Retro Mobile Music: What Vintage Palm and Windows Mobile Did, How to Use Them Today

Newer, faster, thinner … better? One technology follows another in dizzying cycles. But how is it that something that was once an amazing engineering marvel ceases to be so? If it really works as a musical instrument, how could it be less of a musical instrument than it was before? Palm Sounds’ Ashley Elsdon was talking about music making in the palm of your hand before anyone had ever seen an iPhone. So I had to smile when I saw him connecting an old Palm to our MeeBlip synth. It wasn’t just a novelty – the synth was ticking along …

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sunvoxdevices

SunVox, Production Tool That Runs Almost Everywhere, Gets Updates; Watch Videos

God Bless Russian engineering. As of this summer, it’s the only ticket to and from our space station, via a capsule that Just Works. It gaves us the very first electronic instrument (thanks, Professor Theremin). And it gives us an insane music tracker slash production tool slash soft synth selection slash modular hosting environment that runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, Palm, Windows Mobile (yes, you’re reading this list right), and now iOS and iPad. Well, don’t just thank Russian engineering. Thank Alex Zolotov, who sends along his latest work. Highlights: Waveform drawing A drum synth Sample recording Side chain compression …

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SunVox, Modular Music+Tracker, Now Free on Most Platforms, iPad Coming

SunVox, the quirky and cool modular music creation software, already runs on a ton of platforms. Starting now, most of those platforms can run the tool for free. (The one exception: iPhone/iPad.) That means you get a rich music creation environment that can run on everything from an ancient PDA to a desktop computer, complete with FM, virtual analog, and sample-based synths, effects, modular routing, musical arrangement, and even tracker-level detailed editing, all for free. SunVox works on Mac, Windows, and Linux, plus mobile platforms Palm, Windows Mobile, and iPhone. In fact, it’s an ideal choice to resurrect one of …

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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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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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iTunes App Store is Here, But Early Music Entries May Disappoint

Hmmm. This looks like just hours of fun. Assuming you’ve survived hours of waiting on line or weathered various technical problems, Apple’s app store is online. Anyone with iTunes can have a look; it’s right inside the iTunes Store (formerly the iTunes Music Store). But while Apple’s development platform is impressive, early in the game a lot of the actual music apps seem to me to be, frankly, underwhelming. (Some of the non-musical apps look far better, like the lovely free client for awesome note-taking service Evernote.) Click through to App Store > Music, and you may feel like you’ve …

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CDM Asks: MIDI Output for Newer Palms? Mobile Linux? Windows Mobile? Anything?

While we’re on the subject of mobile music this week, I’ll just put this out there: does anyone know of attempts to build MIDI output interfaces for newer Linux and Palm devices? Using the original Palms, many people worked with hacked/DIY HotSync cables. I’d love to see that on the new Palm Centro. Or Windows Mobile. Or Symbian. Or anything, really. And what about all these great new Linux handsets starting to emerge? MIDI hardware isn’t hard to do, but what’s the device side like?

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AxisPad: Turn Your Palm PDA Into an X/Y Music Pad

We’re not going to be satisfied until every touch controller in the house is functioning as an X/Y pad for music. Nintendo DS? Check. Wacom tablet? Tablet PC? Claro que si. So what’s up with your Palm? That stylus isn’t doing anything. miniMusic has the hookup: AxisPad miniMusic [Product Page] Interestingly, the X/Y pad here can both control internal sounds (designed in miniMusic’s own software), or act as a MIDI controller for sending data to other devices or software. US$19.95, with a full demo available; could be worth it as illustrated below. miniMusic also make various other nice tools for …

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Palm/Treo Music: BeatPad Pattern Sequencer Exports to PC; New Pro Music Suite

A powerful music workstation in a handheld? Regular readers know that subway/airplane-friendly portable music creation is a reality, and here’s another tool for you. miniMusic helped launch the handheld music creation craze, and their Palm/Treo software just got a big update. BeatPad 1.1 is an update to miniMusic’s pattern sequencer. The “point-one” is actually a pretty major upgrade: Built-in sounds: The Krikit soft synth is now built-in, so you can incorporate multi-timbral, polyphonic sound on supported Palm devices (including the Treos). Pattern features: Pattern chaining and a library for organizing your patterns MIDI export: Here’s the real killer feature — …

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PDA Music: Theremin Apps for Palm, PocketPC

Cris (aka atariboy) sends us Theremin emulators for your PDA — it’s theremin to go. Cris writes: Pete Moss ThereMini (US$10): This guy has a Theremin emulator with MIDI out, no less! For PalmOS on his Palm software page. Got a PocketPC? check out Clanger. (Free) You can even change the tremelo rate and decay time. Cool stuff. Got an app you love for your Palm, PocketPC, or phone? Let us know. (Okay, my current favorite phone app is the “off” function, but how about you?)

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