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Submission + - Dream Studio 10.10 Official Release (dickmacinnis.com)

macinnisrr writes: Dream Studio 10.10 is officially released today. In addition to all the great features that Dream Studio 10.04 contained, we've added the following improvements:

1. New themes
2. Lots of new software including Luxrender, Luminance, Rawtherapee, Celtx, Yafaray, Cmyktool, and Camcardsync
3. Improved Sound and Video menu
4. All the changes that have come with Ubuntu 10.04, including the switch from JACK1 to JACK2

Most of these changes have been backported to Dream Studio 10.04 as well, so even if you prefer to stay with a Long Term Release, you can enjoy Dream Studio's newest features.

Note: If you are currently using an Nvidia video card with the nvidia-96 driver, we DO NOT recommend upgrading at this time, as this driver is currently not supported upstream. All other Nvidia cards (and other manufacturers' cards) ARE supported.

Visit http://dream.dickmacinnis.com/ for more information.

Submission + - Dream Studio Official Release (blogspot.com)

macinnisrr writes: Dream Studio contains all the apps you need to create stunning graphics, captivating videos, inspiring music, and professional websites. Available as a free download, Dream Studio can be run directly from DVD, installed to your hard-drive, or even installed onto a USB Flash drive, for the ultimate in portability! Here is a list of just some of the included software:

Cinelerra (with custom UI) — a powerful non-linear video editor comparable to leading solutions like Apple's Final Cut Pro, Sony Vegas, or Adobe Premiere. Cinelerra contains more than 30 visual effects like motion tracking and chromakey, and supports both keyframing and nested sequences.

Ardour (with custom UI) — a professional digital audio workstation designed to replace offerings such as Digidesign Pro Tools, Steinberg's Cubase/Nuendo, Apple's Logic, and Sonar. Ardour features unlimited tracks, unlimited undo, and routing to and from any sound source. Ardour comes with support for many different plugin formats, and Dream Studio's version comes with close to 200 plugins/effects including pitch correction, triggers, compression, eq, reverb, and more. Dream Studio also supports VST plugins.

Cinepaint — used for motion picture frame-by-frame retouching, dirt removal, wire rig removal, render repair, background plates, and painting 3D model textures. It's been used on many feature films, including The Last Samurai where it was used to add flying arrows.

Blender — a free 3D graphics application, similar to 3DS Max and Maya, that can be used for modeling, UV unwrapping, texturing, rigging, water and smoke simulations, skinning, animating, rendering, particle and other simulations, non-linear editing, compositing, and creating interactive 3D applications, including video games, animated film, or visual effects.

Inkscape — vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X, using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format. Inkscape supports many advanced SVG features (markers, clones, alpha blending, etc.) and great care is taken in designing a streamlined interface. It is very easy to edit nodes, perform complex path operations, trace bitmaps and much more. We also aim to maintain a thriving user and developer community by using open, community-oriented development.

Synfig Studio — a powerful, industrial-strength vector-based open-source 2D animation software package allowing one to create animations similar to those done with Adobe Flash. It has been designed from the ground-up for producing feature-film quality animation with fewer people and resources. While there are many other programs currently on the market to aid with the efficient production of 2D animation, we are currently unaware of any other software that can do what our software can.

Scribus — professional page layout, akin to Quark Xpress, Adobe Indesign, or Microsoft Publisher, with a combination of "press-ready" output and new approaches to page layout.
Underneath the modern and user friendly interface, Scribus supports professional publishing features, such as CMYK color, separations, Spot Colors, ICC color management and versatile PDF creation.

Darktable — a virtual lighttable similar to A and darkroom for photographers similar to Adobe Lighroom: it manages your digital negatives in a database and lets you view them through a zoomable lighttable. it also enables you to develop raw images and enhance them.

Gnu Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) — a raster graphics editor with features similar to Adobe Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro. It is primarily employed as an image retouching and editing tool. In addition to free-form drawing, GIMP can accomplish essential image work-flow steps such as resizing, editing, and cropping photos, combining multiple images, and converting between different image formats. GIMP can also be used to create basic animated images in the gif format. At present, GIMP is usable for amateur or professional work with images intended for viewing on monitors and printing on ink-jet printers.

Kompozer — a complete web authoring system that combines web file management and easy-to-use WYSIWYG web page editing. KompoZer is designed to be extremely easy to use, making it ideal for non-technical computer users who want to create an attractive, professional-looking web site without needing to know HTML or web coding, and is a complete alternative to such commercial offerings as Adobe Dreamweaver and Apple iWeb.

Bombono — a DVD authoring program

Brasero — a CD/DVD burning application

Dream Studio also includes drum machines like Hydrogen (including several drum kits), samplers such as QSampler and SooperLooper, close to one hundred software synthesizers including Bristol and Zynaddsubfx, format conversion utilities like WinFF and SoundConverter, an audio mastering suite (JAMin), and much, much more. Not only that, but Dream Studio comes standard with the following applications for day-to-day work:

Firefox web browser
OpenOffice.org office suite (can read and write Microsoft Office formats)
Evolution mail, addressbook and calendaring (compatible with Microsoft Outlook)
Tomboy note taking

Click here to take a quick screenshot tour of Dream Studio, or here to download a copy for yourself.

Dream Studio is based on Ubuntu Gnu/Linux. The goals for this project are:

1. Ease of use — To this end we aim to stay as close to stock Ubuntu as possible. This not only allows users to install software from the standard repos and ppas without hassle, but also to find solutions to problems through Ubuntuforums, the Ubuntu manual, and the entire Ubuntu community, as opposed to multimedia distributions such as AVLinux and Dyne:bolic. In addition, we add features such as pulseaudio->jack integration. This goal, in fact, is the reasoning behind naming this distribution Dream Studio: those who know what Ubuntu, Gnu, Linux, GPL, and FOSS are, will quickly find information on these things as they relate to Dream Studio. The new user, however, need not learn these cryptic phrases in order to begin creating.

2. Aesthetic beauty — Dream Studio builds on Ubuntu's goal of aesthetic beauty, and pushes it further. Unlike distributions like UbuntuStudio (which features a theme quite dissimilar to stock Ubuntu) and KXStudio (which is based on KDE rather than Gnome — which some would say is less polished, on Ubuntu at least), Dream will always base our default themes on those of stock Ubuntu, albeit usually with less coloring (orange in its current iteration). Not only that, but we include custom UI themes for applications such as Cinelerra and Ardour, making them appear more integrated with the rest of the desktop.

3. Functionality — Although Dream Studio may make comparisons with other distributions, we do hold them in the highest esteem. For this reason, we make use of the most functional, up-to-date packages that the Open Source ecosystem has to offer, such as those you will find in UbuntuStudio, KXStudio, AVLinux, and the Akirad project.

We would like to thank Canonical (Ubuntu), Paul Davis (Ardour), the UbuntuStudio team, falktx (KXStudio), GMaq (AVLinux), Paolo Rampiro (Akirad project), the Cinepaint team, the GNU project, Linus Torvalds (Linux), Deviantdark (hydroxygen iconset), and everyone else whose contributions to open source have made this release possible.

Comment Re:The real comparison is in music production (Score 2, Informative) 348

Anyone who has ever dealt with a major label knows that all recording/production costs are recouped by the label before the artist makes any money. Plus the record label only pay out a dollar or two per album (I had heard a few years back that Metallica was making $4 per album, but even that figure is ludicrously high). Plus retail also takes a cut (even on itunes). Plus manufacturing costs money if you're making CDs and 15% (this is standard) of these CDs are given away as promotional. So consider the fact that if one spends $50,000 on the recording and production of an album (a modest figure in a major studio), one must sell about 30,000 copies of the album just to break even on the cost of making the album. Music acts make money playing live, and don't recieve a wage during recording (unless they get an advance, which is also recouped, adding to the number of albums which must be sold to break even).

The alternative now is that I can buy the $100 computer (a p4 with 3gb ram will do great), and a $200 soundcard (an m-audio delta 1010lt). I should have been more clear earlier, but the other $700 would easily rent a nice set of drum microphones (if you're even using real drums, and even then, it's usually easier to get a good sound with triggers - ala Nirvana's Nevermind, Red Hot Chili Peppers' Blood Sugar Sex Magic, and just about every other mainstream record you've ever heard), a good vocal mic, and any instruments you may also need (although if you're a recording musician you probably already have that stuff, major label deal or not). To be absolutely realistic, the costs of the rentals you'll need for tracking (and the old carpet you need for the walls) is probably more in the region of about $200, but I tend to err on the side of caution when I make such broad statements. So you could make an album yourself, and after you recoup the $1000 it took to make it, you start earning money on all the hard work you have done in writing and recording your music. Alternatively, you could make an album with a major label, go into the hole with them for $50,000, and start making money for the same amount of work after 30,000 albums are sold. And when you want to make a new album again, the label won't let you unless you've made money on the last. If you had done it yourself, you could not only start creating again in a couple of months, but your costs for album 2 are 30% less because you already have the computer and soundcard you used the first time

Where do I come up with this stuff? I've done it. Several times. Check out dickmacinnis.com to listen to my debut solo album, which I've already made almost $20,000 on to date. The album took about two months to write/record/produce/master, and I'll be able to continue selling it until the day I die. I'm currently working on the follow up.

DickMacInnis.com

Comment The real comparison is in music production (Score 0, Offtopic) 348

I remember when I started programming basic on a 386. It had only the pc speaker. I had always been interested in music, so I had started programming with basic little beeps and such to play a melody I had written. At the time you needed to spend $50,000 to record a decent sounding professional album in a studio. Nowadays you can make a recording on par with the hits of the 90s (at least) on a $100 desktop with a $200 soundcard. And major record labels wonder why we're not convinced that the major pop acts are worth the money. The reason is they're not. The old days are gone, and anybody with the willingness to learn and a passion for music making can make just as good a product for a tiny fraction of the cost. One only needs to sell about a hundred albums at $10 each to break even nowadays (of course most mainstream pop artists don't have the first clue how to do any of this work, which is why they're so easily duped into a record contract).

DickMacInnis.com

Comment Re:Why?? (Score 1) 753

Agreed! Besides which, ideas are certainly not the only thing being sold in multimedia content.

I'm a songwriter. You want to come to my house and listen to me play a song. Sure! But if I don't let you in, you're screwed. If I'm playing a song in my front yard and you're on the street, I can't stop you from listening. And even if you learn all the words and how to play it on the piano, I can't stop you from playing it at your house, or to your friends. Try that with a movie. Hang around with a screenwriter, watch what he types, and then convince your friends to act it out with you. Not very good? Well, maybe what you want is a professional movie. Maybe what you want is a professional sound recording. Here's the rub: even if I own a studio, professional musicians and actors don't work for free. A jam band at your family reunion? Sure! A community play? Maybe. The point is, you probably wouldn't watch Transformers (at least not for an hour and a half), if it was acted out by people from your neighborhood with cardboard outfits. And even then, do you think they'd want to do that every night?? And you probably wouldn't want to listen to Radiohead's latest album if it was played by laidoff workers from the local steel mill, and even if you did, they wouldn't do it every day, at least not for free. Even street performers pack up and go home when they don't make a single penny. And yet, people think that they have the right to consume PROFESSIONAL works, which COST MONEY TO MAKE, for free (and yes, I am one of those people). I don't disagree with piracy, but it is CERTAINLY unethical

DickMacInnis.com

Comment Re:Why?? (Score 1) 753

I download pirated movies, music, software (to a far lesser extent since I switched to FOSS) for all of the above reasons, but as a content provider myself, I must mention that it's not as easy as we would all think to have simultaneous global distribution. Here are the problems:

1) Registration of copyrighted works. This takes a different amount of time every time you do it, never mind in every global jurisdiction. With advertising being so expensive, and/or so time consuming, we want the product to drop as soon as it's advertised, which leads me to point

2) Global advertising. If I advertise on a website most frequently visited by people in my country (Canada), there are certainly people from other countries around the globe who will see these ads. If those people want my content, and they are impatient (as I am), they will want to pirate the content in question rather than wait for it to appear in stores. This, in and of itself is not such a problem, as all content providers want to reach as wide a fan/user base as possible. Nonetheless, I would say with almost absolute certainty that if someone (myself, at least) ALREADY has a pirated copy of the content, they have even LESS motivation to buy the legal content than they originally did. In a best case scenario, a friend will come over to your house, watch the pirated movie, and want to buy it because they don't know about bittorrent.

3) Manufacturing and shipping. If I make a movie, and want to get it into theatres, no problem! Make a couple thousand copies, and send them around the world. Once they've arrived, release the movie everywhere at once and millions can be made at the box office. When it's DVD release time, however, I must make MILLIONS of copies. Now what? If I contract the work out to a single duplication service, they will take months to make that many DVDs (because they have other clients, and even major film studios with in-house duplication have more than one movie to print at a time; think about back catalogs alone). Since I've advertised the hell out of my movie, and this advertising is next to worthless six months from now, this is not an option. That's not even taking into account that shipping times would delay the release in many areas of the world. Option 2 is to contract the duplication out to regional companies (which almost everyone does). I can't set a specific release date in any area until I know when they're ready to ship, and yet even this will vary from region to region. Perhaps in China my movie is not as popular as in Canada, so the duplication house is prioritizing larger clients ahead of me, which delays release there.

There are only two ways to achieve simultaneous global release with the above problems in mind.

1) Wait until every single aspect is in place to release. This could take years. It's ludicrous. As long as I have a product ready and it's sitting in a warehouse awaiting release, I'm losing massive amounts of money.

2) Forget about physical media. I'm sure we'll get there someday (probably soon), but for now, even with piracy, physical media is still making money, and I can guarantee that stopping all production will not increase digital sales, It will just prevent people who don't know how to download (legally or illegally) from buying my product.

Now, all this aside, I completely agree, as a consumer, with every point in favour of piracy. As content providers, we need to have BOTH simultaneous global DIGITAL release, AND the standard, staggered physical release. Meeting the needs of ALL possible customers only makes business sense.

DickMacInnis.com

Submission + - What's up with Slashdot?

macinnisrr writes: I have been reading slashdot loyally since 2000, and several times per day during most of that timespan. I'm wondering why the quality of the site itself has become so "bizarre" lately (to be nice). When I read stories on the front page from within firefox on ubuntu (which I'm sure is the same firefox MOST slashdot users are using, at least judging by comments), I am continually irritated by the fact that I have to click on "yesterday's news" to read news which came out earlier today. I thought for a while that perhaps it was a timezone issue, but alas, I am continually confronted by articles labelled as having been written on a Friday for instance, which I can confirm because I read them then, which only show up If I click through to, for instance, Wednesday's posts (it is always different and follows no logic that I can discern). The strange part of this particular problem is that Slashdot seems to work fine (at least in this respect) in IE8 (although I only ever use this on other people's computers or at the library).

Bear in mind I still love this site, but with slashdot's linux/oss slant, why is it that I can only enjoy it correctly on a proprietary browser? The strangest thing of all is that when I tried to file this complaint in the standard "contact" section that is a part of every other website I am a member of, I could not find it. I realize there probably is a link for such a thing, but why is it hidden away, or in fact anywhere other than in the header or footer of the site? Even after wanting to calmly complain to a private address (not in an article submission which may appear for all to see, as I prefer to keep criticisms private). I was dumbfounded to not be able to (easily at least, or perhaps with no regard to web convention), ascertain how long I had been a member of this site, as I would like to have included that in the first sentence of this post.

As this is a problem I have been dealing with for quite some time now, I must mention that I would never have brought it up if not for the last straw today, namely that after I had logged in to respond to a post I was returned to slashdot's home page. This is a behavior I have dealt with on many sites throughout the years, but never before on slashdot.

I suppose if this is indeed an article then it must be placed in "ask slashdot", in which case I wonder: am I the only one growing increasingly infuriated with my beloved "news for nerds"?

In spite of it all, keep up the good work, DickMacInnis.com

Comment Re:Who reads the manual? (Score 1) 457

easy solution:

1) I film something with these cameras, convert the footage to an open codec, and release the copies under a creative commons attribution license. I keep this footage on my personal computer behind a firewall in a folder with a copy of the license previously mentioned.

2) When I decide to make a commercial movie (which could be years, days, or even seconds later), I license this raw footage from myself under the terms of the creative commons license (if I really want to get complex, my wife licenses it from me and subsequently I from her).

3) I make a movie using footage I obtained under an attribution license which has no commercial or share-alike restrictions. In the credits of the movie, I clearly state who filmed the footage I used, and under what license I obtained it.

4) Profit!!!

5) The MPEG-LA sues me because I made a movie with their codec. I explain to them that this was not the case, as the movie I made contained no footage using their codec.

6) the MPEG-LA sues me because I released footage I had recorded without their consent to the filmmaker in question (me). I explain that the footage was converted away from their codec and subsequently licenced to the filmmaker for free, which adheres to the license I obtained when I bought the camera. No violation.

All this is not even taking into account that I may have rented said camera, or bought it second-hand, in which case I had no dealings whatsoever with, and hence could not have entered into a contract with the MPEG-LA.

Bear in mind that even if everything above was untrue, buying a camera only to read the manual is not a binding contract. What's to say I even read the darned thing? I rarely read manuals, and even if I did, nothing prevented me from using the camera before I had agreed to the terms of said license (as in the case of software which cannot be installed without agreeing to an EULA).

I may sell you a coat with a note in the inside pocket stating that you may not wear this coat on Tuesdays, but good luck getting that through any court of law in the world should I decide to sue, even in the US, and even with millions of dollars to spend on lawyers.

Should anyone actually be sued concerning such a ridiculous license, they should take their appeals to the highest court in the land, where a judgement in the defendant's favour will forever set the precedent for case law of such a ludicrous nature.

this entire license is nothing more than FUD, although I can see why it can be included, as the camera manufaturer's HAVE entered into an agreement with the MPEG-LA to include this license, and their contract is binding, no matter how insane it may be

Comment Re:Media production software (Score 1) 223

Ok, as someone who used Cubase as my first foray into recording, I can understand your confusion. However, things on linux work much more like real hardware, so to anyone besides you and me, who has used a tape machine or hdr, with a console, outboard effects, and a patchbay, the Ardour approach is much more sensible. Much like the way a beginner guitarist will want an all-in-one amplifier with effects, reverb, and several channels, whereas a seasoned pro used stompboxes, rackmounted processing and a dedicated power amplifier, this is the difference between a studio suite like Cubase and a dedicated editor/mixer/recorder like Ardour. Check out the plugins available at linuxdsp.co.uk or google search for the invada plugins if you need something with a fancy gui. Otherwise, the plugins included with ubuntustudio-audio-plugins in your standard repos are sure to have all the functionality you need (although they're not necessarily user-friendly, as a trade off though, the ladspa effects are generally quite system-resouce light, so you can use more than in a Cubase VST type setup). As for your issues with hydrogen, I don't really understand. When you use a piece of software like fruity loops or reason (i've never programmed drums in cubase), you must use a loop that's four beats long. To make a 3/4 beat in hydrogen, just change the pattern length to 12. The reason this is way more useful is in the case that you're making a song with one patter at 3/4, another at 4/4. and so on. Sure, it's a little bit harder to wrap your head around if you're only using one type of beat for a song, and you only use either 4/4 or 3/4 for any song you do, but for anyone looking to get truly creative (hence, anyone with moderate to advanced musical training), the complexity you can achieve with such a system is absolutely necessary.

Comment Re:Not Chrome's Fault (Score 1) 223

I've been using Ardour professionally for the last five years. Check out my latest album at dickmacinnis.com. Works better than any other DAW I've used (including cubase/nuendo, protools, cakewalk, etc....). I've only recently started using hydrogen, but the fact that it can be hooked up via jack to any midi sequencer is super great, and even programming within the editor itself is totally awesome. I used to use fruity loops and reason back when I was a windows guy. The unlimited routability of jack applications is not only terribly handy, it's how software should behave (that's how hardware works: you can plug a hard-disk recorder into a separate guitar amplifier). And believe me, I am definitely a professional musician: I have been solely self-employed (making live appearance and merchandise profits) for the last 3 years. All the while using open source software for everything from recording, to graphic and web design, to video production.

Comment LastPass (Score 1) 1007

I use lastpass. They have online sync plugins for firefox, chrome, ie, and safari, as well as a downloadable tool similar to keepassx. All you have to do is remember this one password, and it keeps track of all the others. very handy. Plus, if you do use the online sync tool (i.e. if you're not afraid of having your passwords on some other company's machine), you can always log in at their site to retrieve passwords if you're on a computer that can't download the plugin.

Comment Linux fans already know (Score 1) 442

I agree that people in marketing are not tech-savvy (on the average anyway). I agree that some people would never care that Linux is used in the machine, and that some (though probably very few) would even be scared away by the fact that linux is the basis of the machine. What strikes me as glaringly obvious though, is that anybody who cares whether or not their radio runs on Linux can already find out that this particular one does just that (look at the coverage it's been given here), and anyone who doesn't know, doesn't care or would shy away from the product because of it probably doesn't read things like slashdot, and would never know the difference. To me, this a perfect example of marketing genius.

Comment Re:I know this guy... (Score 1) 513

I appreciate your suggestion, and in fact I've heard that before from at least one other person (my lead guitar player). However, most of the people who come to my shows find out about them from facebook events, myspace updates, or tweets as opposed to checking out the events section of my website. Having the links on my home page just makes this all easier for the average person. Also, I've sold a few songs and even a couple albums on the various internet distribution sites you'll see on my banner ad (most sales are at the concerts), but I have yet to sell a single CD from my own online store. While I agree that one stop shopping looks more professional, at an entry-level people are far more likely to recieve news and purchase from sites they already use and trust. Were I to rely on people checking dickmacinnis.com every day to see if new events have been posted, or even have a mailing list, I can tell you from experience with other band that I've been in that far fewer people would be aware of what's going on. As always though, criticism is appreciated! Thanks for checking it out. Dick

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