Audio Sharing on the iPhone

I've been meaning to write this for a while now, but everyday the situation gets more complex / interesting. So, here's my attempt at getting the whole picture on audio sharing on the iPhone OS.

ioLibrary

So, sadly we have said goodbye to ioLibrary from Amidio, and I think most of the apps that supported it have now been updated to remove it. The only one I can think of that hasn't been updated is iSequence which is a great app. Also, Equalizer still supports ioLibrary. Hopefully Apple have enough on their plate with getting rid of lots of other apps to worry about these two.

Of course, it isn't clear what Amidio will do next. Amidio haven't said which standard they might support for their own apps in the future, or if they might bring something completely new to the party!

Sonoma Wire Works AudioCopy / Paste

Sonoma Wire Works have had a lot of developers take up their audiocopy / paste standard. The apps that have this functionality are:

DopplerPad
FourTrack
Reverb
ThumbJam

I think there was also talk of Bleep!Box going down this route, but no further news has come out. I'm not sure of any others planning the Sonoma way, although Argon developer IceGearMusic has said they are thinking of it. Amidio have now said that they may go down the Sonoma route too with Noise IO Pro, which is excellent news.

Intua's Pasteboard

Next we have Intua's new pasteboard standard which only got introduced as a direct result of ioLibrary being removed at Apple's request. Apps that are supporting Intua's standard:

Beatmaker
BassLine
Drum Track8

Apps that are planning to support Intua:

NLog, MultiTrack, Noise IO Pro, and possibly InstantBeat

There could be more. If you know of them, or if you're working on an app that implements either of these standards please get in touch.

It would of course be nice to have a single standard for audio sharing, but I doubt that we will get anything like that for a while. There was talk of some form of common directory being in iPhone OS 3.2 when the iPad comes out, but the noise around that has died down.

Another possible solution would be for a single paste app (like PasteBot for example) to have the ability to hold audio from an app and then paste it out. That would be great too.

There are also a lot of apps out there which haven't declared any intentions. Apps like RecTools08, Sunvox, Xewton, iShred, Jasuto, PatternMusic, and a host more I'm sure.

So this post is really just the start of where we are with audio sharing. I'm sure that over the next few weeks things will change a lot and more apps will adopt either or both of the standards.

An OS change could alter the situation completely, and who knows how the iPad will change things. It just gets more interesting every day!

UPDATE 24/2/10-2:17pm - Correction MultiTrack will support Intua not Sonoma.
UPDATE 24/2/10-11:48pm - Correction to apps supporting Intua.
UPDATE 10/3/10: Added Noise IO Pro from Amidio.

17 comments:

Jordi said...

Great post !!!

Thanks for the info !!!!

Sigmund said...

Compressor has got audiocopy/paste

Kerrydan said...

"Another possible solution would be for a single paste app (like PasteBot for example) to have the ability to hold audio from an app and then paste it out. That would be great too."

Isn't that the very definition of AudioView? :-)

Anonymous said...

This is indeed a great post. Regarding Amidio, I was less than impressed by the update for Noise.io not mentioning ioLibrary removal. I really hope they're not going to throw their rattle out of the pram on this one...

Tyler said...

This is a great list, maybe it should be a sticky of some sort so it can be continually updated. I really appreciate this info, as being able to move audio clips into beatmaker is a dealbreaker for me in regards to purchasing new apps.

Tibor said...

Have to clear a few things up with regards to my apps: Equalizer, Reverb and Compressor support audiocopy.
Audioview will support it once the 1.1 update goes through.

Equalizer and Reverb do not support intua's pasteboard.
But Equalizer still supports the ioLibrary. I hope I can keep support for legacy reasons. Compressor also still supports the ioLibrary.

Audioview will support intua's pasteboard once the 1.1 update goes through.

uncentered said...

Great article, though shame you got the info about intua pasteboard apps wrong.

Buying an app for me is dependent on whether it supports intua pasteboard from now on. Tibor? It would be great to see developers supporting both...

Cheers!

Palm-Sounds said...

Well, I've updated this now and corrected the Intua stuff. Apologies for the errors in the post.

Anonymous said...

Hayden from Sonoma here. Just wanted to add that Recorder from Retronyms now supports AudioCopy as well. Also, we are currently working on an update for our AudioCopy/Paste SDK. I won't say what it does, but it should make things a lot easier for everybody;-)

Anonymous said...

I wonder why apps can't just use the UIPasteboard and put the raw audio files in there. What's the benefit of these proprietary solutions?

Anonymous said...

Yes, quite!

Anonymous said...

The Intua code is just a simple copy/paste of audio file, broken-up into chunks. No meta info such as tempo/pitch - so not terribly useful (bit of a missed opportunity!).

Haven't seen the Sonoma code, as that seems to require signing-up to legals etc., which seems pretty OTT for something so simple.

Seems like we could do with a simple public format. Can't be that hard - anybody up for a 3rd format? This is as good a place to come-up with one as any. Feel free to pitch in. :-D

All we need is something like this:
- UTF-8 string in bytes (*including* null byte). If this is just null byte, then
- This UTF-8 string contains list of tags in format:
tag="value",tag2="value2"
e.g. this (containing sample tags that would be fine to start with IMO):
format="palmsounds",tempo="129",root="g#",scale="major",mime="audio/x-wav"

- remaining bytes: the file data

That is just a quick outline idea... anybody fancy implementing & pasting candidate code?

Anonymous said...

I may just be missing it but it seems strange that no one has created a decent sample editor to take advantage of the new copy and paste standards.

I'm thinking along the lines of what Ableton Live can do to a basic sample but with only one sample at a time and then resampling it. For example applying envelopes to add a swept filter or change amp modulation across a sample then resampling it.

Whilst you can resample on Beatmaker it's static and it seems to me that an element of automation adds more interest and lets you create a lot more from a limited number of samples.

Sunvox can do a lot of the manipulation but currently you can't get the samples in and out of the App without using a PC.

Fishbone said...

Reforge for iPad supports sonoma audiocopy and paste. It is a sample editor with envelopes for volume, stereo balance, low and high pass.
Pitch is coming soon. As well as reverb and more.
For iPhone I am currently working on a similar project and will have it ready in about two weeks.
Follow me on twitter @ibeatmaker for uptodate info.

Anonymous said...

Reforge looks like a step in the right direction, alas no iPad in the UK till the end of the month!

If you could pull off Ableton's trick of separating the envelope's time line from the samples time line, so that envelopes could be looped at a set tempo, you'd have a killer App.

Tibor said...

Just a heads-up that AudioForge supports Sonoma's audiocopy and paste also.

Now the other extension to the pasteboard I have introduced I call: AudioX. With it you can share your audiofiles across iDevices. Have one iPhone run AudioView, one iPad run Reforge and both be connected to the same wifi and you can share all the songs contained in those apps. That means really all your songs in your 'Pasteboard' network are available for all iDevices (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch) on the same wifi network as long as you run either AudioView or Reforge.
No additional computer needed.

Anonymous said...

ELECTRIFY will support both Intua and Sonoma in the near future.
www.electrifyme.net