Sounds a bit like know a tune , doesn't it? You can access the program by looking under the big K, choosing Multimedia, and then clicking on the KDE Media Player, or you can type noatun & at the command line. The problem is that when you fire it up for the first time, it tends to look a little boring, as in Figure 18-7.
Figure 18-7. Noatun's default look.
Don't let that disappoint you. That is the default skin, named Excellent . As with XMMS, you can skin Noatun—in fact, some of Noatun's skins are downright wild. Before we get into that, however, let's talk about playing songs with Noatun.
Click File on Noatun's menu bar and select Open. Navigate your directories until you get to a song you want to play. Select it, and click OK. In all
At this point, you can just keep adding songs to the playlist (you can also add directories if you have collections you want to add). Eventually, you'll have your list. Click the diskette icon on the playlist (see Figure 18-8) to save your list. You are all set. Select a starting song in the playlist, and click the Play button on Noatun's main screen (or click the starting song in the playlist).
Figure 18-8. Noatun's playlist.
Noatun's slider is positional within the playing song. You can control volume using your KMix applet in the system tray as well as through Noatun. To see the volume control, click Settings on the menu bar and select Show Volume Control.
Let's get back to the subject of skinning Noatun. Click on Settings, followed by Configure Noatun. From the pop-up menu that appears, choose Plugins, which will then give you a tabbed menu. Under Interfaces, you'll see four options for player styles. The skinable styles are
(Figure 18-9) and
(although there is also a Winamp skin loader). In both cases, you can find additional skins on the KDE-Look Web site at http://www.
Figure 18-9. Noatun with a K-Jofol skin.
Start by unselecting the Excellent interface and selecting the K-Jofol interface. You'll see the menu bar at the left change. It now shows a K-Jofol Skins option. The same would happen with the Kaiman interface but, obviously, with Kaiman skins. If you click on this menu option, you'll see a drop-down list on the right with a preview of the various installed skins.
When I told you about XMMS, I mentioned the variety of cool plugins you could use for visualization. KDE's media player, Noatun, has these as well. In the Configure Noatun Interfaces menu, select Plugins (from the left-hand sidebar), and then click Visualizations.
Ripping and Burning Songs
These days, with the help of our Linux systems, we can create our own collections from those albums we have purchased and create CD collections of those songs we want to hear. Furthermore, if you have lots of disk space and you
Intermezzo: Digital Audio Formats
Before I get into the mechanics of ripping and burning songs, I'd like to spend a little time discussing music formats. When you purchase a CD, the songs on it are in a format not
The wav format is one originally created by Microsoft. It is extremely common but not the most efficient in terms of compression. The mp3 format (from the Motion Pictures Experts Group, aka MPEG), on the other hand, owes its popularity to the high compression ratio it uses—about 12:1. The newcomer on the block is the ogg (or Ogg Vorbis) format. Like mp3, it boasts a high compression rate; but unlike mp3, it is completely unencumbered by patents.
To give you an idea of the compression values, I ripped a 3-minute, 46-second song to wav format. It came in at 39,866,444 bytes, while the same song in ogg format required only 3,438,407 bytes. If you do the math, that is a ratio of 11.6:1—a pretty impressive reason for not using wav format files.