Music

AirPlay support for Logitech Squeezebox devices

On Friday 8th April, ShairPort was released. Containing the private key from a reverse-engineered Apple AirPort Express, this allows unlicensed/homebrew devices to act as AirPlay target speakers – e.g. allows iTunes, iPods, iPads, and iPhones to use them as an output device.

Immediately, the obvious thought is to add AirPlay support to Logitech/Slim Devices’ Squeezebox Server software so that the excellent Squeezebox devices can be used as remote speakers.

(As an aside, I’ve had my 3rd generation Squeezeboxsince they were introduced in 2005, and it is without the highest quality and most used gadget I have, still going strong and as useful as ever more than five years later!)

After a few false-starts trying to configure ALSA to record the digital output of the host’s soundcard, the latest release of ShairPort provides a perfect solution to lossless audio reproduction, without even needing a soundcard.

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xkcd: We Didn’t Start The Fire?

Does the alt text in today’s xkcd remind anyone else of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire”?

… a less painfully eighties (is there any music-video cliché not used in this video?) lyrics-only version can be viewed here instead.

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Jónsi from Sigur Rós

… on Jo Whiley’s Live Lounge.

“Go Do” starts at 5:38, and the Live Lounge cover track at 15:41.

More from Jónsi here.

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New music…

Last night on Radio One, Zane Lowe played an interesting track from a Folk band named “Mumford & Sons“.

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Nude

… and now that I’ve got your attention, may I present “Nude/Big Ideas (Don’t Get Any)” by Radiohead in all its 8-bit(!) glory.

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Music management

So, you’ve encoded all of your CDs (still illegal in the UK) onto your computer, or even a storage array, and you realise that the filenames don’t always match the track title.

 

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Insecurity and the Internet

As I mentioned before, I recently started playing with a Slim Devices Squeezebox and the SlimServer software that goes with it.

 

This I’m hugely impressed with – not only because it’s written in platform-neutral perl (and thus, just worked out of the box with my IRIX64 Octane. The IRIX O2 that I’m running it from now took a little hacking – but that’s perl’s fault rather than Slim Devices).

 

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Usability guidelines

Carole: “Those headphones can be a pain in the arse!”
Richard: “If they’re a pain in the arse, Carole, you’re probably not wearing them in the right place

Carole: “Glasses can be a pain in the arse too…”
Richard: “I refer you to my previous comment about headphones!

Lemmy killed Dave Grohl’s microphone!

At the Foo Fighters gig in Menchester on Sunday, Dave Grohl was running through the acts who performed at Hyde Park the night before:

 

… “and finally, the legendary Mot<crackle>rhe<spark>”
<microphone dies>

 

Dave was not amused 😉

Weekend in Manchester

On Saturday morning I drove up to Manchester with my younger brother Gareth, where we met up with my parents (who’d also driven from Cambridge) and my brother Peter and Heather (down from Chorley) at the Marriott Worsley Park Hotel and Country Club. Whilst Dad, Peter, and Gareth “played golf” (read: “lost lots of golf balls to overgrown areas and water traps”) everyone else walked around the grounds.

 

To be honest, I’ve never really been one for golf. To illustrate one of my major bugbears: After having paid for the game, some little Hitler decided that Gareth’s shoes weren’t suitable (flat bottomed trainers, unsuitable?); that his shorts were too long and had a stripe down the sides(?); and wouldn’t let him play without getting changed. This is despite clearly being with Peter and my Dad, who were kitted out, to a large degree, with “proper” golfing gear. To me this is, in a nutshell, exactly what is wrong with golf. “A good walk ruined“, indeed.

 

Later that evening we had a wonderful gormet meal to celebrate the May Gurney share issue, and the following morning we all used the hotel’s swimming pool. For me, this was a revelation, since it’s the first time I’ve been to a pool since I had Laser Surgery on my eyes (about 3 weeks ago now) – and so it’s the first time in probably a decade that I’ve been able to see in a pool without needing glasses! The Sauna and Steam Room were a bit much for me, though – they made my eyes feel prickly, so I left pretty much as soon as I came through the door 😉

 

Needless to say, a fantastic time was had by all (even if Gareth was understandably a little put out during his golfing).