Friday, May 30, 2008

Two Weeks in Istanbul

Just confirmed my flight to Istanbul to attend GUADEC! I'm arriving a day early and staying almost a week afterward, so if there are any adventurers or locals who want to hang out, share accommodations, show me around, or take a mini beach vacation, I'd love to hear from you! I'm really looking forward to veggie moussaka, hummus, coffee, seeing friends, and making new ones. Aaron and I missed the call-for-papers so we aren't booked for a normal speaking slot. Does anybody know what we can do at this point to either speak or hold one or more Banshee sessions? Is there a waiting list for speaker cancellations, or a BoF signup, etc? Thanks! (BTW, you can follow me on twitter! I know, I'm just making your day!)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Improved Podcasting

I just committed a patch to Banshee's podcasting that lets you filter on new items with a single click. Banshee filtering to just show new podcasts By default, the New Items filter will be selected. Items are marked old after being played, or manually by pressing y. This functionality will be in the next release, but you can run it today and help us test for 1.0 by building Banshee from svn. Since this patch has what I consider an aweseomly slick keybinding, I'll remind you of some of our other useful (and awesome) key bindings:
/       focus/select text in search bar
q       queue the selected tracks (works for podcasts!)
y       mark the selected podcast tracks as old
j/k     scroll selection down/up in the filter or track lists
space   pause/play
enter   play
ctrl-d  bookmark playing item at current position
F2      rename the selected source
Future podcast features will include playlist and smart playlist support, and some awesome ideas we have for an integrated podcast directory. Stay tuned!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Guadec Videos in Banshee

Building on the work Thomas and others have done getting the GUADEC 2007 videos online, I have created a RSS feed of the videos. Here is Banshee 1.0 Beta 2 subscribed to the feed and downloading two talks and streaming James' talk at the same time: Banshee subscribed to the GUADEC podcast, downloading and playing items RSS Video Podcast:

Banshee 1.0 Beta 2 Released

We just released Banshee 1.0 Beta 2, with a ton of bug fixes and some sweet new features! This is hot on the heels of Beta 1, released just over two weeks ago, and is the fifth release in the series leading up to 1.0. You can now use Banshee to subscribe to, browse, and search your favorite audio and video podcasts.
Banshee displaying, streaming, and downloading podcasts
Banshee displaying, streaming, and downloading podcasts
You don't even have to wait for episodes to download to enjoy them; Banshee will happily stream the audio or video. And of course, your podcasts and subscriptions from Banshee 0.13.2 and before are migrated for you, and any podcast files in your Music Library moved into the Podcast source. Also new in this release is Auto Rip. After enabling it in Preferences, CDs will be automatically imported as soon as metadata is loaded for them and it's confirmed they're not already in your Library. The last big feature is we have integrated with Brasero, the powerful disc burning application, for audio CD burning. Check out the release notes for download info, more screenshots, updated dependency list, and the list of contributors. As always, you can chat with us in #banshee, e-mail us at banshee-list, and learn more about Banshee on our wiki. Digg It!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Down and Out in Chicago

I'm a big fan of Cory Doctorow, the person, the advocate, and the author. He's extremely eloquent, funny, and grounded. I got the chance to meet Cory tonight at a reading of his latest book, Little Brother — which is fantastic; I couldn't put it down.
Cory Doctorow reading from Little Brother at a signing in Chicago
I gave Cory a Banshee shirt and told him about our upcoming 1.0, since he's a GNU/Linux user (his words and his actions speak volumes) and he popped into #banshee a while back.
Cory Doctorow and yours truly
Anyway, if you haven't seen Cory speak, he's able to explain difficult, technical issues to non-techies in a way that they can understand and makes geeks proud. I'm happy to have finally met him.

Monday, May 12, 2008

F-Spot Summer of Code

I am excited to be mentoring Andrew Wytyczak-Partyka this summer as part of GSoC. Andrew will create a library implementing the Digital Photo Access Protocol (DPAP) and integrate it into F-Spot. I'm not familiar with DPAP, so any experts please feel free to give us pointers. Andrew previously did work on face recognition for F-Spot/GSoC. I see he's already been added to Planet GNOME, so you should be hearing from him before too long. Work officially starts on May 26. F-Spot was lucky enough to get three SoC students this year. The other two are Ruben Vermeersch working on the sidebar and possibly GEGL integration, and Vasiliy Kirilichev working on color profile support. It's great to see F-Spot getting this much attention. I'm also looking forward to seeing the results of Cosimo Cecchi's work on GNOME media integration. Thanks to Google for creating and sponsoring the SoC, and to Novell for giving many of its engineers, including me, time to participate.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Banshee Podcast Support Coming in Beta 2

First, a quick note to people using the Ubuntu Banshee 1.0 PPA packages. Unfortunately, the packager messed up and at first released packages without iPod or MTP support. And now it has come to my attention (via comments and bugs from disappointed users) that the packages include the podcast extension, when it is pre-alpha and should not have been included. Hopefully the Ubuntu guys will get fixed packages out soon, and be more careful with packaging in the future. Jorge is working to make things right. We do expect to have the podcast extension ready by Beta 2. And Beta 2 will have auto-rip support which I just committed last night. After enabling it in your Preferences, whenever you insert a CD it will automatically begin importing it, if it's not already in your library and if MusicBrainz information can be found for it. Very useful if you are ripping many CDs.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Banshee 1.0 Beta 1 Released

We have just released Banshee 1.0 Beta 1, aka 0.99.1! This release adds some major features and lots of polish. MTP and iPod device support have landed! Both MTP and iPod support album artwork, on-the-fly transcoding (converting between file formats), and video support! Animation showing Banshee playing music, transferring files to a MTP device, and showing large cover art. Banshee playing music, showing cover art, and transferring to an MTP device Other features and fixes include:
  • Fullscreen video playback (go to Now Playing and press f or hit the Fullscreen button)
  • Extensions can be enabled and disabled in the new Mange Extensions tab within your Preferences.
  • Banshee can be scripted using Boo
  • Improved gstreamer error handling (for missing files, codecs, etc)
  • A bug with play counts, introduced in Alpha 3, has been fixed
  • Writing metadata to file was not working in the Alphas, is fixed
  • Issues with the play queue should all be resolved
  • Limiting smart playlists by file size or duration works
  • Shuffle and repeat are automatically disabled while playing
Default smart playlists in Banshee Default Smart Playlists
This release also features default smart playlists, created for new users and users with zero smart playlists. There is a more extensive list of predefined smart playlists, including the defaults, available in the New Smart Playlist dialog. Thanks to Aaron Bockover, Alexander Hixon, Bertrand Lorentz, Christopher Rogers, Scott Peterson, Sebastian Dröge, and Wouter Bolsterlee for code contributions for this release, and to Daniel Nylander (sv), Gabor Kelemen (hu), Jordi Mas (ca), and Wouter Bolsterlee (nl) for updated translations! And to Jorge Castro for testing and release notes help, and Michael Monreal and Andrew Conkling for testing and bugzilla work! You can follow the posts of Banshee contributors on Planet Banshee. We are a friendly, vibrant community and always glad to have people join us! If you have been wanting to contribute back to free software and GNOME, I think you'll find Banshee's code and C# a pleasure to work in, and a healthy amount of support and encouragement from a very active community. Join us on our mailing list, in our IRC chatroom, and on our wiki! Digg It!