Archives par mot-clé : Patents

Analekta, de la musique classique en format FLAC

Ce matin j’écoutais une entrevue à la radio, à l’émission « Isabelle le matin« .

La première partie de l’entrevue est ici:
« Analekta, l’histoire d’un succès… Francois-Mario Labbée, président-fondateur. »

Dans la deuxième partie (que je n’ai pas trouvée) on apprends qu’Analekta offre depuis quelques mois le téléchargement de la musique classique qu’ils vendent en ligne en format FLAC, en plus du MP3 et autres sur iTunes. C’est aussi le sujet principal d’un article paru dans le 7 jours en février.

« Le format des vrais audiophiles » est le produit vedette du site qui offre les MP3 « gratuitement », en bonus 🙂

En entrevue et sur leur site M. Labbée vante les mérites du format FLAC (un format libre, soit dit en passant) et indique qu’il faut un logiciel « spécial » pour l’écouter… c’est bien le cas sauf si vous roulez Ubuntu 🙂 Chaque fois qu’on propose un album sur le site on a aussi un lien direct sur leur FAQ expliquant la différence entre le format FLAC et le format MP3. Eh oui, un lien direct qu’on peut ajouter dans nos signets, c’est de plus en plus rare!

C’est très complet! Sauf peut-être pour l’information concernant Ubuntu ou Linux en général, peut-être pourrions-nous contacter gentiment Analekta pour demander de l’y ajouter ? Car sur Ubuntu, aucune manipulation n’est requise pour lire le format FLAC – il est libre donc supporté par défaut. On pourrait aussi, au passage, les remercier et les féliciter de ce choix 🙂

Ce format fonctionne très bien aussi sur les téléphones Android qui utilisent CyanogenMod. CyanogenMod est une version modifiée du logiciel qui vient habituellement sur votre téléphone Android… modification rendue possible car Android est basé sur des logiciels libres.

FLAC Logo - click here to see the source file and its licenseBref, j’étais bien content que ce format soit en vedette sur un site web qui propose de la musique en téléchargement commercial légal, sans protections inutiles (DRM). Mieux encore, ce sont les mérites techniques du format qui lui on valu cette place de choix. Quoique j’aurais souhaité une petit mention au sujet des brevets, les formats libres et leur importance, je suis bien content du résultat final.

Vous pouvez même tester le format en allant chercher des pièces gratuites offertes dans la section « Cadeaux ».

Merci Analekta, d’un utilisateur Ubuntu qui aime bien pouvoir choisir un format libre offert en option.


PCs with Ubuntu should be much more expensive

A few days ago a friend asked me « How come Dell PCs with Ubuntu are only 50$ less than Windows ? ». I was actually suprised by his question and I thought I would share my answer.

If I apply the closed, non-free business models around proprietary software, I really think Ubuntu PCs should be much more expensive (like U$1000 more) than any Windows comparable machine. After explaining all you would need to add to a Windows install in order to make it comparable to Gnu/Linux, we actually agreed… I was then wondering what would happen if a tiny portion of Ubuntu users would contribute a portion of the U$1000 saved towards local development and advocacy efforts. Well, « finders, keepers » also works for me.

Think about it, I am sure you can come with more than this short list but… since being an Ubuntu user at home and at work,

  1. I don’t need antivirus, firewall, cleanup, anti-spyware or other such  » security » software. This may require a bit more explanation, but what can I say. I my personal experience, I really don’t need any of this.
  2. As a result of #1, I don’t actually need to waste a dual-core’s machine power so I can be « running a virus scan and management agent in the background« . I’d rather put that to good video transcoding use 🙂
  3. As a result of #1, current sub U$500 cheap Celeron based laptops run just fine with only 512MB of RAM – they’re not  » useless » as I was told at the store
  4. I can choose and download a healthy few thousands applications (including many servers like web, voip, etc.) from one central package/repository management application. Like, say, Windows update but for all applications. Multi-lingual, and including security updates, unlike Windows Marketplace. I do happen to work in spanish and french too.
  5. I can have my systems (and all included applications) available in several languages at once.
  6. I don’t worry about manual security updates, except for software I have decided to manually download and install from other sites (a rarity, but happens)
  7. I don’t reinstall! Well, my work consists of advocacy and consulting / coaching / providing tech support so my main laptop does get reinstalled often. Home PC hasn’t had a reinstall for 3 years though.
  8. I can keep using the oldest, crapiest hardware I love, like that PCMCIA reader or the « Windows 98-only » webcam, along the newer one
  9. When I come across a missing feature / problem / documentation omission or translation problem I take the opportunity to contribute back and learn in the process
  10. I can copy all this to any amount of people around me, without restrictions or underground illegal activities – the only limit being my bandwidth, and ability to give out CDs or other media. In fact I am often asked if the software I used is legal, as I seem to have a little or big app for most any use.

So how much is that worth to you ? I was thinking I would need to talk about the freedom, the formats, the licences, patent problems, etc., I guess that’s for another afternoon when I chat again with my friend.


Freedom takes the streets in Bogota, Colombia

If you are in Bogota, Colombia or know anyone interested in free culture and content production living there, this may be of interest 🙂 There will be a screening TONIGHT at 6:30PM of the BBC’s Codebreakers documentary at the Mediatorta, a public cultural space provided by the city 🙂

I am really excited that the spanish subtitling was possible after I managed to obtain a release of the original english transcript under a Creative Commons BY licence. Getting the transcript was the easy part but translating it to spanish was a huge effort by a few dedicated individuals – credit goes to Gustavo Gonzalez at Kazak for his dedication to have this completed!

See: Bogota esta empapelada and this announcement for more information.


Regarding patents and Ubuntu

Almost two moths ago I remember reading that Canonical signed a License Agreement with Open Invention Network, but I can’t remember seeing much mentions of that – or any commentary. Earlier today I found some interesting questions and discussion in this blog post, however I’d be interested in revisiting that announcement with the information we have today, in particular the recent Microsoft deals and FUD around those. Well, dear lazy web, you know what I mean by I would be interested in… 🙂

The Open Invention Network site has interesting links about their licensing, the patents they own, and other details.