The thread The Musicdisk got me thinking.
Renoise-based music “compresses” very well in many circumstances, especially electronic music (common today). It is possible to make a ten minute song that’s less than 100kb. (Seriously, there is so much music today that is loop-based, you could compress most music nicely just by recognising sequence repetitions and storing differences from that basic ‘throb’ as another layer, then analysing that for repetitions and so forth… naturally, each “layer” becomes a looped instrument.) As already stated in the Musicdisk thread, the potential for dynamic music, and indeed realtime DSP over any audio source, is staggering. The Renoise playback engine is a realtime Swiss army knife.
It has good potential as a standard internet music format: for MIDI, for samples, with effects, the works… with just a few simple additions.
- Embed highly compressed (probably MP3) samples;
- Make the format streamable (by loading instruments just before they’re used, like how Flash loads symbols);
- Accept equations or some sort of language as DSP plugins (so any new effects remain cross-platform).
With these in place, XRNS music would be lightweight, portable, and suitable for use as a common internet file format.
Possibility: license the current Renoise player engine to Adobe, who could in turn incorporate it into the next Flash sound engine. This would be the only commercial licence you would ever have to issue. XRNS would then become playable on 80% of computers worldwide, literally overnight.
The hard part is getting a big licensee who won’t want exclusive rights to all of Renoise. From what I gather, big tech companies swallow whole anything that moves in their general direction.
This topic has uncomfortably large implications