Categotry Archives: Audio


Getting the subsonic server to work in Linux with a Roku media player


Yeah this required 3 hours of futzing to figure out.

1. Once you have the Subsonic Server installed, turn it off.

sudo service subsonic stop

2. Next change to the /var directory.

Remember anything with an octothorpe (#) is a comment and NEED not be coded.

cd /var # change to the /var
sudo mv subsonic subsonic.old # renames the existing folder
sudo service subsonic start # restart the subsonic server

3. Now we have to create a symbolic link for the lame transcoder, even if it is already installed.

To verify if lame is installed:

dpkg -l | grep lame

You would get output that looks like:

nwayno@Homer:~$ dpkg -l | grep lame
ii lame 3.98.4-0ubuntu1 An MP3 encoding library (frontend)
ii libmp3lame0 3.98.4-0ubuntu1 An MP3 encoding library
ii libtwolame0 0.3.12-1 MPEG Audio Layer 2 encoding library
ii twolame 0.3.12-1 MPEG Audio Layer 2 encoder (command line frontend)

If lame is NOT installed (the dpkg just returns a prompt) — install the lame decoder:

sudo apt-get install lame

as you can see, mine WAS installed.

4. Go back to localhost:4040 and re-enter all the information. If it complains that lame is not installed in the transcode directory, simply create a symbolic link.

which lame

should return:


5. so off we go again!

sudo service subsonic stop # stop the subsonic server
cd /var/subsonic/transcode # change back to the transcode dir
sudo ln -s /usr/bin/lame # create the symlink
sudo service subsonic start # start up the server so it gets change

it will just return a prompt.

to confirm the symbolic link is there:

ls -l

and you should get output that looks like:

lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 13 2012-02-01 15:10 lame -> /usr/bin/lame

which tells us that /usr/bin/lame is properly symlinked.

6. Now you can proceed to the Roku Box, and configure Subsonic TV.

Please note that subsonictv for Roku is not free. It is currently $5 USD plus applicable taxes.

The configuration will now save correctly on the Roku set top box, because it can now find the lame mp3 decoder.

Tested with Ubuntu 10.10 (64 bit), and Roku Model 2100X (hardwired)



What folder do you use to add music to a Samsung Restore?


No place on the internet, have I found the location to add your own music, to a Samsung Restore Cell Phone. Till now. While this is Linux oriented, the same location would be used in Windows.

It goes into the Downloads folder. (Yes. Spelled “Downloads” with a capital D!)

1. Copy your music from your source, to this folder. Yes you can have embedded folders. Mine is called: “The Moody Blues”

You can use nautilus to create the folder, or mkdir from the command line. In Windows, you would use the File Manager.

Virgin Mobile Music Folder

Virgin Mobile Music Folder Location

You will notice that my microsd is labelled WAYNOSVMFON. You can do this with gparted. Note that the microsd is formatted as vfat. Debian has some issues auto-mounting vfat partitions, so you may need to manually mount it.

sudo mount /dev/sdxx /mnt

where xx is the device name (hint: use sudo blkid to get that)

You will notice that when you use the media player, that a file in (yup, remember this is windows) is created called:

Virgin Mobile Music Key File

Virgin Mobile Music Key File


The file seems to contain some random 4 digit number.

You may also notice a folder called “music” That’s NOT where you put the music. BUT, you will find the file: playlist.mdb Yup, that’s a Microsoft Database file.

Oops! Added an SONG you no longer want? Want to make it disappear? Sort of easy. This is how you do it from the phone itself.

1. Select the LEFT Menu button.

2. Go to Tools and Settings.

3. Select Tools.

4. Mass Storage.

5. File Manager.

6. Memory Card

7. Downloads folder.

8. Open the Folder that your music is in, then the sub-folder within that contains the song you to delete, and finally the song. Nope it will NOT let you just delete the folder, if it contains files. You must delete the contents of the folder, one at a time.

9. Options Button (right button)

10. Delete

Enjoy your music!



How to convert a dvd video for a Sandisk Sansa Fuse Player using Linux


Original post here.

The basic idea of how to convert a video for the Sansa Fuse Mp3/Video player is simple. What’s not so simple is directions.

1. You will need to make sure you Sansa Fuse is set correctly. Set it to MSC Mode.

2. If not installed already, you will need to install k9copy. You can do this simply by:

sudo apt-get install k9copy

Note this is a KDE application, so it may add the required KDE libraries to make this application work, and this may take some time. As Alton Brown says: “Your patience WILL BE rewarded. Your impatience, will be punished!”

3. Follow the directions give in the post above, to install fuzemux, and video4fuze.

4. Now the k9copy part. To change the settings, bring up k9copy, and find “configure k9copy”

Hit the MPEG-4 encoder and select the vido tab:

It should look like this: Encoder: mencoder

Width: 224 Height: 176

and I arbitrarily set the file size to 500 meg.

k9copy mpeg4 encoder options

Video part done!

5. Now to the audio. Select the Audio tab (still under MPEG-4) — codec is mp3 (lame) and bitrate: 128. The gain was preset to 7 (I did NOT change this)

It should look like this:

k9copy mpeg4 audio settings

6. If you have never used k9copy, it can be a bit intimidating. What you want to do, is to OPEN the DVD. All the title sets will be presented: (make sure you check ALL the title sets)

k9copy title set

Set you input/and output as shown in the image above. Your name is going to be different then: “SOUTH_PACIFIC”

7. Hit the COPY button, and then go do you favourite 30 minute activity: walking, biking, television, reading. You know: something other then watching k9copy work!

It will create an output file called .avi in your home directory.


8. While the directions say to start video4fuze on the command line, in reality, that didn’t work for me. Why? Because at least in Ubuntu 10.10 (64 bit), it installs it into /usr/share/video4fuze

And while that’s NOT in-correct, it’s probably NOT in your path either.

Two choices:

either manually navigate to the directory

cd /usr/share/video4fuze


create a launcher:

Video 4 Fuze Launcher

You will note, that this is a Python Script.

so to run it: python /usr/share/video4fuze/video4fuze.pyw

And the screen pops up. Select the input file. The output file will be called, /home/username/input_file2_fuze.avi

video 4 fuze setup

You will note, that video4fuze – is really a front end for mencoder.

Again, this is NOT fast. So yea, another 30 minute thing.

10. Plug in your Sansa Fuse to your usb port. My Sansa Fuze has 8 G internally, and a 16G external drive. So I put this on the external drive. Videos will be 300 – 500 meg.

You MIGHT need to create a VIDEOS folder on the Sansa Fuze. (mkdir or nautilus will do this).

11. Copy and Paste time. Simply copy the /home/username/input_file2_fuze.avi file video4fuze created to your mp3 player VIDEOS folder. This will take some time, depending on how fast your ram is. Mine isn’t so, this time a 15 minute break. (Who said any of this was fast?)

12. When it’s done copying:


sync to flush the buffers to disc.

13. Unplug the usb cable, let the fuze refresh, and enjoy!



Getting a Logitech USB headset to work with Skype and Debian on an Acer Netbook


Oh man. Some of the crazy solutions I found on the web. Fudgeting with .asoundrc files. Arghh.

Very simple fix! Get the latest Debian Skype version.

Plug in your Logitech USB Headset.

RIGHT Click on the Skype icon in the TASKBAR (not the desktop icon) – the one with a green check.

Skype Green Icon in the Notification Area

and highlight options. LEFT click on that, and find Sound Devices and “make it so:”

Skype Select Logitech USB Headset

Tada! Easy fix, after 2 days of schlepping!



How to get Linux to recognize your mp3 player


This is a question I see repeatedly on #ubuntu (

The answer is simple, yet complex.

Most mp3 players are setup to use Windows Media Transport Protocol (MTP). That works great if you use Windows.

But how do you get it to work with Linux? The easy way is to change the usb mode on your mp3 player from MTP, to MSC mode. (USB mass-storage class device). That will make the mp3 player look like a usb flash drive. Then it’s a simple matter of drag and drop.

The tricky part, is figuring out HOW to change this setting on your device. I don’t know if the Apple Ipod will do this.

I have a Sandisk Sansa Fuse mp3 player, and it works well with Linux.

To change to msc mode on that I did:

1. Settings

2. System Settings

3. USB Mode

4. Change to MSC!

Power off. Turn it on, plug it in, and it will now look like a USB Flash Drive.

When you are done writing to your mp3 player, flash drive, flash media (sdhc), it’s a good idea to ensure all the data is written. Go to a terminal and enter:


The sync command, flushes all the buffers and writes them to the devices. This ensures that all data is written to a device. It’s a good practice go get into, especially when dealing with flash drives, mp3 players, or flash media (sdhc camera cards).

I haven’t quite figured out how to convert videos. Yet! When I do, I’ll let you know!

As, always YMMV applies.



How to convert or play midi files to wav files in Ubuntu/Debian


Courtesy Loni:

Timidity will play midi files quite nicely, and also output to a variety of formats. To play and output to a wav file:

timidity mymusic.mid -Ow -o mymusic.wav

UPPERCASE O (OH!) = output mode, lowercase ‘w’ (for wav file), then
lowercase o (oh) = output filename.

There are other options available too, specifying stereo/mono output, and much more. timidity -h is quite readable, the man page is more convoluted.

For stereo wav:

timidity mymusic.mid -OwS -o mymusic.wav

(be careful of the case of both the O’s (OH’s!) and the options for the mode O (uppercase). wav format = ‘w’ (lower), stereo = ‘S’ (upper)

Easily scriptable as something akin to:
(in your midi subdirectory, of course)

for f in *.mid; do
timidity "$f" -Ow -o "${f%.mid}.wav"

(umm, the %.mid bit only works with bash > v7.00)

I suppose I should do it pre-bash 7 too:

for f in *.mid; do
timidity "$f" -Ow -o "$(basename $f .mid).wav"

(not as pretty as the former, but still works!)

Hope this helps


Thanks Loni


installing ubuntu-restricted-extras under wubi


From: Jose B 28 April at 01:49

When installing Linux on your Windows machine using Wubi, your Linux installation will not have access through the synaptic package manager to the Ubuntu Restricted Extras; also you will not be able to install them through the web page either.

What I did to get around this is:

1. I opened the terminal (Applications-Accessories-Terminal)
2. At the prompt type: $ sudo aptget ubuntu-restricted-extras
– This will install the restricted extras packages
3. type: sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/
– This will install dvd support to your linux system that was installed through Wubi

Now you will have a fully functional Linux system. This was tried on a Windows 7 machine.


Getting Amarok to work under gnome


1. Okay the first thing we want to do, if not done so all ready is to install the “ubuntu-restricted-extras” using the synaptic package manager.
(System/Administration/Synaptic Package Manger)

2. Once that is done, go to terminal mode and type:
(this is so we can download from the experimental amarok site)

sudo apt-key adv –recv-keys –keyserver 0xf3c48cb3011fa791d74acaac60487016493b3065


sudo apt-key adv –recv-keys –keyserver 493B3065 # all one line!

3. Now we can proceed to the next step — adding a repository.

Go to Synaptic Settings/Repositories/Third Party Software and add:
(this is so we can get the latest beta release: 2.0.90

deb jaunty main

4. Hit “Reload”

5. Exit out of Synaptic.

6. If amarok is running, quit it.

7. Go to terminal mode and type:

sudo apt-get install libxine1-ffmpeg
(this gets the xine mpeg codecs)

sudo apt-get install amarok
(this will install latest version of amarok over the top of what’s already there)

if you get things like:

Unknown media type in type ‘all/all’
Unknown media type in type ‘all/allfiles’
Unknown media type in type ‘uri/mms’
Unknown media type in type ‘uri/mmst’
Unknown media type in type ‘uri/mmsu’
Unknown media type in type ‘uri/pnm’

That’s okay…

8. And if we did our homework right, you should be able to fire up amarok (under gnome) and it should be able to play mp3’s!

9. Side effect of running KDE apps under gnome: it will launch the KDE “cache cleaner” every so often. Known bug. Doesn’t hurt anything, but it’s a known problem, and it is annoying.

10. If you bring up amarok, and it crashes, it’s a beta – quit out and try again. I had to try a few times before it loaded. (audio scrobbler) is a tad flakey — this is a beta. And the equaliser has been removed….