Monday, November 24, 2008

Effects Progress

Since the 1.6.1 release, we've been hard at work integrating several new features that have been in the works for a while.

In our last user survey, many people told us that Mixxx needed some effects besides the flanger. In response to your feedback, we had Pawel Bartkiewicz work on LADSPA integration through Google Summer of Code in 2007. LADSPA is a terribly misleading acronym for "Linux Audio Developers Simple Plugin API". As it turns out, LADSPA isn't just for Linux - it's a cross-platform effects plugin framework, and that made it the natural choice for us. Pawel did great work last Summer, but it came in middle of our 1.6.0 development cycle and in order to properly integrate his work into Mixxx, several other tasks needed to be completed first.

One of these more noticeable tasks has been to create a new tabbed view, where both the library and effects pane can be managed.

With the new reverb and "DJFlanger" effects, you can add some interesting flavour to your mixes.

The screenshot above shows the effects panel inside the new tabbed view. It also shows several of the effects that we're going to bundle, on the left. The tabbed view will also give us a compact place to expand Mixxx's user interface in the future.

If you look at the screenshot closely, you can spot some rough edges that we're trying to fix before our next major release. The main tasks that remain are bug fixing, polishing, and updating our distribution stuff (installers, packaging scripts, etc.).

For Windows and OS X users hoping for VST support, we think it should be possible via Audacity's awesome VST enabler. The VST enabler should allow us to load VST plugins, but to my knowledge, nobody's tested it yet. The reason we can't build native VST support directly into Mixxx is because of Steinberg's restrictive license on their VST software development kit.

That's all for now! We're going to keep hacking away at LADSPA and the rest of the new features we're working on, and hopefully we'll have something out the door before the end of the year.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mixxx @ GSoC Mentor Summit

Three of the Mixxx development team recently attended the Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit. For those of you who don't know, GSoC is a programme where Google funds students to spend their Summers working on open source software.

GSoC 2008 Mentors from Mixxx - Adam, Albert, and Garth

We got to meet a lot of developers from other open source audio packages which was, very interesting. It was also a good opportunity for Garth, Albert and myself to sit down and do some hacking on Mixxx together. One thing to come out of this already has been some serious work on rewriting the library code to use SQLite, which should make Mixxx scale to large music libraries much more smoothly.

Developers from CLAM, VLC, Audacity, and Mixxx!

Overall we had a great weekend at Google and we got to have some good discussion relating to Summer of Code 2008. Mixxx developers also ran sessions on "Monetizing your Open Source Project (without being evil)" and "What open source can learn from commercial software development", both of which were well received.

We'd also like to thank everyone at Google who worked on Summer of Code for making it happen.