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Thread: Apple magic trackpad and OSCulator?

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  1. #1

    I know this may be wishful thinking on my part, but wouldn't it be great if OSCulator could harness the data from Apple's newish Magic Trackpad ( much in the same way it deals with Wacom tablets, including the ability to divert the data from mouse control?

    The Magic Trackpad apparently has the ability to sense up to 11 individual points of contact, including the area of each point of contact. I can think of numerous applications of this sort of touch data for musical performance...

    There are already some ways of using the trackpad data available, such as an external for Max/MSP, which are rounded up in this Create Digital Motion post from a few months ago:

    ...but I would much prefer the ability for "one-stop-shopping" regarding piping data from multiple controllers into applications needing such control. It would be wonderful to have Wiimote, Wacom, and Multitouch trackpad data all coming in through OSCulator.



  2. #2

    Hi Scott,

    It's nice to see you around.

    Thanks for the suggestion, I think this is a great idea!



  3. #3

    Thanks, Cam! I've been lurking, but haven't actually been using OSCulator much lately. I was pushing myself to use the computer less, especially for performance, but I've now officially bored of that

    RE: the Magic Trackpad, the code which the TUIO trackpad program, Tongseng, and the Max/MSP external are based on is available free, and the author seems happy to allow the code to be used in other stuff, too:

    ...But in my internet sleuthing, it seems no one has figured out a way to stop the Magic Trackpad from being picked up by the mouse pointer. I was able to get my internal trackpad on my MBP to stop sending data to the mouse pointer with some success (using the option "ignore trackpad when external mouse is plugged in" in the Universal Access pref pane) using the Max/MSP standalone Trackpadsynth by the guy who made Fingerpinger external for Max. It also works with the TUIO widget, whose messages get picked up by OSCulator even with the "ignore trackpad..." option ticked, no problem. But I fear this solution won't work for the Magic Trackpad, as there won't be an option to ignore ITS input present in the Universal Access pref pane.

    The author of the code above suggests using a terminal command to kill the dock , but that seems like a very un-elegant solution to me...



  4. #4

    The author of the code above suggests using a terminal command to kill the dock , but that seems like a very un-elegant solution to me...

    Er, the above is to alleviate the effects of system gestures and connection to the mouse pointer; forgot to mention

  5. #5

    Hey Scott,

    Thanks for the code snippet, much interesting. I see that it is making use of a private framework, which means that the code could break on any Mac OS X update. In the meantime I will have a look if there is not a more conventional way of accessing this device …

    Cheers :-)


  6. #6

    Hey Scott,

    Do you have a MagicTrackpad or a recent MacBook with a large trackpad?



  7. #7

    Ah ah you piqued my curiosity, so I tried and got something running.

    Not yet production ready, but worth a try. Would you like?

  8. #8

    Hi Cam!!

    Do you have a MagicTrackpad or a recent MacBook with a large trackpad?

    I have a unibody MBP, and as of yesterday, a couple Magic Trackpads. I am pretty interested in finding a convenient way of using data from more than one Magic Trackpad simultaneously ... I have this vision of three 'Pads in a side-by-side array for use in performance, so I decided to get an extra Trackpad to facilitate testing.

    As for other solutions, apparently the Max/MSP external is capable of enumerating more than one apple multitouch source, and supports the Magic Trackpad (link). I just tried using the TUIO translator application, Tongseng, with the Magic Trackpad, and it doesn't seem to work. The code which the above two solutions were based on, which I linked above, (but here's the link again: link), it doesn't seem to have been updated to work with the Magic 'Pad, either.

    I'm looking forward to trying out your efforts; bring it on!!!



  9. #9

    BTW: I found a simple "hardware hack" on the Max/MSP forum to keep from clicking the integrated Magic Trackpad button (physically preventing the mouse pointer from clicking on things it shouldn't be clicking on while madly mashing on the 'Pad, presuming "tap to click" is turned off). All you have to do is put a taller set of self-adhesive rubber bumper "feet" next to the two feet already present on the bottom of the 'Pad. Those preexisting feet are what cause the physical click when you press down on the 'Pad's surface, and by taking them out of contact with the surface on which you set the 'Pad, you defeat the click. Works great!

  10. #10

    I have not though about supporting many of them, but that is indeed a good idea.

    I'll check the links out very soon.

    As soon as I have something decent I'll send you a beta build, thanks!


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