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Spotify – 10 things you should know and have.

10 things you should know about or can do with spotify to maximise your usage.  

Enjoy 😉   

1. Multiple platforms  

You can run spotify on a number of platforms its not just for windows.  

Spotify for linux: http://www.spotify.com/int/blog/archives/2010/07/12/linux/  

Spotify for MAC: http://www.spotify.com/int/download/mac/  

Spotify for your mobile/cell phone: http://www.spotify.com/int/mobile/overview/  

2. Search better  

Search Spotify using modifiers to restrict and refine your results. For example, to search for Madonna’s 1983 output you enter “madonna year:1982”. You can also search for a range of years, like this: “rolling stones year:1965-1972”. Other modifiers include “album”, “artist” and “genre”. These can be combined, for example: “album:love artist:cult” only finds tracks from The Cult’s “Love”. Finally, Boolean syntax can be used to exclude keywords, like this: “genre:trip-hop NOT morcheeba”.  

Spotify boolean search  

EXCLUSIVE TRACKS: Filter bands and tracks out of search results with the Boolean NOT operator – or use the minus sign “-“.  

3. Link to part of a track  

As originally cited on the Spotify blog, you can send friends a track URI with a time index embedded in it. Copy the Spotify URI and paste it into your email or message window, then edit the URI to add ‘#time’ to the end. For example, if the track has a brilliant solo at 1:26, you append #1:26 to the end of the URI. You can also do this with HTTP links, but you’ll have to replace the hash tag “#” with “%23”.  

4. Integrate Spotify with Firefox  

FoxyTunes is one of our favourite plugins. It enables you to control Spotify (and over 30 other media players on Windows) from Firefox. You can also search for information on the current track direct from your browser. Combine it with Spotify Search for a complete search and playback solution in your browser.  

FoxyTunes  

FIREFOX ONLY: Though available in versions for Firefox and Internet Explorer, Spotify support is currently exclusive to Mozilla’s browser  

5. Last.fm scrobbling  

This one’s not rocket science, but it is a feature that’s not exactly promoted so we thought it worthy of mention. As with other music software, like iTunes, et al., Spotify can scrobble the music you are playing on Spotify to Last.fm (i.e. send it to your Last.fm profile). 

It’s super-simple to enable this link-up. Just go to the edit menu from the top-right menu bar, click preferences, scroll down three or so options and you’ll see a Last.fm box. If you enter your Last.fm username and password and check the “Enable scrobbling to Last.fm” button, it will do just that. 

 

Now, your Last.fm “Recently Listened Tracks” will display your Spotify streams. 

 

 6. Download music from spotify.  

It is indeed possible to dig in to the spotify cache however the legal aspect of this is on you.  

Details here  

7. Re-broadcast Spotify to your shoutcast server  

*Create a “loop” between headphone jack and line-in using the 2.5mm cable
*Start up Spotify app
*Start Winamp and DNAS server, connect make sure DSP Plugin is connected to the DNAS server, but do not press play on winamp (you should be able to see the spotify input signal in shoutcast DSP)
*Start up your internet radio and connect to the streaming computer using the “My Stream” entry  

supported shoutcast servers available at http://lmas-networks.com 

8. Keyboard Shortcuts 

Function Windows Mac
Create new playlist Ctrl-N Cmd-N
Cut Ctrl-X Cmd-X
Copy Ctrl-C Cmd-C
Copy (alternative link) Ctrl-Alt-C Cmd-Alt-C
Paste Ctrl-V Cmd-V
Delete Del Del, Backspace
Select all Ctrl-A Cmd-A
Select none Ctrl-Shift-A Cmd-Shift-A
Play/pause Space Space
Next track Ctrl-Right Cmd-Right
Previous track Ctrl-Left Cmd-Left
Volume up Ctrl-Up Cmd-Up
Volume down Ctrl-Down Cmd-Down
Mute Ctrl-Shift-Down Cmd-Shift-Down
Show help F1 Cmd-?
Give focus to address/search field Ctrl-L Cmd-Alt-F, Cmd-L
Go back (browse) Alt-Left Cmd-Alt-Left, Cmd-[
Go forward (browse) Alt-Right Cmd-Alt-Right, Cmd-]
Play selected row Enter Enter
Browse to album of selected row Ctrl-Shift-Enter Cmd-Shift-Enter
Browse to artist of selected row Ctrl-Alt-Enter Cmd-Alt-Enter
Preferences Ctrl-P Cmd-,
Logout active user Ctrl-Shift-W Cmd-Shift-W
Quit Alt-F4 Cmd-Q
Hide window Cmd-H
Hide other applications’ windows Cmd-Alt-H
Close window Cmd-W
Minimize window Cmd-M
Restore window (from hidden state) Cmd-Alt-1

9. Drag and Drop 

We all know you can copy and paste the http link, but did you know you can simply drag and drop playlists, songs, and albums straight into most instant messengers, email clients and URL shorteners. Check that. 

10. Plug-in’s Plug-in’s Plug-in’s you cant have enough. 

Take a trip to http://www.spotifyplugins.com/ more quality spotify plug-in’s than you can shake a stick at…. one of them probably makes your morning coffee for you 😀 

Looking for a SHOUTCast Host ? look no further!

Check out http://lmas-networks.com you seriously cant beat what they offer for only £1.00 p/month tons of features in the centova cast control panel and if you currently have shoutcast services hosted elsewhere just drop them an email they will give you a price match deal and give you a month free 😮 !!

Shoutcast hosting

They also allow you to use your own amazon affiliate ID (free to get) so you can make some money if anyone buys a track they hear on your stream!

Try them or ask for a free trial you wont be dissapointed.

How to Create a Custom Debian Live CD through the Web

If Debian means one thing, it’s functionality. You typically don’t go to Debian for cutting-edge features or fancy bells and whistles, but if you’re after an extremely versatile, stable, and dependable Linux, it can’t be beat. One of Debian’s newer offerings is the ability to create a custom Live CD directly from their website. You choose your options, they generate the image. Like all things Debian, it’s not flashy, you’ll get no AJAX animations or jQuery effects, just a functional, flexible, and powerful tool, and here’s how to use it.

Basic Settings

Click here to open the Web Image Builder. By default it will only show the basic options for building your CD.

debianlive-basic

binary-images specifies the type of image you wish to generate. Under most circumstances, you’ll want to leave that at the standard ISO CD format.

Under distribution, you choose which release of Debian to use for the install. In short, Debian always has three releases available – stable, testing, and unstable. The current stable release is codenamed Lenny and the current testing is Squeeze. Unstable is always Sid. For maximum dependability choose Lenny (stable), but historically the testing branch functions quite well as a desktop.

The packages-lists option provides a simple way to select from a predefined group of packages. For example, if you want to run a home studio in KDE, there just so happens to be a studio-kde package.

Presumably, the tasks section allows you to specify certain tasks for the build, however this feature seems to be almost entirely undocumented, which is rare with Debian tools.

packages is a list of the packages you wish to include in your CD that are not part of the lists you selevted previously. This can include anything in the Debian repositories, from media players like VLC to recovery tools like gparted.

Advanced Bootstrap Options

If all we could set was the basic options, this utility wouldn’t be especially useful. The next section of config, which can be accessed by clicking Advanced Bootstrap Options, gives us a few more important settings.

debianlive-bootstrap

Currently the architecture option only provides 386 style processors. This is a broad architecture, as compared to the likes of SPARC or PowerPC. You’ll set more a specific CPU type (686, 64-bit, etc) in a later section.

bootstrap-flavour is referring to the packages that will be involved in building the base system. Unless you’re trying to make your CD image particularly tiny, you’ll probably want to leave this at standard.

Leave mirror-bootstrap alone, as that will grab packages right from the build server, but you may want to set mirror-binary to your region. Users in the Unites States, for example, may wish to change http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian/ to http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/.

mirror-binary-security can be safely left alone, but if you intend to use non-open software (Flash, Skype, etc) you’ll want to change archive-areas to include “contrib” and “non-free”.

Advanced Chroot Options

As promised, this is the section where you can define a more specific CPU architecture, as well as some other handy options.

debianlive-chroot

When chroot-filesystem is set to squashfs, the files on your live CD will be compressed, giving you more space for applications. Generally this is what you want.

linux-flavours is where you can define your CPU architecture in more detail. Listed in the combo box are all supported 386-style CPU types, including images designed for virtual machines.

Strangely, security and symlinks seem to be two more largely undocumented features. Some limited testing indicates security may be related to SELinux configuration.

With sysvinit, you can decide whether or not you want to use the somewhat deprecated SysV Init system. Unless you have a particular reason to use it, and you’d probably know if you did, leave this setting at False.

Advanced Binary Options

As most of the options here are on the more technical side and do not require adjustment under normal circumstances, this section will focus most on the options a user is most likely to wish to change.

debianlive-binary

bootloader will let you choose between syslinux and GRUB. Syslinux is simpler and is the standard bootloader for Live CDs, but GRUB can provide more options. Unless you have a reason to use GRUB, Syslinux is the safest and simplest choice.

The debian-installer option is where you decide whether or not you’d like to support installation from your live media. According to the Debian Live team, this isn’t exactly in the spirit of the system (an official Debian install CD may be a better choice), but is supported nonetheless.

If you want the contents of your CD encrypted, you can simply set the encryption flag to the desired level of encryption.

Advanced Source Options

There are only two options here, source and source-images. The former is the decision on whether or not to include source code in your CD, and the latter is the format in which it will be stored.

Conclusion

When you’ve finished your CD, the server will take a few minutes to build your image and notify you via email when it’s ready for download. As usual, the Debian developers have come up with a useful tool to get the job done. Will it win any Beautiful Web Site awards? Probably not. Will it build a custom Debian live CD to your specifications? Absolutely.

How To Backup Your Ubuntu System With Remastersys

After countless hours of configuring, tweaking, installing new applications onto your Ubuntu system, the last thing that you want to do is to reformat and start everything all over again. Remastersys is here to save you all this trouble. Remastersys is a simple and easy to use application that allows you to easily clone and backup your Ubuntu system so that you can quickly restore your computer to its previous state in the event that it crashes.

There are two thing that Remastersys can do:

  1. To do a full system backup, including all installed applications, their settings and your personal data, to a live CD or DVD. You can use this live CD or DVD to restore your system or to install it in another computer. You can also bring it around and use it everywhere as a Live CD.
  2. To create a custom distributable copy of your current Ubuntu system and share it with your friends.

Remastersys comes with a GUI to guide you through the process. There is little or no configuration to do. In as little as one step, you will be backing up your Ubuntu (or creating custom distributable iso) in no time. Remastersys works only in Ubuntu and its derivative such as Linux Mint.

Installing Remastersys

In your terminal,

gksu gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

Add the following line to the end of the file.

For Gutsy and Earlier

# Remastersys
deb http://www.geekconnection.org/remastersys/repository remastersys/

For Hardy and Newer with original grub

# Remastersys
deb http://www.geekconnection.org/remastersys/repository ubuntu/

For Karmic and Newer with grub2

# Remastersys
deb http://www.geekconnection.org/remastersys/repository karmic/

Save and exit.

Update the repositories and install Remastersys

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install remastersys

Once the installation has finished, go to System -> Administration -> Remastersys Backup

If you have any other windows or applications running, close them all. Click OK to continue.

remastersys-screenshot1

Select the action that you want to do. If you want to create a backup of your system, including all the personal data, highlight Backup and click OK. If you want to create a distributable copy of your current system, select Dist and click OK.

remastersys-selection

Remastersys will proceed to do the task that you have specified. This will take a long time, depending on the number of applications and files in your system.

remastersys-in-process

You will receive a prompt when the backup process is done. The backup cd filesystem and iso can be found at /home/remastersys/remastersys folder.

remastersys-finish

If you have Virtualbox or VMware installed, you can test the iso file by loading it in a virtual machine.

remastersys-bootup

Conclusion

Remastersys is a powerful, yet simple to use application. There is no technical knowledge involved. You simply load it up, select the option and off it goes. It is ideal for backing up your system so that you can restore it in the event your system crashes. I like the feature where it allows you to create a custom distribution of Ubuntu. Over the time, I have received many queries from friends on how to install the various applications. With Remastersys, I can now create my own distro with all the applications pre-installed and distribute them to my friends.

Turn Your Ubuntu Lucid to Mac OS X

lucid-mac-logoWe have previously done so with Ubuntu Hardy and Intrepid. Now, we are back again, this time with Ubuntu Lucid.

Being a long term release, Ubuntu Lucid comes with plenty of design changes that make all our previous Ubuntu to Mac OS X tutorial obsolete. Nevertheless, with a modified Mac4Lin theme and the maturity of the Global Menu, I am now able to make this tutorial a much simpler, quicker and easier one than all its previous iteration. If you are looking to transform your Ubuntu Lucid to Mac OS X, this is also the most complete one around. Continue after the break.

Installing Mac4Lin theme

Download the modified Mac4Lin theme (the original Mac4Lin theme is outdated).

Extract it to your Home folder.

Open the MacLin_Install_Mod folder and double click “Mac4Lin_Mod_installer.sh“. When prompted, select “Run in Terminal“.

lucid-mac-select-installer

lucid-mac-run-in-terminal

It will then proceed to change your theme. When it prompts you if you want to install the components that require root access, type ‘y‘ (without the quote)

lucid-mac-root-access

When it asks you for a choice to select the bootup screen, type ’0′ (without the quote).

lucid-mac-select-boot-screen

When you see the message “Type any key to continue…“, you should have transformed 80% of your system interface to Mac OS X.

Configuring the Global Menu

Open a terminal and type the following:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:globalmenu-team
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install gnome-globalmenu
killall gnome-panel

Once done, remove all stuffs from top left panel (Right click on the panel and select “Remove from Panel”).

Right click on the top panel and select Add to Panel. Select Main Menu, follow by the global menu panel applet.

Close the window. Now move the two items (right click and select Move) to the left hand corner and make sure they are side by side.

You should see something like the screenshot below:

lucid-mac-top-panel

Configuring the Dock

There are several dock applications that you can use, but personally I prefer to use Cairo Dock as it is easy to install and configure.

sudo apt-get install cairo-dock

Before you launch the Cairo dock application, remove the bottom panel (right click at the bottom panel and select Delete This Panel).

Cairo dock needs a compositing manager to work, so make sure that your system support Compiz before launching the app.

(Only if your system does not support Compiz: You can activate the in-built metacity compositing manager with the command:

gconftool-2 --type boolean --set /apps/metacity/general/compositing_manager TRUE

)

Launch Cairo dock (Menu -> Accessories -> Cairo Dock). Make sure to set it to launch everytime you startup your computer.

Configuring the Login screen

To change the background of the login screen, simply follow the instruction at the change Ubuntu Lucid login screen tutorial or use Gdm2Setup.

Other optional tweaks

Expo

Expo effect is part of the feature in Compiz. You can easily enable the feature in Compiz Config Settings Manager (if you have not installed, click here to install).

lucid-mac-compiz-expo

Once you have activated the Expo feature, you can press Win + e button to bring up the expo window.

Dashboard

The Dashboard effect can be emulated using Screenlets and Compiz Widget layer.

Install Screenlets and the Compiz Widget layer plugin

sudo apt-get install screenlets compiz-fusion-plugins-extra

Open CompizConfig Settings Manager and activate the Widget layer feature.

lucid-mac-enable-widget

Launch Screenlets (Menu -> Applications -> Accessories -> Screenlets) and start the widgets that you want to use. Right click on the widget and select Properties. Go to the Options tab and check the box “Treat as widget”

lucid-mac-screenlets-widget

You can now press F9 to see your widgets in the dashboard.

Screenshots

lucid-mac-screenshot2

lucid-mac-screenshot1

lucid-mac-screenshot3

Uninstallation

To uninstall the Mac4Lin theme, simply run the uninstaller in the Mac4Lin_Install_Mod folder.

Double click the Mac4Lin_Mod_Uninstaller.sh. When prompted, select “Run in Terminal”.

You will be asked to log out and login again for the uninstallation to be completed.

Image credit: louisvolant

Using the /proc Filesystem to Examine Your Linux Inner Working

Quick – answer me this: How much swap space is in use on your system right now? How big is the cache on your CPU? What kernel modules are currently loaded? How many total drives and partitions are you running? If you’re running Linux, all these questions (and a whole lot more) can be answered one easy way: take a look in /proc. It’s a goldmine of system information, just waiting to be retrieved by users, administrators, and scripts. In this guide we’ll take a trip through /proc to see just what valuable system information you’ve been missing out on.

About /proc

Probably the most important thing to understand about /proc is that it’s not a normal directory with normal files. It’s more like a viewscreen into the system internals. Files in this directory are not read and saved to the hard drive like your average document or MP3, they’re generated by the Linux kernel on the fly. Accessing the file /proc/meminfo will likely give you different results each time, because memory usage is nearly always fluctuating.

By putting this kind of system information into a virtual filesystem like proc, the developers adhere to the UNIX philosophy “everything is a file”. They do this so that it can be easily read by any person or software as easily as a normal text file, no special libraries or languages necessary. For us, this means that up-to-date system information is always easily available.

Note: The files mentioned here should all open cleanly in any text editor of your choice. The examples here are showing the contents using the standard cat command from within a terminal.

/proc/cpuinfo

If you’ve spent any time at all in proc, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with this file. Displaying the contents of cpuinfo will give you a detailed picture of exactly what CPU you have and what features it supports.

proc-cpuinfo

/proc/meminfo

The other most well known file in proc, meminfo is an extremely handy file to keep around. It shows you information about memory and swap usage, and is one way that scripts and programs can find out what’s available.

proc-meminfo

/proc/cmdline

This file shows the options that were used to start the kernel. This can be handy when troubleshooting boot problems, or if you need to verify exactly which kernel file was used for boot.

proc-cmdline

/proc/filesystems

A lesser known but still useful file is filesystems. From here you can read the (somewhat extensive) list of filesystems currently supported by your kernel. Not all of these are the type of filesystems you’d use to store your data, some are like proc itself and have special-purpose uses.

proc-filesystem

/proc/PID

In this case, PID is the process ID of a running program. Each process has a unique number that the system uses to identify that particular instance of that particular program. For example, when you run the program top from the command line, you see a list of running processes and their PIDs. Each process has its own subdirectory in proc, which you can browse for information about that particular process.

proc-pid

/proc/modules

One of the most vital of the files in proc, modules contains a complete list of the currently active kernel modules. If you’ve ever had to work through video driver issues, you likely know how useful this can be. While likely not something you’d use every day, this file can be a lifesaver for troubleshooting.

proc-modules

/proc/mounts

You can quickly and easily check all your mounted devices by opening the mounts file. Once again, many of the items here are not necessarily mounts points that a user need be aware of. Most of the sections relevant to you will be found toward the bottom.

proc-mounts

Conclusion

There’s certainly more to proc than can be covered here, so I’d greatly encourage anyone reading this to do some poking around in proc to find the bits of information that could be really useful to you. While many of the files you’ll find there are intended to be used by the OS itself, they can all provide a valuable look into Linux’s operations.

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