8-bit iTunes

January 2nd, 2012 10:42 AM
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While putting together last week's post of floppy disk music videos, I came across an odd and obscure video that demonstrates iTunes running on an Apple IIe. It is of course no more real than "Maxster", my Napster client for the Apple IIGS. But it's a professionally shot composition that nonetheless doesn't take itself too seriously, making it a fun and short watch:

In the video's comments, the creator explains some of the steps he took:

Using a special app, the Apple IIe samples the audio and stores it on a floppy disk. Then, it can be played back from the floppy over the Apple's internal speaker. It is a very primitive digital voice recorder using 1980s technology.

The goofy music at the beginning is from a 1957 film called In the Suburbs — this and many more films are available for download at archive.org under Prelinger archive. They are public domain so you can use and edit for YouTube. The clip at the end was actually coming from the IIe on a disc from the 80s — I think it's What's on Your Mind by the Information Society — Leonard Nimoy's voice was sampled saying "Pure Energy" in this song.

The video was uploaded a year ago this month and, at this time, has only 760 views. I should drop the uploader a line and ask him what his goal with the video was and his involvement with the Apple II. Faking a trick like this is one thing, but he obviously has some familiarity with and fondness for the actual hardware, wouldn't you say?

Jed's Beautiful iPad

May 13th, 2010 1:02 PM
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Panic is one of my favorite software developers. Besides making Transmit, an excellent FTP client for Mac OS X, they also have a great attitude. One of its founders ran the amusing Web comic Spamusement! He and his cohorts recently welcomed a new employee to Panic with a vegan cooking competition. And last year, they had a professional artist develop box art for their products as if they were Atari 2600 games — which led Jason Scott to hire that same artist to create the cover art for his upcoming documentary, Get Lamp.

Yesterday, Panic graciously accommodated a fan's request. Stewart Smith wrote to Panic with a link to an Apple II music video he had made in 2005, set to the song "Jed's Other Poem (Beautiful Ground" from the album The Sophtware Slump by Grandaddy:

Mr. Smith's request was simple: could the developers at Panic run this program on the Apple IIe they had in their office? Sure, they responded … but the source code was in the format of an AIF sound recording, as would be used by an Apple II's cassette tape storage device. Without a cassette tape deck, how would Panic load this file back onto an Apple II? Any modern device with an audio output jack could play the file into the Apple II's audio input — so Panic decided to use their iPad.

There's nothing technically impressive about this hardware collaboration, but it's still extremely awesome to witness. Kudos to Panic for acknowledging their roots and pleasing the fans by inventing the "JediPad".

(Hat tip to Jason Scott)