Category Archives: iPad Apps

Korg Minilogue + Arp Odyssey on iPad Pro + Apple Camera Connector Kit = Pretty Cool

After reading about Korg’s new iOS app that emulates their Arp Odyssey, I decided to pick the app up on sale for $19.99 last night (introductory price). It sounds really good. I was thinking “Man I wish I had a good Bluetooth controller to play it, though” (like this one), when suddenly I thought, “I wonder if the USB out on my Korg Minilogue could let it act as a MIDI controller for my iPad…”

I then spent a few minutes digging through drawers to find the appropriate USB cable and my old school Apple Camera Connector Kit (USB version) attached to a lightning adapter, slapped that onto the iPad and connected the USB to the back of the Minilogue. I then ran a stereo mini cable from the headphone jack of the iPad Pro (remember when all devices had headphone jacks? #nostalgia) out to the audio in on the Minilogue. Then, I turned on the Minilogue and turned down all the Mixer controls to 0, so that the Minilogue itself wasn’t generating any sound.

Since I had the sound out on my iPad Pro going into the audio in on the Minilogue, playing the keyboard then resulted in whatever sound was dialed into the ARP ODYSSEi app coming through the Minilogue and passing through all the filters of the Minilogue, giving me all sorts of extra control over whatever sound the ARP ODYSSEi was pushing through. I could also turn up the mixer volume for VCO1, VCO2, and NOISE on the Minilogue to blend the sounds on it with what was coming out of ARP ODYSSEi. I spent about an hour last night just playing around with this setup and it sounded great.

And now I know I can do this with other music apps on my iPad, so I’m pretty stoked.

Also, I’ve been meaning to mention this forever: if you’re like me and you only have so much room for a “music studio” in the corner of a home office or playroom, then I highly recommend getting a Yamaha THR10C 10-watt amp. It’s got a small footprint but gorgeous loud sound with modelling controls to make it sound like various classic amps and to even dial-in and save your own sets, and it has both a Guitar and AUX in with separate volume controls. I’ve been running my keyboard and drum machines on a sequencer loop through the AUX in and plugging my guitar in and playing over it for lots of cool solo-music-man time. Maybe one of these days I’ll actually record something that sounds cool and share it.


Austin is about to get a lot cooler…

…not because of SXSW (really, that’s a seasonal coolness that the city retains), but because Kristin and I are moving there!.

Chaotic MoonEarlier this week, I accepted the position of VP of Technology with Chaotic Moon. I’ve worked with the team in the past when Crowd Fusion and Chaotic Moon worked together with News Corp to launch The Daily. Any large potential clients out there looking to build a new revolutionary digital periodical? You should contact us. With me as part of Chaotic Moon, we now have the front to back knowledge of a total mobile publishing ecosystem working together in one team. We’ve done it before and can do it again, better now that we’ve been through the experience and know the challenges and pitfalls that you’ll face along the way.

Chaotic Moon is a full service software company, designing and developing solutions for a wide spectrum of devices and interfaces. We provide strategy, design, development, and gaming services to an amazing client list ranging from Fortune 100 companies and the largest entertainment companies in the world to some of today’s hottest start-ups. We do everything from apps from your iPhone/tablets to connected devices to powering the next wave of interfaces in cars.

I’m a big fan of the epic things Chaotic Moon has been up to and am excited to come on board the giant killer robot that is Chaotic Moon and together with our amazing team to help continue to dominate the mobile software space!

Cross Platform User Experience Inconsistencies: Apple’s Safari

For the past several years, working intimately with multi-platform content providers, like TMZ1 and The Daily2—and as a self-admitted gadget-holic owning a multitude of different devices—I’ve been extremely conscious of inconsistencies between all the cross-platform variants of the content and applications that I interface with daily.

As someone who is product-minded, several of these inconsistencies drive me absolutely mad. In the hopes of someone from one of these companies fixing these inconsistencies, I decided I should start writing these down as blog posts. I’ll be writing a series of these discussing Apple, Google, Twitter, and FlipBoard to name a few. To be clear: I’m a big fan and heavy user of all the products I plan on highlighting in these posts.

Apple’s Safari

I have an iPad and I use Safari on my MacBook Air. Apple very smartly stole took a cue from Google Chrome and made the address bar also be the search field for Safari on OS X; they call it the Unified Smart Search Field:

Safari’s Unified Smart Search Field: Search Google or enter an address

It’s great. I love it and use it daily.

Unfortunately, I also use Safari on my iPad daily. And on iOS, for some reason (even though iOS has been updated more recently than OS X), there is no Unified Smart Search Field:

On iOS, Address Bar & Search are two different and separate things.

Due to the conditioning that I have received from Safari Desktop, I inevitably end up clicking in the Address Bar when on my iPad and trying to type in a search query there. This, of course, doesn’t work and I find myself triply frustrated: frustrated by this inconsistency between these two different versions of Safari, frustrated by having to re-enter whatever I was attempting to type in the Address Bar (I normally don’t catch the mistake until I try to add a space in my search and find no space bar on the ever-changing, depending upon the task iOS keyboard), and frustrated by the fact that no matter how savvy a end user I may be, I still make this mistake. Frustrated. Every. Single. Day.

Fortunately, there’s a Google Chrome Browser app for iOS that I can use now to avoid this. But I don’t. Using Safari on my Desktop and Chrome on my iOS would mean that I’m not using either iCloud or Google Sync effectively. Does Apple want me to dump Safari completely and go all Google Chrome? This inconsistency sure makes it feel that way.

If I did that, I would have better Google Sync across all my iOS devices and my Android phone. Although if I really wanted seamless Google Sync, maybe I should consider ditching all my Apple devices and going Google Android…

Mistake: Features ahead of Frustration

This should be obvious: Frustration isn’t a good thing for end users. It makes them think about ways to leave you and your products behind so that they simply no longer feel frustration. Continued frustration will often eat away at and outweigh any sort of brand loyalty or affinity they have for your product(s).

Sadly, a consistent, non-frustrating but more limited user experience is better than a really nice and highly functional product with amazing new features that has frustrations that the user encounters every single day. While you’re ignoring the parts of your product that frustrate users, your competition, if they’re smart, will be adding features and polish to their less frustrating experience.

Apple shouldn’t have introduced the Unified Smart Search Field until they had it ready for all their platforms. Or they should have quickly added it to iOS. As it stands, they’re letting their size—the fact that they have multiple different teams working on different versions of their product—create inconsistencies between a product that based on engineering teams is most likely seen as very different, but which in our cross-platform multiple-device world is seen by the end user as something that should be as functionally identical as possible.

1website, mobile web, iOS apps, & Television (everyone always seems to forget that TV is a digital platform)

2iPad, iPhone, Android tablet, Android phone, Kindle Fire, Facebook app, and individual web-pages for iPad content that had been flagged as shareable.

Using DSLR Camera Remote HD with a Nikon D7000 and a MacBook Air

Thanks to a gift card, I had $50 to blow on iTunes, and decided to grab a copy of DSLR Camera Remote HD by onOne Software, which is one of the pricier apps that I’ve had my eye on ever since I grabbed my Nikon D7000. This app allows you to use your iPad to remotely control your compatible DSLR camera, and even view what your camera sees live via your iPad, and focus on a particular part of what your camera is pointed at by simply touching the view on your iPad in that spot. It’s very cool.

However, it is limited by the fact that you have to have your DSLR connected to a computer for it to work. You also have to have special DSLR Camera Remote Server software running on your computer. Once I had all this set up, I still found it not connecting until I took a few extra steps. This was about 20 minutes of frustration for me, that I thought I’d write up here to save anyone else who grabs this software the trouble.

How to use DSLR Camera Remote HD with your DSLR

  1. Step 1: Buy and install DSLR Camera Remote HD by onOne Software. If you don’t have an iPad, they also have an iPhone version: DSLR Camera Remote Professional Edition by onOne Software.
  2. Step 2: Download and install the companion server software for your computer. On the App Store, onOne directs you to grab this software from this page but as you can see there’s no big “DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE” link and it looks like they sent you to the wrong place. It’s horrible website design. There’s a tab at the upper right that reads “Download Server”. This triggers a pop-up that requests your contact info and emails you a link to download the software. Lame. Skip all of those steps and just grab the software from their support page without giving them any of your information.
  3. Step 3: You would think you would simply install both apps, connect your camera to your computer, and then launch both apps and it would work. It doesn’t. I was stuck waiting forever for the iPad app to connect to the server, even though it saw my computer. The solution? Create your own network just for this. On my Mac, I simply chose Create a Network, from my WiFi menubar drop down:

    And then filled out this popup:
  4. Step 4: Connect your iPad to the network you just set up by going to Settings—>WiFi and selecting the network.
  5. Step 5: With your DSLR on and connected to your computer via USB, launch the DSLR Remote Server application:
  6. Step 6: Launch DSLR Camera Remote HD on your iPad, turn Live View on and start taking pictures.

That’s it. Enjoy!

Here’s a picture I took of Jackson and I with the app, while we were both staring at ourselves on the iPad: