on my Libretto 70CT. The downside is that it has to run with a CD-ROM, but there’s a way around that.

I think the Libretto is now going to be a useful part of my mobile studio now, which I’m glad about as I won’t have to sell it!

Libretto 70CT in danger

Well, after thinking that my old Libretto could maybe be a nice addition to my mobile studio it starts to look less and less likely. I am still have trouble with getting Rebirth downloaded (but I have a plan), Renoise is not going to work at all, and without those two I will start to wonder why I am keeping the device.

I think I’ll keep trying for a little while, but if I can’t get any decent software to work on it, it will have to go.

%d bloggers like this: