[LAU] FireWire audio on Linux: past, present and future

Bill Gribble grib at billgribble.com
Fri Jun 15 14:43:11 UTC 2012

On Fri, 2012-06-15 at 10:29 -0400, Dave Phillips wrote:
> Probably so, but both my older mobos support it, my older laptop had it, 
> and my (relatively) newer laptop does not. It has ports aplenty - USB, 
> HDMI, multiformat card slot, etc - but no Firewire. Nothing I looked at 
> had Firewire it when I bought the laptop, and I did specifically look 
> for it.

I'm shopping now, and it is really hard to find FW in the major vendors.
More importantly, it's hard to SEARCH for FW!  You usually have to dig
down to spec sheets or zoom way in on photos, only to be disappointed
most of the time :) 

I have found that many Thinkpads in 15" and 17" displays have either FW,
ExpressCard slots capable of taking a FW card, or both.  I am looking at
a new Ivy Bridge T430, for example.  I have a workhorse T400 that has
served me well for several years and I like Thinkpads. 

Also, I don't know what the driver situation in Linux is, but there are
already several docking stations for Thunderbolt with FW ports (Belkiin
etc) and Apple just announced a TB-FW connector cable.  In their new
Macbook Pros the non-Retina display has FW, but the Retina model only
has TB. 

Are there any serious multichannel audio interfaces with Linux support
that can be used with a non-firewire laptop?  Whatever else is going on,
firewire seems like it's the audio equipment manufacturer's interface of
choice, at least for a while yet. 

Bill Gribble 

More information about the Linux-audio-user mailing list