The official Ubuntu Studio theme is somewhat dark for my taste and I changed it to something a little lighter within a few hours of starting to use it.
Fortunately, good audio and graphics programs are a little more plentiful under Linux. And they are good. We hear a lot about how Linux is missing Photoshop, for example. Linux has The GIMP, which is a perfectly acceptable alternative and when people compare it unfavorably to Photoshop, what they are really saying is that they are used to Photoshop and prefer it for that reason. Ubuntu Studio comes with The GIMP as well as other leading open source image programs like Blender, for creating 3D. And if you think Blender is a slouch, then check out image gallery. If you’re into taking photos, then you’ll be pleased with Ubuntu Studio for this as well. Again, since the Mac seems to be the standard everybody applies, it compares favorably to it. Within a few seconds of plugging in my Kodak digital camera, a dialog box came up showing the photos on the camera and asking what I wanted to do with them – save them, edit them with various programs. One of them is F-Spot, which is an excellent photo management program. You can do all kinds of things with it, even send your photos to your Flickr account.
The strength of Ubuntu Studio is audio and that’s where this distribution puts the emphasis. It installs a low-latency kernel by default. This type of kernel is optimized for working with sound. Ubuntu Studio gives you the first rate sound editor Audacity, which is a must-have application for me. It also comes with a nice drum machine app called Hydrogen that I love playing around with, being a drummer myself. There are many sound applications here. In fact, Ubuntu Studio gives you enough of these to literally produce your own album. The only think it doesn’t provide is the talent.
Sound may be Ubuntu Studio’s forté, but video editing and creation is a different story, as I mentioned before. I remember trying most of the applications that come with Ubuntu Studio in the past on other distributions. Most of them I had to install from the source code and after fighting with dependencies, the result wasn’t worth the effort I had put into it. The only difference with Ubuntu Studio on the video side is an easy install process. Since the programs aren’t adequate and often buggy in first place, it really doesn’t matter if you’ve gotten them painlessly. In most of my other distribution reviews, I have always stated that Linux is 99% ready for anyone’s desktop. But if video creation is your thing, then you’ve run into the missing 1%. Ubuntu Studio’s maintainers aren’t at fault. Unless they’re planning on developing a Final Cut Pro clone for their next release, then there isn’t much they can do about improving this situation. The applications just aren’t there. Interestingly, the video editing application that I have seen with the most promise, Cinelerra, has been left out of the official distribution. If you want it, you can always install it yourself via ‘apt-get’, which is what I did.