when i perform live i have a lot of apps running. i have multigesture deactivated as some apps use 3 fingers also. so switching between all these apps makes my workflow awkward and my concentration in music decays. what if we could switch between apps just pressing a button or a pedal? i found this one year old thread:
midibridge has this "fast switch app" thing, would it be possible to activate these apps via midi, from the background? do you see any possibilities to implement this in a close future? i think it would be so useful and would have a massive adoption!
You'll see I contributed quite a bit to that thread!
Ultimately I added the feature to MidiBridge as the controlling app and also to the freely available OMAC class but there was no interest from any other app developers (bar one). Right now you can MIDI switch between all my apps using the feature. I attempted to get the Audiobus guys to carry that work over when they were still developing it by merging the OMAC and Audiobus registries but I didn't get very far with them.
So actually MidiBridge works exactly as you describe and you can switch *to* any of the apps in the 'Applications' panel via MIDI command from MidiBridge but not away from them.
The MidiBus library has this built in also, so any app that uses that library for MIDI will automatically follow the protocol and can be switched away from via MIDI, so maybe if more apps use it then this could improve.
However, as Audiobus have become the dominant force in this area it makes sense for them to add that. Indeed they could add MIDI to Audiobus very quickly using my MIDI library including the ability to convert the switching sysex messages to their own mechanism... ;-)
fantastic! i just wish you or someone else would take care of this... you are doing a fantastic work with midi. keep on going! and let's hope the "dominant forces" also join same direction to make everything easier. after all, the important thing is that each one of you are doing great things in your respective fields.
An app cannot open another app from the background. Only the foreground app is permitted to do this. So, to switch away from the foreground app the background app needs to get a message to the foreground app saying 'Please switch to app X'.
This is why it is necessary for developers to add that little bit of code in their apps in order to switch *away* from an app to a new one.
Basically, this is what has happened so far:
- I devised a mechanism/protocol under the OMAC umbrella for fast-switching via MIDI commands. - The protocol/concept was openly published and a free class made available to OMAC (indeed all) developers. - I added the mapping of arbitrary incoming MIDI messages to send the fast-switch messages to MidiBridge (App Selector) but any other dev. could provide the same functionality since the protocol is open and usable by anyone. - I made videos showing how it works and got positive exposure on blogs.
Adoption of the solution by developers did not follow.
From a dev point of view I can understand why; Audiobus was being actively developed at the time and as you know Michael Tyson stated on OMAC that Audiobus were going to implement their own version of the OMAC registry and switching including switching via MIDI. Also there was no 'bottom line' incentive for app developers to use OMAC - it was unlikely to increase sales of their app. Conversely, if a developer didn't add Audiobus support they feared loss of sales to competing apps so they all jumped on the Audiobus.
I knew the writing was on the wall for OMAC and did try to get the good work done in OMAC assimilated into Audiobus so it would live on, but I did not succeed and essentially Audiobus wiped OMAC out. Unfortunately Audiobus have as yet not lived up to their MIDI promises so we have had a void on iOS MIDI dev collaboration for almost 2 years.
I have tried to keep OMAC alive a little longer by offering it as part of my iOS MIDI library which has a bit more to offer developers than just OMAC on its own. The benefit of a developer of using my library is that it will save them weeks of work adding MIDI to their apps and adds MIDI in an OMAC way which means the app will inter-operate better. As a bonus any app that uses the library will honour the fast-switch messages.
The number of apps that will fast-switch via MIDI via OMAC messages may increase slightly, but really the only people who can make this happen now are Audiobus or Apple because of how they are positioned.
App switching via MIDI is very cool, the work has been done to achieve it already but it requires developers to participate. Just about every music app has Audiobus support, so if Audiobus add a version of my solution to their SDK then every Audiobus app would be MIDI switchable - instant developer participation! As much as I hate to say it, the way forward here is for users to hassle Audiobus to make good on their MIDI promises.
thanks for such a great explanation. i didn¡t have time to go into it 'till now. i totally agree and understand the situation. i wish your midi library was implemented by every music app! i have asked for this feature in audiobus forum, having as an answer just a big NO from sebastian. i also understand it's not a very popularly requested feature, and they have to focus on the needs of the majority. also i suppose they are keeping midi as a major feature for ab3 or something like that. otherwise, i don't understand how is it possible that such an important music app has no midi implementation all.
regarding to michael... i am totally on his side. he also promised many features for loopy, but even working as a beast 14 hours day and doing his best, i know he must be overwhelmed. now he's guided by a producer like sebastian, who focuses on very specific targets, and keeps michael away from distractions (maybe adding midi to ab would be a distraction, if there are more important tasks to accomplish). so let's hope this monster of two heads brings the more powerful and reliable audio-bus app, and let's hope also that when it works, they finally welcome midi.
regarding to they adding your library to their sdk, man!! i wish!! but you know seb didn't jump of happiness when midibus appeared, and i think he won't be very favorable... which is a shame for us, the users, as the collaboration of the best audio-app developer, with the best midi-app developer would have meant just very good things for us!!!!