Quick: you’ve got to sell UMPC (Ultra Mobile PC’s) to a mass market! How to do it? Well, Intel decided to show off pro audio and music production on the Linux-based Transmission, from Trinity Audio, as we saw earlier this week. I’m not entirely sure what got Intel thinking our geeky way, but I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts. And in all seriousness, Linux really an ideal OS choice here, because of its ability to be customized to the application.

The other flipside: low-power is the future. Computers now suck up 15% of the electricity in the US — electricity that produces a lot of our pollution and greenhouse gases. You do the math. A lot of that power gets used up in data centers, but the aggregate of all those homes counts, too. That will impact the future of all end-user operating systems.

Trinity has sent us some photos of the Intel booth at CES. Yes, Linux audio is getting some wider exposure. And even if you’re attached to Mac or Windows as your desktop/laptop platform, a mobile Linux device could be an ideal companion in the near future. We’ll have a chance to look at Trinity’s own device next week at NAMM and see how it stacks up.

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  • Adrian Anders

    My laptop is powered by the blood of orphans. 😀

  • See, that's perfect! Much more environmentally friendly! 😉

  • Adrian, every time you do that, God kills a vocoder.

    Now how do you feel?

  • Leee

    I got my XO One Laptop Per Child. Linux-based. Running a variety of programs on there, including built in programs that are pretty interesting. Versions of Bizarro-Garageband and bizarro-MAX/MSP. Anyone else making interesting music yet with it?

  • Machines

    What I want to know is how all of you with more than two machines handle all of your authorizations. I have my desktop and my laptop which is already more than enough to keep track of, but if I want to add an ultra-portable like this to the mix, what then? Every product I own says two authorizations is the max (NI stuff, Logic, Celemony, EW).

  • Some developers will add on another authorization if you ask really nicely. Ableton and Cycling '74 both do, for instance, and even if you're not recognized as press — really. (NI does seem to restrict to two at once.)

    But for the ultraportable here, this is all Linux software — problem solved, as you can run free on as many machines as you wish, and even port your whole OS with you on your laptops, etc. (Add portable apps on a stick, and you're really in business.) But I'll admit, this stuff still doesn't fully replace the proprietary software I use.

    Aside from that, I've found for my own projects, where I'm building software, I'm therefore gravitating toward open tools like Flash (Flex SDK is now open source on Mac, Windows, and Linux, and apps run free on all of those), Processing (Java, open source, free on all platforms), and Pd/GEM.

    Going beyond two machines at a time is, I'll admit, a case where a dongle could be advantageous. But happily you do have stuff like Cakewalk's stuff and FL Studio which happily runs on multiple machines — even without a call to tech support.

    I really do hope developers look at this issue as people aquire more computers, mobile machines, etc.

  • The thing that gives me hope about these Linux music advances isn't so much what people like us will do with it but that people new to digital music will happen upon an XO or this astonishingly newbie-friendly Trinity and they'll start out on Lunux, with incredibly cheap set-up costs, and force the evolution of non-MacOS or Windoze. I'm still parylized with terror at the idea of losing my 1500+ VSTs when MS kills of XP and doesn't fix Vista, myself – I'm "locked-in" to the technology. People just starting out needn't be, and the idea of learning PD on Linux just doesn't appeal to me at this point with unbelievably deep software like Sensomusic's Usine, but if I were to start all over again without the time and money I've invested in this weird, cutting edge technology I'd never even glance at Windows as an option, and still less MacOS (which I consider an option *solely* for the quite well to do, and those that don't feel the need for the nearly infinite number of instrument and fx options on XP).

    It's all well and good that people with a ton of money can afford to buy Kore and Waves and high-end control surfaces. Those options were also available in the hardware days – piles of modular synths and Eventide fx processors and the like. Who cares? Boring bands with commercial appeal and former thrash-drummers-turned studio hacks? That's the people who keep the musical tools out of the hands of the

    hands of the creative people. That's of no use to musical evolution – the instruments and weird techniques and recording opportunities that enable people *at home* and people who are not making uninteresting jingles and trendy music are the ones who will embrace and advance these new possibilities.

  • Greg

    Pff i would worry about consumption from a climate change point of view, were really at the end of a mini ice age if you look at historical documents. besides PC's are always getting more efficient for laptops, shame the batterys are still sooooo inefficient

  • I want one …


  • mobile recording, portable computer, indamixx,

  • you can get these at http://www.indamixx.com