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Patent Pending

General discussion about MIDI Translator

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bitcloud
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Patent Pending

Post by bitcloud » Sun Jul 02, 2006 6:37 am


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florian
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Post by florian » Sun Jul 02, 2006 3:51 pm

Are you interested in "why" I applied for this (software) patent, or are you keen on what this means for the future of Midi Translator?

This patent application covers the upcoming universal input method translator program, an improved version of Midi Translator (name not yet disclosed). Some ideas currently being developed for "Midi Translator Pro" are mentioned in the patent, like rules.

Though I'm not a particular fan of software patents, I need to protect my IP as long as other companies can get software patents. I needed to make sure that no other company will claim a patent for my ideas.
Once it's granted, it will only serve as defense against (big) companies trying to overrun my business...

Florian

bitcloud
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Post by bitcloud » Mon Jul 03, 2006 12:06 am

Yeah thats totally understandable. I wouldn't want to see the already desolate midi arena stifled by patents, but I can understand the scenario given the current climate what with big companies patenting things like "double clicks" on PDAs and other ludicris things.

I'm more interested in what it means for the future of midi translator. I've always maintained that there shouldn't be a distinction between different input devices. It frustrates me no end that you can't plug in 5 keyboards and have 5 times the number of macros. (instead, having to resort to buying expensive things like midi controllers and SPAM foot controllers... a bunch of mice stapled to the ground would suit me)

I'm getting sidetracked here, but the multimedia keyboards always had assignable keys that when you played with the assignment they would come up as symbols like ± ¢ ³ ¤.
I've always wondered if it would be possible to plug in a second keyboard and somehow intercept it before the system received the input, and translate it into a unicode symbol for the purposes of macro creation.

Back on topic, noone else is really doing anything exciting in this area, so the patent doesn't worry me that much, but I just hope that its still going to be for us little guys, and not priced high and aimed at the industry sector. (Grisoft has a decent model for this with their full featured free antivirus software for individuals and a corporate version for businesses)

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florian
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Post by florian » Mon Jul 03, 2006 10:14 am

Hi Bitcould,

I'm somewhat relieved, you could've been one of those militant anti-software patent guys :shock:. Though I'm active in several open source projects, and patents of other companies are a great risk for us. These days, as you say, it is impossible to check that we don't infringe an obscure patent out there.

In general, what you're seeking is what I want to provide: arbitrary devices control arbitrary programs. Joysticks are great, too, and cheap.

There are already programmable keyboards, though they're not very cheap. A user of the preview of Midi Translator Pro uses this keyboard:
http://www.tipro.si/index_products_mid_midkm096a.html
He programs the keys to special codes so that they don't interfere with his standard keyboard and uses MT to translate them to MIDI controllers.

Regards,
Florian

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