I’d all but given up home on miniMusic, but …

After a very long time miniMusic have announced an update to their only iOS app, PianoFly. If you don’t know what I’m talking about then you probably also don’t know that miniMusic is part of real mobile music history. They were one of the first developers to bring music apps to the Palm OS platform way back in 1999!

Now they’ve announced an update. PianoFly 2.0 is coming! It’ll be back on the app store soon, which is great news.

From the beginning … PalmSounds on video, back in 2013: Palm OS controls

Moments in mobile music: 1 – miniMusic

As I mentioned yesterday I’m planning to talk about 10 ‘moments’ in mobile music that were important for me, and number 1 is miniMusic. It was a very big impact on my own personal journey into mobile music.

In fact, if I look back at the last few years I’ve cited miniMusic in lots of times and important moments.

When I look back to PalmSoundsĀ 5 year anniversary I was talking about miniMusic too. I don’t know what kind of percentage of overall posts on PalmSounds are about miniMusic, but I would guess it’s comparatively high.

Of course miniMusic did venture ever so briefly into the iOS world with the PianoFly Pro Synth, which was to be followed up with Tympanum, although that sadly never arrived. In fact they had big plans in the early iOS days back in 2008, which is when I did an interview with Chad from miniMusic.

I’ve been talking about miniMusic and Palm OS apps for a long time but I keep on reminding people about those days. Even in December last year I wrote a long piece in response to a question from Marc Weidenbaum from Disquiet all about early Palm OS apps and using them.

So you may be wondering why it’s so important:

When I first bought a PDA, a Palm III I had no idea that it could be used in any way to make music. In fact I pretty much used it just for being organised. Or at least that’s what I did to start with. As I started to discover sites like PalmGear and others I found a lot of different uses for my Palm and then I started to find some musical uses too. It was the beginning of something amazing, something that I’d be sharing with you for a long time!

miniMusic was a little revelation to me. I can’t tell you how much time I spent checking out every page on that site and following up every link. I found out everything there was to find out about making music on a PDA, and most of that was before PalmSounds was even started.

So that was where I began, and I can talk about music on a PDA for just about as long as you want (Mr Concreted0g will confirm this)!

My next moment will continue my journey in mobile music, and it’ll be with you in the next day or so …

MixPad 1.0 from miniMusic on sale for $19.95!

Introductory price only $19.95 US (Regularly $29.95) Buy Now, especially with this cool icon!

AxisPad: A real PDA instrument

Of all the applications I’ve looked at for PDAs I have to say that I think that AxisPad is the only true instrument.

If you think about it all the others are sequencers of one form or another, that allow you to take sounds or create sounds for use somewhere else, or in another application, but AxisPad is an instrument in itself. It is the only handheld music application that you actually play.

Now, that in itself makes it very unique, but it also makes me wonder what are the attributes of a PDA (or smartphone) instrument application. So, what makes a PDA music applcation an instrument?

Here’s my first stab at a list of those attributes:

  • It has to be playable, like a real instrument
  • To play it well will take time
  • It must have an interface that copes with expression in some form
  • It must be more than just recording or sequencing

For me AxisPad is the start of a new form of music application for handheld devices that is more than just making music on the go or arranging new tracks. It is about giving mobile musicians the ability to find new forms of expression in mobile music.

According to the miniMusic development calendar the next step for AxisPad will be the ability to record and export. I am really looking forward to having the ability to record performances and then export them to enhance and manipulate them, I think that opens up some interesting possibilities.

miniMusic on StyleTap

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.

WavePad this summer?

Could we see the multi-track audio editor from miniMusic in 2007? The current miniMusic development calendar says Summer 2007. Who knows? There isn’t much to go on at the site to tell you more about what is going on and what the application will do exactly, but perhaps there will be an update in the coming months.

MiniMusic EarTrain: Music Educational software on the Palm

As educational software goes EarTrain is very cool. I think it is fair to say that it is aimed at children, but I have found myself playing with it for an hour at a time.

EarTrain includes 10 levels and a Practice level to freely explore and hear different intervals at your own pace. Instructions are built into the software and various playback preferences are available. Fully compatible with Palm OS 5 and includes full support for enhanced sound (either using the Beat Plus Springboard module or the sound card built into all Sony T, NR, NX, NZ and TG-series Clies) and MIDI output.

SpinPad: A whole new approach to sequencing

I posted recently on the possibility that SpinPad would become available in 2007. If you haven’t already you should give the current beta a try (albeit that it is an OS4 app and I’m not sure if it works under OS5).

Here’s what it looks like in practice:

The final version is going to support the Krikit Audio Engine, and I expect it will have the same zero latency as MixPad does today.

What I am most looking forward to is the unique interface, and the new approach to sequencing that will come with SpinPad.

MixPad 1.0 from miniMusic on sale now!

I know I’ve posted quite a lot about MixPad from miniMusic in the last few weeks, but I thought it was worth another note to say that it is on sale at present, so do go over and take a look.

MixPad is a full featured MIDI file player/viewer/mixer. It will let you take any raw MIDI file with you on your Palm compatible handheld or phone. You can play the song with our Krikit audio engine, on connected MIDI hardware, or on a sound card if your handheld has one. MixPad differs from any other MIDI file applications for the PalmOS; it includes powerful graphic support for easy viewing and mixing.

Usable for real performance situations, or music practice, MixPad gives you a powerful real-time mixer interface to control channel volumes, panning, and solos and mutes for every track during playback. The main display gives smooth scrolling of all MIDI data (including velocities and controller data) and zooming. Unlike other MIDI file players that use hundreds of kilobytes (or even megabytes) of memory for sound samples, our software synthesizer generates audio without any recorded sound; it’s only 10k! Song files are also very small (usually under 100k).

MixPad works only as a song player/viewer/mixer. MixPad Pro, available later this Spring, will offer additional recording and editing features. We will offer MixPad Pro as an upgrade to all MixPad users; you’ll only pay the difference in price, so there is no reason to wait! We are already working on the first free MixPad upgrade that will let you change tempos, instruments and transpose songs!

Introductory price only $19.95 US (Regularly $29.95) Buy Now, especially with this cool icon!

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