controlling rhythmbox using your android phone

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bansheeremoteControlling Rhythmbox via a web-browser is not new.  Indeed, I’ve done this before via rhythmweb.  However I wanted to use my phone as a remote-control…

I thought it was a bit sad to allow rhythmbox-android-remote to suffer from bitrot – so I’ve forked it, converted it to python3 and fixed up some issues with the original source.

My new version of rhythmbox-android-remote is a backend tcp based server for the banshee remote app available through the android playstore.

It allows you to play, pause, forward/reverse, shuffle and repeat tracks.  It displays any coverart you have in your rhythmbox collection.  It also allows you to browse & play by album/track artist and tracks titles as well.  Just hit your phone’s settings button and touch the “sync” icon.

It is GPL-3 open-source based. So feel free to fork and make changes. Banshee-remote is similarly GPL-3 open-source.  So if you are wanting to dip your toes into android programming – grab the source here

Heck – if you want – I am most definitely willing to help with the rhythmbox side of things – I would love add functionality such as to control rhythmbox’s volume and also to “play all” tracks for an album.

So fork banshee-remote – call it something else, work with me to make the rhythmbox changes and publish to android’s playstore.

Installing:

cd ~/.local/share/rhythmbox/plugins
git clone https://github.com/fossfreedom/rhythmbox-android-remote

Activate “rhythmbox-android remote” in the plugins window

Alternatively, install the “rhythmbox-plugin-android-remote” package from my rhythmbox PPA

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:fossfreedom/rhythmbox-plugins
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install rhythmbox-plugin-android-remote

new release of indicator-sysmonitor – v0.7

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Another quick update.  Indicator-Sysmonitor has had a couple of new sensors added together with some fixes to the existing CPU sensor.

Workspace 1_079

For the uninitiated, Indicator-Sysmonitor is an App indicator that allows you to select and view a whole range of sensor based information.

  • memory

  • network speed,

  • cpu usage

  • file system space usage

  • swap space usage

  • battery usage

Added to this release are two new sensors:

  • upordown: this displays a smiley or unhappy face depending if the sensor detects your internet connection is up-or-down

  • publicip: this prints your public facing IP address – useful where you need to understand what your current internet IP address that the outside world sees.

The existing CPU sensor has had an important bug-fix allowing you to see the average CPU percentage usage “{cpu}” together now with the ability to see individual core usage {cpu0}, {cpu1} etc.

Don’t forget, indicator-sysmonitor can also display the output of your own scripts – bash or otherwise. For example; One question I recently answered on the projects GitHub project tracker stated that they use “notify-send” to send a visual notification to the screen via a bash script when the displayed app-indicator value hits a certain value.

One question I couldn’t answer … how do you use indicator-sysmonitor on the lockscreen & the main login greeter. If anyone knows, please let me know :)

I use this on Gnome-Shell + AppIndicator extension.  Obviously you can use this on Unity together with any other desktop environment that supports application-indicators.

As always – happy to receive any contributions – new sensors etc.  Just visit the project web-page.

Installation:

On Ubuntu and derivatives – manual installation

sudo apt-get install python3-psutil, curl git
git clone https://github.com/fossfreedom/indicator-sysmonitor.git
cd indicator-sysmonitor
sudo make install
nohup indicator-sysmonitor &

To remove:

cd indicator-sysmonitor
sudo make uninstall

To install via PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:fossfreedom/indicator-sysmonitor
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install indicator-sysmonitor

Search in the dash for "indicator-sysmonitor" to run

Rhythmbox – repeat one song … in multiple languages…

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Ubuntu vivid - VMware Player (Non-commercial use only)_078Drive everyone mad by playing your most bonkers song over… and over again!

Standard Rhythmbox lacks this most common media player ability.  Its not for the wont of trying.  We’ve had various attempts in the past.  Upstream an enterprising developer tried to get a patch incorporated … got turned down.  In early versions of Rhythmbox, third-party developers incorporated this via an extra button in the toolbar.  Then upstream stopped third-party developers from fiddling with the main toolbar…

As many of you know, I’ve reworked the main Rhythmbox toolbar … and have decided to bring this functionality back.  Clicking the repeat button allows you to toggle between two repeat modes – ‘repeat all tracks’ (standard repeat mode) and ‘repeat current track’ (as shown).

bulgarianAlso new in this release is full language support.

This is where you can help-out.

Jump-over to Launchpad and begin translating here.

Its a simple 1-2-3 process.

Step 1 – sign up to Launchpad.net.

Step 2 – Click the link above and select your preferred language

Step 3 – Submit your translation


To get the new release of alternative-toolbar, just update as normal if you are using my rhythmbox-plugins PPA. Otherwise…

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:fossfreedom/rhythmbox-plugins
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install rhythmbox-plugins-alternative-toolbar

I’m always looking for contributors to my projects – so if you are a budding python hacker – pop-over to the projects alternative-toolbar and coverart-browser and just fork the code.

Resolving no shared folders with VMWare Player 7 and Ubuntu 15.04 guest

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VMWare Player is actually a very nice stable virtualisation solution … for older operating systems.

If you are using VMWare Player to experiment with newer operating systems like Ubuntu 15.04 you’ll find out quite quickly, standard stuff like vmware-tools fail to work.  The reason for this is that VMWare themselves are not proactive.  They wait months and months before releasing newer versions of their vmware-tools product.

If you want a pro-active hypervisor – choose virtualbox.  However – I’ve found that virtualbox is very unstable – it often crashes and suspending & resuming guests just doesnt work.

So back to VMWare Player.

Ubuntu vivid - VMware Player (Non-commercial use only)_073Shared folders support for the latest Ubuntu 15.04 using the current vmware-tools (v9.9.2) is broken.  If you attempt to install vmware-tools, a whole host of vmhgfs compilation errors are observed.

Fortunately there is a wonderful GitHub Project that maintains support for new kernels – support for both kernel 3.19 and kernel 4.0 is available.

The readme instructions are self explanatory.  Reproduced here – but remember to re-read the readme for changes and updates – don’t forget to show your appreciation and star that repository and use the briliant Flattr to show your support:

To build VMware Tools, do the following:

  1. Checkout the repository:
    git clone https://github.com/rasa/vmware-tools-patches.git
  2. Copy or download the version of VMware Tools you wish to use into the vmware-tools-patches folder. To do this use download-tools.sh and pass it the associated VMWare Fusion version number N.B. this still works with VMWare Player!!:
    cd vmware-tools-patches
    ./download-tools.sh 7.1.1

    It is strongly suggested to use the latest version of VMware Tools.

    VMware Tools is also included inside the linux.iso file that is shipped with VMware Fusion, Player, and Workstation – but you should ignore this version and just grab the latest.

  3. Untar the tarball, and apply the patches:
    cd vmware-tools-patches
    ./untar-and-patch.sh
  4. Run the vmware-install.pl installer to install VMware Tools:
    ./compile.sh

new version of Rhythmbox Alternative-Toolbar v0.8.1 released


Alternative-Toolbar v0.8.1 released – Some screen-shots showing what I’ve been hacking for the last couple of weeks.

The side-bar in Rhythmbox has been reworked to be more logical – local sources, online and playlists. If you are still in love with the old rhythmbox sidebar – just reinstate that via the plugin-preferences.

Compare with standard RB:

Similar screen-shot with Client-Side Decoration:

You’ll notice a toggle option in the toolbar. That shows some stuff I’m working on in the master branch (read that as unstable!) of coverart-browser. Toggle that and you’ll see:

So now the side-bar changes to show more views rather than sources. You even have tooltips if you like that sort of thing. Dont worry – you can toggle that off in the plugin preferences.

To get the new release of alternative-toolbar, just update as normal if you are using my rhythmbox-plugins PPA. Otherwise…

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:fossfreedom/rhythmbox-plugins
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install rhythmbox-plugins-alternative-toolbar

I’m always looking for contributors to my projects – so if you are a budding python hacker – pop-over to the projects alternative-toolbar and coverart-browser and just fork the code.

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