Operating System

Pi-Amp Linux Logo
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Pi-Amp Annual Operating System Usage

Any flavor of X86 operating system can be installed on this project. My preference is Ubuntu because of stability, security, speed and abundant media applications.

Operating System Description No. Supplier Stock No. USD ea. Total
Ubuntu Debian Based Linux Operating System 1 Canonical 10.04 Free 0.00
Windows Commercial Operating System 1 Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 140.00 140.00

The objective of this section is to cover Linux applications needed for basic media trans-coding (ripping) and playback. I can't hit everything and I know others will have preferences completely different than mine. That's the core of Linux - Freedom.

  1. Moving files between computers requires enabling network sharing. In order to share files from this system with other computers, enable network sharing by installing Samba using Package Manager. To share a directory, right click on the folder, select properties -> sharing, and enable sharing.
  2. Reading and playing DVD's encoded with the Content Scramble System (CSS, most commercial DVD's) requires installation of the libdvdcss2 library. This is not available in the Ubuntu software repository however can be installed from Videolan.org. Other handy codecs for playing various proprietary formats also available on that web page are the w32 or w64 codecs. Installation of these codecs requires use of the command line interface and is clearly explained.
  3. DVD and video file playback is handled by VLC. VLC can be install through Package Manager. This player will handle most file formats. VLC has an equalizer, however custom settings cannot be saved. Transitions in and out full screen mode with a mouse click.

    Pi-Amp VLC Media Player
  4. DVD's can be stored on the system HDD as iso images and played, trans-coded or burned at a later time. The disc burning application K3b handles all types of disc burning and copying tasks and is available from Package Manager. Creating an iso file from a DVD is accomplished by inserting a DVD, opening K3b, selecting Copy Medium from the main page, checking "Only Create Image" and saving. Destination is specified in the image tab.

    Pi-Amp K3B 1
    Pi-Amp K3B 2
    Pi-Amp K3B 3
  5. Handbrake is a versatile application for trans-coding from DVD. Handbrake is not available in the Ubuntu repository but can be installed from this ppa.

    Pi-Amp Handbrake
  6. AcidRip and DVD::Rip also trans-code from DVD and are available from the Ubuntu repository. Acid rip is a front end for Mencoder. DVD:Rip is a front end for Transcode.
  7. Rhythmbox is the music player native to the Ubuntu distribution. It has the ability to display album art, organize tagged files by album, artist and title, create play lists, and sync to most portable music players. Rhythmbox utilizes GStreamer, a comprehensive suite multi media plugins.

    Pi-Amp Rhythmbox
  8. Audacious is a light weight music player suitable for music collections organized with artist - album file structure. Audacious can create play lists and has an equalizer. Audacious does not maintain a data base like Rhythmbox or Amarok so it launches quickly. There are two interfaces - the classic player (like Winamp) and a simple GTK interface (like Nautilus). After using almost every Linux music player I found the Audacious GTK interface the most useful.

    Audacious - Classic
    Pi-Amp Audacious Classic

    Audacious - GTK Pi-Amp Audacious GTK
    Pi-Amp Audacious Equalizer
  9. Internet Streaming Radio - Most broadcast radio stations have live internet streams. Stream formats such as MP3, Ogg Vorbis and AAC can be handled by VLC, Audacious, Rhythmbox and Amarok. A good internet radio tuner "front end" to any Linux media player is StreamTuner2

    Pi-Amp Streamtuner 2

These are a few examples of the variety of media applications available for the Linux operating systems.

Pi-Amp Anti DRM Cartoon Author Unknown