Music Streaming with MiniDLNA and foobar2000

Posted by Eric Stein - January 30, 2011 CE @ 21:54:21 UTC
I recently build a new machine for gaming, running Windows 7. Since I'll be dual booting it, I am looking to install as little as possible onto the Windows partition. To this end, I sought a way to stream the music backups I store on my home server to any machine in the apartment.

There are a few routes: sharing files, or streaming servers. Sharing files is a bit clumsy as some devices like set-top boxes support streaming better. Of all the streaming protocols, DLNA seems to be the top contender these days: most home A/V systems seem to support it, and all popular OSes seem to have support either built in or in some of the popular music software. I believe iTunes uses it natively.

MiniDLNA

I looked up a few lists of DLNA streaming servers and found that there are quite a few servers out there. I chose from DLNA media servers, by looking over the webpages for the products. To be honest I just chose the one that seemed less commercial, and it worked out. Installation of MiniDLNA was quick and easy on my Gentoo machine: all I had to do was edit the config file to point it at the directory where my music is stored and ensure the settings were for read-only use.

foobar2000 + UPnP/DLNA Renderer, Server, Control Point

For the last few years I'd heard that foobar2000 was one of the best minimal music players for Windows, so it's what I went for first. I found a helpful plugin by bubblegum called UPnP/DLNA Renderer, Server, Control PoinUPnP/DLNA Renderer, Server, Control Point that does the trick: I use the UPnP browser to select music and stream it.

But Wait, There's More!

Not quite yet, but there is promise in the ability to do the same from RhythmBox on Linux. I'll be trying that out to stream when not at home, and eventually in my Linux dual boot on this machine.
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My New Years Resolution: No New Years Resolutions

Posted by Eric Stein - January 2, 2011 CE @ 01:30:55 UTC
I'm not making any new years resolutions this year, not with any particular ends in mind. I read this post about what makes lasting change a few hours ago and it rings true with me.

I'm going to try to get out of my head when I'm not being happy and whenever I find myself finding excuses to just do the same thing as always, look at what would actually make a difference instead.

Carpe annum!
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Inbox Zero

Posted by Eric Stein - December 29, 2010 CE @ 20:36:44 UTC
When you've got a pile of email coming in all the time, some of which can be immediately acted on and some can't, you may find yourself with a feeling of paralysis when you look at your inbox with 17 unread messages from a week ago and 4,724 from the last few years (read). If you feel it, keep reading.

Reclaim Your Inbox

There's a recent trend among Dyn employees, particularly in support, to try something called "Inbox Zero." Today I'd heard it enough times that I had to find out what it was. I asked Alan and he sent me this hour long video that I started watching in the background while scraping through my mail in the morning hours.

Strangely, today became the biggest day in getting lots of email demanding my attention and action I've had in months, all while I was learning about Inbox Zero. The idea is to have nothing in your inbox. This is surprisingly easy to achieve.

I got a few additional tips from Alan.

It only took about an hour to sort through my mail and get it filed in such a way that I can now log into my email and see only things that I haven't seen and I need to act on. It's calming and I'm more productive.
Last Edited February 7, 2011 CE @ 06:40:07 UTC
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Twitter Stole Your Diary

Posted by Eric Stein - December 19, 2010 CE @ 05:17:11 UTC
If you're an avid user of Twitter, like me, you may have noticed that you don't write a journal anymore. Twitter has replaced your diary; you may find yourself viewing your life through the lens of twitter. There: now if you're going to disagree with me really loudly, you've probably gotten it out of the way already.

So?

There's a problem with this, a problem you may not realize. Unless you're Tucker Max, you may actually have moments and thoughts that you don't want to shout to the world, or even your friends. The problem isn't privacy, though. The problem is that once you start using Twitter to chronicle your life, you might just not write about private things. Your journal isn't a confessor and a moment of reflection anymore; you've forgotten you used to write in it.

But..

You don't use Twitter, you say? This really applies to any social networking platform. If it still doesn't apply, this post isn't about you. This post is about the people who forgot their journal.
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I'm Psyched for this 0.1.5 Release, Guys

Posted by Eric Stein - December 14, 2010 CE @ 19:46:54 UTC
I've been actually doing my TODOs a lot more reliably lately. This means that my Psyched instance on my phone ends up with a ton of things filling up the interface that are already checked off. I got tired of this; now Psyched has a feature for hiding completed tasks. It's also got a few other minor UI improvements.

Check out the Psyched page for the release!
Last Edited December 17, 2010 CE @ 05:56:28 UTC
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When Life Gives You Lemons...

Posted by Eric Stein - December 12, 2010 CE @ 23:21:14 UTC
I'm currently in Atherton, CA at my friend Katy's place for a bit. Katy and Casey had a joint birthday party; party construction was under way. Since they just moved into this new (quite awesome) house, they hadn't quite figured out what to do with the lemon tree yet. It produces a wide variety of insane lemons (some of them are small, some of them are huge. Some of them look like a wizard turned an evil person into a lemon.

So, I made hard lemonade. First, pick lemons. Next, put lemons (sans peel and seeds) into food processor. Process until in a nice slurry. Strain through a wire mesh to get "homestyle" lemon juice of the freshest kind.

After that it gets quite simple; blend the ingredients as follows together, serve cold with ice.

Serve and enjoy!
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Psyched 0.1.4 Released

Posted by Eric Stein - November 23, 2010 CE @ 05:27:33 UTC

History of Psyched

I've been maintaining my calendar application for over 2 years now. The first release was in January 2008. I use in on my Nokia N900 daily, and on my Linux laptop at work. I plan on soon getting it added to the testing apt repositories for the N900 (freemoe). Right now it's not easy to invoke on Maemo, and requires installing libraries from the N810.

Today's Release

Today's release is nothing special: it just allows entering times and durations a bit more freeform, not requiring colons. This makes it easier to enter on a phone especially. There is a difference that exists here: before, any duration that didn't contain a colon character would be considered a decimal number of minutes; now, the colon is assumed to be entered, and anything to the left of the right-hand 2 digits is hours, not hundreds of minutes.

To download the release, check out the Psyched page.
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Ramirez, Ping my Cellphone!

Posted by Eric Stein - July 27, 2010 CE @ 17:06:20 UTC
So, here's the idea: something that's sort of munin, sort of nagios, and doesn't monitor computers. Instead, Ramirez monitors you. He'll sit in your UNIX machine, doing his damndest to figure out what you're doing and when.

The eventual goal is to be able to take various state feeds (is your phone on the LAN, is the shower on, is the toilet being flushed, is the fridge open, tempearture outside, temperature inside, when did you last tweet, is the A/C on, is the apartment door open) and infer things about you. Having a direct mobile interface is important as well.

Potential Ramirez applications:
The list goes on. So far I've got 1 svn repository, 1 sensor, 2 commits, and 9000 ideas...
Last Edited October 9, 2011 CE @ 04:34:10 UTC
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Top 3 Things at Velocity 2010

Posted by Eric Stein - June 23, 2010 CE @ 16:54:05 UTC
There's a lot of cool stuff to learn at this year's Velocity conference. However, a few things stand out as really popular:
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Lasagne Design

Posted by Eric Stein - May 7, 2010 CE @ 21:26:27 UTC
<Eric> The project I am working on has a data sourcing layer and a plugging into the web layer. I'm going to come at it from both ways at once and meet in the middle
<Eric> who said top down or bottom up were the only options? :D
<Aurynn> Lasagne design GOOD.
<Eric> the opposite of spaghetticode!

Sometimes you don't realize something's a great term until you hear it in context. I'm gonna have to re-use this one.
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