Older blog entries for movement (starting at number 292)

Ripping vinyl on Linux

 I've been ripping a lot of stuff from vinyl to FLAC recently. Here's how I do it.

I have an Alesis I/O 2, which works well and seems fairly decent quality.

First, most important, step, is to stop trying to use Audacity. It's incredibly broken and unreliable. Go get ocenaudio instead. It's fairly new, but it works reliably.

After monitoring your levels, record the whole thing into ocenaudio.

First trim the lead-in and lead-out, and the time when you turned over the record. Then you can delete the few samples for any loud clicks. ocenaudio doesn't seem to have a "draw sample" function yet, the only thing I miss from Audacity, but deleting just a few samples is usually fine.

Normalise everything.

Then, zooming into the breaks, add a marker with control-K.

You'll see references to using zero-crossing finders to split tracks. This is always a bad idea - it's simply not reliable enough, especially with an old crackly record, isopropyl'd or not.

Zoom all the way out again, make sure the number of tracks is right.

Then Edit->Split Audio At Markers.

Save all the parts. I just save them out as WAV first, with the default file names, as it's quicker.

Then it's conversion to FLAC time:

$ for i in untitled* ; do flac "$i" -o "$i.flac"; done
$ cat ~/bin/dotag
#!/bin/bash

#usage: dotag "The Birthday Party" "Junk Yard" tracklist.txt untitled*.flac

artist=$1
shift
album=$1
shift

#echo "args $*"
tlist=$1
shift
echo tlist is $tlist
nr=1
cat $tlist | while read track; do
echo "$1: $artist - $album - $nr $track"
#id3tag -a"$artist" -A"$album" -s"$track" -t$nr "$1"
metaflac --remove-all "$1"
metaflac --set-tag="ARTIST=$artist" --set-tag="ALBUM=$album" \
--set-tag="TRACKNUMBER=$nr" --set-tag="TITLE=$track" "$1"
nr=$((nr + 1))
shift
done

$ dotag "The Fall" "Dragnet" tracks untitled\ 8.flac untitled\ 9.flac untitled\ 1*.flac

After that, use easytag to rename the files into a proper directory, and we're done.  

Syndicated 2014-01-10 11:53:00 (Updated 2014-01-10 11:53:52) from John Levon

31 May 2012 (updated 18 Dec 2014 at 16:08 UTC) »

Recording on Linux with Alesis io|2

A little note for myself: to get low-latency monitoring, and more importantly, record at the right rate, you need to set the Configuration-Profile to "Digital Stereo Input" in pavucontrol!

Update: you also need this in ~/.pulse/daemon.conf :

 default-sample-rate=48000

Syndicated 2012-05-31 15:39:00 (Updated 2014-12-18 15:30:58) from John Levon

PayPal idiocy

This is unbelievably stupid of Paypal. I just got this email from them:


vinyl tap records would like you to use PayPal - the safer, easier way to pay and get paid online.
To send vinyl tap records your payment and see the details of this invoice, copy and paste this link into your web browser:

https://www.paypal.com/uk/cmd=_prq&id=...

So much for "never click a URL in email". Even worse, if you log in separately, the request is not visible anywhere. Morons.

Syndicated 2011-02-22 11:17:00 (Updated 2011-02-22 11:18:56) from John Levon

NatWest phishing service

I got some NatWest phishing spam the other day and was amused to notice this:


<title>NatWest - Security Information</title>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" />
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="http://www.natwest.com/microsites/global/phishing_demo/includes/css/generic.css" media="all" />
...
<a href="http://www.natwest.com/"><img src="http://www.natwest.com/microsites/global/phishing_demo/images/h_logo.gif" alt="NatWest - Load home page" /></a>


Enterprising of them to actually uses NatWest's explanation of phishing to ... phish.

Syndicated 2011-02-18 02:36:00 (Updated 2011-02-18 02:39:44) from John Levon

Name and shame time

To quote 123-reg customer support:

> When will you be supporting AAAA records?

There are no current plans to implement this but notifications will be sent out if this takes place.

Syndicated 2011-02-03 13:02:00 (Updated 2011-02-03 13:03:31) from John Levon

Avoid vps247 hosting


Late last year, I was forced to find a new host for movementarian.org, as my previous hosting provider (Blue Room Hosting, who were really great) were shutting down. I went with VPS247, as they were local to Manchester and seemed reasonable.


Unfortunately my experience has been terrible. They've failed to keep the machines on the net, regularly causing ssh sessions to die. The dmesg is full of warnings about the block drivers failing to write for more than two minutes: evidently the SAN setup they have is totally unreliable.


My VM went down for a significant amount of time and support were very slow to respond. During the total outage, there were no status updates, and no response on the support tickets or the forums. The penultimate straw was when my filesystem was massively corrupted. Even though my VM is hardly critical, I can't be doing with unreliability like this, especially when they're not reachable when problems occur.


My final straw, though, was when I discovered they'd deleted all the negative comments from the Client Comments section of their forum. That's really, really, not on.


I'm now with linode and happy (so far).

Syndicated 2011-01-05 23:39:00 (Updated 2011-01-05 23:49:11) from John Levon

pbranch curiosities

I've started using pbranch extension for hg more seriously. It works nicely but is a little rough around the edges, in particular:



No hg qpop/push equivalent


I really miss this. I find myself constantly doing hg pgraph to figure out where I am and then typing the patch above or below.



No way to shelve a patch


With MQ, I can easily guard a patch to temporarily remove it from the queue. There doesn't seem to be a simple way to do that with pbranch.



Editing patch messages.


You use peditmessage, but because this modifies the repository, you then have to always hg pmerge -all. This pops to the top and causes a bunch of extra changesets, and it gets annoying quickly. And frustratingly, these patch messages do *not* appear in the repo history. So your code reviews of the main repo are just showered in useless merge messages, instead of the actual commit message you care about.



No pfinish


I don't know why, but there's no way to automatically commit a patch as a single changeset on the root default tip, then close the patch branch.



Inserting and deleting patches is horrible


Yuck - I really hope this gets easier soon.



Showing the current patch history


A little tip not mentioned on the pbranch site: the way to show the changelog history of the current patch is to do hg log -b patchname.


Syndicated 2010-09-02 00:13:00 (Updated 2010-09-02 00:27:38) from John Levon

Re-enable Ctrl-Alt-Backspace in Xorg

Create the following as /etc/hal/fdi/policy/30user/10-x11-zap.fdi:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<deviceinfo version="0.2">
<device>
<!--
Default X.org input configuration is defined in:
/etc/hal/fdi/policy/30user/10-x11-input.fdi
Settings here modify or override the default configuration.
See comment in the file above for more information.

To see the currently active hal X.org input configuration
run lshal or hal-device(1m) and search for "input.x11*" keys.

Hal and X must be restarted for changes here to take any effect
-->
<match key="info.capabilities" contains="input.keys">
<merge key="input.x11_options.XkbOptions" type="string">terminate:ctrl_alt_bksp</merge>
</match>
</device>
</deviceinfo>

and then restart hald and Xorg.

Syndicated 2010-09-02 00:05:00 (Updated 2010-09-02 00:09:08) from John Levon

Disabling that goddamn GTK bell


echo 'gtk-error-bell = 0' >>$HOME/.gtkrc-2.0

Syndicated 2010-09-02 00:03:00 (Updated 2010-09-02 00:04:38) from John Levon

Changing liferea keyboard shortcuts

Liferea has no keyboard shortcut editor itself, but "Toggle unread status" demands the wrist-breaking chord action of Control-U. It expects you to be able to edit the shortcuts via the editable menu feature of GTK+.


Unfortunately that's disabled on all modern GNOME installs, and there's no UI for re-enabling it. As usual, gconf-editor to the rescue. The key you need to change is /desktop/gnome/interface/can_change_accels. After re-starting Liferea, you can then edit via hovering over the menu item and pressing the combination. Of course, this in itself is buggy: if it clashes with a menu accelerator (as 'r' is), it will perform that action instead.


It's simpler to directly edit the accels file in your Liferea dot dir.

Syndicated 2010-01-31 17:26:00 (Updated 2010-01-31 17:30:24) from John Levon

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