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Diaspora open source social network; & iRig turns an iPhone into an Amp and FX stage rig!

Learning a musical instrument has never been more exciting, so its a shame the newspapers are reporting a decline by 2/3rds the amount of school pupils learning an instrument than when I was a pupil. Sites like School of Everything mean that the formal music education sector is booming online: singers can be taught from home via a lesson conducted via Skype. Instrumentalists can see professional musicians play certain pieces on YouTube to learn more informally. The cost of self-tuition is low.

Now, the cost of technologies around enhancing electronic instruments is also decreasing: the IK Multimedia AmpliTube iRig Guitar Interface For iPhone, iPod Touch & iPad is a c. £30 dongle, about the size of a USB stick and the easiest way to get your instrument’s signal into iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad. Simply plug iRig into your mobile device, plug your instrument into the iRig, plug headphones or amplifier to the output and you are ready to rock.

The IK Multimedia iRig interface adapter is the ideal companion not only to the mobile AmpliTube iPhone app, but also works with any other recording, processing or tuning app. Plus, you can also use the iRig with line level signal sources such as synthesizers, keyboards or mixers.

You’ll have at your fingertips the sound and control of 3 recombinable simultaneous stompbox effects + amplifier + cabinet + microphone just like a traditional guitar or bass stage rig. Add amps and effects as you need them — you can expand your rig with up to 11 stomps, 5 amps, 5 cabinets and 2 microphones in the AmpliTube iRig app custom shop. My digital piano and my guitar have said they can’t wait for Christmas and have to have it now!! I can only oblige them 🙂

Keep your eyes on developments around the launch of Diaspora, the open source, privacy aware, personally controlled social network. Developers will be able to use the toolkit (just like website developers currently use WordPress.org) to create open source social networks. For the less technically minded, there will be a one-click install with less personalisation (just like wordpress.com offers). What does this mean? That you will be able to create a network, just like this Ning network, but without needing to pay for it.