Android Performance Requirements

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Posts: 9

Post by lucoot » 12-03-18 2:30 am

I'm getting a 32in Android Tablet to replace my tiny 22incher and would like to see if its worth paying a bit extra for higher specs in case they might be needed by Synthesia in the future.

Right now mine is Android 4.4.2 with a slow CPU and 2GB RAM. Synthesia works flawlessly.
Might I need more ram or a new version of Android in the future to use the latest and greatest version of Synthesia?

Thanks! ... 6976w6p86O

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Post by Nicholas » 12-03-18 4:04 am

Synthesia is fairly RAM-efficient, usually running at less than 100 MB unless you load a song with millions of notes. There isn't anything on the roadmap that should change that very drastically.

That 4.4 version of Android is the more worrying part. According to the Android Dashboard, version 4.4 is already down to 7% of active devices. Normally we take <1% as a cue that we can finally stop supporting a legacy version of an OS, but I've recently been mulling over making a bit of an exception for Android. We've got a very small development team and Android seems to cause at least 75% of our support/bug-fixing workload despite being responsible for a much smaller fraction of our revenue. After recently stumbling across Paul Graham's Life is Short essay, I'm beginning to wonder if life might not be a bit too short to continue chasing down weird bugs on old, unsupported Android hardware.

I haven't made any decisions yet and I'm not sure what one might look like, but I expect that it will involve bumping the minimum OS requirements on Android more aggressively than the other platforms. We'll see.

For at least a few years at any rate, the Android 5.1 model they've got there in your Alibaba link should be just fine. A 32" touch screen actually sounds really cool. My setup topped out at 27" and that is kind of a ridiculous price for a 32" screen (no matter the resolution). I am tempted to check it out myself. :D

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Post by lucoot » 12-03-18 4:39 am

Thanks for the thorough reply! Yea, It's reasonable to cut support off if it's taking away from creating new features.
These devices are actually pretty sweet and work well.

My imagination has run wild with the possibilities with larger screens and I'm looking into custom LCD fabrication to get one 48inches wide and 12 inches high so all keys can exactly lineup at 1:1... then I plan to cut apart a keyboard so lcd goes all the way to the keys. lol.

Here's a picture of my current setup.

PS. On pricing. Depending on specs, the 32in ends up being around $430-600 + $100 shipping. My 21.5in was $330 shipped. Not cheap but not unreasonable either.
6.PNG (1.71 MiB) Viewed 3063 times

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Post by Nicholas » 12-03-18 4:31 pm

Yeah, that setup is great! (Have you tried moving the screen closer to the keys? If you adjust the zoom in the app -- using the "Custom" setting -- so they line up perfectly, it's a pretty cool effect.) You can't see it in the picture I linked last time, but the 27" screen was mounted on a flexible monitor arm that can be positioned just above the top of the black keys during use. Of course it only works well for songs with a smaller pitch range, but not having to do the screen-to-real-world size conversion in your head but instead just go right for the where the falling note is headed is an experience that is hard to reproduce. (I suppose using the keys right on the touchscreen gets close, but that isn't a real instrument.)

Otherwise that pricing sounds more reasonable. The range they gave on the page ($215-230) sounded much too close to represent the full 14" through 32" model price range. Looking again, I see that is just for the 18" model.

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