October 8th, 2008

Amarok Transcogg

I just noticed there’s a run button on the script manager in Amarok. I selected Transcogg and pressed run. It popped up a message saying it needs mp3gain. OK done. Then it wanted mpg123. This wasn’t available in the Add/Remove Software program. There was a mpg321 though. The homepage of mpg321 says it’s a free replacement for mpg123. OK, I loaded that. I stopped and reran Transcogg–no pop-ups. Upon transfer the status line at the bottom of Amarok says not playable on device. The firmware for the Fuze supporting OGG is less than a week old–maybe there’s a configuration for the Fuze that’s telling Amarok that it only plays MP3s. Something else was different this time. I plugged in the Fuze and Amarok connected automatically instead of me having to hit the Connect button. In the configuration for the device, now the transcode before transferring to device option was enabled, so I checked it. I clicked transfer and whattaya know, it worked!

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Amarok Transcoding

I found the script manager (menu/Tools/Script Manager) and installed Transcogg, which will convert from FLAC to OGG on transfer. The media player options still won’t let me select the transcoding option (it’s greyed out), but the “transferring files to media device” section is enabled and I’ve selected OGG as the format to convert to. Still no go.

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Synchronizing Sansa Fuze with Amarok

I’m still trying different applications to manage the “rip CD to FLAC, update tags, download cover art, play in Linux and transcode to OGG and synchronize to my Fuze” process.  There’s also a separate path for Podcasts, but that’s another story.

The latest victim is Amarok.  I started with my CD collection in ~/Music.  Most of it is in FLAC format in the standard ARTIST/ALBUM/SONGS directory structure.  In each album directory is Cover.jpg, which is the full size album art.  As we know from our reading, the Fuze’s screen is 220×176, so anything bigger than that is a waste of space and if it’s too big, the Fuze won’t show it at all.  So scaling the images is required.  The fuze will look for a file called folder.jpg to display, so the image file has to be renamed too.

Starting Amarok, I told it where the music was, then tried to tell it about the Fuze.  It didn’t autodetect the player, despite it being mounted to /media/SANSA FUZE.  Then I installed libmtp. That didn’t help either. So I manually added it as a generic audio player. Now synchronizing a directory of OGG files worked fine, but no cover art. Transferring a directory of FLAC files failed entirely, leaving them in the transfer queue with X icons next to them, but not telling me why they failed.

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