Linked by James Pryor on Thu 25th Mar 2004 19:40 UTC
Multimedia, AV On Saturday March 20, I spent my lazy Saturday morning browsing the web for Linux news. I surfed over to & read the latest happenings in regards to Linux distributions. I read a news blurb on latest release of dyne:bolic 1.2. dyne:bolic is self described as a free multimedia studio in a GNU/Linux live CD. I was intrigued by the prospect of playing with a multimedia studio on live CD that won't interfere with my PC's current setup. I downloaded the ISO via Azureus Java bittorrent client. I burned it to CDR using K3B and booted my DAW off the dyne:bolic CD.
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nice review
by blk on Thu 25th Mar 2004 19:55 UTC

not a bad review - a bit to detailed in my eyes (then i clicked on... || who cares how your server is named?)
anyway, nobody is perfect

now i got one more distro marked to check out ;)

by TVRG on Thu 25th Mar 2004 19:56 UTC

they'll either complain about being to detailed or not being detailed enough.

I've certainly seen worse reviews, thumbs up

thats a review
by pieter on Thu 25th Mar 2004 20:46 UTC

Some details I skipped, but most of it was very informative.
I know some people who will love to hear about this distro. I'll just gona point them to this article, everything is in it.

This sound interesting
by Abraxas on Thu 25th Mar 2004 21:02 UTC

I don't know much about media creation on Linux because the most I do is encocode .flac files and watch movies on mplayer but this article provided not only a lot of information about a distro but the editing components it provides. I think I may look into this distro now, if only to mess around with it and show off to non-linux users.

by j4c3 on Thu 25th Mar 2004 22:45 UTC is down, and the mirror is insanely slow. Anyone with a working torrent link?

iso mirror
by tron on Thu 25th Mar 2004 23:07 UTC

Not a torrent, but I'm getting max download speed (~150k) on dsl with this mirror:

by Anonymous Coward on Thu 25th Mar 2004 23:40 UTC

I hate to fall back on suprnova, but here's a torrent(as of this posting the url works, and the site says it has 43:71 seeds:downloaders):

dynebolic mailinglist
by Eugenia on Fri 26th Mar 2004 00:11 UTC

Their site seems to be up and down all the time, here is their mailing list though:

by pegaus on Fri 26th Mar 2004 01:16 UTC

very nice review , thx . i think i'll have a closer look @distri :-)

Can it open *.acd files?
by shukky duckky quack quack on Fri 26th Mar 2004 01:23 UTC

Can Dyne:bolic open *.acd files created by SonicFoundry's ACID line of products (now owned by Sony)? I use SonicFoundry SoundForge to manipulate *.wav's and SonicFoundry ACID Music to make beats, which are saved with the .acd extension. I notice the author points out the absence of Ardour and Rosegarden, but the homepages for those two projects doesn't mention ACID compatibility. I know nothing about Linux multimedia manipulation but would like to, since it's another think keeping me dual booting instead of only booting Linux.

@ shukky
by dpi on Fri 26th Mar 2004 04:44 UTC

I searched a bit and i came out to this solution
Which means you'll have to convert it under Windows or use an emulator to start the converter. But perhaps you can search better.

by Stray on Fri 26th Mar 2004 06:58 UTC

it's another think keeping me dual booting instead of only booting Linux.

Same here. I make my living in music, and engineering projects for others as well. I'd love to have some kind of OSS turnkey though. But Linux multimedia, especially Pro Audio, is the one category far behind all others. It's not entirely useless or anything like that, but the functionality of ProTools or Cubase is literally a thousand times superior. This goes without mentioning that _no_ decent audio hardware works on Linux.

When good Linux ProAudio does come, it probably won't be OSS, and won't be cheap, like Soft Image or something, so I see no point really. I'm already paying.

Stick to dual booting, or better yet, get a Mac and enjoy yourself.

Things looking up though.
by Danni Coy on Fri 26th Mar 2004 07:19 UTC

Stray - What hardware & software are you basing your experience on.

Pro Audio is a little while off but with Kernel-2.6 (much lower latencies & alsa) out the door, jack & Ardour nearing 1.0 status & the AGNULA project being funded by the EU to create a Linux distro specifically for Audio work.

RE: Things Looking Up though
by Stray on Fri 26th Mar 2004 10:05 UTC

Stray - What hardware & software are you basing your experience on.

Yes, things are looking up. But as most of my stuff is ProTools MIX/TDM based, from peripherals to controllers, I won't lay blame entirely on Linux development. AVID/Digidesign is a hardware tie-in company, so I can't expect the hardware to work anyways.

Not to say that's all I've tried. Besides the standard PC sound cards, only simple USB and MIDI devices work, but I'm talking about ProAudio, not anything like that. Not to say one can't do a lot with just normal sound cards, but I don't have to.

Anyways, besides hardware: I think ALSA/JACK/LADSPA is great. I'm glad a framework is being put in place, but when it comes down to the apps, I doubt OSS will ever produce anything deserving of ProAudio status. Some cool things maybe, but not that. Linux will have ProAudio eventually, but just like Linux 3D and Video, it'll be commercial, not open source. No one will make an open source ProTools, because it's a surety that studios and musicians will pay for it. I know I would.

@ Stray.
by cheezwog on Fri 26th Mar 2004 13:17 UTC

"This goes without mentioning that _no_ decent audio hardware works on Linux."

What about RME cards, M-audio, some SEK'D ones? All not bad cards... In the end, as long as you have digital out's and low latency, you can use any apogee or whatever convertors you like. Jack+Ardour support 32bit 96k recording, so quality is not a problem, just how much you want to spend on your A/Ds.

I guess it depends on your needs. If you work totally within the computer for mixing and rely on a bucket load of plugins then Ardour has a way to go. If you work with a desk and outboard as well, then it's a valid solution now.

", but when it comes down to the apps, I doubt OSS will ever produce anything deserving of ProAudio status."

Gah! Sorry, I just dislike meaningless terms like 'ProAudio status'.

I don't know if you ever worked on something like a Sony 3324 recorder, but it would leave you little change from $250,000 and have worse quality and less functionality than a decent RME+Ardour system. Countless albums and films were produced on them.

Pro equipment is what gets the job done for pros, and a straightforward reliable recorder like Ardour, a Mackie HDR or a 3324 is as valid in that role as a full TDM system.

Still, I haven't made an album on Linux yet. ;)
But, there is no real reason why I could not, apart from I can't trust the reliability of editing in Ardour, and don't wish to judge it too harshly until it gets out of beta and hits at least v1.1.

RE: cheezwog
by Stray on Fri 26th Mar 2004 17:05 UTC

Still, I haven't made an album on Linux yet. ;)
But, there is no real reason why I could not, apart from I can't trust the reliability of editing in Ardour, and don't wish to judge it too harshly until it gets out of beta and hits at least v1.1.

I don't mean to judge too harshly if that's how it sounds. Hell, even ProTools wasn't anything special when it was first released, so it just shows that it could be only a matter of time for Linux as well.

I also use the term "Pro" for a reason, as irritating as it may be. It's about the nature of your projects, and how much power you need, that's all. It's the difference in production/post-production, not recording. If all I wanted to do was record I'd use a memo recorder. Or Cakewalk, or Linux.

For the time being at least, DSP is obviously better. Whoever disagrees is a company making excuses, or a user who doesn't need it. This was the same argument from the Windows world, but now that they have ProTools the argument seemed to disappear.

Audio can be done on Linux, but that's all relative. But even then, alot of cheaper cards out there aren't fully supported either. But when that's all settled, it'll be where Windows was for a while. Which, by that time, coupled with 64bit CPU's, Linux might be a great solution, as long as the software doesn't suck.

Dynebolic as a streaming server
by ripcrd on Fri 26th Mar 2004 21:58 UTC

I booted Dynebolic 1.1.1 and tried to start a streaming server (icecast and Muse) following the Docs on CD. I got part of it working, but was limited by the 800x600x16 resolution on my 21" monitor to see and use all the open apps/windows and still read the docs. I had a fairly old and recognized video card too. I'd like to see those guys step back from adding apps, fix basic hardware detection/setup and improve on docs. Maybe create some scripts to launch groups of apps for a task such as streaming or audio mixing. Maybe work on better defaults for some of the streaming apps. Muse and icecast were a pain to figure out. In the end I could hear myself over the mic, but couldn't record or stream.

Anyone want to write a better Howto for them on streaming?

Read/write (NTFS??) mode a problem?
by daniel awlinson on Sat 27th Mar 2004 06:10 UTC

Interesting that the reviewer had an issue with his partition be mounted rw by default - and I'm assuming it is NTFS, as he mentioned he was running winxp and didn't say anything about using non-default filesystems. When I last checked, NTFS support was readonly (well, rw was being worked on but not stable by a long shot). If NTFS support has reached the stage where rw operations can be done without screwing the filesystem, I'd be pretty stoked with that - and I'm assuming that the makers of a liveCD distro designed to be spread around a niche market of people who may not necessarily be crazy techheads would not put un- or semi-stable software on there if it had a possibility of shooting down hdd partitions. Personally I'm thinking the RW thing is a good idea and if I were making a liveCD distro I would do exactly that - but then again maybe that's because most of what I've been using liveCD distros for is fixing up my windows system or backing up data prior to a reformat when necessary.

NTFS RW support
by Stray on Sat 27th Mar 2004 12:36 UTC

NTFS Write support was completely redone for the kernel 2.6 series, and (I think) marked as stable now. I've had no problems with it, but haven't really transfered much either.

NTFS RW (Again)
by Stray on Sat 27th Mar 2004 14:46 UTC

Since you mentioned LiveCD's Daniel, have you used this?

They claim NTFS write support is "safe but incomplete", though the kernel is based on 2.4.25

RE: NTFS support
by Anonymous Coward on Sat 27th Mar 2004 16:57 UTC

I'm fairly certain that the kernel's ntfs write support is still marked as dangerous, however, there is another project that uses the kernel's read support to get ntfs.dll from an HD and uses that for write support. I can't remember the name of the project though...

RE: Read/write NTFS, and other topics
by James Pryor on Sun 28th Mar 2004 00:59 UTC

Just to clarify, my C: parition is formated FAT32 so that if I boot an alternate OS I could have full read/write if _I_ choose to mount it as full read/write. Some people prefer to have their OS make that decision for them, while I prefer to have the option of read only or full read/write. Like I had mentioned in the review, Knoppix mounts all the other partions as read only and a right click on the desktop icon will let you choose to mount it in full read/write.

As for NTFS support, from what I have read the NTFS support has improved in the kernel to the point that some distros ship a kernel that has write capability enabled. Just like Anonymous Coward mentioned, I have also read up on the NTFS 'wrapper' driver called captive that uses the win2000/xp system's actual DLL to access the NTFS partition.

EVERYONE: Thanks for all the postitive comments. I tried to write a review that as a reader I would want to read. From the comments it appears that I have been successful. Look for my name in the future as I will certainly be posting more articles to both OSNews and my own website at

Thanks again,
James Pryor

Dyne:bolic on xbox
by Tufsemikkel on Sun 28th Mar 2004 09:12 UTC

I've tried dyne:bolic on the xbox - it runs, but very slow.

on running from CD
by sasquatch666 on Sun 28th Mar 2004 16:58 UTC

While running an OS from CD is a nice way to ensure compatability and demo it to folks without partitioning thier drives.I can't see this running fast enough to do any real serious realtime audio,personally I think the dixtro should ship with a nice friendly graphical installer like Mandrake with a menu selecton to install to disk or run from cd.Somewhre in the ack of my mind I just dont see this veing as fast and effecient as BeOS at manipulating audio files ,but at least it's a step in the right direction.

by ag on Wed 31st Mar 2004 17:30 UTC

good review. now i know how to access other computers on the server. thanks.