Saturday, March 03, 2007

Mixxx 1.5.0 Released

If you're looking for good free DJ software, Mixxx is the king of the hill. Not only is it much more mature than any other open source DJ application, but it also beats all the spyware riddled freeware apps that do similar things.

After two years of work, the Mixxx team has released version 1.5.0, which adds a decent amount of new features as well as a ton of bug fixes. Mixxx is an interesting project to take a look into because there's something to be learnt from it's history. It started in 2001 as one of the first "digital DJ" apps, before big commercial competitors like Traktor entered the scene. Unfortunately, after several years of development and a couple of releases, the project ended up somewhat abandoned. However, last year the project was revived by a couple of developers and after many months of hard work, they've whipped the project back into shape and finally made a new release. One of the reasons it took so long to fix Mixxx was because it's development seemed to have lost focus - There were tons of unmaintained features added to it over the years, many of which didn't end up working properly on all platforms. (Mixxx is a cross-platform application, and that makes certain things like hardware controller support very tricky.) However, things are looking much better for Mixxx now.

At the end of the day, Mixxx (as an open source project) is a good example of three things:
1) A very well written program who's original developers thought long and hard when designing it.
2) A project that lost it's way as more developers got involved. It looks like not enough discretion was used when screening patches, which eventually lead to tons of bugs and half-working features.
3) The way in which the open source process can give new life to a dead project. After switching maintainers, the project's focus was tightened up and forced developers to fix bugs rather than create them. Now that the ball's rolling once again, you can certainly expect cool new stuff to come from Mixxx in the future.

That being said, if you're interested in DJing, Mixxx is a must-have application for Linux. For more information, check out Mixxx's features or head on over and give it a download (Windows, OS X, and Linux).


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