SimplifyMedia has put together a little package that allows music to be streamed from a home base computer to other devices, including the iPhone and other machines. My brief tests have encountered no problems, and it’s a pretty cool thought that I can access music on the handset and not have to worry about filling up the hard drive (my 60GB iPod is currently bloated and staggering under its full conditions). My only worry is the portable battery life – heavy 3G usage would no doubt shrink my listening window. But it’s a handy idea for work or scooting about town.
I’m a little less enamored with BeatMaker’s potential, enough that I can’t see purchasing it based on reviews that claim there’s latency in the pads. Devices and programs like this are made or broken on their ability to provide real-time response to a musician’s playing. It was the most frustrating part of working with older sound cards and MIDI devices for me, and I’ve got no desire to go back to square one.
To be fair, a lot of these programs seem like a land rush for prospectors, with the reasoning that it’s better to get the apps out there and the name made familiar and then work on the finer points. And it’s unfair to expect high performance from a handheld device right now. Hell, ProTools is just getting around to debuting on OS X Leopard, and that’s on a full-fledged computer and operating system. So it’s possible these things will get better – that’s why software always seems to have new releases and updates. I’m just not panning these waters yet.