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Justin Frankel Reveals Life After Winamp 247

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the sitting-on-his-pile-of-cash dept.
Joseph Gelinas writes "Speaking out for the first time on life after AOL/Nullsoft, Winamp creator Justin Frankel sat down with BetaNews to discuss his new endeavors. Starting a new company called Cockos, Frankel is leaving behind the mass market for his musical roots, but hints at revolutionary -- and presumably controversial -- things to come."
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Justin Frankel Reveals Life After Winamp

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  • by FriedTurkey (761642) * on Monday January 03, 2005 @05:24PM (#11248126)
    As someone who plays guitar, the Jesusonic looks interesting. Real time effects processing on a computer would allow an amazing amount of customizations of sounds on the fly. However, it doesn't seem very portable despite being a floor device. I don't see someone taking the monstrosity to a jam session. I think it would be more annoying being on the floor than just at a desk. Jesusonic has to be easier than programming those rack mount processors. Hopefully Jesusonic can grow into something to replace the cost prohibitive Pro Tools.
  • by maxogden (844677) on Monday January 03, 2005 @05:24PM (#11248128)
    JF: Naming projects is often the hardest part. When I first started, it just came out. A moment of either stupidity (likely) or brilliance (not likely), we'll see. Yeah, its obviously hard for him, with names like Cockos, AssSniffer, and Jesusonic.
  • by _PimpDaddy7_ (415866) on Monday January 03, 2005 @05:24PM (#11248130)
    Starting a new company called Cockos

    That's a definite no-no...
  • by The_Rippa (181699) * on Monday January 03, 2005 @05:25PM (#11248141)
    Justin and co. always writes great utilities, but it's really hard to suggest to your boss that the company should be using a tool called "asssniffer" or "ASS I/O".
  • by ACK!! (10229) on Monday January 03, 2005 @05:25PM (#11248143) Journal
    Not really sure why but a lot of the marketing types around my office jam in bands and are very tech savvy.

    I see this kind of product if promoted correctly having a very nice niche market among hardcore keyboard junkies and techy musician types.

    Very interesting idea.

    Hardware and software I want to use.

    Hhhhhmmm .... Sounds like a hacker's grand ideal really.

    • Not really sure why but a lot of the marketing types around my office jam in bands and are very tech savvy.

      Wait. The marketing types are very tech savvy?

      I hope this isn't too personal a question, but what color is the sky on your planet?

      • Nothing wrong with that you know.
        A lot of tech people leave what they love for money in Marketing and Sales. It's just something every geek has to ask themselves someday, the whole love-for-technology vs Need-to-eat thing.
        • That's a bunch of bullshit, because if you are not addicted to technowidgets you can eat without selling your soul and telling lies for a living. (Mind you, if I could pull down what some of those marketers and salesmen get, I'd think about shaking the devil's hand myself...) It's the choice between love-for-technology and all-consuming-lust-for-money.
          • It's the choice between love-for-technology and all-consuming-lust-for-money.

            Oh please, with the income differences between engineers and sales, it's more than just a lust for money. If you have 3 kids going to college, house payments, and need a new car, taking a higher paying job to make ends meet is a more than valid choice.

            Now i'm not taking about Intel here, i'm talking a typical large company where engineers from no-name colleges make 50K or under and sales make over 100K. In these environmen
  • quote (Score:5, Funny)

    by _PimpDaddy7_ (415866) on Monday January 03, 2005 @05:27PM (#11248158)
    Primarily these are a program called Assniffer (which is a HTTP sniffing program that logs the actual files transferred), and PathSync (which I use to interactively synchronize directories on different computers/drives). These are both available on cockos.com.

    assniffer, logs, cockos...you put it together...
    • Nullsoft, SafeSex [nullsoft.com], Ass I/O [nullsoft.com], Waste, Cockos, Jesusonic... These are great names for products, IMHO. 2/3'rds of this page is fill with flamey venom for the names, sprickled with actual on-topic discussion. It's amazing how many dateless, lego-mindstorm-programing nerds are ridiculing the names he picks for things, while complaining about their rights online, the **AA's and corporate "evilness" in general.

      Besides, the Cockos and Nullsoft products that aren't named in some humorous way are pretty much as imm

  • by isa-kuruption (317695) <kuruption@kurup t i o n.net> on Monday January 03, 2005 @05:30PM (#11248189) Homepage
    I was going to ask what kind of crack he was sniffing and if he'd share, but I guess that's not the best question given the application 'assniffer'.
    • Yes, yes, Justin...you are gay, we get the message. Comming out of the closet can be a traumatic experience, but just take the plunge.

      You are amnong computer nerds, nobody cares what 'ports' you scan, as long as you have an admin's permission. Now just stop with the freaky application names, it's wierding out the AOLers...
  • Best Line (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarkHelmet (120004) * <mark AT seventhcycle DOT net> on Monday January 03, 2005 @05:33PM (#11248211) Homepage
    Best line of the whole article:

    Not only is it useful on computers, it allows people who don't want to spend money on a Jesusonic hardware device to go ahead and write new effects for the Jesusonic.

    Now there is someone who is completely devoid of marketing, or corporate thinking. He actually has the notion of contributing something on the basis of realizing that some people won't pay for something.

    I suppose at this point he's pretty much made for life, and doesn't have to worry about money anymore. Still, how admirable.

    • Re:Best Line (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 03, 2005 @06:01PM (#11248441)
      Not only is it useful on computers, it allows people who don't want to spend money on a Jesusonic hardware device to go ahead and write new effects for the Jesusonic.

      Now there is someone who is completely devoid of marketing, or corporate thinking. He actually has the notion of contributing something on the basis of realizing that some people won't pay for something.


      Really? Unless I'm reading it wrong, it sounds like he's allowing people who don't own the product to increase the value of that product. Eventually, the product will become more and more attractive to non-buyers who will then buy it.
      • He is not devoid of "good marketing", which is serving the needs of the people while getting paid for that. But he is devoid of "bad marketing", which is trying to control what everyone can do with your product and sending C&Ds and DMCA notices to everyone who does anything not officially sanctioned.
  • I wonder what p2p app they are brewing up... I love waste, works well for what it is. I caint wait till they announce what they are making in the end of january.
    • Re:p2p app (Score:3, Interesting)

      by marktaw.com (816752)
      I love Waste too. Though, I disagree with the /. idea that this was a subtle reference, he flat out told us he was going to release something that would revolutionize the internet.

      If I had to guess, it would be a completely decentralized P2P app. A cross between Gnutella & BitTorrent, perhaps with some proxying for anonymity added on top. Proxying will slow you down, but confound the **AA, which he seems to love doing. If you could turn the proxying on & off, you could get a fast _and_ anonymous se
  • Huh? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by blackmonday (607916) on Monday January 03, 2005 @05:35PM (#11248219) Homepage
    First, it's a stupid name. Otherwise, the Jesusonic device looks interesting. I use an incredible device called the Pod XT [line6.com] that makes life very easy for recording, noodling around, or juicing up the amp. One of the things I wished was a way for people to program their own effects/amp modeling algorithms and let people share (or sell) them.

    This gadget looks like it could make it happen. As far as how it looks, I'm sure it's a prototype which will eventually be a slick, portable gadget. I look forward to it.

    • "I use an incredible device called the Pod XT that makes life very easy for recording, noodling around, or juicing up the amp. "

      I just looked at the Pod XT page...very interesting. It shows MIDI in/out, but, also USB port on it. Have you used this to connect to a Linux box running ardour? I'm just a beginner guitar, but like playing around with the idea of recording, and have been looking at open source sequencers and music tools.

      Could you expand on what you've done/tried with the Pod XT? I'm really look

      • The USB connection will give you digital audio through the Pod XT ASIO driver (all free from Line 6). They have drivers for Windows and OS X. Never tried Linux. The Pod XT can become your sound card, so not only can you record the audio in Cubase, you can monitor all tracks through the Pod XT's headphone output.

        There's no driver for Linux, but I can't blame Line 6 for that. I don't know of anyone doing serious multitrack recording using Linux. You use a Mac, or Windows 200 /XP.
  • Interesting (Score:5, Interesting)

    by albn (835144) on Monday January 03, 2005 @05:36PM (#11248231) Journal
    ...how my $900 PC can replace tens of thousands of dollars in effects processing. I remember seeing a reverb/delay for $3000 with many presets and you can program some yourself.

    Okay, now that my PC can do effects processing, it can also be used as a multi-track to replace the Alesis ADAT that's has thousands of dollars in add-ons, and can replace a mastering studio and save me thousands there becasuse of my DVD/CD burner. What is still expensive are the instruments, consoles (yay AMEK), and the $14,000 tube mic.

    I do not know. Somehow I just cannot let those old things go.
    • Re:Interesting (Score:2, Informative)

      by The_reformant (777653)
      This is caused by two main things, firstly a PC has a LOT more raw processing power than any digital hardware fx unit. The reason its much cheaper is that PCs are a commodity item whereas high end musical equipment isnt hence the price difference.

      However the best stuff is of course still analogue and remains quite pricey.

      • Re:Interesting (Score:2, Insightful)

        by albn (835144)
        "However the best stuff is of course still analogue and remains quite pricey."

        That's up for debate. The digital advocates of the day argued it has much better sound quality, bigger headroom, and signal to noise ratio can surpass 90dB. Also, the generation loss was minimal, but depending on your equipment (the old rule crap in, crap out comes to mind and why good cables, consoles, and maintainance). However, digital processing was VERY expensive. I recall a Marantz CD recorder was around $3,000 took up 5u's
        • I was thinking more of fx like reverbs and whatnot than multitracks. YOu mentioned tube mics a couple of times now...with a lot of people using SM57's and SM58's is there a huge benefit to using massively expensive mics? I mean even some pretty big bands record using basic shures ..trying to get the live sound i guess.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "It's a stupid name" means people will be talking about it, and they won't forget it. Great PR.

    And lets not forget how crazy "Nullsort" sounded when it was founded. $100m+ later, whose laughing now?

    Company name != quality of product offered

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 03, 2005 @05:39PM (#11248263)
    Seriously, the name Cockos sounds like a gay cereal.
  • Pathsync (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tayhimself (791184) on Monday January 03, 2005 @05:40PM (#11248264)
    Pathsync looks interesting for directory synchronization. Is there something to do this between two linux clients or windows and linux that is rsync or cvs based. Preferably GUI clients or easy to use ones. I need windows > linux backup and linux laptop > linux backup. I saw backuppc in the debian archives, but I'm intersted in user opinions as it is always so much better. Thanks!
    • isn't there a rsync (or rdist) port for windows? check cygwin
    • Re:Pathsync (Score:2, Informative)

      by jojo1835 (470854)
      Check out http://www.ifolder.com/ [ifolder.com] . It's a half open source / half proprietary software piece that lets directories sync between computers, regardless of the OS. Lin to Win, Win to Lin, Lin to Lin, etc...

      Enjoy!

      Tim
    • Re:Pathsync (Score:3, Informative)

      You'd be wanting Unison then: http://www.cis.upenn.edu/~bcpierce/unison/ [upenn.edu]

      There's Win/Lin/Mac client's, both graphical and console... lovely little app :)
    • Pathsync looks interesting for directory synchronization. Is there something to do this between two linux clients or windows and linux that is rsync or cvs based. Preferably GUI clients or easy to use ones. I need windows > linux backup and linux laptop > linux backup. I saw backuppc in the debian archives, but I'm intersted in user opinions as it is always so much better. Thanks!

      Have a look at rdiff-backup. I use it regularly, and I find it very useful for the sorts of things you are talking about
  • by digitalgimpus (468277) on Monday January 03, 2005 @05:41PM (#11248271) Homepage
    This isn't meant as flamebait but an observation:

    Common hackers of his level of inovation, and to a degree hatred of authority/corporations really dislike windows and love the freedom and inovation of Linux.

    Seems like everything he touches is Windows related.

    Just suprising.

    Though somewhat depressing...

    it's inovators like him, who really make software people like. Say what you will about WinAmp... but it was one heck of a popular app. Same with everything else he was involved in.

    HE is what Linux could really use: someone to create the golden tools.
    • I think Linux already has a very large pool of talented developers who are already contributing a vast number of exceedingly cool tools.

      Overall, it seems to me that Windows that has been lacking a large number of open source developers. I think most Windows developers are already of the mindset that "hey, if Bill Gates gets paid for this, so should I." Yes, there some freeware, and even some open source projects that are Windows-based. Overall, though, the Open Source community has always rallied more

    • by Strudelkugel (594414) on Monday January 03, 2005 @06:02PM (#11248457)

      My guess is most non-programmer musicians run Windows, MacOS, Linux, in that order. I would also guess the percentages are quite lopsided in favor of Windows as well. His idea (and I think it's a very good one) is to bring effects processing creative freeedom to the music community, not promote one OS over another.


    • Would Winamp be as popular or successful if it was a Linux-only app? I doubt we would be talking about Justin Frankel today if we was a "Linux programmer". Winamp has some cool ideas, but the implementation stinks. It just filled a void in a huge market: the mass-market Windows home PC market.
    • I call bullcrap. This IS slashdot, and likewise it's rare to see a "Windows Geek" get posted here.

      Slashdot is also a serious minority. Compare the number of shashdotters to the number of people running windows 98 (at home). We're nothing in number. Consequently, go look at Channel 9. *Tons* of windows geeks. And suprise, some of them just may be worth listening too.

      I'm not expecting too many people to care, but there ARE intilligent people who use windows. Justin Frankel just managed /. posting "about him", which is uncommon.

      (*having premonitions of insightful troll*)
    • maybe he wants his software to get actually USED by normal people who don't have time to fiddle with their OS constantly.

      on that note, he should be making stuff for OS X...
    • by jarsonic (843935) on Monday January 03, 2005 @06:25PM (#11248728)
      Actually, as someone who knows Justin as at least an aquaintance, He dabbles with linux a bit, and really loves his Macs (he has a powerbook and a G4 Cube). He's ported winamp to mac for his own personal use (and to see if he could), and he's releasing jesusonic for mac, as well.
    • The jesusonic runs embedded linux and has linux software, assniffer works on linux, as do several other tools. Loads of nullsoft's misc software is only windows-only because only windows needs it (eg screen res changer - X has it built in), and most of the stuff is open source should you feel like porting parts of it - doing a windows port of major software is necessary due to it being the most popular platform, but he and nullsoft seem to be quite happy to do cross platform wherever it's feasable to do so
    • Any good hack that gets written for Windows will have a clone available for Linux and other free open source OS's within a month or so.

    • his primary project, the "Jesussonic" FX box at the moment runs in Linux / Mac / Windows, and I'm not depressed in the least about this.
  • Jesusonic?! (Score:3, Funny)

    by wild_pointer (263802) on Monday January 03, 2005 @05:41PM (#11248272)
    I bet you dont learn in marketing class to name you products "Jesusonic CrusFX 1000" and make it look like a cross!
    Never ever bind religion to something you dont have to, it just causes trouble!

    On the other hand, I would definitely want one! :)
  • by jstrain (648252) on Monday January 03, 2005 @05:52PM (#11248376)
    Whatever he is working on, I'm sure it really whips the Lamma's ass...
  • Give the software away, but tie the ease of use it to special hardware that he makes.

    Lots of people will run this, and make presets, and do lots of stuff for free for him, while he sells the hardware that makes it usable (without having to hack it together yourself).

    Genius. I think Apple tried something like that before...anyone heard of the iPod?

  • by thatshortkid (808634) on Monday January 03, 2005 @06:31PM (#11248811)
    It really whips The Savior's ass!
    • The llama whipping sample is followed by what is ostensibly a llama's cry. What would follow your tagline, "can this burden not pass from meeeeee!" or maybe "damn you, judas!"?
  • by paulbd (118132) on Monday January 03, 2005 @06:33PM (#11248837) Homepage

    95%+ of the posters on /., and perhaps even Frankel himself seem entirely unaware that the idea of his jesusonic project is nothing new at all.

    there are several so-called "RT VST hosts" that do the same thing, and several standalone programs. most have been around for several years.

    even on Linux (even!) we have tools like JackRack and EcaMegaPedal, not to mention the world's best live looper (SooperLooper). maybe Frankel's ideas about triggers might represent some slightly novel model for this kind of thing, but the authors of most of the stuff I've mentioned could probably add them in a day or two.

    • You should realize Jesusonic has its own interpreted (JIT?) language for the effects, which probably has its roots in the "Signal Processing Sudio" DSP plugin for Winamp...which in turn probably stemmed from his experiments with the AVS visualization plugin for Winamp, and its various interesting modules such as "superscope," which plotted lines and points based on audio data coming in from Winamp. You specified exactly HOW using a relatively tiny proprietary language with a handful of math intrinsics, cons
      • ever heard of Faust? its a DSP language with a compile-to-C compiler, plus automated front end builders for almost every plugin-ish system you can think of (VST, AudioUnits, JACK, LADSPA, DirectX).

        and long before Faust were the series of languages called System-N, the latest examples of which are Csound and SFront. these are capable of operating at, below or above the level of the stuff in Jesusonic.

        And even Steve Harris, who has written more DSP plugins for Linux than almost anyone else, uses a very

  • by poot_rootbeer (188613) on Monday January 03, 2005 @06:39PM (#11248912)
    Justin Frankel's accomplishments are notable in of themselves, but even more so when you consider that they were all achieved by a boy who's just now turning 13 years old... ...what, he's a grown man? And he still gives his projects names like "CrucFX" and "Assniffer"? That's pretty sad, actually.
  • Correction (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Speaking out for the first time on life after AOL/Nullsoft

    Correction, speaking out for the third [slashdot.org] time [slashdot.org] since leaving AOL.
  • A company called Line 6 has been offering stadalone guitar effects/amps simulation devices for years now. Recently they came out with the concept of "model packs" whereby you can purchase an additional set of models for $50 or so. This thing is built around a real DSP which means it can run circles around a mid-level PC, despite consuming less power and being a lot smaller.

    They also offer a $129 digital interface with a simplified versions of the same algorithms running entirely on a PC. The interface prov
  • Like the pics you can't save when right-click is disabled?
  • If I judge it correctly, and I think that I do, Justin seems to have designed OpenGL as well: http://www.livejournal.com/users/garote/57955.html [livejournal.com]

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