Thursday, March 22, 2007

Successful Music Player in Ubuntu

Finally got a music player to actually play music on my Linux box! WooHoo!

For a while now, ever since I got an iPod shuffle for Christmas (2006) I have been trying to get my Edubuntu installation to be able to play music and manage my iPod. So far all attempts have failed.

Now the issue wasn't getting sound to work, that I know did work but only system sounds and video media players. Gnome's Totem and XFCE's Xfmedia was able to play my music, but they are video players, not music players. Gnome's Rhythmbox, Mono's Banshee and KDE's Amarok couldn't play music and the Listen and Exaile music players aren't in the repository for Dapper (6.06 LTS).

So, what happened? I'm not entirely sure. While looking through the media players I stumbled across a small entry in the Banshee's project website for getting Banshee for Ubuntu Dapper which referred to an alternate repository for more up-to-date Mono builds than Ubuntu's default, the badgerports.

Unfortunately the information on the Banshee website did not work, but they spoke of adding a website to the etc/apt/sources.list and I found much better directions going to the website they mentioned.

Once I ran the update, just like the Banshee website states;

"The above repository will upgrade about anything related to mono that ships with Ubuntu."


and upgrade it did, a lot of them. It didn't even include F-spot or Banshee (both Mono-based programs) which I didn't have installed on my system! Only Mono and Monodevelop were installed.

After upgrading everything, I figured I would give Banshee another shot since it would be the more up-to-date version of the program and the Mono framework. I also included mp3-fluendo (I think) in the upgrade.

Tinkering, I found out I had 2 Music folders and didn't have the RW rights to both of them while the program was looking in one place, and the currently imported files were looking in another and ... well it was just a mess.

I Removed the songs listed in Banshee and practically by accident I dragged my Music folder into the Banshee song list window and it imported them!

Not only did it import everything in that directory and sub-directories, but this time I could actually PLAY them! I'm not sure if this was the issue all along or not, but now I have my current music collection playable on my computer. Next step: the iPod.

Previously, Banshee never detected my iPod at all, let alone provide the ability to synchronize with it (Rhythmbox and Amarok detected the iPod at least). This time it detected it with no problems.

Seeing the option to export my music from my iPod onto my hard drive I figured I'd give it a try and was surprised that it worked!

To clean things up I deleted the entire music collection on the hard drive and re-exported everything from my iPod. This worked beautifully, and since the iPod has the most complete music collection I have digitized at this time it was a great way to clean things up!

Not only that, but as Banshee was playing the music I started seeing the album covers appearing for each song! Cool!

I ran out of time before I could finish testing, by adding a new CD to the music collection and then try and update the iPod but with the recent success I feel pretty good about this working.