We all love gadgetry, maybe not as much as Stephan but quite a bit. I for one like making music slightly more so than acquiring gadgetry so I buy guitars at a similar rate to most gadget acquirers around here. Recently though, I’ve found that one of my gadgets in particular goes rather well with music making. That would be my iPhone.
Here’s something to listen to while you read on. It was recorded entirely on an iPhone: The Rules
Said iPhone has two pages of music apps. Some are complete gimicks (Smule’s Sonic Lighter for example which does not work under live music conditions since the noise blows the flame out – slight fail), some are only really useful on their own and don’t really work well for performance except under live conditions or using the iPhone as an instrument of sorts in an actual studio (such as FingerSound or the Thereminator) and some are amazing apps capable of being used to create a complete track (such as Beatmaker or the combo of Dopplerpad and FourTrack). In a slightly different vein are apps such as iTM MIDILab which you can easily sync with Logic to use your iPhone as a MIDI controller).
The Rules is probably over now so here’s the next one: Surely
Having grabbed these apps and had a play with them I decided that I was going to make a switch from rock/pop and industrial screecho punk metal to acoustic folk/pop and see what I could produce with the FourTrack (and later FourTrack/Dopplerpad combo). Step one, I needed an acoustic guitar since the one I already had was in rather ordinary shape – she’s over 50 now I think bless her, so I went with a Maton EML6 Mini. I’ve had a strange fascination with 3/4 size guitars recently starting with the purchase of a Gretsch Mini Diddley (which I actually bought because it looks like a cricket bat – in fact, I think there’s a photo in the Amnesiacs Flikr account showing Iain and I conclusively demonstrating that this guitar does work well as a cricket bat), took a strange turn with the purchase of two Disney guitars – one High School Musical and the other Camp Rock – they were $30 each: the defence rests, and now the mini acoustic/electric.
Another interlude I think is warranted. Note the children’s driving toy solo: 50 Miles of Blood
So, with my iPhone four track I began writing and recording. First thing I encountered was the difficulty of the FourTrack app not capable of providing monitoring the new track while recording. One can on and one can off, sorted with bonus quirkiness slash poor performance. There is a metronome but it’s nice to hear the current performance through the headphones while recording, shortcomings I suppose are to be expected with a studio the size of an iPhone. During this period, several updates were released providing audio sharing capabilities between a couple of other apps and the FourTack. One was Dopplerpad which basically is capable of creating beat and synth patterns that you can throw into FourTrack and then put down guitar and vocal tracks. Dopplerpad isn’t capable of storing any more than about one song so I won’t be doing much with that again until they get the concept of banking included.
Here’s the last song I’ll include in this post. I must also point out that the analog synths and piano in this song were added using logic after exporting from the iPhone. Once Dopplerpad supports patch banking I would most likely use that to keep the song 100% iPhone but these additions in logic were pretty minor. All of these tracks are to be re-recorded with my ‘real’ equipment BTW: Tiny Pieces
So where to now with the gadgets and the music? The iPad it seems. Korg have released a version of the Electribe for the iPad. Not surprisingly, it’s called the iElectribe. I wish it wasn’t but it is. Anyway, it looks awesome:
I think this is where I’m going next. The Korg stuff looks nice (and is on sale until the end of June therefore my prediction is that the iPad will hit Australia around July) and makes me think there could be some really good MIDI controllers built for this device and instruments would be far easier to use on the much bigger screen.
So, I’m excited. And if you were too you can hear more iPhone music of mine here: It’s Not Music and just general stuff I do here: Fat Kid Popular. Some of the iPhone stuff is really ordinary, consider yourself warned, and I chose to keep the incorrect spelling of Meme. Also, you need to visit this post once before every meal so that I win the iPad competition here at Amnesia and can update this post with the tracks I make with it.
So that I don’t instead win an award for the worst word to media ratio in a post, here is a picture of me and my new bass:
If you’re reading this blog you’re probably a tech, or design nerd of some kind, and if you’re a nerd there’s a pretty high chance you’ve wasted (read: appropriately utilised) a good portion of your time playing Street Fighter in its various incarnations. Regardless of whether or not that’s a broad generalisation, these Street Fight iPhone covers are totally rad.
Click to see that exact same picture, but larger.
Oh, and enjoy this video.
Personally, if I wielded an iPhone in my daily life, I’d have a hard time not purchasing anything that made it look like Ryu. Got a favourite?
[Source: Capsule Computers Australia]
A few hours ago, Mr Jobs delivered a presentation introducing the next version of the iPhone operating system. Expected to be released around the middle of the year for all existing iPhone models, its reported to bring 1500 new APIs to developers as well as more than 100 new user features, seven of which he discussed in detail.
These are the “tentpole” features highlighted briefly.
At last! Run multiple applications and swap between them on the fly. Previously only possible on jailbroken phones. This feature will only be available to the 3GS, iPod Touch 3rd Generation and later models.
2) An improved email application
The mail application is getting a major overhaul with a unified inbox, multiple exchange accounts, threaded conversations and the ability to open file attachments in applications.
Apple will be providing application developers access to in-app advertising to help generate revenue on cheap and even free applications. Ads are built using HTML5 and come up at the bottom of the screen like in-video YouTube ads. They can be closed by the user.
4) Game Center
Another “about time”! With the capacity on idevices increasing yearly, users are installing more and more applications at a time. Now we will have a way to organise them into folders. Folders appear as icons with smaller icons inside.
Basically, the iPhone/iPod version of the iPad ebook platform. Books can be purchased and read on the device as well as track bookmarks.
7) Enterprise features
Apple is working to make the iPhone more attractive to big companies with a number of new enterprise features such as email encryption, remote administration and application installs, Exchange 2010 compatibility and more.
These all look great, but I can’t wait to see the other 93+. I’m sure some of them will give hints about the next iPhone hardware’s features. Going on previous years, we can probably expect a new phone in June and a new iPod in September.
Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m getting a little bit sick of seeing iPad news everywhere. *Looks down at previous post*. Personally, I’m more interested in seeing what Apple has in store for the iPhone. It’s pretty obvious they’re going to be releasing another one this year and many of us that got a 3G are going to be ending our contracts soon.
Good news is, we don’t have to wait long! Apple will be revealing where OS 4 is going at an event on April 8. Strange to do such a major event so close to the iPad launch, but I’m not complaining.
There have been a lot of rumors floating around about what the next phone might have – higher resolution screens, multi-core processors, front-facing cameras for video calls. Seeing what OS4 brings will give us the best hints yet of what we might get later this year.
With all the competition catching up – and perhaps surpassing – the iPhone, they’re going to have to bring something pretty good to stay on top.
For those who haven’t seen it here’s a quick look at ‘live traffic’ function for Sydney on the iPhone Google maps app. Screenshot below.
So how good is it? Well, it’s ok but a long way from perfect. Driving around on a busy Saturday afternoon there were a lot of yellow roads which should have been red, green ones that should have been yellow etc. I don’t blame the app or Google for the quality of the data – I’m sure pretty the info is from the RTA
Marks out of 10 = 6
Red=congested, Yellow=slow but moving, Green=all clear.
Tip: Google maps app with GPS and traffic updates drains your battery… make sure you have a power source in the car.
As I am sure anyone with an iPhone is currently aware, the latest darling of the social app scene is a little location based game called FourSquare. FourSquare allows a user to “check in” to locations and through doing so you can become the ‘Mayor’ (most frequent check-in’s in a designated period) and earn ‘badges’ for completing certain combination of check-in’s.
There has been a lot of conversation around the potential use of FourSquare by local businesses but until today the only Sydney based use I had seen was a cafe that gave a free coffee to the “Mayor.” However earlier this morning I was visiting Sydney creative agency Lowe Sydney and when I went to check in I was presented with an interesting little tab in the top right corner (fig. 1)
When you select this tab you are then taken to a promotion screen for a local business (in this instance the Baroque Bistro Patisserie) and you are presented with the opportunity to earn a gift if you check in 3 times. (Fig. 2)
This is a brilliant use of location based data to target users and bring a point of difference to a business. While FourSquare doesn’t have a large enough user base to work as a reach medium, it is perfect for small businesses working to increase their repeat business. Were I in area and assuming that Baroque do reasonable food and drinks this incentive offer could very well be the differentiator in where I go to get my morning coffee, after all if their coffee is just as good as the next place why wouldn’t I go there and get a free French Macaron.
From a glance it appears that the process of implementing one of these specials is a reasonably straight forward matter of filling out an online form.
The one feature I would really love to see added to the promotion page would be a ‘tell your friends’ feature, so that even if you’re not checking in there, you could push a ‘shout’ to your friends via FourSquare/Twitter/Facebook and share the promotion with others who might find it interesting.
I personally will be paying very close attention to see what kind of traction this gains with Australian businesses.
So how does an iPad really stack up against its competitors? We did a quick analysis and compared it with the Kindle and a ten thousand year old rock. The results are in:
Sidenote: Just for fun ok! Also full respect and homage to the original iPhone Vs Rock parody from a few years ago (author unknown) here:
My iphone ran out of battery last night … pesky thing. I’m too impatient to wait and see if Steve has a solution to this problem so I started searching. Anyway, I stumbled across this piece of innovation: a phone that runs on pepsi … well any fizzy pop.
This little beauty is made possible thanks to a bio battery:
Bio battery has the potential to operate three to four times longer on a single charge than conventional lithium batteries and it could be fully biodegradable. Meanwhile, it brings a whole new perception to batteries and afternoon tea.
Genius. More here