Wednesday, June 5, 2013

On writting a simple mobile musical application

This article does not provide you with details on how to write such app, but on high level decisions and ideas on such issue.

First you need to decide what kind of musical application you want to write. The most common musical application would be an audio player. So let's talk about audio player first. For writing an audio player, you don't need to worry about MIDI or sequencer, all you need to consider is the playback mechanism. Say if you're gonna write such thing on Android, the first thing you need to do is search the keywords "audio", "playback", "audio playback" on the official website of Android development. Alternatively, Google is always there for you to gather essential information. Try to google "Android, audio, playback", and the useful stuff is there!

One thing really important is the sample code. If you got some sample code similar to what you want to achieve, then you're almost done. Or, if the sample code contains some very critical functions that is difficult to implement, you're very lucky because you don't need to worry about those functions any more. With the help of sample code, you don't have to start everything from scratch. What's more, sample code also trains your style of coding, to make you become a better programmer. Therefore I advise you to also search for one more keyword: "sample code".

The same things holds true for writing other applications such as those involve MIDI, such as a mobile piano. Since it involves MIDI manipulation, you need to know how MIDI is manipulated within the given mobile platform. Say if you're gonna write a simple piano for iOS. So you should google: "iOS, MIDI", or you can go to iOS developer library and search "MIDI". Don't forget about the "sample code". Except for MIDI, such application also involves a so called "virtual instrument". On iOS, this can be implemented using a type of file called "AUPreset". So search for this! Through some iterations, you can eventually arrive the same destination as all others did.

Usually, you can gain a clear picture of how to implement the functionality of the application relatively quickly. Then you sit down and write the code, use a week or two to debug. And then you realize that the real problem is not about the functionality, but the user interface design! Trust me! Until then you realize value of those design people!


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