linux

Kitty - a podcast / video podcast / vlog client for KDE

I have ITP'd the podcast / vlog client Kitty, yesterday. I had a look at various vlog clients recently and Kitty seems to be really nice.

A Debian package should be available in a few days, I already have a test-version running on my local box...

Linux Videoblog Clients Roundup [Update]

Hanno Böck asks which free clients are available for receiving and subscribing to video podcasts, videoblogs, vlogs, vodcasts or whatever you want to call them.

I was asking myself the same question for a number of reasons lately, and here's what I have found:

  • Armangil's vodcatcher is a video podcast client for the command line. Written in Ruby, cross-platform, GPL'd, no GUI (obviously).
  • PenguinTV, an RSS feed reader which supports podcasts and video blogs. Written in Python, cross-platform, GPL'd, GTK+ GUI.
  • kmplayer, proposed by Hanno Böck. Haven't tested it, yet.
  • DTV (DemoTV), a "free and open-source platform for internet television and video. An intuitive interface lets users subscribe to channels, watch video, and build a video library". This looks like the most mature client right now (for Mac at least), and it has been ported to Linux just yesterday. It's written in Python, cross-platform, GPL'd, GTK+ GUI. I have filed an ITP and hope to have a Debian package ready in a few days. The DTV Linux code itself is pretty beta, any helping hands with porting would be nice (contact Nick Nassar and/or the devel mailinglist).
  • Kitty, a podcast and videocast client for KDE. Written in C++, GPL'd, Qt/KDE GUI.

As for the content, there's lots of videoblogs out there, and I will blog about that in more detail later on. As an appetizer, you can now subscribe to the new (German) Tagesschau Video Podcast (thanks Tim Pritlove).

Update 2005-11-14: Added Kitty.

Initial Linux support for the 5g video iPod - video sync using gtkpod / libgpod [Update]

My video iPod

TuxMobil - Linux on Laptops, Notebooks, PDAs and Mobile Phones

OK, so I spent some fun time playing around with my 5g video iPod — time for more serious action now.

I have created two patches today which add support for the video iPod to gtkpod, a GTK+ based, platform independent GUI for Apple's iPod.
These initial patches allow you to sync m4v video files to your iPod and watch them there. I will add support for all other video formats which work on the iPod, soon. The patches will be sent to the gtkpod maintainers, of course, in the hope that they can be included in the next release.

Note: This is pre-alpha, barely-tested code! Use at your own risk!

Installation instructions:

  • Get the current CVS version of libgpod. Apply the following patch: libgpod_5g_video_ipod_support.patch (Update: patch no longer needed). Compile and install libgpod.
  • Get the current CVS version of gtkpod. Apply the following patch: gtkpod_5g_video_ipod_support.patch (Update: patch no longer needed). Compile and install gtkpod.
  • Mount your iPod (USB cable): mount -t vfat /dev/sda2 /mnt/ipod
  • Start gtkpod (possibly as root, depending on your system) . Maybe you need to edit the settings and adjust the mount point for the iPod (/mnt/ipod is the default).
  • Click on the "Read" button to read in the iTunesDB from the iPod, click on "Files" to add a video file (e.g. this Apple commercial from 1977), click on "Sync" to upload the file to your iPod.
  • Quit gtkpod, unmount the iPod (umount /mnt/ipod), disconnect the USB cable.
  • Profit!!!1

I get a "Destroying mmap buffer" error every time I sync the iPod, but that's probably a gtkpod bug, and it's non-fatal anyways.

If you happen to own a video iPod, please test the patches and report whether they work! Thanks!

Update 2005-11-19: The libgpod patch is in CVS now (plus a bug which caused MP3s to appear in the "Movies" list is fixed now, too). So you don't need the libgpod patch anymore! I have updated the gtkpod patch (Update: patch no longer needed.), you should now be able to sync almost any video format (m4v, mp4, mpg, mpeg, avi, mov) to your video iPod.
Update 2005-11-24: The current libgpod/gtkpod CVS now contains all the features of my patches, so they are obsolete from now on.

It's here

My video iPod

Don't ask me why, but my video iPod has unexpectedly arrived yesterday instead of sometime next week as I was told. But hey, who am I to complain?

Quick notes:

  • Sound quality is great, videos look great.
  • GNUpod doesn't work yet, it seems the iTunesDB format has changed. I'll investigate.
  • I tried putting the whole Wikipedia on the iPod using the Notes feature. It's not that easy unfortunately, as the built in software limits file sizes to 4 KB, and the number of notes to 1000. Maybe iPod Linux software will support this.
  • Speaking of iPod Linux — it doesn't work yet. I'll try to come up with patches.

No time for blogging, must play with iPod...

I ordered the new video iPod today

Yes, that's right. I have ordered one of those shiny new video iPods today.

I was never impressed too much by all this Apple hype going on all around me. In fact, I have never owned any Apple product (no iPod {photo|nano|shuffle|*}, no powerBook, no iBook, no iMac, no Mac mini). Until now. I simply couldn't resist to replace my 256 MB noname MP3 player with the full-blown 30 GB of the iPod (the 60 GB version costs way too much for my taste). See the specs for more technical details on the new iPod.

Apart from the usual iPod features you all know, this one's supposed to be thinner, can display photos and (the major improvement) videos. Yes, it's only 320x240, but it's videos. This thing will initiate a huge video blogging / videocasting wave, and those vlogs will soon become as popular as podcasts are today, I'm sure.

I hope to get my hands on that thingy in a bit more than a week (shipping takes a few days, it seems). I already have a lot of things on my mind, which I'm gonna do with it:

  • listen to a huge bunch of podcasts
  • watch various vlogs (btw, older models can play videos, too, if you ask nicely)
  • store some photos on it to show off to relatives and friends
  • record various stuff using the built in 44.1 kHz stereo recorder (think podcasting, for example)
  • try out some of those 50 fun things to do with your iPod
  • install iPodLinux / podzilla on it (you've been waiting for this, haven't you?). The new video iPod is not (yet) supported, so I might contribute a few patches, but don't take my word for it.
  • oh, and I might use it to listen to music from time to time, too ;-)

If you have any suggestions for more geeky things I could be (ab)using it for (think john the ripper on iPod and similar things), don't hesitate to write a comment! Hm, I might port bb to the iPod if nobody beats me to it...

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