Linux music as a major player...

Discuss anything new and newsworthy! See http://planet.linuxaudio.org for more Linux Audio News!

Announcements of proprietary software may fit better in the Marketplace.

Moderators: raboof, khz, MattKingUSA

User avatar
funkmuscle
Established Member
Posts: 2280
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:30 pm

Linux music as a major player...

Postby funkmuscle » Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:09 pm

After reading this article:

http://community.ardour.org/node/8288

It had me thinking about the future of using Linux as a serious OS for music. Ardour is not the only DAW as we all know but it is the flagship. It's the most powerful DAW we have (judging by the Mac users and Mixbus, etc) and by it slowing down, kinda scares me.

I've always asked myself how long can 'free software' go on before devs get short of time and life gets in the way?

Qtractor, Non-Timeline, and Rosegarden are all great but are they as or close to Ardour is in playing with the big toys like ProTools?

So does Linux have a serious roll in pro audio's future or is it just for the home based, having fun musician?

I'M JUST LOOKING TO SEE WHAT EVERYONE THOUGHTS ARE, THAT'S ALL. JUST TO GET A VIBE.

StudioDave
Established Member
Posts: 753
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2008 1:12 pm

Re: Linux music as a major player...

Postby StudioDave » Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:41 pm

Paul is certainly clear, isn't he ?

It's the perennial plaint, but this time it's from one of the highest-profile success stories in the Linux audio world. By "success" I mean of course in the technical sense, alas apparently not in the financial.

I note that he doesn't say he'll cease development, only that his current level of involvement is likely to decrease significantly. However, the Ardour dev crew includes some heavy talent, perhaps even some weighty enough to take on the role of team leader to ensure that Paul's vision for Ardour's future development would hopefully continue forward without major upheaval.

And even if Ardour development should come to a halt we would still have the source code and the real possibility of further improvement driven by the community, a most unlikely possibility for Reaper, Tracktion, Bitwig, eXT2, and all other proprietary audio apps. That's not a judgement, merely an observation of a potential that exists thanks to open code sources and the GPL.

Perhaps we can organize a donation "surge" for Ardour development ? Paul Davis has contributed so much to the community, possibly more than any other single figure, and not only via his applications and utilities. His personality is open as his code, and more than one young (and not-so-young) programmer has benefited from his significant experience (and not just in Linux audio). In truth, we owe him so much for all that he has given so freely.

So there's a couple drachmas worth of thought from yours truly.

Best,

dp

User avatar
funkmuscle
Established Member
Posts: 2280
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:30 pm

Re: Linux music as a major player...

Postby funkmuscle » Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:46 pm

so true Dave.. That's what I wanted to hear. How folks are feeling.. I think we should try to figure something out for Ardour and other major projects.

JohannesTress
Established Member
Posts: 101
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:56 pm

Re: Linux music as a major player...

Postby JohannesTress » Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:56 pm

Is it possible to do a kickstarter campaign like the KDE-Krita-Team did for further development of their application? And yes I know that Paul wrote, that he don't want to hear any proposals from the community, but I think this could be a chance to manage the critical financial situation. Of course it would be a lot of work... #

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kr ... erate-deve

ssj71
Established Member
Posts: 1292
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:36 pm

Re: Linux music as a major player...

Postby ssj71 » Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:28 pm

falkTX wrote:The thing about kickstarter and similar campains is that it's a one time thing.
A project will not go away after 4 months, the developers will probably still be working at it.


Is snowdrift functional yet? Perhaps its time to see it put in action.

JohannesTress wrote:And yes I know that Paul wrote, that he don't want to hear any proposals from the community, but I think this could be a chance to manage the critical financial situation. Of course it would be a lot of work...


I think at least part of Paul's point is that HE doesn't want to take the time to do it. The community needs someone willing to donate time and skills who is NOT a developer. Its like asking a heart surgeon to come dig a ditch for you. Sure he CAN, but his time is way better spent helping the sick. We need a marketing/buisness type person to put effort into making ardour financially successful. I think Dave is right that ardour has been wildly successful technically, and more or less a limpalong flop financially. That is perfectly sequitur since 99% of the man-hours put into it have been technical (development, testing, design, bugfixes, etc). I believe most companies have more engineers than marketers (though I could be mistaken) but even from that standpoint ardour is way out of balance. I think a capable marketing person could make large strides with the project with not very many hours a week donated. An up and coming (i.e. student) marketer might need more time, I really don't know (engineer myself).

The challenge is marketing types don't tend to be drawn toward open source software. If they even know what it means they probably don't really comprehend the benefits. The fact is linux is mostly used by technical people. We are all working on making it more accessible to the layman (and are making great progress I believe), but I think the user base is still strongly biased toward technical users, meaning users with skills such as marketing are rare in the community. If anyone knows someone with these sort of business management or marketing skills perhaps they should invite them to contribute.

There might be some challenges in integrating this sort of work in the project, as business folks might have opinions in what technical features are marketable etc. but I'd imagine they can coexist. Where I work we run into disagreements between marketing and engineering, but surely the project could benefit from some resources donated in ways that we normally don't think of.
_ssj71

music: https://soundcloud.com/ssj71
My plugins are Infamous! http://ssj71.github.io/infamousPlugins
I just want to get back to making music!

i2productions
Established Member
Posts: 544
Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 6:14 pm
Location: New Hampshire, US

Re: Linux music as a major player...

Postby i2productions » Sat Jun 21, 2014 3:12 am

That's the saddest, but not unexpected, update for Ardour I've ever seen. Just creating JACK is a big deal, let alone Ardour. For me, if it just got a few more stability fixes I'd be perfectly happy with it "as is" for a very long time. It's just like my 10 year old Delta 1010. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Unfortunately, it still is partially broken, but more than usable for everyday projects. I've been following this project since 2005, version 0.8. It's what got me to use linux for the first time. When I was trained as an engineer on Pro Tools in Mac, I didn't have to money for Mac and all it's the money it takes to make music on mac, but I didn't like the way windows did business either. Seeking an alternative, I found Ardour and JACK. It took til 2010 for me to make the full on switch, but now I'm not going anywhere for a while. I can't blame Paul for needing to get a payoff.

diizy
Established Member
Posts: 105
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:48 am

Re: Linux music as a major player...

Postby diizy » Mon Jun 23, 2014 6:12 am

ssj71 wrote:I believe most companies have more engineers than marketers (though I could be mistaken) but even from that standpoint ardour is way out of balance. I think a capable marketing person could make large strides with the project with not very many hours a week donated. An up and coming (i.e. student) marketer might need more time, I really don't know (engineer myself).

The challenge is marketing types don't tend to be drawn toward open source software. If they even know what it means they probably don't really comprehend the benefits. The fact is linux is mostly used by technical people. We are all working on making it more accessible to the layman (and are making great progress I believe), but I think the user base is still strongly biased toward technical users, meaning users with skills such as marketing are rare in the community. If anyone knows someone with these sort of business management or marketing skills perhaps they should invite them to contribute.


Well, it is possible for open-source projects to make money. But you can't really run an open-source company the same way you'd run a regular software company.

Open source, or free software, is fundamentally collaborative... the open aspect means, that open source software is something that we make to make the world a better place. It's effort towards the benefit of all mankind, not about seeking benefits for the few. Of course, we can't all live like monks, so we need practical solutions on how to sustain the people who build a better future...

I'm not sure if it's even possible to "market" something like Ardour. How would you even go about it? Who would you market it to? Can Ardour really compete with proprietary offerings, when it comes down to it - would people be willing to, as things are now, be willing to pay the same price for Ardour or Protools?

I think there are good options for open-source financing, but since open-source development is collaborative in nature, the financing needs to be collaborative as well. That includes grass-roots level things like crowdsourcing, or more organized things such as foundations, commercial sponsors etc.

nilshi
Established Member
Posts: 289
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 9:05 pm
Contact:

Re: Linux music as a major player...

Postby nilshi » Mon Jun 23, 2014 6:55 am

diizy wrote:I think there are good options for open-source financing, but since open-source development is collaborative in nature, the financing needs to be collaborative as well. That includes grass-roots level things like crowdsourcing, or more organized things such as foundations, commercial sponsors etc.


Yes, you need a variety of income channels. I don't think you can "just" rely on pure sales.

I wrote this article yesterday about creating a Linux Audio company that hires the current developers. http://nilsgey.de/Blog/50_The_Linux_Audio_Company
But it does not go that much into detail how to actually get the money. Still, there are some new ideas.

User avatar
Petra-Sue
Established Member
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Oct 20, 2013 7:39 pm

Re: Linux music as a major player...

Postby Petra-Sue » Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:28 am

NilsGey wrote:Yes, you need a variety of income channels. I don't think you can "just" rely on pure sales.

I wrote this article yesterday about creating a Linux Audio company that hires the current developers. http://nilsgey.de/Blog/50_The_Linux_Audio_Company
But it does not go that much into detail how to actually get the money. Still, there are some new ideas.


Nils, thanks for your article and the start of a respective discussion. I wrote a comment on that right a minute ago. As there is no field to leave a direct contact address, please take this "finger up" here as such if you are interested in contacting me or discussing matters on a deeper basis.

Just for completeness, and for those not visiting Nils Gey's page, here are my comment to his thoughts as well:

==============
I fully support the suggestions to create a dedicated company. Before setting up a new company I think we would need to fix some basic issues: What should stay in the OS domain and what things would the company offer for money? The basic distinction in this direction is between basic development and individual support of persons with an individual problem. But even if developers are very inclined to keep up their previous work & efforts they would need to dedicate some (boring? pure servicing?) worktime to keep the company running, otherwise the new construct would not be a company but a fundraising initiative for community activities.

This said, and under the assumption that we will NOT find an existing company to supply us with basic entrepreneurial infrastructure, I suggest the following issues to be resolved:

# What topics are to be dealt with as paid OS work? Who decides if any sound related development work fits into the combined OS + company universe?

# What topics are to be treated as issues to create revenue?

# Who would raise his/her hand to tackle the boring, non-musical aspects of entrepreneurship (legal and fiscal issues, staff management, treaty work, ...), and how are these people to be paid?

# How can promotional work for the benefit of the company be (financially) appreciated if it is beyond the pure lust of making music in front of a potential paying customer? Remember that efforts (like targeted travels etc.) may have to be made to just get the chance to raise any income.

# How to open up new markets (with unsure revenue potential) and on which financial basis? As a long-time Linux user but simple dilettant wind controller player I'd be quite keen to see Linux more frequently in the private music enthusiast domain. Here, e.g., a participation in comsumer oriented music fairs might be an approach, but this sure needs some funding.

# How and when and by whom decisions to spend money are taken w/r/to company-related efforts?

# Who would be willing to do "headquarter" coordinating work? Without that the company issue would be merely a random walk, I fear.

I guess this list to be a starter for thinking, not to be comprehensive. But if the mentioned issues are not dealt with any startup is quite likely to fail.

As a conclusion, I'd really love to see such a company to spring into existence, but without a certain amount of very basic and traditional efforts it is likely to fail.

=========

Cheers,

Petra
Last edited by Petra-Sue on Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:45 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
bluebell
Established Member
Posts: 1137
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:44 am
Location: Saarland & Frankfurt, Germany

Re: Linux music as a major player...

Postby bluebell » Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:55 am

I'd happily pay a small monthly subscription fee to such a company.

But beware: There is the danger that after some years we have a selfish monster with presidents, senior vice presidents, vice presidents, junior vice presidents and so on who do nothing essential. And someone has to decide who will be paid, which projects are important enaugh to get supported.

JACK as the base of it all? Sure. ALSA as its underlying layer? Maybe. Ardour? Probably. Rosegarden, Qtractor, LMMS ... ? DISTRHO, CALF, ... ?

Not easy.
Linux – MOTU UltraLite AVB – Qtractor – https://soundcloud.com/suedwestlicht

ssj71
Established Member
Posts: 1292
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:36 pm

Re: Linux music as a major player...

Postby ssj71 » Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:20 pm

diizy wrote:I'm not sure if it's even possible to "market" something like Ardour. How would you even go about it?

Like you say yourself: crowdsourcing, foundations, donation drives maybe, finding commercial sponsors. Perhaps I'm not calling it the correct thing. Maybe instead of marketing person call it "person who worries about trying to earn money so Paul can focus on working." My point is just that maybe there are people who have skills/desire to focus on these non-technical aspects of the project.

diizy wrote: Who would you market it to?

There are 2 main markets I see: potential users, current users who could be donating more. It would require some business research and a plan to decide which market is more viable to chase.

diizy wrote: Can Ardour really compete with proprietary offerings, when it comes down to it - would people be willing to, as things are now, be willing to pay the same price for Ardour or Protools?

Do they really need to pay as much? I honestly haven't used proprietary alternatives so I can't say its competetiveness, but it surely has some value and some place in the market.

diizy wrote:since open-source development is collaborative in nature, the financing needs to be collaborative as well. That includes grass-roots level things like crowdsourcing, or more organized things such as foundations, commercial sponsors etc.

Agreed. We just need someone with the time to seek out/organize these.
_ssj71

music: https://soundcloud.com/ssj71
My plugins are Infamous! http://ssj71.github.io/infamousPlugins
I just want to get back to making music!

diizy
Established Member
Posts: 105
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:48 am

Re: Linux music as a major player...

Postby diizy » Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:28 pm

ssj71 wrote:Do they really need to pay as much? I honestly haven't used proprietary alternatives so I can't say its competetiveness, but it surely has some value and some place in the market.


There's no question about that. Open software has intrinsic value by the very nature of its openness. Sadly, that doesn't always translate to there being "value" in the economic sense... not everyone realizes that in the long run, it's beneficial for all of us to support the development of open software.

kawliga
Established Member
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu May 29, 2014 8:18 pm

Re: Linux music as a major player...

Postby kawliga » Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:18 pm

What I find frustrating is that paying for Paul and a team of developers to work on linux audio fulltime would be a drop in the ocean to Red Hat or Canonical.

All the money Canonical have spent on developing Unity and Mir would have been much better spent on supporting development of Ardour and other pro quality apps.

At the end of the day, it is all about the apps.

No one uses Windows because of the interface - they use it because Photoshop runs on it or because Cubase runs on it or because Skyrim runs on it etc.

Similarly, people buy an Apple Mac so they can use Final Cut Pro or Logic.

If Linux is ever to be taken seriously on the desktop, it needs companies like Red Hat and Canonical to commit to funding sustained development of top class Desktop apps.

If I was in charge of Red Hat, I would headhunt the likes of Paul Davis, R Nuno Capela, R Gareus, falkTX, linuxDSP and the pianoteq devs.

I would fund development of a top notch FOSS sample library to rival Vienna Symphonic or Komplete and a comprehensive collection of top notch FOSS plugins to rival proprietary ones.

I would make similar investments in FOSS photography software and FOSS video editing software.

Gimp is a good app but development is slow due to lack of resources. At the time of writing, Gimp is still only 8 bit per channel.

If distros could ship with a media creation experience every bit the equal of other platforms and yet completely free and open source then Linux would become a very enticing option for the end user but it does require investment.

I am now using Btrfs and I think it is fabulous. I wonder how I ever managed without it. However, btrfs hasn't come out of nowhere - Chris Mason has been paid (by Oracle initially and now by facebook) to work on btrfs development fulltime. If Chris Mason had not had that financial support then btrfs would be vaporware. You can't just knock this stuff together in your spare time.

If Red Hat and Canonical and Novell really want Linux to make progress on the desktop, they need people like Paul Davis.

diizy
Established Member
Posts: 105
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:48 am

Re: Linux music as a major player...

Postby diizy » Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:49 pm

kawliga wrote:At the time of writing, Gimp is still only 8 bit per channel.


2.9 dev branch already has high bit depths. And Krita has had them for ages...

ssj71
Established Member
Posts: 1292
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:36 pm

Re: Linux music as a major player...

Postby ssj71 » Tue Jun 24, 2014 5:34 pm

Nonetheless I think kawliga has a point. Most people don't really care what OS they are using. I think everyone tolerates more problems from their OS than they realize. They use it for the tools. It is important that you reach some critical level of ease of use and stability and I think that is what these companies have focused on. But it does make a great deal of sense to fund enviable tools that are developed for linux. I'm not sure if audio is a big enough market to convince them, but the gimp, libreoffice and some others have large potential markets. I don't have numbers to back that up though, just a guess. But I think even if they choose to fund some non-LA projects, the whole linux ecosystem will benefit (just like when steam came to linux).
_ssj71

music: https://soundcloud.com/ssj71
My plugins are Infamous! http://ssj71.github.io/infamousPlugins
I just want to get back to making music!


Return to “Linux Music News”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest