[linux-audio-user] Re: [linux-audio-dev] RME is no more

Mark Knecht markknecht at gmail.com
Fri Nov 26 17:17:49 EST 2004

On Sat, 27 Nov 2004 00:34:17 +0100, Marek Peteraj <marpet at naex.sk> wrote:
> 2. I can only understand the point of view of open source developers
> here, since they also invested an awfull lot of time (and money that
> they didn't get back!) into developing linux audio applications, many of
> which are state-of-art at least with respect to technology. And they're
> free as in beer/speech.

That was their choice. Right? 

> That said i really don't understand the point of view of those few how
> actually kindof defend the position of RME (or any other manufacturer in
> a similar position), no offense intended.

RME's position, and I am only guessing here, is that they would be
happy to release info to the Open Source community __IF__ that
information didn't help their competitors develop hardware that
competed with RME. It is natural for people who have spent money to
want to protect it's value. We are that way with our own purchases,
correct? I (and I think you...) would not be happy if I  bought
something and then it stopped working, or if the company you bought it
from stopped supporting it. RME is the same way. They invest hundreds
of thousands, if not millions of Euro's developing new hardware ideas.
They create software to support it and make it work. Then all the
technical information goes into the public domain and some low cost
manufacturer from Taiwan or Russia or somewhere else knocks off a copy
and sells it for 1/2 the price. No one buys RME hardware, RME doesn't
make money and goes out of business.

What's so hard to understand?

This is not just about info out into the Linux world. What is released
here is available to people making hardware for the Windows and Mac
markets to remember.

> > The RME story also goes for the firewire interface of M-Audio. They use
> > a DM1000 based platform, so initially we thought the device could be
> > supported by FreeBob. But apparently they modified the reference
> > firmware, making it (possibly) non-conformant to the 1394TA specs. As
> > such these devices cannot be supported by FreeBob directly. Maybe if we
> > have a working driver, we can convince the M-Audio people to share the
> > nescessary info so that we can support their devices also.
> Which seems like it's the beginning of end for linux pro-audio hw
> support if we don't fight for it. Right now it concerns just me, but it
> might concern everyone in the near future.

This I agree with, but the best way to fight for it (speaking as a
business man) is to develop a real market for it. We need thousands of
buyers. Develop the market and hardware manufacturers will come.

- Mark

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