best OS for programming max/msp?

    Oct 08 2011 | 3:11 pm
    Hi, I'm purchasing a new computer, and I'd like to start some Max programming with it. I'm open to Windows or OSX. Any ideas if one is "better" than another for this? - simlicity, compatibility, range of features, etc? Thanks!

    • Oct 08 2011 | 3:42 pm
      Get a Mac! OSX Rocks . . .
    • Oct 08 2011 | 3:51 pm
      "I predict a riot" :-p
    • Oct 08 2011 | 3:53 pm
      after 2 Mac laptops i'm now just about to build a new custom PC system and hack OS X onto it (hackintosh).
      pro's: - i get to choose my config to the smallest detail - much cheaper than Apple's premium prices - possible to make it a multiboot system with Windows, Linux etc (regular Macs also let you install Windows)
      con's: hackintosh'ing can be painfully technical, it 's my first go at it...
      the only thing I envy Max users on Windows for is that the jit.openni Kinect external is Windows only. But hopefully not for long 'cause I found a programmer willing to help me port it to OS X...
    • Oct 08 2011 | 3:54 pm
      Historically, more max developemnt work has been done in Mac. therefore in Mac we have many more third-party additions, & many say mac's os media libs ("CoreAudio","CoreMidi") are better (better app-os integration, easier inter-application communication),& mac even has better 3rdparty audio/midi drivers. but, this development gap is becoming less , windows is to a limited extent 'catching up' in Max/MSP/Jitter; partially because the Windows market is still larger, and partially because since there are affordable Windows emulators out there, there are few excuses for Mac Max/msp developers not to at least try to port their software to windows. And we all know there is a slight difference in price/performance ratio between generic pc hardware and Mac hardware. I will not address "Hackintoshes", other than to say I've never seen one possessed by someone who owns no real mac hardware....yet.
      I personally have never enjoyed developing in the Windows "VisualStudio" world, but it does have many adherents, who love the microSoft compiler. For me, Xcode works well. the gcc underneath it is very good. After all that it remains Your choice. Cycling74 has implemented as much of the whole programming package in Windows as the Windows operating system supports, so you are not getting 'less' of a development package in windows. just maybe less of an operating system for music and graphics. ok just my usually useless 2-bits, ymmv l&k cfb aka j2k
    • Oct 08 2011 | 4:24 pm
      Charles, you said: "there are few excuses for Mac Max/msp developers not to at least try to port their software to windows"
      Is it less feasible for Win developers to port applications over to Mac?
      Secondly - you mentioned that app/os integration may be better in OSX than Win. So does programming require more "workarounds" in Windows, or is it just that the end-user might experience a bit more clunkyness?
      (I'll clarify my post by saying I'm a longtime Windows user & programmer, who normally builds my own PCs... a Mac would be a big change for me!)
    • Oct 08 2011 | 8:04 pm
      >Is it less feasible for Win developers to port applications over to Mac? yes: Windows has no Mac OS X emulators: there is some efforts in Linux to provide emulated MacOS, but not to the point you can run a supported development environment. You kinda need a functioning Mac OS to get the mac stuff compiled: & none really exist on Windows..& Macs have several options for "sharing" a disk with A Windows boot, or emulating a full windows machine in software....
      >So does programming require more "workarounds" in Windows, or is it just >that the end-user might experience a bit more clunkyness? Well, the issue is that the MacOS supports a more robust "Programmer's interface" for managing audio and midi connections in applications. The issue with the mac's CoreAudio and CoreMidi is that due to the long existence of the more advanced API, there are more very highly developed and stable audio and midi routers and other utilities that are MacOs (and for some,Linux also) ...there are fewer if any such inter-app and inter-net audio (and midi!) routers on Windows, outside of a propitiatory complete DAW solutions such as Nuendo's & Reaper's net stuff or Propellerhead's rewire, and the old "Hubi's Midi loopback"... but most mac apps (inc. Max ) support this kind of interapp communication *natively*, providing virtual audio and midi "ports" that can be seen by other apps: without propitiatory solutions such as "rewire" ( which exist on both systems).
      if you build PCs, and are a good driver locator and pc "boot strapper", building a Hackintosh maybe exactly what you want: the OS will be new , but it is basically the same hardware... and learning a UNIX based os is not a bad career move, really... much transfers to the open source linux ans free-bsd, and IBM still sells the heck outta AIX boxes...and ios and android can be *both* be programmed on a Mac, not the case with Windows, as I understand it.
      ok, 'nuff salesmanship... if u a a devoted windows guy, as I said, other than OS lacks, the windows stuff works well in Max...just much harder to develop a parallel mac port with a windows box.
      Again, I work daily in Java on Windows but I have always gone Mac for my home machines (since MacPlus, 1988), so I have that perspective.
      ymmv cfb j2k
    • Oct 10 2011 | 5:18 pm
      I am a windows and mac programmer and have been doing this work for many years. When it comes to a programming environment, Visual Studio is far superior to Xcode. The level of control and debugging it gives me allows me to finish work much faster. As far a developing Max externals, not much has to be done to port a Max external from mac to pc. (Assuming you are only using the Max SDK)
      As far as development OS for developing audio software, I think Mac at one point did have an edge. But I don't think that is the case any more. It is true that macs have built in support for sharing MIDI and audio. But it is really not a big deal to install 3rd party apps like MIDI yoke and Jack to get the same functionality.
      In the end windows programming will never be mac programming, you will need two separate environments to do it in. If you have the money I would get a MBP and dual boot it. Trying to build a hackintosh might be a lot of work.
      In the end, if all you want to do is max externals and audio applications then Xcode would probably be a gentler place to start working. If you ever decide to start programming for real, then you can give the Windows environment a try.
    • Oct 10 2011 | 5:40 pm
      my 2 cents:
      Windows has very bad native audio drivers. In particular, audio latency is just terrible. This means that the time your computer takes to output audio after it's been told to do so can be as high as several hundreds of milliseconds: totally unusable if you do real-time audio processing, or want to play a software synth through a MIDI controller, or things like that - which are among the most obvious things you will want to do if you use MaxMSP as a musical tool. You can solve the problem with a good sound card, or (partly) with the very nice asio4all driver, but it can be quite discomforting.
      It's true that to get good audio quality you need a pro or semi-pro sound card on the Mac as well. But I find extremely convenient being able to prototype and test stuff with my macbook pro's internal sound device - which would be much harder with a pc laptop...
      cheers aa
    • Oct 10 2011 | 5:47 pm
      I use Max on both Mac and PC and bar a few outliers they are the exact same both being equally great and/or frustrating. Most externals are available for both or there are variants with the same functions - but some are unique such as Alex Harkers (osx) externals but I am sure they will come soon enough.
      There is not much of a muchness anymore - Mac hardware is nicer but you pay more so that is to be expected. I miss windows snapping when I am on OSX and I miss Alfred App when I am on Windows.
      I prefer the Mac but I think that is more to do with the hardware than the software. The glass touchpad is a thing of wonder, the automatic lighting of keys and screen is great, the webcam and mic are much better quality than I expected, quicktime screencasts for tutorials videos look great and they are very high quality for such a simple process (one button - no thinking), the keyboard feels nicer and it is good to have a Firewire port that can power my ultralite. Only 2 usb ports is a bit of a croc and the thunderbolt so far is a non-starter for me. The glass screen is very reflective and prone to smudges which can be irritating.
      While the drivers that come with Win7 are poor you just download the free ASIO4ALL and it gives the exact same performance as coreaudio. It would not be a factor in my decision.
      If you have a bit more money the Mac is definitely more enjoyable to use but if not I would not feel hard done by with a PC.
    • Oct 10 2011 | 6:39 pm
      @Anthony Palomba OK, you started the fan boy abuse (IDIOT!!!) "REAL programming" , in the "Visual" Confusion IDE!?!?!?! Buddy, I make f*in' 6 figure salary in THE DEEP UNDERPAID SOUTH, doing daily work in IBM/AIX, for *the* fastest growing property insurance company in the USA, one of the *very* largest in the world. So listen up: I CAN'T STAND ween-dows debugger!!!!! Gimme GDB any day of the week!!!!!
      I TRULY RESENT this "real programming" nonsense from a gates-boy apologist. You "sir" (and I intentionally MIS-use the term here) better be able to pull up some damn *large* *HAPPY* employers and *over* 20 years(!!!!!) of high paid development experience to support your abusive GARBAGE, or YOU NEED TO SHUT THE F UP ABOUT "REAL PROGRAMMING" is a BAD VMS clone...always was, always will be. "real programming" indeed . Quit acting like most Weeen-doze apologists I've seen...a F'in JERK, an absolute idiot, full of himself.
      nuff said. Unix is superior, still is. And you are deeply outvoted here, snicker. I WILL DROP THE ABUSE WHEN YOU APOLOGIZE FOR "REAL PROGRAMMING". sheesh...what an could have defended the Visual tools without the abusive comments: I made every effort to avoid such in my earlier posts, even though I confessed to being deeply biased towards Apple's OS X, formerly NeXTStep. But you had to lower the tone to counter the existing posts, eh? Well, you did, JERK!!! Happy now? sheesh. cfb aka j2k
    • Oct 10 2011 | 7:21 pm
      WOW! You "sir" are out of line...
      I don't feel there is anything I need to apologize for. I have been doing software development for 17 years now, I have done Pc, Mac, IOS, Android, Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo, as well various other embedded systems. All use different software development tools and environments. In my professional experience Visual Studio is the best.
      As far as my "real programming" comment, I was referring to doing work that is other than audio related development. Which constitutes a very small part of programming work. Most of the jobs out there in the real world are not audio related.
      Charles, if there is anyone here that is creating an abusive tone it is you. It is one this to disagree with me, it is another to to tell someone to "SHUT THE F UP" and call them an "F'in JERK, an absolute idiot". That is unacceptable.
    • Oct 10 2011 | 8:04 pm
      Historically you are wrong with you ill choosen "REAL PROGRAMMING " remark: the VAST majority of coding has taken place in either a mainframe environment, a *nix environment, or in a propitiatory embedded system IDEs..not visual studio. yes, for standalone application programming, for a while, there were more Windows programmers, but this too is disappearing. And these do come close not touching the numbers of programs written in Cobol (still the largest single business language).
      Perhaps I was outta line , BUT I and many others have heard this "real programming" remark again and again, and repeatedly, it has turned out to be a smug dismissal of all non- Microsoft work and development. Of course, "not with you", you meant it in the "best way possible", which is that the other programming environments are not "real"? How exactly does this work?
      First off: Audio programming can be as exacting as any. It is not "unreal". Second: I myself live on accounting and advanced business process development in Java(Spring3) and some newer JVM based languages. Not a drop of M$ involved. Thanks be! And this work is as "real" and "important" as any. You cannot throw out an opinion that only Visual Studio (personal reaction from experience: *GAG*) is appropriate for "real programming" and expect it to not be challenged. Soft answers do not disguise an unbridled ego expressing disdain for someone else's method of livelyhood.... and it tends to produce more egoful disdain as reaction. Witness here.
      So again no apology. And did you have code in the original Ircam Max repository? Cause I don't see any in the newer "projects " or "toolbox"...just curious.
    • Oct 11 2011 | 10:22 am
      Act your age, Charles. You sh@t on me a while ago, but after we made our peace I just chalked it up as me overstepping the mark on a touchy subject. But this!?!? This outburst sure makes you look like you have anger issues.
    • Oct 11 2011 | 12:54 pm
      yes, I do have anger issues; Particularly as regards this issue: consider... I worked in Mountain View/Redwood City/Sunnyvale/Palo Alto/Menlo Park writing Objective-C and C code during a time (86-98) when any loud mouthed jerk in the world with a job using Visual Studio would tell you (and did, repeatedly); "you are not really programming, only Microsoft is real, you will loose your job soon to the superior M$ code base". It pissed me off then, it double pisses me off now, since it clearly is NOT the case. And believe me, at the time there were angry people everywhere in the valley as regards this issue. But before you judge too harshly, please check the earlier posts, where I bent over double to say "if you want Microsoft, use it". I did not get mad here until I heard someone echo/imply the horribly narrow view that "only visual studio, (not Xcode and Objective-C ) will train you for a 'real' job" to a young person starting to program. When I was a young man, the same was said about IBM...only IBM and Burroughs were real programming and *all* smaller computers were seen as "toys". It was incorrect then, but it had the same 'cache' as Microsoft development did in the 90's... I personally think that those who say: "learn Visual Studio, only it will help you get a job" are living in a two decade old world, repeating garbage that sounded good then, but are and were self serving lies. So... older people are supposed to not have intense emotions or be so 'correct' as to not express them vehemently? I refuse to stop being a hot head when it comes to issues I care about. And if people continue to say/strongly imply "don't learn Xcode, it won't help you get a job", I will pounce all over their butt, repeatedly. You may be assured of that.
      PS: I note no one has said that the drawbacks to Microsoft OS in media development did not exist, only that one can download third party solutions (most developed under a Unix clone!!) to alleviate the lacks.
    • Oct 11 2011 | 1:28 pm
      Sorry, I'm not judging harshly at all. I just don't think Anthony said anything that deserved such a wild ejaculation of expletives.
      Did Anthony ever say anything like "don't learn Xcode, it won't help you get a job?"
      What he actually said was, "When it comes to a programming environment, Visual Studio is far superior to Xcode," which is a subjective statement with which you disagree. Fair enough.
      He also said, "In the end, if all you want to do is max externals and audio applications then Xcode would probably be a gentler place to start working. If you ever decide to start programming for real, then you can give the Windows environment a try." From this I infer that Anthony has more experience programming serious projects for the Windows platform, and he considers it (wrongly) to be the more fully-featured development environment.
      But I don't think he deserves to be spanked with a career's worth of frustration, just because his job has taken a different path to yours. I understand why you feel compelled to defend the honour of Unix programming, and I don't think anybody's asking you to apologise for pointing out the fact that a Mac or a Unix box is just as 'real' a platform as a Windows PC. But I think you ought to apologise for swearing and shouting all over the shop. Not least because you have given Xcode developers a bad name! It's like you have this massive chip on your shoulder because there are more jobs for 'pretend' Windows programmers or something.
      There's nothing wrong with being passionate and expressing your heartfelt views. I've done that myself, and have, on occasion, discovered that it's all too easy to offend people on here, even with the best possible intent. The OP was asking for some friendly advice, and you've hijacked the thread in order to "pounce all over people's butt". You made your point; Visual Studio isn't superior. You've also made yourself look like an angry, bitter man who refuses to apologise for being uncivil. Congratulations.
    • Oct 11 2011 | 2:30 pm
      RE: Cursing. Grew up under a retired military officer...and my natural inheritance of his stentorian voice and "brow-beating" skills have repeatedly been a problem in my career , but only with *some* people. If this was a tea club, or youth cotillion I would feel worse. We do seem to be a soft skinned bunch around here, and on this topic of Windows vs the rest of the programming world, I am especially so. I apologize for getting "too much" for our delicate ears. I suspect my tone of voice if Anthony were in my presence when he let slip his "real" programming remark would *truly* shock you: unless you too grew up under a retired drill Lieutenant with anger issues (who was also a professor at the local state uni.,dept. chair, editor of several international journals, teacher of the year, had chair, building and scholarship in his name,etc. so not an idiot...)
      To be honest, I just think of What Ives said to the crowd at the Ruggles concert.
      If the content of what is being said is disagreed with, stand up dammit, and defend it, in any natural voice you own!! Naturally, I don't think this point (Visual Studio/non-Xcode = "real programming") is actually defensible, but instead of disagreement, I get: "your mode of expression is just too 'outre'"... sigh. ok. "apology". I will strive to act like a rollo.
    • Oct 11 2011 | 2:57 pm
      I agree with you, and I don't want to censor you. I only waded in because of what happened in a godforsaken thread of my own creation - remember the business about "religious language"?
      I was having a rant back then, and so were you here. But as you say, people are soft-skinned around here, and I thought there was too much generalised hatred in your post for it to be constructive. It sounds like the OP hasn't even tried Max before, and within the space of a dozen or so posts there's double-figure swearwords flying around.
      But I'm not your mum, and I know I'm being sanctimonious. I'm sorry too.
    • Oct 11 2011 | 8:03 pm
      thank you for elegantly, respectfully and succinctly summarising what I was thinking; I hope others were thinking alike too.
      Where does this leave the OP I wonder - more informed, or more confused?
      my 2c
    • Oct 11 2011 | 11:49 pm
      Did you bring the kittens, Brendan?
    • Oct 12 2011 | 1:37 am
      Did someone bring in flowers? Or a sachet? I apologize to all for the stink. but...Unix based os'es forever! Did I tell you I've turned down an employment inquiry from Microsoft Redmond? Shows you how stupid I am...
    • Oct 12 2011 | 4:01 pm
      :-) all round
      ps @christripledot, kitties? A reference to an older heated debate perhaps?
    • Oct 12 2011 | 4:24 pm
      P'raps ;)
    • Dec 07 2011 | 11:19 pm
      Hello people,
      rarely here these days and I thought i'd pop in to ask if there are any plans to port Max to Linux. I guess not, certainly with max 6 going on (the code-generation looks both exciting and familiar :), but for max on linux there would be at least one paying customer !