There is a huge range of open source free audio software available for Linux which is both mature and feature-laden. Linux has all the tools needed to be a serious contender in music production without a user having to venture into the commercial software world. Linux is a superior platform for professional audio production: rock solid, efficient, and you don’t get fleeced for software licenses. Software that creates music can often be expensive. The heavyweight Cubase, Apple LogicPro, FL Studio, Adobe Audition, and Sony ACID Pro are all impressive software music production environments. Unfortunately, they cost hundreds of dollars and are released under a proprietary software license. Fortunately, there is a good range of open source software that lets you produce professional quality recordings.
The Linux platform has also matured into a great way of listening to streaming music services. There are clients available for most of the music streaming services. There are also lots of useful audio tools.
To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 42 high quality Linux audio applications, covering a broad range of different uses. Please note that Spotify is proprietary software. Spotify is a fantastic music streaming service, so we had to include its client which is free to download. All the other applications featured here are released under an open source license.
Now, let’s explore the 42 audio applications at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, providing a screenshot of the software in action, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, together with links to relevant resources and reviews. This software collection transforms your PC into the ultimate music machine.
|Amarok||KDE audio player offering a wealth of features, yet intuitive to use|
|Audacious||Semi-lightweight audio player|
|Banshee||Music management and playback software for GNOME|
|Tomahawk||A new kind of player|
|Musique||Small but sophisticated graphical music player|
|Sayonara Player||Small, clear and fast Qt audio player|
|DeaDBeef||Billed as the ultimate music player|
|Cmus||Lightweight ncurses audio player|
|musikcube||Terminal-based audio player and streaming server|
|Audacity||Digital audio editor|
|Ardour||Digital audio workstation program|
|Rosegarden||Sophisticated MIDI (and audio) sequencer and notation editor|
|Clementine||Modern music player and library organiser|
|Spotify||Client for proprietary peer-to-peer music streaming service|
|Pithos||Lightweight client that integrates with desktop features|
|gPodder||Downloads and manages free audio and video content|
|LilyPond||Produce high quality musical scores|
|Frescobaldi||LilyPond sheet music text editor for KDE4|
|MuseScore||Graphical WYSIWYG music score typesetter|
|Mixxx||Digital DJ system, for wave, ogg and mp3 files|
|MusE||Qt-based MIDI/audio sequencer|
|xwax||Digital Vinyl System|
|Qtractor||Audio/MIDI multi-track sequencer|
|LMMS||Alternative to FL Studio, Cubase and Logic|
|Hydrogen||Advanced drum machine|
|Fluidsynth||Real-time software synthesizer|
|LinuxSampler||Professional grade software audio sampler|
|samplv1||Polyphonic sampler synthesizer with stereo fx|
|Sonic Visualiser||Inspect and analyse the contents of music audio files|
|Kid3||Edit ID3v1 and ID3v2 tags in MP3 files efficiently|
|MusicBrainz Picard||Cross-platform MusicBrainz tag editor written in Python|
|Beets||Media library management system for music geeks|
|Cecilia||CSound-based graphical environment for music|
|guitarix||Virtual guitar amplifier|
|fre:ac||Audio converter and CD ripper|
|Pure Data||Real-time computer music software package resembling Max|
|SuperCollider||Real time audio synthesis programming language|
|Calf Studio Gear||Audio plug-in pack for LV2 and JACK environments|
|JACK||Low-latency audio server daemon|
|MPD||Allows remote access for playing music and managing playlists|
|PulseAudio||Networked sound server project|
|Icecast||Ogg Vorbis and MP3 streaming media server|
Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.
The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There's tons of in-depth reviews, alternatives to Google, fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.