Sunday, 12 December 2010

2011 wish list

It has been a great year for mobile music, especially since the arrival of the iPad. So this isn't in anyway me being greedy or whining, just some stuff I'd like to see in the New Year.

  • An iDevice with a USB port!
  • Or CCK support for the iPhone
  • Support for more than 1 stereo input/output, or a "standard" for streaming audio to another iDevice whilst simultaneously playing a different stream locally. Some DJ apps have this already.
  • A central "sandbox" file system. It is driving me crazy having all these awesome apps but the only way to access common audio is to copy and paste it using (the excellent BTW) Audio Copy/Paste, filling my device with endless copies of the same audio! Make it so I have to confirm any changes or deletion to avoid rogue apps deleting my swag, but for the love of Steve, please let apps use the same data files!
  • An FX/recording app with a built-in web browser so I can get my favourite TAB websites open at the same time as recording and playing my guitar.
  • Amplitube and iShred to recognise my USB audio devices.
  • MIDI support for knob control, pedals etc.
  • Better iPad compatibility with MIDI devices that currently "use too much power" despite being powered by batteries or mains.
  • CoreMIDI support for (deep breath) TouchOSC (ignore the irony - I just don't have time for PD mapping!), Pianist Pro, Pocket Organ, Pro Keys, BS-16i, Ellatron, iVoxel, iGOG, iMS-20, Xenon, Beatmaker, NanoStudio, DXi Piano.
  • More app support for midi file in/out.
  • Option for background audio in all apps. ThumJam does this brilliantly for backing loops.s
App specific:
  • VoiceBand - MIDI out. I've been hugely impressed by the speed and accuracy of VoiceBand's pitch and volume detection, now I'd like to use that with my own sounds. Plugging a guitar into it has to be experienced to be believed!
  • BS-16i - a sequencer with MIDI support and ACP. I was amazed to hear BS-16i in action with some of my soundfonts and MIDI tracks. To be able to edit and create these would be fab.
  • DXi piano - DX/TX patch support. It looks like it almost has something like this with the SYSEX-like patch export and import. Must be close, surely?
Apps I'd love:
  • FM7/FM8 from Native Instruments. I would pay quite a bit for that if it was a proper port.
  • If my wish for a file system came true, then a fully featured sample editor to trim and tweak my samples and loops would be cool.
  • More Korg legacy stuff! iMS-20 is fantastic.
  • A magic bean that lets iOS run VST plug-ins :o)

Switching off my Loox :o(

My beloved Loox 720 sits on my bedside table. It has to be plugged in at all times because in those pre-WinMo 5 days if the device ran out of batteries it lost everything and reset itself. As the battery only lasts about 3 hours that is a bit critical.

But what a great device. Even now the specs look good: twice the screen resolution of my iPhone 3GS, more RAM than my 3GS and as much storage as I could stuff in via BOTH SD and CF cards. USB host port. It found a home in my car as an amazing GPS unit too. All that from 5 years ago.

It took me through some great music making times: Griff, Pocket Stompbox and MeTeoR to name but a few.

Then it was superceded (but not yet turned off) by my WinMo 5 phone, the Glofiish x500. Lower screen res, sure, but it had a phone and built in GPS. My favourite apps had a new home. Then along came the iPod touch. Within a few months even the Glofiish found itself on rare use for Griff and Stompbox sessions. So I turned it off (knowing it won't lose all its stuff).

So now the Loox just sits there, LED glowing but screen covered in a thin layer of dust. It still works brilliantly. Still has an amazing screen. But it simply doesn't get used. It just takes space and power.

Today I'm going to pull the plug...