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Re: MIDI enumeration (was: Re: getUserMedia use cases)

From: Joseph Berkovitz <joe@noteflight.com>
Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2012 16:01:30 -0500
Cc: "Tom White (MMA)" <lists@midi.org>, Robin Berjon <robin@berjon.com>, public-audio@w3.org, Dom Hazael-Massieux <dom@w3.org>, jussi.kalliokoski@gmail.com
Message-Id: <2F4CE73F-FCBD-4EA1-B066-5267A74DAFD4@noteflight.com>
To: Chris Wilson <cwilso@google.com>
On Feb 1, 2012, at 2:38 PM, Chris Wilson wrote:

> 
> 
> On Wed, Feb 1, 2012 at 11:27 AM, Joseph Berkovitz <joe@noteflight.com> wrote:
> On Feb 1, 2012, at 1:24 PM, Chris Wilson wrote:
>> - Is the "synth" output designation in Windows useful?  The #voices, type of synth, etc?  Seems a bit overdone, to me.  It would seem like being able to tell "this is a software synth" would be useful - although
> Based on what I've seen so far I think it would be best to make synth-description metadata into a v2 thing, since in order to be actually useful my sense is that developers need much more info than voice count and hardware-vs-software.
> 
> You mean "Square wave synthesizer" vs "hardware wavetable synthesizer" isn't a useful designation anymore?  ;)

Oh, it's useful all right! It's just that I believe the API design effort needed to capture these designations in machine-readable metadata is quite high -- what other kinds of synths exist besides square waves and wavetables, in what kind of taxonomy, with what attributes?  Doing this sort of thing for acoustic instruments is hard enough (and has been attempted multiple times with varying success). In MIDI, in particular, one would also want to describe lots of important things that go beyond the synthesis method -- for example, the set of supported controller IDs and their semantics, the set of patches and their relationships to known musical instruments, and so on.

So I'm not pooh-poohing the usefulness of this idea at all, just proposing that a more built-out semantic description of synth capabilities should be deferred to v2. I suppose that built into my point of view is an opinion that it will take a lot of haggling to decide how this facility should work. I'd rather wait and see it done right, and I think the lack of it is not going to hold up the train on most MIDI-capable app development.

... .  .    .       Joe

Joe Berkovitz
President

Noteflight LLC
84 Hamilton St, Cambridge, MA 02139
phone: +1 978 314 6271
www.noteflight.com
Received on Wednesday, 1 February 2012 21:02:01 GMT

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