Digital Music Doctor that shows the popularity of DAW applications. As you can see, Pro Tools is still in the lead, but FL Studio is coming on strong, followed by Ableton Live. Last years challengers Cubase and Sonar have dropped back some.
Digital Music Doctor doesn't measure the installed base of users or even sales of software packages, they measure Internet search results, so don't misconstrue what the chart is trying to say. It's the popularity of a software package based on search activity on Google, Bing, Yahoo and AOL. The idea is that the number of searches directly correlates to the DAW's real popularity, which may or may not be the case.
As I said before, I'm no shill for Pro Tools but I can tell you that if you really want to work professionally in just about any area of the entertainment business, knowing how to use it is a necessity because that's what the majority of pros use. From music production to film and television post to voice-over work to anything else you can think of, it's a Pro Tools world for the most part. That's not to say that any of the other fine DAWs don't have their place. They're great learning and production tools, every one of them. But if you're looking for a job that has to do with audio, you'll need some Pro Tools operational skill no matter which way you cut it.
This comes from a person who started with Digital Performer version 1.0, then switched to Nuendo 1.0 (which I loved), only to go kicking and screaming into the Pro Tools world after it became just too painful transferring projects back and forth to those other platforms. I've never looked back and my projects never suffered from the change. So just a word of warning when looking at software popularity charts; they don't always tell the whole story.
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