Archive for the ‘Audio’ Category
MPD is not for everyone.
Before continuing into the article, a word of warning. MPD is not for everyone. If you are a casual desktop linux user with zero geek genes, stay away from this player. There are many other simpler players for you.
But then again, ‘casual desktop linux user’ – that sounds like a contradiction in terms. The very fact that you are reading this means that you are a geek.
Getting Started with MPD
Setting up MPD is not as simple as other music players.
To see MPD in action, first we have to install MPD – and a client. I installed the following…
- MPD server
- MPC – A command line MPD client
- gmpc – A GUI client for Gnome
In a RedHat based system, you can install these using the command…
yum install mpd mpc gmpc
Here is where it starts to get a bit confusing. MPD don’t have a pretty GUI to go along with it. It has to be configured using a text file. Create a file ‘.mpdconf’ in your home folder and enter the following in it…
port "6600" music_directory "~/Songs" playlist_directory "~/.mpd/playlists" db_file "~/.mpd/mpd.db" log_file "~/.mpd/mpd.log" error_file "~/.mpd/mpd.error"
The ‘music_directory'(“~/Songs” in our example) must point to the folder where you keep your music. If you have your music in multiple folders then I cannot help you. MPD was designed with just one music root directory in mind.
It is a good idea to create the playlist folder now – it will prevent errors later on. To do that run the command…
mkdir -p ~/.mpd/playlists
Next run these commands…
mpd --create-db mpc update mpc add / mpc play
If all went well, you must be hearing sweet music now. Here is an explanation of the commands we used and their purpose…
- mpd –create-db
- This will start the daemon. The ‘–create-db’ argument will read the contents of the root music directory and add the Music files to a text database. You should see the list of files being added into the DB. This may take some time to complete – based on size of your music collection.
- mpc update
- The command used here is ‘mpc’ – not ‘mpd’. We are using a command line client now. This command scans the root music directory for updates.
- mpc add /
- This command will add all the files in the music directory to the current playlist. Please note that the ‘/’ here means root music directory – and not the global linux root.
- mpc play
- This will start playing the files in the current playlist.
There are many GUI clients for MPD – the ones I would recommend are…
- Gnome Music Player Client(gmpc)
Once the mpd daemon is up and running, just open these clients and click on the connect button to control the daemon using these clients.
Tags: Audio, daemon, mp3, mpd, music, player
Posted in Audio, Configuration | 4 Comments »
I expected my MP3 player series will end with the last post – but the comments pointed to some other players. Two players stood out – so I decided that I will review them as well. The first one is Listen. Its a Gtk player written in Python.
- Supports Shoutcast Webradio
- Supports Podcast
- Multiple Display modes
- Wikipedia Integration
- Native Lyrics Support
- No Global Shortcuts
- At least, none that I could find.
- “Interesting” Layout
- The layout is kinda different from the standand layout of amaroK, Exaile, Rythmbox etc. I am still getting used to it. But once you get the hang of it, it could turn out to be a better system than the one that the other players use.
- Shows up on mouse hover and track change.
- Tray Icon
- Supports play/pause with middle click.
- Music Library
- Listen has a music library – but it supports only a single folder as its library folder.
Tags: Audio, Gnome, gtk, listen, mp3, music, player, review
Posted in Applications, Audio, Gnome | 7 Comments »
There are no shortage of audio players in Linux. It has everything from command line MP3 players(mpg123) to RAM eating GUI players(like Amarok). With easily available codecs, linux supports almost all available formats.
This is the final post on a series about MP3 Players in linux. This series focuses on dedicated audio players – not video players that can handle audio as well(like mplayer). Without further ado, presenting the top 10 Linux MP3 players…
amaroK is currently the player of my choice – it rocks. Everything I ever wanted in a MP3 Player and more. It is the clear winner in this field. In my opinion, there is nothing that beats amarok even if you look at Windows and Mac MP3 players as well.
More Information on Amarok MP3 Player
A Winamp clone. Simple and user friendly, it is very popular on linux. It does not have a large feature set – but I am going to give it second place due to its popularity.
Official Sites for XMMS Player
Rhythmbox Music Player is a music player and library for tagged files, that support various music formats. It was inspired by Appleâ€™s iTunes. Although it is designed to work well under the GNOME Desktop, I had no issues with it in KDE.
Exaile is a music player aiming to be similar to KDEâ€™s Amarok, but for GTK+ and written in Python. It incorporates many of the cool things from Amarok (and other media players)
Audacious is not among the ‘star media-players’ in Linux – so many people never try it out. But those who have tried it out like it. For the sake of the article, I installed it – and I liked it. I even considered switching from amaroK to Audacious.
Banshee is an MP3 players for Gnome. You can import, organize, play, and share your music using Banshee’s simple, powerful interface.
Banshee Official Sites
SongBird is an MP3 player built on the XUL framework. It’s a desktop media player mashed-up with the Web.
An audio jukebox that supports collections of MP3, Ogg Vorbis and FLAC files. It is a part of the kdemultimedia package.
mpg123 is a fast, free, minimalist, console MPEG audio player software program for UNIX and Linux operating systems.
10. Other MP3 Players and Media Software…
Instead of putting the last MP3 Player here, I am going to list the MP3 software that did not make it to the list…
- Beep Media Player
- X-platform Music Multiplexing System 2 – XMMS2
- Decibel Audio Player
- Cactus Jukebox
So, which is your favorite MP3 Player? Leave a comment…
Update: I reviewed two more players…
Tags: Audio, Gnome, KDE, list, mp3, music, player, review, software, top10
Posted in Applications, Audio, Gnome, KDE | 96 Comments »
So far we looked at the GUI MP3 Players for linux – like Amarok, Exile, XMMS etc. Most linux users need only that – but there are some people who want a simpler system – command line players. The two top players in this area are mpg123 and mpg321.
mpg123 is a fast, free, minimalist, console MPEG audio player software program for UNIX and Linux operating systems. The development on this project ceased for a long time – but now it has a new maintainer.
mpg321 is a clone of mpg123.
Most distros have mpg321 in their repositories(not all have mpg123) – so just log in as root and use these commands to install it…
yum install mpg321 – For RedHat, Fedora, CentOS etc.
apt-get install mpg321 – For Debian, Ubuntu, etc.
Using mpg321 is straight forward. Since it has no GUI, just go to the folder with the song and just execute the command…
If you want to play all the songs in a folder, you have to create a list of files in that folder. Then you have to specify this list as an argument for the mpg321 command. These commands can get the job done…
Create a list of all MP3 Files in the current folder…
find . -name "*.mp3"|sed 's/\.\///;'|sort>List.lst
Use this list as the play list for mpg321
mpg123 --list List.lst
Why Use Command Line Players?
If we have a number of shiny GUI players, why should one use a command line player? Unless you are an anti-GUI command line guru, chances are you don’t need it. But still, it has its uses.
For example, if you have to restart the X Server often for some reason, then mpg321 is the best player for you. All other player will stop playing when X server is down.
This actually happend to me – when I bought my second LCD screen, it took me some time to configure it. And that meant editing the
xorg.conf file and restarting the X Server to see if it worked. At that time, I opened a virtual terminal(Ctrl+Alt+F1) and opened mpg321 with a bunch of MP3s in the list. It kept playing even if the X server is down. This is propably the reason that I was still sane after around six hours of XOrg configuration.
Tags: cli, mp3, mpg123, mpg321, player, review
Posted in Audio, Command Line, Tools | 11 Comments »
Exaile is a music player aiming to be similar to KDE’s Amarok, but for GTK+ and written in Python. It incorporates many of the cool things from Amarok (and other media players) like automatic fetching of album art, handling of large libraries, lyrics fetching, artist/album information via Wikipedia, Last.fm submission support, and optional iPod support via a plugin.
It has many features that make amarok great…
- Automatic fetching of album art
- Handling large music libraries
- Lyrics fetching
- Fetches Artist/Album information from Wikipedia
And some features that amarok does not have…
- Tabbed playlist interface
- Song Blacklist Manager
- I could not find the Global Hotkeys feature
If you want to try exaile, you can download exaile and install it yourself.
Tags: app, Audio, exaile, gtk, mp3, music, player, review
Posted in Applications, Audio, Gnome | 8 Comments »
I just installed Songbird – an MP3 player built on the XUL framework. It is more integrated with the web than any other player I have seen. This is what Songbird have to say about themselves…
Songbird is a desktop media player mashed-up with the Web. Songbird is committed to playing the music you want, from the sites you want, on the devices you want, challenging the conventions of discovery, purchase, consumption and organization of music on the Internet.
Songbird is a player and a platform. Like Firefox, Songbird is an open source, Open Web project built on the Mozilla platform. Songbird provides a public playground for Web media mash-ups by providing developers with both desktop and Web APIs, developer resources and fostering Open Web media standards, to wit, an Open Media Web.
Lots of Plugins
Since Songbird uses the XUL Framework extension development is easy for those who have worked on Mozilla extensions. As a result, there are a lot of extensions available.
This makes support for many features possible – like…
- MP3 Downloads
- Online Music Stores
- And More…
Songbird works on Windows, Linux and Mac. Makes no difference to me – but many will find this useful.
Dark Default Skin
The default skin(or feather, as its know in Songbird) is too ‘flashy’ for my taste. I like simple, easy to use/navigate GUI. The Songbird interface is nothing like that – at least not for me.
Since the default skin is inspired by iTunes, this might be an advantage for iTunes users. For others, this issue is easily solvable – just install another skin.
I downloaded the latest ‘Developer Pre-release’ version – so I found some bugs. But I am sure this will be removed in the stable release.
Tags: Audio, mp3, review, software, songbird, xul
Posted in Applications, Audio | 8 Comments »
Rhythmbox Music Player is a music player and library for tagged files, that support various music formats. It was inspired by Apple’s iTunes. Although it is designed to work well under the GNOME Desktop, I had no issues with it in KDE. RhythmBox uses the GStreamer media framework. It is currently under active development.
- Clean Look
- While other players aim to make their software flashy and full of features, RhythmBox went for simplicity. The inferface is very direct and easy to use.
- Browse Mode
- This is an easy way to browse through a large music collection.
- Global Shortcut Available
- I don’t know how – but Global Shortcuts are available. There is no option for it – but one of my global shortcuts – Ctrl+Alt+Home for Play/Pause works.
- Music Library
- All your music must be within one folder if you want to use RhythmBox’s Music Library. You can set only one folder as the ‘Library Location’. This option is available at ‘Edit > Preferences > ‘Music’ Tab > Library Location
- Font Bug
- When I start RhythmBox, the font of all application becomes one size smaller. I think this is a bug that is limited to KDE – but still very irritating. The only way to fix this is restart the X Server
- Play Queue
- At the top left corner, in the Library column, there is a Option called ‘Play Queue’ – don’t mistake it for Playlist. This is a Queue of all the songs that must be played. If you try to play any song in that list, that song will jump to the top.
- Minimize to System Tray
- To hide the player don’t close it – that will quit the application. If you minimize it, it goes to the taskbar – I want to minimize it to the system tray. To do that, just click on the RhythmBox icon in the system tray. It take a little getting used to – but a workable method.
Tags: Gnome, mp3, music, review, rhythmbox, software
Posted in Applications, Audio | 11 Comments »
Today I upgraded my system from Fedora 7 to Fedora 8. The installation process went very smoothly. But once the installation was done, I started the long process of configuring it. That’s when I ran into the sound issue in Fedora 8 – and based on the forum posts, so did many others.
Basically, you get this error at KDE startup…
Sound Error Informational Message: Error while initializing the sound driver: device: default can't be opened for playback (Permission denied) The sound server will continue, using the null output device
You will not be able to play any sound – amarok will crash if you try to play anything. But if you run system-config-soundcard(or System -> Administration -> Soundcard Detection), you will be able to hear the test sound. That is because you are running it as root.
Solution 1 – Console-Kit Service
Did you turn of Console-Kit and avahi-daemon startup services using system-config-services? If so, go back and re-enable them.
- Run system-config-services(or System -> Administration -> Services)
- Find Console-Kit and enable it
- Find avahi-daemon, enable it
- Restart the system and see if that fixed the problem.
This worked for me – so I did not try any of the following solutions.
Solution 2 – alsa-plugin
If the first solution did not solve the problem, try removing the pulseaudio plugin for alsa by running this command.
yum remove alsa-plugins-pulseaudio
Solution 3 – Permissions
If neither of the above work, open
/etc/security/console.perms.d/50-default-perms and add this line to the top…
And at the end, add this line…
<console> 0666 <sound> 0600 root
Hopefully, your problems are solved by now. If not, here are some links to help you further…
- Bugzilla Bug 292201: ALSA mixer only usable as root
- Fixing Broken Sound in Fedora
- Fedora 8 & pulse audio – nonroot users have no sound Thread
- Pulse Audio Potential Issues
More about Fedora 8 in the next post.
Posted in Audio, Configuration, Fedora, Troubleshooting | 31 Comments »
Banshee is one of the best audio players for Gnome. It has most of the things I want in an MP3 software…
- Stays in the system tray
- Simple interface
- Media Library
- Ability to control the player using shortcuts without accessing the player(Multimedia Keys Plugin)
Unfortunately, I could not run this software in my system – it is showing a ‘No Codec’ error for all the files I tried to play. I tried to fix this problem by myself – I even tried reinstalling the software. Still no luck. I am sure that is is a configuration error on my part – I don’t think it is an issue in banshee.
Anyway, since I could not try out this software, I stop now. If I could fix this issue before my series on MP3 Players for Linux is over, I will come back and post the details on this page.
Posted in Applications, Audio, Gnome | 5 Comments »
Audacious is not among the ‘star media players’ in Linux – so many people never try it out. But those who have tried it out like it. For the sake of this article, I installed it – and I liked it. I even considered switching from amaroK to Audacious.
Most of the features I wanted in an MP3 player is present in Audacious. They where not turned on by default – but it was easy enough to enable the plugin.
- System Tray
- Just enable the plugin called Status Icon. And the system tray hover information is one of the best I have seen yet…
- Global Hotkeys
- This feature is available using a plugin called Global Hotkeys(for version 1.4+). I have not managed to install this plugin yet – so I cannot comment on it.
- There is a OSD plugin that shows the name of the song on song change.
However, there are some problems as well…
- No Media Library
- I don’t expect Audacious to get one without sacrificing the ‘simple/easy to use’ advantage.
- Playlist Scrolling is Slow
- I noticed that the the playlist does not scroll smoothly if you have a lot of songs. This may be problem in just my system – could anyone confirm this?
I am forced to conclude that Audacious is better than XMMS for those who are searching for a simple MP3 software. But for those searching for more advanced features, amaroK might be a better choice – and for that reason I as sticking with Amarok.
Posted in Applications, Audio | 11 Comments »