Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Why use Linux?

Some may wonder why I even bother using Linux when it's probably less easy than the alternatives. Part of the reason is cost. I can try out lots of different free software for nothing, but still contribute something to the projects I really like. There's also the other dimension of free (that may get lost in English as we use the same word for different concepts). This is free as in speech. After my Amiga days I used Windows 98 and 2000, but got frustrated by their limitations. I don't want the operating system to be stopping me from doing things and that's the way Microsoft and Apple were going. The developers behind Linux are not restricted by what they can get away with selling and can concentrate on solving the issues that frustrate them. I know some people in the media industry don't like that sort of anarchy, but they need to concentrate on finding other ways to make money from their so-called 'product'. I'm reading Cory Doctorow's Content at the moment and he has a lot to say on this.

Personally, I am not into getting everything for free as I can afford to buy the music and films I want. I'll try to do this in ways that get the most money to the artist, e.g. via Bandcamp.

I also like the interesting stuff that people are doing with Linux, such as the JACK Audio Connection Kit. I'm sure there are similar concepts on other platforms, but I've not used them.

What I would like to do is to install Ubuntu Studio on a spare partition and then add the KXStudio add-ons that include all sorts of cool stuff. As the guys on the Penguin Producer podcast said, FalkTX, the guy behind KXStudio, is some sort of programming machine and I want to be able to play with those tools. I'm not sure I can optimise my main Kubuntu system for audio and still have it usable by the rest of the family, so I will have to dual-boot for recording. I'd rather not as that adds an extra barrier, but it seems the best way, given that I'm not buying another PC just now.

I haven't done much recording since the Six String Bliss project. That has had some nice reviews and some very interesting comparisons to other artists who I don't really consider to be influences. I think it's just what I sound like and I'd rather sound like me than someone else. I think my next couple of projects will be some cover versions to practice my recording skills. I really need to look more at the available effects.