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Peter Roberts

Peter's lo-fi ramblings

Peter Roberts - UCL

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Hey Ocarina

25 November 2008  |  3915 views  |  0

As you may be aware I do occasionally suffer from Internet shopping hand, a condition whereby I lose control of my mouse hand and click on the BUY NOW button. It's even worse on the iPhone apps store.

Hence I was powerless to resist the lure of the Smule Ocarina. 59 pence worth of quality programming that turns the iPhone into a musical instrument. If you're not familiar with the ocarina - think musical pebble. It's a sort of egg-shaped thing with holes in that you blow into.

The Smule version has you blowing into the microphone (something I used to tell people off for doing when I was a sound engineer back in the day). You use the touchscreen to control the pitch and tilt to add vibrato. And tho' quite easy, it takes some practice to get proficient.

As if that weren't enough - it's also internet and GPS enabled. It has an immaculately rendered view of the earth with pinpoints showing other players locations and you can hear what they're playing with a lovely visual of their tunes radiating out into the ether.

Michelle on the east coast of Australia is currently playing the theme from Star Wars whilst northstar in the UK is doing a very acceptable Greensleeves.

So - it's a musical instrument and GPS-enabled social networking app. Astounding.

This is some seriously impressive programming! Say what you like about the iPhone but there is some pretty inspiring stuff going on.

More from Smule.


Ocarina: jaw-droppingly good programming

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job title Moodle support
location London
member since 2008
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I was the technical lead on the Finextra family of web sites from 1999 to 2009. I'm at UCL these days supporting Moodle.

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