Archive for July, 2008

Jul 02 2008

Re: I Wanna Rock

Published by under Personal,Tech

I talked before about looking for an mp3/media player that fit my needs. Well, after a great deal of waffling over solutions since I couldn’t find thee perfect solution, it broke down like this. The only device that met my wants (play mp3, aac, ogg and have support for linux) was a cowon video player that happened to support a great deal of file formats. But, as it was intended as more of a video solution, it was larger than I need both in terms of memory (like 30 GB) and physically to support it’s ginormous (for a portable media player, anyway) screen. Along with that was attached a price tag that was a bit more than what I wanted too at around $300 for the smallest of the models.

So I kept looking hoping some perfect solution would pop up. But as life and technology isn’t perfect, nothing did. If I was gonna have to make a file format concession, I figured I might as well make 2, right? I mean, how much more difficult is it to mass convert 400 songs than it is 200 songs? In the end, I decided that bang for the buck right now and still had reasonable user reviews was the Sansa View player. It’s pretty cheap (you can find it for around $120 pretty easily) and had reasonable reviews from users for devices in that price range. Plus it had linux support right?

Ok, so I was a bit off on that point. The previous model SanDisk had out, the Sansa E200 series had well documented good support of linux. For a company with a history of that, I figured it carried through. Well, I was wrong. At least not out of the box. The 2 days of shipping from Amazon gave me time to scurry and find a solution.

The solution didn’t actually turn out to be that bad. As I found out on this blog, the solution wasn’t that bad at all under ubuntu. All it really took was… well nothing. The one package (libmtp) I needed to allow amarok to sync to my newly acquired toy was already installed by default and was the latest stable version too (a problem I’ve had with certain less than typical packages with ubuntu).

Ok, so I got it hooked up, the remaining portion was user issues. First issue I had was an issue where I thought it wasn’t connecting. The connected wheel view popped up on the View spinning around which seemed a good sign to me, and then went to the normal menu view of the device. Was this normal? I didn’t know since I had only had it in my possession a mere hour. Well, it didn’t connect, I couldn’t get amarok to recognize it and worse, I couldn’t get the mpt-detect command to find it either. After many minutes of googling, trying futile tasks and building frustration to something that should be easy, I clicked a few buttons and once again got the spinning connection wheel on the View. Happy, happy, joy, joy – yes, it was finally working. So had I actually been familiar with the device, I anticipate my period of getting it to work would have been close to nil.

Now it seems to just be matter of getting used to using the connection and disconnection options in the device tab in amarok, and I should have little issues from here on out. With it being about 2 years since I’ve been listening to podcasts, I was eager to get to striking up a few of the ones I had enjoyed in the past. In fact, it had been so long, I struggled to even remember a fraction of the shows I used to listen too. It’s almost like starting fresh. Finding new stuff to listen to all over again.

I still haven’t converted my music yet and may do that over the weekend as I’m stuck at the inlaws over the holiday weekend, but for now, I’m just happy to have something I’ve missed back again. It should make the hours at work pass a bit quicker as well.

Rake race update: Apparently due to some confusion, I’m not on the first update for the rake race as I thought the hands I put in on late June 30th were counting to my July totals. But a good change is that it seems they are paying the top 50 players and not 30, so I have an all but certain chance of at least getting something extra.


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