Do you want more people to use Linux for music?

Discuss how to promote using FLOSS to make music.

Moderators: khz, MattKingUSA

Do you want more people to use Linux for music?

Yes
21
70%
No
0
No votes
Other
9
30%
 
Total votes: 30

merlyn
Established Member
Posts: 487
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:13 pm

Do you want more people to use Linux for music?

Postby merlyn » Fri May 31, 2019 2:31 pm

The obvious answer is 'Yes' but are you sure? Have you thought it through?

There are different levels of experience and ability. There's the Beginner and below that is the Noob. Below that is the Windows User.

It's possible to differentiate between the different levels by responses to troubleshooting advice :

You have to add a repo.
  • Beginner -- OK
  • Noob -- What's that?
  • Windows User -- I just want to click Next -> Next -> Next -> Next and end up with random toolbars in my browser.
You have to use 'sudo' for that.
  • Beginner -- OK
  • Noob -- What's that?
  • Windows User -- I just want to click Next -> Next -> Next -> Next and end up with random toolbars in my browser.
Estimates I have seen show that Linux is on less than 2% of desktops. To have more users Linux has to be approachable for someone coming from Windows.

If you do want more users then it seems wise to get behind Ubuntu Studio and AV Linux. Although it is more 'Linux-y' to start with a standard distro and adapt it for audio, this approach is beyond the ability or inclination of a lot of potential users.

User avatar
Michael Willis
Established Member
Posts: 844
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:27 pm
Location: Rocky Mountains, North America
Contact:

Re: Do you want more people to use Linux for music?

Postby Michael Willis » Fri May 31, 2019 2:51 pm

merlyn wrote:Below that is the Windows User.

I don't think this is really fair. There are lots of different skills involved in using a computer to produce music. Knowing how to use the OS is just one facet. Just because somebody is doing it on Windows doesn't mean that they are a complete hapless idiot. I have a lot of respect for plenty of musicians that happen to use Windows.

merlyn
Established Member
Posts: 487
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:13 pm

Re: Do you want more people to use Linux for music?

Postby merlyn » Fri May 31, 2019 3:09 pm

@Michael Willis What I mean is that someone who is coming to Linux from Windows is in a worse position than someone starting from scratch. Someone used to Windows has to unlearn Windows and the Windows ways of doing things when learning Linux. I'm not referring to Windows Users on Windows.

Support for Windows 7 stops in 2020 so we may see an exodus of musicians when faced with the thing known as Windows 10 :D

User avatar
sysrqer
Established Member
Posts: 1823
Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:47 pm
Contact:

Re: Do you want more people to use Linux for music?

Postby sysrqer » Fri May 31, 2019 3:13 pm

merlyn wrote:@Michael Willis What I mean is that someone who is coming to Linux from Windows is in a worse position than someone starting from scratch. Someone used to Windows has to unlearn Windows and the Windows ways of doing things when learning Linux. I'm not referring to Windows Users on Windows.

Support for Windows 7 stops in 2020 so we may see an exodus of musicians when faced with the thing known as Windows 10 :D

Windows 10 is loads better for music than 7 imo. Didn't we think the same about the EOL for XP though?

User avatar
milo
Established Member
Posts: 261
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:55 am
Location: Southern Utah, USA
Contact:

Re: Do you want more people to use Linux for music?

Postby milo » Fri May 31, 2019 3:23 pm

My main reason for voting Yes in the poll is that I want to have a community full of interesting people that I can learn from, making interesting music, developing and refining tools that I can use. The actual market share of the platform is incidental to me, as long as the Linux world remains vibrant, open, and fun.

merlyn
Established Member
Posts: 487
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:13 pm

Re: Do you want more people to use Linux for music?

Postby merlyn » Fri May 31, 2019 3:25 pm

For the number of Linux users to increase we have to 'turn' Windows users. That means making Linux more attractive and accessible to them. Which means more GUIs, less command line.

User avatar
CrocoDuck
Established Member
Posts: 1056
Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 6:12 pm
Contact:

Re: Do you want more people to use Linux for music?

Postby CrocoDuck » Fri May 31, 2019 3:31 pm

This is not really a yes or no question, I believe.

What I really would like to see is the Linux audio stack becoming more performant and more straightforward to use*. Not that things are bad as of now, but I am happy to be seeing the RT patch getting Incorporated into the main kernel branch, and I am following this project with some attention: https://pipewire.org/

Incidentally, a more straightforward (to use) and performant audio stack might be a very significant portion of what is needed to get more users on board.

As far as musicians are concerned, I do believe that windoze is still dominating the share but I think that Mac share in this domain is higher with respect desktop use, so I do not think that the Linux VS Windows comparison is all there is to the story.

Anyway, I do not think I want more people to use Linux, and by that I mean that as long as people are able to produce the art they want then really they can use whatever they like, from windoze to a Commodore64. Or a tape recorder. I do not have a desire for people to do what they do on Linux just because I like Linux. I don't think of this as a religion to which I have to convert as many people as possible. But of course I would be happy if more people find in Linux what they are searching for.

As a final comment, a possible consequence of attracting users from other platforms is that they will most likely want to try to use the software they are accustomed to. This might mean a lot of development happening on the wine side of things, maybe it could mean more commercial software released for Linux, which as far as I am concerned are positives. On the downside, if that had to happen by some huge number, open source projects that have been around for many years might loose the spotlight and even risk getting abandoned. Maybe. I really do not know, to be honest. Kinda rambling on this last paragraph...

[*] Empathizing to use because other operating systems are actually not that less complicated than Linux under the hood, but somehow they feel easier to get working and manage. Things do look tricky when you are exposed to the machinery of ALSA + PulseAudio + Jack.
Last edited by CrocoDuck on Fri May 31, 2019 3:45 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Check my Linux audio experiments on my SoundCloud.
Browse my AUR packages.
Fancying a swim in the pond?

User avatar
CrocoDuck
Established Member
Posts: 1056
Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 6:12 pm
Contact:

Re: Do you want more people to use Linux for music?

Postby CrocoDuck » Fri May 31, 2019 3:33 pm

merlyn wrote:For the number of Linux users to increase we have to 'turn' Windows users. That means making Linux more attractive and accessible to them. Which means more GUIs, less command line.


As long as the command line is not replaced by GUI tools, OK. I want my command line. You will get the command line away from me over my dead body :D .
Check my Linux audio experiments on my SoundCloud.
Browse my AUR packages.
Fancying a swim in the pond?

supereb
Established Member
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:55 pm

Re: Do you want more people to use Linux for music?

Postby supereb » Fri May 31, 2019 3:34 pm

Regardless of individual capability, attracting people to Linux comes down to ease of use and some performance benefit. Although I am now "into" Linux, and with great pleasure have gone further and deeper into Linux than I imagined, my main reasons for coming over was that Microsoft has gradually removed user controls, forced updates and that Windows is a big compromise when it comes to DAW performance. I didn't really care about what Linux is about like I do now. Really, I just wanted an appliance for facilitation of the creation of music without the compromises of an OS that does everything okay but not one thing as well as possible.

It wasn't easy. It took me quite a while to get everything working the way I want. If I didn't already have some technical experience to begin with, I probably would have stayed with Windows.

People have to see some benefit to moving over to Linux. AVLinux and Ubuntu Studio partly solve the ease of use problem, but lack of interface and plugin support negate all the benefits for a lot of musicians. Who wants to have to buy a different interface and either stop using plugins they are used to or go through the trouble to get them working through some sort of bridge? Some people, even if they are capable, don't want to bother with all of the technical stuff to make it happen.

We need a larger user base to get manufactures and mainstream plugin developers on board and we need more manufacturers and mainstream plugin developers to get on board to get a larger user base!

User avatar
CrocoDuck
Established Member
Posts: 1056
Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 6:12 pm
Contact:

Re: Do you want more people to use Linux for music?

Postby CrocoDuck » Fri May 31, 2019 3:49 pm

supereb wrote:People have to see some benefit to moving over to Linux. AVLinux and Ubuntu Studio partly solve the ease of use problem, but lack of interface and plugin support negate all the benefits for a lot of musicians. Who wants to have to buy a different interface and either stop using plugins they are used to or go through the trouble to get them working through some sort of bridge? Some people, even if they are capable, don't want to bother with all of the technical stuff to make it happen.


When you put that into perspective, I would say Linux has an edge. There is plenty of software from Windoze that can run on Linux, but the vice versa is not true. While I think it is true that many potential users might feel in that way, reality is that Linux is amazing enough to be able to run software written for other platforms, while other platforms typically lack on this. Hardware coverage nowadays is not really that bad, thanks to there being many class compliant devices.
Check my Linux audio experiments on my SoundCloud.
Browse my AUR packages.
Fancying a swim in the pond?

ufug
Established Member
Posts: 413
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:28 am

Re: Do you want more people to use Linux for music?

Postby ufug » Fri May 31, 2019 4:55 pm

The more the merrier! I don't think musicians swarming to Linux is a problem that we will be lucky enough to have though.

I use Linux because it works, and because the other two real options for a desktop OS are offensive to me on an ethical level. But to be 100% honest, making music on Linux has still not caught up to how easy it was for me to do on my Mac when I switched over back in 2006. That's a weird thing to type, but it's true.

Mad props to the people who have put in the hours to make it possible! I am grateful every day. But if I couldn't do it on Linux, I'd unplug the computer and go back to hardware.

ufug
Established Member
Posts: 413
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:28 am

Re: Do you want more people to use Linux for music?

Postby ufug » Fri May 31, 2019 5:09 pm

Oh something to add that sort-of fits here:

I wrote a letter to Tape Op last month (if you don't know it, Tape Op is a fantastic, free magazine focused on audio engineering) and asked them to state Linux compatibility when reviewing hardware (at the end of the reviews where they list OS requirements for computer connected hardware). To my surprise, the reviews editor wrote back quickly and committed to doing this. They are quite interested in Linux audio in general.

I imagine manufacturers will be loathe to give them the information. But at least now an influential audio magazine (which is on the coffee tables and in the control rooms of just about every recording studio) will be asking manufactures about Linux compatibility.

supereb
Established Member
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:55 pm

Re: Do you want more people to use Linux for music?

Postby supereb » Fri May 31, 2019 5:15 pm

ufug wrote:I wrote a letter to Tape Op last month... To my surprise, the reviews editor wrote back quickly and committed to doing this. They are quite interested in Linux audio in general.


That's a step in the right direction. Thanks for doing that!

User avatar
milo
Established Member
Posts: 261
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:55 am
Location: Southern Utah, USA
Contact:

Re: Do you want more people to use Linux for music?

Postby milo » Fri May 31, 2019 9:07 pm

CrocoDuck wrote:When you put that into perspective, I would say Linux has an edge. There is plenty of software from Windoze that can run on Linux, but the vice versa is not true. While I think it is true that many potential users might feel in that way, reality is that Linux is amazing enough to be able to run software written for other platforms, while other platforms typically lack on this. Hardware coverage nowadays is not really that bad, thanks to there being many class compliant devices.


I agree with this, from my personal migration story 15+ years ago. My first foray into Free Software was The GIMP on Windows, which was really impressive to me. By the time I finally switched 100% over to Linux a few years later I had been using OpenOffice and Firefox for years on Windows, so they were old familiar friends on the Linux desktop.

Having LMMS, JACK, Ardour, Audacity, etc available as Windows binaries is important for this reason.

User avatar
raboof
Established Member
Posts: 1639
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 11:58 am
Location: Deventer, NL
Contact:

Re: Do you want more people to use Linux for music?

Postby raboof » Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:14 am

merlyn wrote:are you sure? Have you thought it through?

There are different levels of experience and ability.


Yes, I would like more people to use Linux for music. I don't care about levels of experience nor ability. I do care about mindset: I'm not too interested in 'consumer mindset' users, but would love to see more users with the 'tinkerer mindset'.

People with the 'consumer mindset' are those who want things to be simple and complain when they don't work the way they expected.

People with the 'tinkerer mindset' also want (some) things to be simple - you can't learn everything at once - but are interested in experimenting, sharing and learning. Rather than just complaining, they offer useful feedback and participate to improve the status quo.

This is not to say I think people with a 'consumer mindset' should not use Linux: Linux could be a great choice for this kind of user, and I think it is useful to keep improving the Linux experience with those users in mind. After all, this is not black-and-white: those who come in with the 'consumer mindset' might learn a thing or two about the 'tinkerer mindset', and things that improve the experience for those with the 'consumer mindset' likely also help the 'tinkerer' demographic.

But what we need to scale is is not more consumers, it's more tinkerers.


Return to “Music & FOSS Advocacy”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest