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.


  1. mpv; or mpv
  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:


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:; (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!