Chris J Powell

OS Sunday – Multimedia Dev with Linux and Dream Studio

Yesterday, my 12 year old daughter found a calling when we took her to get photographs taken.  She has been toying with the idea of getting into photography for a while now and seeing a true professional bring out the best in her, while letting her have fun was all it took to get the photo bug full on.  So this week I thought I would take a dive into a multimedia development Distro based on Ubuntu called Dream Studio.  It is available for download at Sourceforge and while it is a bit bigger than the last few Distro’s that I have reviewed here at 2.6GB I am hoping that the software that comes standard will be more than enough to give her a true kickstart.

Following my standard setup of 4GB of RAM and a 20GB HDD I set out to the installer that is very familiar to me being a regular Ubuntu Linux User.  The nice and refreshing thing about the Dream Studio site is that not only does it include some pretty solid references back to its foundation as an Ubuntu Remix…it gives some really solid insights into how to use the additional multimedia software that comes standard on this over sized ISO.  Installation went smoothly as could be expected from an Ubuntu 12.04 based Distro so there were no surprises there…except that there was only a 32-Bit install available which seems more than a little strange for an OS that is designed from the ground up to support Multimedia?

One of the many strengths of Ubuntu is the vast catalog of available software through its package manager and the creator of Dream Studio picked many of the options that I hold dear to me and are near the top of my list for items to be installed after a Base Ubuntu system is built.  Extras like:

  • Blender – for 3D Graphics building
  • Ardour – for Audio Production
  • Cinelerra – for Video Editing
  • Inkscape – for SVG Graphics
  • Scribus – for page layout
  • the GIMP – for photo editing
  • Kompozer – for web authoring

The system itself unpacks cleanly and using the Unity Desktop starts up like a champ with an initial boot time of just under 30 seconds with a fully operational desktop and what I saw when it came up was a very capable and nearly complete system that is tweaked and ready to do multimedia editing.

Overall I think that for an amateur or professional editor, this system has much of what you would need right out of the box.  Some extras that I was not expecting included:

  • Several JACK Audio plugins
  • FontForge
  • Gnome ALSA Mixer
  • WINE
  • Firefox for Web Browsing
  • Thunderbird for Email

Tweaked and focused on a single purpose, this is exactly what I love about Linux as there really is no two computers that should be set up exactly the same and with the vast repositories of Open Source Software available…tweaking and modifying a system is not only possible…your PERSONAL COMPUTER should be just that…Personal!

I would have to say overall, Dream Studio ranks among the top Distros that I have seen in a very long time but it loses a few marks because it is just a Remastered DVD and really does not add much in the way of NEW to the Linux Ecosystem.  It is neither a Fork or a Rebuild…just simply a ready to go OS for Multimedia Editing.  For that reason…I can only give it a:

Until tomorrow, cheers.


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