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Open Source You Can Use, May 2009 Edition

Sound, video, distros and programming all figure into this month's roundup of open source goodies. Read on for more.

Sound, video, distros and programming all figure into this month's roundup of open source goodies. Read on for more.

The newest beta version of Audacity isn't quite ProTools -- they need better integration with third-party plugins, for starters -- but it's now possible to do some remarkably sophisticated, professional and (here's a word everyone who does audio editing loves) non-destructive work with it. I used one of the early incarnations to rip my vinyl records to CD, although I doubt even Audacity can do much about the fact that my turntable's tone arm broke off when the cats decided to kick it over.

VLC Media Player's 1.0 edition is in a public release candidate. The best video player around ships for just about every software platform out there (no 64-bit Windows edition yet, though), plays everything you can think of, and has no end of neat little features that I'm still digging through and uncovering.

Somehow I forgot to mention SharpDevelop, an IDE for .NET, itself written in C# and stiff competition for Microsoft's own development tools. They're in beta testing for the 3.1 edition, with version 3.0 having dropped back in February. I've been mulling over creating several possible open source apps for the Windows desktop (plus other stuff for Linux using Python, which I want to learn), and if I do, this will be how I'll build 'em.

I've been trying to squeeze in more Linux dsitributions, too, and hot on the heels of Ubuntu 9.04 is the first alpha test version of 9.10. Most of the changes to "Karmic Koala" have not been pushed out yet, but the biggest new stuff is the use of GNOME 2.27.1, the 2.6.30 kernel stepping, and the new Intel video driver architecture. Take it for a spin in a virtual machine and see what you think.


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