Quartz Composer

This will be one of my fairly rare geeky programmer posts. Fair warning, non-technical folks.

So, does anybody out there in tech-land know anything about Quartz Composer? It’s apparently a graphic programming environment for Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger), and while it has gone utterly unpromoted by Apple, it looks to be extremely interesting.

According to its web page, “Quartz Composer brings together a rich set of graphical and nongraphical technologies, including Quartz 2D, Core Image, Core Video, OpenGL, QuickTime, MIDI System Services, and Real Simple Syndication (RSS), which is a lightweight XML format.” What I’ve read of the docs so far appear to back this up — you could create a screen saver that not only downloads RSS feeds, but also composes and plays MIDI songs based on the contents of those feeds. (Admittedly, they’re not likely to be good songs, but that’s up to you.) The good bit, however, is that it’s all visual — you don’t have to write any code to do it.

It appears that this has much of the same approach and power as Isadora, which has long been one of my favorite tools for creative fooling about with audio and video on computers. I’m very interested to take some time to play with this and see if it lives up to its early promise.