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WiFi PDA Meets Linux--Part 5 - page 3

Music To Work By

  • August 26, 2005
  • By Rob Reilly

Playing On-Board Music

Playing on-board music (stored somewhere on the iPAQ) is a cake walk.

  1. Start GSPlayer.
  2. Click "File" at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Click the "Open File" menu item.
  4. By default, all supported file types are listed. Of course, if you don't have any audio content on your iPAQ, you won't see anything.
  5. Click on a file name to play.

Playing Files From A Linux/Samba Server

Playing files that live on one of your Linux/Samba servers, is a slightly more involved process.

  1. Start File Explorer (on the main Start menu).
  2. Click the Shared icon (hand with a disk drive, at the bottom).
  3. Type or use the drop down menu to select the Samba server, that house your content. I simply use the share name, like "\\moe\disk2". Moe is the Samba share and disk2 is the directory.
  4. If you use user name and password authentication, that can be done next.
  5. When the Samba share directory appears, click and hold on the file to get the options menu and select "copy".
  6. Switch over to the main iPAQ file or card storage directory and then click "Edit".
  7. You can then select paste, to save the file.

Now you can play the file the same way you would for on-board music, because that's really what it is.

It might be advantageous to organize your files by artist or genre on your server. Or, you can simply put your files in one big directory and create play-lists. If you want to build play-lists, it's easy to pull over a couple of files then save the play-list on the iPAQ. You can copy the play-list back and forth to the Samba server, since editing/duplicating/modding the files on your server or Linux machine is easier than doing it on the iPAQ.

Play Files Via Your Networked Apache Server

Of course to play files from an Apache Web server, you'll need to have one set up on your network. Once you have your server running, a quick and dirty way to organize your files is to stick them under your main Web page directory. I set up my Apache server to dole out files on /disk2. The audio files are under the "music" directory.

Downloading files via Apache is similar to downloading from a Samba server, except easier.

  1. Start the Internet Explorer on the iPAQ.
  2. Punch in the URL of your Apache server. My server IP is http://192.168.2.12.
  3. You can click through the directories, to get to your content file. Mine are under "music."
  4. Then it's just a simple matter of clicking on the file and it will be downloaded to the iPAQ. You'll have the option of playing the file after it is saved. Just say yes.
  5. As soon as the file is downloaded, GSPlayer should start to play. You may have to go into the "Tool" and "Options" menus to tweak the file association.
  6. Under the Preferences screen, scroll over to the Associations tab and check all the file formats you anticipate using.

You can also create play-lists on your Linux machine using the URLs and then download that list to the iPAQ. Doing it that way, will play the file over the network, without any downloading. An entry like http://192.168.2.12/music/.ogg will work.

Play Internet Streams

Shoutcast has a great selection of music that you can play using GSPlayer on the iPAQ. There are two ways to play your songs.

Method 1:

  1. Start Internet Explorer and click to the Shoutcast site.
  2. Next click on one of the "Tune In" buttons.
  3. When the "Download 'shoutcast-playlist.pls' to blah, blah blah" message comes up, click "Yes."

The play-list will be downloaded and GSPlayer will start the music.

Method 2:

  1. Start GSPlayer.
  2. Click "File" then "Open URL..."
  3. Enter the URL and then click the "ok" at the top right of the screen.

GSPlayer will start playing the stream. Obviously, you need to be near an access point that's connected to the Internet, for this to work.

Sometimes I can't attend a Melbourne LUG meeting because of home-bound obligations. It's nice to be able to walk around my house, with the iPAQ in my pocket and still listen to the audio stream. Hey, that kind of a service might work in an office building or at a conference.

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