[lug] audio questions

John Hernandez jph at jph.net
Fri May 9 15:09:02 MDT 2008

dio2002 at indra.com wrote:
> Nathan Berry wrote:
>> The reason I have ripped my CD collection is that I run an MP3 server 
>> on my
>> LINUX box.  I can listen to my music from anywhere I have internet 
>> access.
>> I have also converted my LPs to CDs and then ripped them as well ( I have
>> over 1000).  So my music collection is pretty good sized.  It is nice to
>> have my entire collection available to me when I am at work.  Just my two
>> cents.
> i'd like access to that collection ;-)
> how do you access the files remotely?  do you tunnel into that server or 
> is it wide open?  what software do you use to navigate and access the 
> files remotely? i'm thinking straight http directory listings would be 
> rather inconvenient though simple to implement.

Cool thread so far...

I also have remote access to my collection.  I run the open source 
Squeezecenter server (was Slimserver, pre-Logitech) and an ssh server on 
the Linux box that hosts my mp3 collection.  I can establish an ssh 
connection to this server and use ssh port forwarding to connect remotely.


The assumption with Squeezecenter is that the music collection has 
already been properly tagged, but Squeezecenter can do a fair job of 
guessing based on filenames.  There is no built-in tag editing 
functionality.  It essentially scans the collection and uses MySQL to 
store the catalog.

Another nice Slimcenter feature is on-demand transcoding.  Say your 
collection contains flac sources.  You can configure your remote player 
to be 128kbps max bit-rate.  When you play music, Slimcenter will then 
perform on-the-fly transcoding to mp3, assuming your server's CPU is up 
to the task.

Here is the basic incantation for a remote client (where I want to listen):

1) ssh -L 9000:localhost:9000 server_ip_address

2) vlc http://localhost:9000/stream.mp3  (or your favorite player)

3) connect a web browser to http://localhost:9000 then select and play 
some music

Enhancements to this basic scheme might include:

- Use something like gstm to manage the SSH tunnel under Gnome, 
replacing step #1.  Consider key-based authentication, and perhaps 
ssh-agent to cache your key.

- If you additionally forward port 3483 across the tunnel, you can use a 
squeezebox emulator (ie SoftSqueeze) instead of vlc in step #2.  This 
enables multiple autonomous players (zones) and other nice features.

- Consider buying a Squeezebox for home.  I use one in my living room 
and really like it.

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