Sunday, December 23, 2007

Mixxx 1.6.0 Beta1 Released!

The Mixxx development team suggests 1.6.0 is most delicious if you get it while it's hot.

This is the first beta release of the 1.6.0 series and incorporates an enormous number of new toys, some of the highlights are:
Obviously as with all beta software, expect a few problems, the following are things you may encounter:
  • Various library issues, especially with regard to colour schemes and scanning/persistency
  • Ubuntu users may have trouble connecting to JACK, we are working hard on this
  • Vinyl control is not very extensively tested so please report your experiences
We desperately need your feedback to make 1.6.0 better, please report problems in any of the usual places, such as the bug tracker or on mixxx-devel for those who are subscribed.

We'd also like to mention that we're accepting donations to help support Mixxx's development. If you enjoy the software, use it professionally, or would just like to help us out, we'd appreciate a donation of any size.

Finally, we'd like to say thanks to all the people that make this possible, the Mixxx developer team, all our users, PortAudio and all our other friends and colleagues.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Update on Release Progress

This is just a very quick post to update everyone on the progress of the release. It looks like we'll be releasing the first 1.6.0-beta1 packages on either Sunday (23rd) or Monday (24th) depending on how much time we have. It looks like we'll have a Windows package, an Ubuntu package and of course a source package.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

1.6.0 beta1 Nearly Ready

I know this has been rather a painful wait for some people who have been anticipating great things from the 1.6.0 series. So I thought I'd just post to say that we are nearly there. I can only speak for the Windows release personally but I'm now about 90% sure that this will be out by the end of December.

If you simply can't wait any longer then you might like to sign up to our mailing list. Some pre-beta binaries are starting to circulate there for those who are willing to test the latest version of Mixxx and provide feedback.


Monday, December 3, 2007

Quick Vinyl Control Video, SSE optimizations

A few nights ago I captured a video while doing a quick test mix using Mixxx's vinyl control.

Not my best transition ever, but it works. :)

I've been trying to do some tweaking to get the latency down and one of the biggest improvements came from compiling Mixxx with SSE and MMX optimizations. The tricky part with turning on these optimizations is that they'll only work on post-Pentium III CPUs. That's fine for our Windows and OS X builds, but it's a problem for our Ubuntu package because we can't assume any specific CPU architecture. One possible solution for this is to disable SSE/MMX optimizations in the package that lives in the Ubuntu repositories and host a different (SSE/MMX optimized) Ubuntu package on our website.

In the meantime, I still have lots of work to do on fixing up the library. Busy, busy!

Friday, November 30, 2007

November Update

The last month has been completely insane. We've been busy fixing bugs and not-quite-finished features like there's no tomorrow. Our Subversion repository has seen more than 70 commits (those are generally changes to Mixxx's code) in the last month, and we've still got a few things to finish before the beta.

Some cool stuff that's been done in the last month though is:
  • Multithreaded library scanning. Mixxx will scan your library in the background. Unfortunately, the actual library saving/loading part is slightly broken at the moment and I don't know if that will get fixed before the beta. (It just rescans your library every time, which is semi-annoying, but you always cancel it and use "Browse" mode.)
  • Automated (opt-in) crash reporting. We've added an exciting under-the-hood feature that allows us to gather crash reports automatically. This is strictly opt-in and so you're asked on your first run whether you'd like to help us out by enabling it or not.
  • The play queue works more or less now. This is a good example of the kind of dangling unfinished features we've been trying to get working before the beta.
  • Speed optimization
  • A few tweaks to the vinyl control in order to make it a little easier to use.
Lastly, I just want to say a word about vinyl control. Since I've been busy fixing other bugs for the last month, I haven't had time to give vinyl control the level of polish that I want it to have. When we release the beta, the viny control is probably going to be "very beta". If your timecode signal quality is bad, you'll probably have no idea what's going on. However, it should be usable, just not particularly user friendly. I'm hoping the beta release will spur some people to poke at the vinyl control code, which isn't terribly difficult to understand/tweak.

I've written a Vinyl Control page on our wiki which should hopefully answer some questions people have about it.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Mixxx featured on The Lab with Leo Laporte

An anonymous tipster has pointed out that Mixxx was featured as the "free file of the day" in episode 93 of Leo Laporte's The Lab with Leo TV show:

For more information about the show, visit

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Mixxx 1.6.0 Running on OS X

I picked up a Macbook a few days ago after weeks of trying to find a decent laptop. This is good news for Mixxx because it means our OS X maintainer (*cough* me) now has a Mac at home. :)

Since the last time I compiled Mixxx on OS X, we've done a tremendous amount of work to port the project to QT4. Because of all the changes, I needed to give our SCONS build files an update in order to make Mixxx 1.6.0 build properly on OS X. After a few hours of tweaking away, I got it compiling, linking, and running (don't take that for granted):

In the long run, hopefully we'll be able to better tackle OS X-only bugs. Despite this screenshot, we're still a ways off from the 1.6.0 beta release. We've got a fair number of bugs to fix in the meantime before anything is releasable.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Google Summer of Code 2007 Mentors Summit

Two weeks ago, Albert Santoni (gamegod) and myself (Adam Davison) were at a conference at Google wrapping up the Google Summer of Code programme. For those who don't know, the goal of the scheme is to pay students to work full-time on open source software like Mixxx. This year was our first taking part and our students worked on lots of things which you'll be seeing more of as we start the 1.6.0 release cycle.

The conference was a great opportunity to meet people from other projects trying to solve the same problems as us. Much of the discussion was about the programme itself and how to get students to engage and so on. However, there was also plenty of more general discussion on topics such as cross-platform development and support for sound hardware which was extremely useful. Hopefully this kind of inter-project cooperation will prove beneficial for Mixxx in the long term.

Anyway, it was interesting to see Google's offices, where apparently some people work such long hours that they provide a laundry service. We couldn't resist the obligatory photos with a Google sign:

Adam Davison (top) and Albert Santoni (bottom)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Computer Music... again!

The September issue of Computer Music magazine features Mixxx again, this time in a half-page blurb which includes an interview with Adam Davison about some of the challenges we've faced and where Mixxx is headed.

There's also an article about using Linux for audio production, if you're interested in taking the plunge.

Check it out!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

File browsing 2.0

Cedric coded up something cool yesterday:

He figured out how to integrate a file browser into our new library table view. Being able to browse directories is useful if you want to load songs that are outside your library (although you can just drag-and-drop them into Mixxx from outside). It's also handy if you have an inhumanly large MP3 collection and don't want to wait for it to import into Mixxx's library.

Progress towards a beta release is coming along well...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Mixxx 1.5.2 in Ubuntu 7.10

Ubuntu 7.10's universe repository now contains a pre-release of Mixxx 1.5.2. This new version fixes several crashes, and should be more stable than 1.5.0. The 1.5.2 binaries for other platforms should follow sometime in the next few weeks (unless we decide to just release a beta of 1.6.0... depends on how things go).

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Mixxx featured in Computer Music magazine

We're famous! Mixxx is featured on the CD bundled with the latest special issue of Computer Music magazine. The Laptop DJ special issue goes on sale August 15th/07. Word on the street is there might even be a blurb about us somewhere in the print...

Friday, August 10, 2007

Google Summer of Code 2007 and Mixxx

For those who aren't familiar with Mixxx, it's a program that allows DJs to do live beatmixing of music. Instead of lugging a pair of turntables and a record crate around, many modern DJs (both amateur and professional) prefer to use a laptop with an external hardware controller instead. Mixxx allows you to control the playback and speed of music, just as one would do with real turntables.

After being created in 2001, Mixxx has steadily become more and more useful. Unfortunately, the original developers decided to move on with their lives and left Mixxx in a half-broken state at the end of 2005. However, in the summer of 2006, the project was brought back to life by a new lead developer (Adam Davison). For the following 10 months, a new team of slowly accumulating developers focused almost exclusively on bug fixes, giving the software some much needed love.

Flash forward to Summer 2007 - After successfully applying to the Google Summer of Code program, the Mixxx development team was joined by three eager students: Pawel Bartkiewicz, Micah Lee, and Nathan Prado. We decided that we wanted to use GSoC as an opportunity to kick-start a new development push that would help bring new, much-requested features to the DJ community. To say the least, the program so far has been an outstanding success for us.

The graph of our SVN statistics says it all:

Not only have our students brought us much improved BPM detection, LADSPA effects, and a more functional playlist/library interface, but they've also helped tremendously with the revitalization of the project. The students' work has not only wooed several older developers into actively writing code again, but has also attracted the attention of many other talented new developers.

Mixxx 1.6.0 with the new library

The students' lasting contribution to the revitalization of Mixxx is only matched by that of Google themselves. With their support through Summer of Code 2007, we've been able to better equip DJs around the globe with professional quality open source software. Lastly, by introducing our students to team-based open source development, our mentors have been able to give our students real-world experience and a new set of skills. All of these contributions have been made possible thanks to Google's Summer of Code 2007, and for that we are tremendously grateful.

Open source software for DJs: Buy your music, not your software.

First Post

Welcome to the official blog of the Mixxx project! We've been hacking away for quite some time now trying to build the best application we can for live DJing, and along the way we've had quite a few thoughts that we think are worth sharing. This blog will let us share some of those thoughts in a less formal way and will hopefully shine some light on our development process.