Archive for October, 2011

Don’t let Banshee scare your removable device!

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

As you might know, Banshee replaced Rhythmbox as default media player in Ubuntu as of 10.10. Apart from being written in Mono (which I consider a weak point), Banshee is a more temporary media player with support for many portable media players and online stores.

I sport a Transcend MP860 which I described in one of my earliest post. So far, I was just manually copying files to and back to the device using the shell or Nautilus. It works but I wanted to see whether I can use Banshee for that as well, since my music collection of 5800+ songs is already being managed by Banshee.

The first couple of tries were not succesful. Dragging folders from 1) to 2) didn’t work as I was hoping.

Dragging folders from 1) to 2) didn’t work

Banshee would start converting the .ogg files to .wav files. As the MP860 can play .ogg files, no conversion should be required.

The context menu of the device in Banshee was not helpful either: right-clicking the “8.0 GB FileSystem” and selecting “Device Properties” does supposedly allow you to change settings, but in my case only .wav was available.

As so often, Google to the rescue! Sometimes it’s frustrating though. Nothing but bug reports about format conversion problems or promising hints that end in 404 error pages. Fortunately, I found another post that treats a similar sort of problem with Banshee and removable devices. The steps outlined in that post helped me fix my problem. I will show you what I needed to change to fit it my requirements…

Below is a screenshot of my MP860 when I connect it via USB to the pc:

The directory structure on my MP860

These are the default directories and the MUSIC folder contains my audio files in a two-tiered structure e.g. <band>\<album>

Now, in order to make Banshee recognize the MP860 player as a media player that’s capable of playing .ogg files, I needed to touch the following file in the root of the MP860:

cd /media/disk (<– your player might be mounted with a different name)
touch .is_audio_player

Fire up your favourite text editor and edit .is_audio_player to contain the following lines:


It’s probably self-explaining, but here you are:
The first  line must contain the path to your music files.
The second line… I actually don’t know. My directory structure is two levels deep… I have no idea where Banshee would copy files if the folder_depth were 3.
The last line specifies the output format that your player knows. If the file format in Banshee matches the output format specified in that line, no conversion will take place. The files will just be copied. In his post (see the link above), Activ8specifies several non-ogg formats, separated by a comma. Check out his post for the exact syntax or feel free to experiment!

HTH some.


Getting attached to abstract things and what happens when they get lost ^_^

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

I started this homepage more than ten years ago (and made no money out of it at all since then)

My registrar is in the U.S. and since I reserved this domain for ten years, I was pretty miffed when last weekend the registration run out. OF COURSE the administrative email address I registered back then has been non-functional for quite a while so I never got any warnings. After all, 10 years on the internet is like half an eternity!

Only when the homepage was not available anymore I noticed how dear it is to me. I don’t think I’m a cyberaddict (iAddict?) but I’ve put a lot of time into that site after all.

Fast forward to me scrambling to get my page back online… fortunately it all went well but since I re-registered the page for another ten years, maybe the same will happen again in 2021.

Starting folder in Python’s gtk.FileChooserDialog …

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

I’m at best a knowledgeable beginner in Python but after seeing how badly Bashee Player is at synchronizing your music library with your portable devices, I thought I’d give writing my own synch tool a try…

First hurdle: The starting folder in the gtk.FileChooserDialog as taken from the Ubuntu package “python-gtk2-tutorial”

After reading several pages of documentation, I found a post where a user did something similar and the same worked for the that comes with the examples:

dialog = gtk.FileChooserDialog(“Open..”,


Of course, that’s still hard-coded but if you put in a variable and put the variable into the preferences that the user can edit… voilĂ !

Hope this helps someone!