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My Linux of choice Lubuntu 12.04

have been using the LXDE based Ubuntu variants for some time now as my desktop  of choice. I like LXDE for a few reasons

  • Fast
  • Easy to edit and modify
  • Reliability
  • Stability

 For those of of you who don’t know what im talking about, LXDE is a desktop interface that you can have install or download preinstalled on a wide array of linux distributions, it focuses heavily on a speed while leaving a minimal resource footprint on the computer itself, unlike Ubuntu’s unity interface or OpenSuse KDE interface, LXDE is meant to run fast while providing a more “windows” style of applications and what not.

Lubuntu 12.04

Lubuntu is as the name might suggest the LXDE spinoff of Ubuntu, it comes standard with the 12.04 LTS support and keeps things packed nice and tight as usual. Outside of standard LXDE components such as files browsers and what not you wont find too much to stand in your way of getting down to what matters most in  desktop.

There are of course other distros i could have chosen from (Vector Linux, PClinuxOS, Linux Mint 12 LXDE, etc etc) and i have used all of these variations, what sets this apart is the fact that there isn’t much at all  included be default in Lubuntu, and that at least to me is the way that it should feel. Oddly enough while other distros had slight variations in applications i still found Lubuntu to have an overall aesthetic that i have like ever since the earlier version. The performance is phenomenal, im pretty sure there is not much going on under the hood but i do feel that Lubuntu plays nicer with machines on  low specs than the others i have tested out while still offering a playground for people to enjoy fully customizing their desktops. That being said the current version of Lubuntu is 12.04 and keeps inline with Ubuntu development seeing how it is an official spin. That’s important to know for fans of the 12.04 LTS series seeing how application compatibility and stability is vital for an LTS release 

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Is your iTunes library a mess?

For those of us who handle all too much of a music collection, or maybe not a very large one at all,  sometimes running maintenance on it can be a drag, from music folder sweeping to dead links removal this awesome tool does it all!

 

iTunes Library toolkit

Presented in a basic interface this basic tool manages to bring your library to tip top shape in no time.

 

Lets run through some of the basic features of this application and move into some of the more advanced options.

New media detection

This does exactly what it says, it looks at a set of folders to bring them into the iTunes database

Dead link removal

This one is the most annoying of them all, and where the software really shines, its amazing to me that iTunes still has not addressed this issue, but regardless this option will remove all the dead links in your iTunes library, for those who don’t know dead links are created when the media file is missing or is no longer available in your library folder

Update attribute

For some like I that use 3rd party applications at times to sync with MTP devices that write the tags directly into the file itself, this option will update that written information into the file in the library, updating everything from ratings, play counts, and basic artist info. This beats having to export a new library.xml file that could potentially cause some inconsistencies between libraries, this will make sure that the information written into the file will always be displayed.

Custom browse

This one is new to me, and i love this software for showing it to me, lets say you want a playlist that will show only the title and the length of the tracks within it, well instead of right clicking to remove the views from the current playlist selected this tool will make it display ONLY the information that you decide you want displayed

Generate Catalog

This generates an HTML catalog that links your library files to links such as YouTube sources to have them hosted on a website the link below will show you a better idea of what I’m talking about

http://klarita.net/catalog2/catalog.html 

Automate

This will do everything listen above automatically while running the background!

 

Now just to make sure we are all on the same page this application is not free! read the info copy pasted from the site below 😀

To fully appreciate all the features that the Library Toolkit has to offer, we invite you to download it and try all the features for yourself – it is free and fully functional for one month after installation. Following the trial, licenses are issued on a simple per-machine per-year basis:

License for one year on one computer : £3.49 (GBP)

*SPECIAL OFFER* : Buy 2, Get 1 FREE
If you purchase annual licenses for two machines together (on the same day), you can add a free license for a 3rd
machine: simply send us a mail requesting your free key from the 3rd machine using the “Email Support” option.
This offer is valid whilst this notice is displayed, it may be withdrawn or changed for a different offer at a later date.

Each license purchase must be made via the option provided in the software, from the machine which you wish to tie the license to. A license entitles you to priority email support, which is available via the Help menu within the application.

An annual license is now preferred to a “lifetime” license because this software is wholly dependent upon the continued availability of iTunes and its open API (something outside our control).”

Links below

http://klarita.net/itlt.html <<home site

http://klarita.net/SetupLibraryToolkit1014.msi <<<DD

Foobar:2000

Its difficult to fine the end all be all in music players, Foobar is not it, but it does come with some compelling features that puts it up there with the best. I’m a mixed bag when it comes to using music software, i need something more than just features to really get swept by any applications, for example i Foobar2000use Itunes to organize and Musicbee for tags and device management, I’m not exclusive either, once my music collection has the ID3 tag information saved directly to file (a feature that iTunes has YET to implement after so many years) i use the same music folder in Linux to have everything organized and easy to get to regardless of the environment i have to work with at at the time.  This has become something paramount to me since the very beginning, only cause starting to rate and listen to my library from scratch is something that i can’t do every time i reformat my machine.

main

I have media library OCD i swear, so where does Foobar come in? Foobar is in the middle kind, it manages my music by scanning whichever folder i tell it to, creates a very fast and basic library of the criteria for search, and does all of this with speed, i can’t stress enough how well this application runs on all the machines i have tested it run, even on Pentium 3 it can still hold its own without brining the computer to total halt when adding, playing or searching for files off the folder.

equalizer

Interface wise Foobar does a really great job at keeping things simple on the outside all while maintaining consistent performance. I was a little impressed at the fact that i had to go looking for some of the more advanced options that the website advertises, Its all there and works amazingly, the only downside of course is the plug-in library on their website which is in disarray, some of the components are a few meager KBs at most and can expand greatly the overall usability of Foobar.

Something else i have to mention, Foobar is TOTALLY CUSTOMIZABLE. It is hard to really give a concrete rating to this application cause of all the things you can do with it once you have your mind set on making it your own, unfortunately i don’t like to dive into one application to that degree just cause i feel that for applications it should just work right out of the box without having to do much under the hood.

converter-setup

Foobar has been around for a while now and they just reached V 1.1.12A its a work in progress and that’s very apparent from the constant updates are rolled out almost every month, and with

Foobar is a great application and i recommend this to anyone that just needs to get to that song, or has their favorite albums and artists in mind already and just needs to get to it quick, i also recommend it to anyone with a computer that has low system resources. Its not the all in all that I’m waiting for in music applications but it does its job well.

http://www.foobar2000.org/ <<<official website

http://www.foobar2000.org/download <<<<DD (Direct Download)

8/10 from me anyways

Ubuntu 12.04 vs Fedora 16

For a while now I have been avoiding installing Ubuntu on my netbook. This decision was mainly cause of two reasons.

1. As of Ubuntu 10.10 I have seen a rapid decline in performance on the packaged kernel that comes loaded
2. I don’t feel that the unity interface takes advantage of my screen space

That’s not to say that Ubuntu doesn’t have it’s advantages for starters Ubuntu offers an incredible software catalog with very simple and efficient interface and installation method. Along with that Ubuntu is in constant development and offers an almost always up to date software repositories and a stable development channel it really is a premium Linux distro.

Fedora on the other hand has shifted over the years and has been working on optimization and offers a cleaner software lineup off the bat. The most recent of the versions have come standard with the Gnome3 desktop environment which is the father of the unity interface that Ubuntu comes with. 

Now fedora doesn’t really do anything amazing and unique its just another distro with some appealing wallpaper and artwork and offers a very basic set of tools and even though the default gnome3 interface takes up more of my screen space than unity I definitely feel that it keeps everything at a reach and makes swinging in and out of applications and keeping track of things easier to deal with, especially when working on multiple projects at once and handling workspaces. Apart from this there is an overall performance gap between the two. I was running both distros on humble hardware:
1.6ghz atom
250 gb hdd
Nvidia ion integrated graphics card
1.5 gb of RAM

There are clearly details missing but I think you all get the picture.

This is a VS for me and I have to pick one and for the sole purpose of usability and performance I have to stick with Fedora core for my desktop needs