Posts Tagged ‘Audacity’

My software stack revisited – (Multi)media and entertainment

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

I am probably abusing the English language with this use of the word multimedia, but I just couldn’t find any better way of describing audio, video and images in a word… sorry :P


For playback I mostly use mplayer, but for some reason or other, keep VLC around, although I can’t really explain why.

I’ve successfully used k9copy to make backups of my DVD-collection, works great :)


Ok, so you know I like living on the command line, right? So it won’t come as a surprise to you when I say that I used to use cplay? I still keep it around, it really is quite nifty, but the lack of an easy (and documented) way of interacting with it externally (say, through keyboard shortcuts) made me finally look elsewhere (having to jump to a tag in order to pause the music when the phone rings isn’t fun).

So when I discovered moc (Music On Console) I was pleased. I could script it to my heart’s delight. Even better: it doesn’t need its curses-based UI to function, so I only bring it up if I want to edit the playlist, hit q when I’m done, and kill the terminal, and the music keeps flowing.

And for converting videos or audio between formats (or extracting the audio from a video) ffmpeg is the tool to do the job.

For finer editing of audio files, I use Audacity.


For image viewing, I use eog and geeqie, which does a good job of complementing each other.

And although not a regular activity of mine, for a small project I was doing in my spare time recently I got the chance to use both Gimp and Imagemagick.

I’ll see to it tonight that I’ve used Inkscape more than three times so that I can honestly put it on the list as well, it deserves to be there.


I find astronomy quite fascinating, and although that is on a very amateurish (to the point that I haven’t bought a telescope or anything yet) level, Stellarium is a superb software.

festival, a text-to-speech synthesiser, might not at first glance seem all that entertaining, but it can indeed be, not to mention I actually got use for the accompanying package text2wave when setting up notifications for my instant messenger (audible hints that specific people have come online).

No list outlining entertainment would be complete without a mention about games and since I do, from time to time, need to get my mind off things, games provide the perfect distraction.

The bsd-games package contains a couple of CLI apps, both semi-useful stuff, and some games. Wump is my favorite game from that package, mostly due to fond memories from ITU.

Games are otherwise still one of the big problems for GNU/Linux although indie-developers like the ones who come together in the Humble Indie Bundle, are making good progress in making gaming platform-independent.

Finally I find programming quite entertaining, but that will be the topic for the next post, so I’ll end things here.


A friend just called me Google…

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

I don’t know how to respond to that. I guess it is a great compliment, but aren’t all people walking, breathing knowledge-bases (henceforth kb)? Sure, some are more focused on a narrow field, while some have a broad, but shallow, kb. To be honest I am not especially thrilled with my performance in yesterdays “query”, as it took my friend two queries to get a satisfactory answer.

His friend needed to record a music stream, preferably free software. “Streamripper” was my immediate response. Or possibly, once I learned that it was a stream originating from MySpace. That didn’t pan out.

So he reformulated his problem space (something I should have done as well) and next wondered whether or not it wouldn’t be possible to create an application which would “rip” the sound stream as it was sent to the loudspeakers, and redirect it to the microphone port. Then a commonly available recording program could just handle the rest from there on out. “Like Audacity then?” was my immediate answer (with a small delay as I had to Google the link to that page). And that rewarded me with the comment “Damn, you’re Google” (ok, the real comment was in Swedish, but this is close enough)

It bugs me that I hadn’t made the connection of saving audio-streams to “ripping” the internal audio-stream before this. But I guess this particular connection has been made in my head now (hopefully).