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A programmable soundscape tool

Project description

Boodler Redux: A programmable soundscape tool

Designed by Andrew Plotkin

Recent work (3.0.0 and above) by Beau Gunderson

Copyright 2001-2011 by Andrew Plotkin This program is distributed under the LGPL. See the LGPL document, or the above URL, for details.


Boodler is a tool for creating soundscapes -- continuous, infinitely varying streams of sound. Boodler is designed to run in the background on a computer, maintaining whatever sound environment you desire.

Boodler is extensible, customizable, and modular. Each soundscape is a small piece of Python code -- typically less than a page. A soundscape can incorporate other soundscapes; it can combine other soundscapes, switch between them, fade them in and out. This package comes with many example soundscapes. You can use these, modify them, combine them to arbitrary levels of complexity, or write your own.

Boodler is written in Python, with the driver module (cboodle_stdout) written in C. It was developed under Python 3.

Boodler can generate audio output to one destination:

  • stdout: write raw sample output to stdout

Boodler does not come with any warranty of any sort whatsoever.


Boodler is now distributed as a standard Python setuptools package. If you have downloaded the source code, you need only type:

python build
python install

For more information, point your web browser at the contents of the documentation folder (doc/index.html in this package) and follow the "Installation" link.

Note that the Boodler is not distributed with any soundscapes. You must download those separately. See the "Running Boodler" link in the documentation folder.


(Running Boodler)

Boodler is free software, and you may run it freely. (Portions of the Boodler source code are copyrighted and licensed under the LGPL or the GPL, and other portions are public domain. Neither of these restrict you in any way from running the program.)

However, there is another legal issue. Boodler operates by executing soundscape code, which combines sound-sample files into a ongoing stream of sound. Legally speaking, when you run Boodler, you are creating a derivative work based on those code fragments and sound files.

The soundscapes and sound files in the Boodler package library are not all in the public domain. Many are licensed "for non-commercial use only". Some of the sound files were found by random searching around the web, and appear without any copyright statement at all.

It is my opinion (not backed by any legal advice) that if you run Boodler for your own private use, using packages downloaded from the Boodler library, then you are within the scope of fair use and the "non-commercial use" licenses of those sounds.

However, if you play the sound output of Boodler (based on the Boodler package library) as a commercial performance, or include it in a recording sold for profit, you may not be complying with the copyright restrictions on those sounds. You will have to look at the license terms of the packages you use, and decide whether your performance is legal.

Note that this legal issue is a problem of playing sounds and soundscapes from the Boodler package library. It is not a restriction of the Boodler software itself. If you create your own Boodler soundscape, based solely on your own sound-sample files and code, then that stream of sound is entirely your own work; you may do with it as you wish.


(Creating new soundscapes)

The sound and soundscape packages in the org.boodler section of the package library (excluding org.boodler.old) are in the public domain. They are intended to be used as code samples as well as soundscapes. You may modify, extend, combine, and pervert them as you wish.

The sound packages in the org.boodler.old section of the package library are copyrighted, but free for non-commercial use. They are not free for commercial use.

Sound packages elsewhere in the library (not under org.boodler) are free for non-commercial use. They may or may not be free for commercial use, modification, and other forms of derivative work. See the terms of each package for details.

If you create sound files or soundscape code for use with Boodler, you may license them as you wish -- GPL, LGPL, Creative Commons, some other license. Or you might choose to not release them at all; you are not obligated to do so.


(Putting your work in the Boodler library)

You are welcome to contribute your sounds and soundscapes to the Boodler project. Any properly-formatted package file will be accepted into the Boodler package library, as long as it is free for users to enjoy.

You are also welcome to repackage and contribute other people's sounds, as long as their licenses permit you to do so.

To be accepted, a package must be, at minimum, free for non-commercial use. The Boodler project strongly encourages contributions to be either placed in the public domain, or licensed under an open-source or Creative Commons license.


(Modifying Boodler and incorporating it into other software)

I consider Boodler to be more like a software component than a stand-alone program. Accordingly, I have released it under the GNU Library General Public License (the LGPL). To be precise, the workhorse parts of Boodler -- the boodle and boopak Python packages -- form a library, which is licensed under the LGPL.

The Python program boodler is simply a shell that starts up the Boodler library. I have released this program into the public domain. You may do with it as you like. However, understand that if you write a program that is intended to link in the Boodler library (regardless of whether you use the boodler script), then your program is a work that uses the library, and must behave appropriately. See the LGPL document for details.

One detail: the C source code of the cboodle extensions is dual-licensed. You may use it under the terms of the LGPL or the GPL, whichever you like.

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