Archive for October, 2008

Music in the Air

31st October 2008

I upgraded the Archlinux AUR mysqle package (an easy way to satisfy the most annoying dependency for Amarok 2) to 5.0.70, from 5.0.60.  I’m not sure why it was 5.0.60 in the first place, since 5.0.68 was out when I made the build script.  I blame the fact that 0 looks quite similar to 8 on a console…

Having a new job has meant that my KDE involvement has taken a dip over the last couple of months.  I realised today that I’d completely missed the hard freeze to get MPD support into the Now Playing dataengine for Plasma.  It will be in for 4.3, I promise.  I might even have pluggable backends by then, and a shared library between Now Playing and Kopete.

Speaking of Now Playing, the applet needs some serious work.  It works, providing you have it on the desktop, but it’s not as pretty as it could be.  Trying to put it on the panel seems to quite successfully screw up Plasma.  Which is a pity, really, because that’s where it’s most useful.  I will endeavour to fix this before the 4.2 is released, but help would be very much appreciated.  I don’t get on with user interface design.

Another pet project that never really got off the ground is my reimplementing of the slideshow screensaver.  Ever since I started using it (in KDE 3), the fact that it occasionally gets stuck has annoyed me.  I believe this is down to a design issue – it depends on the paint event being called to create a timer for changing the picture, but Qt compresses paint events and so it may happen that the timer never gets started.  I also don’t like the way effects are implemented.  But I haven’t even got it to a state when I think I can reasonably commit it to playground yet.

Life will calm down eventually, and I have plenty of stuff to do when it does.

/me hates my DVD drive

3rd October 2008

I’ve finally given up on my DVD drive.  For a long time, VLC has been the only thing that would countenance even trying to play DVDs on it, and even that occasionally claimed that there was an audio CD in the drive until it was removed and put in again.

Now, after upgrading libdvdcss and unplugging a harddrive from the IDE channel my DVD drive is on, trying to play dvds gets me:

export DVDCSS_VERBOSE=2 && vlc /dev/dvd

libdvdnav: Using dvdnav version 0.1.10 from
libdvdread: Using libdvdcss version 1.2.9 for DVD access
libdvdcss debug: opening target `/dev/dvd'
libdvdcss debug: using libc for access
libdvdcss debug: disc is scrambled
libdvdcss debug: requesting AGID
libdvdcss error: drive would not authenticate
libdvdread: Could not open /dev/dvd with libdvdcss.
libdvdread: Can't open /dev/dvd for reading
libdvdnav: vm: faild to open/read the DVD

Epic fail.  Other people have had this problem with AOpen drives, so I think it’s high time I got a new DVD rewriter.  Preferably one that can write double-layer DVDs (which mine currently can’t).

The main reason I’m posting this is because, after I googled for problems with DVD playback, I discovered that almost no-one knows about the DVDCSS_VERBOSE environment variable.  There’s a corresponding one (DVDREAD_VERBOSE) for libdvdread, although I couldn’t get that to do anything.  I only found out about these debug variables by looking through the source code trying to debug the problem (after libdvdread claimed it couldn’t open /dev/dvd, but dd if=/dev/dvd of=/dev/null count=200 had no problems).

Oh, and strace is really cool.  That was one of my debug steps, and one I’d never have thought of until I saw someone’s blog about it a few weeks ago.

Maybe I’ll finally be able to use Dragon player (which has a cool icon) when I get my new drive.

[edit] At Spanner‘s suggestion, I fixed it by setting the region with regionset.  Now Dragon Player works too! [/edit]