Published on August 6, 2009
Free Software for Free Sound UCDARNET, Open Symposium February, 2007 Xavier Amatriain (CREATE, UCSB, CLAM)
Index Free Software and Open Source Why? Arts and Free Software Free Software and Linux for Audio and Music Digital Luthiers and Open Frameworks CLAM Other Music/Audio Open Source Frameworks Conclusions
Free Software and Open Source
What is Free Software? Freedom 1: unlimited use for any purpose Freedom 2: freedom to study and adapt to your own needs Freedom 3: freedom to copy Freedom 4: freedom to redistribute Free (Libre) as in Freedom not as in Beer Freedom is kept through copyright (because copyright allows licensing)
Open Source Open Source (OSI) is an initiative that starts in 1998 mainly because of personal differences between the founder of the FSF and OSI. It abandons idealistic thinking related to Free Software and only promotes practical advantages related to being able to read the code of a piece of software.
Names and Dates Richard Stallman Starts the GNU Project (1983) Defines Free Software (1985) Introduces the GPL (1985) Linus Torvald Develops the Linux kernel (1991) Eric Raymond Founder of the Open Source Initiative (1998)
Technical/Practical advantages of FLOSS Code is revised by many developers Security (kerchoff's principle) Estability Collaborative effort of large communities Price Although interesting, there are even more important reasons...
FLOSS and Economy Proprietary software by definition favors monopolies that then extend to hardware FLOSS does not kill software industry FLOSS can be comercial It promotes the culture of paying for services, not arbitrarily priced licences Large companies like IBM or Novell are already basing part of their business around FLOSS
Free Software and the University Education should be worried about learning and learning is promoted through a free and open access to information (e.g. libraries) Technology is more than a tool: it is a learning environment in itself At the university we must present with several perspectives and favor criticism and dialog University teaches how to learn not how to use a particular tool Coding is not only for programmers but for scientists, artists, children...
Free Software and Research Scientific method depends in many senses on the free exchange of knowledge and ideas Nowadays implementation is actually part of the result Software is and should be considered in many cases like some other sort of publication With Free Software we: Facilitate for others to compare results We preserve knowledge
Social and Ethical aspects Access to software determines people's ability to: Communicate Educate Work Software should be considered as cultural heritage Software will condition more and more the vision of the world new generations have Who should control these aspects of society? A single company? Two companies?
Arts and Free Software
The Piece of Art in the Digital Era Piece of Art = Content + Techniques In order to fully understand a piece of art we need to understand the techniques Digital Piece of Art = Content + Techniques + System In order to fully undertand a digital piece of art we also need to understand the system and be able to access it to the lowest level (code!)
Free Expression There is no Free Expression without control of the Tools you use (agnula.org) Would Mozart have composed a line of music for an instrument he wasn't exactly sure what was doing internally or producing its sound? Would Michelangelo have painted the Sixtine Chapel using a strange device that might have been recording his personal conversations while painting An artist needs to be in full control of the tools (be able to modify, adapt, copy, redistribute...) This can be done personally or through trusted technical staff
Digital Art Heritage In order to preserve a digital piece of art we need to preserve the system Systems that are closed and proprietary in general cannot be preserved There are already key compositions in Computer Music that have already been lost because the original (closed) system cannot be reproduced Digital Art Preservation = FLOSS
Sound/Music vs. Video/Image Due to amazing pressure by Record Industry (through RIAA, SGAE...) implementing a website such as Flicker or UTube in the sound/music world is extremely difficult. Artists are sometimes not even allowed to post their own content in their websites See http://freesound.iua.upf.edu or http://www.ccmixter.org/
Free Software and Linux for Audio and Music
Linux and Audio There are plenty of applications, even distributions for Linux audio (visit linuxsound.org) Kguitar Amarok ... etc.
Linux and Audio Linux has unique and outstanding features for professional audio and music Low latency LAC 2007 Berlin Stability Standard protocols Very active community ...
Free Software and Audio So what about other platforms? Most of the previous apps are compatible with Windows/OSX But if you are not going to use proprietary software... what is the point of not using Linux?
Digital Luthiers The ultimate degree of freedom is to be able to create your own tools (personally or through a digital luthier) Many digital pieces of art rely on unique systems and software that have been tailored for the ocasión Sometimes it is not enough with having an open application > you need an open framework!
Frameworks Framework: “a set of classes that embodies an abstract design for solutions to a family of problems” (Johnson&Foote, 88) Framework = model + design patterns + code A framework is a set of prefabricated building blocks that can be extended or costumized for specific applications Both the visual and audio domain have a rich history of application frameworks
Highlights Won the 2006 ACM Best Multimedia Open Source Software award. Constantly compiled and tested on Linux, OSX and Windows > 250 C++ classes, 50K loc Although it currently specializes in audio and music, it presents a metamodel that has proven valid for general multimedia.
Infrastructure. CLAM Network model The CLAM network is a graphical model of computation based on Dataflow Process Networks Scheduling can be performed both statically and dynamically, depending on the particular application.
External Open Source libraries FFTW (FFT) Libsndfile, OggVorbis, Xercesc & libxml (XML libmad (mp3), id3lib, for using DOM API) handling audio files. FLTK and QT GUI oscpack toolkits libjack RtAudio, PortAudio or CppUnit (testing DirectX (for Windows framework, only used for audio) development) pthreads (multithreading on Windows)
Demo: Visual Prototyping XML XML
Other Free Frameworks
At UC UCSB CSL: similar to CLAM but less ambitious and easier to master UCB OSW UCSD Pd (really, why are people still using Max/MSP?)
Elsewhere Aura (Dannenberg, Carnegie Mellon Univ.) STK (Cook/Scavone, Stanford Univ.) SndObj (Lazzarini, National Univ. of Ireland) Marsyas (Tzanetakis, Univ. of Victoria) Jsyn (Phil Burk, CA)
Conclusions Free Software = Open Source + Freedom Freedom of Expression => Free Software The future of digital arts is at stake If you are convinced to use FLOSS there is no reason not to use Linux If developing your own app. try to first see if you can build it out of an existing open framework.
Links CLAM http://www.clam.iua.upf.edu Audio Libraries Distributions and Open ID3LIB http://id3lib.sourceforge.net Source Audio Repositories Lame http://lame.sourceforge.net Linux Sound LIBSNDFILE http://linuxsound.org http://www.meganerd.com/libsndfile AGNULA LIBVORBIS http://www.agnula.org http://xiph.org/vorbis Planet CCRMA MAD http://ccrma.stanford.edu/planetccrma/software http://www.underbit.com/products/ma d mpeg123 http://www.mpg123.de Oscpack CLAMrelated environments http://www.audiomulch.com/~rossb/code/oscpack PORTAUDIO CSL http://www.portaudio.com http://www.create.ucsb.edu/CSL PORTMIDI Jsyn http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~music/portmusic http://www.softsynth.com/jsyn/ RTAudio Marsyas http://www.music.mcgill.ca/~gary/rtaudio http://opihi.cs.uvic.ca/marsyas OSW http://osw.sourceforge.net Pd http://puredata.info SndObj http://music.nuim.ie/musictec/SndObj STK
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