The Podcaster’s Studio in Linux

After yet another frustrating and disappointing experience with Windows, I’m making a fresh, updated and serious attempt to use Ubuntu Studio as a platform for our Podcast.

Advertisements

Audio_mixer_fadersAfter yet another frustrating and disappointing experience with Windows, (which I spoke about elsewhere), I’m making a fresh, updated and serious attempt to use Ubuntu Studio as a platform for our Podcast. As I make a change to the configuration of Studio fresh from its shiny wrapper, I shall update this blog to document my steps. So that I shall be able to see, if/when it all goes horribly pear-shaped, what I have to do to get back to the last known fully-working state. For that reason, it is just as important to record failures as it is successes. For my own benefit, as well as anyone else that may/may not be following my procedures, it is vitally important that I record the successes or failures as I progress.

To summarise my needs, I’ll briefly explain that I need a computer as a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), a graphical design environment, a place to write and compose and finally, to provide me with the tools to maintain our website(s). I also use my PC for web browsing (the inevitable Book of Face) and for playing games as R&R. By switching to Studio as my primary OS, I will lose access to the majority of my Steam library which is a serious Pain. I have to ask myself whether working or playing is more important – and, for me, there is no contest.

So…

Installing Ubuntu Studio for the first time

I used my laptop to download the latest Studio ISO (version 16.10) and made a bootable USB Flash Drive from it. Next, started my PC from a cold boot, pressing F8 for the Boot selection menu. I chose the USB DISK as the boot device and, once loaded, chose to install Studio. I chose not to install any 3rd party proprietary drivers of META packages at this time as I could always do that later, and I just wanted a clean install to start with. So, I entered the installation details as normal, i.e., location, user account, timezone etc. – and away she went!

A little while later, 1 nice fresh little dual monitor, blue XFCE mouse displaying an installation of Studio that was ready to use. Interestingly enough, Studio did not find any USB drivers to power the interface to my 3rd Monitor so I’m still down to just the two monitors. A problem to try and fix later, I feel! 🙂

Filebot for renaming Video files

I wanted my first task to be a simple one. Having experienced a superb application in Windows called Filebot that will happily rename and organise Video files, I was overjoyed to see that a Linux version of this program was available. So.. onto the task with gusto!

I headed on over to the Filebot website at http://www.filebot.net/ and chose to download what I thought was the most likely installation choice for my 32-bit installation of Studio – “filebot_4.7.2_i386.deb“. I selected ‘Open in Software Manager’, entered the root p/w and clicked Install when it came up.

I found it had added a menu entry for filebot under Video Production, but when I clicked it – nothing happened. A bit confused. So, I opened a Terminal window and

So, I opened a Terminal window and just typed:

filebot

at my user command prompt. Head-desk! An error message that politely informed me that I didn’t have Java installed. Now I knew that Filebot required Java, but for some reason I completely forgot at the critical moment – d’oh! So where to find an installation of Java?

Well, I found the following Q&A on the Ubuntu forums and it looked both recent enough and simple enough for an eedjit like me, so:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:webupd8team/java
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install oracle-java8-installer

to add the Oracle repository, refresh and install Java. Everything proceeded without a hitch. The tutorial then asked me to set an envirnment varibale with:

 export JAVA_HOME=/usr/lib/jvm/java-8-oracle

Worked like a charm. Now to test the program. I clicked on the menu entry, and Bingo! the app launched beautifully! Happy Gary!

Success.

OK, It’s time to try Linux

More Storage Needed

My main PC (Windows) is filling up! Now what am I going to do? I still need space to store data files for all the work I would like to be doing 😉 I have old computers lying around but they are more than unstable under Windows. Maybe it’s time to try and set up a Linux file server…

I’ve got to be honest. Last week’s Micro Mart gave me the idea. It contains a tutorial for setting up a file server using Ubuntu Linux. Linux should be a lot more stable, virus-free and perform a hell of a lot better on an old PC. Alright, I’m convinced, now is the time to try it. I have played with Linux before but it has always been a nightmare, perhaps now things have moved on and a total Newbie has a fighting chance to set up a working system. Well, the article gave me hope anyway…

So, I find the Ubuntu site and figure out that the Server download will be just the one I need! Seems straightforward enough. You have to figure out whether you want the latest version (7.04) or the ‘stable’ version. So, it seems like an obvious choice there. I am not looking for anything clever, just stable, so let’s select 6.06 with support up to 2011. Wow! That sounds promising.

Ah. now I have to make another choice. Do I want the normal version, the 64 bit version or the sun sparc (no chance) version? Well, I don’t have a Sun Sparc workstation, just a PC, so I guess it must be one of the other two. The PC has a 2.53 GHz Pentium 4 inside – now is that a 32 or 64 bit processor? Damned if I can remember, but it’s not one of the latest super-duper Multi-core jobbies or an AMD 64 so I’m going to go for the standard download. Still, the first decision that wasn’t an easy one to make.

I then have to choose a download location, the nearest one to me, and then hit the Start Download button. It’s only when it starts to download that I notice that it is an iso file that is downloading. Good job I know what to do with those! An iso is a disc image, normally a CD, that you either cut onto a physical CD or DVD or mount in a virtual drive manager such as PowerISO or Daemon Tools.

Now all I’ve got to do is wait for it to download! More later…