Script for ogg vorbis downloads from Jamendo

UPDATE: The script in this blogpost is obsolete as Jamendo no longer offers .ogg downloads.

Jamendo is a great source for Creative Commons music. I definitely have to dedicate a blogpost to that phenomenon however this article just deals with downloading from Jamendo. As you might have noticed I’m a fan of open formats. MP3 is a format where royalties need to be paid for (by creators) and patents rest upon. Therefore I prefer to have my music in OGG Vorbis format. Quality is almost the same and all music players on Linux can deal with this format out of the box (on Windows Foobar2000 has built in support for OGG). So it would be nice if we could get our Jamendo albums in that format.
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Windows and Free Software

Using a proprietary operating system like Windows or OSX does not mean that you can’t use free software on those platforms. There are many explanations of why people are mainly using proprietary software over free software: the proprietary products could simply provide better functionality, they are the default applications on the system or their usage is mandatory for work or school. However it could very well be that people are just not aware of the availability of a free alternative. Awareness can be increased by telling people around you about free software and make practical suggestions.

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How to: Setting up DOSBox

DOSBox is an emulator for DOS, available for various plaforms (Windows, Mac, Linux and FreeBSD to name a few). It allows you to run DOS applications through a virtual machine on nearly any host. A great solution for old games that can’t run natively on recent Windows version and of course not on Linux at all. I’ve used DOSBox on Windows (Vista) and Ubuntu and it works great. Can’t remember any serious crashes and it’s easy on resources. So read on for some instructions for a convenient setup.

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FOSS Music Players (for Linux)

If you are looking for a Free and Open Source music player for Linux there is a myriad of options. With this post I try to list some of the most commonly used players together with things you may like and not like in those application. The order of the players is quite random so this is not a ranking in any way. Just an indication and a little guide to the available options.

Obviously I miss out on some players, please mention them in the comments in that case. Also note that most of the listed applications will just do the job: they play your music. Interfaces might be different, one might be shinier than the other, or maybe you won’t like any of them as they are not as ‘polished’ as their Win and Mac counterparts… well anyway a music player is doing it’s work in the background 99% of the time. Furthermore please note that all the listed players are available in the Ubuntu software center, that’s also my main criterion for inclusion in this list. However this list is made with Ubuntu in mind, all these applications should run on any modern (major) Linux distro.

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RollerCoaster Tycoon via Wine in Ubuntu 11.04

RollerCoaster Tycoon (hereafter RCT) remains the best themepark sim ever made in my humble opinion. Maybe RCT2 is even better but it’s more of an improvement of RCT1 and not a new concept. I had lots of fun playing RCT in the past and it’s one of those games you can replay every now and then that continue to kick ass 12 years after being released. Unfortunately it was designed to run on Windows95/98 posing some trouble for recent versions of Windows. Also running it on Linux poses some trouble obviously. However with the version of Wine that is in the current (Natty) repositories and a working patch the coasters roll in Ubuntu too!

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Code in de marge.