iPod As A Portable Music Studio

In Uncategorized on July 14, 2006 at 11:16 am


Build a smaller-sized version of Apple’s GarageBand music making software right into the iPod.


So we can make our own tunes man!

And remix “A Cappellas” with our own beats!

And sell our own productions on iTunes!

It’s all about user-generated content …

When will the iPod jump on the Web 2.0 bandwagon?

But Why?

Because that would totally rock!

Can it be Done?

In ’02/’03 I invested in a project where we made a version of GarageBand for the mobile platforms. The prototype worked fine (with 8 tracks, real-time BPM matching and anti-clipping) but in 2003 the VCs had left town and no one was investing :D

The iPod (and specially the Video iPod) uses a much more powerful processor than the Gameboy Advance. So it should be able to go up to 16 tracks (or more) and have complex synthesizers, drum machines and sound effect generators (e.g. see FruityLoops) so users can make killer loops (aka “samples”)! Users would hunt for and gather samples (i.e. trade them on forums, blogs, etc) as well as open source their amateur productions.

Now that’s what I call impulsive consumption and production!

And You Don’t Have to Wait for Apple to Do it!

Check out Rockbox. They don’t have it yet but I don’t see why they couldn’t build it for the iPod.

P.S. This post was not written to generate traffic :P


ipod, apple, music, itunes, mp3, mp3 player

  1. Aren’t there existing technologies for these types of things. For example, voice recorders, some phones and more? It does fit the business model of the iPod though, since they put such an emphasis on podcasts.

  2. Marc,

    This idea is great!

    Probably in a few years the technology would be avialable be able to record video as well. Also, you could possibly connect the thing to the internet via wireless broadband connection. Then you’d have a personal multi-media server.

    But even just your idea alone is a great concept. AS a musician, I would say that putting a USB port on it to allow interface with instruments would make it even more awesome. Ditto for supporting MIDI (every DJ in the world would want one). Cool idea.

  3. Thanks Sam!

    MIDI support would make it more of a pro tool…

    Apple is a lot more mainstreamish. They don’t want to challenge people’s (or shall I say the ‘crowds’?) intelligence and lack of curiosity :D


    It’s about the ‘cool’ factor!

    I think the time is right for it!


  4. Actually, I am starting to realize now the difference between ‘crowds’ and ‘smart mobs’

    I don’t think it has to do with how you structure a crowd.

    I think it has to do with the people in a crowd.

    But then again, this is a deep issue.

    More thinking is required (aka my mechanism is not full :P )


  5. Maybe a cute implementation on one of the ipod-linux distros?

    As far as “cool” factor, well–electronic music class, back in my freshman year of HS, was very popular. People would stay long after school working on their MIDI projects. Some would even make by ear / by hand tracks from commercial radio, or such… So those same kids who are toting the iPods are apparently not too averse to doing some MIDI work! Or mixing, as the case may be.

  6. The power of the schwartz!


  7. I’m no technology expert, but from a consumer’s perspective, I’d invest in an iPod if it did the dishes.

    Or maybe if it made me a nice meal every now and again. I mean, really, in this e-isolation world (and by that I mean, when was the last time you showered before sitting in front of your computer?), don’t we all need an e-friend? or an i-friend? Don’t we need to bond with our technology? Bring human and machine one step closer, I say. Down with big brother. I want my iPod comrade!

  8. I’m not really sure where Mel Brooks comes into all of this, but that only sweetens the deal.

  9. The power of the schwartz is built into the fabric of the universe. You just can’t fake it.

    Enjoyed This Analysis? You may share it on:


  10. “Bring human and machine one step closer”

    “when was the last time you showered before sitting in front of your computer?”

    Are you insinuating that I ought to take a shower with the machine?


    … Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

  11. This is a really interesting idea. I think I’d buy an iPod if there was a mini version of Garageband on it. Of course if you used a Palm instead you’d be able to use Bhajis Loops or Microbe to make music.

    I guess that in many ways an iPod version of Garageband is the only part of iLife that is missing from the iPod, except iWeb (missed that one). It would make sense to be able to do all these things in one place.

    There were rumours of an Apple version of the UMPC. I think that would be a cool evolution, but almost an inevitable one for the iPod. Maybe we’ll find out tomorrow.

  12. Shame nothing came out at WWDC, maybe later in the year?

  13. iTunes can be a Music Studio too. Check this out.

  14. Interesting. I couldn’t see anywhere to download it though. It will be really interesting if this could move into a space between iTunes and the iPod.

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