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 PalmSounds 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 …

OT: Writing tools for lyrics

I guess that lots of people use their PDA for writing or documents of some kind or other. Sometimes I use mine for lyrics, and one of the best (if not the best) application for my kind of writing is “tejpWriter”. It is really feature rich, easy to use, and best of all open source. Give it a go.

Here are some screen shots to look at:





More videos soon

I haven’t made any new videos for the blog for a while, but I do plan to soon. The kind of things I will be covering are:

  • Application demos
  • Some OS4 Apps

Let me know if there are other topics that are worth while?

Palm OS4 Museum

I’ve often posted on old OS4 music apps, many of which are no longer available anymore. I had a thought the other day that maybe I should start off an OS4 museum with pictures and apps too so these pioneering applications could still be seen and used by anyone that still wanted them.

In some cases this isn’t so easy as the apps aren’t freeware or demos, but it is a thought that I may pursue at some point.

Mobile Studio: Palm OS4: ThumbMusic

ThumbMusic is a digital kalimba, the application requires at least a Palm III with OS 3.0. It is a really small app running in about 3k of memory. If you click on the title of the post you’ll go to a web page about the app and there you can download the source code for it too.

I use this on my clie T425. Which is an old OS4 device, in fact a monochrome one at that, but fine for running older palm applications that won’t run in OS5.

MiniTones

I saw this app on PalmInfoCenter. I’ve never been keen on ringtones and ringtone apps, but as this is freeware I thought it might be fun to try out.

This small freeware app allows you to select a MP3 file and add it to your ringtone list in Sounds. It also features a file splitter so you can use a section of a song instead of the whole song. A drawback to this is that it copies the file to main memory and can be a memory hog. Usage of the files does not require the app to be installed.

Note: This app does NOT convert a MP3 to MIDI. It only adds a MP3 into the sounds list.

What does Palm Linux mean for audio?

So what does the new Palm Linux based OS mean for music making and audio applications? Will it mean that apps like Audacity will be easier to port over to the PDA? Will it mean easier development for new palm applications? Or, will it mean that existing apps will need to be re-written for another version of the OS meaning cost and time for developers but with little benefit?

Palm’s new OS?

So Palm announce today that they have been working on their own new OS based on a linux kernel. This leaves me with lots of questions.

  • When will palm bring out new hardware and will it have the new OS on it?
  • How compatible will old apps be with the new OS?
  • Will the new OS give new musical possibilities?
  • Will a linux kernel mean it is easier to port existing linux music apps to the new palm OS?

I’m sure that more details will appear as the days go on, and I dare say that there will be lots of speculation on how this new OS will change the palm ecosystem.

MOVEMENTO 0.1

This has been around for some time, and I don’t know if it is ever going to be updated or developed further.

MOVEMENTO FEATURES:

  • Powered by MODULA Audio Engine
  • MOD song player
  • Background playback
  • Powersave mode
  • Playlist
  • FREEWARE (always nice)

MOVEMENTO REQUIRES:

  • PalmOS 5.x powered device (SndStream API required)
  • MCA2 tool by CliePet for Sony Clie NX/NZ/TG series devices
  • SD/MMC/MemoryStick card

Not all devices MOVEMENTO works on are displayed here!!!

QOTD: What handheld platform is best for music?

For me the two main platforms for mobile music making are:

  • Palm OS
  • Windows Mobile

But I have to admit that I know very little about other platforms and how they shape up. I know that there was a tracker for Symbian which I did write about ages ago, but I don’t know of very much else.

Also, I think that as Styletap takes off and allows more and more Palm applications to run under Window Mobile it will become easier to run everything in one place as it were rather than keeping and maintaining multiple platforms.

Windows is still developing and moving forward, although, not in leaps exactly, but Palm don’t seem to be doing too much of anything right now.

Sure ALP is coming along, but what will that do for existing applications? Will it bring in more developers? Will it bring new possibilities in terms of hardware from palm or ease of development from ACCESS? Will it mean that Linux music applications are easier to port over to ALP?

The other possibility is that Palm will kick off their own OS separate from ACCESS and ALP altogether.

So, what does the future hold?

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