It was just a simple system update which dropped off audio on my Ubuntu 12.04. It was really strange to admit that I had experienced a crash (better: an audio crash) on a Linux but the 12.04 Ubuntu actually caused similar problems to a numerous bunch of long-term aficionados around the world.
The real problem with the last Ubuntu versions is that this OS is not supporting properly “old” hardware as it did previously during so many years. Reading some other bug reports on the web I discovered that these audio troubleshooting crashes happen principally to “old” IBM ThinkPad and Dell. I hope Ubuntu developers will consider to solve immediately these kind of issues or many users certainly migrate to other Linux version.
In any case the best and complete guide to solve audio troubleshooting has been developed by Ubuntu itself. The guide is very detailed but, if you want to definitively solve this bug, you have to spend more or less 40 (forty…. sic!) minutes and follow all the 17 (seventeen… sic!) steps.
In my case the audio was back after the first step and I decided not to follow the other instructions but the audio troubleshooting comes back, more or less, every two months. Just to you if you want to spend 40 minutes only one time or a couple of minutes every two/three months.
When I consider all the problems I had with Ubuntu on “old” hardware starting from the 12.04 version, my advice is to start thinking about a migration to another Linux OS. I am testing some Ubuntu alternatives and in the next weeks I will post something about the tests I’m doing on old laptops. Stay connected!
Today, in our Linux Page (in Spanish) we posted some brief notes about Ex Falso: a very useful software which allows you to manage your mp3 collections with just few clicks. When saving my CDs on my hard disk, I convert them into mp3 files and then I change their metadata order (or simply I add some more information) using Ex Falso. This software is very simple to install (in Ubuntu, for example, you can add it directly from the “Add/Remove” function contained in the Application menu) and very easy to use. Ex Falso is graphically divided in three main areas: Folders, Songs and a menu area where you directly decide what and how to change your metadatas. After few tests you will able to rapidly use Ex Falso and (we hope) enjoy all its features. Strongly recommended for all that people who have big mp3 collections!
This week, in our Linux Page (in Spanish), Frank has added an interesting post about Project Neon which is the best solution for people who desire to have the new nightly builds service for Amarok. Following the simple instructions contained in Project Neon you will able to enjoy the last developing packages for Amarok 2.0 without waiting the release of the stable version. Project Neon also provides simple instructions to install Amarok 2.0 on your Ubuntu in just five minutes. Last but not least, it is necessary to remember that Amarok 2.0 is not in its final version yet and it could potentially create some serious problems on your PC. To install it just add:
It is true! MP3 format is the most common format we normally use in our everyday applications but MP3 is a lossy compression algorithm and it is not comparable with the quality of uncompressed audio formats as Monkey’s Audio, ALAC, WMA. This week, in our Freeware page, we posted a brief review about some particular features of FLAC: a multiplatform (Linux, Windows, MAC OS X) Free Lossless Audio Codec. Nowadays, FLAC is well and constantly supported by many music player producer. We compared FLAC and MP3 formats using the “Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G Major – Allegro” by Bach and the results were very interesting. For common listeners (as us) the audio quality was, more or less, the same but when we asked to a couple of friends (authentic music “hooligans”) to describe the difference between the two music files (FLAC and MP3) they spent more than 15 minutes of their (and our) time talking about “tones”, “pizzicato” and something else that I really do not remember at the moment! After the listening, when we compared the file extensions, we discovered that the FLAC file was five times bigger than the MP3 (25.6MB vs 5.1MB)… To conclude, we really think that FLAC represents a fantastic (and the best) lossless format for home stereo systems. On the other side, if you are not a music purist, MP3 could be the best choice for listening music on portable audio devices.
Rockbox is the best alternative you can find to many firmware of mp3 player currently on sale. for many models it can be installed without removing the original firmware and in this case you can decide at every boot up what firmware you prefer to use. This week, in our Freeware Page, we have posted a brief review about this open-source firmware which really adds new features to your mp3 player; for example, Rockbox allows you to play movies on a iPod Photo or adds games to your Sansa e200 or c200 series. The installation is not difficult but a minimal previous experience in this field is preferable: if something goes wrong, please, don’t panic but try to solve it following the many tips contained in the Rockbox website or reset your mp3 player. Last but not least, in the “Customizing Rockbox” section you will find a huge quantity of resources to customize your mp3 player. Recommended (and really funny)!