Why Microsoft's Windows 10 Audio And MIDI APIs Are A big Deal
1 Billion devices can't be wrong 21/07/15
At Summer NAMM there was an additional A3Exchange event - this is where developers of music and audio software get together for a powwow on whats what in the software and hardware universe surrounding the development of the industry.
Microsoft chose this event to deliver a keynote speech from principal program manager for music and audio and embedded technology Pete Brown.
As Pete kicks off, he recognises that Microsoft have been "a little quiet" on the audio front. He goes on to present the new parts of Windows 10 (due to be released shortly).
What Microsoft Have Done Windows 10 has standardised the program structure and audio and MIDI APIs (programming interface that developers use to hook into OS level functions). So what? Well as we are told - this means that now developing for Windows 10 means you can access ALL Windows 10 devices from the same codebase. Thats, phones, desktops, tablets, Raspberry Pi 2 (it will run 10 too) - could run a single application. They say their aim is to reach up to 1 Billion devices in the first 1-2 years.
This is a bold move and is aimed at encouraging developers to start working on applications to work for Windows 10. In addition for the first 12 months of release of Windows 10 from 7, 8, 8.1 then its going to be a free upgrade.
MIDI API - also available across all Windows 10 devices - this new API allows multi-client access to single MIDI hardware, new jitter-free operation, plus other bug fixes - we hope they embrace the RTP MIDI (over the network too)
Audio Stack Optimisation - new low latency priority operation rather than previous priorities of battery life etc. 15ms shaved off the WDM and WASAPI off the bat.
Additionally application developers can access and define minimum buffer sizes to generate latencies. On the phone OS, thats gone down from over 100ms to "tens of ms".
Audio Core Optimisation - it will now be possible to define and isolate all the core audio processing to a single core, meaning no other processes will be able to interrupt the stream.
New Codecs - FLAC and ALAC for Apple device support which means less "unsupported media type". Web Audio is also added.
We also have news of the Akai MPC with Windows 10 embedded, plus additional segments featuring Propellerheads Reason, Bitwig and the Tesla instrument Microsoft built on campus.