How About an Appliance?

I’m thinking: Why not a dedicated Ardour workstation + OS on one disk?

I work with a developer who wrote a phenomenal radio automation suite that runs under Linux. To generate interest in potential users, his team created an “Appliance DVD” which loads a full CentOS operating system and his suite onto a fresh computer with a blank hard drive. It works right out of the chute, requires almost no configuring, it asks just a couple of questions on installation, and then the system can literally be on the air by lunchtime.

I wonder if this is an approach worth considering for Ardour — choose a Linux flavor (or more than one) known to work well across a broad swath of hardware, bundle it with Ardour, cook it as a downloadable .iso file, and offer that up on the website as a ready-to-go, out-of-the-box audio recording and mixing environment with no non-essential Linux apps tagging along.

Yes, it means those folks who create multimedia distros are gonna be ticked, as will the hundreds of folks who work hard to create distributions who would get “left out” by the decision. But to have a workstation as easy to unbox and set up as a tape recorder… well, I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be recordin’ than configuratin’.

It is called AVLinux (there is also KXStudio).

Download load it, put it on a USB stick. Insert into PC. Boot (after making sure the BIOS will preferentially boot from a USB removeable device, whjich it probably will).

I have seen those and talked about them in class (I’m adjunct faculty at a Maryland college, teaching audio tech and production). I’ve also doinked around a bit with Ubuntustudio, OpenArtist and ArtistX. All are very ambitious and well-crafted distros. I’m suggesting an OS and Ardour only, together on one disk, to turn a blank computer solely into a multitrack environment without also turning it into a cartoon factory, video editor, pipe organ, fractal generator and photo manipulator.

If I were asked why I’m suggesting this, I would say only because the radio automation suite I mentioned before is bundled that way, without piles of other software and apps unnecessary to the task at hand. It seems an efficient use of resources.

But if AV, KX and its cousins are capably doing the job and no one objects, I say OK to that.

Additionally, ardour by itself won’t get you very far. AV Linux and KX studio provide a comprehensive collection of plugins and other audio production tools that greatly aide the use of ardour. I don’t think anyone would complain about the app collection on these even if they include some visual tools. If you know anyone interested in such a thing, just give them one of these capable distros and tell them its a DAW Appliance DVD. Its completely true with the definition you gave. Install… Create.