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Showing posts from June, 2008

Making Music(Beats) on Linux/Ubuntu with Hydrogen

I am going to review a couple of Music Making Softwares for Linux and am starting with the simplest and one of the best!HYDROGEN. Hydrogen basically is a pattern based drum programming software which in layman terms means, it allows you to make your own beats.And in case you aren't much into music, you might be wondering “what the hell will i do with this piece of software”...well here is a word from my friends who've tried this: “Its pretty fun playing with this software, n even without knowing much, you could actually MAKE SUM MUSIC!!!”

There was this software called Acoustica Beatcraft(for windows) which actually introduced me to this beat making stuff and I was quite interested, but sadly it was too costly for me to buy it. So i was stuck using the trial version of the software and sadly as soon as i got the grip of the software the trial expired, and so my search began for software which would do the stuff for me and luckily i found this amazing piece of software HY…

Convert text files to MP3 under Linux

Even though I am not a fan of audio books and the only thing I use my iPod for is listening music still while exploring Festival(which is basically a General multi-lingual speech synthesis system) I found out that it's very easy to convert normal text files into mp3 using festival . Now this could be especially useful for people who either listen to audio books or people who have difficulty in reading.

First we would need to install festival. We can install festival with the following command :

sudo apt-get install festival

Now we need to install voices which would be used to dictate the text (install any one of the following ) :

To install British Accented male voice issue the following command :

sudo apt-get install festvox-rablpc16k

To install American Accented male voice issue the following command:

sudo apt-get install festival festvox-kallpc16k

Now once you have installed festival and voice package we are ready to convert text files .wav files .

Lets say you want computer to rea…

Be in sync with your GMail Inbox with CheckGmail

I use GMail as my primary email account. I receive lots of email everyday from comments on blog post to university assignments and lecture notification . Now whenever i am using windows I usually keep myself signed into GTalk, as GTalk has this nice feature of showing a small notification window whenever new email comes into your inbox. However even though Google has been porting a number of their programs from Windows to Linux platform till now they have not ported GTalk on the Linux platform .

Now since i spend significant amount of my time on the Linux platform i had to keep my GMail account always open in the browser and keep refreshing it periodically to check for any new mail this was frustrating as well as tiresome till i discovered this nifty little application CheckGmail.

CheckGmail basically stays in your taskbar and whenever any new email comes it shows a small window informing you about it and clicking on the window actually opens the browser and takes you to the email.


Put Widgets/Applets on your desktop with Google Gadgets

Google has officially released Open Source version of it's popular Google Gadgets application on the Linux platform . Google Gadgets allow you to put small interactive applets/applications/widgets on your Linux desktop/sidebar providing host of functionality as well as making your desktop more attractive . A number of open source applications have been available that provide you precisely this functionality like Screenlets , SuperKramaba etc, However they have been somewhat unstable as they are still under development . Google Gadgets is also under development but i found it more stable and friendlier than Screenlets. Also a lot of widgets are available for Google Gadgets that's another plus.

Note : Installation Instructions below have been tried on Ubuntu 8.04 so you might have to change the instructions for earlier versions of Ubuntu.

Google has not released binary packages for Google Gadgets so we would need to download the packages and compile them. Since Ubuntu doe…

Download YouTube videos with UTube Ripper

Youtube is no doubt one of the most popular website on the internet. YouTube by default does not provide option for downloading and saving videos though there are website and tools available that allow you to do this and UTube-Ripper is one such tool available for the Linux platform.

UTube Ripper is a gambas2(gambas is somewhat like Visual Basic available on the Windows platform allowing easy creation of GUI based application with minimal coding in basic styled language) based simple application and allows you to easily download videos from YouTube and convert them to different format.

UTube-Ripper SourceForge page :

Installing UTube Ripper on Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron

Since UTube-Ripper is based on gambas2 we would need to install gambas2 to run UTube- Ripper properly. Fortunately gambas2 is available in Ubuntu 8.04 repository so it could be installed easily by issuing the following c0mmand in the terminal window (Applications -> Accessori…