Today we’ve sent out the very likely final iteration of the software development kit (SDK) to the developers of the first apps that will be Audiobus compatible. In the 6 weeks since Apple approved Audiobus, we’ve worked with many different development teams. Bugs have been fixed, changes in the SDK have been made to accommodate the best suggestions. Beta versions have been tested, lots of conversations been had about user interface design.
Launch dates have been suggested and discussed. Truth is, initially we thought Audiobus would be there in May or June. From postponing launch by a few months, to a few weeks, we’re now postponing it by days. Which means you, dear reader, are getting real close to holding Audiobus in your hands.
Why aren’t we there already?
What makes Audiobus different from every other project that we’ve worked on before is the amount of interdependency between apps that support it. To illustrate, let’s compare it to the SoundCloud API for example. Any app that supports the SoundCloud API will have the ability to upload its audio output to SoundCloud. It can also receive streaming audio from SoundCloud and deal with the meta information that every SoundCloud track has.
Every app that supports it interacts with the SoundCloud servers.
Audiobus on the other hand makes apps interact with each other. The amount of complexity added by this is enormous. That apps can be arranged in a variety of ways, and perform a variety of roles - inputs, effects and outputs - within the Audiobus connection graph complicates matters even further.
Another level of complexity is added by the fact that audio must be low-latency and in sync with other streams, or musicians will complain — and rightfully so. At the same time, audio recorded from the system has to be flawless and glitch-free, because users won’t accept artefacts in the final renderings of their recordings.
Then, there’s the part where we’re trying to launch this together with more than half a dozen other development teams.
Teams which are located on three different continents and probably twice as many time-zones.
Teams with different priorities and time-frames for the next update of their apps.
And teams with a wide variety of ideas about how their app can most benefit from Audiobus.
What we’re trying to convey here is that Audiobus is rather complex from both technical and logistical perspectives.
But, with that said, fear not - we’re almost there, folks. We’ll be spending the next couple of weeks testing furiously while the final few developers finish up with their apps.
We’ll be announcing a launch date soon. Stay tuned.