GSoC Progress Report #4 – MidTerm passed

This is the 4th post in the series of my biweekly gsoc status reports. Last week was MidTerm deadline, and I am happy to say that I passed my MidTerm evaluation. I am a little ahead of time, actually. I proposed to have a Banshee.app ready with no working Mass Storage yet, but preview USB plug-in detection. The last alpha3 build already had full usb mass storage support working. So I had the time in the last two weeks to polish the hardware support a little.

Sync your music to network shares with Banshee

I’ve modified the OS X specifc hardware detection code a little, so that not only USB devices get recognized, but all kind of mountable volumes that have an .is_audio_player file on them. This allows one to create a fake mass storage device to sync your media to, but it’s actually just a folder on a network share. This can be any kind of network share, like smb or afp mounts, or as I am going to show step-by-step, a remote SSH location mounted by sshfs/MacFusion.

Howto: Syncing to a remote machine over SSH

I want to be able to sync my media collection and selected playlists from Banshee to my linux powered File-/DLNA-/ Server where I store all my music. I’ll only want to carry a subset of tracks on my Macbook, which has only limited disk space. This is how we can enable syncing via SSH (provided you use at least alpha4 build):

  1. Login via ssh to the machine to want to sync to, and create a folder for your Music and put an .is_audio_player into it:
    mkdir ~/SharedMedia/
    mkdir ~/SharedMedia/Music
    mkdir ~/SharedMedia/Playlists
    touch ~/SharedMedia/.is_audio_player
  2. Edit the .is_audio_player file with your favorite editor and have it look like this:
    audio_folders=Music/
    folder_depth=2
    output_formats=audio/ogg,audio/x-ms-wma,audio/mpeg,audio/wav,audio/x-flac
    playlist_path=Playlists/
  3. On your OS X system, install MacFusion (successor of MacFuse)
  4. From the MacFusion tray icon, select “Connect to Server” and enter the ssh:// address of your remote machine. In my case, this is “ssh://timo@orion/home/timo/SharedMedia/”. Replace “timo” with your username and “orion” with your  hostname of your machine. You will need to have setup ssh public key authentication for the connection to succeed!
  5. Banshee will detect the network share as a generic mass storage device. You can now sync your whole media collection or single playlists between the network share and your banshee media database!🙂

Other improvements in the hardware backend include stability fixes as well as making the “Eject” button working for the external devices.

Native file dialogs

Also new in alpha4 is the support for native file dialogs. Right now, the Gtk file open dialog is just broken on OS X. If you own a system with more than one harddrive (no matter if internal or external through usb/firewire/thunderbolt) the Gtk Filechooser will not display it. Same holds true for any network shares. Only way to access external storage is, if you know that OS X mounts those volumes in your /Volumes path – a fact that is not known to lots of OS X users (and there is no need to, as you got your external Volumes always in your sidebar). Currently only the Import Media->From File/Folder uses the OS X native file open dialog. At other points, its more complicated due to Gtk Widgets being embedded in the chooser. But those dialogs are usually less often used (export playlist dialog, choose cover art dialog).

As usual, with this bi-weekly report I’ve rolled a new alpha bundle which included my latest development progress and all features talked about in this post, as well as all previous posts. Get it here or follow this direct download link to test it yourself!

Source Code

Since the source for the hardware support and the native file choosers will likely change within the GSoC period, I’ve not submitted patches to upstream, yet. However, I’ve setup a mirror on GitHub including latest banshee master branch from gnome, and a branch with my changes (nicely formatted and rebased). A pull request against myself can be used to retrieve a single patch including all my changes for this GSoC assignment. I’ve also updated the banshee-git package in bockbuild to auto-retrieve this patch and build when doing a release build.

One response to “GSoC Progress Report #4 – MidTerm passed

  1. I like what you guys are up too. This type of clever work and reporting!
    Keep up the amazing works guys I’ve you guys to my own blogroll.

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