It really was only a matter of time. With the power of free software, that adjusts to users needs and wants in a much more natural way (and in much shorter loops) than closed source software, eventually a free software stack for authoring/designing creative digital content would come into existence that would be better then the closed source alternatives, even if those closed source stacks were designed really really well. Couple that with the advantages of free software:
– Cost (“Free as in speech” software is also “Free as in beer”)
– Customization potential (Free software includes the freedom to modify)
– Being able to share your software with others (i.e., increases users’ connectivity)
– Higher quality and stability of free software
That’s all on the pluses for free software over proprietary. Now there are some very particular minuses for Apple (all their own doing):
– Poor record on care for the environment (Ipods that you can’t replace batteries on and have to throw away rather than change batteries? And All those nasty chemicals Apple used in their hardware manufacturing…?) (Note I do acknowledge that after Green Peace launched a protest web site Apple has changed some of their policies–but why did it take the protest, Steve? Could it be a belated example of greenwashing?)
– Too expensive for the current economic climate. This goes far beyond the above point about free software, but speaks to the hole apple has dug for themselves by never covering their bottom of the market. Where’s the Apple netbook, for example? (Frugality is in guys)
Their are probably others, but Apple is now on the wrong side of every major current trend, except the one for high quality design. But good design cannot exist in a vacuum, and that’s where Apple has put their good design: in a vacuum away from morality or environmental stewardship.
So, as covered at slash dot, the cool new musicians are not using garage band any more, but ardour on Ubuntu:
By Kim Cascone
Here’s a switcher story of a different color: from the Mac, to Linux. It’s one thing to talk about operating systems and free software in theory, or to hear from died-in-the-wool advocates of their platform of choice. In this case, we turn to Kim Cascone, an experienced and gifted musician and composer with an impressive resume of releases and a rich sens of sound. This isn’t someone advocating any platform over another: it’s an on-the-ground, in-the-trenches, real-world example of how Kim made this set of tools work in his music, in the studio and on tour. A particular thanks, as he’s given me some new ideas for how to work with Audacity and Baudline. Kim puts his current setup in the context of decades of computer work. Even if you’re not ready to leave Mac (or Windows) just yet, Kim’s workflow here could help if you’re looking to make a Linux netbook or laptop more productive in your existing rig.
Stay tuned, as I’ll have some other stories on how to make your Linux music workflow effective creatively, particularly in regards to leaping over some of the setup hurdles Kim describes. -PK
That’s the intro to the article, here’s an interesting extract. (Full article here.)
I loaded up my Dell with all a selection of Linux audio applications and brought it with me on tour as an emergency backup to my tottering PowerBook. The Mini 9 could play back four tracks of 24-bit/96 kHz audio with effects – not bad for a netbook. The solution to my financial constraint became clear, and I bought a refurbished Dell Studio 15, installed Ubuntu on it, and set it up for sound production and business administration. The total cost was around $600 for the laptop plus a donation to a software developer — a far cry from the $3000.00 price tag and weeks of my time it would have cost me to stay locked-in to Apple. After a couple of months of solid use, I have had no problems with my laptop or Ubuntu. Both have performed flawlessly, remaining stable and reliable.