[LAU] Jack max ports question

Brent Busby brent at keycorner.org
Sun Aug 2 16:38:00 UTC 2015

Paul Davis <paul at linuxaudiosystems.com> writes:

> After you've talked (on IRC) to a dozen or more people who failed to
> identify the need to choose a device, and tried to ask them why they
> didn't see this need ... it is already too late. They already can no
> longer identify or remember why the choice was inobvious to them. This
> comes up at least once a week on #ardour, and every time I'm around
> for it, I've tried to gently quiz the user in a way that avoids me
> telling them the issue, to see if I can get an understanding of what
> their mental model was that managed to avoid "need to choose device".
> So far, I've been unable to do so. The closest I can get is that some
> users may have a model in which all audio going in and out of a
> computer, regardless of the number of devices, is part of a single,
> monolithic system, and that they will be able to make their choice
> about inputs and outputs once their are inside an application where
> this is necessary. I still don't think this fully captures the mental
> model that exists before someone realizes "oh yeah, I need to choose
> the device". But in some ways, it is a solid model for a particular
> class of users. Why should they have to tell JACK ahead of time what
> device to use? Why doesn't it show ALL the inputs and outputs on their
> computer, and just let them choose which ones to use? This is not a
> silly view of the universe.

I think it comes down to the people who read the directions before they
use something versus the ones who think directions are for after you've
already gotten yourself into trouble.

If you browse the web looking for material on Linux recording, talk of
Jack is everywhere.  It's the most important theme in the way Linux
handles things, and you can't read about Linux audio online for ten
minutes without finding out about how Linux has this service that's like
a virtual patchbay, that you can run all your ITB and physical wire
audio and Midi through, and you configure it through QJackCtl or
Patchage.  It's literally impossible to go reading online about
recording on Linux and not have this come up.

However, in the world of commercial Windows/Mac apps, it's very rare
that you need to have a second app running to facilitate your usage of
the app you think you want.  You want a word processor, you fire up
Word, and it gives you everything you think you need.  If there are any
background services needed also, they're invisible.  As far as you're
concerned, you're being served by Word.  All the closed/commercial apps
are like that.  So if you're the type of user who figures they'll go
reading *if* they get into trouble, you very well might end up running
Ardour before you've ever even heard of Jack or its frontends.  You may
have never heard of them, even though it's one of the most pervasive
topics about Linux audio/recording online.  You're basically talking
about people who read the directions as a last resort.

+ Brent A. Busby	 + "We've all heard that a million monkeys
+ Sr. UNIX Systems Admin +  banging on a million typewriters will
+ University of Chicago	 +  eventually reproduce the entire works of
+ James Franck Institute +  Shakespeare.  Now, thanks to the Internet,
+ Materials Research Ctr +  we know this is not true." -Robert Wilensky

More information about the Linux-audio-user mailing list