In the free software world there are several distributions designed for audio that may be useful for those who work in technical management or project workflow software or the edition of sound on a community radio station. If we incorporate to our radios or communication projects this kind of tools we can reach a more profitable use of the computers we have.
A distribution of free software is a set of applications or assembled programs that allow you to easily install a GNU/Linux system. A distribution allows you to install all the necessary operating system to run the machine.
There are numerous distributions, some of which specialize in particular computer uses as in the case of distributions designed for audio.
These distributions and programs containing them were developed by the community of free software developers and allow us to use the computer in a different way, and above all do not restrict our freedoms of use, sharing, modification and adaptation of the programs with which we work. Hence the importance that community radio stations and other organizations use this type of software that is consistent with their projects political – cultural.
Many of these distributions, for example, handle toolset Jack. These can control centrally the different connections of sound, at the same time allowing to manage latency, that is, the time that it takes the computer processing musical notes and issue them through the speakers.
One of the distributions with greater development designed for musicians, djs, film-makers and graphic designers is Musix, born distribution in Argentina, although it is available in several languages. Musix has programs forediting, streaming, midi, mixers, dj’s, among others. Highlights RoseGarden andArdour to edit sounds. (www.musix.org.ar)
There is also “Ubuntu Studio”, which although it is not an official development of theUbuntu distribution is an important community that develops and maintains it, andshares many of the programs that use Musix (www.ubuntuestudio.com). Thisdistribution is aimed not only at work audio but also video and graphics, addingentertainment programs 2 and 3 D.
Demudi is a distribution that was an important development in its infancy by thesupport of the European Commission - institution of the European Union - as part ofAGNULA, who sought to create two distributions designed for audio and music.Despite the fact that he has no support, the distribution is still alive and may be anoption when it comes to try different possibilities.
Recently, Cafeina-amarc was born a distribution designed for community radio.
Basically this distribution in addition to editing programs, programs for theautomation of the stations.
While it‘s still in development, the intention is to allow use interesting alternatives toautomation, as rivendell, soma, Janata and live support. (http://tics.alc.amarc.org)
Get off one of these distributions, start to use them, report errors, and above all, beginto make more rational use of the technological tools we have to help ourorganizations and will allow us to be consistent between what we want and what we do.
To start a download of these distributions, the first thing we have to do is enter thecorresponding web site and download the Live-CD (ISO image).
Then burn this file to a cd or dvd and run it on the computer on which we areworking. So we can see, are like and how they work the programs contained in the
distribution in order to decide which distribution prefer or is good for us. This stepdoes not produce any change in the operating system of your computer, is likereading a CD-ROM. Some programs can be used in this mode, others instead requireto install the distribution on the computer.
Install the distribution in a computer that has yet an operating system is simple and isto follow the steps. If we have a computer running a non-free operating system,maybe we need some help or a little patience to find answers to concerns that we aretaking in distributions or user groups Web pages. One of the characteristics of thesecommunities is precisely, share knowledge and collaborate among peers to find thebest solutions to the problems that the use of the software can introduce ourselves.Everywhere there are manuals for the user, Exchange forums and help, documentationon the development of programs or
previously performed migration. It is very possible that there is a group of users offree software that can be contacted to find accompaniment and follow-up in the caserequired by the station in the country in which you live.
The experience of the Union of cultural Madrid Radios is a good example of theresults of collaborative work and free. For some time they come developing its ownprogram of automation, which is already used in more than thirty stations. The Janata- emerged from Radio Jabato - is a computer system, developed as a free softwarethat allows recording, reproduction and free exchange of radio content, designedespecially for the use that the Spanish free stations give.