Steelpan Central

I recently had the pleasure to be shown around MITTCO, the Musical Instruments of Trinidad & Tobago Company. This is the premier steelpan manufacturer in Trinidad, the birthplace of the instrument, and I was impressed by their large & modern facilities. Check out that fancy iPad stand!  😎

   Tuning stand at MITTCO

Posted by lino on 06 Dec 2023

Solidarity with Ukraine

   Ukraine in the heart of EU

Posted by lino on 27 Feb 2022

Let Them Eat Cake

From Birgit Pestal of Pan Lab Vienna comes the sweet news that linotune has been ported to an entirely new platform: frosted cake. Many happy returns Birgit! Next challenge: Raspberry Pie, anyone?

linotune cake

Posted by lino on 27 Aug 2021

Save the Handpan!

As some of you may be aware, Panart (the inventors of the Hang) have been legally harrassing the handpan community for years. Now they've gone so far as to have police seize the instruments and tools of a well-respected maker of high-quality handpans. So if you care about this magical instrument and want to see it flourish, now is the time to join the fight to defend it!

Handpan Community United (HCU) has been established by handpan makers, players, and enthusiasts around the world to defend the handpan against this threat. Please consider becoming a member, and/or supporting their legal defense fund. As creator of the world's premier handpan tuning software, I am pledging 10% of all linotune revenues to #savethehandpan, for as long as this threat persists.

Posted by lino on 12 May 2021

Rest in Peace, Ellie Mannette

I have just received the very sad news that Elliot "Ellie" Mannette has passed away at the age of 91 yesterday morning, surrounded by his loved ones. Ellie was the father of the steelpan - the first person to turn an oil barrel into a tuned steel instrument. His life's work has been an inspiration to us all. You will be sorely missed Ellie!

Ellie checks out linotune

Posted by lino on 30 Aug 2018

linotune at GRIASDI

I'm really looking forward to attending the GRIASDI Gathering in Austria (July 25-29). I'll be bringing some linolasers along for test drives, and will be giving a show & tell - let me know if you want to attend it, so we can plan the room size. See you there!

Posted by lino on 25 Jun 2018

New Payment Flexibility

Today I am able to announce several innovations that will make paying for linotune more flexible and cost effective:

Top-up payments: Those who rent linotune "as needed" no longer have to take out then cancel an endless stream of Paypal subscriptions, each with a different license key. Instead, they can now add exactly as much time to their existing license (be it still valid or already expired) as they need, when they need it, at a rate of 0.60 Euro per day plus 1 Euro per payment.

Conversion of rentals to permanent licenses: Any top-up payment that extends your license validity at least 480 days into the future will automatically cause the license to be made permanent - it will never expire.

New payment methods: Customers in the Eurozone can now pay by direct bank transfer, even set up their own standing order for an ongoing rental. Customers in 23 other countries (the US, UK, Canada, Brazil, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Poland, Czechia, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia and New Zealand - more to be added) can now pay through Wise (formerly TransferWise) at far better exchanges rates than Paypal provides.

The lower fees of these new payment methods are passed on to you as savings: a one-month rental now costs 19.30 Euro via SEPA or Wise instead of 20 via Paypal, and a permanent license 289 Euro instead of 299. Moreover, the ability to buy exactly as much "linotune time" as you actually need should make linotune more affordable to those on a tight budget.

Have a look at the new options:

Posted by lino on 19 Apr 2018

Required update to linotune 1.12

If you keep getting a "network error" when trying to activate linotune, or deactivation simply does not seem to do anything, even though you are definitely online, the most likely reason is that you are running an old version of linotune - please update to the latest version, and the problem will go away. Note that this update is needed even to just deactivate linotune on a device!

The underlying reason is that the SSL root certificate used by linotune to securely communicate with the license server had to be exchanged. Normally this should not be necessary:'s SSL certification is renewed each year, but the root remains the same. In this case, however, the issuing company unilaterally changed its certificate chain without prior warning, such that's renewed certificate would no longer be recognized by the linotune program.

Given that a disruptive update was thus forced upon us anyway, I took the opportunity to change linotune's SSL certification over to Let's Encrypt, a new non-profit certification authority with massive support in the open-source community. I fully expect Let's Encrypt to flourish and be around for decades to come, so that linotune's secure communication with our license server will not be disrupted again.

25 June: the remaining issues on Android 7 have been resolved; the update is now working across all platforms.

Posted by lino on 19 May 2017

Now available: linotune on Android

I am very happy to announce that linotune is finally available also for Android, all versions from 2.3.3 on up! For two months the port has been tested by existing linotune customers, and the few problems that came up have all been fixed. (Technically the port remains in "beta testing", but that is only to hide it from the search engine on the Google Play Store.) Of course there is a huge variety of Android hardware; most but not all of it is capable of running linotune. It has been tested and found to run well on the following phones:

  • Samsung Galaxy A3
  • HTC Desire S with Android 2.3
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact (D5503) with Android 4.4
  • Motorola Moto E2 (XT1527) with Android 5.0
  • Motorola Moto E2 (XT1527) with Android 5.1
  • Sony Xperia M2 aqua (D2403) with Android 5.1
  • Motorola Moto G3 (XT1540-1550) with Android 6.0
  • HTC M9 with Android 6.0

and tablets:

  • Archos 70 Oxygen 32GB with Android 6.0
  • Wacom Cintiq Companion Hybrid 13HD with Android 4.2
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab A SM 350 with Android 5.0.2
  • Google Nexus 7 with Android 6.0.1

It was found to be slow but useable on a first-generation Samsung Galaxy S (GT-I9000) with Android 2.3.6. A similarly old Samsung Galaxy Y (GT-S5360) can not run it as it does not support the ARM-v7 instruction set that is ubitquitous today. Note: from Android 5 onwards, Samsung devices do not have a ♯ or ♭ character; I would therefore avoid Samsung when purchasing a device specifically to run linotune.

On an Asus FHD 10 (ME302C) with Android 4.3 it was running only at 14 frames per second, too slow for serious use. This is a rather under-powered tablet with 10" high-resolution screen - so the lesson here is to avoid such a combination. If you are looking to buy an Android device specifically for linotune, I recommend a 7" tablet with good performance - large enough to operate the controls comfortably, but still small enough for the screen refresh to be efficient. It does not have to be a pricey top-end model, as long as you avoid the bottom end as well. It's feasible now to run linotune on $100 hardware!

To get linotune on your Android device, go here to become a beta tester. You will then see the link where you can purchase and download the app. The download costs a few Euros but comes with a two-week trial which extends to all devices that you sign in on with your Google account - so you can extensively test what works best for you. Continued operation for more than a few minutes at a time then requires the usual cross-platform license for each device.

Posted by lino on 15 Sep 2016

Linotune goes mobile

Update 17 Dec 2013: linotune for iOS™ is now available in the App Store!

Mobile devices clearly are the future of tuning. Fewer and fewer professionals are willing to lug a heavy electromechanical strobe around, and even laptops feel cumbersome compared to smartphones and tablets.

With that in mind, I spent most of October exploring various avenues for porting linotune to Android and iOS. While the Android port got bogged down for now by shortcomings of the available toolchains, the iOS port worked right away but frustrated me with terrible performance, updating at only about 2 frames per second.

Eventually though I managed to trace this to a version incompatibility in the toolchain - and fixing that proved to be the crucial breakthrough. To cut a long story short, here is the ultimate result:

Note that even though this is a first generation iPad, the frame rate is quite good, leading me to expect excellent performance on newer iOS devices. Though the user interface hasn't specifically been adapted for touchscreens, it works quite well on the tablet size. iPhones are best turned horizontal to operate the controls.

So where & when will it come out? Hopefully it will be in the App store by the end of the year! The release depends on successful conclusion of a licensing agreement and App Store approval. The download in the App Store will cost a few dollars (even for trials) to help cover the licensing costs and Apple's lion's share.

Will I be able to move my license between Windows/Mac and iPad/iPhone? Yes! The iOS port will use the same cross-platform licenses as on the other platforms, so you'll be able to move your license (up to once a week) between all of them.

Posted by lino on 1 Nov 2013