The festival was great in theory, but also way too cramped, more so than usual. That’s why there aren’t many takeaways:
- Necrophobic. I saw them live a few years ago but somehow didn’t realize they’re this interesting. Bought Mark of the Necrogram, but they have a sizeable backlog I now have to work on. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to be on Bandcamp so I had to buy from one of the evil empires (Google in this case).
- Slægt. A sort of blackened heavy metal from Denmark. I don’t like all the songs but the style mixture is compelling. Slægt on Bandcamp.
- Desaster. A thrash and black thing? Maybe. It’s a bit straightforward for the most part so I haven’t bought any albums just yet, but they had a very energetic stage presence so the show felt great. If they’re at some other festival or on a solo tour I’d definitely consider going.
- Wiegedood. Can’t decide if it’s plain black metal or if they’ve mixed a harsher type of shoegaze into it. Think of a heavier Alcest song played on a slightly broken amp that you run too loudly.
Usually I find more bands at EMM, but this time it was almost impossible to watch any acts on the small stage because everything was so packed with people. This is a shame, as it’s the small stage that has the more underground stuff and I’ve discovered at least 10 groups there in the last two years.
Of course you can always watch some of the more interesting-sounding parts of the lineup on YouTube, but that’s so not the same. Oh, well.
Since I distrust centralized services such as Spotify that can delete content you love at any time they like, I’ve always bought my own music and have a huge collection. But there’s no denying that streaming music to any device or location is a useful feature. You still don’t need Spotify for that, thanks to the FOSS community you can build your own Spotify-like streaming system, and this guide shows one combination of software to accomplish this.
The goal: Stream your music collection from your own PC (or NAS or whatever storage you have) to any web browser, mobile phone and desktop clients.
The method: A little Linux magic involving the following components:
Continue reading “Build your own Spotify-like music streaming solution using mpd”
Most PCs come with onboard audio circuits that, at best, sound OK.
But there’s a cheap way out of that. The Music Streamer by High Resolution Technologies. It’s an external USB sound interface with a very good D/A converter. This is a semi-audiophile device, yet it costs only about the same as your average USB audio interface these days.
This isn’t made for 5.1 surround sound, it only has two analog RCA (Cinch) outputs to hook up to your amp. Of course you can also play games in stereo on it and watch films. Both sounds crystal clear.
I’ve hooked mine up to my Synology NAS (it’s plug and play) and I’m running mpd on it, so no PC is required to listen to music. It can be controlled from any Android phone, a web interface or dedicated clients like Ario or ncmpcpp.
Best purchase of the year!
I bought the small version for CHF 120.00 (around USD 120.00), but if your ears are good enough to hear it and your equipment is good enough to reproduce it, you can go up to USD 900.00 on one of the higher-end models.
Copying CDs to CD-Rs just to preserve them is stupid and annoying, and lossless compressed formats such as FLAC have arrived. Terabytes of disk space are cheap, so now you can rip to FLAC and stick the album your NAS, for example.
Here’s how easy it is to rip to FLAC in any decent Linux distribution, in this example using Sound Juicer:
One click, and it rips, encodes and copies to the NAS for safekeeping.