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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Tech: Making Linux Work With Gameday Audio

In response to Bob Nolty's question earlier in the day:
Hi -- how lucky to meet a linux-using Dodger fan! I just googled "FC5" and "Gameday Audio" -- because I just tried for the first time this year, and got an error message: "Totem could not play fd://0", then something about only finding a subtitle stream. So it appears that when the web page is asking for mplayer, that Firefox is giving it a totem plugin, and that totem doesn't understand the stream being fed to it.

Any idea what you have that is working?

I've been following my beloved Dodgers on Gameday Audio since it came into existence about five years ago -- the first couple of years it was a simple RealAudio stream that played perfectly in linux -- but for the past couple of years I've had to boot a windows machine to hear the games.

I'm presently running Fedora Core 5 (soon to be upgraded to FC6), Firefox 1.5.0.9, MediaPlayer Connectivity 0.8.3, mplayer 1.0pre8, mplayer-codecs (rev. 20060611), mplayer-codecs-extra (also rev. 20060611), and the essential codecs (bundled as a tar.bz2 file; more on this below). For the mplayer suite, you need to go to mplayerhq.hu.

MediaPlayer Connectivity is still something that I don't quite grok in terms of getting it to work exactly the way I want it to. As an example, I'm still having trouble dispatching MP3 streams correctly. KUSC streams don't work the way I expect when I click on the links: it's okay if I pick the correct item by right-clicking on the page and picking the stream I want, though that's more inconvenient. You will need this to get everything working together, though. You can use the wizard if you like, but I've found that it too often makes the wrong choices. The important thing is to set checkboxes on Windows Media files for E, C, and F (but not A), "/usr/bin/mplayer" for Path Name, and "%f" for the arguments. Please bear in mind that I'm writing this from my machine at home, which is slightly different from my desktop at work. I may be talking through my hat here, since I haven't tested the whole thing end-to-end at home, and so if this doesn't work for you, (a) don't be surprised, and (b) let me know so I can go back to the office and record the configuration. Fortunately, the author of MediaPlayer Connectivity made it very easy to dump the configuration of his extension, so I can just export and re-import it if I need to.

Update: I just checked, and this configuration does in fact work on my home machine.

Another problem you'll likely encounter is with the mplayer libraries. I did all my installations off the available RPMs, save for Windows Media DLLs, which are bundled separately and for whatever reason are not available as RPMs (part of the essential codecs package). You will have to manually unpack the binary in a directory someplace and install them in /usr/lib/codecs.

I got a lot of interesting albeit perhaps obsolescent information from Alaskan Christopher Swingley, who has documented his experiences with Linux and Gameday Audio. I had it working for a time using his configuration last year but then it broke; perhaps it was because MLBAM changed to a different MS codec that is now provided in the package.

If you're continuing to have problems, drop a line to the e-mail address on the sidebar.

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Comments:
you guys in the 'resistance' sure spend a lot of time/effort 'fightin' da man' (mr gates).

articles like this always make me feel like guilty bourgeoisie.
 

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