Tag Archives: audio-software

Music to My Ears: Free Audio Software

I love when you let me know about killer software:

My name is Andrew Portess (also known as portessa when in your chat room as well as part of the community at geeks.pirillo.com). I saw the video you did on the 19th about David Crandall, who I agree has great talent as a musician. I also create my own music but my reason for e-mailing you today was to recommend some music software I read about recently in Sound On Sound Magazine, a UK magazine for musicians and sound engineers.

The software I’m referring to is called Ardour and is a FREE Digital Audio Workstation available for Mac OS X and various distributions of Linux. I am sorry to say that I have not tried Ardour myself, however from what I have learnt about it, Ardour seems to have similar capabilities to other music-making software such as Logic, Cubase or Pro Tools, none of which are free.

The software can be freely downloaded and learnt about at the official website http://ardour.org/ – it is worth noting Ardour doesn’t come with any plugins to increase functionality however, there is a section of the site, that lists a wide range of ones that are available, as well as links to the sites where they can be downloaded.

As I said, I have not tried Ardour though I am certainly looking forward to doing this in the future as I am considering buying my first Mac! I just thought I’d pass this on in case anyone was looking for what looks to be a very sophisticated way to freely record and edit your own music!

If you, or anyone else in your community, would like to know more about my own music, please feel free to visit my website at http://andrewportess.co.uk or my MySpace Page at www.myspace.com/andrewportess – thanks!

Amazing find, Andrew – thanks for letting us know!

Free Software vs Free Trial

I don’t know if I’d call myself a software expert, by any stretch of the imagination – but I do know good software (and a good deal) when I see it. Window Clippings just went shareware, and I started an exchange with Kenny Kerr about this move – specifically, related to the new licensing structure (what it was, how it works, etc.). After sending him the following bit of text, he responded with a link to his earlier assertion.

I suppose the following is applicable to anybody who develops and releases software online as “free trial” or has software downloads geared towards on generating registrations.

So long as you don’t get picky about licenses tied to machines (please, don’t get me started about activation crap). If registration isn’t convenient for me (read: PayPal) , and if licensing is annoying (read: limited), and if the upgrade path is cost-prohibitive (read: paying for the same thing over and over again), I’ll walk – or, I’ll find something that’s open source and/or free.

Either way, subsequent licenses should be at *LEAST* half off (if not more). Let me put it to you this way: $10 isn’t much, but it means more to me if that covers a perpetual license that’s not tied to any one computer or another. It’s the reason I switched from UltraEdit (shareware, hellish upgrade path – even discounted) to PSPad (free).

Most shareware authors are mediocre developers and rotten marketers. They’re either too greedy, don’t understand their own marketplace, or they have absolutely no business savvy whatsoever. It’s the reason why I believe the entire shareware industry is in deep trouble. Deep, deep, deep trouble. The Web is killing ’em.

Exception to the rule? OS X.

You could do $10 once, $1 for each additional upgrade – and if you tie the registration into the user’s PayPal account, and you have a seamless upgrade path (all done within the utility itself), you could make upgrading painless and affordable. They could still upgrade without paying the extra buck for the new version, and the new version would fall back on its “basic” self. No harm, no foul. EVERYBODY can afford a buck, especially if it’s convenient.

Just don’t nag, man… ever. That’ll wipe you off my radar quicker than you can say “Milli Vanilli.” There are very few software titles that I’m willing to pay for – and even the ones I do pay for wind up disappointing me at some point. Right now, Window Clippings is nice to have – but not “$10 nice” yet, especially with a questionable upgrade path.

There are too many [X] utilities out there for me to say this is a slam dunk for you.