We are very excited about IK Multimedia's latest hardware / software announcement. iRig for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, provides a way to plug your guitar directly into your iPad, and use the input for guitar amp modelling or recording.
The iRig bit is the hardware, a specially made cable, or instrument interface (pictured right) featuring a standard 1/4" instrument input, a standard audio out jack (for headphones, speakers, or even an amp/PA) and another jack which plugs into the headphone socket of your i-Device.
- Real time guitar and bass mobile multiFX app
- Full rig made of 3 recombinable simultaneous stompboxes + amp + cabinet + mic
- 10 Stomps, 5 Amps, 5 Cabinets, 2 Mics available
- Import and play with songs or backing tracks with real time effects
- 36 presets can be saved/recalled on the fly
- Includes tuner/metronome
- Free, LE and Full versions available
- Free and LE versions expandable with a-la-carte downloadable gear
- Same low-latency as Mac/PC system
Why you need this?
For anyone who has tried to record a guitar on the iPhone or iPad before you will know that you quickly run into a problem. Apple's portable devices need a special three ring plug to enable recording of audio input, like the jack on the end of the iPhone headphones/mic cable.
Even if you can rig one of these up you cannot hear the output of the software at the same time, because the microphone input jack is also the audio output jack. That is why a special piece of hardware like the iRig is needed and why we started off this post by saying how excited this announcement has made us!
IK Multimedia are taking pre-orders at the moment, so until the iRig interface and Amplitube app are released we can't say how well it works or how it sounds in real life. As soon as we can get our hands on an iRig though we will give a thorough run through on using it for input to the iPad and amp modelling with Amplitube.
We will be posting a full review because it is something we really want to be using our iPads for. We will be reporting on how it sounds in our real world tests, what the latency is like for live playing or jamming, and also if there are any of the impedance issues which have affected other iPhone/iPad input solutions such as the already-released PRS Guitarbud.
In the meantime, check out the video below which demonstrates the Amplitube app in action, and the website for more details.
(Post amended to point to the correct UK press release complete with pricing, the previous release we linked to was the International version without regional pricing included.)
28th May 2010 - that's the day that UK punters can officially get their expectant, shaky hands on the iPad. As we know already, iPad pre-orders are opened up this coming Monday, 10th May, but now we know when we can actually expect to join our US friends in owning our very own device.
As well as the UK; Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and Switzerland will see the iPad released on 28th May, and the pre-order will be open on 10th for these Countries too.
How much will it cost?
Pricing & Availability
iPad is available in the UK for a suggested retail price of £429 (inc. VAT) for 16GB, £499 (inc. VAT) for 32GB, £599 (inc. VAT) for 64GB for Wi-Fi models and £529 (inc. VAT) for 16GB, £599 (inc. VAT) for 32GB and £699 (inc. VAT) for 64GB for Wi-Fi + 3G models.
Full details in Apple's press release here.
We have been playing with Groovemaker on the iPhone for a while now, it has been great fun and we have really enjoyed it. The interface on the iPhone is well thought out and responsive, but there are times when the smaller screen area of the iPhone makes it necessary to leave the main screen to access other functions of the app. That's why were really excited to hear about the release of Groovemaker for the iPad.
IK Multimedia have taken advantage of the extra screen space available on the iPad to open up the user experience and make more of the interface and app functionality available to the user on the same screen. The main controller view that forms the basis of the iPhone app is now top and centre of the iPad interface (the area inside the yellow rectangle on the picture below) and is called the 'central control zone'. It is literally like having the iPhone placed on the iPad screen with the other screens unfolded out around it. It really is a lovely looking interace.
If you have used the iPhone app then much of the interface will be familiar to you already. The extended controls in the iPad version, give easier access to the Solo, Mute and Lock buttons for each of the 8 tracks, along with volume control sliders including integrated VU meters and Pan controls. Another new control tweak is the up and down buttons for each track which scrolls through the available loops, but you can still access a list of all the loops via the Loops button in the central control zone as in the iPhone interface.
Sequence tempo is also easier to access now without needing to press and hold the Tempo button. Although none of the interface interaction on the iPhone was overly annoying, in fact we think IK Multimedia did a fantastic job, as we have already mentioned, it is much nicer to see all the controls laid out on the iPad screen and access them quickly without having to remember where things are hiding.
This is not a sampler program, you rely on the pre-loaded loops to build your sequences, but even the free version comes with 120 loops pre-installed and also a free song called Juice (a song is really a bunch of loops that can be used and remixed together, almost infinitely). You can get another free song when you register the product too.
These songs are a great way to get started, and in seconds you will be creating sequences that can be saved or exported (more on that in a minute). The instant creation of music is what impresses us about this app. There are four buttons to the right of the central control zone labelled A-D and these give you different random mixes of the current song using the built-in loops which can give a very different feel. Button A gives you a 'Mild' version, B is 'Perc' for a Percussion only version (useful for taking things down to the basics for a sequence), C is 'Inst' or Instrumental, focussing the sound on the instrument samples, but the most fun one is D 'Random' which gives a completely random mix of your track, with great results sometimes that are useful starting points for creatively using the loops.
Even with no previous experience, you can dive straight in and start making 'grooves', which is really quite satisfying. Just don't start doing this having promised to follow the other-half up to bed 'in a minute', because half an hour, or longer, can quickly disappear once you start experimenting with different loops and getting into mixing different sequences together, it can be addictive.
Mute, solo and grouping
Being able to group tracks together simply by sliding across them, using numbers 1-8 in the central control zone, is great for muting, soloing, or changing the volume of all of these tracks at once. This lets you, for example, solo just the drum loop and bass for a bit, which you can record as a sequence by pressing the Groove Snap button, then bring the rest of the groove crashing back in by releasing the solo button if you are playing 'live'. It really is great fun to play with.
Sequencer and Song Export
Up to 15 of these groove snaps can be saved, then you can move to the Sequence function to build your final mix with a simple drag and drop interface. Grooves can be previewed before you add them, and used repeatedly so that a complete song with different sections can be built up, which becomes your final mix. This mix can then be exported, via Wi-fi, to your computer as a full quality 44khz 16bit WAV file.
The export works via a browser interface, the app tells you the IP address to enter into your browser address bar, e.g. 192.xxx.x.xx etc., and then you can listen to your mix and/or save the audio file by right-clicking on it. It works quickly and very easily and the quality is really good.
In just a few seconds our mix was on our Mac and opened up right away in iTunes. From here we could convert the file to an AAC version. Interestingly this reduced our 10.4MB 1 minute audio file down to 986KB file with no real noticeable loss in quality.
As we have already said, the Groovemaker app is great fun to use and pretty much anyone can get down to creating mixes and acting out DJ fantasies as soon as it is started.
The interface is very straightforward to use, even the creation of the sequence with drag and drop grooves makes production of the final mix a breeze. All this relative simplicity however belies a very powerful tool for music creation.
If you need to create a soundtrack for one of your movies, chilled, manic, or somewhere in-between, Groovemaker can do this for you. If you want to play DJ at a party, Groovemaker is there. Or even if you just want to get the kids interested in putting loops together and making their own creations, Groovemaker will enable you to do it, and you can get started for Free, so you have nothing to lose, except the hours that may disappear as you get embroiled in groove making.
Groovemaker is supplied in several paid versions too. With the Free version you get 1 song and 120 loops, but there are also House, Hip-Hop and D'n'B packs at £5.99 ($9.99) each. These paid-for packs include 4 songs (plus another track on registration) and 315 loops, flavoured appropriately for the category you have chosen.
We think you will like this app. If you do, let us know in the comments. Check out the videos below for actual footage of the Groovemaker app in action. There are quite a few more on the Groovemaker channel at YouTube.
Some people need a comfort blanket, a physical keepsake that reminds them of more familiar times. The ClamCase for iPad is a comfort blanket for those who find it hard to let go of the traditional physical keyboard.
The ClamCase iPad concept case provides keyboard die-hards with a physical keyboard that communicates with the iPad via Bluetooth. Details are sparse and it seems that the ClamCase site has taken a bit of a beating today and is running in a low bandwidth mode, but the idea seems sound. If it performs well, looks attractive and is priced appropriately, we see no reason why it wouldn't sell very well. We think it's safe to say that they are planning an iPhone version too.
Barely a month old and the iPad is already home to some powerful painting and illustration software. Of course, these apps didn't appear over night, many of them have been nurtured and grown to full maturity on the iPhone and iPod Touch platforms. The same can also be said of the artistic talent that is congregating around Apple 'latest creation'. Many of the artists that have contributed work to the iPad Creative, Art and Design Flickr group have been honing their skills on Apple's miniature multi-touch platform for a year or more.
It's true to say that the larger form factor of the iPad has enabled these artists to expand their horizons, to try things that would have been extremely tricky on the iPhone. You'll be amazed at how expressive iPad painting can be, with the broad range of tools already available, the only real limitation is your imagination and self belief.
If you need a little help with either of these two limitations be sure to regularly check the iPad Creative, Art and Design group for inspiration and confirmation of just what the iPad can really do.
Just look at the colour, texture and detail of Bejamin's 'See Saw' (seen above), it's quite special and the equal of anything we've seen painted using a Wacom tablet or even physical media. These are good times to be an artist, the tools are cheaper and more powerful than ever before. If this is just the beginning, it's hard to imagine what awaits us a few years from now.
It's hard to spot a 'killer app'. They don't usually arrive with a fanfare and red carpet, more often than not they just sneak up from nowhere. Magic Window - Living Pictures by Jetson Creative LLC looks like it has the beginnings of a killer app.
Forget all the marketing spiel, Magic Window is essentially a series of beautiful scenes that 'move' through artful use of the time-lapse technique. The end result looks spectacular, and quite different from similar still or movie based photo display apps.
The price for such exquisite art is storage space. Once all the scenes are downloaded Magic Window can consume almost an entire gigabyte of storage space. At the time of writing the financial cost is just £1.79, a steal if you ask us!
We shall return to the theme of 'living pictures' very shortly -- we feel this could be a large and vibrant category -- plus we came across a technology recently that could bring something even more magical to these magic windows.
Without being able to play an actual instrument, such as Piano or Keyboards, Guitar or Drums, there are still many ways to make music electronically, and the iPad as a platform for unleashing this creativity is no exception. There are new music creation apps being added for the iPad nearly every day, as well as those already existing for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
In this mini-series of posts we will take a look at a few of the main non-Keyboard Synths, Loop and Drum Pad apps that have caught our attention and, importantly, have been written especially for the iPad or have their own re-worked version for the iPad.
First up, a very faithful simulation of an awesome piece of beatmaker hardware:
KORG iELECTRIBEGorgeous to look at and very detailed in its execution, Korg's digital recreation of its own classic hardware the ELECTRIBE•R also includes a few features from some of the more advanced Korg beatmakers the ELECTRIBE•SX and ELECTRIBE•MX, and even the inclusion of the Vacuum Tube animation in the window at the top, the Tubes react as the real ones would, a really nice UI touch.
Korg calls this app a 'virtual analog beatbox' and they say that while it is fun to use it 'is no toy'. Everything has been brought over from the ELECTRIBE•R, the 'entire sound engine and sequencer' and nearly all the functionality you would expect is present here, including features such as:
- 16 step sequencer
- Four part percussion synthesizer (enhanced by cross modulation)
- Four part PCM synthesizer
- Accent function
- Virtual Valve Force Tube modelling (for that analogue warmth, controlled by a Tube Gain knob)
- 64 pattern presets get started straight away with these presets covering those on the ELECTRIBE•R plus new ones created especially for iELECTRIBE
- 8 master effect types some brought over from the SX/MX hardware including the super-grungy Decimator, nice!
- Advanced Motion Sequencing: allows live 'tweaking' to be memorised and replayed in your sequence. This improves on the original hardware which was limited in the number of parts it could memorise and incorporate into the sequence, but the iPad app has no limitation, Korg claims it can memorise 'all the parameters for each and every part', allowing some pretty complex patterns to be created.
Sequences you create can be saved in the app, called up later and amended or enhanced, but unfortunately there is no export option at the moment for DAW sync, which means that your creations stay on the iPad and cannot be incorporated into your desktop based music software, at the moment. This may be added, but there is no word on that happening just yet from Korg, although a lot of the iTunes reviews and Korg forum posts are asking for this functionality.
Overall though this app is amazing value for money when you think about what is included here. We have no doubt that, with a certain amount of skill and practice, this app could be used for a live performance, and with the portability of the iPad this could take your performances places the more bulky real life hardware couldn't. Plus you can check your e-mail, browse the web, and show off your photos on the same device, try doing that with your hardware beatmaker!
iECLECTRIBE will normally be $19.99, but until 30th June Korg are selling it for $9.99 (just £5.99) and we think this is a great price for what is 'virtually' an excellent recreation of a couple of hundred dollars worth of hardware. Have a look at the videos below and check it out in the app store if it pushes your buttons.
An in-depth look at the app compared to the real hardware
Say hello to LJ! The household cat and also regular iPad stand of Veronica Belmont, the First Lady of Tech. Not the cheapest iPad stand we've come across but certainly the most comforting. Puuurfect!
The second we saw Think Geek's inspired April Fool's joke we knew it was time for a mission! As Think Geek so beautifully demonstrated, the iPad is perfectly suited to bringing back many arcade classics. Call us nerds if you like, but the classic 70's and 80's arcade games are a heritage worth preserving, a record of the origins of today's games that needs to be preserved for future generations.
MAME (Multi Arcade Machine Emulator) has been the bastion arcade preservation for the last ten years, in short, MAME emulates the hardware of thousands of older arcade cabinets. MAME is a collection of code so important as to warrant a prominent place on any new computing format. So just where is iPhone OS MAME?
This is where we get angry like Angry Birds!
Apple don't allow machine emulation on the App Store. We can understand the reasoning behind this, but it would be nice to see some consistency. For example, Sega's Sonic 1 and Sonic 2 iPhone games are both Sega Mega Drive (Sega Genesis in the U.S.) emulators that run the original Sonic code. So if Apple won't allow MAME on the App Store why do they allow Sonic?
Sadly we don't ever envisage the day when we will be able to purchase MAME from the App Store and load up our own arcade ROM files, build our own virtual arcade just as Think Geek proposed.
Two possible solutions
We propose two solutions, both very different but both perfectly viable.
Solution 1. Involves Apple Game Center, a social gaming component that will arrive with iPhones OS 4 later in the year. Apple could provide a full license and optimised version of the MAME code as part of Game Center. Publishers who hold the rights to those gaming classics could then submit their code (basically the very same ROM images that already work with other version of MAME) for inclusion in Game Center. The obvious way for publishers to make money from these old classic is via Apple's brand new iAd service. This way everybody wins. Apple gets to keep control of its platform, publishers get to make even more money from games that have long since paid for themselves and we get to relive our misspent youth playing 4 player Gauntlet.
Solution 2. This is perhaps the most elegant solution as it requires no new technology and would almost certainly be allow into the App Store. We'll start with a simple explanation and then move on to more technical details.
We call this solution 'Cloud MAME'. Cloud MAME would require two components, Cloud MAME Server and Cloud MAME App. Cloud MAME Server would be a modified version of the existing MAME application running on Windows, Mac OS X or Lunix. Instead of displaying the game screen into a local monitor, Cloud MAME Server would stream the display across a local or wide area network. Cloud MAME App would be an iPad app that receives this display image and renders it in near realtime on the iPad display. It would also stream the player controls responses back up to the server. In essence, it would act like any VNC server/client solution, thereby avoiding all licensing issues.
The real key here -- the thing that makes this solution so workable -- is the display resolution of these classic arcade games. Seen below is the actual display image taken from an early 1980's arcade game. On the left is the full uncompressed image which weighs it at a good 576k per frame. On the right is a compressed version that totals just 3.5k per frame!
There is zero degradation in quality because the compression used is PNG-8 a popular web standard that allows for pin sharp images with very specific graphic attributes. In this case that specific attribute is the confined palate of just 32 colours, enough colours to perfectly simulate thousands of arcade games.
Obviously we need a large number of these frames every second in order to get the authentic feel of the original arcade game. Most games require 60 frames per second. Using the PNG-8 standard it's possible to stream 60 frames per second for a total bandwidth 'cost' of just 210k. That's an easy target for most home networks or internet connections. Network response time will also factor in the overall perform, but if OnLive can stream HD high end PC games across the internet, surely Mario stands a good chance of making it through the pipes?
We'd love to see a developer attempt just such a solution. The tools are freely available and the concept isn't rocket science. So how about it creative iPad developers, surely it's worth a shot?
iMAME has arrived! We're not sure how long Apple will keep it in the App Store though.
If, like us, you have been playing around with IK Multimedia’s Groovemaker on the iPhone for a while, you will know how much fun it can be pretending to be a supersonic DJ doing all the cool funky stuff they do (we are not cool or funky so we won’t try and say the things they do). Now that the Groovemaker app is on the iPad, with an extended interface enabling you to access more features at once, we think it is even better, but we will be looking at that in another post in the near future.
If you haven’t got your iPad yet though, IK Multimedia are giving you the chance to show off your groove creation skills to the world, and possibly win an iPad in the process. Basically, you create a video of your amazing Groovemaker creation in action (including yourself in the video if you want to), upload it to YouTube with the required tags and other info, then promote it like crazy however you want to on the social networking sites that we all know and end up having to use every day.
It looks like you have to create your unique composition on an iPhone or iPod Touch, as (we are guessing) if you record it on the iPad you are just being greedy because you have one already, but you can use the free versions so it won’t cost you anything. You have until 30th June 2010 to get your video viewed as many times as possible to stand a chance of winning.
We think it is a great way to promote music creation amongst users, combined with a healthy dose of competition (and a good dollop of marketing on the side). If it is your thing anyway, why not give it a shot? If you do enter a song, let us know in the comments and we will drop by and check it out.
One of the key creative areas taking the iPad app space by storm is music creation. We are not talking full blown songs written on the iPad necessarily, but that's not out of the question. In the few weeks since the iPad’s US launch we have seen a proliferation of synthesisers, piano simulators, DJ apps, stringed instrument emulators, drum kits, an Accordion app and even a Cat-voiced Piano (we kid you not).
Interestingly, Music Creation now has its own link on the US iTunes Store, so we are not the only ones who think this area of iPad app development is noteworthy. So with that, we present the first in an ongoing series of key app roundups for music creation on the iPad, first, we are looking at Keyboard/Synth apps.
We have already posted about Pianist Pro, we thought it looked great and we were really impressed with the app’s features, especially with the built-in drum machine and Appregiator, but in the last week MooCowMusic have added MIDI export capabilities to Pianist Pro (so your musical creations can be sent to Garageband for example and enhanced and built upon on your desktop machine), data file export to Mac or PC, and fixed a few issues, so it is worth another look, or get the upgrade for free if you already have the app.
Check out the video below for more on Pianist Pro’s features, we think it is a viable alternative for those without an external keyboard, or who want to experiment and get their ideas down, even if you are not going to use it for actual recording of performances in your DAW.
Virtuoso Piano Free 2 HD
If you don’t want, or need, all the features of Pianist Pro, you could try out the more straightforward Virtuoso Piano Free 2 HD, made for the iPhone originally, and now optimised for the iPad in this version, this free app is fine for playing around with ideas, practicing or learning the notes on the keyboard, or for children to pick up and play with straight away. This link will take you to the app store where you can download the free app now.
You have probably heard of Magic Piano by Smule made specifically for the iPad, from the creators of innovative iPhone apps such as Ocarina and Leaf Trombone. We mentioned it yesterday and there are lots of videos on YouTube with people playing a variety of songs in the app. Magic Piano takes a slightly different approach to music making on the iPad.
What blew us away is the creativity and imagination that has gone into the app. There are different ways to play the tunes including a circular or spiral keyboard, or users can play along with preloaded songs by tapping along with ‘beams of light’, a little bit like TapTap, but more elegant.
There are different difficulty modes so that, even with no musical ability, you can start tapping away on the screen and create a pleasing sound with the ‘No Fail’ mode. We think this is brilliant, a way for anyone to create ‘music’ on the iPad, have fun, and impress their friends, without the technical barriers of making a reasonable sound that could be presented by a straight forward keyboard simulator.
If you are a bit of a keyboard wizard already, you can challenge yourself with the ‘Game Mode’, where you have to tap the screen in the correct place, or your song sounds out of tune.
But the really unique and creative function of the app is the Duet mode. The Magic Piano app can hook you app with another user from anywhere around the world, and you can play a song together in a virtual duet. Or if you want to, you can just browse the globe and listen to other people playing duets.
Whilst it is not a serious music creation app, the fun factor and accessibility for those who are not musically trained, and the capability of the app to provide challenges to the more advanced user, makes this a recommendation from us. Even better, Magic Piano is on offer at the moment for just $0.99 (or 59p). A genuine bargain!
When we were kids we loved that scene in Ferris Beuller when he used the synth to make coughing, sneezing and snoring sounds to fool his (extremely gullible) parents that he was ill in bed. We even talked about doing this on our iPads before the launch. Now we can, with our final app in this brief round-up.
Synth by Retronyms (the people that brought us StudioTrack the awesome multi-track recorder for the iPad, amongst others) is a polyphonic synthesizer for the iPad based on a simulation of the traditional midi keyboard.
This sits on top of the sample database from the DopplerPad app that Retronyms made for the iPhone/iPad. There are 40+ instrument sounds supplied, Delay and Distortion knobs to tweak and a Mod wheel for some funky effects whilst playing. Of course, the most exciting thing about this app for us is the Sampler.
When we were younger, these synthesizers cost thousands of pounds and there was no chance we would ever be able to see or touch one, let alone own one, so to have this on the iPhone with DopplerPad and now the iPad with Synth means a great deal of retro fun for us.
At the start of the video demo below, if you listen carefully, you can hear the Sampler in action, and it makes the purchase of this app a given for us.
Whilst not a full blown Synthesizer that a pro might use, for getting the creative juices flowing and exploring sampling of real world sounds, we think this is a brilliant app, and at a price of just $0.99, it can’t hurt to download it now and start playing around with it, even if it is just to renact those Ferris Beuller nostalgia moments.
We hope you enjoyed this roundup and find at least one of the apps useful, but if you are using another keyboard app to create music on the iPad let us know in the comments.
In future posts we will be looking at Loop apps, Guitar apps, Drum pads, and others too, so if you have any suggestions for these or any other music creation apps, again let us know in the comments and we will consider using them in our roundups (giving you full credit of course).
Whether or not you're a fan of her show, there's no denying that having your iPad app featured on Oprah is going to generate a lot of buzz. We are confident that the guys at Atomic Antelope are getting plenty of traffic today! Apparently the iPad was featured quite heavily on Oprah this week. Anyone with at least one eyeball and a TV knows that Apple products get extensive -- perhaps even excessive -- placement in all kinds of TV shows. We expect the iPad to be no different.
Further reading: iPad, the potential to permanently polish off print.
There is no end to the creative uses for the iPad it seems. It can even be used in the austere and haloed halls of classical music concerts, sort of. Here's classical pianist Lang Lang amusing the audience in one of his encores by playing the most technically challenging Flight of the Bumblebee on his iPad.
Yes, we know he is playing it with two fingers using the awesome Smule 'Magic Piano' app (which was inspired by Lang Lang himself according to Smule), but it still sounds cool, and we reckon it might have sold a few more iPads too!
Check back later today for a full post on Magic Piano and other iPad music creation apps.
Remember that box of Lego bricks you traded for a couple of Star Wars figures? Yeah, turns out it was a bad idea. We quite fancy making an iPad stand out of a single block of driftwood. Any other ideas? Let us know in a comment below.
When you have a creative idea that you want to capture, it is usually essential (for us anyway) that you capture at least the essence of it there and then. In days gone by, writing it down with a traditional pen/pencil and paper was reassuringly tangible, if very analogue. But it was not long before that piece of paper was lost amongst the tens, maybe hundreds, of other scraps of paper we have in our 'filing' system, unless we pinned it onto our little office cork board that everyone had hanging on the wall.
We have fond memories of the Stickies desktop app on our Macs (in fact it is still included with the latest Apple OS). Stickies would let us quickly record all those little thoughts, ideas, and 'to-do' things on different coloured digital versions of the sticky notes, posted all over our computer desktop. Whether we actually did anything with those scraps of information or not is another matter, but it was great to be able to capture these thoughts and arrange them.
Enabling us to do this digitally on our 'take everywhere', larger screened portable device seems to be the goal of a number of developers, and there have been a few 'corkboard' apps released since the iPad launched, so the idea is not necessarily new to be honest, but Appigo seem to have created a lovely looking app in Corkulous, which is a little bit more than just a stickies creator.
Appigo call Corkulous 'an ideas board' app and say that they have 'many awesome features planned', but their first release is fairly impressive and looks like a nice way to capture creative ideas before they vanish. Cork boards can be added to group ideas together, and you can even embed one cork board into another. You can also add Labels, Photos, Contacts from the iPad address book and even Tasks, all from a gorgeous roll out filing cabinet drawer interface.
From their site:
Corkulous follows the metaphor of a cork board where users can arrange notes, labels, tasks, contacts, and photos to visualize ideas. Related ideas can be easily placed together and aligned using automatic guides which help to snap items into place. Also supported in the app are multiple boards. As ideas grow, users can create new boards and group related ideas in separate virtual spaces.
At the moment the app is focussed on individual use but Appigo are planning to introduce more collaborative features in the future for sharing ideas, which we think can benefit designers, artists, photographers and other creatives who are working with others.
The video below demonstrates these features very nicely so check it out. Corkulous has introductory pricing of $2.99 (£1.79) with free upgrades to the added functionality promised. It looks like a lot of thought and careful design has gone into this app and we think this may well find a place in our creative planning process in the future.
"Here's to the crazy ones." So began Apple's 1997 'Think Different' advert. Though there have been many memorable Apple adverts since then, none have been as emotive as the full length Think Different TV advert. We would also argue that none have been as revealing about the ethos of Apple.
It was quite a moment when during the unveiling of the iPad, Steve Jobs stated that Apple, "had always tried to be at the intersection of technology and the liberal arts". Those who have only ever known Apple as the company responsible for the iPod might struggle to make sense of this statement, but those familiar with Apple's history will immediately see some truth in it. Here is that statement in full:
"We’ve always tried to be at the intersection of technology and liberal arts, to be able to get the best of both, to make extremely advanced products from a technology point of view, but also have them be intuitive, easy to use, fun to use, so that they really fit the users – the users don’t have to come to them, they come to the user".
The final section of the full length Think Different advert contains the sentence, "How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that's never been written?". It was these words that came to mind when we found the delightful iPad painting, "Morning With Mr. Puddy" by Joey Livingston. See the video featured at the head of this post to witness his handiwork in motion.
Joey is one of a number of artists that are moving things forward, pushing at the boundaries of both technology and art. We know that people like Joey will be the ones to educate the iPad cynics, those who see the iPad as an expensive web browsing device and nothing more.
We want to be a part of this movement, we purpose to make iPad Creative a place to come and see the very best creations that exist at the "intersection of technology and the liberal arts". The iPad will enable ordinary people to create extraordinary things, and we'll be here to document it all and share some other fun things along the way!
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We are not really fans of unboxing videos, they are generally as dull as Pantone 181 and as inspiring as watching someone else finish off a nine course dinner! James Whatley, the chap who Scoble wants to be when he grows up, has made the perfect iPad unboxing video, short and sweet!
If you disagree, may we suggest you take a look at the new Alice for the iPad app from Atomic Antelope. It embodies everything that has given print its 550 year reign over the mind's of mankind, but moves the medium forward in a way that is both respectful of traditional print media and at the same time totally aware of what the iPad has to offer. We think this could be huge and it seems we are not the only ones.
We contacted Ben Roberts and Chris Stevens of Atomic Antelope to enquire of their plans for follow up books, Ben responded, "We’ve been so totally overwhelmed by the response to Alice... We currently have 4 major publishers contacting us to talk about projects so our hope is that the next Atomic Antelope project might be on some really huge current book. It seems people have realised the iPad might have uses after all!". This is superb news, we wish Ben and Chris every success with their next project.
Richard Scarry would love the iPad
Children's books have a special place in the history of print. When we have long forgotten the magazines, newspapers and school textbooks of yesterday, we will always remember our favourite children's storybook. For me, and perhaps for many of you, it was Richard Scarry's classic, 'Busy Busy World'. When TV shows and movies failed us with their fast edits and complex themes, storybooks provided the perfect pace and relaxed re-reading experience that our young minds required.
That's why we love what Atomic Antelope has done with this classic children's tale. It hasn't tried to shoehorn a 1990's multimedia experience into it's pages, there's no mini games or cross chapter movies, just gorgeous illustration work and a restrained measure of interaction that is perfectly tailored to the inquisitive nature of young children.
Potential 'print killer'
Of all the iPad magazines and books that we've seen so far, Alice for iPad is the one that makes the most sense to us. The use of physics modelling brings a layer of reality that will surely delight younger children. The cynical reader might suggest that Alice for the iPad is nothing more than a collection of animated scenes, but for us, the presentation style, the fun but subtle level of interaction presented on the iPad's gorgeous display pushes this way beyond that dry description.
The iPad is only 3 weeks old, we are already astonished by many of the new iPad apps. A year from now and we'll look back at these formative weeks and see the pattern of what was to come, nothing short of a revolution.
New opportunities abound
A few days ago we highlighted the skill of a handful of iPad artists. These talented individuals have an opportunity put their skills to work in ways they may not have considered. The genre of children's literature is awash with classic stories that have never come under copyright law. What prevents artists teaming up with coders to create compelling iPad experiences like Alice for iPad?
So, Apple today delivered the bad news we have been expecting here in the UK, but that we had hoped was not true, the UK / International launch of the iPad is delayed for another 6 weeks.
From the Press Release:
Although we have delivered more than 500,000 iPads during its first week, demand is far higher than we predicted and will likely continue to exceed our supply over the next several weeks as more people see and touch an iPad. We have also taken a large number of pre-orders for iPad 3G models for delivery by the end of April.
Faced with this surprisingly strong US demand, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the international launch of iPad by one month, until the end of May. We will announce international pricing and begin taking online pre-orders on Monday, May 10. We know that many international customers waiting to buy an iPad will be disappointed by this news, but we hope they will be pleased to learn the reason — the iPad is a runaway success in the US thus far.
Needless to say, we are very disappointed to not be getting our hands on some real iPad hardware for another month and a half.
On the positive side, it does mean that demand for Apple's new device is still high, and this means that it is gaining a strong foothold in the market. Of course, there are the cynics who would say that the supply was deliberately short to heighten demand. The shortage has generated a lot of news around the Web in just the last hour.
Still, it gives us another 6 weeks to save our pennies, and more time for our US friends to beta test the apps for us (thanks guys) but we can't help feeling let down by today's announcement.
MooCowMusic have built quite a reputation for awesome and useable music apps on the iPhone. We have been using their music apps from the early pre-app store, jailbreak only, days (remember Band?).
In addition to the cracking features found in the iPhone version such as:
- Multi-touch (polyphonic) keyboard
- Configurable metronome
- Multi-track recording
- Dual keyboard display
- Scrollable keyboard (multi-octave)
- Configurable labelling of keys
- Virtual soft and sustain pedals
Pianist Pro includes features that take advantage of the enhanced graphics and processing power in the iPad, as well as the biggest advantage over the iPhone, the screen size.
Using Pianist on the iPhone was, let's be honest, a bit of a challenge sometimes. Accuracy was always an issue, especially when the pace picked up. Chords are possible on the iPhone but we can imagine that using the iPad is a world away from trying to squeeze our fat digits on to the iPhone's screen.
This has given MooCowMusic a lot more space to play with, literally! According to their site
"A key design goal in Pianist Pro was to remain as close to the real world as possible. We have found that this helps to mask the fact that one is interacting with a computer screen rather than an instrument, promoting creativity."
The app looks great, and there are some nice interface touches too, especially in the configuration screens, and the whole app really does have an authentic, real world feel.
Here are some of the additional features found in Pianist Pro for the iPad:
- Appregiator - allows configurable runs of notes triggered by keys or chords
Pianist Pro includes a new mode called the 'Pattern Arp', allowing you to define patterns of notes that turn a simple held chord into a complex musical phrase.
- Additional instruments such as Acoustic Guitar, different Organ types (Church, Distorted, Mellow), Synths and Pads
- Drum machine, with a lovely looking interface
- Scale piano - allows playing scales easily just by sliding your finger across the screen
- Pitch bend and modulation wheel which can be used with the additional instruments
For anyone who does not have a physical, external, keyboard and who wants to record into GarageBand for example, this app seems ideal, and certainly a whole lot better than the 'Musical Typing' option.
According to the MooCowMusic website Pianist Pro is the top grossing Music App at the moment and 30th top selling app overall. At £5.99 Pianist Pro seems well worth the investment, it offers a lot of functionality for the musician needing to record a song idea, play around with some melodies, or even for those learning and experimenting with music.
We are thinking about this type of app being used in the Education field or for Students themselves to create music and elaborate on ideas. With the potential shown in the video demo below, Pianist Pro is definitely going to find a place on our iPads. Check it out at the App Store here.