Lacking in blog posts this month as I've been busy... oddly, given my current predicament, but there you go. I do have a whole heap lined up, but just no time to write them, or it would be inappropriate to write them... yet. So in the meantime this will have to do.

tl;dr:

  1. mpv http://149.202.90.221:9036/; or mpv http://a.files.bbci.co.uk/media/live/manifesto/audio/simulcast/hls/uk/high/ak/bbc_6music.m3u8
  2. mixerctl -w outputs.master2=170,170

I appreciate that most people take audio and listening to music on their computers entirely for granted, but for me on a NetBSD machine this is whole new ground for me. Not because NetBSD can't do audio, rather the hardware I've used couldn't; Well, even then, technically it could, but in a choice between wifi and audio I chose wifi; It sincerely wasn't worth my time figuring out the address conflict.

On that note: Why did I bother building my own kernel when I could have just disabled everything via userconf on boot?

There are really only two things I really want need to listen to:

  1. The Remix - Eddy Temple Morris, on Soho Radio London.
  2. Lauren Laverne on BBC 6 Music.

(There's also Jo Whiley on BBC2, Steve Lamacq on 6 Music, Annie Mac on Radio 1, Shoplifters on Soho, Simone Marie on Soho, John Kennedy on Radio X... but, but, I can cope without them).

Since my only current computer is a Dell Optiplex which I had no intention of running anything else but NetBSD on I was a bit concerned about missing out on 6 Music and The Remix. Technically, we do have a DAB radio in the house, like, technically, we have a couple of iPads and a Macbook Air, but that doesn't mean I get to use them. And that would only solve the 6 Music problem anyway.

To date, because of lack of home computing power, I have listened to The Remix via catch-up on Mixcloud at work. The good thing about the Optiplex is I now have a whopping 1GB of RAM compared to 128MB, and two 3.4GHz processors instead of one 497 MHz processor. So I can run Firefox on this thing NO PROBLEM. Technically, that also means I can run Flash (although practically I think that doesn't mean it'll have any more success than getting pulseaudio working) which means I could use Mixcloud on this machine, but I really don't want to run Flash anyway if I can help it. Fortunately, many, many other people think Mixcloud only offering streaming, and only offering that via Flash, is complete pants: The best site for finding downloads is Offliberty, but if that fails there is the much more spammy/pop-up Savedeo; There maybe command line tools, but it's finding a maintained one that is tricky (and investigating writing my own hardly seems worth it for once a week; although...).

I used to listen to 6 Music at work via iPlayer which also uses Flash, but thankfully I already knew there were workarounds thanks to this excellent BBC on Linux post. So I installed VLC via pkgin only to have it crash every single time I tried to open a stream. Everything else seemed to work, just not the one thing I wanted it for. I'd used cmus a lot under Arch Linux and thought I'd look to see if that supports streaming; It does, supposedly, but I couldn't get it to work. I almost wobbled and looked at getting Flash working, but then remembered reading mentions of mplayer as an alternative to VLC; I'd not used it for years and then never for streaming. So I went looking for mplayer only to not find it available via pkgin (even though it was in pkgsrc); this confused me for bit, until I eventually somehow discovered that mpv is the mplayer replacement and available via pkgin!

mpv is superb. And easy to use; the man page is probably the longest man page I've ever seen though. You just supply it the argument for whatver you want to watch/listen to and that's it:

mpv http://a.files.bbci.co.uk/media/live/manifesto/audio/simulcast/hls/uk/high/ak/bbc_6music.m3u8

Or for listening to a download:

mpv the-remix-with-eddy-temple-morris-06052016.m4a

Or for listening to an album:

mpv Wolf_Alice-My_Love_is_Cool/

Which automatically creates a playlist for that directories tracks. I see no reason to use anything other than mpv from now on.

There are lots of commands, but the only ones I'm using at the moment are:

  • space - to pause/resume.
  • Q - to quit, but remember playback position when you play that file again.

For controlling the volume, I'm doing that outside of mpv:

mixerctl -w outputs.master2=170,170

(255,255 is ridiculously loud, even by my standards).

As said, I only used Mixcloud for Soho because I couldn't listen live at home. Soho, like 6 Music, is streamed on the internet, but unlike 6 Music that is the only live way of listening. It is trivial to find the streaming url for Soho Radio London, although it is a little odd: http://149.202.90.221:9036/; (that semi-colon is the filename). Now I just need Mixcloud for the week's I've missed as long as I can orchestrate being incredibly anti-social with my wife so I can sit and listen to The Remix on a Friday night, which will be the first time since Eddy TM left Xfm that I'll have had a chance to listen live!

Headphones. I just need new headphones. Next month!