Data in the cloud? Think Sass and RUB

My attention was drawn to the Times article http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article6871750.ece (incidentally, thanks to @AdamLiversage for that) which discusses the Microsoft/Sidekick disaster.

I saw a comment which I thought was excellent  –

chris robinson wrote:
There is no Sass without a rub …
Sass = Software as a SECURE Service
RUB = Relocatable user backup

Unless you can get a full backup in an agnostic format of data (and preferably application too) which you can relocate to somewhere other than your service provider you are not secure. Period. You can get more details of Sass and RUB in Wikipedia or at the Webrecs website webrecs.com.au

ma.gnolia.com, Sidekick – who’s next?
My jungledisk backup stuff is being burned to DVD this week.

Streaming Spotify to Squeezebox

I have 2 old original Squeezeboxes, that I love.
I use Squeezecenter(OS goodness)  to stream mp3s  round the house to those and other PCs.

I like Spotify, I thought it would be nice to stream that too. Sadly, there’s no API which would allow the community to integrate this into Squeezecenter.

I searched and found a post on GetSatisfaction from Magnus
http://getsatisfaction.com/spotify/topics/can_you_stream_to_a_squeezebox#reply_793164

“Ok, I will try to explain how I set up my system step-by-step. When I started setting this up I was quite confused by what icecast really is, so let me start by explaining this a little. As I have now understood it, icecast is just the broadcast server, but it turns out that it can not send any audio by itself – it needs another program to encode the stream and provide it, and that is the purpose of the edcast program that we need to install as well.

Anyway, here goes:

1. Download and install the Windows version of Icecast2 from www.icecast.org on the PC that you use for running Spotify. This does not have to be the same computer that are running the Squeezecenter, I use a Netgear NAS box for that.

2. Start the icecast GUI using the “Icecast2 Version 2.x” shortcut on your start menu, and select the Edit Configuration menu option. If your icecast server will be available outside the firewall you should change the default “hackme” passwords to something a bit more secure. (I only use it on my own LAN so I left them at the default values.) The default port number is 8000, I did not change that either.

3. Start the server. (It can be configured to start as soon as Windows starts which is convenient.)

4. Download and install Edcast Standalone 3.1.21 from http://www.oddsock.org/tools/edcast/.

5. Due to licensing issues edcast is not allowed to redistribute the LAME encoder to be able to encode mp3 streams, so you have to get it separately. It is only officially distributed as source code, but compiled Windows binaries can easily be found, for example from http://www.free-codecs.com/download/L…. Extract the zip archive (I think I used the lame3.98.2.zip one) to C:Program Filesedcast.

6. Start edcast and click Add Encoder, right-click the newly created encoder and select Configure. Change the encoder type to “MP3 Lame”, server ip “localhost”, server port 8000, and the encoder password to the one you set in step 2 above. Click Ok to close the config dialog, and then Connect to start streaming to the icecast server.

7. If everything is working properly, edcast is now encoding whatever sound that is entering the soundcard and streaming it live. Since we want the music from Spotify to stream, we need to make sure that it is looped back using the soundcard. This can differ somewhat depending on Windows version and your sound hardware. On my system, I can bring up the standard Windows volume control, select Properties from the Options menu and select Recording. Make sure that the source called “Mixer” is included in the checked items, click Ok to bring up the recording control, and make sure that the “Mixer” is selected as recording source.

8. Start Spotify and start playing some music. Mute the speakers on the PC if you like, since the purpose of all this is to use your Squeezebox to play it.

9. Go back to edcast and click the Peak Meter. If things are working, you will see a meter moving. Adjust the volume by dragging the slider or using the recording control if you still have it open.

10. On the squeezebox (or using the Squeezecenter web interface which is more convenient), go to Internet Radio and Tune in URL, and enter the following URL, but change the IP address to whatever your computer is called you your network: http://192.168.0.3:8000/stream.m3u
[Ed. Note – I found this failed for me, but I checked the Icecast “Source Level Stats” section and it said the stream was http://192.168.0.3:8000/stream.ogg
 – which worked fine]
(You can, of course, store this as a Favorite.)

11. You should now hear the Spotify music on the Squeezebox!

12. To make it work even cooler, you can go into edcast and click the Edit button at the top to configure the metadata for your radio station. I set the Metadata field to “Spotify” and checked the “Grab Metadata From Window Title” and set the Window Class to SpotifyMainWindow. This will make edcast fetch the current artist and song title from the Spotify window and send it as metadata so that it displays on the Squeezebox’s display – how cool is that.

Quite a lot of steps, but it works great once you complete them all, so good luck! “

I can confirm this works on my setup, too.

Using a custom domain name

having admired @mahemoff ‘s tumblr at http://mini.softwareas.com/ I decided I needed to improve my use of posterous.

Mind you, I also need to blog more, tweet better, read more, learn my new job, requalify as a rope rescue technician, move professional community.

As an easy start, I decided to move my tumblog from the shaidorsai name to my name, and echo the “mini” subdomain that Michael , and others, have done.

tumblr.com *do* provide some instructions http://www.tumblr.com/help/custom_domains
So, off to my registrar and set up a subdomain. Err, no. While 1&1 are my registrar, my DNS (and most of my hosting) is done via 5quidhost. So, setup a subdomain there, and point it to steveellwood.tumblr.com

No, not that easy. I can’t set the A record, so I have to request that via email. About an hour later, you can now benefit(?) from my pearls of wisdom at http://mini.steveellwood.com.

Now, how do I get my wave to embed in my blog…. (wanders off muttering)