Since I’ve been using iOS almost exclusively in my music making for the last few years (mostly with custom apps I’ve built using iRTcmix), it’s been exciting to witness the progress in the computing power of these devices. I’ve idly speculated about their power relative to their Mac predecessors, but I haven’t seen any direct comparisons. The current devices, while still limited compared to MacBooks, have started to feel a lot less computationally cramped. Considering I replaced my 2008 MacBook relatively recently, this comparison from John Gruber was encouraging:
To put that in context, the iPhone 5S beats my 2008 15-inch MacBook Pro by a small measure in the Sunspider benchmark (with the MacBook Pro running the latest Safari 6.1 beta). The iPhone 5S is, in some measures, computationally superior to the top-of-the-line MacBook Pro from just five years ago. In your fucking pocket.
And it looks like Gruber just about called it 5 years ago.
If a 2007 iPhone is loosely equivalent in terms of computing power to a 2000 PowerBook or 1999 Power Mac, that puts the spread at around seven or eight years. Extrapolate forward, and it’s therefore not at all unreasonable to think that a 2014 iPhone will pack the computing power of today’s MacBook Pro.
That is where mobile is the clear winner. More people will hire mobile devices for their primary gaming activity. And as mobile devices get inexorably better, they will be hired for use in the setting where consoles have been king: the living room.
Whether dedicated gaming machines are better for gaming is moot. There just may not be enough hardcore gamers to support the industry. Smartphones are nearly universal (in the markets that would matter to game companies, at any rate) so devices that can play games are already ubiquitous. Since a smartphone comes with gaming capabilities “for free,” more and more people are forgoing the dedicated device, as Dediu’s charts demonstrate.
If Karlheinz Stockhausen had started his electronic work with Theremin instead of with Meyer-Eppler’s sinusoidal additive synthesis, then the synthesizer industry wouldn’t be so musically retarded these days.
A smart rant from Chris Randall over at his blog Analog Industries. In all the argument there has been over the past couple of decades about the value (monetary, of course) of recorded music, this is the smartest attitude to for an artist embrace:
As an artist, if you choose to fight this battle over monetary value, know this: you will lose. That is a foregone conclusion. In fact, you have already lost. All of that nonsense with numbers and who’s getting paid and whether life is fair or not is all inside baseball, and the average person (the one ultimately footing the bills, it must be said) couldn’t give two shits. To them, pieces of art are tied to memories and experiences; they are either trying to recapture the emotions they felt when they first experienced the art in a particular context, or trying to create new emotions to go with new contexts. They are willing to spend a certain amount of money, for altruism’s sake, if it’s convenient. (And “convenience” is something we’ll get to in a bit.) But ultimately, the art’s value to them is at a much more internalized place than the high-brain abstract world of monetary worth.
I’ll go one step further, and say that the situation is not even worth grumbling about. In fact, it should be embraced whole-heartedly, and celebrated for the freedom gained.
The takeaway is this:
It falls to you to be as convenient as possible to the Emily Whites of the world. Don’t treat her like a second-class citizen or a thief. She has no fucking idea what you’re going on about with this guilt trip. She just wants to hear that one song that she heard right after that thing happened. Give it to her. Make her FEEL. She’ll remember. Of that, you can be certain.
And the resulting commandment:
Put it in front of as many people as possible.
Engage the resulting audience.
It’s worth it to go read the whole thing. It a little like what Seth Godin might say if he were a musician, a potty mouth, and had a bizarre, out of proportion hatred for Cory Doctorow.
Both the Anushri (in the video above) and the forthcoming Akimba from Mutable Instruments look very much worth watching. Olivier is a master at doing a lot with a little. My Shruthi-1 and Sidekick are little bundles of analog goodness (or, for the former, analog-digital hybrid).