Making the Tevion IWR 394 work with linux server

Ingrid gave me the great Tevion IWR 394 as a christmas present.
My first radio with rj45 jack! Bliss! (it also does wifi)

We named it “Adam“, our iPod is called Eve, so they are a good pair.
Adam has UKW FM radio, playback of mp3s on USB drives, internet radio (the first station I listened to is, of course, slay radio), management of favorite radio stations via the webservice, Wifi connectivity, LAN RJ45 connectivity, playback of your own media collection using microsoft windows media player 11 media sharing, and he also has an alarm clock.

See it in action:
"Adam" - Tevion IWR 394 - slay radio!

now the problem is of course: how can Adam playback my iTunes library from my Apple iBook G4 “Eden”? I have a backup of this iTunes library on my linux home server “Franse” – so hosting some magic server on Linux should do it, right? right.

My device is a Tevion IWR 394. I can’t find anything about it in the interwebs (crazy?! nobody bought this before?), so it is probably a branding of an asian white-label product. The menu shows a software “ir-mmi.arts.ven6-jupiter6.1_V1.5.6.21635-1A19”. It connects like a baby to a breast when using UPnP and my Windows XP laptop. FM/UKW radio, usb, also work easily.

Background: accoring to microsoft help of windows media player 11, the following ports should be opened to have media streaming working:
1900 UDP, 2869 TCP, 10243 TCP, 10280-10284 UDP. There is a wikipedia page on the Media_Transfer_Protocol which is to connect your media library to your USB device. For network media streaming, UPnP_AV_MediaServers seem to be the right place. There is a upnp server comparison table on wikipedia also.

My own requirements:

  • host a lot of mp3s from my iTunes collection (ideally, also host my DRM protected itunes files, but thats probably impossible)
  • be piss-easy to install on a headless ubuntu
  • import my iTunes playlists and song ratings

How they meet this:

ok, having found mediatomb as my “easy way to go”, I try
sudo apt-get install mediatomb-daemon
fine! I see it installs it as daemon on rc2.d also, so it will start on system boot.
The various install instructions (ubuntu, official) go on:
sudo nano /etc/mediatomb/config.xml
hm, seems I don’t have to change anything in config.xml, that looks fine as it is. The password and username, ok.
I go to my server using
(franse is my server name. it won’t work at your place)
Ok, I see a very minimal user interface, fine. Somehow I find the folder I want to share and click “+”, it starts indexing. That makes the mediatomb process jump to 80% cpu time on “top” for some 10:50 minutes. good.

But – most amazing – the files show up on my Tevion IWR 394. Life is good!

It does not read/interpret my itunes playlists, though. Googling for itunes playlists in mediatomb does show an empty graveyard. Ok, but its possible to convert an “iTunes Music Library.xml” to several .m3u files using itunesexport, a java tool (here java bytes me again). Sadly, the ericaugherty sf version causes an out-of-memory even with -Xmx300m, so thats a bit annoying. There are zillions of shabby scripts out there to do it, but most don’t work, maybe this one does, as the author says. It does! But it needs some tweaking for folder names, which is done using the “-d” parameter. So the command is something like this (note the trailing shlash at -d) which I put into
python /home/leobard/local/bin/ -d “/home/media/music/iTunes/iTunes Music/” /home/media/music/iTunes/iTunes\ Music\ Library.xml

(at this moment, my newly discovered and totally weird internet radio station plays the amazingly happy disturbing song “It’s so chic to be pregnant on christmas“, greetings to the pregnant-women-we-know B+S)

It seems importing m3u playlists into mediatomb is not out of the box. It goes something like this:

  • check the playlists are allright. do they point to the right path? are the characeters fine? do the directories exist?
  • in my case, the playlists are in /home/media/music/playlists folder and contain lines that look something like this: /home/media/music/iTunes/iTunes Music/Christoph & Lollo/Schispringerlieder/04 Mika, Du Saufkopf, Hast Du Wieder Verloren_.mp3 – that means, absolute paths do work fine for me
  • I import the playlist using the explicit “+” button for the filesystem folder in MediaTomb. Other things didn’t seem to work, especially the autoscan did not work.
  • I thought about script the adding of the playlists by using the mediatomb –add command … but that is not optimal. It starts a server and adds the file, but the server is not shut down. Not ideal for a command line thing.

So to sum up: it would be good to have a DAAPD and upnp server in one, which could read iTunes playlists. BUT I am equally happy with my Tevion IWR 394 “Adam” and mediatomb.

IT-City Vienna

“Vienna will be evolving into a city of knowledge, away from repetitive work to a diversification of simple manual labor and high-skilled jobs. This already happens and must be aknowledged by economic politics.”

somehow like this go the introductionary words of an Article titled “IT Stadt Wien” in “Information Professional” 4/2009, the magazine of the UBIT IT guild in Vienna.

What caught my eye is the wish for more software products coming from the Vienna region. As we have a lot of semantic web companies around, that could potentially also mean: how can we do semantic web products in Vienna? Currently, a lot of software is bought from international corporations (lets call some names: SAP, Microsoft, Siebel, …) or done from scratch in software development projects. What we need are more product-producing software companies in Vienna. Especially we need them because by going for a beer with people working in productive companies, others can learn how to run a business (the author of the article put it “the needed knowledge is not here…”).

My 2 cents:

  1. yep, when I finished university, the choice was “install microsoft windows server 2000 for the rest of your life”. or try something on yourself – which I did because the alternative is boring
  2. what about Altova?

To my knowldge, Altova is the only company in the Vienna region that sold a PRODUCT. With PRODUCT I want to say: they have a software that has the quality, marketing, features needed to sell it worldwide as an off-the-shelf product. They opened up offices in Beverly, MA, USA also, as far as I know to improve sales in the US market (did they also move development and taxing?). Who else did this in Vienna?

Is Altova open to share their knoweldge? I would be the first one lining up to learn from them, being in the situation to try to do a similar feat.

Another point: the wko magazine didn’t mention article author’s names – for a magazine this is a no-go, I want to know who wrote what and to whom I can address letters. Add names!