updated 06:15 pm EDT, Fri August 20, 2010
Akai and Line-6 have products on the way
Makers of MIDI gear, including Akai and Line-6, have begun taking advantage of changes to the iOS SDK terms regarding third-party app development. The initial agreement restricted developers to creating apps for hardware they have licensed under Apple's Made for iPod program. The new terms have been adjusted to allow third-party developers to create apps for licensed hardware created by a separate company.
Line 6 has created the MIDI Mobilizer, a MIDI input/output accessory that attaches directly to the 30-pin dock connector on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. The company has also launched an SDK that can potentially be used to create a wide range of apps based on the MIDI interface. End users will be able to connect their existing MIDI gear to the iOS device for interaction with third-party apps.
Developers must submit application proposals to Line 6 for approval before participating in the SDK program. Line 6 representative Marcus Ryle told Create Digital Music that the company will also consider open source applications, although the developers must be careful not to tie Line 6's source code into the open source licensing.
Akai has taken a similar approach with the Synthstation25, a 25-key MIDI keyboard with an integrated dock connector. The AkaiConnect SDK will allow developers to create iOS apps designed for a MIDI keyboard, without requiring a separate interface. The platform could serve as the backbone for simple synth apps or more complex composition utilities.
Akai and Line 6 are currently offering their respective SDKs to interested developers. Line 6 sells the MIDI Mobilizer for $100, while the Synthstation25 currently carries a similar street price.