This is pretty good discussion. However, IMHO, the concentration should be
on new apps and new directions that are not quite covered yet. I would
encourage the linux audio developer community to embrace what works well in
the Windows/Mac Audio world and do new things that provides new capabilities
for the musician (which Linux could do really well).
Since we're discussing Rube Goldberg, I probably have the weirdest setup on
the planet. I've got 4 old 8 channel soundcards hooked up in parallel with
an alsa driver that isn't part of alsa. I'm using PlanetCCRMA Fedora Core
8 (I'm waiting for 10 or 11 to settle down) and a 64 bit kernel. I've
managed somehow to get WineASIO/Jackbridge to work, so I can also run Reaper
and get VST effects. I can run a lot of programs (like Ableton Live) using
WineASIO. I haven't messed with VMWare/Xen/KVM yet, and I may not if my
current setup works out. There is an AWFUL lot of things I haven't figured
out yet (like how to get automation to happen with Ardour).
I would suggest that the best approach would be taking various audio
streaming formats (such as ADAT, TDIF, etc) and have them reformatted into a
standard that can be used with a low cost interface (such as eSATA,
Ethernet). ATA over Ethernet is a good model to use. It would be possible
with modern processors to put a virtual machine inside a Windows box and
have a fake place for the audio to be routed and could grab the
esata/Ethernet port for our own evil purposes. If we allow Ableton Live to
do what it is good at and incorporate it's outputs into the evil Linux
'Master Plan', pretty soon we'll suck up all the audio and everyone will
absolutely require this neat thing we've got. I think if too much energy
is spent cloning a good idea, we will always be a rev behind and never with
as good a quality as the original.
BTW - Many of the really good musicians I know have all they can do to put
something in FaceBook and a lot of them don't even have email accounts (I'm
jealous of this - How to they spend their day?). Linux audio probably has
300-1000 serious devotees on the planet compared to several million with
Windows audio (it's the price you gotta pay for being 'right'). This is the
ultimate 'paper covers rock' scenario because the best we can hope for it to
provide a cover/coat of paint over the larger Windows Audio. Maybe we
should develop a 'Thermopylae' theme.
I am obviously an OS agnostic in a Linux religious discussion.
Just my 2cents worth...
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