Amy Alexander on Sat, 21 Jul 2001 00:19:41 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Fwd: GNU/Linux for multimedia artists

This is good to see. I've been working with multimedia under Linux for the
past few years. Because of the open way you can work with Unix - i.e.
easily configuring apps and getting them to "talk" to one another - it's
been ideal for my net art projects like theBot ( and
netsong ( - with Peter Traub).  So for example, in
netsong, we pipe text into a speech synthesizer and then pipe the speech
into csound to make it "musical", then pipe it into an mp3 encoder and
finally into icecast to serve it. Linux has lots of configurable,
command-line software like this available, so it's great for process-based
web projects, performances, and installations.

But for interactive production Linux has not been so easy to work with.
It's not too bad nowadays getting OSS (the sound drivers) set up with most
soundcards, but even so, I can remember downloading sound editing app
after sound editing app, never finding one that was stable and functional
enough to use in place of SoundForge. (SoundForge is a basic sound editor
for Windows.) And as for video, last I checked the Linux video solutions
were still rather kludgy (all sorts of things to figure out and configure)
and not comparable in functionality to Premiere.

I'm not sure that Demudi, from its description, is going to be of much
help in the functionality area, but by taking some of the "kludginess" out
of the configuration, it's clearly a step in the right direction for the
viability of Linux-based multimedia production. (I realize that to some
extent "kludginess" and "openness" go hand in hand, but there are also
happy mediums where both can peacefully co-exist.)


On Fri, 20 Jul 2001, Florian Cramer wrote:

> ----- Forwarded message from Michael Stutz <> -----
> Demudi, a Debian fine-tuned for multimedia, was mentioned on slashdot
> today: "Music and video arts can benefit greatly from the advantages
> of using free software software. In particular, because of the special
> capabilities of free open-source software (and their limitless
> adaptation mechanisms), complex cross-cultural applications like
> computer-assisted composition and digital video editing would finally
> find the proper software context. However, while the multimedia
> software sector is already well developed in the free open-source
> software community, a complete turnkey distribution with ease of
> installation and of use is still lacking.":

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