Steve Jobs today introduced the Apple iPad, a handheld multitouch computer, and it’s likely to be the biggest music technology introduction of the year.
The Apple iPad, conceptually, is a large iPod touch.
However, what Apple has really done is create a new device that builds on what it has learned with the iPhone and iPod touch. The operating system, and the applications that Apple includes, are optimized for both the size of the hardware and the types of things that you would want to do with a device this size.
Here’s Apple official Apple iPad introduction video:
A lot of people are going to take a look at the iPod and react to what it’s not, and react to what Apple left out. People are already complaining about the lack of their favorite port or that it’s based on the iPhone OS instead of Mac OS X. No Flash support! No MIDI out! DRM!!!!
The iPad backlash is entirely predictable and is a standard part of the technology hype cycle. The iPad backlash is a distraction from figuring out what the real role of devices like the iPad is going to be.
When I look at the Apple iPad, I remember how crappy every cell phone was before Apple came out with the iPhone. To see the potential of the iPad, look beyond existing devices, and think about what the iPad can do.
I see a coherent, viable vision for tablet computing that’s 5 years ahead of any other company’s.
The iPad will be immediately useful as a musical tool, because it runs countless existing iPhone apps.
As developers adapt their apps to the larger real estate, though, the Apple iPad will come into its own as a new platform for music.
Look at what has been happening with the JazzMutant Lemur as a malleable music controller and look at what has already been happening with iPhone music apps, and it’s clear that music developers are going to have fun with the Apple iPad.
For a taste of what may be coming, check out Jim Heinz’s iSample:
Take that as a starting point – day 1 for the Apple iPad as a music platform. Give iSample some real estate and it’s going to be exponentially more interesting.
The iPad won’t replace the power of a dedicated music computer – but it is creating a new platform that will support new types of mobile music making and new ways of controlling and playing music.
And, while I think the iPad is going to prove to be a big deal – I would like to know what Apple has planned for multitasking, file management, access to the iTunes library, third-party device support and more.
Check out the specs for the Apple iPad below and let us know what you think.
Is this thing going to change the way you make music this year?
Apple iPad Features:
- 9.7″ Full capacitive multitouch screen
- 1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch (ppi)
- Support for 1024 x 768 with Dock Connector to VGA adapter; 576p and 480p with Apple Component A/V Cable, 576i and 480i with Apple Composite Cable
- H.264 video up to 720p, 30 frames per second, Main Profile level 3.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats
- .5″ thick
- 1 GHz Apple A4 processor
- 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB flash drive
- Frequency response: 20Hz to 20,000Hz
- Audio formats supported: AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV
- Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
- WiFi 802.11n
- Built-in speaker, microphone, 30-pin connectors
- Up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music
- Runs all iPhone apps
- 3G wireless options, with a $30/month unlimited plan
- Wifi models
- 16GB – $499
- 32GB – $599
- 64GB -$699
- 3G models
- 16GB – $629
- 32GB – $729
- 64GB -$829