13 January 2008, 13:36 by mark hoekstra

update: the Indy now scrobbles to last.fm!

this is an update to the earlier posted use an Indy as a diskless network MP3 player-project

the complete setup
click to enlarge

After my last project, the netbooting, MP3 playing Indy I soon realized I forgot something and that’s last.fm and/or audioscrobbler.

“Hmmmzzz…”, that’s what I thought when I realized that. I mean, with such a custom setup there was hardly any hope for an easy solution. Next to that, I’m not a programmer and hardly a software guy. I can close bridges sometimes, but only if the gap I have to bridge is not too big. ^_^

I’ve been submitting my tracks to last.fm for quite a while now and I simply wanted this thing solved but I really didn’t have a clue where to look for it. After googling and getting my head around the possibilities, I came across the Perl-module Audio::Scrobbler. Soon after I found that, I also found out that the Perl on my IRIX-box was way too old. So, the problem shifted to getting a more up-to-date(...well, 5.8.1 …) version of Perl on my old IRIX 5.3-box. But… first I had to get a decent compiler on the box.

After I tried all kinds of methods to get GCC on there, without any real luck, I figured I could better go and look for an original C compiler for this box. It was then that I found that SGI themselves offered the IRIS Development Option (IDO) as a download! How neat! At the same time I found a whole bunch of precompiled packages for IRIX 5.3 too.

Even though we’re talking very old hard and software here, imho it’s a joy to find something like this. Anyway, after I installed the IRIS Development Option I could have a go at compiling Perl (5.8.1) on this box.

Of course I ran in all kinds of trouble doing that. I’m not even sure how I got passed that, but this thread has been extremely helpful. (Mind you, in this thread they can hardly believe someone is working on an IRIX 5.3 box and that thread already is three years old).

Anyway, after long hours I finally had Perl 5.8.1 installed, including CPAN and also some modules, including Audio::Scrobbler.

Well, all nice and dandy, that already took way more time than I ever expected, but how am I going to submit my tracks?

I didn’t really have an answer to that… I’m using mpg123 to play my MP3s, but I really hadn’t got a clue how I could get mpg123 to print the exact info in such a way that Audio::Scrobbler could submit that (remember, I’m not a programmer… ^_^).

the complete setup
click to enlarge

This week (in between other things) I continued my search for a solution and/or clues. This has been bugging me ever since I use the Indy and that’s more than a month ago now. In between other things, I spent a great deal of my holidays on this…

Yesterday I came across another Perl module, Audio::Play::MPG123 and even though I (again) ran into all kinds of trouble, in the end I got it working. It’s some sort of Perl frontend for mpg123. Next to coming across this module, I also came across scrobblerd, a daemon for submitting info by the means of Audio::Scrobbler.

Now, in the end I finally saw light at the end of the tunnel, when I realized I could use this Audio::Play::MPG123 module to write the current playing filename to a file and have scrobblerd reading that. When scrobblerd notices a change in the file (.troutcurr) it uses Audio::Scrobbler to decode the info of that specific MP3-file and submit that to last.fm …and guess what? it works!

we’re submitting track info!
click to enlarge

After a few weeks of silence, my last.fm profile gets updated whenever I play a track on the Indy!

I added a few lines to a shell script which came with Audio::Play::MPG123 and renamed the shell script simply to mp3. When I now boot the Indy and log in, I can simply type ‘mp3’ and it starts scrobblerd, it also starts mpg123 and gives me the Perl shell to load tracks and such.

the output of scrobblerd.log
click to enlarge

I tried to get scrobblerd to boot through an initscript, but somehow that didn’t work and for now I can’t figure out why. So that’s why the start/stopping of this is a little quick and dirty.

In total, this Indy is rudimentary, especially from an ease-of-use point-of-view, but hey, it works! And I really use it as my day-to-day MP3 player.

the Perl shell interface/frontend of Audio::Play::MPG123
click to enlarge

Next to the digital out, I’ve also connected the analog out, to a UTP-cable which runs to my other room. I’ve got an amplifier and two nice little Mission speakers there and now I can use the same Indy as my MP3-player over there as well. My old iBook and/or my Indigo2 is the Unix terminal over there to control the Indy,

All the old camera gear you can see on these pics is for a future project… ^_^

iBook and Indigo2, both able to control the Indy downstairs
click to enlarge

Ah well, judging by the amount of downloads since I posted this project, not that many people are busy with something like this, not that I was expecting something like that. ^_^ Anyway, even if there’s one soul who wants to shortcut the drama to get this to work, for that person I (again) tarballed and gzipped my complete netbooting root-directory of my Indy. You can get it here.

It grew dramatically by the way, from 130MB to 581MB(!), but that’s mainly because of all the *ahem* development I did on the Indy. The rootpass still is ‘rootroot’, again I removed my ssh-keys and all you need to do is to put your last.fm-username and pass in the file /usr/local/bin/scrobblerd, one other file to watch out for is /usr/local/bin/scrobbler-helper. That’s the console-tool of Audio::Scrobbler.

For anyone who tries this, enjoy!

(I know I will)


earlier on this site:

How-to turn an Indy into a dedicated webcam
use an Indy as a diskless network MP3 player

ages ago already:

...picking up a SGI Origin 200
...getting to grips with a SGI Origin 200
...getting to grips with a 20 euro SGI Indy


  1. Tony @ 19 June 2008, 13:59 :

    It looks like your torrent has died – Is there any chance you could post the jukebox side of things somewhere please? I’d love to get something similar working on an old dell I’ve got kicking around.


  2. jan @ 15 January 2009, 11:40 :

    These torrents do not work anymore. Does anyone have them? I have special interest for the /tftpboot directory.

    Thank you.

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