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Apple's iOS 4.2 Getting MIDI Hardware Support

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 21 comments

The next version of iOS will offer native support for external MIDI devices.

Create Digital Music reports that Apple's upcoming iOS 4.2 will provide native MIDI hardware support, allowing MIDI-capable devices to connect with Apple's iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

MIDI support was previously revealed back in September. Leaked details regarding previous iOS 4.2 builds showed that Apple had inserted CoreMIDI framework support. Now unnamed sources have provided more details regarding actual external hardware, indicating that Apple devices will have two methods of connection: Wi-Fi MIDI and MIDI via USB, the latter using the iPad Camera Connection Kit's USB adapter.

This is a significant step for musicians. Decades ago, synthesizer sequencing was handled using external hardware. Today sequencing can be done using a laptop and software like Avid's Pro Tools and Cakewalk's Sonar Producer. However producing similar apps for the iPad or even the iPhone and iPod Touch would mean touch-screen MIDI controls in a handy, portable device.

The Wi-Fi MIDI aspect of iOS 4.2 remains unclear, however it's assumed that iOS devices will wirelessly connect to other Apple handhelds and Macs only--this may be handy when programming a symphony of Apple devices to play individual instruments. Devices using MIDI via USB avenue may need to attach an external power source, as the camera adapter doesn't provide enough current.

Given that the Camera Connection Kit only fits the iPad, its unclear how the iPhone and iPod Touch will connect with external devices without purchasing 3rd-party solutions like the $70 MIDI Mobilizer adapter from Line 6. MIDI device manufacturer iConnectMIDI said that the new CoreMIDI framework support won't render its products obsolete, but rather will likely further decrease latency in iOS MIDI applications.

USB MIDI on iPad

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  • -8 Hide
    FLanighan , November 5, 2010 8:17 PM
    *insert hateful comment here*
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , November 5, 2010 8:51 PM
    This makes me iLaugh at the prospect of this feature. Useless? What is the point of connecting a MIDI keyboard or device to your iPad? A MIDI keyboard connected to a DAW--now that makes sense.
  • 4 Hide
    sundragon , November 5, 2010 8:59 PM
    Bring the predictable ihate...
  • 3 Hide
    house70 , November 5, 2010 9:15 PM
    If I already have the MIDI device, what would be the purpose of an additional interface? Easier to control the device via it's own...controls.
  • 3 Hide
    applegetsmelaid , November 5, 2010 9:26 PM
    Serious musicians rejoice! Doesn't make much sense to me. Apple at it again I suppose.
  • 1 Hide
    azcoyote , November 5, 2010 9:32 PM
    I am guessing things like this will be the reason why...
    http://www.ikmultimedia.com/Main.html?iphone/index.php

  • -5 Hide
    fjjb , November 5, 2010 9:39 PM
    WOW are the apple fanboys so scared of being insulted?? first of all this is a good idea since you get a better physical interface than the touchscreen (where you cant feel where the keys are) and also we know Jobs has a plan to make the iphone/ ipad ideal for artist and producers!! next thing is going to be a paint board for the ipad. oooh and i forgot... im really not an apple guy!!
  • 3 Hide
    lcsper , November 5, 2010 10:09 PM
    You can say what you want, but this is actually useful for some of us. I would love to have a workable MIDI controller on the runner without having to haul one around. This is especially useful now that Avid ProTools can be run without an audio interface which really facilitates things on the move. I'm no fanboy by any means but when it comes to working with audio, Apple is king. This little feature, if implemented correctly could really help some of us out.
  • 4 Hide
    sundragon , November 5, 2010 10:18 PM
    Quote:
    WOW are the apple fanboys so scared of being insulted?? first of all this is a good idea since you get a better physical interface than the touchscreen (where you cant feel where the keys are) and also we know Jobs has a plan to make the iphone/ ipad ideal for artist and producers!! next thing is going to be a paint board for the ipad. oooh and i forgot... im really not an apple guy!!


    I'm glad you're not an apple guy - it's nice to hear good ideas from the other side - I've been a fan of Tom's for years, but recently it's just become poor writing and a space for flaming and trolling...

    The Android peeps go crazy with the ihate whether it's warranted or not... Instead of being objective, which may be a lot to ask on comments - you flame. That being said some of it is funny and warranted, but a lot of is redic - i would rather read intelligent discussion how Android, Apple, and RIM are keeping each other on their toes innovating - What it ends up being is a flame war about who's phone is the "bestest"...
  • -1 Hide
    User69 , November 6, 2010 12:58 AM
    i saw that on the ipad commercial and was wondering about that capability.... i guess its not out yet but looks cool
  • 2 Hide
    User69 , November 6, 2010 1:10 AM
    ... i'm still don't understand why graphic designers or "starving artists" stick to a brand that is heavily proprietary, costly, and limited in its use and technology i mean the apple compatible microphone is $70. Wouldn't graphic designers want better graphic cards? Wouldn't photographers want better monitors? Wouldn't you want to have a 1000 various types of equipment and 3rd party software galore? Can some Apple lover explain that to me? I'm being open minded and not talking smack, just throwing in some common sense.
  • 4 Hide
    sundragon , November 6, 2010 2:16 AM
    Quote:
    ... i'm still don't understand why graphic designers or "starving artists" stick to a brand that is heavily proprietary, costly, and limited in its use and technology i mean the apple compatible microphone is $70. Wouldn't graphic designers want better graphic cards? Wouldn't photographers want better monitors? Wouldn't you want to have a 1000 various types of equipment and 3rd party software galore? Can some Apple lover explain that to me? I'm being open minded and not talking smack, just throwing in some common sense.


    Just my 2¢

    Simply... Because for years, it just worked - You didn't need to know .dlls, .ini files, registry files, weird esoteric drivers, and only a few viruses, and almost no spyware...
    For most non techie people who just need to get stuff done - that is magic... I have had to wipe and rebuild/update/troubleshoot many a friend's PC that has crashed or has a virus... It gets old when you need to get work done!

    I'm an IT person who's used PCs since the mid 80's when my parents bought us an 8088 clone, and I've built my own PCs for the last 15 years - I now have owned 3 Macbook Pros in addition to my PC (I love Windows 7)...

    Yes it was limited, yes it was more expensive, but for the neophyte the fact that most things just work, made up for the closed environment and expensive hardware... Now it's a shell built on top of Unix... Which means you can open terminal and bang out commands easy peasy...

    I'm so glad that Google came out with Android, high hopes for Chrome, and MS has made Windows 7 what it is because the more competition, the better the products become... One of the reasons Windows Vista made it to market was there was little competition to hold MS honest....
  • 1 Hide
    jimmysmitty , November 6, 2010 4:59 AM
    sundragonJust my 2¢Simply... Because for years, it just worked - You didn't need to know .dlls, .ini files, registry files, weird esoteric drivers, and only a few viruses, and almost no spyware... For most non techie people who just need to get stuff done - that is magic... I have had to wipe and rebuild/update/troubleshoot many a friend's PC that has crashed or has a virus... It gets old when you need to get work done!I'm an IT person who's used PCs since the mid 80's when my parents bought us an 8088 clone, and I've built my own PCs for the last 15 years - I now have owned 3 Macbook Pros in addition to my PC (I love Windows 7)...Yes it was limited, yes it was more expensive, but for the neophyte the fact that most things just work, made up for the closed environment and expensive hardware... Now it's a shell built on top of Unix... Which means you can open terminal and bang out commands easy peasy... I'm so glad that Google came out with Android, high hopes for Chrome, and MS has made Windows 7 what it is because the more competition, the better the products become... One of the reasons Windows Vista made it to market was there was little competition to hold MS honest....


    Still the fact that Apple controls everything they make leaves little room for any creativity in reality. I myself never have any problems with programs. hell I even get old DOS and Windows 95 based programs to work on Vista/7. Then again I am a techie.

    Vista came because it was the next step. TBH, without Vista we wouldn't have 7. Vistas bad name came from mainly the driver/software vendors. MS tried to work with them but they lagged. Well for 7 MS pushed harder. You can see it by looking at drivers. Creative barley had stable drivers for Vista but when 7 was in beta, they had better more stable drivers than Vista did. I find it sad really since Vista is a good OS and better for current hardware than XP, but then again 7 is still much better.

    As for this, I just see it as another way to make a lot of money.
  • 2 Hide
    getreal , November 6, 2010 12:01 PM
    sundragonJust my 2¢Simply... Because for years, it just worked - You didn't need to know .dlls, .ini files, registry files, weird esoteric drivers, and only a few viruses, and almost no spyware... For most non techie people who just need to get stuff done - that is magic... I have had to wipe and rebuild/update/troubleshoot many a friend's PC that has crashed or has a virus... It gets old when you need to get work done!I'm an IT person who's used PCs since the mid 80's when my parents bought us an 8088 clone, and I've built my own PCs for the last 15 years - I now have owned 3 Macbook Pros in addition to my PC (I love Windows 7)...Yes it was limited, yes it was more expensive, but for the neophyte the fact that most things just work, made up for the closed environment and expensive hardware... Now it's a shell built on top of Unix... Which means you can open terminal and bang out commands easy peasy... I'm so glad that Google came out with Android, high hopes for Chrome, and MS has made Windows 7 what it is because the more competition, the better the products become... One of the reasons Windows Vista made it to market was there was little competition to hold MS honest....


    You didn't say "ANDROID FTW" or "F APPLE", so you probably won't see more than a +5 rating; however, your comment is one of the best I have read on this site in a long time.
  • -3 Hide
    srbn , November 6, 2010 4:00 PM
    @User69

    It is a fair question and the answer really is simple. Apple makes both the hardware and the software. Going with the typical Windows solution, you have proprietary software (single implementation) and multiple hardware vendors designed to a proprietary specification. In short, both the Apple solution and Windows solution is proprietary with the Windows eco-system offering the same hardware design by multiple manufactures. You can not go out and buy any computer with any processor and simply install Windows on it.

    Given that many creative types and "starving artists" are not tech people, they do not want to go out and find drivers, deal with .ini files, registries, .dll files for a small amount more choice. Is it really worth shopping for an extra 100 hours to get 5% more functionality that you may not even use?

    On a Mac, you can use the same exact monitors (in short, I just short circuited your 1,000's more monitors), same exact hard-drives (even USB 3.0 if you want), same exact keyboards, same exact mice and so on. Selection is well differentiated, simple and easy.

    In short, you are thinking that with Apple you are seriously limited in choice when the exact oposite is true. If needed, you can run Windows, Linux and a host of other OSes. Just like on a Dell or HP.

    But for those that really do like a clean and elegant design (both hardware and software) with almost zero configuration issues, the Apple OS and its associated eco-system is unrivaled by any other manufacture. This does, however, cost a bit more (what 10% or so??).
  • 2 Hide
    applegetsmelaid , November 6, 2010 11:11 PM
    Coming from an electronic music producer - this is for hobbyists. If you are creating music with an iPad then you don't know shit about digital audio. It's cute for a teenage girl who posts her songs on Soundclick, but the A/D-D/A converters have to be absolute crap on the Ipad.
  • 0 Hide
    palladin9479 , November 8, 2010 2:02 AM
    User69... i'm still don't understand why graphic designers or "starving artists" stick to a brand that is heavily proprietary, costly, and limited in its use and technology i mean the apple compatible microphone is $70. Wouldn't graphic designers want better graphic cards? Wouldn't photographers want better monitors? Wouldn't you want to have a 1000 various types of equipment and 3rd party software galore? Can some Apple lover explain that to me? I'm being open minded and not talking smack, just throwing in some common sense.


    Simple really. Serious professional 3D / Audio / Video designers don't use Mac's they use specialty workstations. A long time ago back during the early Win 3.11 / Win 95 era Macintosh's were better suited for those tasks due to their PPC origins and available of good media interface hardware. We're talking early to mid 90's time frame. Apple also runs a big advertising campaign by giving universities huge discounts on Apple systems, to the point of selling them under cost. The idea was that if you get all the students used to working on Apples while their in school, when they get out and get jobs they will be more likely to purchase full priced Apple systems for their home use. And considering that the type of people who create music / render video and do all that artistic stuff don't generally delve deeply into the uber tech world (left brain vs right brain people), as long as you have a branded image the person won't look too closely at the numbers. Genius marketing strategy, their designing their strategy around human nature and the appearance of being the best product rather then just going after the best product.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , November 8, 2010 4:38 AM
    Really? What's more important? Human nature or techie numbers? Cheaper blah blah blah doesn't make anything better if it takes HOURS of interfacing, trouble shooting, and virus hunting to fix the stupid machine. If you add up all the software applications that are included with a new Apple product that work seemlessly together and the savings of HOURS of set-up etc., the Apple is NOT more expensive. Apple has advanced the human interface to computers and smart phones bar none of anyone period. I still hear PC users who spend HOURS/DAYS de-virusing their computer, don't know how to put an mp3 file in their iTunes or make a pdf flier for their business or kid's homework project. Gees, I gotta stop before I explode!

    Professional Musician/Sound Designer/Never had a virus on my Mac Guy
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , November 8, 2010 6:15 PM
    Not sure why this is necessary, but as long as Apple doesn't tout it to be the "FIRST IN THE WORLD!" then I'm okay.

    I don't take kindly to fraudulent advertising, after all.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , November 10, 2010 11:33 AM
    Would rather have a working alarm app personally...
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