Re: [linux-audio-user] Opening up the discussion

From: Christoph Eckert <>
Date: Sun Jul 24 2005 - 12:09:08 EEST


> After seeing this long thread on this list
> (
>July/025068.html), I figured this poor schmuk should join up
> and share in some discussion. :)

You're welcome ;-) .


> In the article I clarify the position that feature-wise,
> audio production on Linux is pretty good. Many of the
> issues that I was discussing were that some pre-requisite
> knowledge is required before you can get started. It seems
> that to record on Linux you need to have trawled through
> documentation, the archives for this list and read up on
> the intracies of getting the different parts of the system
> working. To me, this seems like a flaw in the offering -
> surely the user should be able to get up and running
> straight away - they download their package of choice,
> install and run. Would this not be better?

Of course, but still we aren't there yet.
There are differences. A professional will spend more time in
learning the system and setting it up to fit his needs than a
hobbyist who wants to plug in the guitar, fire up a sequencer
and just have some fun, while a non-musician maybe wants to
convert some vinyl discs into ogg files, play the oggs and
watch some video.

I think that user 2 will have the most trouble. I for myself
needed a long time to find a distro I like for all purposes
(even audio), but setting it up was nont that easy (and I'm
not yet talking about kernel patching here ;-) .

Some things are simply usability issues, but I'm glad that
recently there have been some new applications like Hydrogen
which really addressed such issues.

Prob: Usability needs time to work on. So we're in need for
people working on it.

Feel free to visit There are
three tutorial videos to linux audio. Furthermore there are
two papers, one about linux for the digital musician (an
short overview over some important applications) and one
about linux audio usability issues. If you know a bunch of
open source hackers who have some spare time and do not know
what to do, feel free to forward the usability paper ;-) .

To answer your questions:

>  - do you all feel that it is fairly simple to get stated
> with Linux and recording? Am I smoking crack? :)

No for the first one :) .

>  - do you feel there is a seperation between a professional
> and an amateur? So, the software would 'just work' for the
> amateur, but the professional should really know the
> specifics of the system and how to set it up.

If some existing applications could include some usability
rules and could get better preconfigured, both the amateur
and the professional can benefit.

>  - if you do feel it is a bit tough to get up and running
> without reading up on all of this, what do you feel are the
> barriers, both technical and socially? I am curious to see
> whether these barriers could be solved.

The barriers could get technically solved, but there's not
enough manpower to do so. We had some really long threads
about "Linux Audio Should just work", and you started the
next one ;-) .

See the LAU and LAD archives for threads like

"What parts of Linux audio simply suck ?"
"Common linux audio layer"
"What Parts of Linux Audio Simply Work Great?"

so you can see that some of the problems already have been

> As I say, I am keen to engage in some constructive
> discussion here, and I look forward to your thoughts. :)

There is documentation, but developers dislike reading
documentation, and users dislike reading documentation.

The solution is to design software which reduces the amount of
documentation needed :) .

Thanks a lot for your thoughts.

Best regards

Received on Sun Jul 24 16:15:04 2005

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