Play your entire music collection – Mplayer One Liner

Sometimes just plain lazy, and want just to play music. Run this command in the background (ALT+F2) or in a terminal for playback of all your mp3/ogg/m4a/wma, shuffled, looped, normalised. What’s nice about this is that the shuffle algorithym does a good job and with a large collection of music you don’t get repeats. I found that trying the same thing with vlc meant the shuffle was  always the same, and so you always started with the same music. 🙁 Anyway the one-liner:

find ~/Music ( -iname “*.mp3” -o -iname “*.m4a” -o -iname “*.ogg” -o -iname “*.wma” ) -exec mplayer -nocache -af volnorm -shuffle -loop 0 ‘{}’ + &

Change “~/Music” to suit.

Even better put this in a script, and link to a keyboard shortcut, or add to your startup?

Now running the one liner from a terminal takes a bit of stopping, you’ll need to CTRL+C a couple of times in quick succession to close find then mplayer. Or you can run another one-liner:

killall -15 find mplayer

If you run the command from a script, you’ll have to shut down the script first, and then kill off the running instances of find and mplayer. Best to also do this from a script as well. Say the script you use to run is called, let’s create another called which contains:


killall -15
killall -15 find
killall -15 mplayer

I am sure someone clever could bind this all together in one script, based upon a keyboard shortcut toggle or something…

Jinamp Party Piece

Jinamp Party Piece

Ok, daughter having birthday party, kicking us out of the house for the evening. Last year, I set her up with Audacious on the htpc so that she and her guests could chose music to play, with a couple of backup options of using xbmc or a DVD full of mp3s. This year we have a new machine running as htpc, no DVD drive. Also, daughter just wants a shuffled playlist to run, with no intervention.

A few weeks ago I was mooching about on KMandla’s new wiki of CLI apps, and came across jinamp , which is a sort of background player. What it does is takes the feed of a directory or playlist, shuffles it, then sequences it to a player of its or your choice, then disappears off into the background.

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PS2 Eyetoy Webcam on Xubuntu 10.10 Recording and Playback

More fun to be had with your PS2 eyetoy as webcam. This all was tested using the silver eyetoy, but I see no reason why the black one won’t function just the same.
(Remember this is without pulseaudio!)
(a copy of the post I made on Ubuntuforums)
Recording Sound:

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Recording with ALSA staring me in the face (and midi playback)

Finding the right app to record stuff is a bit of a pain on linux, and playing back midi files can be a trial also. But everything you need is right there in your alsa-utils package. Open up a terminal and let’s get going!

Recording from a microphone:

 arecord -f cd -t wav -c 2 -D plughw:1,0 foobar.wav

This will record you microphone input from your chosen soundcard (in this case card 1, device 0) at 2 channel CD quality, outputting to a wav file for you to play with later. To playback your recording:

aplay foobar.wav

For more information and options, simply type:

man aplay

OK, to play back midi files, you may need to ensure you have timidity installed. Then find a midi file (*.mid) or a kar file (*.kar) and download it. Then it is simply:

 aplaymidi -l

to find an open port, in my case 128:0, then:

 aplaymidi mymidifile.mid

If you want to get the best out of kar files, then install pykaraoke, it will play back the midi and highlight the lyrics through the song 🙂

Linux – Listen to Microphone on remote PC

Due to the festive season there was a need to contact relatives in far flung places. Of course I hadn’t done any preparation, so things didn’t work as I wanted. I plugged a PS2 Eyetoy into my htpc, and installed Skype. Was pleased to see the video worked off the bat, but when contacting my first relly, I could see and hear them, they could see me, but could not hear me. The mic on the Eyetoy wasn’t configured correctly. Due to my work with special needs kids, I put my sign language (Makaton) skills (limited!) to good use, and we had a fun conversation as I taught my rellies sign language using sign language 🙂

Anyway set about reconfiguring my htpc to get the mic working later that evening. It’s a Ubuntu 10.10 setup, so I removed pulse audio, and got back to a basic alsa setup. (Note: my main PC is set up the same way) I did all the setup via ssh from my main desktop. Needed a way to test my microphone was working:

arecord -l

gave the the number of my device:

card 1: Namtai [EyeToy USB camera Namtai], device 0: USB Audio [USB Audio]
Subdevices: 1/1
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

I then tracked down via google a command that with some modification allowed me to listen to the microphone on the speakers on my main PC (in a another room). I put my smartphone next to the eyetoy, and set it to play an audiobook I had on it. Ran back to my study and ssh’d into the htpc. Once there I had to run the command, which included ssh’ing back to my main PC (bet that would confuse 2 windows PCs if you tried it!) Command all on one line:

 arecord -f dat -D plughw:1,0 | ssh -C bimma@ aplay -f dat

and blow me, the sound of my audiobook being “listened to” by the microphone came through loud and clear on my main PC speakers

Key things: getting the device right, the arecord -l command gave the information of card 1 and device 0, which translates to plughw:1,0 (the -D option denotes the device for arecord to listen to), and -f dat indicates the format the sound will be recorded in and relayed to the remote PC. Have a good read of man aplay, for more info.

Now to try things out on a different relly tomorrow 😉

Mp3 playlist script – for current directory and sub folders

Making mp3 playlists, a “simple” script


touch ${PWD##*/}.m3u
export IFS=$’n’
for i in $(find $1 -name “*.mp3″ -type f)
echo “$i” |sed ’s/..(.*)/1/’ >> ${PWD##*/}.m3u

shuf ${PWD##*/}.m3u > ${PWD##*/}2.m3u
shuf ${PWD##*/}2.m3u > ${PWD##*/}.m3u
rm ${PWD##*/}2.m3u

You can leave out the last three lines if you don’t want to shuffle the list.

There is probably improved/easier code than this but it works for me.

To use, simply copy the code into a text file, save with a name of your choice, and make the file script executable. Put the file in your path, and then run in the directory you want to make a playlist from. it will work on all sub directories of that folder.

Mplayer – neat and tidy on the CLI

How long have I been using mplayer? Years. Why has it never bothered me to sort this out before? Don’t know. Ageism, autism, or general grumpiness sent me off in search of a solution, and how easy was it.

Every time I have run mplayer from the cli I got three lines written out before the “action”:

mplayer: could not connect to socket
mplayer: No such file or directory
Failed to open LIRC support. You will not be able to use your remote control.

The very simple fix to this is to add an entry to your ~/.mplayer/config file


That’s it, no more extra lines. Remember to comment out “lirc=no” if you want to use a remote control, though 🙂