Paul Barry 3.0

January 28, 2007

So I’ve finally finished the latest version of my site. The first version of my site went online on March 3rd of 2006 using WordPress. Then on my last birthday, I switched to Typo. Now, I’ve got up the first version of my site that I have built myself, using Java, Stripes, Spring and Hibernate. I’m using Resin as the Web/Application server and MySQL for the database. The OS is Ubuntu and it is hosted with VPSLand.

I hoping that this version will be more stable than the previous version. If you are having any problems using the site, let me know.

What Rhapsody Should Be

August 2, 2006

I posted this over on Andy Gadiel’s blog in response to Why Don’t You Use Rhapsody? Since blogger doesn’t appear to have trackbacks, I am re-posting it here.

I am a rhapsody subscriber. I agree with you, having access to all that music is great, and has actually developed into something I need. Music is one of the most important reasons that I own a computer that is connected to the Internet, second only to general Internet use (email, google, wikipedia, blogs, etc.). But that being said, I am frustrated with Rhapsody for a few reasons:

  1. I am a linux user, would love to use ubuntu as my only operating system, but an forced to live the life of dual-boot do to the lack of any quality music subscription service. As you mentioned, Mac users are in this same boat too.

  2. I hate DRM. I don’t care how flexible the DRM rights are, I just don’t like the idea of it. When I buy a CD, I can listen to it on as many stereos as I like and make as many copies as I like. That’s the way digital music should be. I can sort of accomplish this with rhapsody, by buying songs for $.89 each, or cheaper sometimes if I buy the whole album (not too bad a price), burn the songs to a CD, and then rip them to 128kbps, non-DRM MP3s. Still, more work than it should be, just sell me the 128kbps MP3 and make my life easier.

  3. I have found their software to be buggy. I have been so far unsuccessful in trying to get Rhapsody-to-go to work with my supposedly supported mp3 player. Burning CDs never seems to work like it should, there’s always some problem, whether it be authorizing my computer, getting the files to download, whatever.

So here’s the deal:

Somebody (Google, I’m looking at you), develop a web-based site that allows me to listen to every song ever recorded over the Internet for $9.99 per month. I say web-based because I don’t want to install any funky software or anything, especially because I know that software will only run on windows. Just allow me to queue up the URLs of MP3 files in my MP3 player of choice (such as winamp, xmms, etc., like you can do now on the Live Music Archive. I’m sure you can figure out some way of authenticating my account when I hit the mp3 URLs (cookies?). Then, let me purchase the songs on an individual basis or the whole album. Make sure to keep the prices competitive to. Remember, I can buy a lot of used CDs from and probably a whole bunch of other sites for $5-$7 per CD. I can rip those songs to MP3 and then donate the CD to the library. The songs should be available in a variety of formats, my number 1 choice being 128kbps MP3s, but flac and ogg would probably be a good idea too. Whatever the formats you have, make sure they are all DRM-free.

That’s it. Once you’ve got that, goodbye rhapsody, hello gmusic. Drop the whole concept of music-to-go. If I want to listen to music on my MP3 player, I’ll buy the songs in regular MP3 format and transfer them, especially if I can just download the 128kbps MP3s with one-click (skipping the painful, download > Burn CD > rip to MP3 process necessary with Rhapsody now). This should be a lot easier on you, not having to try to support some weird DRM format on a gazillion different MP3 players, only to find out that Jon Johansen has cracked your DRM format 3 months after you release it. I’m a legitimate music consumer willing to pay for non-DRM music and not instantly upload all those songs to Kazaa or whatever the virsus-ridden, P2P network is the most popular these days. So that’s my $.02, I’m off to to get the GRAB show.

Posted in Technology | Topics MP3, Ubuntu

Ubuntu install woes

March 1, 2006

So, I tried installing Ubuntu, but didn’t get very far. The good news is that once I Burn the ISO to a DVD (which was ridiculously easy with Nero, Burn from Disc Image), I restarted and it booted fine. Then, I noticed it was an install DVD as well as a Live DVD. So I figured I would check out the Live DVD. It boot fine, a little slwo, but what can you expect loading from a DVD. Once loaded, it seemed to be working great. Each app started slowly, but once it was running, it was pretty snappy. I sent an email via gmail in firefox and opened an Excel spreadsheet using open office, both worked great.

I tried to play an mp3, which didn’t work with Totem Media Player (which was the default player) or Rhythm Box, didn’t work in either one. I checked the help in Rhythm Box, didn’t say anything about why MP3s might not work and how to get them to work. In fact, when I started Rhythm Box, it said something about how it “makes mp3s easy to play”. I think the reason it doesn’t work is that you have to explictly install some extra plug-in to get MP3s to work, due to licensing issues. I understand that, but the help for Rhythm Box should make it pretty clear what I need to do. Totem has associated to mp3s by default, yet it blew up when I tried to play an mp3 with an unhelpful message. It should it least have something saying “You must install XYZ in order to play MP3s”.

Despite that, the Live DVD was exciting. This was the closest I seen to having a Linux install that “Just Works”. But, I ran into some problems when trying to actually install Ubuntu on one of my extra hard drives. Rather than just give up, I posted a message to the Ubuntu mailing list, so this will be a good test to see how helpful the community is.

Posted in Technology | Topics Ubuntu, Linux


March 1, 2006

So I’m about to embark on my 538th attempt to really use Linux as a desktop. I’ve got an extra disk in my computer, so I figure I’ll install Ubuntu on that and see how it goes. I like the fact that Ubuntu seems to have good documentation for stuff people actually use computers for. I always thought this was lacking with Redhat/Fedora, or any other Linux distro. The other thing I like about Ubuntu it’s really free. Other distros I tried in the past (Redhat and Mandrake, I’m looking at you) were free to download and install, but it was a pain to get updates. You either had to be part of the Redhat Network or the Mandrake club. Ubuntu, not the case. So we’ll see how this goes. I’ve download the DVD ISO, so step one is figuring out how to burn the ISO to a DVD in Windows.

Posted in Technology | Topics Ubuntu, Linux | 2 Comments