The State of Mobile Music

Well, here we are half way through 2008 and it has been a very interesting year already. There's been a real expansion in terms of the number of platforms for mobile music making, and some very interesting new applications as well. So it I thought it might be worth stopping for a moment to think about where we are.

DS Platform
This year we've seen the Korg DS-10 announcement and Groovestep too, although the later have been very quiet for some time now, so I hope they're still going ahead with their app. Of course, both of these were in addition to the wide variety of homebrew apps already available, such as Protein, GlitchDS, and DS Synth, to name a few. What else will come up for the DS platform, and when the DS-10 does arrive how will it be received?

Palm and Windows Mobile
There's not been a huge number of new applications for either platform. However, we have seen SunVox, an amazing cross platform modular application that runs on Palm OS and Windows Mobile. Also, TrakAx, the multimedia tool for Windows Mobile has done great things this year, and of course Intermorphic have announced their new Mixtikl app for windows mobile coming later this year.

iPod Touch and iPhone
Of course the next big thing is the coming of the iPhone and iPod app store and real third party apps on this platform. Already we've seen miniMusic amongst a number of developers aiming at this platform. Will it be a real next step for mobile music?I hope so, but time will tell.

And also ...
Of course, there's more to mobile music than the platforms above. There's been a good deal of new hardware news too, like the release of the Pacemaker DJ device and the announcement of the Korg nano series. Also, there are more platforms on the way, like Google's Android platform, and ALP, and Palm's new Linux based OS too. Who knows what these will bring?

So far?
So good. If you'd asked me in 2006 or early 2007 what the future was for mobile music making I'd probably have said that it was grim at best. Now, I've changed my mind in a big way. I think that for the first time in a number of years mobile music has a real chance to take off, especially with mainstream (and cool) manufacturers like Apple getting in on the act.

So let's hope that the second half of 2008 is even more packed with applications, developments and mobile music making.

Discuss at the Palm Sounds Group ...



More circuit bending goodness from Concretedog



Concretedog has a new post on bent Casio SA8. Looks very interesting.

TrakAx Mobile on the verge of a major upgrade

TrakAx Mobile is expecting a huge upgrade very soon. There are some amazing new features in this release, including:
  • Pan and zoom effects for still images
  • Expanded transition choices
  • Photo and video effects and borders
  • Improved text rendering and colour choice
  • Improved media search
  • Themes for credits



trakAxMobile - Sneak Peak! from Catriona Barry on Vimeo.

This is what the new mix screen will look like:


Here is the expanded transitions and new effects:


The pan and zoom features for still images will make using them mixed in with video far more straightforward.


Searching for media looks like it will be easier using a date driven search.


All in all this will be a really significant upgrade to TrakAx Mobile. It is excellent to see it being developed and going from strength to strength.

Apple's own iPhone applications ...

There's been lots of news today about the possibility of Apple offering a free iPhone app to control iTunes 7.7 over wifi. That set me thinking.

Since Apple announced that they were going to make third party applications available on their iPhone platform lots of bloggers have been talking about which developers would enter into the iPhone app market and what would they bring. I've been talking about it too. But, what will Apple themselves bring to the platform?

Let's face it, they are very good at creative applications at all levels, from entry / home user to pro. So, why wouldn't they use their expertise to offer up some really interesting applications of their own?

Mixtikl on the way

There's a new post on the intermorphic blog giving a little bit more news about Mixtikl.

Can't wait to see it in action.

tags technorati :

CDM on MIDIFY for Nintendo handhelds


CDM has a post on MIDIFY which lets you add a MIDI port to you Nintendo handheld.

CDM also has an interesting post on a load of new and updated DS homebrew. Well worth taking a look.

Things are really getting interesting for the DS platform...

Mobile Music Workshop 2008 Creative Interactions


The Mobile music workshop have published a catalogue of the last 5 years contributions to the workshop, which is a good way to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the workshop. I hope they run many more, especially if they can be in the UK next year.

You may have noticed ...

That the posting has been somewhat erratic, or in fact none existent lately. Well, things have been a little unsettle over the last week or so, hence the disruption to Palm Sounds. However, hopefully things are returning to normal, and so the posts should flow again soon.

If you've emailed me at Palm Sounds in the last week or so and I haven't replied, please email again as I may not have received it.

Gearwire on Korg Nano Series

Gearwire have got their hands on the new nano series of controllers from Korg.

There's also some early indication on price here, which isn't bad really.

What I'd love to see though is someone making these compatible with the Korg DS-10!

LDB: Java Drum Midlet for mobiles!



I should check the Palm Sounds mailbox more regularly. Thanks to Johan for this. He's built this excellent looking java midlet drum machine.

You can find out all about it and a link to download it here.

Alesis ProTrack


The FutureMusic blog has this from Alesis. They seem to have made a real commitment to iPod related products.

The FutureMusic blog has all the details. Whilst I think it looks like a good addition to an iPod, I am struggling to see just how this product goes further than what is already available.

Flash Player for iPhone (via iLounge)

Ilounge has a story on Adobe getting flash player running in the iPhone emulator.

Whilst in many ways flash is not something that is great for stand alone music applications it could open up possibilities for using online music services via an iPhone.

Did anyone go to the DS-10 event?

Did anyone manage to get to the DS-10 launch event on Saturday? Any news or pictures would be great.


tags technorati :

iPhone apps limited to 2gb?


TUAW has an interesting post covering both the size and cost limits being imposed by Apple on iPhone apps. Whilst the cost will be of interest, I think it is interesting that they are limiting app size to 2gb.

For most users this won't be a big problem or issue in any way. However, for mobile musicians it may be. Music apps and suites in particular can be very large indeed and I wouldn't want to think that apps have to limit their technical ability in order to comply with a preset size barrier.

I'd be interested in any developers who have views on this.

What annoys me about Palm Sounds is ...

Following a comment post anonymously by a reader about the way items are posted I thought it might be a good idea to find out if anyone else finds anything irritating or annoying about the blog or posts etc, or indeed if anyone had any good suggestions on how to improve it.

If any of the above applies then feel free to give your opinion here.

What are Korg up to?


A number of sites and blogs have picked up the new Korg nanoSeries now. I wonder what Korg's strategy is on new product development? They appear to be miniaturizing lots of products (KP mini, Kaosillator, DS-10 etc), so where will it go? Where will it end up, and will anyone else get going on the band wagon?

Korg nano series (via CDM)


CDM has a post on these new tiny controllers from Korg. They look aweseome. Of course I'd like to see these in use with mobile devices too, that would make loads of sense, and if Korg wanted to be really joined up then you should be able to use their 'nanoKey' to control the DS-10 over wifi. Why not?

Sims DJ for iPod


I've read some of the reviews of this on iTunes and it doesn't sound great so far. I can't believe that the developer missed the trick of allowing you to use your own music in the game in the same way as Phase. It seems like such a wasted opportunity.

DS-10 Launch party in London (via CDM)

I can't believe that the DS-10 launch is in London and I can't make it!!!

miniMusic developing for the iPhone !


The big news for today is that minMusic have announced that they are working on a number of different iPhone music applications covering notation, performance, education and audio editing.

This is excellent news and starts to make the iPhone even more appealing.

CDM on Mixtikl and generative music

Good to see CDM picking up the news of intermorphic's Mixtilk app coming later this year, and interesting thoughts about generative music in general. Really worth a read.

WWDC and mobile music

Well, I think that whilst Apple haven't brought anything that wasn't expected at least they've actually showcased the kind of apps we can expect later this month, and that has to be a good thing.

Of course, the much rumoured Mac Nano still hasn't surfaced, but maybe it will someday.

Even so, I think that the iPod Touch is looking like a really good platform for mobile music applications, and I'm seriously thinking of buying one now.

'Band' App gets a demo at WWDC!


I got this from the live feed from Macrumurs.com. This was one of the applications that has been shown today. I think it is really significant that a mobile music application is shown alongside blogging apps and games, I think it says a lot about Apple and how they see the OSX mobile platform developing.

Intua Beatmaker Suite (via CDM)


Now this is the kind of thing I'm hoping we'll see lots more of after today on the app store. If developers can come up with this kind of application / suite then the iPod Touch / iPhone starts to look like a really viable platform for mobile music. I guess we'll be finding out very soon indeed.

SunVox news

The SunVox forum has a great to do list on it:

* new module: delay
* new module: reverb
* FM
* LFO
* stylophone
* zoom in pattern editor
* parallel synth playing
* OSX port
* switch instruments / sampler etc by using the hardware buttons
* live mode (DJ mode)

All of which I'm really looking forward to, but even more so now as Alex is going to provide more documentation which will make this app even easier to use.

How long should you wait?

I've posted another application into the palm sounds group. This time it is a little metronome application that came from a developer called Clever Parrot. They've disappeared sadly, but when they were around I downloaded all their free applications just in case. So I can't see any problem with this being available now.

However, I did set me wondering. If a developer has vanished is it ok to make their commercial or shareware applications available? If it is ok, how long should you wait?
I only have one app that falls into this category, and I think I will make it available at some point, but I'd be interested in other people's views on the subject, and if you have any apps that might be useful to others then why not post them at the group.

Update on Treo 650 replacement

Well, I've bought a Treo 750 on eBay. One that has been upgraded to WM6 already. It should be an interesting experience moving to WM for all my day to day stuff as well as music related applications.

I'll keep posting on how things go.

Comment from Korg DS-10 Producer!

There was a comment on the DS-10 videos I posted yesterday that they sounded a bit rough. Following that, this comment arrived this morning from the Korg DS-10 producer/director:
Thank you for watching videos!!
This bit-rough sound does not comes from DS-10 but compressions by video camera and YouTube.

sanodg
KORG DS-10 producer/director

Nice to know that Korg are reading!

Protein DS



More good use of the the DS Protein (previously DScratch) app. According to YouTube:
I have used the homebrew program protein ds to replicate muses kaoss jam using a sample of the kp2 patch. Sorry for the bad camera work, it's hard to hold a camera still and operate a ds at the same time ;)

Files on the Palm Sounds Group

I thought it would be useful to put stuff on the Palm Sounds Group that had been on either the old Palmgear or is still on the old Palm Sounds site. I hope you find the stuff useful. If you have any suggestions for other files I should put up then let me know.

Mobile Music Workshop 2008 proceedings now online

The proceedings from this year's mobile music workshop are now available online.

Blog roll

Palm Sounds now has a blog roll. You can find it a little way down the page. If you have any suggestions for other blogs I should put on it please let me know.

Korg DS-10 blog: New videos







There's a couple of new posts on the DS-10 blog showing the kinds of things it will do.

OT: Big savings at Intermorphic

Off topic I know, but also in a way topical as Intermorphic have announced their new Mixtikl application suite for later this year. Anyway, if you wanted to get aquainted with their applications in advance they've announced some summer specials over at their store.

Brighthand's predictions for WWDC on Monday

There's lots of people making predictions for Apple's WWDC on Monday. This set from Brighthand are quite interesting. I think I agree that this year is likely to be all about the iPhone and maybe a new version of OSX, but I'm not sure about a tablet or 'Mac Nano', whilst I'd love to see a device like that I just don't think it is going to come around this time.

MusicThing review of BC-16


I liked this review from MusicThing, it gives you exactly the information you need about the BC16.

Apple MID device?

AppleInsider has a post on rumours of a new Apple MID (mobile internet device) in 4" and 7" sizes. Now, there have been lots of this kind of rumour before, so who knows it it will come about, but if they did make something that was like a cross between the iPod Touch and a Mac that would be really interesting.

Korg DS-10 blog: Interview on Amazon.co.jp

The Korg DS-10 blog has been updated and shows some news of an interview (I think) on Amazon.co.jp. Interestingly the Amazon site has the DS-10 for NDS listed.

Little GP Tracker minor update

LittleGPTracker has a few minor updates today, and raises the question on whether anyone is going to develop for the openPandora.

I posted about this device a while ago and it looks really amazing.

Thanks!

Thanks for all the kind comments and also suggestions from my post on Palm Sounds being 2 years old. I really appreciate it.

My Treo 650 replacement

Thanks for all the suggestions following my post on what I should do to replace my Treo 650. I'm now looking at the Treo 750 (WM) and also the HTC Mogul although this model doesn't seem to be available in the UK as yet. I'll keep you posted on how I get on with my research!

I need some help

For a long time I've used a Treo 650 as my main PDA. I use it for everything really, phone, email, diary, Bhajis loops and many other music apps, short video clips etc etc.

However, it is 4 years old now and whilst it is still going strong some of the keys are showing signs of wear, and I know it won't last forever. There have been a few unexplained resets (very annoying when you're in the middle of working on a new track and haven't saved as yet), and it doesn't have a huge amount of memory on board.

So, I've been thinking about what sort of thing I'd want as a replacement for it. I started thinking about my requirements. Here's what I've got so far:
  • Must be able to run StyleTap and therefore Bhajis / Microbe
  • Must have a decent camera for video capture and stills
  • Able to use TrakAx mobile to create and mix content on device
  • MUST be able to use Mixtikl whenever it becomes available
  • Ideally should have a keyboard
  • Bluetooth
  • WiFi
I think I'm leaning towards a windows mobile device / phone to be honest, but I'm not sure, I've heard lots of bad things about windows mobile smartphone, and I'd have to have a touch screen device for sure.

Anyway, any suggestions, advice, and especially devices to avoid would be really useful.

PocketTunes on WM

There's been a bit of Pocket Tunes news over the last couple of days. It made me think about applications like Pocket Tunes, and devices like the Pacemaker. What I don't really understand is why someone hasn't come up with an application that gives you functionality like the Pacemaker device but on an existing handheld?

Surely something like that for an iPod would be a massive seller, so why hasn't anyone done it? I would have thought that even devices like the current iPod Classic would have enough power to be able to handle an application like that, and the likes of the iPod Touch should be able to do even more.

So why hasn't anyone gone down that route as yet?

Cybersonica monome: open practice project:


Sadly it seems that Cybersonica's monome project is being postponed due to a lack of funding:
UPDATE: We found out recently that our monome: open practice project Arts Council England (ACE) Grants For The Arts application was unsuccessful. There's a full post at the project website explaining the situation.

There's more information on their project site, so let's hope they can get funding and get the project off the ground.

OT: Playing with a theremin

Whilst I was away for a few days I had a chance to play a real theremin, it was brilliant. It made me realise that whilst something like an X-Y pad or similar is fun to use and can give some excellent results, they don’t really give you the theremin experience.

One thing that occurred to me was that perhaps someone could make an app using the sensors on a device like the iPod Touch. I think that would be an excellent use for an iPod Touch.

Palm Sounds is 2 years old !!!

Palm Sounds is two years old. Sadly not today, I actually missed it by a few days. It was on the 25th of May. I had no idea that it would last this long.

Happy Birthday Palm Sounds!

WWDC in a week

Apple's WWDC (World Wide Developers Conference) starts in a week. So what are the best rumours around for what they're going to release? Here's my personal pick:

1. New iPhone. I know lots of people have been talking about it, but I reckon they'll at least announce it.
2. iPhone 2.0 firmware.
3. iPhone SDK version 1.0
4. App store: With this I am hoping for some real applications not just games or web apps, but something that will really show what the platform can do. What I'd love to see is some kind of 'iLife suite' for iPhone / iPod Touch from Apple, that would show their committment to the platform.

What I don't think you'll see:

1. A new Apple Newton
2. A tablet device

Pixilang Competition results

Now available on the Warmplace site. If you follow the link from there you'll see the results which are all in Russian.

iPod DJ blog

I found this blog by accident. It has some nice ideas about iPod DJ'ing, especially the Nano MPC which would be a great idea.

Mixtikl from Intermorphic

Well, after talking about it for a few weeks here's some more detail on the new mobile application from Intermorphic. Most of this is taken from the Mixtikl page on the Intermorphic site. Here's what we can expect from Mixtikl:
  • Capture/Mix/Work on content on the move on your mobile; finesse on desktop using plug-in later; move back to mobile whenever you want.
  • Use loops, midi, generative music and modular synthesis for your sound palette.
  • Perform music on your mobile with the powerful 'Perform' application.
  • Play generative music on your mobile, using the integrated Noatikl engine.
  • Create quick mixes, and mix and match sounds (yours, or in add-on Tiklpaks) with the 'Remix' application.
  • Pitch shift your loops and apply realtime FX.
  • Act as VST or AU plugin in your VST/AU enabled sequencer.
  • Have fun making/mixing hi-quality music on your mobile!
Although not available yet, Mixtikl will come in a number of variants for both Windows and Mac OSX PCs, and mobile devices. More details on these and their feature mix will follow over the coming months.

For Windows and Mac OS X, there will plugin versions for e.g. Logic (Audio Unit [AU]), Sonar (VSTi), Cubase (VSTi), Ableton Live (VSTi), Reaper (VSTi) etc. as well as a standalone version, very useful in its own right, for where there is no suitable plugin variant, e.g. Pro Tools.

For mobile, there will be versions at launch for Windows Mobile 5/6, followed by by versions for iPhone and iTouch, Series 60 V2/3, and Antix Game Player.

the applications themselves:
  • Mixtikl features a number of applications for making and mixing music on the go. Further details will be provided later, but at launch these will include (subject to change):
  • Mixtikl Remixer - create, EQ and save a quick mix from up to 12 user selectable sound sources/loops, and apply FX
  • Mixtikl Performer - create a more complex cell based mix with up to 12 tracks and four sections, and easily apply per track FX, pan and volume
  • Mixtikl Player - Create and play a track list of mixes, pieces and recordings you have or have made
  • Mixtikl Partikl-Synth - Edit Partikl synth sounds and patches directly, and create presets
  • Mixtikl Partikl-FX - Edit Partikl FX and networks directly, and create presets
  • Mixtikl Packager - Create custom DLS wavetables; bundle Ogg/Wav files, MIDI files, Noatikl files and other content together into a self contained "SKM" file.
Intermorphic have plans to release many other applications later.
I think it is fantastic that Intermorphic are not only getting back into the mobile space, but also extending and building on the work they did with miniMIXA and taking it to the next natural step.

I think it is interesting to see that they are also going for the iPod Touch / iPhone market, which is very sensible, and I think they'll find a very captive audience for their product. I also think it is a very smart move to go for the Antix Labs platform too which will give the application suite real reach into markets that haven't been used to this kind of application before.

All I can say is that I just can't wait to see it in action.

SunVox and TX / T5 problems

Alex confirms he will be fixing these issues in version 1.1:
SunVox 1.0b may work incorrectly on some PalmOS devices with non-square screen. For example - Tungsten TX, Zodiac. In this case just mail me (nightradio@gmail.com), and i'll help you to solve this problem. Of course, this will be fixed in the next release 1.1.

I'm hoping that the next version will have some of the stuff he's been talking about on his forum.

Garnet VM updated (via Palm Infocenter)

Access have released an updated version of their Garnet VM allowing Nokia Internet Tablet users to run Palm OS apps. It seems from this post from PalmInfocenter that there are some good enhancements and some more work on the audio side too.

If anyone is using this and can let me know if Bhajis runs on it I'd appreciate it.

Styletap on the iPhone / iPod Touch

Lots of sites have picked up this story, I got it from a variety of places. The news release gives the clearest story.

I think it is a great thing for Palm users who want to move away from palm hardware. If StyleTap can use the same version as the one that runs for WM5 and runs Bhajis Loops quite nicely it could start to be a really viable platform.

Korg DS-10 set for launch

Well, it looks like they're going ahead. My google translation of this post suggests they have a green light on their development. Excellent news. Here's looking forward to July. I'm definitely going to buy one (if not two) of these.

glitchDS (via CDM)



Yet another cool homebrew app for the DS platform care of CDM.

PhaseArray site back

Was it me? I'm sure that when I posted a few days ago the site was gone. It seems to be back now which is good. I've noticed some forum posts on Bhajis Garden asking about windows DLLs for PhaseArray. I hope that having to add those elements to the development won't put off the developer because at the end of the day you can still render on the device if you want to so in many ways there is no real need for the windows DLLs.

I've had a chance to play with the plug-in just recently. It is interesting, but I'm not sure that I really get how it works or how to get the best out of it. Probably need to find a track that suits it better.

I'd be interested in anyone else's experience with PhaseArray. Post it into the Palm Sounds group if you can.

Little GP Tracker turns 1.0 (via CDM)



LGPt turns 1.0 according to CDM. It is worth taking a look at if you haven't done so before. Here's some of what it can do:
  • Sample library & import support
  • Groove support for odd time signature
  • Debian build & JACK support
  • Allows creation of project from the program itself
  • new Feedback parameters at the instrument level
  • new Looper Sync looping mode for automatic looping on the current tempo
  • Engine optimization
  • New rendering system allowing to render directly from the application
  • either the mixdown or the 8 separated tracks.
  • External joystick control on all platform

Asus Eee Music Machine


CDM has an interesting post on using the small and very cheap Asus Eee as a music sub notebook.

On holiday ...

I've been away for a few days hence the lack of posting over this week. I'm just back and catching up on emails and news etc, so everything will be back to normal very soon, and I think there's just loads of news to catch up on from the last week.