Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Ubuntu Studio - nice idea, poor execution

Ubuntu Studio is a nice idea in theory, but the execution is lacking. The goal is to create a version of Ubuntu optimized for media creation by:
  • Bundling the best available open-source media creation tools.
  • Using the real-time Linux kernel, for reduced latency when mixing audio.
  • Using a desktop color scheme that doesn't make artistic people ill.
The problem is that there are a lot of rough edges:
  • By using a non-standard kernel, the release has problems supporting wireless hardware, such as the wireless hardware present on my first-gen Intel Macbook.
  • By using a cool-but-low-contrast color scheme, the UI is difficult to read on a screen-dimmed laptop.
  • Some of the bundled free content creation tools are pretty weak compared to the commercial equivalents. (I'm thinking of GIMP and Blender in particular.)
The wireless hardware support issues make this a non-starter release for me, but I enjoyed giving it a whirl.

2 comments:

hothgremlin said...

I guess you never really worked with blender and/or gimp as they re very very powerful and equal to commercial software in terms of features. Blender lacks mentalray or equivalents, but this problem can never be solved.

Jack Palevich said...

Hah, no, you're mistaken. I've spent many frustrating hours trying to use each of these programs. They just suck (both in UI and capabilities) compared to the commercial alternatives.