What happened to Free Software anymore (Review)

This is a disaster, i wanted a daw to be free open source and this is a complete lie, i wanted a free daw to work with and yet another project go to waste, Ardour is should be easy to use more and more i realized i should wait and buy FL Studios 20 instead the saddest thing is the damn nag screen its very annoying to that point i’m going to download a K*y**n and install a daw and here is why please just make it free and open source

here are my 4 Complaints

  1. the nag screen is constant 10 minutes will drive a person to cause them to find a solution to get rid of it (There is no solution to it) and subscribing to buy a copy even though it’s a “free software” to but you pay to get access No wonder people like me are going to places Like Luffi’s Bay to use music and then pay a copy of it later

  2. Abysmal interface (im used to reaper and Magix Music maker) - coming out of Magix after i knew magix sticks adware in their products and finding an alternative to it is completely clueless to someone who does not know completely has to look up old YouTube videos of the tutorial and worse they do not tell you anything but the problem.

  3. Paying to buy a copy of the real upgraded version of Ardour thats on Linux (you know there is a problem with that) - If you’ve a copy of something that is avalible say for instance audacity or VLC they both have downloads for each software but for Ardour no You pay for a “Windows copy” F*** YOU if you don’t have Linux

  4. Making Midi’s is Abysmal - If you use FL Studios,Abelton 10 or Reaper, it’s a drag and drop command and to open the piano roll is just one click and it opens a window. Ardour’s way you have there is no way to insert or create a midi, and plus you have all the command are in the daw instead of a different window and yes it is difficult again because the Damn Nag screen when you to pay for a “Free Software” and when it does comes up it erases the dame midi your trying to write midi. for

I am sick and tired of Software Claiming it’s “Free” (in quote again) but reality it your paying a copy for a limited slim copy no wonder why people are getting your product illegally in protest.

Ardour is released under the GPL. The source code is available at all times without charge, via the same download site as the binary versions. We ask that you pay for the service of us building binaries for you, but you don’t have to if you know someone who already has a copy or are wlling to build it yourself.

The nag screen exists only in the free/demo version, which in turns exists only to be a free/demo. Because we use the GPL, and many 3rd party libraries under the GPL, it would violate the license to offer an “upgrade” path from the free/demo version to the “full” version.

The interface of DAWs always provokes highly subjective reactions. For every person such as yourself who hates Ardour’s GUI, there’s someone who emails me and says “I LOVE the GUI - it is so intuitive, and after years of using <other DAW>, so refreshingly easy to use”. So, if you love Reaper or Magix, I encourage you to keep usng it. Thankfully there are many excellent DAWs available (even a few on Linux), so you can choose whatever works for you workflow and/or aesthetics.

There is no difference in the way we support Linux or macOS or Windows. The same builds are available on the same terms.

You seem unaware of the several-decades old problem in english when it comes to the term “free software”. In French and several other languages, there are two words: libre and gratis, both of which translate to “free” in English. Ardour is libre software, and the source code is gratis. Some people like to make the analogy between “free speech” and “free beer” (notice how the word “free” means something entirely different in each case). The GPL which we use has always been about free/libre, not about about free/gratis, although it is also true that a lot of software released under this license is “free” in both senses. And remember: the source code is always available without cost. That may not satisfy you personally, but by many people’s standards would be fairly close to free/gratis.

Our model for working on MIDI is very different than FL Studio or Reaper - these days, it’s actually more like ProTools. Again, if you like FL Studio or Reaper, I encourage you to use those very excellent programs (don’t forget to pay them for the software). There are a lot of different workflows used by people who use “a DAW”, and no single DAW is the perfect choice for all of them. If you like FL Studio a lot, you’d like find ProTools or Nuendo not particularly to your taste or needs either.

Nobody is getting Ardour “illegally”. It’s 100% legal to copy and distribute it to anyone you want, as long you give them the same rights we give you. We have never planned that everybody pays for Ardour, only that enough people pay to allow development to proceed reasonably quickly.

(We will likely lock this thread to further comments, since it seems unlikely that a discussion here will prove useful to anyone inside or outside the Ardour community).


So your telling me that the binary version are avalible and i am using the service version, dear god is there a such thing as a binary windows version

To clarify. There are two variants:

  • demo - periodically goes silent (“nag after 10 mins”)
  • full-version

Pick one. When you install the full version, the installer asks to un-install the demo in case it was installed.

To get the full-version from https://ardour.org/download we ask for at least $1. The demo is available free of charge. This is the identical for all platforms (Linux, Windows, macOS).

You can also acquire it legally from other places without payment, but you’re on your own there.

Ardour is ‘free software’ in the ‘free as speech’ not ‘free as a beer’ way, the way GPL defines. And that is all about the source code and what you can do with it. You can take it, compile yourself, modify, or not, and give it away for free. Which is great. That is Free Software.

A binary available for download is just something extra provided for you, for a really symbolic fee. Is $1 too much? Most of us will happily pay more. And there is a demo for those who want to try the software before paying anything. How can anybody be angry about that?

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