Ca 8 months ago I bought a Playstation 3. I was fascinated by its ‘supercomputer in a box’ claims, found Cell technology mildly interesting and it’s been a long time since I’ve been playing a good first person shooter. As Amazon had a good deal that included “Resistance: Fall of Man” I had this magnificent geek box sitting next to my TV in no time.
If you look at it objectively, it really does offer a lot for its moderate price: it can play Blue Ray, DVDs, CDs and all sort of other discshaped things, USB keys, can hook up to your Ipod and all other sort of things. It does Bluetooth, Wifi and, crucially, has uPNP capabilities: for those non-Geeks out there it means it can play movies and sound files that are lying on other computers around the house by the virtue of wifi.
In the past I managed to get this done thanks to my single Windows machine in the house, but who wants to have one of those monsters on, wasting electricity all the time. Now, thanks to Ubuntu, the AspireOne and Mediatomb this is all much more elegantly organised:
As the AspireOne is only fired up for work at home (it never ends, you know) my need for a decent musical background begins exactly at the same time. With the PS3 hooked up to a decent pair of speakers this is (though of course not hi end, due to the fact that the music on the Aspireone is encoded in some sort of compression format) an easy way to put my 28 GB music collection to use. Mediatomb is surprisingly easy to install and configure for a Linux product concocted by without doubt very nerdy but ultimately nice gentlemen (just look at the guy who looks after Rhythmbox for Gnome. You wouldn’t even mind living next to him. And that’s a big compliment for your average Gnome coder).
This is of course not perfect, and I am aware of the acute lack of proper, non-encoded tunes in my household. There is still the matter of 450 vinyl records stored away in a warehouse in Ilford, but before I could peruse these again I have to source a decent amp, a set of proper electrostatic speakers and dig out my Thorens turntable, so that will take a bit.
In the meantime I am quite happy to enjoy Charlie Parker in mildly compressed form.
Sometimes even music reproduction is being hit by compromise.
Tough. I know.