Very small test of Maemo media players

One of my home computers exports lot of music over Samba (everything as one share). In next room I have HiFi system where I like to play some of them. So I decided that N810 (or even 770) should be enough for it.

Default Media Player

Simple application with support for simple media library (internal flash, memory cards and Internet links). Playing from my Samba collection is possible but require adding files (no way to add folders) so playing more then one album can be real PITA as file requester always starts in “Documents” folder instead of last selected one.


Nice looking application with support for simple media library (one folder in internal flash, memory cards and Internet links). No Samba support at all.


No idea does it supports Samba or not — after installation is just told “no albums found, bye”. I wonder how people are supposed to use it… Maybe it require “faking” some albums before first start… I have to admit that I have no idea — UKMP homepage contains release notes not documentation rather.

Also it’s post installation script do very nasty things:

rm /media/mmc1/covers/songlist.txt
rm /media/mmc2/covers/songlist.txt
rm /media/mmc1/covers/*.avi.jpg

cp /usr/bin/ /usr/bin/MediaCenter
cp /usr/bin/ /usr/bin/uktube
cp /usr/bin/ /usr/bin/ukmp
rm /usr/bin/MediaCenter.pyc

chmod a+x /usr/bin/MediaCenter
chmod a+x /usr/bin/uktube
chmod a+x /usr/bin/ukmp

rm /media/mmc1/covers/songlist.txt
rm /media/mmc2/covers/songlist.txt
rm /media/mmc1/covers/*.avi.jpg

For me this is good example of “I do not have idea how to build package” and “I do not care about users data”.


Simple(?) interface, no possibility to tell where to check for media files…

MPD based streaming

Other solution is streaming from Samba machine (with “mpd” for example) and then playing stream with even default media player. But then I would have to use two programs just to be able to play songs (one to control “mpd” and second for playing stream). I did not tested this way (yet).

Local mounting music collection

I can probably install smbfs and smbmount packages (or rather build and install) and then play from “local filesystem”.

Other way is use of FUSE to mount Samba shares but (as usual) fuse packages are not available for Maemo.

And what will happen when shares will be not available? None of those players will know that it was remote folder and will probably poll() it for updates…


Nice device but still no media player which will be able to play my media directly.


GIT – second try

Due to recent discussion on OpenEmbedded mailing list I decided to give GIT second chance (first one was few months ago).

I imported Poky using git-svn tool and started hacking. First work was switching to OPKG (described in other post). I created branch for it and changed bit after bit — result was patchset with 17 patches. I pushed them into official Subversion repository in a bit other order and as few less revisions. After that I dropped branch as not needed any more.

Next was creating few branches for local hacks. Merging branches is easy when there are no conflicts and require manual calling of git mergetool FILE (instead of that being called automatically). Cherry picker works very nice and “rebasing” branches recognize such revisions.

Nasty thing is that every change has to be committed before switching branches as there is only one “working copy” at time (not like in CVS, Subversion or Monotone where you need “working copy” per branch).

What do I feel about GIT now? I started to like it.

Good bye ipkg, welcome opkg

During last days I was working on switching Poky Linux into using OPKG package manager. Today whole work was merged into trunk and we got rid of non-maintained IPKG.

What is OPKG? It is fork of IPKG (from done for Openmoko distribution. It has all usable patches from OpenEmbedded related projects merged and got some new features:

  • libcurl instead of wget for fetching
  • GPG signing of repositories is now possible
  • GUI package managers can have own callbacks
  • sends download progress updates to libopkg clients
  • marks packages that were installed to satisfy dependancies (auto installed)
  • additional command line option to remove “auto installed” packages
  • support for faceted classification (similar to debtags) – not used yet

And most important — it is maintained (which can not be told about ipkg).

Year with Openmoko

It was over year ago — day when I got Neo1973 GTA01Bv3 as part of “phase0” developer program. What happened during that time?

First there was “OM2007.1” version of interface. Ugly, hard to use, lacking features. But that was start so let forgive developers that they created such thing.

Then OpenedHand guys created new look for Openmoko — and “OM2007.2” was born. As one of OH developers I created first recipes for it (so we were able to show it during GUADEC 2007) and later Openmoko guys switched to this set of applications. During next months I did testing from time to time — one of them resulted in most popular post ever: “OpenMoko 2007.2 testing”. It hit Digg and I had problems to reach website ๐Ÿ˜‰

In meantime Trolltech guys started to use Neo1973 as development platform (instead of Greenphone). It resulted in nicely working Qtopia Phone Edition which even got re-licensed to GPL. TT also officially announced that Greenphone will be no longer available but still supported.

What does Openmoko release now for phone? To tell the truth: I have no idea. Last time when I switched Neo1973 it was for testing Poky 3.1 release on it. My GTA01Bv4 is now upgrading from 2007.11 snapshot (last available on website) so I will see what is going on now with development. I heard lot of E17 based applications for Openmoko + mixture of apps from Qtopia Phone Edition + GTK+ based ones. I hope that result will still fit in 64MB of flash…

Will Openmoko idea survive? I hope that next half of year will show it. I also hope that it will survive — would be nice to have usable phone with possibility to hack any application or behaviour. But until then I will keep my SonyEricsson k750i cellphone or upgrade it to newer model.

Where does my disk space go?

I have nearly 400 gigabytes storage in my desktop. Some people will tell that this is a lot, some that it is quite small size. But everybody agrees with one simple rule: “there is no such thing as big enough storage”.

From time to time I have situation when I lack space for my projects (which can take 17GB in one run). In such moments there is one solution handy: removing not needed data. But how to check what takes most of space?

Some time ago I discovered ncdu application. It offers simple interface with all required informations — list of directories with space used (all sorted by size). User can walk through directory structure, remove not needed ones, recalculate directory use — everything what is needed in such tool.

Few minutes later 40GB from old builds recovered ๐Ÿ˜‰

Poky Linux 3.1 released

Yesterday OpenedHand team (which I am proud to be a part of) released Poky Linux 3.1 โ€˜pinky`.

What interesting in this version?

  • user manual with lot of things explained
  • conversion to use the sysroot mode of gcc, making cross compiling both easier and more robust.
  • conversion to use pkgconfig in sysroot mode
  • Anjuta integration with Pokyโ€™s SDK and QEMU, making cross development of applications simple
  • new machines: Compulab EM-X270, Zylonite, Freescale MX31ADS, Phytec PhyCORE-iMX31, Logic iMX31 Lite and the HTC Universal
  • standalone toolchain and SDK application developers can develop against
  • addition of new tools to the SDK such as QEMU
  • updates to recent versions of almost all packages
  • addition of NetworkManager to standard images
  • addition of a Webkit based browser
  • uClibc support

Go and get it while it is still hot ๐Ÿ˜‰