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Monday, 12 January 2004

Death to Netjuke [lurks]

You might recall in blog 451 that I had been looking for a good web based system for browsing and streaming music. I settled on Netjuke, a PHP application which took a staggering amount of work to get running. I then wrote a guide and an accompanying archive with all the necessary files to get it up and running. A good many people downloaded that.
Now, awhile ago I had a Slimp3 and swore blind off it. You ran a server on your PC and then hooked this device up via Ethernet and controlled it with a remote control. The server software for it was open source and, because it was fundamentally cool, has been worked on by a number of people and is now a seriously nice bit of software.
This brings me to the subject of the blog. If you go to Slim Devices and download the SlimServer application (completely free and available on pretty much every OS), you get a feel for the software.
But wait, there's more! Essentially Slimp3s - and the sexeh Wifi-equipped successor, the Squeezebox - connect via a shoutcast stream. You can also hook into the server software via any software client capable of playing shoutcast such as the ubiquitous WinAmp.
In essense this software is a proper application that does what Netjuke does only faster, more reliable and without the horrendous difficulty in set up and sorting an SQL server too. Don't take my word for it, go leech it now.
Then just point it at your music and let it go off and scan it. You can keep using it while it scans (sigh, love). The interface in the app is basically just an IE web instance. You can also access it by just going to localhost:9000 and controlling it. Now fire up a WinAmp, hit Control-L and put in localhost:9000
This'll just buffer and say welcome to slimserver or some such. You see you need to control the stream to it. Now go to either the Slimp3 GUI or your web browser, navigate your collection - via id3 tags or directory structure (sigh, love) - and play some stuff. Bosh it'll go out to your WinAmp.
It gets better, you can do this with multiple software players, Squeezeboxes and connections over the Internet. You can rename the IPs that appear as their real names like 'Lounge Server WinAmp' and 'Work WinAmp' etc. There's a bunch of themes but the default one is about the nicest. The settings are deeply wonderful. The app uses a fair whack of memory (about 70MB on my collection) but that's a small price to pay really.
It's a complete and utter Netjuke killer. Oh and it will transcode iTunes AAC, Ogg and shit like that. It wont transcode your regular MP3s though, as far as I can see, so no setting up of a nice low bitrate which you could stream to work I'm afraid. That was never really the idea behind it though.
Oh and the new Squeeze box itself? Wow. If I had a need for it, I'd buy one in a flash. It's everything the original had which ruled and all of the problems fixed up. It plays non-compressed PCM as well as MP3 - so the server software simply decodes Oggs, Flac and shit like that. Then there's the Wifi and a proper box. Even the remote control is a proper one rather than a generic Sony.
I should think all the same uber cool shit of the original is in there too. Like being able to forge a URL request to the server to flash up some text on the fanny VFD display. I used to have Rebot flash up lines of text if someone said my name on IRC :)
Anyhow, leech the server software and be happy. There's a UK crowd selling the Squeezeboxs for a fortune (about £30 more than importing from the US) but there's import duty as well. Houmous will probably buy one because he's a rich cunt. Of course you can buy pretty much the same thing for half the price with the Linksys Wireless-B Media Adaptor but then... the server software fucking stinks on that.


  1. Beware Rebot's evil auto-linking. :)

  2. Just got to say how much I've enjoyed using this software. I've been elevated to some sort of pod god at work as I've restricted access to the SlimServer to the ip addresses of four trusted colleagues...
    .... and therein lies the problem. They keep using the webpage but forget which ip address there machine is, so they keep acidently messing around with each other playlists. Just having a look for some 3rd party plugin or summat to solve it, cos afaics the username password thing is just one username and password for the server, not server users.
    Btw, having a squeezebox and using some the plugins would be great. Like the bbc ticker!

  3. I wrote my own stuff for my slimp3. If someone mentioned my name on IRC, it would flash up the line on the VFD display for a second in the lounge. Very cool :) The thing is though, about the software, it's open source. You could always add that stuff yourself.
    I do recall there was some discussion about adding exactly what you're talking about. User accounts and so on. You do know you can name the machines right? So they don't just end up as IPs. You could give the IPs peoples real name and that would reduce the problem. Otherwise you can either A) code it yourself or B) ask the developers (lots of them) on the dev mailing lists and sourceforge feature request etc.

  4. Cheers Lurks, I've tagged everyone's ip to their own name now, lets hope they can read...