Aug 15

New community support for webarok by fri: Czech translation is available in the new webarok release:

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Aug 01

I just commited translation support for webarok. A new release will follow soon.

Up to now, translations are only available in the phone template. Other templates will follow. I would be interested in which templates are actually used. Do you all stick to the default theme?

Currently there are translations for English and German. For other languages I need your help. Translations are quite simple. The translation is done via a simple ini file:

artist = Artist
album = Album
track = Title
duration = Duration
main = Main
playlist = Playlist
lyrics = Lyrics
search = Search
status = Status
loading = Loading
settings = Settings
opt_autorefresh = Autorefresh options
autorefresh_volume = Autorefresh volume every
autorefresh_progress = Autorefresh progressbar every
autorefresh_status = Autorefresh status every
autorefresh_playlist = Autorefresh playlist every
about = About
the_playlist = Playlist
no_result = No Resuts
search_with_mysql = Search only works with Amarok and enabled external MySQL server.
tracks = Titles
artists = Artists
all = All
trans_search_button = Search
trans_no_lyrics = No Lyrics found. (Click to refresh)
refresh_data_button = Refresh all

That’s it. Translate this to your language, and I will include this in the next release.

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May 28

If chrome does not detect an working internet connection, it is not possible to access localhost or It only shows an error that the name localhost could not be resolved. Think of that: localhost could not be resolved :P

To solve this, start chromium with:

chromium-browser --enanble-ipv6

Then you’ll be able to access localhost again even without being online.


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May 26

MS Office 2007 installer runs out of the box on my Kubuntu 10.04 with default repositories. Word and Excel start without problems, but Powerpoint crashed:
start winecfg config UI (no text file config here :( ) and add a new DLL override. Set riched20 to native, builtin.

No dlls have to be copied, Office installs its own version of riched20.dll, wich is not used by wine until this override is set.

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May 13

A new webarok version saw the light of the day (or the dark of night regarding to the current time….). Nevertheless, it brings some new features:

  • new default theme (see this article)
  • collection search (if a standalone MySQL server is used for the Amarok collection)
  • seeking in the current track
  • show lyrics
  • first VLC support (see this article)
    • this includes a bunch of internal changes to support different dbus enable media players
    • hopefully this will make it easy now to support XBMC and mplayer

See the screenshots, the readme file and download the new version here!

Have fun!

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May 11

webarok is not an Amarok plugin but a standalone application. This has some limitiations since Amarok plugins can use the whole Amarok API and webarok has only access to a very limited set published via dbus. But it has the advantage that it is not limted to Amarok. With little modifications it is able to control every music player having a dbus interface which supports the MPRIS standard.

I implemented support for VLC. As so often, thanks to standards, it is quite simple coding a working proof of concept. But as always the devil is in the details.

For example: the MPRIS standard defines the actions play, pause and stop. Rather straigtforeward one may think. But when the player is paused, Amarok expects a play to continue playing. IfAmarok recieves a second pause, it just does nothing. This was the reason why I implemented the themes in the way that either the play or the pause button is shown, but never both at the same time.

VLC on the contrary expects a second pause to continue playing. If it receives play. it sets the current position mark to the beginning of the file, but does not start playing. For the time being, I changed the templates to show play and pause all the time, but I do not really like this.

But I definitly want to avoid player-specific templates or playerspecific javascript code in the templates. I think I will introduce a new action “unpause” which will be mapped to pause or play in the backend.

Basic VLC support is available in the current svn revision 34. To control VLC via webarok, edit and set the player property to vlc.

VLC needs to be explicitly started with

vlc --control dbus

otherwise the dbus interface won’t be available.

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May 10

A few weeks ago I recieved a message by orakeldel. He worked on webarok and sent me the modifications. The modifications include two really nice tings.

First hecreated a query interface to searchthe Amarok collection. Sadly it only works if you’re not using the embedded (and default) mysql storage but a standalone MySQL server. But if there is already one running for some other reason, I think this is reason enough to use it for Amarok as well. I started using it that way and I didn’t realize any drawbacks.

Additionally he created a very nice new theme optimized for mobile phones. Call webarok with /index?theme=phone to use it.It looks like:

webarok: new phone theme

I really like this theme and I’m thinking about using it as default theme. Maybe without the search tab because most Amarok users won’t have a standalone MySQL server.

Both modifications are available in the latest svn version. A new version will be released during May.

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Feb 07

pyGenreTagger is a python script which grabs tag information from and updates the genre tag of MP3 files. It filters the tags so that in the end hopefully a uselful information is written to the file.

Tag mappings can be defined to unify the genre naming. It has a quite easy to use command line interface and a PyKDE GUI in preparation.
To update the tags, call something like:

     ./ -b /home/simirimia/Musik/Ash -m update

This will update all MP3 files under the base directory /home/simirimia/Musik/Ash.  The output will like like

Indie  <--->  /home/simirimia/Musik/Ash/Free All Angels/03 Burn Baby Burn.mp3
Indie  <--->  /home/simirimia/Musik/Ash/Intergalactic Sonic 7_s/18 There's A Star.mp3
Indie  <--->  /home/simirimia/Musik/Ash/Intergalactic Sonic 7_s/05 A Life Less Oridinary.mp3
Indie  <--->  /home/simirimia/Musik/Ash/Intergalactic Sonic 7_s/01 Burn Baby Burn.mp3

which means that the genre for these 4 tracks was set to Indie.

GenreTagger can be found at:

It is written in Python, so of course Python must be installed, and to write MP3 tags, the mutagen library

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Feb 06

For a while I’ve been building my new mediacenter. In some way I’m a little bit nostalgic, I really love my good old stereo:

My stereo

But I mostly listen to mp3′s instead of CD and I wanted to have a system to watch videos which uses my stereo instead of having a separate sound system.

So I came up with the idea of building a fully-featured media center into  a good old ’90ies CD player case.

The plan is:

  • the mediacenter should optically lintegrate in the existing Marantz stereo
  • possible to watch DVDs (integrated, not as external drive)
  • without any moving/rotating parts (beside DVD drive)
  • litte power consumption
  • use at least some of the front panel buttons (for simple audio player control)
  • having a LCD display
  • having a remote control, prefarble use a mobile phone instead of a classic remote control
  • run some nice mediacenter software
  • using Linux as OS

I decided to start with these pieces:

  • a cheap used Marantz CD-53 I bought on ebay
  • my external LiteOn DVD burner
  • Zotac ION 330 mainboard
  • G-Skill SSD harddrive

This is the first article describing the scope of my personal project, more articles will follow discribing the ongoing work. The next article will be about the basic case modding stuff like getting the DVD drive into the CD player case and starting the system the first time.

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Oct 11

There is a new version available of webarok, a web based remote control for Amarok 2.

With Webarok you can control amarok from any device like your netbook or a WLAN enabled mobile phone, just using a standard webbrowser. See some screenshots:

Download webarok from the project site:

- webarok does not chrash on startup when Amarok is not running
- Visual enhancements like time formatting, progress bar and some layout changes suggestet by khaytsus
- better playlist handling to reduce neccessary request
- Amarok gets muted while stepping through the playlist

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