Mobile Music Interfaces Evaluation

Mobile Music Interfaces Evaluation

Politis Dionysios, Margounakis Dimitrios, Aspiotis Vasileios, Nakou Danai, Kefalas Thomas
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch562
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Mobile Music Interfaces

Mobile music interfaces are software applications that need to be installed on the user's device to operate. A large number of such applications have been developed nowadays. Those are designed especially for certain devices, depending on which operating system they use. For instance, Android applications are not compatible with those produced for Apple (iOS). Therefore, software development teams are obliged to choose their platform, i.e. choose which operation systems are to run their applications on. Nevertheless, some applications are integrated into most operating systems of the market, despite the fact that they are created by a company that is not directly associated with the company of the specific operating system (third-parties). The acceptance of such applications lies in the terms of use and compatibility of the company.

All these applications, which comprise of music software (this kind of interfaces is the main subject of this article), games, image processing software etc., lie on the Web and are distributed to the users via specially designed applications libraries. Depending on the conventions that apply and the operating system used, the user can download and install them for free or by paying a cash fee. Some usual categories of the applications offered for online downloading are:

  • Streaming

  • Synthesis

  • Controllers

  • Accessories

  • Interconnection

  • Entertainment

More and more new music applications are released in the online stores, gradually increasing the possibilities for musical programming (Earl 2012). A detailed summary of the technical capabilities and limitations of mobile handheld devices regarding their use as musical instruments and interfaces has been presented by Essl & Rohs (2009).

Leader companies like Steinberg and Propellerhead (which produce some of the most important and internationally recognizable DAWs – Digital Audio Workstations) move into developing applications for modern mobile phones and devices, using the capabilities of cloud computing, in an effort to remain competitive and establish their positions in a relatively new technology area. Examples of the most popular mobile music interfaces follow.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Virtual Studio Technology (VST): A software interface that integrates software audio synthesizer and effect plug-ins with audio editors.

Mobile Music Interface: A music interface that is for mobile devices like smartphones, tablets etc.

Synthesizer: An instrument often played with a keyboard, which combines simple waveforms to produce more complex sounds, such as those of various other instruments.

Interface: A user interface, consisting of the set of dials, knobs, operating system commands, graphical display formats, and other devices provided by a computer or a program to allow the user to communicate and use the computer or program. A graphical user interface (GUI) provides its user a more or less “picture-oriented” way to interact with technology. A GUI is usually a more satisfying or user-friendly interface to a computer system.

Digital Audio Workstation: ( DAW ) : An electronic system designed solely or primarily for recording, editing and playing back digital audio.

Sequencer: A program in a computer or stand-alone keyboard unit that puts together a sound sequence from a series (or sequence) of Musical Instrument Digital Interface events (operations).

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