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Weekend Aantel’s Blog » GoWB

Archive for the 'GoWB' Category

Update #2 on “FOSS multimedia authoring doesn’t quite cut it”

Friday, March 5th, 2010

This post is the reply from Shri Anindya Banerji, multimedia developer to the clarifications sought by Dr Mandar Mitra. I’m posting the Shri Banerji’s clarifications verbatim.

Legend : [MM] = Mandar Mitra; [AB] = Anindya Banerji. AB’s clarifications are italicized. The text in bold-italics are from the original mail from Mr. Banerji.

===========================
Audacity (as a substitute of Audition)
===========================

> Codecs are very poor

[MM] Poor in terms of supported formats? What format were you decoding from / encoding to?

[AB] formats and standards including ASIO, VST, DirectX, and ReWire.

> MP3 cannot be edited properly

[MM] What problem did you face? Again, I have used Audacity to edit mp3 files without issues.

> Cannot be converted into MP3 properly

[MM] I usually do my editing on wav files, and use lame separately to encode to mp3. I know audacity can be set up to use lame directly.

[AB] problem regarding transparent sample rate conversions of files from a wide array of sources and deliver them in the audio format including Windows PCM (WAV), OGG, AIFF, MP3, and WMA with customizable dither settings whether converting material to 44.1kHz, 48kHz, or 96kHz for CD, video, or DVD to get great-sounding results

> Conforming process frequently crashes

[MM] What is a conforming process? I have been using Audacity for several years now, and cannot recall a crash.

> Unsafe rendering

[MM] What does unsafe rendering mean?

[AB] no convenient batch processing feature to convert large numbers of files that have different formats, sample rates, and bit depths to one common format, or to apply scripts to multiple files

crashed many times while problems regarding rendering realtime, while overlaid ( not punched ) numerous sub-takes and saving multiple audio files faster with simply specifying the file format, location, filename template, and more, and these parameters to be applied to each file in the batch synchronization between audio and video playback over projects of any length

> Too few tools to operate

[MM] What tools were you looking for that you did not find?

[AB] looking for :

- quick mix files together by dragging clips and controlling automatic crossfades with on-clip handles

- effects including Convolution Reverb, Analog Delay, Mastering tool and Tube-modeled Compressor

- looping tools

- phase analysis tools

- effects Paintbrush tool

- spot Healing Brush tool

- phase Correction tool

- adaptive Noise Reduction tool

- spectral Frequency Display tool

- lasso tool in Spectral Frequency

- delete Silence feature

> Recording in full duplex cannot done properly

[MM] What is recording in full duplex? Playback during recording? What “improper” behaviour did you observe? In any case, for archival quality recording, you want to leave the processor as lightly loaded as possible. When I feel really uptight about this, I switch to single user mode (telinit 1) and do my recording using arecord, and edit later using Audacity.

> Dubbing facility is not available

[MM] Did you mean adding an audio track to a video recording? AFAIK, Audacity does not have a video component, so yes, I agree that’s not available. But why would you use an audio editor to do dubbing? Or maybe I am misunderstanding the problem.

[AB] problems regarding,

- display video while scrub, keyframe view, and edit sound automation in it, match up audio with the action onscreen.

- editing the soundtracks for videos

- Stretch effects or dialog to fit a video clip by simply dragging the edge of the clip in Multitrack View

- synchronization between your audio and video playback over projects of any length

- editing soundtracks for video and then export the enhanced video in AVI, MPEG, DV, or WMV format

- digitally extract tracks from audio CDs to hard drive for project use

- Seeing level meters that are in use for the master track as well as for multiple input devices, and for multiple output devices

- listening audio inputs through the software, including effects applied to the input track, then modify parameters after recording, if desired

- quickly fixing recording errors by punching in corrections on-the-fly as you rerecord, Toggle the record button to punch in new take only where to replace the old one. Punch in and out as many times as you want

- altering tempo without changing pitch, or change pitch without tempo distortion

Update #1 on “FOSS multimedia authoring doesn’t quite cut it”

Friday, March 5th, 2010

First, let me thank all my friends and colleagues in the FOSS community for coming out so strongly in support to my call for help on this matter. You guys rock! :D

Yesterday evening there was a mail from Dr Mandar Mitra (of ISI, Kolkata and IOTA Board member), wherein he posted counter arguments to Shri Anindya Banerji’s (the multimedia expert whose comments on inadequacy of FOSS tools for CBT development lead to this series of posts). Dr Mitra also asked from Mr. Banerji to clarify further on his comments.

Dr Mandar Mitra’s email rebutting the claims and asking for clarifications

NOTE : The Italicized lines are Shri Banerji’s original comments

This is with reference to the problems outlined by Shri Anindya Banerjee. I have first-hand experience only with Audacity and I found the list of problems very imprecise (details below). Perhaps Shri Banerjee could further clarify what he meant?

I think your suggestion that a small CBT be prepared as a proof of concept by competent and interested persons is an excellent one. If such a CBT can
be put together, that will be the best possible refutation of complaints about the capabilities of open source tools. If it cannot be done within a reasonable time frame, then we must decide whether the CBT itself is more important for IOTA than the means by which it is created.

Mandar.

—————————————————————————

> Audacity (as a substitute
> of Audition)
>
> Codecs are very poor

Poor in terms of supported formats? Audio quality of encoded file? What format were you decoding from / encoding to?

> Conforming process frequently crashes

What is a conforming process? I have been using Audacity for several years now, and cannot recall a crash.

> MP3 cannot be edited properly

What problem did you face? Again, I have used Audacity to edit mp3 files without issues.

> Unsafe rendering

What does unsafe rendering mean?

> Cannot be converted into MP3 properly

I usually do my editing on wav files, and use lame separately to encode to mp3. I know audacity can be set up to use lame directly.

> Too few tools to operate

What tools were you looking for that you did not find?

> Recording in full duplex cannot done properly

What is recording in full duplex? Playback during recording? What “improper” behaviour did you observe? In any case, for archival quality recording, you want to leave the processor as lightly loaded as possible. When I feel really uptight about this, I switch to single user mode (telinit 1) and do my recording using arecord, and edit later using Audacity.

> Dubbing facility is not available

Did you mean adding an audio track to a video recording? AFAIK, Audacity does not have a video component, so yes, I agree that’s not available. But
why would you use an audio editor to do dubbing? Or maybe I am misunderstanding the problem.

Making change happen - the case of the IOTA job ad

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Since reading Rajib’s passionate mails, and Rohit’s (iamhere) email about the WBCS officers’ training on FOSS, I thought of sharing the recent case of the IOTA job advertisement.

The background : IOTA is planning to recruit on contractual basis 2 multimedia developer and 1 project consultant for CBT development. The CBTs are intended for schools across the state.

The case that was : Until 18th Feb, 2010, the advertisement asked for people with work experience on *entirely* proprietary software - Adobe Flash, AfterEffects, Illustrator, Photoshop, Premier, 3D Studio Max. You can see a copy of that ad here below:

iota-pre-ed.gif

The Change : On 19th February evening, a meeting was convened at IT Department under the chairman-ship of the MIC IT, Prof Debesh Das. Clear guidelines were laid out. The minister re-iterated that IOTA can not do such as thing while it has the mandate to take the message of FOSS across the state. A committee sat down on the 20th Feb, afternoon at IOTA office, went through the use-case scenarios around the CBTs to be developed and identified the potential software stack to be used in the changed scenario. The updated advertisement, which is entirely pro-FOSS can be seen here

iota-post-ed.gif

or on the IOTA website. The change was made on 20th evening itself.

The Message : A case where things got “right”-ed in a govt dept, although in Harry Truman style, the “buck” finally stopped right at the “top”.

ILUG-Cal collaborates with IOTA @ Kolkata Bookfair 2009

Monday, March 9th, 2009

Responding to the call for support from IOTA (Institute for Open Technology and Applications), ILUG-CAL.ORG team members did a wonderful job of presenting the case of GNU/Linux and FOSS in general at the Kolkata International Bookfair between 28th Jan and 8th Feb 2009.

Here some of the photos from that event:

IMG_0099

From L to R : Rohit, Gaurav, Susmit, Nishant, Mukesh, Shinjan, Sarbartha, Dipanjan, Hemant, Shivam, Debnath, Saikat and me (sitting)

27012009233 27012009234 27012009235 27012009237 IMG_1048 IMG_1050 IMG_1052 IMG_1053 IMG_1054 IMG_1058 IMG_1059

Baishakhi Linux Updates - OOo 2.4 modifed src tarball et al

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

1. There is now a “OpenOffice.org 2.4 modified source” section with an option to download from here. It’s a 402+ MB tar.gz file. I’m presently downloading that. It should be done in a couple of hours.

2. The link to the Japanese mirror site hosted by Mat3Impex for Baishakhi Linux download has been removed from NLTR website. The Japanese mirror was *way* faster as the NLTR.ORG website (the only site to download anything from) as presently hosted in the US is at least 6 times as slower as far as downloads are concerned. (this could become a point of concern though unless this is looked into soon)

“Baishakhi Linux sources are available from *the* CD using mount”

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

Most of you who have been following the Baishakhi Linux saga unfold already know that quite a few people from all over India have had requested for the source code to be made available for the project.

I too, has used the SNLTR Forum as later on also suggested by Prof. Anupam Basu of IITKGP and Director, SNLTR, for requesting information as to where I can get the sources from - http://nltr.org/snltrforum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=8

My enquiry was short and simple -

বৈশাখীলিনাক্সের ISO‌-র সোর্স কোড কোথা থেকে পেতে পারি?

Postby ইন্দ্রনীল on Wed Sep 10, 2008 3:52 pm
$SUBJECT-য়েই এই পোস্টিংর সার বক্তব্য :)

ধন্যবাদন্তে
ইন্দ্রনীল

or

Where from can I get the Baishakhi Linux ISO’s sources” followed by “$SUBJECT says it all

So far, that question went without any answer - mails to their devel mailing list via the web-based feedback form (done after I had received the invitation for the inaugural program) or the forum (done yesterday) and the only thing close to an answer was Prof. Basu’s reply yesterday evening -

“The release was on the 8th of September and it was planned to make the source code available upstream, within a few days as is expected of open-source activities. Please keep your weather eyes open on the SNLTR site.”

I was away from Kolkata since morning and now on coming back, I found this “reply” waiting for me in the Forum by one of the developers.

নমস্কার
বৈশাখী লিনাক্স ১.০ সংস্করণটি Ubuntu 8.04 এর উপর ভিত্তি করে তৈরী করা হয়েছে ।
Ubuntu এর মতই এর CD কে মাউন্ট করে সোর্স কোড পাওযা যেতে পারে ।

নমস্কারান্তে
তারক নাথ

meaning “Namashkar! Baishakhi Linux version 1.0 is based on Ubuntu 8.04. Just like Ubuntu the Baishakhi Linux CD can be mounted to access the source code

/me is presently pondering on what should be state of his mind be