An open source media production and archival system


This page was originally thrown together over the course of a couple of evenings, in October of 2006. My intent was to provide a basic summary of the Tinara project, since the only other easily accessible information was the description on the SourceForge.net project page - which is limited to 255 characters in length.

As of February, 2010, however, the information on this page had fallen so far out-of-date, that I felt compelled to revise it slightly. Nonetheless, with development progressing rather rapidly at the moment, you may yet find this information to be lagging slightly behind reality. If you have questions about Tinara which are not answered here, I'd encourage you to get in touch with my via my web site. While I'm at it, I should probably throw in a plug for my solo banjo web site. If you're still interested in Tinara, read on.



How does Tinara compare to...


What is Tinara?

Tinara is my ongoing effort to implement my ideas about how I'd prefer to work, creatively, with sound and images. While the initial focus is on music production (due to the fact that I most often work in that realm), film and video features have always been major design considerations. Note that although several components of Tinara are operational at least on a rudimentary level, it's still largely "vaporware" - Tinara is a work-in-progress.

A secondary goal of the project is to create or facilitate the creation of custom interfaces for the use of people with special needs. One example would be a simplified interface which could be used by those who were unable to read (such as my younger brother, who has Down Syndrome). Another example would be a music production interface which would allow blind users to edit and mix their music (traditional interfaces require the user to see the locations of faders and waveforms on the screen).

For more details on exactly what makes Tinara different from existing media production systems, take a look at the "How does Tinara compare to..." section.

What language(s) are you programming it in?

The vast majority of Tinara is being written in Ruby. Being an interpreted language, however, Ruby is not suitable for realtime audio work. For this reason, I have written an audio engine (the "Tinara audio playback engine", or "Tape") in C, which acts as a Ruby extension, adding new classes which make it easy to load and play audio in an arbitrary order.

Why not just contribute to existing projects instead?

There are, in fact, many excellent open source media production projects which are already in a fairly mature state. In cases where they are suitable for what I need/want to do, I gratefully use them, and I contribute bug reports and patches. I am, for example, a credited contributor to the wonderful Hydrogen drum machine, and I created a difference keying plug-in which become part of the official versions of the Cinelerra video editor/compositor.

Great as many of these projects are, however, none of them fully address the media production process in the manner that I desire. Additionally, Tinara has adopted certain core design principals which are either absent from or fundamentally incompatible with the these existing projects.

What platforms will Tinara run on?

Tinara is being developed under 32-bit Linux (Ubuntu x86). I have no immediate plans of supporting it on other platforms. Since most of Tinara is written in Ruby, however, it should be fairly portable to other systems, should anyone else feel inclined to undertake such a project.

What is Tinara's current development status?

At the time of writing (mid-February 2010), here is the status of each component:

Under what license is Tinara being released?

All of Tinara's components will use OSI-approved (open source) licenses.

How long have you been working on this?

The first ideas for what would become Tinara came into my mind in the fall of 1999. Further ideas grew out of frustrations with Pro Tools in early 2001. After incubating these thoughts for a while, I came up with the name "Tinara", and registered my project with SourceForge.net in March of 2003.

I've burned the design to the ground and rebuilt it several times since then, but I'm now confident that the current design is simple enough to be realistically implemented, yet flexible enough to accommodate future design considerations.

How does Tinara compare to...

How does Tinara compare to Ardour or Pro Tools?

How does Tinara compare to Halo?

I've never really been all that impressed with Halo (or its successors).

Copyright 2006-2010 by Benjamin Flaming. Released under the GNU Free Documentation License