A few things, mostly technical notes...

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Using audacity with a bluetooth headset in Ubuntu

You can use your bluetooth headset as the recording device along with audacity.

Part -1 Install audacity:

# apt-get install audacity

Part -2 Install btsco

1. Load Kernel Module for btsco:

sudo modprobe btsco

check via


if it runs. To load it permanently add it to /etc/modules, just write "btsco" at the end of the File.

2. Install the following missing (at least on my system) packages needed by the btsco Userspace driver. Easy, because you have apt-get or synaptic:

  • gcc.

  • gcc-4.0.

  • altgcc.

  • libc6-dev.

  • linux-kernel-headers.

  • libasound2-dev.

  • libao-dev.

  • libbluetooth1-dev.

3. Download latest btsco from [WWW] http://sourceforge.net/projects/bluetooth-alsa/, unzip to Desktop perhaps.

4. Time for the shell! ;)

        cd btsco-0.4
sudo make install

5. Now pair your Headset with your PC (as above with the Mobile):

  • Headset needs to be in pairing-mode (often this is accomplished with holding the on buttons for a looong time).

  • start kbluetoothd, click on it, in the opened konqueror window click on the headset (sometimes the MAC-Adress shows up).

  • a popup should request the PIN for the Headset from you (mostly "0000" or "1234").

6. Start the btsco Userspace Program:

btsco -v 00:00:00:00:00

replace the zeros with the MAC Adress of your Headset (right click on kbluetoothd icon, connection details).

7. Verify its working

Verify its working:
  •  aplay -B 1000000 -D plughw:Headset sound.wav

    (replace sound.wav with a Wave-File of your choice. An MP3 also works, but you will only hear strange noise :).

  • Use XMMS: Options -> Preferences -> Audio I/O -> Output Plugin. Select ALSA -> configure, and select your Headset as Audiodevice. Restart XMMS and you should hear the music with the Headset.

  • You can use the Volume Manager from gnome to adjust the volume, right click on the speaker in the tray -> Settings -> File -> Change Device.

Everyday Use: If you load the Kernelmodule automatically, you just need to execute "btsco -v your_headsets_mac_adress" - really easy for everyday use. You can optional start kbluetoothd to check Signalstreght etc.

(Refer this page for more help with this section)

Part -3 : Configure Audacity

Fire up audacity, click File >> Preferences >> Set your Recording Device as /dev/dsp1

You're all set at this time..!!

Monday, February 06, 2006

More on nuvexport, VCD, SVCD

A great deal of info is offered here about nuvexport, .nuvexportrc etc, by Christopher Friend.

Here is a section detailing which Encoding to choose.

Comparisons between SVCD and VCD formats are interesting:


SVCD is just a better quality version of a VCD, allowing upto 60 minutes of Video on a CD. ( Note: Standalone VCD players may not support SVCD, like Apex AD-1225)


Great Quality
Wide Compatibility
Can be burnt to a normal CD
Small filesizes, great for storing on a PC


Just 60 minutes of Video
Less compatabiltity than VCD


A VCD can be seen as the video version of an audio CD. VCDs allow one to add different subtitle tracks, audio tracks, video files and menus to a single CD, but one would need a burning program capable of creating a VCD to do so. A VCD can hold upto 80 minutes of video on a single CD.


Widely compatible
Can be burnt to a regular CD
Holds more Video than a SVCD


Worse quality that SVCD
Only holds 80 minutes of video.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

How to secure MythWeb on Ubuntu (5.10) Linux?

By default, /etc/mythtv/mythweb-htaccess.conf is linked to .htaccess file inside /var/www/mythtv. (/var/www/mythtv itself is a soft-link to "/usr/share/mythtv/mythweb") [Applies to Ubuntu 5.10]

This is what I did to secure my MythWeb interface

1) Knock off the .htaccess file inside "/usr/share/mythtv/mythweb"

2) Edit the file /etc/apache2/apache2.conf (preferrably after saving a copy as old.apache2.conf), and add these entries:

Alias /mymyth/ "/usr/share/mythtv/mythweb/"
<Directory "/var/www/html/mythweb">
AllowOverride AuthConfig
AuthType Basic
AuthName "restricted area"
AuthUserFile /etc/apache2/mythtvusers
require user user1 user2
Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
Order allow,deny
Allow from 192.168.1.
Satisfy any

3) Create the users:

User htpasswd -c option while you're creating the very first user.
# htpasswd -c /etc/apache2/mythtvusers user1 
Do not use the "-c" option for adding more users. If -c is used, it will overwrite your file, thereby deleting information about your the other users you already added.

For example, add user "user2":

# htpasswd /etc/apache2/mythtvusers user2

The above shown configuration will not prompt users from network for any passwords.

4) Chmod your password file:

# chmod 640 /etc/apache2/mythtvusers 

All done. At this point, you can restart apache (/etc/init.d/apache2 restart as root).

Fire up your favorite browser and point it to the url: http://mymythserver/mymyth/

Where mymythserver is the IP/URI of your MythWeb Server. Please note the trailing slash (/) after mymyth in the url, it is very important. (Well, you'll see...!!)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

EPSON Stylus CX1500 on Ubuntu Linux

Yay..!! I could finally use EPSON Stylus CX1500 printer on my Ubuntu.

EPSON Stylus CX1500 is an All-In-One (multifunctional)printer. Besides printing, it can scan and act as photocopier by itself. (ie, for photocopy stuff, it does not have to be connected to any machine.)

I don't believe this printer made it to the big outlet stores. It was available for Online purchase from Epson.com, and that's how I ended up getting this one.

I am yet to use it as a scanner in Linux, have heard that SANE finally supports this model.

As for printing, even though this model is not listed in the Epson printers list in gnome-cups-manager, I found that adding it as a Stylus-C42UX printer would let you print stuff.

Here is my lpstat o/p for reference:

$ lpstat -t
scheduler is running
system default destination: Stylus-C42UX
device for Stylus-C42UX: usb:/dev/usb/lp0
Stylus-C42UX accepting requests since Jan 01 00:00
printer Stylus-C42UX is idle. enabled since Jan 01 00:00
Ready to print.

Here are some related pages:

Product Page from Epson, Online guides for CX1500, and Reference Guide .

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

MythTV Transcoder -- what is it?

(Originally from this page. )

The transcoder re-encodes files from one MythTV format to another. The main purpose of the transcoder is to allow users with hardware encoders (PVR-250) or systems that can only record in RTjpeg due to performance reasons (multiple capture cards, slow system, etc) to create MPEG-4 streams to save space.

The transcoder can be used in two ways:

  • Automatically re-encode every file once it has completed recording
  • After marking commercials, the transcoder can be run manually to delete the commercials from the file (thus further saving space)
The two methods are independent. The first is an automatic process that can be enabled/disabled through the setup program; the second is a manual method which must be invoked on each recording individually.

The second method can be used on files that have already been transcoded (or files which were are already in the correct format), so only the frames immediately following a cut section will be re-encoded, resulting in a very minimal loss of quality.

To enable automatic transcoding, do the following: start the setup program under the host-specific settings: set the Transcoder Auto-run checkbox

For either manual or automatic transcoding: start mythbackend start mythfrontend select setup, and the Transcoding recording profile. now select either RTjpeg or MPEG-4 (selecting any of the hardware encoders will result in the transcoder not working). set the other parameters as you'd like. For best performance, you should match the audio to the 'Default' profile. If you plan to only use the manual transcoder, you can choose to set the video to be the same as the default profile too (as long as it is MPEG-4 or RTjpeg)

Everything should now be setup properly. If you elected to use the Auto-Run feature, the transcoder will automatically launch after each recording is complete. The transcoder thread runs at a low priority, so it should not impact any critical tasks or other recordings.

If you want to manually transcode a program, simply press 'X' while watching a recording (you should have already finished marking all commercials). If you change your mind, hitting 'X' again will stop the transcoding.

Once the transcode is complete, mythbackend will replace the old file with the new as soon as it is no longer in use.


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