Big Buck Bunny video and soundtrack under Creative Commons license

Jan Morgenstern

Just in case you haven't yet watched it: Big Buck Bunny.

Great animated video created mainly using Blender, released under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.

The soundtrack/score is now also available under a CC license (as is lots of other "raw" material for the movie).

Redirecting audio to a remote host using esddsp

There are situations where you might want to redirect some audio you're playing on your local computer to another computer's speakers, potentially in a different room, or even anywhere on the Internet.

One of many possibilities to do that is to use the Enlightened Sound Daemon (EsoundD, or esd). It ships with a program called esddsp (apt-get install esound-clients) which can redirect various audio sources.

First, you have to start the esd daemon on a console on the remote host (the one which should output the audio on some speaker, for example e.g. like this:

  $ esd -public -nobeeps -tcp

You can do this as regular user (no need to be root) if you have the proper permissions. You also need to allow connections on port 16001 in your firewall settings. Then you can redirect audio to that daemon from another computer. In this example I'm redirecting some music using various players:

  $ esddsp -s mpg321 -o esd foo.mp3
  $ esddsp -s mplayer -ao esd foo.mp3
  $ esddsp -s ogg123 -d esd foo.ogg

This also works fine for videos, in which case you can redirect the audio (but not video):

  $ esddsp -s mplayer -ao esd foo.mp4

For the video player Miro, I've recently documented this in the Debian package's README.Debian file. Basically you have to edit ~/.xine/config and enable audio.driver:esd there, then start Miro with

  $ esddsp -s miro

Audio will be emitted on the remote host, video remains on your local PC.

Some programs may also support esd natively, in which case esddsp is not required, e.g.

  $ ogg123 -d esd -o host: foo.ogg

Updated Miro (previously Democracy Player) packages in Debian unstable

Miro screenshot

FYI, my new Miro packages (formerly known as Democracy Player) have now reached unstable.

After lots of ugly, ugly trouble with even getting a successful build (boost/python/dbus related, you don't want to know) the packages are back in shape now, with tons of fixed (or no longer reproducible) bugs and lots of upstream impovements and new features.

If you reported a bug against Democracy Player, please try the latest Miro package and check if it still occurs, thanks!

The upgrade should be seamless, your existing config and videos will be migrated from ~/.democracyplayer to ~/.miro automatically upon the first start of Miro.

Some of the new/fixed things in this release include:

  • HTTP proxy support (uses the GNOME proxy settings, use gconf-editor to change them).
  • Flash videos now play fine (non-jerky) and with sound!
  • You can search various video sites (Youtube, Google video, etc.) online, and even save searches as channels.
  • You can export your channel list into an OPML file (and also import OPML files, of course). I've been waiting for this for a very long time (it's a good way to backup your channel list, or move it to another machine)...
  • Lots and lots of bugfixes and small enhancements, as usual.

Download videos from Youtube, Google Video and others using Linux [Update]

Many online video sites such as Youtube, Google Video, Dailymotion, Metacafe, and others only provide limited or inconvenient access to the videos; either they require you to install the proprietary Flash player (and I surely won't do that), and/or you can only view them online (but not download them).

There are some solutions, each with advantages and disadvantages:

  • youtube-dl, a command line script to download Youtube videos.
  • metacafe-dl, same as above but for Metacafe videos.
  • clive, a command line tool (with optional newt UI) for Youtube, Google Video (seems defunct at the moment) and Dailymotion.
  • VideoDownloader, a Firefox plugin which is supposed to work with more than 60 video sites (Youtube and Google Video are among them). The only disadvantage compared to the other solutions: you need to start Firefox + X11 (no pure command line usage).
  • UnPlug, a Firefox plugin similar to VideoDownloader, but with the advantage that it doesn't use the VideoDownloader web service (but rather figures out the video URLs itself).
  • Gnash, a free software Flash video player is another option, but AFAICS it's not yet ready for daily usage (but it's getting there).
  • swfdec, another Free Software Flash player, is actually working quite nice with Youtube already.

After the download, you can either view the videos using (e.g.) mplayer, or recode them into a more sane format. For all of the above programs there are Debian packages available, except for VideoDownloader/UnPlug (but you can easily install those from within Firefox).

Update 2007-07-26: Added UnPlug and swfdec (thanks Joe Buck and Josh Triplet for the comments).

LinuxBIOS talk video recording from FOSDEM 2007

LinuxBIOS logo

Highly recommended for anybody who might be even remotely interested in LinuxBIOS:

There's a video recording (OGG, 234 MB) of the LinuxBIOS talk at FOSDEM 2007 by LinuxBIOS-founder Ron Minnich.

The talk is about LinuxBIOS, its history, how it works, what the main challenges are, where it's used today and what the future will likely hold. Watch it, you won't regret it.

And if you want to know more, or maybe even consider contributing, head over to or contact the mailing list.

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