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Cycling '74 publicly demonstrated its Windows versions of Max, MSP and Jitter graphical programming environments for the first time at the NAMM show.

Max is an environment for the development of interactive media and live performance applications for over a decade, but has been previously only available on the Macintosh platform. Max lets you build programs (called "patches") by connecting graphical objects together. Some objects perform calculations and others make up the user interface of your program. MSP adds a large set of objects that you connect together to make audio patches where signals flow from one object to the next, and the Jitter collection of objects lets you create video or 3D graphics patches or work with any matrix-based data.

Building applications with Max is fun and interactive. The moment you connect two objects, the program is working. If it doesn't work the way you want, just try something else. The main goals of Max are to let you control anything with anything and to explore cross-media applications by prototyping and constructing custom interactive media applications and interfaces. It lets you schedule events with millisecond accuracy, create complex mappings for incoming data, and run a large number of operations in parallel.

The Windows versions of the software allow for cross-platform development of applications. Max/MSP/Jitter patches developed on one platform open seamlessly on the other, and use consistent abstractions for all types of media protocols and interfaces, including MIDI, digital audio soundfiles and interfaces, digital video, and 3D graphics. The Windows version supports PCs running Windows XP with audio devices supported by WAV, DirectSound, or ASIO. Max/MSP hosts ReWire devices and VST plug-ins and supports all major audio file formats. Features are essentially identical between the Windows XP version and version 4.2 of Max/MSP for Mac OS X being released this month. Users will be able to develop their own Max, MSP, or Jitter external objects written in C, and distribute their work to others using the free MaxMSP runtime application. Support for developing VST plug-ins on Windows will be available shortly after the initial Windows release.

Price and availability: Max/MSP and Jitter will be available in the second quarter of 2003. The prices of the software remain unchanged from their Mac versions: $295 for Max, $495 for Max/MSP, and $850 for Max/MSP/Jitter. Low-cost upgrades will be available for Mac users.

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