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 Post subject: itunes for the forest
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:07 pm 
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ive recently been using rhythmbox on ubuntu and found a store that works within it , it called magnatune (its installed by default ,but you have to enable it). basically it down loads a playlist of tunes you can stream and also links to the their web site to buy . I was thinking that it might be cool if we had the same for forest records. after a bit research i found that magnatune is a plug in which is open sourced and can be hacked .its written in python .
line 42 of MagnatuneSource.py
Code:
# URIs
magnatune_dir = gnome.user_dir_get() + "rhythmbox/magnatune/"
magnatune_song_info_uri = gnomevfs.URI("http://magnatune.com/info/song_info_xml.zip")
local_song_info_uri = gnomevfs.URI(magnatune_dir + "song_info.xml")
local_song_info_temp_uri = gnomevfs.URI(magnatune_dir + "song_info.xml.zip.tmp")
ALBUM_ART_URL = 'http://www.magnatune.com/music/%s/%s/cover.jpg'


i guess this is where we would change the server


so i think its a matter of changing the server that it get its playlist from , which is a xml database file .changing the icons and stuff. The bit i know nothing about is how we make a database of the music and stream it .

the down/upside of this is rhythmbox is linux only . it maybe also possible to get our plugin included in rhythmbox as default that would be amazing !

ive attached the plugin so people can have a poke about it


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:44 pm 
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i think this is a cool idea and def. would be the next stage of the forest jukebox / forest radio online. it would be great to turn the imac into a server so anyone could hear the music we play in the forest, check the last song that was played from their laptop etc.

in a way it is a personalized version of the listening post. too bad it is linux only but, that said, the revoloution has to start somewhere.

ryan

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 7:18 pm 
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Cool idea Martin. I had a very brief glance at this and on first impression I don't think we would need to make a database of our music and stream it.

Looking at the Python excerpt you posted, you can download the file it's using http://magnatune.com/info/song_info_xml.zip and unzip it and see the XML. It is simple enough. Here's an excerpt:

Code:
<Track>
    <artist>Lara St John</artist>
    <artistphoto>http://magnatune.com//artists/img/lara_st_john.jpg</artistphoto>
    <artistdesc>Bach violin concertos</artistdesc>
    <albumname>CD1 - Bach - The Six Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin</albumname>
    <trackname>Sonata No 1 in G minor BWV 1001 - I Adagio</trackname>
    <tracknum>1</tracknum>
    <year>2007</year>
    <mp3genre>Classical</mp3genre>
    <magnatunegenres>Classical,Baroque</magnatunegenres>
    <license>http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/1.0/</license>
    <seconds>221</seconds>
    <url>http://he3.magnatune.com/all/01--Sonata%20No%201%20in%20G%20minor%20BWV%201001%20-%20I%20Adagio--Lara%20St%20John.mp3</url>
    <mp3lofi>http://he3.magnatune.com/all/01--Sonata%20No%201%20in%20G%20minor%20BWV%201001%20-%20I%20Adagio--Lara%20St%20John-lofi.mp3</mp3lofi>
    <buy>https://magnatune.com/artists/buy_album?artist=Lara+St+John&amp;album=CD1+%2D+Bach+%2D+The+Six+Sonatas+and+Partitas+for+Solo+Violin&amp;genre=Classical</buy>
    <home>http://magnatune.com/artists/lara_st_john</home>
    <launchdate>2007-12-20</launchdate>
    <cover_small>http://he3.magnatune.com/music/Lara%20St%20John/CD1%20-%20Bach%20-%20The%20Six%20Sonatas%20and%20Partitas%20for%20Solo%20Violin/cover_200.jpg</cover_small>
    <albumsku>lara-sonatas1</albumsku>
</Track>


You have to make one of those for every track you want to publish. They key things in that are the URLs, one for the album cover image http://magnatune.com//artists/img/lara_st_john.jpg and one for the music file itself http://he3.magnatune.com/all/02--Sonata ... 20John.mp3

Those are just normal http URL's. You can in fact download the image and track by clicking on them. So all we have to do is make the XML file, easy, and put our cover images and tracks on an http server, also easy.

We'd also have to have an online copy of the copyright license used by each song and a web page you can visit to buy each song, to fill in those fields. In other words if we want people to be able to give us money for the stuff we need to make a webshop for all our music. I'm not sure if we have that right now.

And ofcourse, this means people can simply download all the music without paying for it. We're just trusting people to be honest. Ofcourse we could make only a sample of the music available, one or two tracks of an album, or even partial tracks, if we wanted.

It does all look quite doable but may have hidden depths. Another bonus is that the Rhythmbox developers are easily reachable by their open mailing list and IRC channel. They helped us hack rhythmbox for the listening station before it got stolen. I'm sure they'd help someone to develop a new rhythmbox plugin.

I wonder if there is a way to make our music available not just for rhythmbox, but other players as well, including windows and mac players? Not sure. I guess the answer is probably to have a web-based player instead of making plugins for desktop players like rhythmbox and itunes. Still this looks like a fun little project.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 7:22 pm 
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I see the Fores Music part of the website already has a thing called The Listening Room that sounds like it's meant to let you play all the music through your browser before paying for it. It's not working though.

And ofcourse there is Forest Radio which is working. Could we make that available as a stream that people could play in Rhythmbox, Winamp, iTunes or whatever they're using? But people can already play it in their browser so...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 7:24 pm 
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I correct myself, forest radio does actually let you choose which track you want to play and not just listen to it like streaming radio. So what we're talking about is basically letting people do the same thing through Rhythmbox instead of through the forest website? Would be fun.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 7:33 pm 
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Ryan, what you're talking about is not the same thing as what Martin is, though I think it could be done also with linux software.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 7:45 pm 
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i think you have found a way to hack magnatune and download the tunes for free .
being able to download stuff is a concern , it all depends on how the music owners feel about how there music is distributed . this i would think is a discussion for another place , but at least we can look at logistics if it is possible .


The thing am most concerned about is database , it would be a lot of work to make one by hand , Am assuming the format is the same as rhythmbox makes its self of your music when it scans your harddrive . currently i cant find the file so i dont know . if rhthmbox did all work ,it would be easy to add stuff to it . i think the sercet is making it easy to maintain .

it would be nice if we could get on as many platforms as possible . but seems as if linux is the only giving us the opportunity to do so .


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 7:58 pm 
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Quote:
i think you have found a way to hack magnatune and download the tunes for free.


Well yes, but I don't think Magnatune are trying at all to hide this. The fact is that any music you can play on your computer you can download and save to a file on your computer. It is usually trivial to do even if the website doesn't have a 'download' button. All this crap about digital restrictions management and trusted computing that people like Apple and Microsoft are promoting is just a doomed attempt to stop people. Since Magnatune is against that sort of thing, it doesn't employ any, and instead uses trust. I think we should do the same.

We already allow our music to be played through Forest Radio and I'm sure it is a very easy hack to download it all through Forest Radio too.

So, we have already made those artists music available to the unscrupulous for free.

It is worth having a discussion with the artists about it though.

Quote:
The thing am most concerned about is database , it would be a lot of work to make one by hand


I don't think it would be difficult to write a Python script to generate the XML file. (It's not a database, it's just a text file.) Assuming we have the info -- artist, album and track names -- stored somehow at the moment, such as in file and folder names or in mp3 tags, then a script to generate the XML file would be easy.

Quote:
Am assuming the format is the same as rhythmbox makes its self of your music when it scans your harddrive.


Good thought, it may well be. In which case we could just get rhythmbox to generate the XML file for us.

Quote:
i think the sercet is making it easy to maintain .


I'm thinking of a folder on our network that you drag mp3 files to. And a Python script that runs every hour or so and regenerates the XML file from the music files that are in the network folder.

Quote:
it would be nice if we could get on as many platforms as possible . but seems as if linux is the only giving us the opportunity to do so.


The fact that Rhythmbox is open source, made to be as easy to hack as possible, and has an open community of developers ready to help out, is really handing us this opportunity. If you tried to do this with iTunes or Windows Media Player they may well try to put you in prison. In any case, they certainly aren't helpful about it.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 8:06 pm 
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i think what ryan is talking about could be done as a rss feed or something .


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 8:18 pm 
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Oh yeah, like a 'podcast'? We just need some music player that can generate a podcast of what it plays and make it available online. I wonder if it exists already? Or should we do it ourselves?

This sounds like a coffee-fuelled action room hack session to me. What are you doing at the weekend?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 8:25 pm 
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am busy on saturday , but am free on sunday


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 1:30 pm 
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the rhythm box xml is local rather then http .so this maybe not be the way to go . i tryed to get it to index files online but no joy .

ive got a command for rhythm box to get what is now playing

Code:
rhythmbox-client --print-playing


i think you are right about magnatune , trust seems to be the order of the day . if people want to steal it then they will.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 2:29 pm 
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Magnatune is pretty awesome I think. I'll drop by for lunch on Sunday and have a go at doing this in the action room, if it's empty. Or the cafe if it's quiet. Anyone who's interested feel free to drop by.

I think the most difficult thing is going to be getting ahold of the forest's music and getting access to the forest's http server. Can anyone help? And then of course there is the problem of getting the artists to consent to it (or to give any kind of response at all).

But lets find out if our hack can work and then worry about that stuff.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 3:03 pm 
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on a very related note, i see there was an effort a while back to get a forest podcast on the go. anyone know what became of this? i've experience in producing them and setting up the web site stuffs from working at abertay in dundee.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 3:47 pm 
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What would we podcast exactly? Like are we gonna record stuff specifically for podcasting? Or are we gonna record gigs in the cafe and podcast those? Either would be really cool.

For streaming bandwidth, maybe we should just use some service instead of buying our own? http://www.libsyn.com/ (I'm sure there are ways to do it for free, like archive.org again maybe).

If anyone shows up tomorrow in the action room we could talk about it. I'll aim to get there at about 12.

I don't entirely understand the whole podcast thing. Is 'podcast' just a new word for 'download'? It has always seemed to me that a podcast was simply a link to an mp3 download, optionally wrapped in an RSS feed, and sometimes with the implication that a new download will be available regularly. And sometimes, instead of the file being simply downloadable, they attempt to make it so that it can only be streamed and not saved, which is just an inconvenience. Milk, is this right or is there something more to it?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 4:07 pm 
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Quote:
i guess i'm missing something here on the internet streaming part of this... hasn't anyone clicked on the circle R next the What' On? section in the side bar? that's a streaming radio that plays anything we put into it. it would be nice to mix in some DJ commentary/forest talk into the mix.


I'm not sure what Pogo was talking about here (in the other thread). I don't see any what's on or circle bar in the forest.org.uk sidebar. Perhaps the site has changed since then. But certainly we already have Forest Radio streaming flash player thing embedded in the site, and presumably we can easily control what is available to be played through it, so we could publish anything this way. Does the site have anything else that I missed?

It has dawned on me that there are at least three ways to publish audio on the Internet that might be termed a 'podcast':

1. Just upload an audio file to a server and provide a URL so people can download it and play it themselves. Surely we could do this.

2. Have a streaming player embedded in website, where people visit the site and choose what to play, and play it when they want. Like YouTube, or like Forest Radio already does.

3. An actual Internet radio broadcast. This is more like traditional radio, where everyone hears the same thing at the same time, you have to tune-in at the right time to hear it. Maybe it is broadcast live.

I guess we can do 1 and 2 already, 3 might require something new. In a sense 1 and 2 are better, because different people can tune in and hear it at different times, when it suits them. 3 is more like making the Internet behave like older radio or TV technology. But with 3 you can broadcast live, which has cool factor and might give the people doing it better energy. It might seem weird recording something when no one is listening, to be uploaded later for people to listen to. Certainly different from being live 'on air.' I dunno.

Ideally you would do it like 3 and then archive it online for later reference like 1.
If we did anything, we'd definitely want to archive it all on somewhere like archive.org.

Oh, and recording gigs I think requires recording equipment setup in the cafe. In the past we didn't have that. How did Ryan record golden hours recently? And maybe pockets knows about this?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 9:27 pm 
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i think ghandi was keen to do podcasts --- i'm sure if we said we were doing it --- we could make it happen,

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 3:09 am 
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Quote:
What would we podcast exactly? Like are we gonna record stuff specifically for podcasting? Or are we gonna record gigs in the cafe and podcast those? Either would be really cool.


some podcasts are just straight music, but most go for a radio show style format. maybe forest record stuffs and gigs with some talk before/in between/after, updates on forest activities, interviews, prank phone calls, etc.

Quote:
For streaming bandwidth, maybe we should just use some service instead of buying our own? http://www.libsyn.com/ (I'm sure there are ways to do it for free, like archive.org again maybe).


i've just had a quick google and there appears to be a number of people using archive.org for hosting so that would possibly be an easy solution.

on what podcasting is - here's my description, but yeah, basically mp3 files with an associated rss feed (flash access is optional but recommended for more ear-balls). stuff that's flash only and live streaming don't count as podcasting. there aren't any live streaming relays for free anymore online (i used to do a monthly live stream [that then looped when we were off-air] with some friends from school circa 2000 through live365.com back before sites like that realised they didn't have a business plan that would make money by doing it for no charge).

Quote:
Oh, and recording gigs I think requires recording equipment setup in the cafe.


that shouldn't be a problem with the cd burner deck that's there now (has this been used for recording gigs yet?)

Quote:
If anyone shows up tomorrow in the action room we could talk about it. I'll aim to get there at about 12.


i should hopefully be able to make that.

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