MPD Music Server – A followup

29 11 2008

So a week or so ago I posted about setting up a music server based on MPD. The whole setup has been running along for a few days now, and so far I’m impressed.

There were still some loose ends from the original install. One was getting audio streaming working properly (the initial install was just playing through my Bose Lifestyle system via a patch cable). I wanted to be able to stream audio to laptops and other computers. This required setting up Icecast – a feat not as complex as I feared. Icecast is in the Ubuntu package archives, so installing it was just a matter of “aptitude install icecast2”.

(no subject)Configuring Icecast and MPD was pretty simple as well – I followed a few references on the net, and had it running in about 10 minutes.
One of the other changes I did was moved from using Sonata to using GMPC from Qalaxy. I found it has a much better interface and is more comprehensive in it’s functionality.

The other client I installed is called ‘Pitchfork’ – a PHP + Ajax based web client. Unfortunately, it appears to have gone into abandonware mode, and it’s website is down. I found someone on #mpd on Freenode that had a copy of it, and I installed that directly. It’s a handy, decent web front end that has the added bonus of having a built in audio streamer – so you can listen to the Icecast stream directly via the browser. Nifty.

The rest of my time has been taken up importing music. I had various music archives lying around, and of course my own fairly hefty CD collection. Ripping CD’s seems to go fairly well using Grip – even so, it’s a slow process. Fortunately I can do it while doing other things – I just haul down one of my cd books, and start feeding them to the laptop. When I finish a few gigs, I copy the entire directory over to the server, and tell MPD to update.

dbs@yawl:~$ mpc stats
Artists:   1459
Albums:    2066
Songs:    25235
Play Time:    2 days, 16:12:08
Uptime:       3 days, 12:05:52
DB Updated:   Fri Nov 28 22:15:14 2008
DB Play Time: 73 days, 7:11:13

I’ve introduced the roommates to the server, and pointed out how they can listen to music stored there. Having only one audio stream is going to be a problem as more folks are interested in listening to what is stored there, but for now, being able to save and update shared playlists and switching the current music around remotely is a big enough win, I’m not going to worry about the next stages until after we move.

A manageable fillup

26 11 2008

(no subject)

Originally uploaded by eidolon

A year ago, filling up the van with gas cost somewhere around $80. Now that I’m commuting 60 miles a day, having the price back down is lovely.

If it stays here long enough for us to move, I’ll be happy.

Modernized Maxims

25 11 2008

From a conversation on IRC today:

“Never underestimate the bandwidth of a backpack full of USB thumb drives and a bike messenger.” -Nathan Mehl

This arose after I remarked that copying files to a pen drive and walking it over to the server is a faster way of moving a couple gig of data than uploading it over the wire.

Twitter. I haz it.

25 11 2008

We’ll see how this goes.

Very cool optical toy.

25 11 2008

See the runner – grab onto the black stripes on the right and slowly drag it to the left. This was billed as an ‘optical illusion’ – not sure if that’s apropos. You’re not being ‘tricked’ into seeing anything. It’s as much an ‘illusion’ as regular frame by frame movies give the ‘illusion’ of motion.
Thanks to the Bad Astronomy Blog for this one.

Compiz memory leak?

23 11 2008

Recently I’ve started working on an all-linux laptop (named ‘algol’, more on this later), and I’m enjoying using Compiz as my compositing window manager.

Unfortunately, I’ve noticed a problem with memory usage. It appears to be connected with suspending and resuming the machine (which works fine, except for this). Compiz memory usage skyrockets on restart:

4610 dbs       20   0  848m 626m 5068 S    1 31.2  13:40.13 compiz.real  

(Yep, that’s a resident size of 626 megabytes, on a 2gig laptop. I’m a Java developer, I’m used to large memory footprints, but when your window manager outshadows the footprint of your IDE, J2EE server, and compiler by a factor of 4, something is amiss).

After a logout / login, the footprint drops to ‘sane’ :

14990 dbs       20   0  221m  17m 6552 S    0  0.9   0:00.98 compiz.real 

A very fast suspend / resume I just did did not make the footprint grow… I’m wondering if it has to do with big screensavers or something (since last time I restarted, it came back up running a GL screensaver). More details when I have ’em, but anyone have an idea what might be causing this? I hate having to restart my entire desktop environment when I resume.

Music Server Remote Access with MPD.

23 11 2008

It seemed like a simple question. Consider the problem of [a], a collection of ripped music from a large CD collection, [b] a server containing said mp3’s, located on a bookshelf in the corner, [c] a very nice Bose Lifestyle 48 audio system, and [d] a couch potato like myself wanting to listen to that music, but not willing to walk over to the workstation, hook up a monitor (it’s normally headless), and play something.

There were several things I wanted under the general heading of “I want to listen to music stored on that machine,” but no clear path in sight.

So how to approach this problem?

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