So I bought some new hardware, for audio purposes.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

This week I received a logitech squeezebox radio, which is basically an expensive toy that allows you to listen to either "internet radio", or music streamed from your own PC via a portable device that accesses the network wirelessly.

The main goal of this purchase was to allow us to listen to media stored on a local computer in the bedroom, or living-room.

The hardware scans your network looking for a media server, so the first step is to install that:

The media-server has a couple of open ports; one for streaming the media, and one for a user-browsable HTML interface. Interestingly the radio-device shows up in the web-interface, so you can mess around with the currently loaded playlist from your office, while your wife is casually listening to music in the bedroom. (I'm not sure if that's a feature or not yet ;)

Although I didn't find any alternative server-implementations I did find a software-client which you can use to play music from the central server - slimp3slave - and again you can push playlists, media, etc, to this.

My impressions are pretty positive; the device was too expensive, certainly I wouldn't buy two, but it is functional. The user-interface is decent, and the software being available and open is a big win.

Downsides? No remote-control for the player, because paying an additional £70 is never going to happen, but otherwise I can't think of anything.

(Shame the squeezebox product line seems to have been cancelled (?))

Procmail Alternatives?

Although I did start hacking a C & Lua alternative, it looks like there are enough implementations out there that I don't feel so strongly any more.

I'm working in a different way to most people, rather than sort mails at delivery time I'm going to write a trivial daemon that will just watch ~/Maildir/.Incoming, and move mails out of there. That means that no errors will cause mail to be lost at SMTP/delivery time.

I'm going to base my work on Email::Filter since it offers 90% of the primitives I want. The only missing thing is the ability to filter mails via external commands which has now been reported as a bug/omission.



Comments On This Entry

[gravitar] Daniele

Submitted at 16:19:02 on 6 march 2014

Have you considered maildirproc as procmail replacement? It does exactly what you want. It is python, though.

[author] Steve Kemp

Submitted at 16:39:02 on 6 march 2014

In the choice between python and perl, well .. perl wins for me :)

I think given that most of the hard work is done, that I'll stick with Perl, but yeah I did see maildirproc yesterday, or so, via a comment left behind and I was pleased my idea wasn't so unusual.

[gravitar] rjc

Submitted at 17:53:48 on 6 march 2014

In terms of server, I think that's pretty much it but in terms of client you can use a O2 Joggler [0] for that purpose and there are plenty of OS choices for it [1]. They go for ~£50 on eBay - I've bought two a while back :^)



[gravitar] Jonathon Conte

Submitted at 01:06:45 on 7 march 2014

In my opinion, the killer feature of Logitech Media Server (formerly Slimserver) is its ability to synchronize playback between two or more clients. This allows one to create one or more groups of players where all of the players in the same group are playing the same thing simultaneously. This even works over Wi-Fi! I'm not aware of any other free software solution that can accomplish this. The synchronization feature enables one to create a much less expensive alternative to Sonos using common, off-the-shelf components.

Another software player for use with LMS is squeezelite ( It's a great option for use with a Raspberry Pi.

[gravitar] rjc

Submitted at 13:37:38 on 7 march 2014

@Jonathan Conte

That's exactly how my setup looks like :^)

[gravitar] Chris Boot

Submitted at 12:06:29 on 9 march 2014

As far as players go, you can turn any Debian box into a full Squeezebox-like player using Squeezelite, for which I maintain the packages in Debian:

[gravitar] Jubal

Submitted at 17:29:56 on 9 march 2014

Re procmail alternatives, why not dovecot + dovecot-lda + sieve? The configuration is reasonably simple and sieve is way friendlier than procmail rules.

[author] Steve Kemp

Submitted at 17:32:30 on 9 march 2014

I don't tend to use IMAP/dovecot. It is installed, but mostly ignored.

Mail gets sorted into ~/Maildir, and I read it with my console+lua mail-client.

My mail is primarily handled via qpsmtpd, which could support sieve, etc, but currently doesn't.

[gravitar] Jubal

Submitted at 17:52:37 on 9 march 2014

I think it should be possible to use just the dovecot-core (which contains dovecot-lda command) and the dovecot-sieve packages, without the imap/pop3 part.

[gravitar] Chris

Submitted at 02:12:11 on 10 march 2014

The real killer feature of the squeezebox line is that they are programmable. The APIs are open and furthermore the box you have probably is accessible via a well-documented API. I've been toying with the idea of writing a C library to interface with this API, but haven't gotten very far yet. It shouldn't be very hard for you to put something together in perl, either. There's a JSON API (Cpanel::JSON::XS + IO::Socket::IP come to mind) or a lower level API that you can parse using either a lot of regex or maybe Marpa. Regardless of how you approach it, it's very easy to build custom remote controls.

Additionally, if you have any kind of cell phone or tablet, there are apps for both iOS and Android (maybe Windows Phone? or whatever it's called these days? I don't know) which can do pretty much everything you'll want to do. Take a look at those before you start writing your own; maybe they'll do what you want. Some of them, like iPeng, even have the option to serve as a squeezebox player, meaning that you can stream your media to your mobile device wherever you have an Internet connection.


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