KMix, Veromix, QML and other stories…


I’m very happy as of late, you know?

Why? Well, one of my favorite pet disgruntles with KDE KMix (kde default audio mixer) was that it felt that the poor thing was abandoned.
Is felt old and misplaced compared to Mac or Windows 7 Mixer, or even gnome audio sound applet, with all the fancy media player support and all.
Gnome Volume 

So it was with great joy that some months ago i saw this little jem in kde-apps.org.
Veromix was the answer to my prayers. A PA (pulseaudio) plasma mixer, that even had media player (mpris,mpris2) support!
And best of all, written in python, so to add this plasmoid you just need to download the .plasmoid.
It was love at first sight.
Now i saw this blog post, about the rewrite of kmix as a QML plasmoid.
I was exultant!
WHY?
Well, in my book, competition is good, and coo-petition is even better :)
So a new mixer can only add to the options available, and add pressure to up the standard.
However, this kmix qml is still some time for a formal release, and will probably only be included in KDE SC 4.7 or beyond.
Now, veromix is now and here, and can be added with a click of a button using GHNS (Get Hot New Stuff) directly from your current KDE SC 4.6 and below.
So i decided to write a short review of Veromix, what it currently does (lots of stuff) so you can read it, download it and start enjoying it. My not so hidden intent is to hope that the KDE folks always will read this and take notice on a mixer well done, so they can incorporate some ideas in the new kmix.
Remember, coo-petition is a GOOD THING!(tm)
So without further ado, here comes Veromix 0.11 beta 2 awesomeness :)
First, what IS veromix? From the author kde-apps site:

Veromix is a mixer for the Pulseaudio sound server.Features:
- Media Player Controls (aka nowplaying)
- per application volume control (replay & record)
- global hotkeys
- can life in system tray

So, since it uses PA it already has some advantages.
First, the sound “streams” are added and removed dinamically.
No more clutter, if you are (for ex), running skype, it will show a skype mixer WHEN THERES SOUND, or a amarok, or whatever.
As soon as you close (or the app closes) the sound thats being received, it disapears from the veromix plasma window.
First, lets take a look at veromix with skype sending a sound test and a flash playing in my firefox 4.0, along with my opened amarok (the media player support shows covers and gives controls for all MPRIS/MPRIS2 players, like amarok, clementine, rythmbox, etc).
Neat hu?
Also remember, since veromix uses PA, you have PER APPLICATION sound volume, so you can control master sound as a whole, or set individual sound settings for each stream that shows up, this for output AND INPUT.
In this case, amarok is the LibVLC audio stream (since im using phonon-vlc and at this point), and you can see i was listening to AC/DC in amarok, from the cover support :)
Now, when skype stopped playing the test sound, i also closed the firefox tab with the youtube trailer (the plugin-container alsa playback), and automatically those “streams” where removed.
No manual intervention, a dream come true.
Same is true for recording, open skype, start talking into the MIC, and veromix will show your input.
Below i opened a sound recording app and the app was automatically available in the record tab so you could control the input.
As soon, as you stop the recording, the stream disappears :)
One other thing that i love about Veromix, is the one click output selection.
What does it mean? Imagine, that like me, you have a notebook with HDMI.
So you are listening to a ogg or you want to see Tron Legacy in your 50” TV with audio.
No problem, open your favourite player (VLC, SMplayer, whatever), and just click on the sound output in veromix to HDMI.
INSTANT GRATIFICATION IS ALWAYS GOOD :D
In this example im showing the analog stereo output, but you would only need to select the HDMI output and instantly the sound would have been redirected.
In conclusion, veromix is one today the best plasmoid mixer available for pulseaudio, and in my opinion, is a first rate mixer, period.
The author keeps adding stuff to the mixer, and im pretty sure more cool and interesting stuff will surface in the months to come.
But dont take my word for it.
Download it today via GHNS or site and give it a spin.
You will be pleasantly surprised, and maybe.. a little amazed :)
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Linux Browsers GPU (2d/3d) support review (firefox/chrome)


Firefox 4.0 beta 9 was release a few days ago and Chromium (chrome) 10.x is coming along nicely, showing that things are starting to stabilize while developers ready their code for 2011 releases.

So i decided to fire up both of them, and give them a good spanking of 2d/3d tests, to see how far they would go without going belly up.
First the test subjects:
On the left side, with a 4.0 tag and almost out of beta, we have firefox 4.0 beta 10 daily build:
Build identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:2.0b10pre) Gecko/20110117 Firefox-4.0/4.0b10pre

On the right side, we have the new kid with a lot of muscles, Chromium 10.x dev version:
 

Chromium 10.0.642.0 (Developer Build 71583) Ubuntu 10.10
WebKit 534.16
V8 3.0.7
User Agent Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux x86_64; en-US) AppleWebKit/534.16 (KHTML, like Gecko) Ubuntu/10.10 Chromium/10.0.642.0 Chrome/10.0.642.0 Safari/534.16

 

Both have 2d/3d and webgl support activated to the extent of their capabilities in Linux.
On the Hardware side, we have a HP Pavilion dv7:
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GT 230M
CPU: Quad Core i7 with two threads per core
Driver: NVIDIA proprietary blob version 260.19.29
So lets start with some spinning, courtesy of no other than Microsoft IE team itself :)
I run both browsers through their passes in this test, and they both passed with flying colors:
Chromium:
Firefox:
This test is significant as it tests / accelerates HTML5 Canvas, and really shows how fast things can go with GPU enabled.
Next we decided to look at some fishes, and come up with this:
Chromium:
Firefox:
Some might say:
AH! you only put 20 fishes in there!
Ok, so how about 1000???
Chromium:
It slows down a bit, but that is more my HW then anything else, try this same test with gpu disabled and see how many FPS you get ;)
Now is time to torture firefox:
he’s a little slower, i suspect that in this case is HW + a little slower javascript engine (although he performed very well indeed, this test stresses the machine a lot).
Ok, so both browsers behave the same?
Not quite, Chromium believe it or not, does a much better job when in comes to GPU, it has implemented more features than firefox 4.0 as of now. In my testings i found even some mozilla tests that work fine (with GPU in chromium, but not in firefox 4.0 for linux), heres one example:
Chromium:
Firefox:
But now you will say:
WAIT A FRAGGIN MINUTE! Firefox 4.0 actually has MORE FPS then chromium!!!
AHHH so you have been paying attention! :D
Ok, it didn’t in firefox 4.0 beta 9, but in beta 10 they fixed this “kind” of acceleration, so now firefox is actually a little faster than chromium :D
Now, for something a little different, lets see an amazing WebGL demo produced from the kind folks at Mozilla (maybe you’ve heard of them ;)):
Chromium:
Firefox:
Note this ISN’T a video, its webGL, openGL rendered in real-time inside the browser with a lot of HTML5 going on in there:

Mozilla is showcasing our Flight of the Navigator (FOTN) demo, and I wanted to tell you a little bit about it.  FOTN takes advantage of many of the new and improved features of Firefox 4, and is an example of the kind of things you can do with HTML5, WebGL, web audio, and faster JavaScript.

So check the port for a better understanding of what the future holds.
In conclusion, we can see that the lack of proper GPU acceleration in Linux where greatly exaggerated, not only we have it, and even better, it is stable and fast :) I’ve been using both browsers for months without having a single crash caused by GPU acceleration.
Truth be told, this browsers rarely crash and when they do, it’s usually just one tab (because of the sandboxing and other stuff going on in there).
So get excited, lots of good stuff coming our way :D
BTW the linux distro is Kubuntu 10.10 64 bits severely altered by myself (i contribute for both ubuntu/kubuntu) :D
Enjoy!
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Amarok 2.2 – Review de lançamento (portuguese version).


O amarok 2.2 acabou de sair, e com ele, uma miríade de novidades que tornarão a sua vida musical maior, melhor e mais colorida. :)

Segue uma análise de algumas das novas funcionalidades que seguem no novo lobinho.

Para começar, podemos observar que os desenvolvedores de vez em quando até escutam os seus usuários, e como tal, finalmente podemos organizar o lobinho à vontade.

Chegaram os novos dockers que permitem customizar o amarok no seu estilo.

Como podem observar pelo screenshot acima, eu criei duas abas, uma com os plasmoides e outra com o restante do conteúdo, pus a playbar embaixo e a lista do lado direito.

Tudo isso é muito bonito, muito lindo, mas depois de brincar uma meia hora, começa a nascer a necessidade de realmente ESCUTAR alguma coisa no bichinho novo.

Bom, a playlist em si foi totalmente revista, muita coisa mudou, vamos dar uma olhada em exatamente o quê.

Embaixo da playlist temos dois botões novos,

O primeiro a contar da direita permite ativar a tag que irá organizar a sua playlist (tudo isto é feito dinamicamente).

Como podem ver, a playlist pode ser organizada de várias maneiras, album, artista, etc.

O segundo botão a contar da direita é uma adição de funcionalidade já existente no 2.1.x, o layout manager, com ele fica mais fácil aplicar o seu próprio layout automaticamente à playlist.

Próximo da lista, uma das minhas features favoritas e um dos meus requests em relação ao 1.4, que foi implementado, a habilidade de mudar as informações na playlist sem precisar de abrir o tag editor, basta clicar uma vez no item, e passar o mouse nas ratings (estrelas) ou clicar no campo editável. Uma adição que vem do 1.4, muito bem vinda.

Mas não só de beleza vive o amaroker, e os devs fizeram MUITAS mudanças sobre a capota. Agora é possivel usar um MYSQL externo mas mais importante, adicionar coleções de diversas fontes!!! ou seja, vc pode adicionar um IPOD, um dispositio VFAT (como music players xingling (chineses) que exportam como vfat), CDs de música, etc etc, e eles serão tratados como outra coleção, podendo ser arrastados, copiados, apagados (quando possível).

Você pode até misturar coleções de sources diferentes e manipular quase completamente, simplesmente único.

Agora, o amarok nunca foi nem nunca será um SIMPLES tocador de música. Ele é o centro da sua vida musical, e como tal, encarrega-se de armazenar, buscar, alterar, etc tudo o que tenha a ver com a música que enaltece o seu coração.

Pensando nisso, todos os plasmoides foram melhorados e alguns novos foram acrescentados.

Então agora além de albuns, letras e wikipedia, nós temos vídeo que é buscado do youtube e outras fontes automaticamente em relação à música que está a ser tocada, e inclusive, pode ser visualizado DENTRO do amarok com direito a arrastar para a playlist, etc…

Agora, perguntinha séria, você é um(a) daqueles(as) que categorizam tudo o que vêem, incluindo os namorados(as)?

Então esta feature é para si. Mate-se de tanto indexar e organizar com o novo sistema do amarok, infinito, poderoso e extremamente simples.

Já para os indecisos que não conseguem nem escolher um par de meias de manhã, temos a feature que irá tocar a música que vc quer pra vc, sem precisar escolher, apenas lendo as suas ondas cerebrais.

Isso mesmo, a smart playlist está ainda mais esperta, diria até mesmo que desenvolveu poderes telepáticos.

Ok, talvez não telepáticos, mas com certeza vai ser dificil não gostar do que ela escolher pra vc.

Eventualmente, depois de usar o amarok por u tempinho, vc acabará por reparar num botãozinho que não existia antes (não, não em vc), com uma estrelinha e três listrinhas (NÃO, NÃO EM VC!).

O que ele faz? Bom, além de ativar o assento ejetor, é o novo sistema de bookmarks do amarok, que grava praticamente tudo o que vc estiver fazendo. Localizações, organizações da playlist, ponto da música, etc etc. Acho que até pega cafézinho, mas não testei essa funcionalidade ainda.

Para ver o que está gravado nas bookmarks, temos o Bookmark manager.

Ainda no lado escondido da coisa, o novo indexador de tags adiciona um valor único a cada arquivo, ou seja, mesmo que vc o mova de uma coleção para outra, por ex, de um ipod pra um HD externo, o amarok saberá de onde veio e mudará todas as estruturas de acordo.

Como de amor tb vive o lobinho, os plasmoids que já existiam foram melhorados, e por ex, o plasmoid que mostra a trilha atual agora permite arrastar a capa do álbum, o cover manager foi melhorado, as capas agora tem zoom, e por ai vai. Muitas coisas para serem descobertas.

Bom, estas são ALGUMAS das novidades, deixei algumas de fora para que vc ainda se surpreenda muito com este lobo, que já vem turbinado de nascença.

E é APENAS uma beta ;) A minha única pergunta neste momento é:

Você aguenta????

Enjoy!

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Amarok 2.2 – Reloaded, revamped, rethinked, reeverything!


I have a little secret to share with you, Amarok 2.2 Beta 1 is almost out!! shhhh, don’t tell anyone, it might scare the little puppy :)

Are you curious to what incredible and life changing goodies it will bring to your life? Do you?

Then keep on reading…

First off, i’m pleased to announce that the amarok devs have ears, that’s right, they actually LISTEN to user requests, and so, they added a much asked feature to amarok 2.2, the ability to change the layout has you see fit. the following screenshot shows MY amarok 2.2 git build with MY way of organizing the myriad of information that amarok provides.

AS you can see for yourself, i organized the playbar below, and added two tabs (yes, you can do that and much more), one with the collection browser and other with the info center (which was revamped BTW).

Thats good for keeping us busy for half an hour, but there will be a time when you eventually will have the urge to actually LISTEN to some music.

Well, the playlist was revamped also, a lot of functionality was added and/or tossed around, so lets see some new features.

There are 2 new buttons to the right, and they add some nice features.

The one at the utmost right allows you to determine what tag will sort your playlist (this is all dynamic BTW).

The second one is a revamped way of organizing an configuring something that was introduced in amarok 2.1, the layout manager.

Next on the list, one of my preferred features and a pet peeve that got added recently, the ability to change the playlist tags (including ratings) without the need to open the evil (evil in the sense of too much bloody mouse clicks) tag editor. Justble) click once, the playlist item will then change aspects and will allow you to change the SENSIBLE tags (tags like music time won’t be changeable).

Under the hood, the amarokers did even a more splendid job. Now and for all times to come, the local browser is not for local content anymore, it allows ipods, etc like it did, but also cds are treated as removable collections and the great new advent of VFAT devices (you know , those chinese kinda-alike ipods that you and me own?).

You can even mix and match by drag and drop between them, truly life changing :)

But amarok was never JUST to play or organize music, but everything musica related, lyrics, wikipedia info, ratings, etc etc.

Well now we have photos and videos pulled on the fly by several sources, thanks to the KDE infrastructure magic you can even PLAY THE VIDEOS inside amarok itself, just drag them to the playlist or doble click them (same behaviour) and you are done!!!

Now, lets get serious here. Are you one of those sorting freaks, that index your refrigerator eggs, and catalong girlfriends/boyfriends by age, size and height? Well, then this feature is for you!!!

Sort your brains out, with this new playlist sorting, never ending, all you can eat sorting mechanism.

But what about me, the “OMG i can’t decide what i want to listen!!!” type of person?

Well, in amarok 2.2, the dynamic playlists are even more dynamic, powerfull and PINK!

Ok, maybe not PINK :P but even more powerful then in 2.1, that’s for sure :)

Another thing that you will notice eventually is a little button, with two stripes that pratically shows up everywhere in the layout.

What does it do? Well, in one word… Bookmarks… which are now much more that just that, you can bookmark virtually everything amarok can put his paws onto. Seeing to believing.

If you click on the bookmark manager you get…

Also, thanks to the new tagging/indexing system that the amarokers developed, each song has its own unique identifier inside the tag, so if you move your music around, amarok WILL recognize it and hunt it down.

All the plasmoids got some love too, the current track allows you to dran and drop the cover, the album is more alike the 1.4 one, the lyrics are editable on the fly, the wiki got the same features 1.4 add (artist, albm, etc).

Well, this are some of the MANY MANY changes amarokers are doing to the mighty wolf.

And this is only a beta :) expect them to keep coming your way.

My only question at this point is!

CAN YOU TAKE IT???

Enjoy!

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Consertando a webcam que usa v4l ao invés de v4l2 no seu (k)ubuntu 9.04


Eu tenho uma Webcam antiga que comprei do matusalém quando ele mudou de máquina, é uma Pixart PAC207BCA que utiliza o famoso módulo gspca, mais precisamente o gspca_pac207.

Acontece que no ubuntu jaunty e superior, a maldita não funciona corretamente com aplicativos que usam v4l. Se vc usar o ekiga, cheese e outros que usam v4l2 ela funciona perfeitamente, mas se você usar o skype ou kopete que ainda usam a v4l, aí temos um festival verde ao invés da nossa fuça.

Eis a solução, da terra das gambiarras.

Primeiro, adicione o seguinte PPA:

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/libv4l/ppa/ubuntu jaunty main

e deixe o mesmo atualizar a sua libv4l.

Ok, agora com ela instalada, vamos testar.

Rode o skype ou kopete e verifique que você continua vendo lindos quadrados verdes ao invés do seu rosto ou dos seus entes queridos.

Agora rode a seguinte linha em uma console:

LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/libv4l/v4l1compat.so skype

O skype irá abrir e… INCRÍVEL, seu rosto aparece…. aeeeeeehhhhhh \o/

Agora, a explicação.

Mesmo com a libv4l nova instalada, o linux teima em carregar a libv4l2 primeiro, o que dá os resultados naturebas que observamos, ao utilizar o LD_PRELOAD nós basicamente obrigamos a v4l a carregar primeiro (detalhe que isso NÃO QUEBRA os aplicativos que usam v4l2 como cheese por ex).

Agora para torná-lo permanente, adicione a seguinte linha no seu startkde

export LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/libv4l/v4l1compat.so

grave o arquivo e seja feliz pois todos os aplicativos que usam o v4l como skype e/ou kopete agora funcionam corretamente.

Nota: se vc usa o Gnome, procure nos fórums como acrescentar essa linha para se tornar global do sistema.

Existem N maneiras de fazê-lo, eu apenas demonstrei uma (e nem é a melhor).

Enjoy!

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1 Bilhão de raposas! Parabéns Firefox!


E disseram que não seria possível! AH!

enjoy!

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Padoca agora serve asinhas de frango…


É isso aí, o padoca está no twitter (vejam aba do lado direito), através do mesmo poderão seguir os últimos softwares lançados no repo padoca, links de interesse e outras novidades que nem sempre merecem um artigo completo no blog, mas nem por isso deixam de ser interessantes.

Enjoy and keep tweeting!

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