[LAD] Experience driven design and Linux Audio

Patrick Shirkey pshirkey at boosthardware.com
Thu Oct 2 10:48:20 UTC 2014

On Thu, October 2, 2014 7:44 pm, Neil C Smith wrote:
> On 2 October 2014 10:28, Patrick Shirkey <pshirkey at boosthardware.com>
> wrote:
>> the desktop market is in decline for the consumer portion across
>> the board.
> Assuming by "desktop" you mean traditional PC market, various news
> stories I've read over the last few months would suggest that's not
> declining for the first time in years, and potentially even seeing
> some growth.

I've seen those reports too. They are optimistic but potential growth is
not the same thing as actually growing. It's more likely to be corporate
buyers replacing existing stock.

The current situation is the consumer desktop PC market when it comes to
audio/multimedia has been decimated by mobile. The Linux Audio Market is
currently doing best in embedded hardware.

If we want to consider Android as a Linux OS then Linux Audio is doing the
best that it has been for years with many companies that have nothing to
do with LAD making a business out of their Android applications.

The corporate market is still there as a potential battle ground and will
probably never go away but getting Linux Audio into the corporate market
is a very tough slog.  Even at companies where they have massive
investments in Linux infrastructure and embedded hardware they are still
using OSX for multimedia production and M$ for general purpose

It's almost impossible to convince an established Digital Media department
that Linux is an appropriate platform for their team members. Firstly
there is a massive lack of expertise and training. For example, It is very
rare to see a job ad for a multimedia position that uses open source
technology.  The Blender community is making some headway in the training
aspect of the problem but it is slow going. Nearly every "professional"
multimedia person working in corporate space uses those other tools and
platforms without question.

To change that will require getting into the heads of corporate managers
so they make decisions based on a different set of goals. It's a tough
sell. It will also require students to choose Open Source over proprietary
and that is also a hard nut to crack because the proprietary companies
offer incentives to the HoD's that open source can't match.

Will Linux Desktop professional or consumer multimedia ever become a
growth market? I am not convinced that putting additional effort into
usability is the key to cracking it. IMO there are other issues that need
to be resolved first.

Getting a couple more big names in on the game will be useful too.  I
recall Native-Instruments were on the fence a couple of years back. They
needed more convincing at the time. Maybe they have an update about their
assessment of the current market?

Has anyone here actually tried selling *any* kind of app on the Ubuntu App

Does anyone have actual data about the amount of people out there who use
LAD tools?

>From my perspective the ad hits on LAU Guide are pretty much static after
the past 4 years I am not seeing significant growth or decline month on
month.  One could spin it that we have seen overall growth because it is
unlikely that a lot of the same people would return to the LAU-Guide on a
regular basis. That suggests that there is a reasonable sized potentially
untapped market out there of at least 100k. Who are these mysterious
people and will they spend any money? If I had tracking tags on the site I
might be able to provide more details but I don't.

Until someone nails a mega successful app/model with Linux the other
companies waiting in the wings will continue to dip their toes.

Patrick Shirkey
Boost Hardware Ltd

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