the itjerk

my adventures with technology

Tag Archives: music

discogs.com

I have a few passions in life: technology, food (both eating and cooking) and music. I’ve been collecting records since the early 70s and have amassed a man-cave full of them, along with CDs, DVDs, boxsets, cassettes, singles, etc. After doing this for decades, I find slimmer pickings at the shops these days; mainly, because I already own most of the records that I want, and well, people’s taste in music doesn’t really change that much over the years, does it? But I still love collecting, and I still love record shopping.

In 2005, I discovered discogs.com. It’s a website built around a user-contributed database with just about every music release ever, you know, released. Think of it as Wikipedia, but for albums. The coolest feature is the implementation of master release and subsequent pressings. For the collector, one can find the exact pressing in their collection, or the copy that they are looking for, as there’s also a marketplace attached to the site — I guess that’s how they keep the bills paid for running the website.

As with any “user-contributed” sites, discogs.com has its pluses and minuses (the minuses being users that take it upon themselves to police every last change to a listing), but overall, it’s very accurate and very robust. As a marketplace, it’s effortless to drill down to the *exact* release I want; as well as creating a want list for those that I cannot afford! Anyway…

I have a lot of records; to the point of I don’t even know what I have! On a recent record-run, I bought five records that I already owned. Not a lot of money, but it pushed me into action. Discogs.com also has a feature that allows one to catalog their collection to the website, as well as a phone app that lets one access that collection wherever they go. The trick is, you have to enter that collection into the website. Luckily, the phone app has a built-in barcode reader, so adding items to your collection is as easy as scanning them (just keep the app rotation fixed to portrait)! For records, unfortunately, this doesn’t work, as ones prior to 1980 never had barcodes. But it’s easy enough to enter the catalog number from a computer.

It’s a time consuming process, but not one without reward – revisiting items I didn’t know I had – nor one without an end. Figuring out which specific pressing I have (Monarch, Presswell, etc.) can be arduous, even to the point of who cares; but it’s a solution to a very real need, and a damn good one at that. Give me a year and I’ll have most everything cataloged.

Until then, enjoy the music.

Advertisements

raspberry pi and the squeezebox server

Here's something that's really easy to setup – streaming music from your Slimserver/Squeezebox Server/Logitech Media Server to your Raspberry Pi. Not a lot of assumptions here; my Squeezebox Server is at home, and I'm at work; I've opened the necessary ports at on my home computer and router (22 tcp, 9000 tcp, 3483 tcp/udp), and I know it's WAN and LAN addresses. I'm also going to assume that you know the drill about opening ports on computers, your work's security policies and all that jazz.

Please note that all this can be done using your remote computer's host name; just open a stream to yourhomecomputer.com:9000/stream.mp3 in just about any media player, play it, then open a browser to yourhomecomputer.com:9000, select the remote player, queue up some music and press play! All this assumes that your Squeezebox Server is set to use port 9000.

But for security's sake, I'm going to use ssh port forwarding to send all the traffic through a tunnel. This not only secures the stream by using ssh, but allows you to load the stream and view the web interface using the localhost interface on your RPi.

Okay, first setup a port forward from your Squeezebox Server at home on your RPi using the terminal. Note that all addresses are for your Squeezebox Server computer.

ssh -L <local port>:<lan address>:<lan port> <username>@<wan address>

Next, just add the music stream to mpc and play it:

mpc add http://localhost:9000/stream.mp3
mpc play

Now, point your browser to http://localhost:9000 (or whatever local port you are forwarding to), select the appropriate player (mpd on your RPi), queue up some music, and viola, you can enjoy all the music from your Slimserver/Squeezebox Server/Logitech Media Server wherever your Raspberry Pi is connected!