Pulseaudio lives upto the expectations..

After months of naughtiness, Pulseaudio seems to settling in nicely in Karmic Beta. Everything stable, no glitches, twitches, CPU usages back to depths of lowness ๐Ÿ™‚

Always knew pulseaudio has network access possible. Always wondered to be able to do it. Finally I have two laptops to try all those twosome things. And I did.

First I connected them using synergy(mouse/keyboard). Using SFTP to use them as file servers and pulseaudio as my audio servers.

Now the situation is, I have kept one laptop in that corner there. Its supposed to be my process intensive server. Its supposed to run my music, download stuff for me, check my mails – sound horns when they arrive and be busy and burn in hell in that corner. And it runs KDE. Now my powerful speakers (donated by a dear friend after he moved to US), remain connected to this busy bee. Well they sound like thunder, they are Altec Lansing MX5021.

What pulseaudio allowed me to do is, broadcast or redirect by audio from my mobile laptop to my server laptop. So while I want to play movies, I don’t need to get that speaker wire sorted out from the tangly world of wires. All is done by a mouse click. ๐Ÿ™‚

Pulseaudio delivers and I have a smile.

Just for a quick start –
– Install paman (pulseaudio device manager) from Synaptic and run PulseAudio Device Chooser from Application -> Sound & Video.
– On the device chooser click Configure Local Sound Server, Make sure your sound server is discoverable in first 2 tabs. I even by passed authentication.

Do that on all the machines in the LAN. Done.

Now you can simple send your sound to any machine, by simply selecting “Default Sink” to whichever machine you want.

Done. Sound starts playing in the remote machine. You can have your smile:) The best part is I can choose which application plays where. I can decide that this music plays there, this youtube plays locally here on my box and this alarm application sounds in the machine there in other room. You know where I am going with this. Bring out your Vista or Windows 7 or Windows 8 and do this for me. Oh wait, they got a new feature to sell Windows 7 Supreme.

Cost for all this – Around 200KB/s more wireless data flowing around me… Now only if I could get this charging wire off me, but I heard even that’s coming … ๐Ÿ™‚

Use single mouse/keyboard for multiple computers.

The cool thing is called synergy.

The windows version has a great GUI to get you started. Here’s quickstart guide for Ubuntu.

Lets install synergy first , sudo apt-get install synergy on all the machines.

Now lets create an empty file /etc/synergy.conf, sudo gedit /etc/synergy.conf

First find out the hostnames of the machines you are synerging (Case sensitive). Lets say hostnames are hostname1 and hostname2.

Out of the machines, you need to select one as synergy server and all others would be client to this server. Lets select hostname1 as our server.

Create the synergy config file (/etc/synergy.conf) on hostname1(server) as follows:

section: screens

section: links
left = hostname2
right = hostname1

section: aliases

Choose left, right according to you machines placements or however you like. You can also use ‘up’, ‘down’ keywords. For all options see man synergys.

Ok now lets run the server on hostname1 as:
synergys --daemon

On client machine, hostname 2, connect to server as:
synergyc --daemon hostname1_ip

where hostname_ip is the ip address of hostname1, you could use hostname1 itself, if you are sure the name is resolving.

That’s it, your mouse and keyboards should be able to control both the machines now.

EDIT : sudo apt-get install quicksynergy, is an easy GUI for the same. That should make the job a cake walk.

VirtualBox – Shrink your VDI images. Image size = Space used up inside VM.

Often when you install a VM in virtualbox you’ll notice that initial size of the VM image would be more or less equal to the disk space actually used in the VM. However with time, as you play around, you will find that the size of VM image would always keep on increasing. The disk space actually used would be far lesser than the VM image size. We would try to compress the VM image to the space actually used up inside the VM.
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General Updates, Control that bandwidth looter. “trickle” them. Play your favourite shoutcast stream while your torrents download happily in background.

Back after a long time. Will provide some general updates and introduce you to this fine little cuty called trickle.

Ever stuck with torrent downloads who steal all your bandwidth, and you can’t even open google .com. Talk about limiting download speeds from torrent clients, which never work efficiently. Or how about listening to shoutcast while your firefox blazes away.
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Cron and crontab, The easy, powerful and useful scheduler.

Being on hardy, I had developed this evil habit of “sudo apt-get update” which I ‘d do now and then, hoping for a better updated, greater hardy or hoping for some miraculous update which would fix all my annoying hardy bugs. ๐Ÿ˜›

Even otherwise, we do miss our nifty Windows task scheduler. Or how about shutting down your internet connection at 8 in morning to save bandwidth. So here is the linux cute thing. Read the rest of this entry »

mp3splt – Split radio shows, online shows with cue sheets.

Ever stuck with those big 200 mb shows,ย  or single track CDs and felt bored of browsing through entire 2 hour track to reach for your favorite track? Welcome our hero, mp3splt.

This is a nice tool which lets you split mp3/ogg files. So people wondering what’s new about the splitting, It has a nice feature that lets you split files according to track information from cue sheets or even from cddb(Internet).
Sounds good? Read the rest of this entry »

Music Encoders, Formats, bitrates(VBR,CBR,ABR), codecs – LAME, OGG Vorbis, AAC.

High bitrates have become the fashion statement these days. Often you search for music online, you’ll end up with 320 kbps 180 mb albums. How much is actually enough? What gives you best compression? Time to switch to futuristic codecs yet? Free formats. These are few things we’ll discuss today.

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