Mobile Music in 2008

Well, it has been an interesting year to say the least. As in previous years I've decided to run through a little review of what's happened in 2008 not only to show how things have changed, but also as a little reminder of many of the high points of the year.

January
January saw the final launch of TuneStudio from Belkin, only a year after they first announced the product. To follow that up they announced their Podcast Studio product as well.

We saw PocketGuitar appear as a jailbreak app for the iPhone and Styletap demoed a version of their Palm OS emulation platform running on the iPhone. Sadly, at the time of writing this has still not seen the light of day.

In other news Gary Kibler made the first album solely with a Kaossilator, and Bug Labs started off their modular PDA / Device (although still not available in the UK).

February
Feb was a slightly quieter time for Palm Sounds, although I did interview miniMusic. Pixilang the pixel based language was updated to version 1.4 and Pixitracker appeared, the first tracker written in the pixilang language.

March
March brought the news that Syntrax (now free) was available for Symbian S60 devices. The first news of the Korg DS-10 arrived. TrakAx mobile, the innovative media editing application for Windows Mobile got updated for VGA devices, and Pixilang moved up again to version 1.5.

April
April was a big month for Palm OS. We saw the release of SunVox, the multi-platform modular music application, which has been a huge step forward for Palm users. Corrosion, a new plug in for Bhajis Loops was released in beta. Corrosion was the first independently developed plug in for Bhajis Loops. PalmBuzzer, the sample player app for Palm OS was released.

Groovestep, the music sequencer / studio for the Nintendo DS was announced.

In addition, Milkytracker got an update and went open source at the same time.

May
For me May was very important. May was the first time I got to take Palm Sounds Live. Hopefully I'll get the chance to do it again at some point.

Little GP Tracker turned 1.0, and glitchDS arrives for the nintendo DS platform.

The other really big news in May was that Intermorphic announced that they were coming back to the mobile market with their app Mixtikl.

June
June brought Apple's WWDC at which Apple demoed the 'Band' app from MooCowMusic. Following the WWDC Intua announced their BeatMaker app for the iPhone. In addition, miniMusic announced that they would be developing for the iPhone platform, but sadly, at the time of writing they have not published any apps.

July
July brought us Apple's App Store on iTunes together with the 3G iPhone. Intua released their Beatmaker app and the companion BeatPack application.

The Korg DS-10 was finally released, but in Japan only.

August
August was dominated by new apps for the iPhone / iPod Touch platform. The notable ones from my point of view are, Noise IO Pro, ProRemote, iDrum, BtBx, ITM series of apps, and PaklSound.

In hardware news N>Trans (the audio CF interface for windows mobile devices) was made known to me, but at a price of £281 it still seems very expensive.

September
It was no real surprise that September was also dominated by news of new iPhone apps. For me the most interesting ones were Cosmovox due to the way it used accelerometer parameters to map to musical elements, miniSynth as it was one of the first real synthesis applications for the iPhone, and 4 Tracks Lite for being the first 4 track app on the platform.

There were of course lots of other apps that appeared including, Bedrum, FMScreen, Haplome, Guitarist, and Thereminator.

In Windows Mobile news, we saw the first update to Griff in years, even though it was just an update for new skins, and Theresa the Windows Mobile MIDI controller appeared.

Groovestep went to public beta and cellDS, a lua extensible grid sequencer arrived.

Finally, corrosion moved up to beta version 2.

October
October brought us the next version of Sunvox, version 1.1 which added a huge range of new features and capabilities. We also saw Alleygate arrive, another new Bhajis Loops plug in.

October was a busy month for the iPhone too, with generative music arriving in the shape of Bloom. Noise IO Pro arrived and with it an updated an highly interactive new version of their web site. SynthPond the ambient sequencer arrived. Cosmovox got OSC support, and RJDJ arrived providing unusual musical creation on the iPhone platform.

November
More iPhone apps arrived in November and lots of updated too. Four Tracks for Sonoma Wire Works arrived, another multi-track app. Zoozbeat and Zoozbeat lite arrived for making music with gestures. Smule released their wind sensitive ocarina application for iPhone.

FingerBassline brings us a TB303 for the iPhone, and 4Pockets announce that they will develop for the iPhone too (games only so far).

Mixtikl went into beta testing and Palm Sounds get a look in.

December
The big news in December has been the final released of Mixtikl, a year and a half after the demise of Tao Group and miniMXA, Intermorphic have built of the success of their BAFTA winning miniMIXA app with the Mixtikl suite of applications.

This month also sees the announcement of a new pink kaossilator and of course a number of new iPhone apps.

iStylophone is one of the coolest apps I've seen so far on the app store. GigBaby arrived as another multi-track but with many more features to boot, and FutureSound brought artists like Scanner and David Toop into generative music for the iPhone.

So, what a year. It is fair to say that this year has been a major year for mobile music and that has been largely driven by the arrival of the iPhone platform. Whether you like Apple or not, at the very least they've stimulated the market and developers have shown that there is real value in mobile music apps.

I'm hoping that 2009 will be just as eventful for mobile music and that we'll see even more innovation in hardware and software.

All the best. Palm Sounds.

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Bob?

I found this app by chance and I'm really not sure about it at all. It seems to be a simple synth with two oscillators, but also has a 'brain' for composition. I might buy it just to see what it is like, but if anyone has done so already please let me know.

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ThumbDrum for iPhone


ThumDrum brings another drum pad app to the iPhone, but includes up to 16 sample slots too, so could be quite interesting.

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Cosmovox 1.7.4

Cosmovox gets a stability release and fixes bugs in this latest version.

Cosmovox at the iTunes App Store

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FutureSonic 2009 site coming soon

FutureSonic has just published dates for 2009 and announced that their new site will be available very soon.

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Happy New Year

Happy new year to all Palm Sounds readers. Thanks for reading Palm Sounds in 2008, and I look forward to another interesting year in 2009.

All the best. Palm Sounds.

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For all seasons


For All Seasons [iPhone] from CreativeApplications.Net on Vimeo.

In my last post about the top 10 creative apps one of the apps I hadn't heard of was called 'For All Seasons'. I'd not heard of this app before so I downloaded it and was blown away by how beautiful it is.

I do hope that the artist does produce more art like this for the platform. If you've not tried it out as yet it is absolutely worth it, and the app itself is free.

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10 most creative apps of 2008

Creative Applications have a very interesting post on their view of the 10 most creative iPhone apps of this year. Intua's Beatmake and bloom are there, but also a few I hadn't heard of, so it makes for interesting reading.

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DigiDrummer 2.0 available


DigiDrummer 2.0 is now available. This version is a minor update and includes a new kit. Still, good to see that they're still working on the app and developing it.

DigiDrummer available at the iTunes App Store

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12 hours to go on the Palm Sounds Poll

This has been the most interesting poll on the blog in a long time. With 12 hours to go I can't see there being too much changing in the results, but who can tell.

If you haven't voted as yet, please do.

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Coming tomorrow ... 2008 Mobile Music Review

As in previous years I plan to post a review of 2008 tomorrow, but in advance of the 2008 review I thought it might be worth looking at what was of interest in 2007 and 2006.

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DS-10 and mini KP



Korg DS-10 and mini KP working well together. The KP gets going properly at about 2 mins 50 seconds.


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SynthPond 2.5 on the way?


synthPond + OSC from zach on Vimeo.

OSC support coming to SynthPond in the next version? To be honest I was wondering when it would come for this app as it is the obvious next step for SynthPond.

SynthPond at the iTunes App Store

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PalmInfocenter has the Palm OS review for 2008


PalmInfocenter's review of Palm is 2009 makes for quite interesting reading, especially about how they are going into 2009.

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NIME 2009 Call

If you're interested NIME's call for papers closes on the 24th of Jan.

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TuneStudio price down to


The price of the TuneStudio for iPod is down to £140 at Amazon. I'm still amazed that Belkin haven't done anything more with this hardware. I would have expected something like an iPhone app to make it work with the new platform. Who knows, maybe they've got something coming for next year.

Belkin TuneStudio F8Z109ea - 4 Channel iPod Mixing and Recording Studio

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iLounge review of Apple's Earphones with Mic and Remote


iLounge has a useful review of Apple's headphones with a mic and remote. These are supposed to work very well with the iPod Touch and means you can use apps like RJDJ, FutureSound and Four Tracks, so worth a read.

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Tiny MIDI to Control Voltage converter


This has to be the smallest converter I've ever seen. What I'm wondering is if if can be used to send a MIDI clock from a click track, i.e. from Bhajis Loops. I'll have to contact the manufacturers to see if this is possible.

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RJDJ Shake


RJDJ have launched their 'shake' release on the app store. Looks interesting.

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What can you do with ... ?


Following on from the post from Lifehacker on repurposing an old iPod, I was wondering what you could use an old Palm IIIx for? You might think that they're not worth anything much these days, but you can pick them up very cheap on eBay and they'll run on rechargeable AAA batteries, so they're cheap to run too.

* Run MIDI patterns using MixPad from miniMusic
* Drive a simple tone generator like the Yamaha MU15?
* Write notation using NotePad from miniMusic

What else can you think of?

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Arduino and sound

Thanks to everyone who pointed me in the direction of a variety of music making sources for Arduino. The code and guidance at Little Scale is very useful indeed, as is Critter and Guitari.

I think it fairly likely that I will get one of these and start some experimenting soon enough.

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Repurpose your old iPod


Lifehacker has this post on 'repurposing' your old iPod. Personally I think that's a great idea, if indeed you have an old iPod hanging around.

I'd often thought about getting a 3rd generation ipod to use pd Anywhere on, but like many projects it has stayed in my head. Maybe I'll go and look on eBay now and see if there are any going cheap!

On a more serious note though, I think that the whole 'repurpose' or reuse idea will take off far more in 2009 as it is probably fair to say that people might have a bit less cash next year. Repurposing older technology and making new things from old is an excellent way of discovering what devices can do, and of course in many circumstances discovering what will make them cease to function. Of course that's just the price you pay for tinkering or circuit bending or whatever you want to call it.

Anyway, perhaps we'll look at some more repurposing projects and see how much fun can be had in reusing old technology.

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Is there an Arduino for synths?


I've been reading a lot about Arduino, which looks like loads of fun, but I was wondering if there was something like Arduino but for building synths?

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Peter Kirn wants us to learn processing

Peter says that 2009 is the year we should learn processing in this post, and to help he'll be providing some tutorials from next week, which I'll look forward to.

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Loopy coming to the iPod Touch

Thanks to the developers of Loopy for this comment:
Loopy has now been confirmed to work fine on iPod Touch. Enabling support as soon as Apple come back from Christmas.

I'm hoping to get this when it gets updated on the App Store.

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GrooveStep gets to version 1


Groovestep has hit version 1.0. If you haven't tried out this app for the DS, you really should.

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nanoKey in black


Nice photo of the black nanoKey.

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Intermorphic on launch dates

Intermorphic talking about the fact that they launched Noatikl on the same day as Mixtikl but one year earlier.

If you haven't as yet tried Mixtikl, it is worth taking a look over at the Intermorphic site.

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What did you get for Christmas?

Hope you had a good couple of days off for Christmas. If you got any really cool gifts (cool as in handheld music cool), then please send in pictures etc to:

palm dot sounds at mac dot com.

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Happy Christmas from Palm Sounds


Just a quick note to wish you all a happy Christmas from Palm Sounds.

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Mixtikl on my Axim


Well, I finally got Mixtikl running. As you might remember I've one or two issues with Windows Mobile hardware. This time I've got it running on my old Dell Axim, and the bigger screen size helps a good deal.

I'm hoping to spend some time over the holidays playing with the suite of apps and getting better aquatinted with what it is capable of.

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GigBaby updated


GigBaby has been updated and a few new features have been added. These are:

- Shuttle, allowing you to move to a specific point in a track
- Overdub, very useful
- Track delete

I was also reading a couple of the reviews on iTunes. One was glowing and the other said that they had to reboot after recording each track, which is awful.

Gigbaby at the iTunes App Store

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