22 February 2009

Variations on an Open Source Theme

One of the most extraordinary - and under-recognised - developments in free software is the blossoming of specialist software applications.

Once, a common jibe was that the only programs available were for hackers. This made the appearance of the GIMP, an ambitious image manipulation program aiming to rival Photoshop, such an important milestone.

Since, then, of course, more and more programs have appeared for the most amazingly specialist areas. Here's another one:

Indiana University today announces the release of open source software to create a digital music library system. The software, called Variations, provides online access to streaming audio and scanned score images in support of teaching, learning, and research.

Variations enables institutions such as college and university libraries and music schools to digitize audio and score materials from their own collections, provide those materials to their students and faculty in an interactive online environment, and respect intellectual property rights.


This open source release of Variations complements IU’s earlier release of the open source Variations Audio Timeliner, which lets users identify relationships in passages of music, annotate their findings, and play back the results with simple point-and-click navigation. This tool is also included as a feature of the complete Variations system.

(Via DigitalKoans.)

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