Here's a killer application that fully realizes the possibilities of touch surfaces as specialized control interfaces: ProRemote converts the iPhone or the iPod touch in a wireless control for Pro Tools LE with realtime feedback. While this may seem limited to the audio world, it shows that having this kind of power in such a tiny package could solve the problems of many users.
[UPDATE: we spoke with the programmer, Alex Lelievre, about when to expect the beta and commercial release]
"ProRemote will be going into beta next week," Alex told us, "currently the server is Mac only but will be an easy port to Windows later on (one thing at a time!) It is nearly feature complete now and runs on jailbroken iPhones and iPod touches."
While the beta will be here next week, the final software "won't ship until Apple releases their native iPhone SDK and I can convince them to certify the software. So hopefully sometime in late February I hope to have this released." The price? Around $150. Most musicians I know will gladly pay that for this kind of remote control. As Alex puts it:
By the time I have gotten up and walked over to my console 10 times to adjust the levels, I no longer want to play music. This software allows me to control my rig from the drums or my guitar setup and hopefully keep the music flowing.
The ProRemote software is made out of three pieces. The first one is the software on the iPhone, which provides the user interface and real time display of audio signals and timecode. This connects to the server, which is installed in the computer, using a proprietary protocol over TCP ports 8183 and 8184. The server talks to Pro Tools using a MIDI driver in the same machine.
But this little wonder doesn't even stop there: Alex says that he has tested the remote using AT&T's EDGE network, so "you can control your rig from anywhere in the world that has internet or EGDE" although the practical applications of this are limited in this case.
In the future, Alex also says that he plans to use the accelerometer for panning and "wants to sell it if Apple lets me once they certify my code—I assume that will happen after they release they native software SDK in February." We are sure thousands of audio pros and aficionados will be waiting in line for this release. [Alex Lelievre via Create Digital Music]