Today I’d like to share my thoughts about little bit of a different topic. I got myself interested into free and open-source software a while ago, and from time to time I am still checking out what it has to offer. Despite this I never tried to adopt it and use it on daily basis. I really like the basic idea of free software, but I think that people behind free software failed to bring us an option, that would be usable in specific situations like music production. Don’t get me wrong, it is not that far from creating a nice user experience for average users who only need a basic functionality, but it seriously lacks in some other aspects.
Let me bring up Microsoft and compare it with free software alternatives. I know that Microsoft doesn’t offer the greatest solutions for everything, but I have to give it a credit because of how they managed to “push” their OS. While you could argue, that Windows has some flaws, and Microsoft is loosing some of it’s marketshare lately, but the main reason why Windows still is a number one OS worldwide is quiet simple. Microsoft is still able to support every peace of hardware including your toaster, and when it comes to software, there are o lot of options of advanced programs for various purposes. Windows got to a phase, where it is usable by majority of population without many problems, and fact is, that despite it encourage using mostly proprietary software, a lot of proprietary programs are faster and more usable, than their free alternative. Proprietary software is so widely adopted, that it is running on almost everything. Even various Linux distributions couldn’t resist and included some amount of proprietary software because of it’s better performance, despite the fact, that many people find this unacceptable.
My major problem with free software is, that despite good intentions from people behind it, they just couldn’t come up with alternative that would be good enough. There are almost no sound cards, that are supported, no music editing software, that could come at least close to DAW’s like Ableton, Cubase, and most of the audio gear runs on proprietary software. Keep in mind that I am mentioning just audio related problems here, there are other things, that are missing. In my opinion free software won’t be adopted by more people, if they won’t start to develop quality software for specialised purposes. In the end all that I am asking is an alternative that is good enough. Until there is none, me and lot of other people are sticking to the proprietary software, even though I believe, that a lot of people would like to switch.