[Ardour-Users] Could this solve Ardour's financial headache?

Patrick Shirkey pshirkey at boosthardware.com
Wed Jan 7 18:20:07 PST 2009

sonofzev at iinet.net.au wrote:
>     >However, I don't personally think this sort of contribution really
>     >makes much of a difference. It's spotty at best.
>     >There are problems. Ardour development, like most every other OS
>     >project I've ever looked at, isn't developed with the 'customer' in
>     >mind. How many times have we heard that 'we should be happy with what
>     >we get since we don't pay' or something to that effect. We get the
>     >features that developers decide to add. Ardour doesn't have the
>     >features I need to really commit to using it long term so I don't.
>     >That doesn't mean that I don't have the greatest respect for the
>     >people that do the work. It's great work, but it doesn't support my
>     >needs. I've been asking for MIDI since 2001 or 2002. It's now 6-7
>     >years later.
>     >Again, I'm NOT complaining. I'm just pointing out that it doesn't
>     have
>     >the features I need so its _value_ is fairly low to me because I
>     >cannot do the music composition with it that I want to do. Some sort
>     >of hodge-podge group of Linux apps tied together by hand to send data
>     >around isn't user friendly to a user who just wants to sit down,
>     write
>     >and play. To someone else who runs a studio and wants to use open
>     >hardware and software it might be very valuable. to academic
>     types who
>     >like to wire things together it's invaluable.
>     >Just my view,
>     >Mark
>     _______________________________________________
>     Ardour-Users mailing list
>     ardour-users at lists.ardour.org
>     <javascript:top.opencompose('ardour-users at lists.ardour.org','','','')>
>     http://lists.ardour.org/listinfo.cgi/ardour-users-ardour.org
>     <parse.pl?redirect=http%3A%2F%2Flists.ardour.org%2Flistinfo.cgi%2Fardour-users-ardour.org>
>     )
>     I agree with the other people here that have said charging for SVN
>     is counterproductive, as it will limit the amount of patch
>     testing.. Also, going by a month worth of statistics isn't
>     necessarily a good stat to go by. Some users (like myself) will
>     report bugs as we encounter them, and then when time is available,
>     work to help test patches e.t.c... At other times some people may
>     not have the time to do this work, or it may not be appropriate..
>     for example, I have a lot of projects on the way with deadlines
>     coming up shortly.. so I am working with a "stable" setup that
>     provides me the minimum functionality I need... until these
>     projects are complete and I can have a few weeks break from
>     actually recording, then I won't be updating or testing... 
>     I'm not sure if the idea of paying would lead to more bug
>     reporting. I've been a subscriber for 2 years and it hasn't
>     increased or decreased the amount of bug reporting I commit.. If
>     anything my bug reporting has slowed down, but  there is no
>     correlation between the two.. simply my available time has
>     reduced. I think in this sense I probably am a typical "paying" user.
>     Mark, I completely agree with your assesment of "value" ...
>     altough I am less bothered by a bit of connection work than some..
>     although my workflow lends to/allows the use of ardour without
>     MIDI, it would be ideal for it to have MIDI and MIDI clock
>     functionality finished (for which I will be testing the patches
>     once my current projects are finished (probably towards the end of
>     feb)..  I do use ardour for release purposes but I started making
>     electronic music at a time when unless one could afford a full
>     blown Pro Tools rig, it was not really feasible to do multitrack
>     hard disk recording on a computer.. as such I have an extensive
>     outboard MIDI setup
>     The main thing is each user will be different have different needs.
>     There are really only two main solutions to the financial
>     problems... sponsorship and subscription. Sponsors will be harder
>     to find as most hardware companies now have some vested interest
>     in software although it would be nice to see something like
>     jacklab or ubuntu studio packaged with audio devices (I really
>     think Behringer is one of the more likely ones to do this).. So
>     really the main thing is for the users to subscribe and encourage
>     others to do the same.. It has more power if the calls for
>     subscription come from users rather than Paul or the other lead
>     developers. really for anyone working the subscription cost is
>     pretty much negligible
>     so there's my 2 cents..

There's also the ticker option which displays an rss feed hosted at 
http://adour.org in the top right corner of the editor window.That way 
anyone who uses the app and doesn't participate round here or actively 
follow mantis tracking or the home page will still be kept upto date 
with the news and can be encourage to contribute cash to bounties that 
are getting near to their target goal.

It will also allow Paul to advertise selective companies, sponsors and 
even labels/artists who want to get access to the 10-20,000 currently 
active user base. Another thing it could be used for is getting 
realistic stats on how many people are non contributing users.

Of course if you want to compile the app with no ticker then that should 
also be possible or if you want to pay a small fee to disable it then 
that could also be arranged.

All of this could be setup to be damn near completely automated.

The main chore once it is in place would be updating the rss feed and 
potentially soliciting advertising contracts from audio related businesses.

As Ardour is a solution for the music and entertainment industry it 
shouldn't be a problem to include a bit of wholesale self promotion into 
the mix as well.

We have at least three solutions for ramping up funding for Ardour that 
have been put on the table. Subscriptions are doing a good job, if we 
add the ticker and the svn access ideas into the mix then we will force 
people to make a choice. The choice is do they like what they get from 
Ardour and are they willing to contribute or not?

I don't see any reason why people who use Ardour should not be asked to 
contribute in some way to the continued development.

However I can see it becoming a logistical nightmare if it is not rolled 
out cleanly.

Paul, are you planning to make any moves on this subject in the coming 
Do you agree that it worth a shot to put it in place and try it out?
Do you like the ideas but not have the time or energy to commit to 
putting them in place yourself?
Would you prefer if other devs/users who care about this topic decide on 
a/some solutions and write the code so you can then make a call as to 
the viabliity at a later date?

- I will happily work on the ticker code if it is accepted as a viable 
option. I will even put it ahead of the work I have planned for the 
Master Track waveform display. I figure that code will take me a couple 
of months anyway but the ticker should take less than a week. Setting up 
an RSS feed for the site should be simple if it is not already in place. 
I already have some custom code for that but there is no doubt some very 
advanced Drupal modules available.


Patrick Shirkey
Boost Hardware Ltd.

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