Apple's path for Paid App Upgrades

We're so spoiled. You think TC-11 or iMS-20 are expensive at $30? The latest buzz in VSTi land is for Sugar Byte's Cyclop, which comes in at over $100 more! App development is no less time consuming. If any of you participate in betas, you know how many iterations an app goes through in the bug-squashing phase alone!

The comments on a recent article here suggest that most folks are open to paying for new app versions. We're okay with supplementing further development. Especially if the new app was introduced at a discounted price! Apple subsidiary FileMaker Inc. thought this was a good idea too, so they released the latest version of their Bento software as a separate app, at half-off.

All well and good... However, they went the extra-step to force upgrades by removing the original app from iTunes! If you don't have a local backup of the app, you have no way of restoring it! This is fucked up, especially for people who decide they don't want the upgraded app now. If 3 months down the line they need to restore their iPads, and can't install a backup, they will be forced to pay full price for the new version!

Perhaps that's an edge-case, and only a few people will be inconvenienced by that. Here's something that could happen to anyone.

Developers deserve to be compensated for their time, and we all agree that the principle here is fair. So how about some fair play on your end? If you're going to do this sort of thing, please make customers aware of your plans in advance. If you know an entirely new app is going to be replacing your current one in a month, post something in the iTunes description to disclaim that! And for the love of Woz, don't remove the old version from iTunes! I realize this means trying to support multiple apps, but a reasonable window of future support should be a factor in the purchase of any app.

Possibly Handy-tip: In the comments here, CG and ChrisG (no relation), suggest that you can find apps that are removed from iTunes by browsing through your previously purchased apps. From your iPad: Updates > Purchased > Not on This Device... and then try to find it manually in that list. You cannot just search. If anyone can confirm or refute that, it would be handy to know! What apps have been removed? Does this work for apps that Apple has explicitly removed for violations?

Beatsurfing - Customizable MIDI controller with Virtual MIDI

Just a few months ago your only option for a customizable iPad MIDI controller was TouchOSC. New competition is coming at them from every side, and seriously raising the bar. Beatsurfing is the latest with a unique aesthetic, that includes overlapping controls, and some original features like having your controllers control each other for chained events.

Like TB MIDI Stuff and MIDI Designer, you can make and edit your layouts right on the iPad. As an added bonus, this fully supports Virtual MIDI for controlling other apps!

Buy Beatsurfing on iTunes: $11.99

Here's a nice overview from the developer, DRUW.

Vote in the Luftrum Animoog Challenge

Unbeknownst to me, Luftrum has been accepting submissions in a contest. Entrants needed to make a whole track using just the presets available in the Luftrum 8 Soundsets for Animoog. The winner gets $300! While it is too late to submit a new track for consideration, it is not too late to vote!

They received 6 entries, which I've embedded below. To vote, give them a listen and hit the Heart icon on the right to Favorite your favorite. I don't want to influence the contest by claiming my favorite, but reader John Hatch is definitely worth listening to in Entry 4.


YouTuber Equalibrum got tired of waiting for the MPC Fly iPad controller and software. He rolled his own with an Akai MPD the same way I DIY'd the SynthStation 61.

Here's a video detailing his approach, with BeatMaker 2 as the host app.

Buy BeatMaker 2 on iTunes: $19.99

Tweakybeat update adds Pasteboard support

This little gem nearly slipped past me! Thanks a lot to reader DaniPadMan for pointing out, what looks to be, a great iPhone drum synthesizer.

This "simple monophonic drum machine" has a unique approach, offering your usual 16-step sequencer with 16 different sounds for assignment to any given step. Just tap a color, from the second set of rows, and then tap a spot in the top sequencer area. The actual synthesis bits are also unique. You get the usual parameters common to most drum synthesizers, like what you'd find in MoDrum, but this adds even more with 4 waveforms and a separate release envelope for a noise oscillator.

As you see in the screenshot, left, it manages to cram a lot into one small screen. Including a pattern selector and recorder. The new update adds the ability to export your recordings with (Intua) General Pasteboard. If they add VirtualMIDI sync this will go on my personal list of reasons to get an iPhone!

Buy TweakyBeat (iPhone) on iTunes: $0.99

The developer has put out a little tutorial video to show it off. I like the sounds he's getting here!

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