UNB/ CS/ David Bremner/ comments/ blog/ posts/ audio-player-fail
Date: Sun, 30 Aug 2009 11:38:31 +0200
From: "Emmanuel Hainry" <address deleted>
Subject: m4a audio player
Do you want a player or an all-in-one organiser/player/web-browser/radio?

For an audio player, my choice goes to mplayer. When I want a little
more (playlist) I  choose herrie And when I want to browse and play my
music library, mpd (with mpc or sonata as interface) is my choice.

Concerning configuration in mpd, I am quite surprised! Apart from
telling it where to find the files (which for me consists in making a
symlink), there is no configuration to be done!


Date: Sun, 30 Aug 2009 08:16:06 -0300
From: "David Bremner" <address deleted>
Subject: Re: m4a audio player
Emmanuel Hainry wrote:

>Do you want a player or an all-in-one organiser/player/web-browser/radio?
>For an audio player, my choice goes to mplayer. When I want a little
>more (playlist) I  choose herrie And when I want to browse and play my
>music library, mpd (with mpc or sonata as interface) is my choice.

I guess I must want at least a bit of a browser, since I knew that
that mplayer is usually able to play things that others are not.

>Concerning configuration in mpd, I am quite surprised! Apart from
>telling it where to find the files (which for me consists in making a
>symlink), there is no configuration to be done!

Well, compared to say rhythmbox, it is a bit intimidating. I agree
that once I tried it, it was not difficult to configure.

Thanks for the feedback,

David



Subject: M4A a problem?
From: "\"Diego E.\" “Flameeyes” Pettenò" <address deleted>
Date: Sun, 30 Aug 2009 12:38:33 +0200
Wait till you try to use M4A/ALAC files. I'm using mplayer nowadays
because no audio player seems to play them correctly, with the exception
of mpd (but mpd and pulseaudio don't play very nice).

Some GStreamer-based media players refuse to play M4A/ALAC files
(Banshee for instance) because they don't recognize them and assume M4A
could only have AAC inside. And in general, the way the plugins are
split in Gentoo, you need the GST faad plugin to be able to play
M4A/ALAC (the ALAC decoder is provided by FFmpeg instead).

As much as xine sucks (and I say that as a xine developer!), Amarok 1.4
using that as backend was the nearest thing to iTunes for what concerns
playing stuff without hassle that I have ever seen.

-- 
Diego Elio Pettenò — “Flameeyes”
http://blog.flameeyes.eu/

If you found a .asc file in this mail and know not what it is,
it's a GnuPG digital signature: http://www.gnupg.org/

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Date: Sun, 30 Aug 2009 08:38:14 -0300
From: "David Bremner" <address deleted>
Subject: another response
Apparently Jason Clinton doesn't like my comment system. Also, apparently mentioning "mac" was some kind of trigger.

For the record: I just went and tried Rhythmbox and vlc, and at least on debian sid, they also don't play m4a out of the box. Probably this is a problem with the gstreamer configuration. I have the following gstreamer packages installed; it is possible there is some gstreamer-faad package that is not packaged for debian or in the debian-multimedia repos.
ii  gstreamer-tools                                  0.10.24-1                       Tools for use with GStreamer
ii  gstreamer0.10-alsa                               0.10.24-1                       GStreamer plugin for ALSA
ii  gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg                             0.10.8-2                        FFmpeg plugin for GStreamer
ii  gstreamer0.10-gnomevfs                           0.10.24-1                       GStreamer plugin for GnomeVFS
ii  gstreamer0.10-plugins-base                       0.10.24-1                       GStreamer plugins from the "base" set
ii  gstreamer0.10-plugins-good                       0.10.15-2                       GStreamer plugins from the "good" set
ii  gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly                       0.10.12-1+b1                    GStreamer plugins from the "ugly" set
ii  gstreamer0.10-pulseaudio                         0.10.15-2                       GStreamer plugin for PulseAudio
ii  gstreamer0.10-tools                              0.10.24-1                       Tools for use with GStreamer
ii  gstreamer0.10-x                                  0.10.24-1                       GStreamer plugins for X11 and Pango
ii  libgstreamer-plugins-base0.10-0                  0.10.24-1                       GStreamer libraries from the "base" set
ii  libgstreamer0.10-0                               0.10.24-1                       Core GStreamer libraries and elements
By the way, if you follow the link, the other player I had m4a troubles with was Amarok 1.4.7.
Date: Sun, 30 Aug 2009 13:41:17 +0200
From: "Markus Koller" <address deleted>
Subject: M4A with GStreamer
Hey there,

For applications using GStreamer such as Quod Libet you might need to install
the gstreamer0.10-plugins-really-bad package from debian-multimedia.org.
That is, if you're alright with using non-free software ;)


Cheers,
Markus



Date: Sun, 30 Aug 2009 08:53:18 -0300
From: "David Bremner" <address deleted>
Subject: Re: M4A with GStreamer
Markus Koller wrote:

>For applications using GStreamer such as Quod Libet you might need to install
>the gstreamer0.10-plugins-really-bad package from debian-multimedia.org.
>That is, if you're alright with using non-free software ;)

Thanks for the hint. I'd rather not use non-free software if I can avoid it. In this case though, it doesn't help, I still get 

   ERROR: from element /GstPlayBin:playbin0: You do not have a decoder installed to handle this file. You might need to install the necessary plugins.



Subject: gstreamer codecs
From: "Frej Soya" <address deleted>
Date: Sun, 30 Aug 2009 17:14:11 +0200
You wan't libre m4a software? You can't....
You should make sure you have installed that package. You might need to
restart Qoud libet..... (isn't it a twopart deamon/client, so make sure
the daemon is restarted)... Otherwise rhythmbox is friendly/simple
itunes like music player.

Also, distro's like fedora and ubuntu will show a dialog in, say
rhythmbox, to install the needed decoder software, when needed. Debian
probably doesn't. 

>For applications using GStreamer such as Quod Libet you might need to install
>the gstreamer0.10-plugins-really-bad package from debian-multimedia.org.
>That is, if you're alright with using non-free software ;)

Thanks for the hint. I'd rather not use non-free software if I can avoid it. In this case though, it doesn't help, I still get 

   ERROR: from element /GstPlayBin:playbin0: You do not have a decoder installed to handle this file. You might need to install the necessary plugins.



-- 
Frej Soya <frej.soya@gmail.com>



Date: Sun, 30 Aug 2009 13:37:35 -0300
From: "David Bremner" <address deleted>
Subject: Re: gstreamer codecs
Frej Soya wrote:

>You wan't libre m4a software? You can't....

Well, the files in question are encoded with faac, which GPL, but
possibly patent encumbered. faad is the corresponding decoder, which
is in debian main, and also GPL.

>You should make sure you have installed that package. You might need
>to restart Qoud libet..... (isn't it a twopart deamon/client, so make
>sure the daemon is restarted)... Otherwise rhythmbox is
>friendly/simple itunes like music player.

As far as I know quod libet is not a client/daemon.  In any case,
since I cannot get 

   gst-launch playbin uri=file:///home/blah.m4a 

to work, I guess no gstreamer based application will work.

Thanks for your comments, 

d


Subject: alac in m4a
From: "Tim-Philipp Müller" <address deleted>
Date: Sun, 30 Aug 2009 20:14:50 +0100
Two quick comments:

a) alac-in-m4a plays just fine for me with GStreamer on debian sid with
the following packages installed:

ii  gstreamer0.10-alsa                    0.10.24-1
GStreamer plugin for ALSA
ii  gstreamer0.10-doc                     0.10.24-1
GStreamer core documentation and manuals
ii  gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg                  0.10.8-1
FFmpeg plugin for GStreamer
ii  gstreamer0.10-nice                    0.0.9-2                    ICE
library (GStreamer plugin)
ii  gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad             0.10.13-1
GStreamer plugins from the "bad" set
ii  gstreamer0.10-plugins-base            0.10.24-1
GStreamer plugins from the "base" set
ii  gstreamer0.10-plugins-base-doc        0.10.24-1
GStreamer documentation for plugins from the
ii  gstreamer0.10-plugins-good            0.10.15-2
GStreamer plugins from the "good" set
ii  gstreamer0.10-plugins-really-bad      0.10.13-0.0
GStreamer plugins from the "bad" set
ii  gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly            0.10.12-1+b2
GStreamer plugins from the "ugly" set
ii  gstreamer0.10-pulseaudio              0.10.15-2
GStreamer plugin for PulseAudio
ii  gstreamer0.10-tools                   0.10.24-1
Tools for use with GStreamer
ii  gstreamer0.10-x                       0.10.24-1
GStreamer plugins for X11 and Pango

If you have a file that doesn't play, please file a bug in bugzilla
(http://gstreamer.freedesktop.org/bugs/) and we'll fix it as soon as we
can.


b) gstreamer0.10-plugins-really-bad etc. are all perfectly Free
Software. Distribution of parts of these packages may be restricted due
to presumed patents and/or trademarks though (which would then also
affect all other similar FOSS software as well).




Date: Mon, 31 Aug 2009 20:11:25 -0300
From: "David Bremner" <address deleted>
Subject: Re: alac in m4a
Tim-Philipp Müller wrote:

>Two quick comments:

>a) alac-in-m4a plays just fine for me with GStreamer on debian sid with
>the following packages installed:

>ii  gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad             0.10.13-1
>GStreamer plugins from the "bad" set
>ii  gstreamer0.10-plugins-really-bad      0.10.13-0.0

The versions currently in sid have a file conflict, but if I grab
those versions from testing, I can at least get gst-launch to
work. Rhythmbox and quodlibet also seem ok.

Thanks for the winning hint :)

David







Date: Mon, 31 Aug 2009 08:31:30 +0200
Subject: Audio fail
From: "Rasmus Steinke" <address deleted>
Ok, you blogpost was not really fair:

minirok and bluemingo are not known by most people, very small projects  
which of course have less features. (Guess what: there are windows players  
that can ONLY play mp3)

exaile just got a complete rewrite - judging it right now is unfair

mpd is not hard to setup at all. changing a minimum of 1 (!) line in the  
config should be doable. (path to database) - then change permission of  
/var/lib/mpd/ to the user configured (ok - thats a 2nd line) - done

mocp can play m4a just fine. If you link a bug report, you should read it  
yourself - that bug is fixed for months now.

quodlibet is kinda dead

the others were just not fitting your optical taste - hardly a fail for  
audio on linux (and many ppl prefer the winamp look)


Date: Mon, 31 Aug 2009 09:27:18 -0300
From: "David Bremner" <address deleted>
Subject: Re: Audio fail
Rasmus Steinke wrote:

>minirok and bluemingo are not known by most people, very small
>projects  which of course have less features. (Guess what: there are
>windows players  that can ONLY play mp3)
>exaile just got a complete rewrite - judging it right now is unfair

You comment about Windows players suggests you read my post as some
kindof "Linux sucks, I'm going back to Windows" manifesto.  I think a
few other people read it that way too.  That wasn't my intent [1].  Blog
posts are nothing more than a snapshot of personal experience for me. 

Note that my complaint about minirok was not about a missing feature.

>mpd is not hard to setup at all.

If you read the last few lines, you see that I am now using mpd. It is
only work to configure compared to other audio players.

>mocp can play m4a just fine. If you link a bug report, you should read
>it  yourself - that bug is fixed for months now.

As it turns out, the bug is still there for a different file. I not
only read the bug report, I reopened it.

>the others were just not fitting your optical taste - hardly a fail
>for  audio on linux (and many ppl prefer the winamp look)

Again, I am writing about my experience in trying to find an audio
player.  "I hate the interface of X" is pretty clearly a purely
subjective comment.  That other people like it hardly seems relevant.

All the best,

David

[1] Believe it or not, there is no Windows or Mac to go back to for
    me.  I have used Commodore 64, Multics, Atari ST, Apollo
    workstations, VAX/VMS, FreeBSD, Digital Tru64, SunOS (BSD
    version), Solaris, and Linux all in a fairly serious way, but
    never Windows or Mac.  Maybe you prefer to dismiss me as a Luddite
    (note spelling and capitialization kids) as another commenter
    did. I can take it :-).



Subject: m4a on Linux
From: "Adam Williamson" <address deleted>
Date: Mon, 31 Aug 2009 15:04:15 -0700
m4a on Linux is a 'pain' because it's a patented codec (AAC). No
sue-able distributor can ship AAC decoding in their official
repositories, it has to go to unofficial Evil Patented Stuff
repositories like rpmfusion, PLF etc.

With gstreamer0.10-faad installed from the appropriate such repository
for your distro, any gstreamer-based music player will play AAC files
fine. With libfaad, most other mainstream players (audacious, mplayer,
xine etc) should do too.

-- 
adamw



Date: Mon, 31 Aug 2009 19:51:31 -0300
From: "David Bremner" <address deleted>
Subject: Re: m4a on Linux
Adam Williamson wrote:

>m4a on Linux is a 'pain' because it's a patented codec (AAC). No
>sue-able distributor can ship AAC decoding in their official
>repositories, it has to go to unofficial Evil Patented Stuff
>repositories like rpmfusion, PLF etc.

Sure, but that doesn't really explain why it is more of a pain than
MP3, which also patented, with codecs in the same repos.

>With gstreamer0.10-faad installed from the appropriate such repository
>for your distro, any gstreamer-based music player will play AAC files
>fine. With libfaad, most other mainstream players (audacious, mplayer,
>xine etc) should do too.

I can't find gstreamer0.10-faad in the debian-multimedia repos, the
usual place for these things on debian.  Perhaps it was merged into a
different package.


Subject: Re: m4a on Linux
From: "Adam Williamson" <address deleted>
Date: Mon, 31 Aug 2009 16:01:08 -0700
On Mon, 2009-08-31 at 19:51 -0300, David Bremner wrote:
> Adam Williamson wrote:
> 
> >m4a on Linux is a 'pain' because it's a patented codec (AAC). No
> >sue-able distributor can ship AAC decoding in their official
> >repositories, it has to go to unofficial Evil Patented Stuff
> >repositories like rpmfusion, PLF etc.
> 
> Sure, but that doesn't really explain why it is more of a pain than
> MP3, which also patented, with codecs in the same repos.

In my experience it isn't any more of a pain...once I have appropriate
codecs installed, everything that I use that can play MP3s can also play
AAC.

> >With gstreamer0.10-faad installed from the appropriate such repository
> >for your distro, any gstreamer-based music player will play AAC files
> >fine. With libfaad, most other mainstream players (audacious, mplayer,
> >xine etc) should do too.
> 
> I can't find gstreamer0.10-faad in the debian-multimedia repos, the
> usual place for these things on debian.  Perhaps it was merged into a
> different package.

Sorry, I don't know much about Debian stuff (I only really know Mandriva
and Fedora). Try just searching for anything with faad in the name,
maybe.

-- 
adamw