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Welcome to my blog, which was once a mailing list of the same name and is still generated by mail. Please reply via the "comment" links.

Always interested in offers/projects/new ideas. Eclectic experience in fields like: numerical computing; Python web; Java enterprise; functional languages; GPGPU; SQL databases; etc. Based in Santiago, Chile; telecommute worldwide. CV; email.

Personal Projects

Lepl parser for Python.

Colorless Green.

Photography around Santiago.

SVG experiment.

Professional Portfolio

Calibration of seismometers.

Data access via web services.

Cache rewrite.

Extending OpenSSH.

C-ORM: docs, API.

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© 2006-2015 Andrew Cooke (site) / post authors (content).

A Framework for Managing a Music Collection

From: "andrew cooke" <andrew@...>

Date: Sat, 13 May 2006 18:26:57 -0400 (CLT)

I experimented last night, and had a hard time hearing differences between
different music formats.  I am also rapidly filling my laptop's disk (or
rather, that portion of it that I set aside for "personal" use, since it
is really work's machine).

Talking to a friend recently, he said that his ripped CDs were all that
remained of his music collection since his house was broken into.

Ripping music from a CD takes more time that cross-converting from flac to

Taking all those points together it seems that a suitable solution would:
- allow cumulative ripping of CDs into a structured (flac encoded) library
- automatically cross-convert to a (lossy) compressed format(s)
- back-up the library to a second disk
- allow arbitrary selection and synchonization to other machines

Personally, I've been using kAudioCreator for ripping.  That creates a
nice directory structure of FLAC files.  rsynch can be used to mirror that
to a second disk.  rsynch can also be used to update a second machine from
a separate "selected" tree.

That leaves creating and selecting a tree of compressed data.  Since this
is significantly smaller than the flac tree it might as well co-exists. 
So an obvious partial solution is a process that regularly compares the
flacc and ogg trees and generates any missing ogg files.

Selection remains.  It seems that a third tree could be constructed, in
parallel to the ogg tree, using directories and links.  Building a
selection would involve deleting or creating the appropriate links.  This
would require a second app (perhaps a set of apps) that build this
cross-linked structure.


Implemented as Python Scripts

From: "andrew cooke" <andrew@...>

Date: Mon, 22 May 2006 10:01:30 -0400 (CLT)

This is now implemented as a collection of Python scripts, called
MusicTree - http://www.acooke.org/jara/musictree/index.html

(actually, I think that tarball contains an error - if anyone is actually
thinking of downloading this before i repackage (like, in the next day or
two), email me....)

And a Radio Station!

From: "andrew cooke" <andrew@...>

Date: Mon, 22 May 2006 10:05:59 -0400 (CLT)

An I have a radio station too!  I've ripped a bunch of albums to disc and
used icecast and ices to play a constant stream taken from the entire
collection at random.  It's amazingly easy - now I need to see if I can
listen directly from La Serena...

Assorted Small Problems

From: "andrew cooke" <andrew@...>

Date: Thu, 25 May 2006 13:42:30 -0400 (CLT)

Bliss - listening to this fine from work.

Just two wrinkles so far:

1 - ices re-encodes data to ogg quality 3 by default (I assumed it would
pass data straight through).  Specifying a quality of 5 in the config
fixes this, but I worry it's uncompressing and re-compressing.  One of the
reasons to have the compressed files pre-processed was to save CPU.

2 - I had a "Copy Protected" CD.  The Thrills "SOm Much for the City".  A
little poking around on the wed (and the CD itself) shows that:

-- this is "protected" with something called Yucca;
-- that the implementation is via broken metadata in the ISO9660 format.
   Simple music players never read the data; sophisticated computer
   readers do, and get confused;
-- the effectiveness depends on the reader/reader firmware;
-- neither of the drives on my server worked; nor did the USB plexor, nor
   the drive in my work machine (all gave errors when trying to read data);
-- however, a recent Sony drive at work (in an ASL build 64bit box) read
   it no problem;
-- this is apparently illegal in the USA (and uncommon in Chile?);
-- this is popular in the UK and Europe (where I bought this CD).

Conclusion - I won't buy copy protected CDs in future.  In fact, if I want
one and it turnsout the only option is copy protected, I'll go looking for
a "pirate" copy instead.  This is just stupid.  I bought the damn thing!

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