Tag Archives: mp3

Is there a music player which doesn’t suck?

$ find /mnt/media -name '*.mp3' -o -name '*.m4a' | wc -l

(and that doesn’t count things like radio programs encoded in mp4 or flv)

I still haven’t found a music player that can deal with this. In particular:

  1. ID3 tags are often wrong — don’t use them. Use a database like Shazam to work out what’s really in each file.
  2. There are duplicates. I’m never going to be able to fix that. Transparently pick the highest quality file when playing, and don’t show me duplicates ever.
  3. Give me an intelligent way to navigate this. I’d like to have the player automatically group them or suggest related music, perhaps by looking for similarities in the audio (and definitely not by using the ID3 tag).
  4. Related to the previous point, search should be super simple.
  5. When choosing a party playlist, don’t mix in radio programs or podcasts.
  6. Some of the titles are not US ASCII. It still seems like this isn’t a completely solved problem (sigh).

It’d be nice if it could stream the music to my squeezebox players (of which I now have two, yay!), but I’m not expecting miracles …


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Amazon MP3 – give me a zip!

I got a £3 Amazon MP3 voucher after visiting the AWS tech conference in London last week.

The Bryan Ferry platinum collection was £3.79 for 45 songs and I’m prepared to chip in 79p. But wait … You can’t just pay some money and download the music. You have to install some binary blob!

$ rpm -q --scripts -p amazonmp3.rpm
warning: amazonmp3.rpm: Header V4 DSA/SHA1 Signature, key ID 70e6adf9: NOKEY
postinstall scriptlet (using /bin/sh):
update-mime-database /usr/share/mime

# setsid amazonmp3 --reset-first-run &
postuninstall scriptlet (using /bin/sh):
update-mime-database /usr/share/mime
$ rpm -qlp amazonmp3.rpm
warning: amazonmp3.rpm: Header V4 DSA/SHA1 Signature, key ID 70e6adf9: NOKEY

(I’ll give them some respect for having an RPM version, but not for having a binary blob when what I really want is a tarball or ZIP file …)

Anyhow, if I have the time I will set up a firewalled VM in order to make this 79p purchase. I haven’t got around to it quite yet …

Update: Thanks to everyone who replied. Looks like clamz or banshee.fm are the way to go here.

Update #2: The little command line tool clamz was exactly what I was after.


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A History of the World in 100 MP3 files

The BBC’s series a history of the world in 100 objects which I mentioned previously has finished.

You still can’t easily download all the MP3 files from the website in a useful way, eg. as a ZIP or tarball, but I processed their RSS feed to get the raw URLs and with a simple shell loop and wget you can grab them easily.

Continue reading


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More free as in beer music

A good selection of links to free music, found via More Things’ MP3 site.

Mmm all of Bach’s Brandenburg’s Concertos in FLAC format.

And “Wireless on the brain” (1923) — “everything’s wireless in our house”, indeed.

Previously and previously.

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BBC Radio 4 “Costing the Earth” on working from home

Tricky program about whether working from home makes sense from an environmental point of view.

On iPlayer here or directly download the MP3.

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Yay I got my original (non-wireless) SLIMP3 working again …

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Free as in beer classical music

A nice collection of links to freely downloadable classical music. I’m listening to the Rach 3 right now!

(Ob-Blog-Note: I put “free”, “mp3”, “download” as tags for this post. I wonder how many scumbag spammers that will attract?)

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A History of the World in 100 MP3 files

Radio 4 is running a brilliant series called A History of the World in A Hundred Objects. However should you wish to download this series so you can listen to it a convenient place and time, how should you do it? Certainly not through the over-complex official website that’s for sure.

But with some shell script you can grab the MP3 files and listen to this wonderful educational series at your pleasure:

while [ $i -le $e ]; do
  date=$(printf "%04d%02d%02d" $y $m $d)
  for x in a c; do
    for y in 1000 1005; do
      wget -nc http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/radio4/ahow/ahow_$date-$y$x.mp3
  if [ $m -eq 1 ]; then
  elif [ $m -eq 2 ]; then
  elif [ $m -eq 3 ]; then
  elif [ $m -eq 4 ]; then
  if [ $d -eq $endm ]; then


A reader has pointed me to the full list of MP3 (podcast) files available from the BBC.


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