Archive for March, 2009

So many music players

Yesterday and today I went on a quest to try out some of the major Linux music players to see which I liked best. I looked for two main things: 1) features to manage a fairly large library, and 2) working with my mp3 player. In Windows I used MediaMonkey, and for me that was the perfect player. Basically I looked for the Linux player that came the closest to MediaMonkey. So, onto the players…

Rhythmbox is the default Mint audio player, and while it’s a solid program, it doesn’t have much when it comes to managing a music library, and I couldn’t get it to work with my mp3 player.

Banshee looks very much like Rhythmbox. Not many library-organizing features, and again my mp3 player didn’t work with it.

I liked Exaile. It is simple yet more powerful than the above two in my opinion. But my mp3 player didn’t work with it. 😦

Songbird… very unique, that’s for sure. It combines a web browser and a music player into one. It’s an original idea, but I didn’t find it to be very practical, and all the extra browser capabilities just make it slow and clunky. I’m not saying Songbird is bad, it’s just not what I want in a music player. And I realize it’s in the early stages of development… but still it’s just not what I was looking for. I didn’t even try out my mp3 this time.

I actually tried this one second (after Rhythmbox), but we all know it’s more dramatic to leave the best one for the end. 😉 Amarok. It is AWESOME. Actually it’s not much compared to MediaMonkey in terms of library management tools, but it’s got more than the others (file naming based on a scheme, getting tags from file names, character replacement in file names). Editing tags is easy, and the interface is just nice in general. And it works with my mp3 player! Even more, it has lots of options for media devices, allowing me to set up how music files are organized on my mp3 player. Oh, and by the way, I’m talking about Amarok 1.4. I didn’t like the layout of version 2 at all, and a lot of the features are lost in version 2. But from what I read on their blog it seems like they’re working towards putting a lot of the features back in and making it more flexible, so we’ll see.

In conclusion, I didn’t find a music player as good as the one I used in Windows (I didn’t expect to), but I got pretty darn close when I found Amarok.


March 31, 2009 at 1:03 am Leave a comment

Amarok 2 in Ubuntu and a funny guy

I installed Amarok a few days after installing Linux Mint because Rhythmbox wasn’t working with my mp3 player. It took a little getting used to, but now I like it way better than Rhythmbox. It’s ALMOST as good as MediaMonkey, the player I used in Windows, which is saying a lot. Amarok runs pretty well in Gnome, aside from infrequent crashing.
Anyways, today I found out that the newest release is Amarok 2, and I have release 1.4. After a few google searches I found this very good tutorial on installing Amarok 2 in Ubuntu. (Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, so almost all of its internal workings are the same.)
So now I’ve installed it, and it looks really nice, but there sound isn’t working. One more thing to fix…
I found this guy a few days back. Pretty funny stuff.

edit: I rebooted and Amarok still shows an error message about the normal sound device not working, but now the sound works. 🙂 I guess I’ll still try to get the regular sound device working.

edit2: Weird, now it’s not showing an error message anymore. And I didn’t even change any settings or anything. I guess that means I don’t need to fix it.

March 29, 2009 at 9:16 pm 2 comments

Why use Linux?

These are some commonly stated reasons for using Linux:

1. “It’s free (as in free beer)” (So goes the saying, but why beer, anyways? You don’t find free beer very often…)
2. “It’s free (as in freedom)”
3. “It will never go out of business”
4. “Lots of free software for Linux”
5. “It’s more stable than Windows” (less crashing)
6. “It’s more secure than Windows”
7. “It’s faster than Windows”
8.5. “Microsoft is an evil company trying to take over the world”

Obviously not all of these are true. Most of these are good reasons for some people, but not most people. The average home computer user doesn’t care about open-source, and he doesn’t even care that Linux is free because the computer he bought at the store came with Windows on it already. That’s a huge reason most people don’t use Linux: they just want to stay with what’s already there. They don’t want to take the trouble of installing and learning how to use Linux. Why use another operating system if you’ve already got one that works?
I’m not saying that if computers came with Linux instead of Windows, people would love it. Not in the current state of things, anyways. Almost all software is made for Windows, and Linux is generally harder to use than Windows (this may not be true for some distros, like Mandriva). Then again, if Linux came in store-bought computers instead of Windows, software developers would make software for Linux, and it wouldn’t be in store-bought computers unless it was easy to use.
I actually started this post just wanting to say why I am using Linux. My reasons are: I’m curious, it’s free, and it makes me feel smart and nonconformist. I don’t really care that Linux is open source, besides the fact that it allows Linux to be actively developed by many people. As for more stable, more secure, and faster than Windows, I had no complaints about Windows XP in these areas. If I ran a web server, that would be a different story… but for home use I think Windows is pretty good. And I may end up going back to Windows, just because 90% of all software is made for Windows (and because of the games, hehe). But for now I’m staying with Linux. Windows just doesn’t give me the +10 geek points. 🙂
Oh, I almost forgot. I also like Linux because it’s the only OS good enough for supervillains.

March 29, 2009 at 6:29 am 1 comment

The story

So, about Linux. This is actually not first time I’ve tried it. It was last year that I got my first taste of Linux. I guess one day I just got curious about it, so I read some stuff about Linux, and from what I read it looked so good that I wanted to try it out. After reading up on the different distributions I decided to try Mandriva, since it is aimed at new Linux users. It installed ok and it looked pretty nice, but it ran pretty slow. So then I tried Ubuntu. Everyone said good things about it, but I was faced with some very annoying problems, the biggest of which was constant freezing that forced me to restart my computer. I spent hours trying to figure out what was wrong, but to no avail. No matter what I did it still kept hanging. That didn’t leave a very good impression on me.
So then I forgot about Linux for a while, went back to using my trusty Windows XP. A week or two ago I was about to reinstall XP (my stuff gets cluttered and disorganized and sometimes I’m too lazy to organize it, so I reinstall :P), when I had an idea: why not try Linux again? Before that I had read about a Linux distro called Mint that looked interesting. But since it was based on Ubuntu I was a bit worried that a bunch of stuff would go wrong. Surprisingly, there was no freezing at all, and I’m quite happy with it.
Of course, it’s not perfect. There are some things I just can’t get to work, but I’m still a noob at Linux, so I’ll probably get them sometime. And of course there’s the whole thing about not being able to run Windows programs in Linux… that’s pretty annoying too.

March 29, 2009 at 5:42 am Leave a comment

Welcome to the jungle… the Silicon Jungle

I’ve always wanted to have a blog. The problem was that I couldn’t think of anything to blog about. And to make a “personal” blog would be pretty dumb for me since I don’t have an exciting life or profound ideas about life that can go on a blog.
But now I realized DO have something to blog about. I’m really into computers, and recently I decided to try out Linux. I’ve been running into quite a few problems, but I’ve found solutions to most of these and I’m learning a lot. So I was like, “Hmm, maybe I could write a blog about me walking the path to becoming a 1337 Linux superh4xx0r.” So that’s mostly what I’ll write about, for now anyways. I’ll probably throw in some other stuff too.
I hope that someone out there in the land of the interwebs will find this Silicon Jungle and find solace sitting in its cool shade, watching the wild penguins

March 29, 2009 at 3:33 am Leave a comment


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