Linked by Eugenia Loli on Fri 7th Jun 2002 19:42 UTC
Multimedia, AV Audacity is a multitrack/recording free audio editor. It started a few years back as a simple sound editor, but since then it has evolved in a powerfull modern editor, by supporting multi-track recording. The stable 1.0 version was released only a few days ago.
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SampleStudio
by Sean on Fri 7th Jun 2002 20:04 UTC

Hey Eugenia, how about a review of that new one for BeOS called SampleStudio (http://www.bebits.com/app/2895)? I checked it out for a couple minutes last night and it looked pretty nice! Not being an audio guy I have no idea if it is "good" or not, but it seems pretty cool to me. :-)

Not Reason - SoundForge/Wavelab/Peak
by agamemnon on Fri 7th Jun 2002 20:06 UTC

The ending comparison to Reason is a little off the mark, since they're two entirely different kinds of programs -- what Audacity really should be compared to is other sound editors like Soundforge, Wavelab or Peak. Any audio heads care to comment how it measures up to those?

WHY are people still developing BeOS programs?
by me on Fri 7th Jun 2002 20:32 UTC

really. it's over. i really really really loved beos myself. but it's friggin DEAD.

RE: Agamemnon
by Juswhitaker on Fri 7th Jun 2002 20:34 UTC

Audacity stacks up well in basic functionlaity against Wavelab and Soundforge. Think of it as a open souce RECYCLE and you got it. Very nice tool, just not all the bells and whistles (assuming you need them).

BeOS is dead?
by Erik on Fri 7th Jun 2002 20:47 UTC

Really? Hold on, while I boot it up.

..........

Nope, still works. Don't know what you are talking about.

Erik

WHY do people write troll comments?
by arougthopher on Fri 7th Jun 2002 20:50 UTC

really, it's pointless. i really really hate trolls myself, but people DO IT.

Dead?
by Sean on Fri 7th Jun 2002 20:55 UTC

Hmm... I dunno about it being dead, really. I just got it to work on an Athlon XP 1700 (I think that's the marketing number.. 1.45Ghz, anyway). Damn fast, too. But...

You might want to let all those fine folks at http://www.openbeos.org/ know that they're busy developing something that has already been declared deceased by some (apparently) higher authority (you?) and that the code they have been writing doesn't actually exist. I'm sure they'll appreciate it as it would save them all a great deal of time and effort if they stopped beating the "dead" horse.

Darned good thing the world has people like you to point us all in the right direction by telling us what we can and cannot do with our lives. Thanks, dude.

looks neat...
by SSA on Fri 7th Jun 2002 20:56 UTC

It's nice to see a decent open source audio editor. It may not be equal to competing commercial apps in some areas, but it definately is good enough for those of us amateurs who like to tweak audio every now and then.

WxWindows
by skippy on Fri 7th Jun 2002 21:11 UTC

As a user and occassional developer on several different platforms, I am more interested to see a quality app written in WxWindows than I am to see an open-source audio editing app. WxWindwos seems like it has so much potential considering one can write an app in WxWindows and then have it works natively across Windows, Linux, UNIX (motif), MacOS and MacOS X. It is kinda like Java without the VM and slowness. I wonder why it is not used more often than it is, and I hope that audacity shows that it can be used for serious apps and we see more WxWindows apps come down the pipe. Of course that kinda kills the idea of a BeOS version, but then again BeOS is dead anyway (joking, please don't flame me).

Hopefully someone here might comment as to why WxWindows is not used more often to devolop multi-platform apps.

Let me just once again thank Eugenia for her great contribution to the web. I very much like commenting on this site more than most others because there seems to be bright minds here and the site is well designed, informative, and posts interesting articles more time than not.

Skipp

Topic
by Anonymous on Fri 7th Jun 2002 21:30 UTC

What does this have to do with operating systems?

calm down. have some dip...
by ian (aka me again) on Fri 7th Jun 2002 21:42 UTC

...as george carlin would say.

sorry for offending you all so badly - i didn't realize that pointing out the fact that beos proper is a dead would be misconstrued as a nasty, trolling comment...especially since the company was sold & the os itself is no longer being developed or maintained (in desktop form). to me that means beos is dead. to beos that means beos is dead. even though i loved it enough to run it at home, at work and on my laptop, i have to admit to the facts. beos, the desktop operating system, is dead. sure it still runs. so do my next slabs. next is dead, so should i not point out that it is lest i offend mac os x users (like myself)?

while it's not even a valid enough comment to merrit a real response, dude, i'd just like to point out that, as a very avid open-source developer, dude, i was in no way telling anyone what they could/could not do with thier "lives", dude.

why not try to relax & take comments that are, say , **true**, with a grain of salt & an open mind? dude?

Re: WxWindows
by Michael on Fri 7th Jun 2002 21:49 UTC

That WxWindows thing sounds good! If the OpenBeOS developers (or someone else of course) could port it so the apps would also run on BeOS...

more
by DavidGentle on Fri 7th Jun 2002 22:04 UTC

I've asked this before in this forum but what exactly do you mean by "dead"? Death is absolutely final. Are you saying that you can personally guarente that BeOS (or a platform on which BeOS binaries can run) will never emerge? If not then maybe it would be better to say that there is a hiatus in BeOS availability (if that is even true).
Cynicism is fear.

BeOS, dead or not?
by skippy on Fri 7th Jun 2002 22:41 UTC

Ok, so many comments I have to reply. As a commercial supported desktop operating system, BeOS is dead. There will never be another release of Be branded release of BeOS unless Palm decides to release one, which doesn't look to likely. So, for the vaste majority of users and developers, BeOS is dead.

However, BeOS had a number of great concepts that made it so much nicer than any other OS. Those components will show up in other OS's. Already, Apple with MacOS X is working on a filesystem update that will make it more like BeFS. Windows is moving towards a more BeFS filesystem as well. Linux has new low-latency kernel patches that lower it's latency to BeOS levels. And of course that doesn't begin to mention the projects such as OpenBeOS, BlueOS and the like.

So maybe with can all agree here. The BeOS brand is dead, but the spirit lives on. Those who are looking for a finished product called "BeOS" will find it stagnated, those who are looking for the spirit of BeOS will find it quite alive.

Skipp

Re: SampleStudio
by Eugenia on Fri 7th Jun 2002 22:43 UTC

> how about a review of that new one for BeOS called SampleStudio

Sorry, this is not possible. We do not report on individual software. The only reason the Audacity review is here, is only because they just reached version 1.0 and because it is a *truly* multi-platform application, running almost on all OSes.
To be sincere, I did not want to publish this article on OSNews, I had it ready to hand it over at the folks at NewsForge this morning!! The *last* minute I decided to put it up here.

As for Sample Studio, Frans and Ynop already know that I am trying to support them, they had my bug reports and stack crawls before even SampleStudio hits BeBits! But unless SampleStudio or any other application becomes truly multi-platform or becomes truly unique or successful, we won't be reporting on them on OSNews. Audacity got lucky this time. ;-)
I already receive PRs and emails from people with some applications from Win, Mac etc, but their news never reach our front page as they are not our focus.

Re: Not Reason - SoundForge/Wavelab/Peak
by Darius on Fri 7th Jun 2002 23:04 UTC

Well, I use CoolEdit Pro 2.0 on Windows and, uhhhh .... it's not even close - CoolEdit has it beat hands down.
When I was trying out Linux, I was asking around for a replacement for CoolEdit and people said Audacity ... LOL, you've GOT to be kidding me!!
Sure, Audacity is good for 'basic' sound editing but then again, so is the built-in Windows sound recorder ;)
But for Linux users, I guess it's 'good enough' ... just like all of the other open source crap that they scream is 'superior to anything you can find on Windows.' Well, in the case of Audacity, I sure hope they have something better than this *pfffffffffffft*
Now, don't get me wrong .. I'm not trying to diss the authors of the program, but a tool for serious audiophiles it is not. Or at least not yet ...

As for BeOS, give up on the "it's dead" chant. No matter if it's ever updated again or not, 20 years from now, people will still be downloading pataches to make it work on their new 900ghz Pentium 20.

... good examples of crossplatform software!
EXpertise on crossplatform libraries would be usefulll not only for
BeOS fans but also for Linux devs.

I would add Blender to this list also as fine example of multiplatform support!

Re: Not Reason - SoundForge/Wavelab/Peak
by Eugenia on Fri 7th Jun 2002 23:14 UTC

Yes, CoolEdit Pro is much superior to Audacity. This is absolutely true.

But last time I checked, Cool Edit Pro cost $249, while the CoolEdit 2000, which costs $69, does not support multitrack by default!! Neither it suppors VSTs.

So, for the buck ($0), Audacity is a good tool. Not the best by a long shot, but still a good free tool that you can download for almost any OS.

And yes, it is also true, Linux does not have superior multimedia applications of any kind. It is getting better, but even BeOS used to have more advanced audio apps. This is kinda normal though, because the applications mostly released for Linux, are in the server or development field.

great
by BiggyP on Fri 7th Jun 2002 23:34 UTC

this is a great little piece of software, no where near as feature rich as SoundForge but none the less a great little tool, and extremely fast, the price is also another great point, cooledit, hmmm, not the best product in the world

wx on BeOS
by JJ on Fri 7th Jun 2002 23:35 UTC

Nice to see a wx app reviewed, but I can't recall any wx apps that went commercial although it is more than good enough to support apps that are not too gui demanding. If only the wx folks would get that book done...

wxWindows was almost ported to BeOS, if the OBOS work is fruitfull, then there is no reason why the wx port couldn't be restarted. The wx folks didn't think it was so difficult but it didn't get traction. Its probably alot easier to do than other GUI kits since wx hasn't gotten out of control!

As I said before, future BeOS is going to need a cross platform kit or two to get more apps even if they are not pure BeOS. Nobody writing for BeOS should be denied revenue from other platforms.

Replies
by Kevin on Fri 7th Jun 2002 23:37 UTC

First of all, BeOS is not dead. Sure, there will not be another BeOS by Be but there is OpenBeOS for that.

Now, time to move one.

Audacity seems like a cool program! What is this wxwindows thing? I am going to have to look into that, it sounds cool.

S, you can write a program using the wxWindows APIs and it will run on the mac, linux, and windows? Nice! (or am i wrong, I just skimmed the page)

That is very impressive! hmm, it would be very handy to see a beos/openbeos version of wxWindows.

Re: Re Not Reason - SoundForge/Wavelab/Peak
by Darius on Sat 8th Jun 2002 00:04 UTC

"So, for the buck ($0), Audacity is a good tool. Not the best by a long shot, but still a good free tool that you can download for almost any OS."

Yes, I will agree with you that for the price of $0, it's quite a bargain. But what do the 'Linux or bust' zealots expect from those of us that use features that the price of $0 doesn't cover ... just be happy that we're not running Audacity on 'M$ bloatware' and put up with it, and hope that *maybe* it'll someday catch up?

Free is definitely good, but free is not always better.

BeOS ... dead?
by Darius on Sat 8th Jun 2002 00:12 UTC

Speaking of BeOS ...

Think in parallel to the Atari 2600. Is it dead? Sure, the company dropped support for it a long time ago, but is it *REALLY* dead. 50 years from now when Atari's (or at least very few) no longer exist and people are still playing the games through emulation, will it be dead?
Well, I suppose it depends on what you define as 'dead.'
If you are thinking along the lines that an OS is dead when a company ceases developing/supporting it, then I'd say that even though it may be resurrected someday, BeOS is definitely dead.
But as far as who is still using it, BeOS may never truly die.

reply
by Kevin on Sat 8th Jun 2002 00:52 UTC

expect from those of us that use features that the price of $0 doesn't cover ... just be happy that we're not running Audacity on 'M$ bloatware' and put up with it, and hope that *maybe* it'll someday catch up?

Free is definitely good, but free is not always better


Keep in mind, this is the first major release! Nothing has all the features you'd want in version 1. I'm sure it will get better as time goes on.

re: BeOS... dead?
by Kevin on Sat 8th Jun 2002 00:55 UTC

Speaking of BeOS ...

Think in parallel to the Atari 2600. Is it dead? Sure, the company dropped support for it a long time ago, but is it *REALLY* dead. 50 years from now when Atari's (or at least very few) no longer exist and people are still playing the games through emulation, will it be dead?
Well, I suppose it depends on what you define as 'dead.'
If you are thinking along the lines that an OS is dead when a company ceases developing/supporting it, then I'd say that even though it may be resurrected someday, BeOS is definitely dead.
But as far as who is still using it, BeOS may never truly die.


You statements are true, but I don't think what happened to that atari is going to happen to BeOS anytime soon. Becuase there is going to be a open source version. Sure, it's not offical but if it looks, runs and feels like Be's BeOS - who cares? etc. etc.

ZombieOS
by Zenja on Sat 8th Jun 2002 01:04 UTC

Boo-hoo, my Quantum 40Gb hard disk (hosting Windows and my data) is well and truely kaput. Yep, its dead Jim. So, until I get a new hard drive, I'm stuck using this Zombie OS running on 2 Fujitsu drives (Dano and 5.03). Even though I paid my bills via NetBanking this morning (on my dead OS), checked my email (from this dead OS), posted to OSNews (hey, its Saturday morning), and I even plan to rent some DVD's to watch on this dead OS. I'll be Windows free until July, since a newer harddrive isn't in this months budget. All I'm stuck with is this zombie OS.

<PS - hmm, thats strange, my MP3's still haven't skipped all morning.>

duh
by Kevin on Sat 8th Jun 2002 02:40 UTC

<PS - hmm, thats strange, my MP3's still haven't skipped all morning.>

well, that's not a shock! your using beos!

MP3s
by Darius on Sat 8th Jun 2002 02:52 UTC

"PS - hmm, thats strange, my MP3's still haven't skipped all morning."

Does anybody (using Windows or whatever) actually have a problem with skipping MP3s?
The last time I had that problem is when I had a spare 486 lying around.

re: MP3s
by Kevin on Sat 8th Jun 2002 03:34 UTC

Does anybody (using Windows or whatever) actually have a problem with skipping MP3s?
The last time I had that problem is when I had a spare 486 lying around.


mabye if you have a pentium 133 with 16 megs of memory running win95. ;)

Re: Darius
by Zenja on Sat 8th Jun 2002 04:32 UTC

Does anybody (using Windows or whatever) actually have a problem with skipping MP3s? The last time I had that problem is when I had a spare 486 lying around.

MP3's skip regularly with WinAmp the minute I hit 100% CPU usage and heavy I/O, especially when loading large apps/games. And yes, I have DMA enabled, precaching and buffering and other crap. Simply browsing on a P3@700 doesn't skip, but any heavy lifting involving I/O access shows clear skipping. Even on work PC's, its sooo easy to get WinAmp to skip. SoundPlay on BeOS still hasn't missed a beat, in the last 2.5 years.

Re: Dead OS
by bkakes on Sat 8th Jun 2002 08:44 UTC

Not that the whole "dead OS" line is really relevant to this news article, but I just can't resist saying a few things.

If you define "dead" as "there are people in the world still using it," then fine, enjoy calling Beta, Laserdiscs, and Colecovision "not dead." 99.999% of the world will simply laugh at you, but if that's the stubborn definition you want to adopt, fine. The more reasonable people of the world would define technology to be "dead" when it stops all significant advancement. Sometimes great technology loses; the sooner you accept that, the sooner you can get on with your life.

The thought of OpenBeOS has certainly breathed new life into the (dying) BeOS community, but the vast majority of the remaining faithful seem to expect a fully working open-source BeOS clone within only a few months, whereas in reality it will be years, if ever. How many great bits of technology will these people allow to pass them by because they're blinded by a dream?


Sure, it's not offical but if it looks, runs and feels like Be's BeOS - who cares? etc. etc.

I give the OpenBeOS guys all the kudos in the world for their efforts, but we have yet to see a single shred of proof that this new system will look, feel, and run like the BeOS. Certainly, we can maintain hope that it will, but it's definitely not something we can just assume will happen, like so many BeOS fans are doing. Not to mention that by the time they're finished--assuming that even comes--will we really want the OS to look and feel like the BeOS? How far will the competition have taken us by that point?

WxWindows
by Joeri on Sat 8th Jun 2002 09:38 UTC

I think the main problem WxWindows has is it's lack of integration with the platforms it runs on. It looks almost like what it should look like, but not quite, and the feel is often all wrong. On linux this is not such a big deal, but on the other platforms people will scream bloody murder for not having exactly the same UI as the rest of the environment.

Someone also noted how linux doesn't have many decent multimedia apps. Well, that's logical, since until recently it was actually nearly impossible to write media apps for linux. It had awful latency, it had poor sound hardware support, it was basically a piece of [deleted] regarding sound support. On top of that, xfree had little or no hardware acceleration and little 3D support, which made writing graphics apps difficult. So you can understand the lack of multimedia on linux. Now, with the gradual move to alsa, the low-latency and the pre-emptiveness patches, and the growing into adulthood of xfree 4.x linux is finally a platform you can actually write media applications for.

As for why the media support was so bad ... Well, to learn how to run you have to first learn how to walk. There were simply more important things to do. Those more important things are done now.

replies & BeOS boredom
by Anonymous on Sat 8th Jun 2002 11:09 UTC

(Joeri) >It looks almost like what it should look like, but not quite,

Are you confusing wxWindows with Tk? wxWin uses native widgets - on Windows, they are just like every other Windows widget in things like Word, Excel etc, and the same with the Mac. Tk is slightly different to normal widgets and doesn't "feel" quite right.

(Darius) >Does anybody (using Windows or whatever) actually have a problem with skipping MP3s?

Frankly yes. At work w/NT and a more powerful machine, they skip frequently. At home on Linux they don't. Oh sh!t, I've just given Linux some praise for superior performance. Guess I must be a zealot then...

btw - I am getting bored by this forum. No matter what the article is about, the discussion inevtiably descends to a debate about BeOS. I'm not saying it's bad, I'm just saying COULD WE PLEASE KEEP BEOS DISCUSSIONS TO BEOS ARTICLES!!! I just don't see the point in retreading the same old arguments time after time, and I have to pay for my bandwidth.

Re: Zenja
by Nicholas Blachford on Sat 8th Jun 2002 13:58 UTC

>Does anybody (using Windows or whatever) actually have
>a problem with skipping MP3s? The last time I had
>that problem is when I had a spare 486 lying around.

I've seen Audio CDs jump when load is high enough on a n 800MHz Athlon running Windows 2000, and it wasn't a scratched CD either!

Re: Dead OS
by Kevin on Sat 8th Jun 2002 14:19 UTC

I give the OpenBeOS guys all the kudos in the world for their efforts, but we have yet to see a single shred of proof that this new system will look, feel, and run like the BeOS. Certainly, we can maintain hope that it will, but it's definitely not something we can just assume will happen, like so many BeOS fans are doing. Not to mention that by the time they're finished--assuming that even comes--will we really want the OS to look and feel like the BeOS? How far will the competition have taken us by that point?

Considering they are trying to clone the OS, it probley will be a lot like BeOS at first (mabye not look like it, they could change the UI)

How far will the competition have taken us by that point?

That why they keep working on the project to make it better.

No OS anytime soon is going to be able to get a decent market share of the desktop OS market. Not OpenBeOS, not Linux, etc. For me BeOS is a hobby, like AtheOS. Sure, there will be points when it's not the most up to date os on the planet. I don't care.

I use BeOS becuase it is fun to play around with.

Re: Zenja
by Kevin on Sat 8th Jun 2002 14:22 UTC

I've seen Audio CDs jump when load is high enough on a n 800MHz Athlon running Windows 2000, and it wasn't a scratched CD either!

Geez. Well, sure. If you use 99.9% of your processing power things aren't going to run well.

Skipping
by Jace on Sat 8th Jun 2002 15:05 UTC

Ausio CDs have skipped on my Windows installations, too. That was when I discovered that playing audio CDs does indeed use the system processor and OS (WHY? - doesn't the drive handle audio cd playback on its own?).

MP3s have skipped on me plenty (though not so much in BeOS even when not in real-time audio mode). Like while browsing web sites. Amazing how much processor time web browsing can eat (especially with browsers bloated as IE and NS).

Windows, at least any DOS kernel version, has always sucked at multi-tasking during any I/O activity - try accessing floppies while doing other simple tasks: try formatting a floppy and working with any other program at the same time. hah hah hah. NT has always been a bit better at this and I have to admit that XP on my 500Mhz system seems to handle I/O functions almost as well as BeOS (my other OS), but that's on an all SCSI system with no FDD drive (my LS-120 is IDE, so maybe XP sucks with FDD controller access, still). I know NT kernel and Win9x are very different animals at this level. XP is actually a lot less irritating than WinDOS variants.

Anyone noticed how much slower at disk I/O Mac OS X is compared to Mac OS 9 or earlier? My USB floppy drive CRAWLS in OS X!! At least I can multi-task, though...

BTW: people endlessly talk about BeOS for a reason: It is compelling!

As a pro audio person, I'm not impressed in any way (other than negative) with Audacity. Okay, it has a clever name.

I think they should keep hacking at it. It does show promise for the future. If they learn good UI design, first!

It certainly could be useful to non-pros who do not need or want to pay for an audio editor when they need to hack bits of a track together or apart.

I am very spoiled by Sound Forge. Yes it costs much and has been around a long enough time to have evolved a lot. You really cannot compare the two apps at all. They're in different realms entirely.

wxWindows slowness on Mac OS X
by Lowell on Sat 8th Jun 2002 16:00 UTC

I tried the Windows version of Audacity at work (1GHz Pentium 3), and it seemed pretty good... I mean, great considering the cost. I need to do audio editing only about 5 times a year, and Audacity seems like it will be just fine for that. (I agree, there's no comparison to Sound Forge, or even CoolEdit Pro.)

However, I tried the Mac OS X version at home (dual G4s, 450 MHz, 1GB RAM) and it only sort of works, and when it does, it absolutely crawls. I would have to guess that wxWindows has some serious optimization issues on OS X. But I suppose I knew that after reading their website, where the OS X stuff is described as "beta". I might add, that's beta as in "gee, I think this thing pretty much almost works!", not beta as in "software is feature-complete but needs testing."

Re: Zealot
by Darius on Sat 8th Jun 2002 16:37 UTC

"Frankly yes. At work w/NT and a more powerful machine, they skip frequently. At home on Linux they don't. Oh sh!t, I've just given Linux some praise for superior performance. Guess I must be a zealot then... "

Nah, you're only a zealot when you start screaming that Linux is superior in ways that it clearly isn't (which I have no doubt it'll handle such things better than Windows).
You also would be considered a 'zealot' if you insist that people go from Windows to Linux (or anything else for that matter), no matter what their needs are.

Pointing out ways in which Linux is superior is not a bad thing, but getting religous about it definitely is ;)

Not even close to the gimp.
by grünepaprika on Sat 8th Jun 2002 17:30 UTC

maybe the linux version is better but the windows version was horrendous.

the audio constantly skipped and had pops and clicks in it. this is a major blow, in and of itself because you can't tell if it's the program or the content.

it doesn't support the Windows codecs through the ACM.

many of the plugins just were horrendous. i tried some of them (like bass boost) and no matter what settings i gave it, it only introduced static.

the free one for BeOS that was included in like R4.52 or whatever was much better...

Oh, wrong
by NoBeForMe on Sat 8th Jun 2002 17:46 UTC

I agree that it would have maybe been better for Eugenia not to host this story at all. Unfortunately as published it gives a wrong impression of Audacity

(But she was right that it can run on any OS, if you help complete ports of portaudio and wxWindows you could run it on BeOS too)

Audacity isn't really a full multitrack or DAW or anything like that, not yet at least. Audacity 1.0 is basically a nice WAV editor, it can load/save/play/record 16-bit integer sample data and handles a mono or stereo record source using the non-RT OS native media APIs e.g. OSS on Linux

Yes, you can have more than one track, and it will automatically mix down during playback... but no, you can't do multitrack recording, so you can't usefully record a live performance unless it's a solo.

Audacity 1.1 is a more complete (but as yet not stable, unlike 1.0) piece of software, I've been noodling around with it because of the LADSPA support. Audacity 1.1 is pro-audio capable (it uses 0.24 IEEE floats @ 48kHz for anyone who understands what that is) but still doesn't do multitrack recording and is missing many expected features of a semi-pro PC audio tool.

For me Audacity promises to fill the gap in Free Software between toy "Sound recorder" apps that no-one should have to put up with (like MS Paint but for audio) and the powerful but hard to learn "audio is data" tools like pD.

Those people who have said elsewhere in this thead "it's not exactly Pro Tools" or similar things, should look at Ardour http://ardour.sourceforge.net/ instead of Audacity.

roundup of the thread
by raindog on Sat 8th Jun 2002 18:06 UTC

1. A computer product is 'dead' when it's no longer in production. Something like AmigaOS, comical though its adherents may be, is still not technically 'dead'. BeOS is, no matter how many people use it. If the OpenBeOS people manage to get a working 1.0 out the door it will no longer be dead, but it may be as irrelevant as AmigaOS. And this is coming from someone who still writes Atari 2600 code every now and then ;) Latin's a dead language too even though lawyers and priests like dropping in a phrase here and there. It doesn't make it less useful, just less *used*.

2. I've been spoiled by Cool Edit as well, but when I compare Audacity to the 1.x Cool Edit releases I remember (1.34 and 1.52) it stacks up pretty well. It certainly isn't Cool Edit Pro, but I have done already done multitrack projects in the 0.9 versions without missing any features. Nonetheless, I can't advise anyone doing audio professionally to use Linux, not just for a lack of apps (I've heard tell that people have gotten Soundforge working under Wine... whoopee) but for a lack of driver support for things like Darla/Gina/insert woman's name here audio cards. I would also not recommend Windows XP; the few pro audio engineers I know who don't use a Mac are using Windows 98SE, believe it or not.

But of course most users of audio software aren't professional at all (hence the market for products like Cool Edit 2000) and Audacity can fit that market pretty nicely just like the Gimp fits the Paint Shop Pro market to a T. The pro vertical app stuff will come later, as it already has in Hollywood. And keep in mind that only 3-4 years ago, you were nuts if you weren't using a Mac for audio engineering. Stuff changes, and it may be that something more like Ardour ( http://ardour.sourceforge.net ) is where Linux pro audio will come from if one of the big Windows or Mac players doesn't make a port first. People are using Linux to produce songs from start to finish, and while few if any of them are pros, it was the hobbyists that popularized first DOS and then Windows for audio despite the Mac's dominance.

3. It never ceases to amaze me just how bad audio is using off-the-shelf sound cards under Windows. Across the room from me is a 900MHz Athlon with 512MB of RAM, a GF3 and onboard sound, and when you're playing any kind of audio (mp3, wav, movies, whatever) all you have to do is open a compose window in Outlook or scroll an image in Paint Shop Pro or sign onto AOL for it to skip like crazy. One of my pro audio buddies tell me that it's just a matter of the video card grabbing too much bandwidth on the bus, but even turning off accelerated video doesn't get rid of the problem completely.

It's easy enough to bash Windows, though, but something to consider: I was just now listening to an mp3 in xmms under Linux using the KDE sound server. When I was scrolling through this story, it gave little skips as well, not as noticeable as the Windows version but definitely there. I knew enough to adjust the priority of processes and stuff to make it stop, but Joe Random Music Guy is not going to. I haven't seen this problem happen under BeOS or MacOS (never tried OSX) and it doesn't happen under Linux unless you use the KDE sound server. Maybe it's even fixed in more recent versions, I don't know.

4. I find myself recommending Linux for more and more projects these days, but I still don't hesitate to recommend Windows when it's more appropriate (e.g. anything involving MIDI, videoconferencing, most things involving digital audio, anytime the user might expect to use AOL, anything that would involve converting a shitload of Visual BASIC or Powerbuilder code, and anything that depends on a hardware manufacturer's API that only works under Windows.) Nonetheless, Linux with KDE is getting to be a really good general purpose desktop that random corporate users feel more comfortable with than the default XP look and feel, but it has holes. Audacity just plugged one, but it's more suited towards the home user who will probably be downloading the Windows version anyway instead of pirating Soundforge. I have more thoughts on the state of real-world (i.e. not vertical market, but Joe User) desktop Linux at http://www.kudla.org/linux if I can stroke my ego a bit more.

Re; Windows skipping
by bkakes on Sun 9th Jun 2002 04:05 UTC

Ausio CDs have skipped on my Windows installations, too. That was when I discovered that playing audio CDs does indeed use the system processor and OS (WHY? - doesn't the drive handle audio cd playback on its own?).

Newer versions of Windows default to using digital audio extraction rather than the old, analog method (which you can change via the CD-ROM device properties). Maybe this is affecting you? Some CD-ROM drives aren't good at DAE...

Why Windows prefers DAE
by Anonymous on Sun 9th Jun 2002 12:41 UTC

First the non-cynical answer, which is: Users are too stupid to understand the difference and they call helpdesk asking why e.g. the PCM volume control doesn't work on CDs, so Microsoft made playing CDs work just the same as playing MP3s or WAVs. It doesn't have to better, just simpler.

Now the cynical answer:

Microsoft have a product to sell. HDCD. It's cheap, works with existing CDs and if it takes off they could bring in $0.01 per CD in royalties (a lot of money). They can't rely on the audiophile market because SACD and DVDA have that sewn up. So they need to get Joe User to recognise and desire the HDCD logo on his pop classical albums, then they can make a killing on the licensing.

Fortunately MS control the desktop, so they push HDCD capable _software_ onto the desktop and play CDs through that using DAE. Now when you buy a "good" album with HDCD it makes an indicator glow on your MS Media Trinket and some filters kick in to make it sound louder (and thus better) than the rest of your CDs.

The only trouble with this great plan is that Joe User doesn't care. He still steals most of his music in MP3 rather than WMA and he buys CDs that are advertised on the TV, not by picking them from a MS list of authorised HDCD titles.

BeOS dead???????
by Likes BeOS on Sun 9th Jun 2002 19:20 UTC

What defines a dead OS – good question!!! Is Win98 a dead OS because MS isn’t developing it anymore (even though Win98 until recently was the biggest MS OS out there)?

BeOS is not being developed by Be (or Palm) anymore, but the OS lives on because of initiatives such as OBOS. And applications are consequently still being developed and released for the platform.

One important thing to keep in mind with the development of OBOS, is the fact that OBOS R1 is a recreation of BeOS R5 (of course with a few updates ;-). They have all the API calls designed, and performance and usability is already defined. The future of OBOS is being developed while R1 is in the works. They have a unique opportunity of bench testing and debugging the OS, because as each kit is finished they are installed on BeOS R5.
These issues are IMO a once in a lifetime situation for OS development, and it insures quality and will lead to an OS that won’t end as a geek OS with lacking support.

Hey, bkakes
by Fred on Mon 10th Jun 2002 09:41 UTC

Beta is definetly not dead. Well for the consumer market it is. But pretty much all professionals (TV, etc) use it. Probably gonna be dead in a short time though while people are moving towards digital media

Cool Edit Pro vs Audacity Vs Sound Forge XP
by MattK on Mon 10th Jun 2002 15:35 UTC

For any serious audio work, I gotta use Cool Edit Pro. Audacity is not bad for some more basic work, but I couldn't even get it to record stereo input at one time, so it was useless to me. It kept making me record seperate mono tracks and then append them together! Last version I tried was .9.3 I believe, so this may have been changed.

My experience with the pre 1.0 Audacity is it's not a bad cross platform replacement for a more basic audio package like Sound Forge XP.

To be truly useful for me it's gotta be able to do at least the following things:

* Parametric and graphic equalization
* Spectrum analysis
* Record 44.1 khz stereo

I'll give 1.0 a try and see how it stacks up now.

audacity's stereo issues
by raindog on Mon 10th Jun 2002 16:18 UTC

I did my last project using Audacity 0.98 and didn't have the stereo issues you mention, but I did have them with the previous versions I had tried (to the point of saving projects, then reopening them to find all my tracks converted to unlinked mono tracks.) Of course it's no Cool Edit Pro, but neither was Cool Edit 1.0 when it appeared 5 or 6 years ago. Remember its lame "FFT filters" that passed for EQ until 1.5 or so? I don't even remember if CE2K has parametric EQ, it might only be in Pro.

Anyway, 1.0 level is where Audacity is now. It's not a product for professionals, any more than Cool Edit was back then. But the state of the art has changed, and it is further along in other ways (multitracking for example, and dealing with envelopes easily) than the equivalent Windows software was back in the 1.0 days over there. 1.1 supports LADSPA and with the amount of work going on with that stuff, I really think it's only a matter of time because it does become the "GIMP of audio", even if never it never catches up with the Cool Edits and Sound Forges of the world.

For my part, I wish GNU Octal, the Buzz clone, weren't a dead project. More to the point, I wish I had the time to resurrect it ;)