rfunk: (phone)
posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 07:48pm on 05/06/2008 under , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
This week we gained possession of a pair of 8GB iPod Touches, through a surprisingly generous rebate program.

The iPod Touch is unlike any previous iPods, but is very similar to the iPhone. It's basically an iPhone without the phone, camera, or bluetooth. That doesn't sound like it leaves much, but what it leaves is high-resolution video iPod functionality, plus wi-fi networking, built on top of a miniature Mac OS X complete with web browser, email client, and other programs.

Apple's firmware doesn't allow adding apps that aren't already there, other than using web apps designed for the iPhone/iTouch platform. (A new firmware version coming soon will open this up a bit, but not by much.) However, people have figured out ways of fixing ("jailbreaking") the firmware to allow installing third-party apps, and there's even a de-facto standard packaging/installing system to make it easy to get and install programs.

A Linux guy gets started with iPod Touch )
Jailbreak for the good stuff )
Some added applications )
Music! )
Video )

So yeah, quite the fun toy here.....
Mood:: 'geeky' geeky
rfunk: (guitar)
posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 11:19am on 21/06/2007 under , , , ,

One thing that has kept me sane in my recent bout of working long hours is that I finally took a few minutes to set up SlimServer (which powers my Squeezebox) and my home router so that I can get access to my entire music collection (9747 songs and counting) from the office. So at work (and wherever else I decide to open it to) I'm no longer limited to just the few CDs worth of favorites that I've copied to the machine there.

(In the process I discovered that trying to stream MP3 via HTTP through an ssh tunnel just doesn't work so well. Every minute or so bits of audio would repeat a few seconds later. It's probably related to redundant congestion control happening in the TCP-over-TCP arrangement. Bypassing the ssh tunnel helped immensely.)

In addition, I now have both Amarok and SlimServer scrobbling my plays to Last.fm, so my profile there is becoming more complete. I'm up to over 7400 songs scrobbled there since I started last summer, and now rapidly increasing. If you like, you can check out the long list of songs I've listened to recently.

Because of the scrobbling, I've learned that (based on the top 15 artists I listen to) my musical taste is 9.24% mainstream. (It may be interesting to look into some things other people have done with the data there). Last.fm's Events section is also becoming useful for finding out about when bands I listen to are playing nearby -- especially since there are RSS and iCal feeds for recommended events.

My Recent Tracks My Top Tracks My Top Artists
Music:: The Cure - Close to Me (Closer Mix)
rfunk: (Joey Ramone)
posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 05:00pm on 01/03/2007 under , , , ,
I spent most of the first half of this week upgrading my desktop computers at home and work from a two-year-old Debian installation to a seven-month-old Kubuntu installation.

Most of you don't care about the upgrade itself... )

But I'm discovering that the best part of this upgrade is a working (non-crashing) Amarok music player. It gives me a unified interface to play my MP3s, CDs, Internet radio streams, Last.fm streams, and almost anything else. It gives quick access to artist information, cover art, lyrics, links to related artists, and includes a rating capability (actually two, one manual and one automatic/guessing).

Unfortunately it doesn't integrate with Pandora, but its Last.fm integration beats anything I've used before. Oh, and if I had an iPod it would work with that. (I'll have to try my non-iPod portable MP3 player, but it should work as well.)

Yeah, you Windows and Mac people are probably thinking that you have all this (or similar) with iTunes or Windows Media Player, but there's one thing I know those don't have -- Amarok is extensible with user-written or downloaded scripts. So, for example, with one script I'll be able to play and control the SlimServer at home (which will, with some firewall fiddling, let me pipe my entire home music collection to work). Another one automatically pauses the music when I lock my screen (useful at work, probably not so much at home).

It's a strange feeling for my music player to make me feel like exploring all its obscure capabilities.
Mood:: 'geeky' geeky
Music:: The Darling Buds

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