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Mobile Phone Instruments, the
Possibilities of Networks, and OSC
Nathan Bowen, PhD
Moorpark College
nbowen@vcccd.edu
isolation vs. community
passive vs. active music making
Nathan Bowen, PhD
Moorpark College
nbowen@vcccd.edu
What is the landscape of mobile music
today?
T. Kell & M.Wanderley, ICMC | SMC 2014 poster
What does this survey tell us?
• Most ‘music’ apps do not engage user as
primary music maker
• Most music app instruments are ‘pocket’
versions of existing instruments
• Emphasis of mobility and novelty
• Still, significant sector that leverage unique
qualities of mobile phones (network!)
• Potential is there for truly new forms of
expression
(infant stages)
Mobile Phone Ensembles
• Set up time.
• Ubiquitous music hardware lacks a ubiquitous
software layer for music.
• Does the instrument support sustained
practice and mastery? (and is it interesting to
watch someone perform?)
Challenges for mobile music
• OpenSoundControl (OSC) version 1.0 does
not support instrument profiles or zero-
configuration.
• This must be built manually at the application
layer.
• Most OSC-based apps require a knowledge of
ip addresses and ports by end-user
Set up time
• Exchange of state
• Management of services
• Header plus data
• Zero configuration
– Advertisements by devices
– Three-way handshake
• (Wireless devices talk behind the scenes)
Solution: OSC as Protocol
• OSC is a data format built for flexibility, but
rarely encourages interoperability
• /mrmr/acceleratedX/3/Nathans-iPhone .002 -
.514 .288
• /accxyz/ .002 -.514 .288
• /sensor/accel/ .002 -.514 .288
• Everyone is accessing same data, but calling it
different things
Lack of Standardization
• Standardize (through community consensus) the
order of tokens
• /public vs. /vendor
• /public/sensor/accelerometer
• /vendor/mrmr/acceleratedX/3/Nathans-iPhone
.002 -.514 .288
• /vendor/touchosc/accxyz/ .002 -.514 .288
• Preserve flexibility while encouraging
interoperability
Solution: OSC as Global Namespace
• Must be physically demanding to master
• Must still reward novices and cursory
exploration
• Performance practice needs authentic
physical movement that communicates well
to audience
Building an instrument worth
practicing
Other challenges for mobile music
• Mobile phones are disposable. We typically
associate instruments as valuable and precious
(heirlooms)
• Just because everyone has a mobile phone
doesn’t mean they’re interested in making music
– (not all people like to use their voices to sing)
• Sound quality: amplification, timbre
• Instrument needs to be carved out from a device
normally associated with phone calls
• Mobile phones are rapidly evolving. Will phones
of future even be physical handheld devices?
Nathan Bowen, PhD
Moorpark College
nbowen@vcccd.edu

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Mobile Phone Instruments, the Possibilities of Networks, and OSC

  • 1. Mobile Phone Instruments, the Possibilities of Networks, and OSC Nathan Bowen, PhD Moorpark College nbowen@vcccd.edu
  • 2.
  • 3.
  • 4. isolation vs. community passive vs. active music making
  • 5. Nathan Bowen, PhD Moorpark College nbowen@vcccd.edu
  • 6. What is the landscape of mobile music today? T. Kell & M.Wanderley, ICMC | SMC 2014 poster
  • 7.
  • 8. What does this survey tell us? • Most ‘music’ apps do not engage user as primary music maker • Most music app instruments are ‘pocket’ versions of existing instruments • Emphasis of mobility and novelty • Still, significant sector that leverage unique qualities of mobile phones (network!) • Potential is there for truly new forms of expression (infant stages)
  • 10.
  • 11.
  • 12. • Set up time. • Ubiquitous music hardware lacks a ubiquitous software layer for music. • Does the instrument support sustained practice and mastery? (and is it interesting to watch someone perform?) Challenges for mobile music
  • 13. • OpenSoundControl (OSC) version 1.0 does not support instrument profiles or zero- configuration. • This must be built manually at the application layer. • Most OSC-based apps require a knowledge of ip addresses and ports by end-user Set up time
  • 14. • Exchange of state • Management of services • Header plus data • Zero configuration – Advertisements by devices – Three-way handshake • (Wireless devices talk behind the scenes) Solution: OSC as Protocol
  • 15.
  • 16. • OSC is a data format built for flexibility, but rarely encourages interoperability • /mrmr/acceleratedX/3/Nathans-iPhone .002 - .514 .288 • /accxyz/ .002 -.514 .288 • /sensor/accel/ .002 -.514 .288 • Everyone is accessing same data, but calling it different things Lack of Standardization
  • 17. • Standardize (through community consensus) the order of tokens • /public vs. /vendor • /public/sensor/accelerometer • /vendor/mrmr/acceleratedX/3/Nathans-iPhone .002 -.514 .288 • /vendor/touchosc/accxyz/ .002 -.514 .288 • Preserve flexibility while encouraging interoperability Solution: OSC as Global Namespace
  • 18. • Must be physically demanding to master • Must still reward novices and cursory exploration • Performance practice needs authentic physical movement that communicates well to audience Building an instrument worth practicing
  • 19. Other challenges for mobile music • Mobile phones are disposable. We typically associate instruments as valuable and precious (heirlooms) • Just because everyone has a mobile phone doesn’t mean they’re interested in making music – (not all people like to use their voices to sing) • Sound quality: amplification, timbre • Instrument needs to be carved out from a device normally associated with phone calls • Mobile phones are rapidly evolving. Will phones of future even be physical handheld devices?
  • 20. Nathan Bowen, PhD Moorpark College nbowen@vcccd.edu