If you’ve been wondering what all the fuss is about — this 12 minute video will walk you through all that is Garage Band on the iPad. Very well done!
Today’ I’m at it again. With yesterday’s release of iOS 4.3, it seems that Apple has again taken a bite out of a developer’s revenue stream.
I’m talking specifically about enhancements to iTunes Home Sharing that enable video and audio streaming from any properly configured iTunes-running computer on your network.
Yep, this is a good thing, and it’s very cool tech. It’s great that Apple is making it available for free. And it’s unfortunate that it’s also putting pressure on the developers of the Air Video and StreamToMe apps, both very good streaming applications.
Innovate or else. This is competition?
So now the ball is back in the developers court. They have to prove that their apps worth real money, and are better or different than iTunes Home Sharing, which is free and just an update away.
And the developers aren’t working from a position of strength that Apple is with all the resources at it’s disposal.
Air Video and StreamToMe and others offer significant differentiators from Apple’s Home Sharing, in that they can be set up to stream video from your home server to your location anywhere on the Internet, provided you’ve properly configured your network and the apps. I’ve not seen an easy way to set iTunes up to extend Home Sharing to an Internet connected device. It may exist, but I’ve not seen it yet.
But wait, there’s more!
Home media streaming isn’t the only area Apple’s jumped into recently. As mentioned at the start of this post, Garage Band for iPad launched today. And it looks like an awesome app!
Which has some music app makers re-evaluating their product and pricing structures when compared against Garage Band iPad.
For example, today KORG dropped the price of its hugely awe-inspiringly-complex synth, the iMS-20. Given the complexity and power of the app, KORG had it initially pegged at $32.99. Today the price dropped to half at $15.99.
No update. No improvements. Just a change in the landscape tomorrow and an app is worth $15.00 less.
Sure, comparing a $4.99 iPad Garage Band against a full featured $32.99 $15.99 synth is Apples to Oranges. But is it? Many buyers of iPad Garage Band have Macs, which already have the full computer version of Garage Band installed as part of the standard Mac bundle. A built-in audience and income stream for the iPad app.
In the end, the consumer is winning, it seems. With Garage Band, they get a new, reasonably priced and powerful app for their iPads. And they’ll also benefit by some price cuts on other apps whose developers will feel the need to compete with Garage Band’s price, bringing them into line with consumer new expectations. Winning – for the consumer.
For the app developers? That remains to be seen.
[ad#Future Shop Post Attribution]
Wondering what all the fuss is about with Apple announcing the iPad version of Garage Band? This video will help demonstrate.
From The Future of Music V: The Craft of iPad Music-making” event, February 3rd, 2011.
At this special evening event, attendees heard and saw the musical and visual results as leading electronic artists performed live. Harry Allen returned to moderate discussion between four cutting-edge artists: Peter Kirn, Oliver Chesler, Steve Horelick, and Joshue Ott.
Ever since the iPhone and iPod Touch caught the attention of developers of developers with an interest in music, there have been music apps in the iTunes App store.
With yesterday’s announcement of Garage Band for iPad these smaller niche developers could be challenged by the vast development resources Apple can bring to bear.
Garage Band iPad
Digging into the details, iPad Garage Band really looks like a great all-in-one package with a good selection of instruments, instrument enhancements (Smart Instruments), Plug-ins, Synthisizers, and Digital Audio Workstation components (Amps & Effects), as well as multi-track editing and recording.
Wow, there’s a lot there for $4.99. Seriously. I’ll be getting it.
What’s out there now
Taking a quick look at some of the leading music creation and instrumentation apps in the store, you’d exceed that level by just buying one app, in many cases.
Instruments / Synths
- Korg iMS-20 – 32.99
- XENON Groove Synthesizer – $4.99
- Bassist – $2.99
- Guitarist – $3.99
- ThumbJam – $6.99
You see the challenge?
For consumers and software developers, once again, Apple has redefined an industry, but perhaps not in a good way. Or did they just make a statement that the existing apps are way too overpriced? Time will tell.
[ad#Future Shop Post Attribution]
In the last few years it’s gotten a bit easier to use a microphone to record audio on your home computer — USB headsets with quality microphones have been available for a while, but only recently have USB desktop microphones oved out of the niche and specialty retailers into the mainstream, driven mostly by the development of podcasting and Garage Band recording systems.
But quality desktop microphones were expensive — the keyword there is were — now we’re seeing a bunch of new, high quality USB desktop microphones in the retailers at a much more reasonable price-point.
The Blue Yeti is one such microphone that has quickly developed a bit of a reputation for itself, in a good way, of course. So let’s take a look at some of the reasons the Yeti is getting some buzz.
All this on a microphone?
First off, the Yeti isn’t just a microphone. Inside the sturdy, heavy, burnished aluminium case is actually 3 condenser microphone capsules, strategically located to provide 4 recording patterns. I’ll get into those in a moment.
And it’s a THX certified microphone:
THX certification is either pass or fail. And product pricing is never a driving factor. If a product meets the THX testing standards, then certification is granted. With all of this testing from THX, the consumer is assured that the TV, receiver or speaker system they are purchasing meets the highest standards for quality and compatibility right out of the box.
This hardware includes a pre-amp (controlled by the Gain knob on the back) and a zero-latency headphone jack so you can monit or the microphone audio without having to plug your headphones into your computer, and experience that annoying bit of audio lag (latency).
Three, no four mics in one.
You see this neat shot of the three condenser mic capsules? Well the way the Yeti uses them is kinda cool, because these three mics working together give the Yeti the flexibility of four distinct microphone pickup patterns.
The illustration below shows the patterns and their best usages.
Mobile Recording Studio
One of the other reasons I wanted to take a look at the Yeti was to explore it’s functionality in a highly mobile environment — specifically how it worked when connected to the USB input in Apple’s Camera Connector Kit for the iPad.
By combining a high-quality microphone with some of the sophisticated digital audio editing software for iPad (such as MultiTrack DAW), a potentially powerful podcasting setup could be created.
Yep, the Yeti works as a very nice and clean mic in a mobile situation.
I recorded some audio of my wife setting up her acoustic guitar, and while I’m no sound engineer, was quite impressed with the sound! Much better than any of the home / consumer mic’s I’d tried previously.
And, of course, I recorded the first paragraph of this blog post to give you an indication of what voice sounds like through the Yeti. The Yeti was connected through an inexpensive USB hub to the iPad, which was running Multitrack DAW. Yeti gain was up a bit, and the mic was set into the Cardioid pattern.
Then Apple Changed Things
Sadly, in the last OS update, Apple changed the way power was supplied through the Camera Connector Kit USB port — and the Yeti stopped working *when connected directly to the iPad*.
The workaround is that you now need to put a powered USB hub between the Yeti and your iPad in order for the system to work again.
So, as things stand, I’ve got a mostly mobile recording and podcast studio. The one major drawback with the Yeti is it’s heft – it weighs in at 1.85kg.
Add to that the need for a powered USB hub now, and things are a bit more complicated — but not enough that I’d not consider using the Yeti / Hub / iPad combination in a mobile setting.
Need a mic? Find a Yeti.
If you compare prices on similar mics, you’ll find the Yeti extremely inexpensive — considering the number of additional features you get built in (multi-pattern, THX certification, internal Pre-amp, etc), well worth a serious look, or listen.
[ad#Future Shop Post Attribution]