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Posts Tagged ‘music’

Since version 2.6, you can tell Amarok to convert (transcode) every music track to MP3 when copying it to a given device.

There’s a bug, however which causes MP3 files converted from Ogg Vorbis to lose all metadata (artist, album, title etc). This is a showstopper for me.

This happens because Amarok needs to pass an option to ffmpeg to tell it to get the metadata from the first stream found in the Ogg file as opposed to the default of getting it from global metadata. Unfortunately as far as I can tell there’s no way to configure the ffmpeg command line used by Amarok. The solution then is to replace the ffmpeg binary in the path with a script that will do that, like this one:

#!/usr/bin/python
import os
import sys

AVCONV_FFMPEG = '/usr/bin/ffmpeg.distrib'
os.execv(AVCONV_FFMPEG, sys.argv + ['-map_metadata', '0:0,s0'])

In Debian or Ubuntu, you can divert the real ffmpeg binary and install the script above as /usr/bin/ffmpeg:

$ sudo dpkg-divert --add /usr/bin/ffmpeg
$ sudo cp /tmp/fake-ffmpeg.py /usr/bin/ffmpeg
$ sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/ffmpeg

There’s another bug where Amarok needlessly converts even MP3 files when copying them to the device.

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isn’t it a pity?

Isn’t it a pity
Now, isn’t it a shame
How we break each other’s hearts
And cause each other pain
How we take each other’s love
Without thinking anymore
Forgetting to give back
Isn’t it a pity

Some things take so long
But how do I explain
When not too many people
Can see we’re all the same
And because of all their tears
Their eyes can’t hope to see
The beauty that surrounds them
Isn’t it a pity

Isn’t it a pity
Isn’t is a shame
How we break each other’s hearts
And cause each other pain
How we take each other’s love
Without thinking anymore
Forgetting to give back
Isn’t it a pity

Forgetting to give back
Isn’t it a pity
Forgetting to give back
Now, isn’t it a pity

George Harrison

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beware of darkness

Watch out now, take care
Beware of falling swingers
Dropping all around you
The pain that often mingles
In your fingertips
Beware of darkness

Watch out now, take care
Beware of the thoughts that linger
Winding up inside your head
The hopelessness around you
In the dead of night

Beware of sadness
It can hit you
It can hurt you
Make you sore and what is more
That is not what you are here for

Watch out now, take care
Beware of soft shoe shufflers
Dancing down the sidewalks
As each unconscious sufferer
Wanders aimlessly
Beware of maya

Watch out now, take care
Beware of greedy leaders
They take you where you should not go
While weeping atlas cedars
They just want to grow, grow and grow
Beware of darkness (beware of darkness)

George Harrison

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king of pain

There’s a little black spot on the sun today
It’s the same old thing as yesterday
There’s a black hat caught in a high tree top
There’s a flag pole rag and the wind won’t stop

I have stood here before inside the pouring rain
With the world turning circles running round my brain
I guess I’m always hoping that you’ll end this reign
But it’s my destiny to be the king of pain

There’s a little black spot on the sun today
That’s my soul up there
It’s the same old thing as yesterday
That’s my soul up there
There’s a black hat caught in a high tree top
That’s my soul up there
There’s a flag pole rag and the wind wont stop
That’s my soul up there

I have stood here before inside the pouring rain
With the world turning circles running round my brain
I guess I’m always hoping that you’ll end this reign
But it’s my destiny to be the king of pain

There’s a fossil that’s trapped in a high cliff wall
That’s my soul up there
There’s a dead salmon frozen in a waterfall
That’s my soul up there
There’s a blue whale beached by a springtides ebb
That’s my soul up there
There’s a butterfly trapped in a spider’s web
That’s my soul up there

I have stood here before inside the pouring rain
With the world turning circles running round my brain
I guess I’m always hoping that you’ll end this reign
But it’s my destiny to be the king of pain

There’s a king on a throne with his eyes torn out
There’s a blind man looking for a shadow of doubt
There’s a rich man sleeping on a golden bed
There’s a skeleton choking on a crust of bread

King of pain

There’s a red fox thorn by a huntsman’s pack
That’s my soul up there
There’s a black winged gull with a broken back
That’s my soul up there
There’s a little black spot on the sun today
It’s the same old thing as yesterday

I have stood here before inside the pouring rain
With the world turning circles running round my brain
I guess I’m always hoping that you’ll end this reign
But it’s my destiny to be the king of pain

King of pain
King of pain
King of pain
I’ll always be king of pain
I’ll always be king of pain
I’ll always be king of pain…

Police

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portable ogg vorbis player

It took me some time to actually own a portable digital music player (mp3 player), because I didn’t want an mp3 player, really. I was searching for an ogg vorbis player and it takes some effort to find one, especially in Brazil where the sound format is virtually unheard of.

I was gladly surprised when I was in FNAC one day and found a player which clearly stated in the box that it was able to play .ogg files (okay, ogg vorbis for the purists out there. but I’ll say .ogg from now on.) and better yet, even not counting this feature, it was actually the player with the best cost/benefit ratio on that store. It’s the Samsung U3.

yp-u3.jpg

I’ve been using it for about two months now, and I am enjoying it. You should take this with a grain of salt, since I didn’t have many requirements from a digital player except that it could play .ogg files, and I’m not an expert or music lover. I’m just an occasional listener. The reviews I have read about it tend to be good though, even regarding the sound quality.

One nice thing is it’s form factor. The player is very small, thin and light. I also like it’s very bright OLED screen, and the fact that it’s very simple to use in Linux. It just presents itself as a regular pen drive. It sports 2 GB of capacity, FM radio, sound recording, progressive “fast forward”…

The main drawback is it’s very sensitive touch buttons. They’re cool, but not very practical. You need to look at the device to see where to touch (but eventually you develop your muscle memory and just know where buttons are). You also need to use the player’s hold key a lot, otherwise buttons will activate all the time while the player is in your pocket.

Now, why this need of playing .ogg files? I have all my CDs encoded in ogg vorbis format, and didn’t want to reencode it all. I think ogg vorbis is a better format than mp3 since it’s newer (mp3 is already more than 10 years old. some advances in lossy audio compression must have been made since then!) and patent-unencumbered. Before you ask: no, I can’t hear the difference in quality between .ogg and .mp3… It’s more the decision of an engineer who preferred to go with the newer, shinier system. 🙂

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free music

n the last few months, I’ve been into searching and listening to free music (I don’t think it’s fair to pirate music and I don’t want to depend just on CDs and radio to hear new songs). Anyway, I’ve found some real good stuff and I’d like to share them and promote these bands.The biggest problem I have is to find non-electronic music (rock and blues are what I’m after, mostly), which is the genre of the majority of the offerings out there. But I was surprised to find some real gems.

I’m very bad at classifying or describing music, so I will just give a flat list and then comment on some of the entries:

Some of the above are free as in beer, some are free as in speech.

Of these, HYPE is currently among my favorite rock bands (both free and non-free). And I really like the sound of Acoustic Affinités and Trafic de Blues. Despite sounding too electronic to my ears, I enjoy Looper (especially the “The Strangest Girl” song). DoF (I only have the “A Year in Waiting” album) is great to listen to while hacking/programming.

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Jamendo: Open your ears

Searching for some free, legal music to download, I came across Jamendo, and I really liked it.

From the website itself:

“Jamendo is a new model for artists to promote, publish, and be paid for their music.

On jamendo, the artists distribute their music under Creative Commons licenses. In a nutshell, they allow you to download, remix and share their music freely. It’s a “Some rights reserved” agreement, perfectly suited for the new century.”

Unfortunately, most of the music available is electronic, which is not my kind of music. But I found some real good blues and rock bands there. Most are French. I’ll comment about them in the near future.

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