iPhone App Directory

CDM on why MAX isn't a choice for mobile

Lots of people have been talking about Max for Live over the last few days, but this post at CDM caught my eye, especially this paragraph:

5. Open-source alternatives are the choice you need if you care about mobile hardware.
Ableton and Cycling ‘74 software run only on desktop Mac and Windows. Without touching the question of whether desktop Linux makes sense, open source software clearly has the edge on new, emerging, embedded, and mobile platforms. Part of being truly free software is the ability to compile that software anywhere, any time. On the Linux side, that includes platforms like Google’s Android or the upcoming Chrome OS, already running on mobile phones and e-readers, and soon on other devices. But this isn’t just about Linux or free software. Pd and ChucK, among others, already work on the iPhone, and have enabled commercial applications like RjDj and Smule, mobile apps that sell numerous copies and are featured in the windows of Apple Stores around the world. You could see a Max 5 run-time for iPhone, but it’s impossible for commercial development to keep pace with everything out there.

When I contact C74 they told me that they had no plans for an iPhone runtime. Of course, Peter may well have much better contacts there than me, and my main interest was to see if it were possible to get Berna on my iPhone.

I'd love to see a Max runtime for the iPhone, and if RJDJ is anything to go by it would open up even more innovation.

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Unknown said...

Of course, it would be possible for Cycling to build an iPhone runtime if they so chose. But they'd still have a hard time catching up on Pd, which I've seen successfully run on iPhone, Linux desktops laptops and netbooks, Android, BeagleBoard (that's especially cool), the BUG, old iPods, and old PowerPCs.

Pete Cole said...

In terms of platforms, Mixtikl isn't PD, but runs very well on Mac, Windows, WinMo, iPhone; and other platforms to follow (Android probably next). If Intermorphic achieve this, so can other developers, PD or otherwise!

We're not on Linux desktops yet as there doesn't seem to be much demand; most people interested in what we do seem to have access to either a Mac or a Windows box (and/or an appropriate mobile device).

As for PD: well, luckily there is space out there for everybody to choose their own model. I'm happy for us to be a cottage industry. That keeps us with a clear sense of where we are and what we're doing, as we're not just developing for ourselves: we have paying customers to interact with and take care of. :)

open source software clearly has the edge on new, emerging, embedded, and mobile platforms

I don't see why that has to be the case. From my perspective, we've been building-up a great set of technologies over the past 20 or so years, that I feel lets us offer something completely unique in the mobile/desktop music. I couldn't see us having sustained that drive if our software were PD. :)

ashley said...

I still think that C74 should seriously consider an iPhone runtime or indeed a wider set of mobile runtimes. It would give a large audience of creators access to these platforms

Unknown said...

Well, right, but we see two issues here:

One, Max/MSP as the development platform is going to go the direction Cycling choose. The open platforms are winding up on these other mobiles because the user chooses. That's not to say Max isn't a great choice when your interests align; it is. But if your interests have diverged, you can either wait around for them, or you can take matters into your own hands. Obviously, Pete and Intermorphic have built their own tools and made their own set of decisions, not relying necessarily on anyone else - yes, Pd included.

The other issue is, I think increasingly the enabling development tools are becoming open source. That may even apply to C74, who used JUCE. I think there are practical, not just philosophical, reasons why Android (and newly-open-sourced Symbian) are going that route and why they've got momentum behind those decisions.

Anonymous said...

C74's loss is PD's gain. How about Reaktor?