What’s with PulseAudio?

After my upgrade to OpenSUSE 11.2, I noticed that VLC was again stuttering when playing videos. A quick check revealed, that the upgrade re-installed the PulseAudio system. Removing all Pulse related stuff fixed the problem. I wonder why, oh why on earth all the sound servers under Linux suck? And why are they default for every installation, if they don’t work as expected? I still own a nice SoundBlaster Live, which does sound mixing in hardware, which means I do not even need a sound server, since the card can expect many different audio streams from many applications. Anyway, please, dear sound server developers: If you need to write such a beast of a tool, make it work as expected!

Using YMP URLs from the command line

I just upgraded my home machine to OpenSUSE 11.2, and needed a few programs from secondary repositories. SUSE comes with those nice YMP URLs, which allow one-click installation of programs. However, after my change to using sudo from a few weeks back, this does not work anymore. The One Click Installer does not seem to be compatible with sudo yet. So I now found a workaround, by just using the shell to do the same. E.g. if you wanted to install Amarok 2.2, which does not come with SUSE 11.2, you would do:

/sbin/OCICLI http://software.opensuse.org/ymp/KDE:Backports/openSUSE_11.2/amarok.ymp

Nice, isn’t it?

How to scrobble vinyl records

I like to listen to music. Mostly MP3, CD, and my all-time favourite: records. Yeah, those big, black 12″ monsters from your youth. Or maybe you don’t even remember those…?

It also happens that I like to scrobble my music. What’s scrobbling you ask? Easy: It means to track what you have been listening to, using the Audioscrobbling service of last.fm. This gives me the advantage of knowing what I listened to last week, getting recommendations on new music, and such stuff. This automatically happens when I listen using Amarok, Cog or some iPod.
But what do I do with my vinyl records? Turns out, that is simple as well. Just use Scrymble, which is available here: http://ansiform.afraid.org/scrymble/
Requirements are: Firefox, Greasemonkey and the scrymble script. I usually use Konqueror or Safari, but it’s ok to have Firefox around for purposes like this. After the installation of Scrymble, you can go to RYM (http://rateyourmusic.com/) to scrobble any album listed there, either in real time, or post auditem.
PS: I actually made up the auditem. Anybody here who knows the correct form? 🙂