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Mac OS X 10.1.2, Midi and Audio, absolute integration

After the end of Opcode, due to the disinterest of Gibson who had bought it, Doug Wyatt, the brain behind OMS, one of the most popular software for the management of the Midi studio, was hired by Apple to work on the incorporation of the MIDI functionality of Opcode Midi System in the new OS.

Although many months have passed since the beginning of the work, the results of this effort at the user interface level can only be managed with Mac OS X 10.2. In fact, while much of the work on CoreAudio, the X audio "engine" had reached excellent levels, there was no possibility of direct control of input and output devices and above all the need was felt for an integrated control of Midi devices in able to manage their own studio directly from the operating system.

This result, at least from the first reports that have come to the editorial staff, seems to be achieved.

The control panel Midi Audio Setup looks like the graphic window of Opcode Midi Studio with the representation of the Midi interface and the devices connected to it and the possibility to virtually "connect" ports, select inputs and outputs with the classic aqua style of buttons. Several readers have written to us reporting the actual operation of their Midi interface right away.

The Audio Devices control panel contains 3 sections: The first call Global Device Setting contains the general settings with the selection of the ?Current Audio Device? which by default is the Built in audio controller and the same for the Default Output. Obviously it is You can decide to use a USB or Firewire device or a PCI / PCMCIA card as standard peripherals with which to process the system audio by adjusting the input and output levels, selecting the mute and the PlayThru for the input. on the left it controls the input parameters with the choice of one plus "Input Stream" and the related "Physical Properties": number of channels, Rate, Bits, Bytes, Frame / Packet and Byte / frame. It is possible to control the global and discrete levels for each channel with relative mute and playtrough options. With a basic system we will only have 2 channels but with more powerful peripherals you can directly manage the number of channels allowed by the peripheral itself (probably also the Digital Surround for DVD Video when Apple has made available the APIs necessary for its management ). The same type of control can be had at the output: the third section allows all the settings and options of the previous one (except of course the PlayTrough.

Pros and cons Although all these news, somehow promised by Apple with the obvious efforts in recent months to promote the Audio and Midi engine of the new OS, meet the wishes of many users, the fact that the final version of Jaguar was scheduled for the end of summer, it somehow slows down the evolution of third-party midi and audio software: what sense would it make to release a program that can be based on such integrated services when these are not available in their final form? 'what appears to be a very promising evolution risks temporarily blocking the growth of a market that Apple cares a lot about. Probably the "public" presentation of Mac OS X 10.2 also serves this purpose: to recommend professionals a little more patience to obtain the operating system of their dreams.

(thanks to Francesco Marcantoni and Musimac's friends)