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Hands on: Let the Linux music play

Posted by egovindia on July 26, 2006

Hands on: Let the Linux music play

How to install the open-source Squeezebox, and use Amarok to manage your tunes

Barry Shilliday, Personal Computer World 24 Jul 2006

 

http://www.computeractive.co.uk/personal-computer-world/features/2160887/let-linux-music-play

With digital music formats becoming ever more popular, the demand for different ways to play music files has also escalated.

The obvious choice is a personal player, something like an Apple Ipod; a less obvious choice is the Squeezebox from Slim Devices.

This small, perfectly formed unit plugs into a normal hi-fi system and receives music streamed over a wired or wireless network, allowing you to play music stored on a computer. It has received a good deal of positive press.

Completely open source
So what has this device got to do with Linux or Unix? Perhaps a unique feature of the Squeezebox is that the server software, which controls the device and streams music to it, is completely open source; it is released under the common GPL (Gnu Public Licence), and it works just as well on a Linux (or Unix) system as it does on Windows.

The software is written entirely in Perl, which is supplied on every non-specialised Linux distribution as standard. The Squeezebox can itself decode mp3, wmv and Flac files in its hardware.

For other formats, such as Ogg Vorbis or aac, the computer transparently performs the decoding and streams the result in Flac format (which is compressed without losing any quality).

Setting up Dapper Drake
Since we have been looking at Ubuntu Linux a lot this year, this month I’ll show you how to set up the software on Dapper Drake, the latest version of Ubuntu, which was released in June.

These instructions should apply equally to earlier versions. Unfortunately Slim Devices doesn’t yet supply a packaged version of the server for Ubuntu, although hopefully this will change with the release of the next version of the server.

It means doing a manual install, but it isn’t particularly difficult. To start with, download the current version: download the Perl source code (in tar.gz format). Extract this into your home directory:

$ tar xfvz SlimServer_v6.2.2.tar.gz

$ mv SlimServer_v6.2.2 slimserver

 

 

 

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