Androidcontrollerism: Hardware Options on Android, in Detail; Android Player Piano

Adding hardware to tablets, as it has with decades of computing technology, can open up new worlds for software and music. It can animate a conventional piano, or provide new physical interfaces for touching music. But let’s not wait for it to happen; let’s get hacking. Following on today’s line of thinking about hardware-augmented touch, I’d like to look a bit at the recently-transformed landscape on Android. iOS users can connect to external hardware via the Core MIDI protocol or, via official channels, through the Apple Dock Connector. That’s not a perfect situation, however. Hardware developers have to be approved …

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Touch, Plus Tactile: In Gaming as in Research, Physical Controls Augment Touchscreens

The gaming industry has made their bet, and it’s that touchscreens go better with tactile controls. Might digital musicians reach the same conclusion? A funny thing has happened on the way to the touch era. The vision of a device like the iPad is minimalist to the extreme: an uninterrupted, impossibly-slim metal slate, as impenetrable as some sort of found alien scifi object. The notion is that by reducing physical controls, the software itself comes to the fore. It’s beautiful conceptually … and then you find yourself tapping and stroking a piece of undifferentiated glass. For navigating interfaces – and …

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Flash Reaction: Apple’s Cloud Looks Useful, But Likely to Mean Little to Artists Initially

The Cloud is more than a hard drive in the sky. Photo (CC-BY) wheresmysocks. Indies, don’t fear the Apple. The world with Apple’s iCloud doesn’t appear to be that radically different than the one we had before. And that’s a good thing: the Web, not any one cloud sync service, is still the most revolutionary technology for connecting music to listeners. Updated: commenters online read this as complaining, so let me clarify: cloud sync has already had unfair expectations placed on it. It remains a no-brainer for Apple to implement. The question is, from an artist’s standpoint, what expectations should …

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Google Translate Beatboxing

Google Translate’s pronunciations may or may not impress you, but the thing’s got some beatboxing skills. Reddit user harrichr notes a fun result: 1) Go to Google Translate 2) Set the translator to translate German to German 3) Copy + paste the following into the translate box: pv zk pv pv zk pv zk kz zk pv pv pv zk pv zk zk pzk pzk pvzkpkzvpvzk kkkkkk bsch 4) Click “listen” 5) Be amazed Does it count as beatboxing if the voice is non-human? (Okay, okay, yeah, you could do this on your own with just about anything by slicing …

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Android Music: Electrum Drum Machine-Sampler, Reloop Sequencer

Google’s Android platform has gotten only a fraction of the attention for music making that iPhone OS and iPad have, but that doesn’t mean the OS doesn’t have some advantages of its own. Thanks to being an open OS, it’s also easier to install custom OSes, and repurpose older devices and build cheap embedded computers on a platform like BeagleBoard. The remaining challenge: convince Google that beefing up real-time audio hardware access is important. So, with Google’s own I/O conference this week and me in Berlin next week during DroidCon, now seems like the perfect time to talk about handheld …

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Apple iPad May Support USB Audio Interfaces Via Camera Accessory Kit

In this bold, new future of computing, we don’t need USB or ports, huh? Wait – scratch that – you may have your iPad and your USB, too, after all. Photo (CC)

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Android MIDI Controller, Musical App Updates with MIDI Over Wifi

Okay, Google Android fans — your apps are starting to arrive, especially as Google continues to improve the SDK. First up, here’s a demo of the new app FingerPlay MIDI, which turns Android into a simple touch controller. True, we’ve seen similar things on iPhone, and Apple’s platform has precise multitouch which Android lacks, but it’s nice to see the concept extended across platforms. Big thanks to postromantic on Twitter for the tip! (Follow cdmblogs for more.) FingerPlay MIDI I can’t tell yet if this will be open source – that would actually be nice, I think, as it’d allow …

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Save that Old PDA: Run Reware, Play Pd Musical Creations, Android (OFFF, NYC)

Reware your PDA from Hans-Christoph Steiner on Vimeo. Give a hoot – don’t pollute with your old mobile gear. Make musical creations with it instead, powered by Linux. Sure, there are wonderful things happening with mobile music applications on platforms like the shiny, new iPhone. But remember how technology was supposed to democratize access? Lots of us don’t have the money for a new iPhone or iPod. And how many of us have outdated Pocket PCs and Palms collecting dust? How many of these highly toxic devices get thrown away? Linux to the rescue. One of the biggest hits of …

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Android, Apple, and Multi-Touch, from the Man Who Hacked the G1

We’ve got further compelling evidence Apple doesn’t really own multi-touch and multi-touch gestures — and that other devices and interfaces will press forward (which is a good thing for everyone). Lest you think I’m straying too far from creating digital music, by the way, I think this means lots of new music apps – as musicians have devoured multi-touch more than any other group (and certainly have used it for the coolest stuff). I am concerned about how multi-touch innovation will wrangle with over-zealous intellectual property legal wrangling. But hopefully I made it clear that, even with my concerns about …

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Intellectual Property, Multi-Touch: Will Apple IP Stifle Innovation?

The iPhone launch, two short years ago. Photo David Pham. Apple’s iPhone should be a herald of a new age in interface design. But now, with speculation that Apple and Palm could get into a patent battle, and murky concerns about patents in multi-touch interface design in general, it’s unclear how much intellectual property legal wrangling will have to happen first. I’m going to resist turning this into a long rant – partly because I think the jury is out on so many issues. It’s never been entirely clear what Apple continues sacred in its intellectual property on the iPhone. …

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