Summary: I put Fedora 17 Beta to an extreme stress test over the last several weeks. Now, on the eve of the official release of Fedora 17, perhaps the most anticipated Fedora release ever, I will reveal my test results.
Recording the Fedora 17 Desktop
I am generally the type of person that likes to throw caution to the wind. I routinely ignore disclaimers and warning stating that “this software is not ready for production use”. That is just how I roll. I have a great deal of faith in the quality assurance processes that go into a state-of-the-art operating system such as Fedora. I am a power user, and I put a lot of stress on my operating systems. I record high-definition audio and video while I am surfing the Internet and converting mp3 files to Ogg Vorbis files. I convert huge 350 MB Ogg Theora files to .mp4 format while I am compiling huge C++ programs. In other words, my operating systems take a beating. I am proud to report that Fedora 17 was able to take everything that I dished out. However, I did experience a few hiccups along the way.
GTKrecordmydesktop can be a little bit buggy if you don’t get the settings exactly right. I tried to record video tutorials on my desktop, and I ran into a few problems. The first 2 times I tried to record my desktop, everything seemed to go fine, but when I played back the video, I realized that the audio recording had crashed about 5 minutes into recording a 30 minute video. The solution: I had to play with the GTKrecordmydesktop settings until I was able to successfully record an entire video with both audio and video from beginning to end. Since I found the right settings for my system, I have recorded a 45 minute video with no problems at all. This is something that the Fedora team needs to work on. GTKrecordmydesktop should just work out of the box with no problems. Now in their defense, I have one component in my system that makes things a little bit tricky: a Logitech USB headset. USB-based audio has been notoriously finicky within GNU/Linux for some time, but it has gotten much better.
To get my GTKrecordmydesktop recordings to work every time, I had to accept an occasional noise in the recording. It is very slight, and it sounds like occasional static. Here is how I got the audio portion of the recording to stop crashing. In the GTKrecordmydesktop advanced settings Performance tab, I checked Zero Compression, Quick Subsampling, and Full shot at every frame, as shown in Figure 1 below.
I also went to the Sound Tab under the advanced settings, and changed the Device from Default to hw:0,0. This was the correct identifier for my USB headset. Changing this setting directed the operating system to take its microphone feed directly from the device instead of an intermediary such as Alsa or Jack.
A Quick Tour of Fedora 17
Fedora 17 Multimedia
Fedora 17 shines when it comes to music, video, and any form of multimedia. Fedora 17 has VLC 2.01 in its repositories, codenamed Twoflower. You can see a demonstration of VLC playing Macy Gray’s Creep from her fantastic Covered album in Figure 3 below. I also installed Miro 5.0, which could convert every video and audio format that I could throw at it.
Fedora 17 Programming
Between Gedit, Code::Blocks, and Geany, I have all of my programming bases covered. Gedit 3.41, Code::Blocks 10.05, and Geany “Gromia” round out the Fedora 17 offerings.
Fedora 17 is a fantastic operating system that is ready for the prime time. It is solid, and it is loaded with more wonderful apps than the average person could ever use. I predict that in about 12 hours, Fedora 17 WILL take off!