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Apps and stuff

Postby robinv » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:46 am

Been pondering this a bit and was wondering if anyone else had any thoughts. The whole business of the iPad and apps is truly an amazing thing. In our industry the stuff that can be picked up for a few quid to run on an iPad is mind boggling. IK's iRig is a good example, so is the Reactable http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/reactable-mobile/id381127666?mt=8 not to mention matrix sequencers, drum machines, TC's polytune etc etc. Now the flaw in the iPad, from a serious music tech point of view, is that you can't integrate it with anything and you can't run two things at once. I play in a church worship band and it would be a beautiful thing to outfit everyone with an iPad that had all the written music on so you could dial up whatever song is conjured up next - even better if the band leader could "push" the right music to all musicians with the slide of a finger - and for me i'd like to be running Amplitube and the polytune at the same time - but you can't. Shame.

So, anyway, my question is about whether "apps" are ever likely to make it onto more open platforms. There are Windows 7 tablets on the way, like the ZooStorm SL8 http://www.zoostorm.com/News/5-zoostorm-launch-the-sl8-tablet-netbook.aspx that have the potential of being more useful to the performing artist (i think) but it all comes down to the software. If i have to run the full version of amplitube and Cubase, plus Sibelius and an ASIO audio interface it'll cost nearer £1000 in software alone as opposed to maybe 20 quid in apps. Maybe that's the point, maybe the iPad and apps are designed to be a toy exactly so that you can't actually do anything serious with it - therefore manufacturers of software aren't actually giving you good value anything, it's just a marketing ruse - an expensive advertising hoarding, that then gets people to buy the real thing to run on a real computer.......

Are apps the future of software? Would we ever see Cubase going for £3.99 on iTunes? Is there an alternative? I think the iPad is a beautiful piece of work - just wish it did more :)

Any philosophical thinkers out there?
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby Pete Kaine » Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:02 pm

Looking at the spec of that Tablet it looks no more powerful than the current atom based kneebooks, which doubt would give you much joy trying to run Cubase 5 & Amplitude!

Maybe as the dual core atoms become more common, but even then running a fully fledged sequencer is still a while off. Cantable and a few plug ins through would be more likely I reckon, given the right I/O options.
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby The Elf » Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:16 pm

No matter what platform a typical commercial DAW is designed to run on, I can't see £3.99 being enough to feed a team of programmers to deliver it! :crazy:
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby robinv » Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:45 pm

Pete Kaine wrote:Looking at the spec of that Tablet it looks no more powerful than the current atom based kneebooks, which doubt would give you much joy trying to run Cubase 5 & Amplitude!

Maybe as the dual core atoms become more common, but even then running a fully fledged sequencer is still a while off. Cantable and a few plug ins through would be more likely I reckon, given the right I/O options.
Yes, sure, but i'm looking at it conceptually rather than pragmatically, besides i've run Ableton live sessions from a netbook, with Novation guitar FX without problems. Technology aside do you see apps becoming how all software is delivered in the future?
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby robinv » Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:56 pm

The Elf wrote:No matter what platform a typical commercial DAW is designed to run on, I can't see £3.99 being enough to feed a team of programmers to deliver it! :crazy:
And yet we find plenty of complex apps, that do indeed feed teams of programmers on caviar sandwiches because they've had a billion downloads. The Amplitube Music iApp is a tenner, the less featured Amplitube Live for regular computers is £100 - they will easily sell the app ten times more than Amp Live. All this micro-budget stuff is key don't you think? It's there, it's instant and it's only a tenner.
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby Pete Kaine » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:10 pm

robinv wrote:
The Elf wrote:The Amplitube Music iApp is a tenner, the less featured Amplitube Live for regular computers is £100 - they will easily sell the app ten times more than Amp Live. All this micro-budget stuff is key don't you think? It's there, it's instant and it's only a tenner.


Yeah, but the vast amount of the development work has already been funded by the full program development and then it's simply been ported which is a far cheaper job.

The biggest problem for windows tablet developers is the lack of store front to keep the downloads legit. The reason people have been making money from Apple products is the effort to jailbreak them for a none technical user and the fact the store is easy to use and well managed. You only have to look at the Android platform to see what happens when this isn't the case (i.e. sod all in the way of decent pay apps).
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby robinv » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:32 pm

Pete Kaine wrote:

Yeah, but the vast amount of the development work has already been funded by the full program development and then it's simply been ported which is a far cheaper job.
Perhaps, but that's also true of Amplitube live being an off shoot of Amp3 - didnt require anything other than removing features and yet it's £100. There's also plenty that's only ever been available as an iapp - where's the TC Polytune VST? So this is surely to do with perceived value and what the market can stand - don't apps show us that the days of high value software are numbered?

Pete Kaine wrote:
The biggest problem for windows tablet developers is the lack of store front to keep the downloads legit. The reason people have been making money from Apple products is the effort to jailbreak them for a none technical user and the fact the store is easy to use and well managed. You only have to look at the Android platform to see what happens when this isn't the case (i.e. sod all in the way of decent pay apps).

Is the lack of pay apps on Android to do with the shop being not as good? Not sure about that (by the way i dont own a smartphone so my experience is limited - no mobile signal where i live). As for making things legit - if Cubase was £10 there wouldn't be any cracked software - they'd be no point, that is surely part of the attraction of the "app". People don't mind paying the cost of a coffee and a pork pie on a piece of cool software they may or may not use - there's no incentive to steal it, there's every incentive to give it a go and blow a couple of quid.

Photoshop is another good example. If each of the products in CS5 was a tenner as opposed to a grand then everyone would buy it - "everyone" being every computer user in the world. In fact it would probably ship preinstalled on every machine. Adobe would make a squillion and be able to sell support contracts to pro users who need the assurance of tech support. No more piracy - job done, mine's a martini.
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby The Elf » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:36 pm

robinv wrote:And yet we find plenty of complex apps, that do indeed feed teams of programmers on caviar sandwiches because they've had a billion downloads.
...which won't happen for a DAW, because only a tiny percentage of people would even know what it is, let alone pay for it.

And don't we already pretty much have this model anyway? When I buy most software now I don't get a box and manual - I just get a link to a download. Isn't that all an 'app' is in reality - an instant software download?
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby Mixedup » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:44 pm

HTC are reportedly developing an 'iPad beater' tablet to use with Google Chrome OS, so it will be interesting to see what emerges there.

However, as has been hinted, the market for DAW apps is tiny in comparison with most others. iRig is great (and it did in fact require considerable re-programming to work on that platform, according to a conversation I had with IK) but the market for fretboard-w***er applications is much larger than that for DAWs.

I'm sure there'll be an increasing role for multi-touch-screen technology in DAWs, whether for the DAWs themselves, or as control surfaces for studio or live stuff... but screen size on tablets, whatever the power, will probably be a show-stopper for many people when it comes to full-scale DAWs.
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby Carillon Audio Systems » Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:23 pm

for the pro and home pro studio I see the move towards apps that interface and supplement your main DAW but I don't see them replacing. In that sense I also don't see a huge swing to lower software costs although I do think there will be a downward trend.

One problem is that they simply aren't that ergonomic or user friendly for a large project, recording a couple of tracks on location though is an area that they can excel at.

If one comes out with a HDMI input you can use it as a monitor for your DSLR video camera, can the iPad do this? Not audio related just something I'm looking for!
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby Pete Kaine » Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:27 pm

robinv wrote:
Perhaps, but that's also true of Amplitube live being an off shoot of Amp3 - didnt require anything other than removing features and yet it's £100. There's also plenty that's only ever been available as an iapp - where's the TC Polytune VST? So this is surely to do with perceived value and what the market can stand - don't apps show us that the days of high value software are numbered?

Yeah, but these have to be developed and paid by someone when a new product is required. Your asking if it's the future and I'm just saying it's a small part of the picture rather than the ulitmate destination at this time.

robinv wrote:
Is the lack of pay apps on Android to do with the shop being not as good? Not sure about that (by the way i dont own a smartphone so my experience is limited - no mobile signal where i live).

Very much so. Android handsets have been out selling Iphones for most of the year and yet developers are still not taking to it because the shop is so bad at the whole payment thing. Apples Q.C. process whilst a pain in the arse for some developers has at least kept the shop in check.


As for making things legit - if Cubase was £10 there wouldn't be any cracked software - they'd be no point, that is surely part of the attraction of the "app". People don't mind paying the cost of a coffee and a pork pie on a piece of cool software they may or may not use - there's no incentive to steal it, there's every incentive to give it a go and blow a couple of quid.

Some people will take it if it's available for free. The's no other reason I can think of for the Jailbroken Iphone Appstore where you can pretty much get everything for nothing.

I also have to point out here that Apple still isn't No.1 O.S. wise. Last time I checked a few months ago market penertration is still something like 4th place and it's still being outsold by at least 2 of the O.S's above it. If Android/Symbian/Noikia app shops start to do the whole charging thing properly at some point it might work, but then you have to have developers porting the client 4 times and that once more costs time and money.

I know I'm focusing a lot on the Iphone platform here, but it's the only one that is currently making enough money to pay the developers. As soon as you move to windows you open up to the world of hacks and cracks again.


Photoshop is another good example. If each of the products in CS5 was a tenner as opposed to a grand then everyone would buy it - "everyone" being every computer user in the world. In fact it would probably ship preinstalled on every machine. Adobe would make a squillion and be able to sell support contracts to pro users who need the assurance of tech support. No more piracy - job done, mine's a martini.

Better ring them up and tell them then! It'd be foolish to believe for one second, that they haven't already considered this themselves through. Not everyone requires or needs photoshop through... If they did GIMP would have been downloaded by everyone on the planet by this point.

Mixedup wrote:HTC are reportedly developing an 'iPad beater' tablet to use with Google Chrome OS, so it will be interesting to see what emerges there.

Back in March this year the was over 120 Android based tablets announced as being due on the market by the year end, and I've seen many more announced since then. The's already loads out using it in fact, and I like a few of them as PMP's and mobile devices (I had a Dell Streak to play with for a few months) but I can't see them being an all in one solution for a while. Sure they can run some apps and using it as a pedal board sim is ideal for instance, but once you start working with multiple plug's within a host your going to start chipping away at what little power the really is very, very quickly.
Mixedup wrote:
However, as has been hinted, the market for DAW apps is tiny in comparison with most others. iRig is great (and it did in fact require considerable re-programming to work on that platform, according to a conversation I had with IK) but the market for fretboard-w***er applications is much larger than that for DAWs.

That's what I was getting at :)

I've no doubt the will be the power futher down the line to be able to achieve what's being discussed here, and no doubt the ability to sell it through will also finally be developed as well. I'd be more excited to see cloud processing happen first through to be honest, as that could happen now if someone was to develop it but once more I don't imagine the is the market there to make it viable at this time.
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby robinv » Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:14 pm

Mixedup wrote:

However, as has been hinted, the market for DAW apps is tiny in comparison with most others. iRig is great (and it did in fact require considerable re-programming to work on that platform, according to a conversation I had with IK) but the market for fretboard-w***er applications is much larger than that for DAWs.
Yes and no :)
People want to do stuff on their computers. Lots of people get pleasure from GarageBand - PC users don't get that opportunity without having to "discover" something for themselves and few do. The market for music making software can be huge if done right - but you need Garage Band (or even Rock Band) style instant gratification. It's like without photo software shipping with cameras most people wouldnt know about it - or if it wasnt for Windows Movie Maker most people wouldnt know that you could edit video on a computer. I tend to use my dad as my rule of thumb when it comes to a clueless but keen computer user and that's been his experience. In response to what Pete said my dad's never heard of GIMP but he has heard of Photoshop and has a cut down version and would love the real thing - if it was pennies.

Mixedup wrote:
I'm sure there'll be an increasing role for multi-touch-screen technology in DAWs, whether for the DAWs themselves, or as control surfaces for studio or live stuff... but screen size on tablets, whatever the power, will probably be a show-stopper for many people when it comes to full-scale DAWs.
I believe that too, but it's difficult to know exactly what the current technology is capable of. Very few multi-touch screens specify how many touches it takes - most seem to assume that you will use two fingers - no good if you want to use a mixer. I saw this - http://solutions.3m.co.uk/wps/portal/3M/en_GB/TouchSystems/TouchScreen/Solutions/Multitouch/ looks flipping awesome (£1299) but the fact they specify the high touch count makes me think that other cheaper sub-£300 multi-touch screens are a bit light on the multi - dunno - could someone try this out for me - thanks.
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby pwhodges » Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:26 pm

Even the tiny iPhone has three-finger gestures in a couple of programs I use.

Paul

(Oops, I meant "apps", didn't I!)
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby Mixedup » Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:27 pm

robinv wrote:
Mixedup wrote:
I'm sure there'll be an increasing role for multi-touch-screen technology in DAWs, whether for the DAWs themselves, or as control surfaces for studio or live stuff... but screen size on tablets, whatever the power, will probably be a show-stopper for many people when it comes to full-scale DAWs.
I believe that too, but it's difficult to know exactly what the current technology is capable of. Very few multi-touch screens specify how many touches it takes - most seem to assume that you will use two fingers - no good if you want to use a mixer. I saw this - http://solutions.3m.co.uk/wps/portal/3M/en_GB/TouchSystems/TouchScreen/Solutions/Multitouch/ looks flipping awesome (£1299) but the fact they specify the high touch count makes me think that other cheaper sub-£300 multi-touch screens are a bit light on the multi - dunno - could someone try this out for me - thanks.

The issue is the lack of applications being written with multi-touch support. You don't want two or three finger gestures for DAW mixing. You want faders to independently recognise three (or more) different cursors (fingers) so that each can be moved independently. If you've ever worked with multiple mice (eg via Glovepie) you'll know what I mean: you can have multiple cursors, but Cubase/Logic/Sonar etc only recognises one — even if the OS recognises multiple touches.
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Re: Apps and stuff

Postby Mixedup » Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:32 pm

Pete... I reckon there's a bit of mis-quoting going on above. I never said that about Photoshop!

Btw, another key difference between iPad/iPhone and potentially competing stuff is that the hardware is all the same for Apple. So, eg. iRig adapter will definitely work with iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch, but it's harder to guarantee and test it for every HTC, Samsung, Nokia device, even if they can test with the OS itself. Just like OSX v Win 7 all over again.
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