If your iTunes library consists of more than a few hundred tracks, you're probably familiar with Doug Adams and his Dougscripts website. A treasure trove of iTunes-related AppleScripts, the site has long helped plug the gaps in Apple's music player, and allowed music fans to better manage their growing libraries. Adams' TrackSift goes a step further, bundling nine useful tools with a simple graphical front-end for easier use.
At its core, Notion is a powerful music notation tool. Basically, it transcribes music on the fly, allowing composers to quickly and easily get ideas down onto paper with the help of a MIDI keyboard or other controller. It also allows for fine editing of individual notes, and even step-recording (that is, note-by-note) to transcribe complex passages.
Apple's default Music app has always served my listening needs well enough; it's easy to navigate, looks good, and offers fantastic control over my iTunes Match-stored library. But since I downloaded Ecoute, I've been singing a different tune. PixiApps' offering manages to cram an incredible amount of features onto a 4-inch screen without making things feel cramped. A heavy reliance on gestures helps keep the interface clean, and an emphasis on artwork makes my music library come alive.
Audio editing applications come and go like the seasons — Bias Peak and Apple’s Soundtrack Pro are now history, and while GarageBand, Logic, and Adobe Audition all vie for attention (along with Audacity and a few others), Sony has finally brought the popular Windows editor Sound Forge Pro to the Mac. While this should warm the hearts of Mac musicians and audio engineers, the fact is that this first version has enough rough spots to give us some pause in considering it ready for prime time.
The Internet is an endless trove of creative content, but the catch is that it’s only available when you’re connected to the Internet. If you know your way around your browser’s advanced settings, you may be able to download a piece of content for offline viewing, but Jaksta Music Miner makes it incredibly easy to grab both audio and video from the web.
Sure, you started out with good intentions for iTunes, meticulously editing metadata and building perfect playlists. But gradually things got out of hand. BeaTunes is like a Swiss Army knife for your music library. The software fixes all sorts of problems, from metadata errors to spelling mistakes. It also features a couple of neat tricks that will be useful for DJs, including automatic beat detection, and the ability to identify the key of each of your tracks for more seamless mixing.
Playing and composing songs on your own is a blast for some, however there's something special about making music in collaboration with other like-minded folks that just can't be beat. Up until now, GarageBand on iOS has been a solo affair, but update 1.2 includes a new jam session feature that lets up to four people rock out as a group and record their tracks together in real-time. It works surprisingly well, and jam sessions are not hard to setup. Here's how you can get grooving and recording with your own little iOS band.
Wouldn’t it be great if you had access to your entire music library at all times? And what if you could share that library amongst all your Macs and iOS devices? iTunes Match is an optional paid iCloud component that offers exactly that, and while it’s charms are obvious, there are some limitations and usability issues that make Match’s forecast a little cloudy.
SoundCloud's newly updated app enables fans and creators alike to dive deep into a bustling community of musicians and spoken word performers, and access its innumerable offerings from anywhere with decent cell reception.