First off, I would like to extend my thanks to all the board members,
especially Daniel, for entrusting me the honor as well as the responsibility
of the Director of Linuxaudio.org consortium. I sincerely hope that during
my term I will be able to live up to your expectations :-).
Right before my departure for LAC, I posted a reply with a brief overview of
my goals for the consortium for the upcoming year, apparently, that e-mail
was sent to the "management" list and therefore not everyone got to read
about them. Therefore, I would like to use this opportunity to present you
with a quick overview of the ideas I would like to pursue (naturally, with
the board's blessing) over the course of next 12 months. Considering that
these goals are very much in-line with my LAC paper, I will present them in
the form which has met support from both the consortium members who had
attended the meeting, as well as other general participants who were there
in order to learn more about the consortium. I will, however, provide some
additional thoughts in respect to each of the sub-initiatives that I've been
toying with since my return from LAC. Therefore, please observe the
information below as a mere list of suggestions.
"Made in GNU/Linux" initiative whose scope is described below, is an
expansion of the consortium's operations in order to better serve the
community. The sub-initiatives are listed in no particular order (also
please note that many of them offer overlapping benefits which is annotated
appropriately in their description):
1) Continue expansion of the membership base
*I've talked with the FreeBob project developers in order to follow-up on
the Daniel's correspondence with them prior to the LAC and they have
expressed genuine interest in joining, which, as Daniel has already reported
earlier today, they have already done.
*John ffitch (Csound) also expressed interest in joining, and I have
received an e-mail earlier today from Dave Phillips (who had contacted John
via csound list) suggesting that this should happen any day now.
*Han-Wen and Jan of Lilypond project, after an interesting discourse have
also expressed interest in joining. I've contacted them earlier today in
order to once again encourage them to join the consortium and I just
received an e-mail confirming their interest.
*Ludger Bruemmer, head of the ZKM music dept., has also expressed interest
in supporting Linuxaudio.org via ZKM (as an institution). I am currently in
touch with Goetz to see if this will pan out.
*Several other users/developers who attended the consortium meeting at LAC
(it was open to all who wished to attend) have expressed general approval of
the consortium's goals as well as the goals listed below.
2) Offer non-project-oriented (i.e. user) membership
*While the consortium is currently primarily focusing on project/institution
membership, I feel that we should also reach out to the end-user members of
the community, including also an important sub-group -- artists. In order to
foster exposure, my belief is that Linux audio software needs to be featured
in real-world situations to really gain credibility. Naturally, this is
already happening on various levels but I would want to see Linuxaudio.org
take on a more active stance towards this form of outreach.
*Some end-users I've interacted with have expressed willingness to
contribute to the community but felt that they lacked necessary skills (i.e.
development, dreaded documentation writing). My belief is that the end-users
should be offered an avenue through which they could contribute to the
community, including donations and/or membership fees (for more on this
please see below under the heading "foundation"), as well as
interaction/collaboration with other sub-groups.
3) Serve as converging point between various sub-groups
*Developers, end-users, commercial vendors, other open-source
groups/foundations (FSF), media, other.
*Encourage interaction and cross-collaboration.
*Generate membership options for each of these sub-groups in as inclusive
fashion as possible. For instance, offer various levels of membership (i.e.
for developers we could have following membership levels: "supporter" is a
non-paying member who supports the consortium by being part of it and in
return is linked from the consortium's page and has a vote in decisions,
"patron" is a paying member who in addition to "supporter's" benefits also
gets PR exposure through initiatives sponsored by the foundation, etc.)
4) Provide database-driven website that would eventually encompass an
exhaustive search for various audio-related software, linux artists,
supported hardware etc.
5) Expand board's functions in order to cover necessary functions that will
be introduced with the implementation of a foundation
*Hardware vendor contact
6) Instantiate a not-for-profit foundation
*Establish various levels of membership for various sub-groups including
ones with annual dues
*Seek funding opportunities from commercial vendors
*Generate initiatives that provide additional cash-flow (i.e. CD
compilations, journals, other)
*Offer annual awards for best Linux audio-related art and for the software
project that made most progress in the past year (additional rules would
apply, i.e. same project cannot win more than once, or perhaps not more than
once in 5 years, etc.)
*Consider making awards available only to the paying projects OR make every
linux audio project eligible and if they win and happen not to be part of
the consortium, they get a complimentary membership for one year (which
would hopefully encourage them to remain members)
*Most importantly, use money for PR stuff (posters in magazines, conference
*Seek sponsorship/support from institutions and companies alike
*Sponsor creation of specific documentation (prioritizing could be voted on
by the membership base)
*Consider forming the foundation in a country that is Linux-friendly (i.e.
no volatile patent support etc.) -- this may not be that relevant, though. I
would actually appreciate some thoughts on this point.
7) Generate consortium's logo
*Necessary for letterheads, media exposure, etc.
*Would be available in several sub-flavors for use by members as well as
commercial vendors (with appropriate licensing fee): a) "Made in GNU/Linux"
would be for projects which have been developed primarily on Linux platform,
b) logo without the aforementioned statement would be for others.
*The use of the logo by members would be encouraged but not mandated.
*The placement of logo (on the website or inside the application) would be
left to project developer's discretion.
8) Strengthen ties with other open-source foundations (i.e. FSF)
*Ability to rely upon legal and other forms of help when necessary
9) Provide exhaustive info for newcomers
*Endorse linux distributions
That should more or less it in a very rough form. As you can see there are a
lot of things and ideas but I believe what needs to happen first is to place
these into some sort of a timeline and establish time-stamped milestones.
Since I am quite tired (still fighting the jetlag) and this e-mail is way
longer than what I originally anticipated it to be, if you don't mind I
would like to talk about this aspect of my proposal later on this week in a
follow-up e-mail. In the meantime, I would greatly appreciate any feedback
on these ideas.
Once again, many thanks to all, especially to the linuxaudio.org members who
have generously shared their thoughts at LAC in order to make this
Ivica Ico Bukvic, composer & multimedia sculptor
> I think it is good time for you to communicate with the "Open
> Generic Transporter" working group (SC02-06G) in AES.
Thanks for the information - I think Jody McIntyre will want to follow
that up. Jody, can you let us know how you get on please?
> Also we hope we can open sample source code of current mLAN connection
> management system and mLAN device control modules for Linux with in
> several months.
That's great news - I'm sure there are many Linux developers who will
want to take a look at that.
> But I am not so familiar with Linux community any advice
> and suggestions about our contribution would be appreciated.
The best way to communicate directly with developers is to use the
linux-audio-announce and linux-audio-developer mailing lists, which you
can find here:
This list is just for announcements
This list is for discussions
If you need to get in touch with Linux companies and projects,
linuxaudio.org has a consortium mailing list:
Terry Holton at Yamaha R&D in London suggested I contact you regarding
mLAN support on Linux. The Linuxaudio.org consortium has several members
interested in FireWire and audio networking, but since many of these
developers work for small specialist companies or in an academic
context, they are unsure about access to the mLAN specifications.
Is there some way in which we can work together to provide
specifications to these developers? I note that one of our recent new
member organisations, the FreeBob project, includes a developer who
works for BridgeCo - which is an mLAN licencee of course.
Please let me know your thoughts on the matter.
> I'm the author of the GNUitar project www.gnuitar.com. Let's link
I'm afraid we don't have a links directory as such - are you on
Of course you would be welcome to join linuxaudio.org as a member -
please see the Policy page on our site. If you can agree to these terms,
please contact the new director, Ivica Ico Bukvic - his email is
Linuxaudio.org has gained three new members:
A project developing support for FireWire audio interfaces
Music Technology Laboratory
Part of the music department at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth
A Linux distribution for creative x86_64 users
(I should point out that the third one is my new start-up company).
This brings the total number of members to 23 projects, organisations
As some of you will already know, after holding the voluntary post of
linuxaudio.org director for over a year, I have stepped down in order to
concentrate on my new company, and also to give someone else a chance to
represent the Linux audio community. The Management Board has approved
Ivica Ico Bukvic as the new director, after he volunteered for the role.
> > The representative of M-Audio was under the impression that 'the
> > guys from SuSE' were working with them on support for the
> > FireWire 410 product.
> Hehe, interesting. "The guys" mostlikely are we. But the FireWire
> 410 and 1810 from M-Audio are not BeBob based.
Maybe he was thinking of the ALSA project then - I haven't heard back
from them yet, but I'd guess they're busy getting ready for the
> We might support
> them in future (if someone finds time to do so). But currently we
> are concentrating on the real BeBob based products.
I think (or hope) that we are moving into a new phase where
manufacturers are more actively involved in Linux support for their
audio products. So hopefully volunteer time won't be so much of a
constraining factor in future.
> If you want to ask about help, ask for a BeBob based firmware. That
> would be the best thing for all.
Exactly which format do you need this firmware in? Presumably you have
the binary already for the particular device you are testing on?
Wouldn't sample hardware on loan + firmware be better? I don't think
that's impossible to arrange. If it makes these companies feel more
comfortable about sending the hardware out, we could arrange for the
Freebob project to become a member of linuxaudio.org - you'd be most
welcome of course. (It doesn't cost anything to join).
> > Other companies that provided new contacts included Focusrite
> > (they now also make a FireWire interface), and the UK distributor
> > of RME products.
> The new Saphire is a BeBob based product.
Yes indeed, although it has other functions on top of the audio
interface, such as DSP effects. I'm guessing this will need some kind
of control application on top of the userspace driver.
> Which products on the markt are MLan based?
There is a list here:
According to this page, the mLAN spec is royalty-free and there is a
BridgeCo chipset for it:
There are three kinds of mLAN licence:
As far I can see, driver development for a 'control node' requires a
PTT (Patent, Technical information & Trademark) License.
This page says that among others, BridgeCo is a licensee:
Linuxaudio.org enjoyed a very successful three days at the Sounds Expo
trade show in London last week. The organisation was represented by
Chris Cannam and Richard Bown of Fervent Software, Free Ekanayaka and
Tim Hall from AGNULA/DeMuDi and myself. Here's a summary of what
1. AMD sponsorship
Despite a considerable discount from the organisers of Sounds Expo
because we were running a not-for-profit stand, our participation was
only made possible due to generous and significant sponsorship from
AMD. Per Bahr from AMD joined us on the stand, where we gave out
promotional material featuring AMD's artist sponsorship programme and
the Opteron architecture, as well as pens, keyrings and so on. I
demonstrated a prototype of the '64 Studio' distribution running
natively on an Athlon 64 laptop, featuring JACK and Ardour.
2. Stand visitors
There was an obvious increase from last year in the number of stand
visitors who said they were already running Linux, if mostly for
non-audio tasks such as web development. For many of these users, the
questions were "why should I use a customised distribution?" and
"which applications do you reccomend?" rather than "what is Linux?".
However, there were still a great number of show visitors who had not
seen Linux before, even though most of them had heard of it.
A number of stand visitors were from UK educational institutions who
were actively considering replacing Windows and Mac OS with Linux for
music and multimedia courses. These institutions need both software
and consultancy services, so if Linuxaudio.org members are interested
in following up with these contacts, please let me know.
4. FireWire support
Due to the immature state of FireWire audio interface support on
Linux, we paid special attention to this area when speaking to
exhibitors in other booths. We now have new contacts with Focusrite,
M-Audio, RME and Yamaha in order to follow this up. We also enquired
about the fine print of mLAN licensing, and whether there is a way we
can get control node specifications for Linux audio developers. If
members are interested in forming a specialist FireWire group within
Linuxaudio.org, please let me know.
One of the most positive exhibitors regarding support for Linux
developers was Behringer, which has offered to help make sure that
Linux works well with its products - particularly its range of
control surfaces. These already work with Linux applications to a
certain extent, but the interaction could benefit from some polish.
If you need a contact within the company, please let me know.
This company makes a dedicated hardware controller for DJs:
They are interested in getting Linux support for it, and we suggested
that they consider working with the developer community to
JACK-enable it, possibly based around the jackEQ software mixer. If
you are interested in this project, just let me know and I will put
you in touch with the company.
7. Embedded devices
There were several Linux-based products on other stands, with the Korg
Oasys perhaps the star of the show. Although these embedded systems
usually run a proprietary application on top of a Linux distribution,
they seem to be rasing the profile of Linux in the audio industry. I
believe instruments like the Oasys had a noticeable effect on the
other exhibitors at Sounds Expo, particularly on the issue of
hardware support for Linux.
8. Linux presentation
At short notice, I prepared and delivered a presentation in the Sound
on Sound theatre entitled 'Linux in the recording studio - myths and
realities". This covers the history of free and proprietary software,
leading up to a brief discussion and demonstration of Linux audio
applications. If anyone would like the slides or speaker notes from
this presentation for reuse, please ask.
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i'll not meet you at LAC2005 in ZKM
i planned to come, but i have suddenly to cancel
i'm sorry, and wish you good time!
BTW if anyone wants to come and visit Amsterdam:
you're all welcome
jaromil, dyne.org rasta coder, http://rastasoft.org
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Version: GnuPG v1.2.4 (GNU/Linux)
Comment: Cryptographically signed mail, see http://gnupg.org
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Hello ALSA team,
At the recent Sounds Expo in London, I took the opportunity to talk to
FireWire interface vendors, and also to Yamaha about MLan.
Regarding FireWire audio in general, the companies were much more
positive this year, actively talking about working with the Linux
audio community. I suspect this has a lot to do with a) an increase
in the level of customers asking about Linux and b) high-profile
manufacturers, such as Korg, adopting Linux for music devices which
will quite possibly have built-in FireWire support.
The representative of M-Audio was under the impression that 'the guys
from SuSE' were working with them on support for the FireWire 410
product. Is this indeed the case, or are you working under NDA
Other companies that provided new contacts included Focusrite (they
now also make a FireWire interface), and the UK distributor of RME
products. If we can help the ALSA project by passing on these
contacts, just let me know. (I also have a contact with Behringer
regarding support for their USB 2.0 interface and control surfaces).
On the subject of MLan, I was given a contact in the MLan licensing
department at Yamaha when I enquired if there was some way the
control node specification could be made available to linuxaudio.org
members. Last year at Sounds Expo, a representative of Yamaha gave
the opinion that developers could probably have the specs if they
asked for them, so it's about time we chased this up.