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European Commission Sponsors Linux Audio Distribution 156

Posted by timothy
from the general-benefit dept.
krez writes: "Lately I've been looking for info on open-source audio recording & processing software. Not an easy task really: Suites like Brahms for KDE, and GLAME for Gnome are a good start, but I've yet to find a program - or a series of programs - that even approach something as comprehensive as Cubase or Cakewalk on those other platforms. Anyway, here's something that might just prove to be a good start. The European Commission is sponsoring a distribution called AGNULA (A GNU/Linux Audio distribution). The distribution will come in two flavours: Debian-based, and RedHat-based. You can read about the project and it's goals at http://www.agnula.org." The Debian side of this project is called DeMuDi, and it's been mentioned here before.
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European Commission Sponsors Linux Audio Distribution

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  • mac users/digidesign (Score:2, Interesting)

    by DarkClown (7673) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @02:29AM (#3600517) Homepage
    i have an audiomedia III and a digi 001 from digidesign - pretty much designed for pro tools - which rocks - and which are the only reasons i still use mac os (9). osx doesn't even have support for them yet - (and the audiomedia III has been out for _years_).... anyway, would love to see these supported by a linux audio package (and i guess that means kernel support).
  • European DMCA (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Supa Mentat (415750) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @02:36AM (#3600542)
    I've read in a bunch of places that the European Comission has all but decided to create their own version of the dreaded DMCA. If/when that goes through won't this have to be completely crippled?
  • Less Hassle (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wirefarm (18470) <jim.mmdc@net> on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @02:53AM (#3600589) Homepage
    I think making special-purpose distros are a good idea. If I can borrow a disk from a fiend, install it on a box and have everything I need to start creating music, this is a tremendously hassle-free to put their hardware to good use.

    One of my friends is a composer and a musician - he's also a programmer, but he has *no* Linux/Unix experience at all - could a distro like this help him get started? Sure.
    How about a music teacher at a highschool? Don't count on him/her having much computer experience at all - given teacher salaries and the typical equipment in schools, he or she would probably welcome something like this.

    I just don't see how focusing an effort on specializing a distro has any bad effect on other, more general distros. It takes nothing away, just adds...

    Look at the demand for Firewall distros like IPCop [ipcop.org]. (My personal favorite!) With that, I can dl a 20mb iso and have a working firewall in 20 minutes - I don't have to go in and disable a lot of services the way I would if I had started with any of the standard distros.

    Just my opinion...

    Cheers,
    Jim in Tokyo
  • by Yohahn (8680) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @02:53AM (#3600592) Homepage
    Must take this moment to endorse Ardour [sf.net].

    While it isn't finished, it is quite an attempt to provide a professional quality hard drive recording program. Perhaps a little $$ twords finishing the developement of ardour would be worthwhile; I don't believe there is any free software close to what it is doing.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @03:11AM (#3600625)
    Take a look at Apple's OS X (and I think BeOS but I'm not sure). You'll see there that the audio capabilities are engulfed in the operating system itself which means that any app correctly written to their specs can use any plugin or easily use fairly complex audio/midi processing routines which are included in the OS. The primary reason for going into the OS is timing, I know UNIX/GNU Linux is pretty good at multitasking, but you can't rely on standard kernel scheduling for pro audio apps. One of the reasons I think Macs are so stable whilst using audio apps under OS 9 and under is the way the app basically takes over the machine.

    Further this means that a simple audio processing app should just be a pretty graphical shell and can be put together by your average Linux hacker.

    The good stuff, like Cubase and Cakewalk, is unlikely to ever happen on Linux I think. Mainly because all the good audio software engineers are happily employed by the likes of steinberg, emagic, digidesign, apple etc.

    IRCAM is a good source of stuff, has very good people and has done UNIX based stuff in the past. I don't know much about the others mentioned but I just don't feel this is going to achieve much. Let's wait and see.
  • by van der Rohe (460708) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @03:26AM (#3600658)
    "The good stuff, like Cubase and Cakewalk, is unlikely to ever happen on Linux I think. Mainly because all the good audio software engineers are happily employed by the likes of steinberg, emagic, digidesign, apple etc."

    While I'm afraid you might be right, you might also be interested to know that Nuendo (Steinberg's flagship high-end audio editing app) is coded on *nix boxes. There's no PORT for *nix OSes, of course, but to do so should be trivial since that's where the app is written.

    I've talked to them about this and they're completely uninterested in making a Linux version. No market, they claim.
    They're right of course. But there's no market because there's no apps. And there's no apps because there's no market.

    What's the solution? Keep stuff free for a while, stop releasing things before they're done/work (Ardour), and stress the importance of stability.

    There's ONE serious professional audio app right now and it's marketed at the one market that can't afford to not be stable 100% of the time: DJs.

    It's called Final Scratch. Check it out.
  • OSS limitations (Score:2, Interesting)

    by natmsincome.com (528791) <adinobro@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @04:59AM (#3600833) Homepage
    The big problem with sound program on linux at the moment is OSS. What is currently the most stable and supported(barely passable).

    OSS has a number of limitations that make it very hard to get high quality sound programs. From what I was told it's like the clasic unix sockets. So you have to do a loop until the socket is free BUT this means you have a small period of time where there is nothing. This is what with XMMS, etc. you get clicks when the songs change.

    Alsa uses call backs instead(an OSS compatable api is included which simulates OSS) which means you don't get that pause. This makes writing high quality audio programs much easier.

    The long and the short of it is that I doubt we'll get really STABLE high quiality audio programs until Alsa is included in the Kernal in the distros (It has been included in 2.5) Which won't be for at least a year(this is a guess). The other thing that happens when the new kenal comes out is that it is supposed to have a lower latancy(VERY important from real time video/adio programs).

    That combined with GStreamer and the like means that in about one or two years we should have some very nice audio programs.

    That being said heres the best program I've found so far:

    A Good Audacity Multiplatform Audio Program [sourceforge.net]
  • by jukal (523582) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @05:54AM (#3600918) Journal
    One thing that I don't dislike in the European Union is the sense that they seem to have regarding information technology. It seems like they are making decisions which really could benefit the European Union and not a single company. This shows for example through the IST [cordis.lu] (information society technologies programme coordinated by EU).

    This gives you a glimpse to some open source based / utilizing projects they are supporting:
    51 records [cordis.lu] found.

    I don't know if opensource is the magic for getting EU money, but atleast it does not seem like it closes your opportunities. Just as it should be. But atleast it should be easier to get rational decisions in here than in US, in which I assume the elections are more strictly based on how much marketing support the candidate gets from selected corporations :))

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