The computer they prefer!DoudouLinux
The computer they prefer!
DoudouLinux offers several applications related to multimedia, which is an area of wide use of computers nowadays. In this topic it not easy to find applications that are accessible to children without important background knowledge. However, we selected several applications that let them record or remix sounds, watch some videos or listen to music, make animation movies, get initiated to piano, flute or percussions. A priori for children of 6 years old or more.
Multimedia applications are briefly described on this page. A listing of these applications as well as a list of links to their web sites are as follows:
We also provide a launcher icon named Jukebox. Its role is to start the media player Totem with a play list made of the music files that are in the Music directory.
Virtual MIDI Piano Keyboard, VMPK, is a virtual piano keyboard of DoudouLinux. It does not produce any sound by itself, but is connected to an audio software synthesizer that is shipping within DoudouLinux. You can use the computer keyboard to play music notes as well as the mouse. You can use VMPK to display the notes played from another instrument or MIDI file player (the DoudouLinux media player for instance). To do so, connect the other MIDI port to the input port of VMPK. If you plug in an external, real USB piano keyboard, VMPK will be automatically launched and connected to the real keyboard output.
Hygrogen is a digital rhythm box application. Drum or percussion parts can be created in a graphical environment. Demonstration songs should help you understand how it works and especially its abilities. This application is admittedly a bit complex and rather targets older children (around 8-10 years). Their compositions may not be suitable for a Grammy Award (one never knows…) but they will undoubtedly initiate them to one of the major artistic uses of computers: computer aided music.
Songwrite is a simple, yet powerful song editor and player. It is intended for people who do not know music theory. This is why it does not use the standard music notation but fingerings and tabs instead, which are simply representing the place where you put your fingers on the musical instrument! The rhythm is then represented by the space between notes. Of course you can switch to the official music notation but this is not the default application behavior.
Moreover, lyrics can be easily added to the music score to sing the songs. Using the printing feature, this makes it possible to print song booklets for children. We believe this is a good way to start learning music and learning an instrument. Especially because Songwrite can handle flute fingering and percussion instruments: flutes are quite cheap instruments and percussions are easiest ones to learn.
Jokosher is a simple yet powerful multi-track studio: various sounds, music pieces, audio performances can be recorded and mixed into a single audio file. With it you can create and record music, podcasts and more. Jokosher provides a complete application for recording, editing, mixing and exporting audio; and has been specifically designed with usability in mind. The developers behind Jokosher have re-thought audio production at every level, and created something devilishly simple to use. No need to know the music theory: just record and mix!
PianoBooster is a program designed to teach playing the piano. It plays a music from standard MIDI Files while showing on screen the notes you have to play on your piano keyboard on a scrolling music staff. You can change the speed of playback, transpose the music, etc. The music can be a complete musical arrangement with several parts. In this case, you can choose which part you want to play.
Cheese is an application for taking pictures and videos from a webcam. It includes fancy graphical effects to make funnier photos and videos :). This is a very simple application in which the user only has to choose effects and click start.
Stopmotion is an animation movie creator. It can create a movie file from a series of photos captured with a webcam for example. The typical use is to make a scene with small characters then take photos after slightly moving these characters step by step. Using the audio recording application of DoudouLinux, you should even be able to add voices, sounds or music to movies. Children will finally discover how cinema is functioning. This is also a great opportunity for them to start thinking about scenarios, characters, scenes, landscapes, etc.
This is a sound recorder. External sounds using a microphone as well as internal computer sounds, such as those that the Vkeybd-timidity and Hydrogen applications produce , can be recorded. For external sound, you need to connect your computer to a microphone or a source called Line then tune the sound volumes. You can then record in mono or stereo sounds in Ogg or Wav format. Unfortunately for the microphone DoudouLinux cannot adjust recording levels for you at startup because input names vary a lot from one computer to another. Adult help is thus required at the beginning to find the correct buttons in the volume control tool described below…
This is simply an application to tune sound volumes. Generally you will change “Main volume” or “Master mono” to change the overall sound volume. You may also tune “PCM” to change the volume of software produced sounds. On the other hand this volume has no effect on microphone volume if you have connected one. For the microphone you will have to search how to adjust the input sound .
Totem is an audio and video player that is able to read a large number of video formats. It is also able to search for videos directly on Youtube. However the main purpose of this application is to play the music files that are shipping with DoudouLinux and to play the video files produced by Stopmotion. In the future we may also give access to online contents for children, either on friendly websites  or on our own website. For sure our intention is not to put children on Youtube all day long! Especially because of the non-friendly license of this service.
This is not really an application but a special launcher that starts the media player Totem with a list of files to be played. The files are all the MIDI, OGG and WAV files found in the directory Music of the activity Whole DoudouLinux. They are played in a random order and, to entertain children, the player is launched fullscreen showing its nice curves flowing across the whole screen.
Currently, the set of music shipping with DoudouLinux is not that large, but we wish to continue to add many songs in many different languages. We may put them partly on the Internet to reduce the size of the CD. Note that some MIDI file scores are available in a Songwrite format as well as in a PDF format in the directory Music.
 To record these applications, you just have to switch the record source to Mix.
 Generally changing the microphone volume is not enough, you may also have to find the gain switch and probably the source switch too. The later one defines which source is to be recorded.
 Which means that they offer their content with a license similar to the DoudouLinux applications licenses: you are free to use, copy, share and modify.
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