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View Full Version : Announcement: VortexBox 0.4 released



agillis
2009-02-26, 10:13
We have been trying to build the perfect backend server/NAS software for SqueezeBox using open source software. We seem to be getting closer with this release. We added better error correcting to our autoripper so it can rip CDs with errors.

If you need a server to store your music on VortexBox will save you time and money over commercial solutions. You can use an old PC that you already have, install a larger drive into it, and load the VortexBox ISO. VortexBox is built on Fedora 10 Linux so itís easy to customize your server and configure it to do whatever you want. Right after installation VortexBox will be ready to auotrip CDs and server them up using the installed and pre configured SqueezeCenter.

Our goal is to make VortexBox the easiest to use most functional backend for Squeezebox.

If you have any comments on VortexBox or any features you would like us to add please post them here.

Moonbase
2009-02-26, 10:22
[…] Our goal is to make VortexBox the easiest to use most functional backend for Squeezebox. […]

Cool. Keep it up!

A-hem … How about adding a preconfigured MusicIP Headless? And some nice GUI option to enter one’s key for it? And run genpuid after a rip? … ;-)

agillis
2009-02-26, 10:44
Interesting, I didn't know about MusicIP. What does it do for you and how does it work?

Moonbase
2009-02-26, 11:46
Couldn’t live without it :-)

Generates "acoustic fingerprints" for uniquely detecting music, uses these to create "sound-alike" mixes. (Also the system used behind the scenes with the MusicBrainz database, and BBC and last.fm use it.)

AND it’s supported by SqueezeCenter, so they’d make a perfect match on VortexBox!

More info:
MusicIP Mixer (http://musicip.com/mixer/index.jsp)
MusicIP Forums (http://forums.musicip.com/)
Wiki: Integrating MusicIP with SqueezeCenter (http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.php/Integrating_MusicIP_with_SqueezeCenter)

Now VortexBox with MIP included would be a shiny all-in-one solution!

N.B.: If you’d be going for it, I’d recommend storing genpuid’s analysis data in the file’s tags, not only in their "MusicIP Library Cache". This might get corrupted/deleted, and the user would have to invest the looong time it takes to analyse all files again. A query to their MusicDNS server is MUCH faster if the analysis data is already in the tags!

Oh, and you could get much more exact artist/title/album information using the MusicDNS database after the analysis is done. They already store an impressive amount of correct tag data. (Might also pay to use the MusicBrainz API, they use MusicDNS "behind the curtains".)

A good and quite helpful contact person is Wendell Hicken ("whicken" in their forums).

agillis
2009-02-26, 21:04
I'll look into it. Seem easy enough to install.

Moonbase
2009-02-26, 21:08
Thanks for your interest! Really looking forward to whatís coming out of it :-)

mherger
2009-02-27, 01:04
I tried installing it in VMware, but failed with both default install and install in vmware (<30GB) options. After entering the root password (during installation) I get error messages "Error opening /dev/sdX: no such device or address" (where X was a, z, y, q, r...)

--

Michael

agillis
2009-02-27, 12:52
I load VortexBox into Vmware all the time for testing and it works very well. What Guest Operating system did you select for the VM? You need to use "Other Linux 2.6.x kernel" for it to work. You will need to use the <30GB option. That way VortexBox will install on just one partition. The default install creates a separate partition for the music files and this does not work well in small disk sizes.

If anybody is interested I could create a pre-built VM for download.

gharris999
2009-02-27, 13:10
Couldn’t live without it :-)

Generates "acoustic fingerprints" for uniquely detecting music, uses these to create "sound-alike" mixes.What's your sense of how well MusicIP works with classical music? I've been curious about this but have yet to devote the time to get it running on my server. I'm guessing that with 1T worth of flacs with more than 125 days of play time, the "finger printing" processing time would be a pretty serious investment. Is there any way to "finger print" a given flac at rip time? Or does the entire collection need to be printed in one go?

I guess what I'm asking is this: is there a musicip tag that can calculated and then stored in the file which musicip could subsequently read for its db? I already calculate windows disc id and cddb ids for CDs as part of my ripping script..and these tags end up in the cuesheet. Is there a command-line utility to fingerprint a single file and output the print value?

mherger
2009-02-27, 13:27
> I load VortexBox into Vmware all the time for testing and it works very
> well. What Guest Operating system did you select for the VM? You need
> to use "Other Linux 2.6.x kernel" for it to work.

Will try that. I was using "Redhat".

Michael

Moonbase
2009-02-28, 07:56
What's your sense of how well MusicIP works with classical music?

Unfortunately I only have very few classical titles. I would expect good results but you might want to ask someone that really uses MIP with classical music. Or give last.fm a try — they use MusicIP’s MusicDNS service (plus a little more) behind the scenes, so you might get a feasible approximation.


I'm guessing that with 1T worth of flacs with more than 125 days of play time, the "finger printing" processing time would be a pretty serious investment.

Indeed. About 20k files took around 7 days here … (heavily loaded Windows machine) It’s faster when they know about the titles already, but if you have music that’s new to their database, calculation really eats up processor time.


Is there any way to "finger print" a given flac at rip time? Or does the entire collection need to be printed in one go?

Well shortly after. The Windows MusicIP Mixer GUI will react to directory changes for folders you can set, and thus automatically start fingerprinting in the background. You have the option to set thread priority for that, plus the option to automatically save the analysis data in the tags (which I’d highly recommend).

You can also use the command-line genpuid tool in Linux to fingerprint all or part of your collection. (Can also save to tags.)


I guess what I'm asking is this: is there a musicip tag that can calculated and then stored in the file which musicip could subsequently read for its db?

Exactly that :-)

What many don’t know: It makes sense to have good tags in your files before "fingerprinting", so the MusicIP database doesn’t get cluttered with too much nonsense data. (They can "repair tags".) I’d suggest using MusicBrainz Picard for that — MusicBrainz also use MusicIP, and the PUID they talk about (and use as their "acoustic fingerprint" for tagging correctly) has a direct connection with the MusicIP database. ;-)

We are talking about these tags here:

MP3:
TXXX:MusicIP PUID
TXXX:MusicMagic Data
TXXX:MusicMagic Fingerprint

Vorbis Comment (FLAC):
MUSICIP_PUID
ANALYSIS
FINGERPRINT

Moonbase
2009-03-31, 07:46
Andrew, any progress/news regarding MusicIP integration for Vortexbox?

I’m currently playing with Vortexbox 0.5 on a spare PC, trying out SC7.4-25724, a custom Jive and MIP headless 1.8.

Just wanted to remark that for Fedora/Vortexbox use, it might be wise to modify the "mmserver" sample from the wiki (http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.php/Integrating_MusicIP_with_SqueezeCenter#Installatio n_of_MiP_headless) as follows, so it supports use with chkconfig and ntsysv:


#!/bin/bash
#
# /etc/rc.d/init.d/mmserver
#
# Starts the MusicMagicServer daemon
#
# chkconfig: 345 79 31
# description: runs the MusicMagicServer daemon
# processname: MusicMagicServer


# NON-PRIVILEGED USER TO RUN MUSICMAGICSERVER.
USER=root
# PATH TO THE MUSICMAGICMIXERSERVER
export MUSICHOME=/root/MusicIP/MusicMagicMixer/
case $1 in
start)
su - $USER -c $MUSICHOME"MusicMagicServer start & > /dev/null"
echo "Running MusicMagicServer"
exit
;;
stop)
su - $USER -c $MUSICHOME"MusicMagicServer stop & > /dev/null"
echo "Stopped MusicMagicServer"
exit
;;
*)
echo "Usage: /etc/rc.d/init.d/mmserver { start | stop }"
exit
;;
esac

Copy it to /etc/init.d/mmserver, then do a


chkconfig --level 345 mmserver on

and reboot. MusicIP headless should now start before SqueezeCenter and stop after :-)

Before starting MIP headless the first time, a directory $HOME/.MusicMagic should be manually created (for root, this will be /root/.MusicMagic), and a modified mmm.ini copied there (edit and copy the one that comes as example with the installation):


[mix]
mixsize=60 minutes
restrict=30 tracks
style=200
variety=1
seed=1
[server]
proxy=0
host=
proxyport=
authentication=
user=
password=
[services]
key=(your MusicIP Mixer registration key, or leave blank)
cache=/storage/music/flac/autoload.m3lib
port=10002
tivo=0
upnp=0
api=1
readonly=0
cpu=0
refresh=15


Placing the MusicIP Library Cache file as autoload.m3lib into the FLAC storage (instead of using the default $HOME/.MusicMagic/default.m3lib) allows for easier backup, access of the library from other computers (Windows MusicIP GUI!), and auto-translation of the file paths inside.

This means you could even use, check and update your Vortexbox’ MIP Cache from, say, the Windows-based MusicIP Mixer GUI. Just add it as a "device" like V:\files\music\flac and you will be able to access it cross-platform.

Hint: This will not work correctly with UNC paths like \\vortexbox\files\music\flac! You need to map a drive letter for the Windows-based GUI to do all path transformations correctly.

Also, you should right-click your new "device", select "Properties" and set good "publishing patterns". (Putting remote files into playlists or the like will actually copy them to the defined path, that’s what MusicIP call publishing.)

Hint 2: For some reason (at least using MusicIP Mixer v1.8.1b), analyzing remote songs over a Samba (Linux) share doesn’ work. I mentioned this ever so long ago over at the MusicIP forums, but it still seems an existing bug.

Hint 3: If you wish to run genpuid, you’ll need to install libstdc++.so.5 which you can do by performing a:


yum install libstdc++.so.5

agillis
2009-03-31, 11:16
I never really understood how MusicIP works. I got it running but I couldn't get it to do much inside SC. I'll make an RPM that does what you posted. If you can test it that would be really good.

Moonbase
2009-03-31, 12:16
Sure, be happy to test :-)

You might want to somehow start a genpuid run for files just ripped, so they can have the analysis data stored in their tags. Iíd recommend not trying to update the autoload.m3lib using genpuid 1.4 (it has a bug) but instead store the analysis data inside the files, and when finished, trigger a MusicIP cache rescan using the http API.

(You need a [free for personal use] MusicDNS key for genpuid to operate.)

Something like:


genpuid (your key here) -r -archive -logex /storage/music/flac/ (path to newly ripped files)

and


http://localhost:10002/server/refresh


All this would also allow to get (almost) perfect tagging data ;-)

Try, for instance (on analyzed files):


genpuid (your key here) -r -ext=mb /storage/music/flac/ (path to files to check)

... and youíll end up with a beautiful XML file containing all relevant tagging data for the file(s) selected, fresh from MusicBrainz!

gharris999
2009-03-31, 16:38
Moonbase: two final musicip questions:

1). Do you know if the genpuid fingerprint tool can work with flacs with embedded cuesheets? I.E. does it know how to distinguish tracks within a flac? And in terms of storing the fingerprint in a tag in the flac for quicker rescan, how does it store the tags in flacs with multiple tracks?

2). Is musicip dying? It looks like their principal developer has jumped ship: http://forums.musicip.com/index.php?showtopic=4286

Wirrunna
2009-03-31, 21:42
What's your sense of how well MusicIP works with classical music? I've been curious about this but have yet to devote the time to get it running on my server. I'm guessing that with 1T worth of flacs with more than 125 days of play time, the "finger printing" processing time would be a pretty serious investment. Is there any way to "finger print" a given flac at rip time? Or does the entire collection need to be printed in one go?

I guess what I'm asking is this: is there a musicip tag that can calculated and then stored in the file which musicip could subsequently read for its db? I already calculate windows disc id and cddb ids for CDs as part of my ripping script..and these tags end up in the cuesheet. Is there a command-line utility to fingerprint a single file and output the print value?

Gordon,
I use MIP all the time and about 1/3rd of my music is classical.
I feel there are a couple of limitations on MIPs ability with classical music, the first is that MIP only analyzes the first 30 seconds of a track, so if there is a long intro then the "musical fingerprint" may be misleading (this applies to all music but is more noticeable with classical), the second is that most symphonies are a musical story from the first movement to the last and I like listening from start to finish. However, if you want to make an adagio mix or a Bach mix or a romantic piano mix then MIP is great (providing your seed track is well picked).
I recommend that you make a subset of your library on a test system, somewhere in the vicinity of 1000 tracks with a fair bit of variety, let MIP analyze and store its analysis and try a few mixes, varying the mix parameters and seed songs. From this you should be able to get an idea of the time it will take to analyze your 1Tb library, and of the usefulness of MIP to your listening.
I run MIP from the GUI, I've never bothered with setting it up headless, the server sits under the stairs and I use VNC when I have to talk to it. Another plus for MIP is you can run the Spicefly sugarcube plugin.

Agillis, please accept apologies for hijacking your thread.

Moonbase
2009-04-03, 08:30
Gordon,

1) It won’t (do fingerprinting correctly with multi-track FLACs). Another reason to go for single-track FLACs (which I did). Fortunately, SC can play them gapless.

2) Nobody seems to know, but I personally also haven’t heard from Wendell for quite a long time :-( I hope they are not, because they are still the best system — and what would MusicBrainz, the BBC and last.fm be without them, to name just a few?

Let’s hope for the best …

Ben Sandee
2009-04-03, 09:14
On Fri, Apr 3, 2009 at 10:30 AM, Moonbase
<Moonbase.3q2poc1238772902 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
>
> 2) Nobody seems to know, but I personally also haven’t heard from
> Wendell for quite a long time :-( I -hope- they are not, because they
> are still the best system — and what would MusicBrainz, the BBC
> and last.fm be without them, to name just a few?

I think MusicBrainz, last.fm and (yes, even) the BBS will be fine --
they were around long before MusicIP. The core identification
technology is safe in the MetaBrainz foundation even if MusicIP goes
belly-up.

Ben