Tag Archives: audio

Parlatype is an Ace Audio Transcription App for Linux

Whether you’re a student needing to take notes from a lecture you recorded or a blogger trying to transcribe an audio interview, the following little GNOME app can help. Turning an audio recording into text format is a time-consuming and sometimes tedious affair, with endless stop/starts as you hurriedly attempt to keep pace with the […]

This post, Parlatype is an Ace Audio Transcription App for Linux, was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

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Yup, This is The Best Sound Converter for Ubuntu

sound converter for ubuntuThough I tend to stream music from the cloud when at my desktop PC, I prefer to download and play local audio files when listening to podcasts and audio books on the move. Earlier this week I needed convert a stack of old audio books from the .m4a format to a more Android-friendly format like .mp3 — and  SoundConverter did what I needed effortlessly. Sound Converter […]

This post, Yup, This is The Best Sound Converter for Ubuntu, was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

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How To Stream Audio To A Chromecast Or DLNA / UPnP Device From Linux (Using pulseaudio-dnla)

pulseaudio-dlna is a lightweight streaming server that makes it easy to stream audio from a Linux computer that uses PulseAudio, to a DLNA / UPnP or Chromecast device in the same network.
The tool discovers all UPnP / DLNA / Chromecast renderers in the network and adds them as sinks to PulseAudio. You can then either select the sinks from the sound settings, or use pavucontrol to control which applications can stream to the UPnP / DLNA or Chromecast device. 
Let’s get started with installing and using pulseaudio-dlna.
For Ubuntu 16.04, 15.10 and 14.04, Linux Mint 17.x and derivatives, pulseaudio-dlna can be installed from a PPA. To add the PPA and install pluseaudio-dlna, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:qos/pulseaudio-dlna
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install pulseaudio-dlna

For how to install it in other Linux distributions, see the pulseaudio-dnla instructions.

Now, to run it, type the following in a terminal:


On the other end, make sure the DLNA / UPnP or Chromecast device is powered on.
Next, open the system sound settings. In Ubuntu (Unity), from the Sound Menu, select Sound Settings and your DLNA / UPnP and/or Chromecast device should show up in the output list:

Select the device you want to stream to and… that’s it (well, for DLNA / UPnP devices, you may need to accept the connection – a popup should be displayed on the device screen; Chromecast should start streaming immediately).
In my test under Ubuntu 16.04, the sound was perfect while using the default pulseaudio-dlna settings however, the sound was distorted when streaming to a Chromecast. To get it to work properly, I ran pulseaudio-dlna with mp3 as the codec and ffmpeg as the encoder backend:
pulseaudio-dlna --codec mp3 --encoder-backend=ffmpeg

Of course, this was the case for me, and it might not be needed in other cases.

Note: to be able to use ffmpeg as the encoder backend, you’ll need to install it. It’s available in the official Ubuntu 15.10 and 16.04 repositories (so to install it, use: “sudo apt-get install ffmpeg”) however, it’s not for Ubuntu 14.04.

For Ubuntu 14.04, you can search for a PPA that provides ffmpeg (use e.g. Y PPA Manager to search in Launchpad PPAs) – here’s one that has ffmpeg backported from a newer Ubuntu version, but note that I didn’t test it -, or install it from source.

pulseaudio-dlna allows changing the server port, force auto reconnect, set the cover mode (what’s displayed on the DLNA / Chromecast device) and much more. To see all the available pulseaudio-dlna options, type:
pulseaudio-dlna --help

If you want to send single audio streams to the device, you can use pavucontrol. To install it in Ubuntu, use the following command:
sudo apt-get install pavucontrol

Then launch pavucontrol (it shows up as PulseAudio Volume Control in the menu / Dash) and on the Playback tab, change the stream to the DNLA / Chromecast device, only for the apps you want to use for streaming. As an example, here’s Audacious set to stream to a Chromecast device:

For more information about pulseaudio-dlna, bug reports, etc., see its GitHub page.

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greg: You’re so vain

Everyone named “Greg” out there in the world can now sit up straight and imagine this little program is named in their honor.


I was introduced to greg after yesterday’s note about podcastxdl, and in spite of its lack of color and command-action-target input style, I think I like it better than the latter.

Of course, that screenshot isn’t very interesting, but what you see there is a lot of the way greg works. It maintains a list of podcasts and addresses, and you can wrangle them with fairly straightforward actions.

greg add adds to that list. greg remove drops it off, after you confirm it. greg check sees if anything is updated, and greg sync synchronizes your local folder with what’s available online. Like I said, it’s fairly straightforward.

I don’t see anything offhand that disappoints me about greg. I ran into no errors except when I fed it an invalid link, and it warned me that it wasn’t going to work. And aside from the lack of color and lack of an “interface,” it seems to work perfectly without my empty-headed suggestions.

So there’s greg, which we can add to the meager list of podcast aggregators for the console. Now do you see it? “greg”? “aggregator”? Aha. … 😉

Tagged: audio, download, manager, player, podcast

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podcastxdl: One-shot downloads for your ears

There are not many podcast tools I can mention, in the years spent spinning through console-based software. In fact, I can think of only about four. But here’s one you can add to your list, if you’re keeping one: PodcastXDL.

2015-04-19-6m47421-podcastxdl 2015-04-19-6m47421-podcastxdl-02

PodcastXDL works in a similar fashion to podget, which you might remember from a looong time ago. Give PodcastXDL a url and a file type, and it should parse through the stream and pull down everything that matches.

It can also spit out links, meaning you can use PodcastXDL to supply links to files, rather than download them. There are also command-line options to start or stop at specific points in a feed, which might be helpful for cropping out older files.

I’ll be honest and say I had a few difficulties working with PodcastXDL, most notably that it didn’t accept my target download directory. If you run into issues with PodcastXDL and nothing seems to be arriving, I would suggest leaving off any -d argument.

Other than that small hiccup, PodcastXDL did what it promised, and I ran into no major issues. It has good color, plenty of options and has seen updates within the past month or so, if you shy away from dated software.

If you need something quick and one-shot for podcast downloads, this could work for you and is better looking than podget was. If you’re looking for something more comprehensive and with more of an interface, stick with podbeuter.

Tagged: audio, download, manager, player, podcast

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mpfc: Doing everything so right

Once I knew what mpfc stood for, it made perfect sense — it is, after all, a music player for the console.

2015-04-09-lr-0xtbe-mpfc-01 2015-04-09-lr-0xtbe-mpfc-02 2015-04-09-lr-0xtbe-mpfc-03

And a very nicely done music player too, I might add. You can learn how to handle 90 percent of mpfc within the first 15 seconds of starting it, which is a delightful thing.

The opening screen will cue you to use the question mark for help screens at any point in time, and the available keys are listed with their function in a popup window.

mpfc has a playlist-and-browser approach that might remind you of the good old days of cplay. Pressing “B” puts you into a file navigation mode, and highlighting a file is done with the Insert key — much like Midnight Commander.

Once you have selected a file or two, add it to the playlist with the “a” key, or swap out the playlist for your current selections with the “r” key (for “replace”). It’s very intuitive, and very easy to master.

The playback screen has balance controls, volume indicators, an animated progress indicator and a live-update status display for bitrate and so forth. And as you open popups, a tab bar along the bottom shows your “breadcrumb trail,” in case you get yourself lost in layers of windows. 🙄

And as you can see … glorious, glorious color. :mrgreen:

I really can’t find anything bad to say about mpfc; if I had any warnings or advice, they would boil down to a note that mpfc relies on gstreamer for playback, and to remember that your music filetype will require certain support for gstreamer. It’s a slightly different model than what most players use, but I find no fault.

mpfc is in AUR, but not in Debian. The home page is on Google Code, so if you like it and want to preserve it, you probably should export it to Github so it doesn’t disappear when Google Code shuts down in January.

Oh, I almost forgot — a gold star for mpfc, for doing everything so right: :star: Enjoy! 🙂

Tagged: audio, client, music, player

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groove-dl: Jumping the shark

I was tempted to skip over groove-dl because my list of stream ripper tools is starting to devolve into a tool-per-service array, and when things become discrete and overly precise, I start to fall toward the same rules that say, “no esoteric codec playback tools.”


I can’t complain too loudly though, because things like gplayer and soma are past titles that were more or less constrained to one site or service, and suddenly chopping off a portion of The List wouldn’t be fair.

But it wouldn’t be a terrible disservice, since most of what I was able to discover about groove-dl is encapsulated in that screenshot. Follow the command with a search string, and groove-dl will return a list of matches and the option to download a song.

Very straightforward, but also very rudimentary. Beyond the first 10 results, there’s no apparent way to continue through search. groove-dl itself doesn’t have any command flags that I could find; in fact, using -h or --help just pushed those strings through as search terms. Entering a blank line just brings groove-dl to a halt. Entering an invalid character causes a python error message. And yet entering a number beyond the list (like 12 or something) starts a download of some unidentified tune that matched your search, but wasn’t shown on screen. Go figure. :

groove-dl will allow you to pick multiple targets though, and does use a generic but informative download progress bar to follow your selections. I can’t complain about that. And I see that there is a graphical interface, and it may be that there are more functions available to you from that rendition, than in the text-only interface.

But overall, with such a narrow focus and a narrow field of options and wide array of ways to confound it, I think there might be other, better utilities around for pulling tracks from Grooveshark.

groove-dl is in AUR but not Debian. If you try to install it, you’ll also need python-httplib2, which wasn’t included in the PKGBUILD. Happy grooving. 😉

Tagged: audio, cloud, download, manager, music

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emms: Your one-stop text editor, music player and operating system

I suppose it had to come to this:


It’s emms. It’s emacs, playing music. Because emacs can check your e-mail, run a spreadsheet, chat with your friends, read your newsfeeds and now play your music.

Because it’s emacs, and that’s what it does — everything. 😉

I will not speak ill of emms since it’s doing exactly what it claims it will do. But I will hint that mplayer is running in the background while emms “plays,” which says to me that the heavy lifting is accomplished elsewhere. (I believe it can use other player tools too.)

It does manage playlists and control the actual playback, so I give it credit for that, and doing it from within another application. Given that you can navigate emacs to start with (note for future self: M-x then emms-play-directory 😉 ), it shouldn’t be difficult to handle.

And emms is not terrifically new, and is in both Arch proper and Debian.

It’s interesting that by this point, if you could get all five or six of those other tools working, you’d have an entire “desktop” ecosystem in place, and in ostensibly riding upon one program. And if you can rig your whole machine to run emacs on the kernel, you’re golden.

Like I always say though, I’m not enough of a fan of emacs (or its main competitor, which shall go unnamed) to see this as much more than a nifty gimmick. If you’re already an emacs user, you might be able to slim your list of applications by one or two, if you adopt it. Have fun. 😉

P.S.: Thanks to Greg for pointing it out. 🙂

Tagged: audio, client, music, player

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