| Andrew Cooke | Contents | Latest | RSS | Twitter | Previous | Next


Welcome to my blog, which was once a mailing list of the same name and is still generated by mail. Please reply via the "comment" links.

Always interested in offers/projects/new ideas. Eclectic experience in fields like: numerical computing; Python web; Java enterprise; functional languages; GPGPU; SQL databases; etc. Based in Santiago, Chile; telecommute worldwide. CV; email.

Personal Projects

Lepl parser for Python.

Colorless Green.

Photography around Santiago.

SVG experiment.

Professional Portfolio

Calibration of seismometers.

Data access via web services.

Cache rewrite.

Extending OpenSSH.

Last 100 entries

Chinese Govt Intercepts External Web To DDOS github; Numbering Permutations; Teenage Engineering - Low Price Synths; GCHQ Can Do Whatever It Wants; Dublinesque; A Cryptographic SAT Solver; Security Challenges; Word Lists for Crosswords; 3D Printing and Speaker Design; Searchable Snowden Archive; XCode Backdoored; Derived Apps Have Malware (CIA); Rowhammer - Hacking Software Via Hardware (DRAM) Bugs; Immutable SQL Database (Kinda); Tor GPS Tracker; That PyCon Dongle Mess...; ASCII Fluid Dynamics; Brandalism; Table of Shifter, Cassette and Derailleur Compatability; Lenovo Demonstrates How Bad HTTPS Is; Telegraph Owned by HSBC; Smaptop - Sunrise (Music); Equation Group (NSA); UK Torture in NI; And - A Natural Extension To Regexps; This Is The Future Of Religion; The Shazam (Music Matching) Algorithm; Tributes To Lesbian Community From AIDS Survivors; Nice Rust Summary; List of Good Fiction Books; Constructing JSON From Postgres (Part 2); Constructing JSON From Postgres (Part 1); Postgres in Docker; Why Poor Places Are More Diverse; Smart Writing on Graceland; Satire in France; Free Speech in France; MTB Cornering - Where Should We Point Our Thrusters?; Secure Secure Shell; Java Generics over Primitives; 2014 (Charlie Brooker); How I am 7; Neural Nets Applied to Go; Programming, Business, Social Contracts; Distributed Systems for Fun and Profit; XML and Scheme; Internet Radio Stations (Curated List); Solid Data About Placebos; Half of Americans Think Climate Change Is a Sign of the Apocalypse; Saturday Surf Sessions With Juvenile Delinquents; Ssh, tty, stdout and stderr; Feathers falling in a vacuum; Santiago 30m Bike Route; Mapa de Ciclovias en Santiago; How Unreliable is UDP?; SE Santiago 20m Bike Route; Cameron's Rap; Configuring libxml with Eclipse; Reducing Combinatorial Complexity With Occam - AI; Sentidos Comunes (Chilean Online Magazine); Hilary Mantel: The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher - August 6th 1983; NSA Interceptng Gmail During Delivery; General IIR Filters; What's happening with Scala?; Interesting (But Largely Illegible) Typeface; Retiring Essentialism; Poorest in UK, Poorest in N Europe; I Want To Be A Redneck!; Reverse Racism; The Lost Art Of Nomography; IBM Data Center (Photo); Interesting Account Of Gamma Hack; The Most Interesting Audiophile In The World; How did the first world war actually end?; Ky - Restaurant Santiago; The Black Dork Lives!; The UN Requires Unaninmous Decisions; LPIR - Steganography in Practice; How I Am 6; Clear Explanation of Verizon / Level 3 / Netflix; Teenage Girls; Formalising NSA Attacks; Switching Brakes (Tektro Hydraulic); Naim NAP 100 (Power Amp); AKG 550 First Impressions; Facebook manipulates emotions (no really); Map Reduce "No Longer Used" At Google; Removing RAID metadata; New Bike (Good Bike Shop, Santiago Chile); Removing APE Tags in Linux; Compiling Python 3.0 With GCC 4.8; Maven is Amazing; Generating Docs from a GitHub Wiki; Modular Shelves; Bash Best Practices; Good Emergency Gasfiter (Santiago, Chile); Readings in Recent Architecture; Roger Casement; Integrated Information Theory (Or Not); Possibly undefined macro AC_ENABLE_SHARED; Update on Charges; Sunburst Visualisation

© 2006-2013 Andrew Cooke (site) / post authors (content).

Linux Audio(philes) after Logitech

From: andrew cooke <andrew@...>

Date: Sat, 3 Nov 2012 13:22:47 -0300

[Summary from http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4736980 which contains some
useful alternative suggestions:

Logitech made hardware and software that allowed you to stream music from a
Linux computer to elsewhere in the house.  They have stopped making the
hardware and the software appears to be "decaying".

Forking and fixing the software sounds like the obvious short-term solution,
but it's not so easy - it's fairly opaque Perl, and despite various interested
people and an open bug report, nothing has happened so far.  Also, it's not a
good long-term solution, since the hardware will fail eventually, too (the
hardware was pretty dumb; a lot is done by the software/firmware).

The best alternative I have found is the Audio Engine D2. That works at a
lower level than the existing logitech devices - it looks like a USB sound
card to the computer.  That means that it works with a variety of different
music players (avoiding the trap I fell into with Logitech's software; on the
other hand, that also makes it less flexible).

One piece of context that may be missing is exactly what this hardware does /
did.  Typically in a "computer audiophile" setup music starts in a digital
file on a disk, is sent somewhere, converted from digitial to analogue,
amplified, and fed to a speaker.  What logitech did was the "send somewhere"
part (plus, optionally, conversion to analogue, and maybe more).  So you could
keep your music in one place, but listen to things elsewhere (or in multiple
places - maybe your main speakers in the living room; a headphone amp in the
bedroom; monitors in the office).  Effectively it was a "wireless digital
cable" (plus software router).

It was also useful that the Logitech devices could work with a purely digital
signal.  That let people use other (typically more expensive, better sounding)
hardware to do the digital to analogue conversion.]

Logitech recently closed its "Squeeze" line.  This used to contain various
hardware devices for streaming music across wifi - pretty much a low-cost
Sonus.  Now the entire product range has been replaced by a single "radio",
aiming at an audience more concerned with ease of use than flexibility or
audio quality - http://ue.logitech.com/en-us/home

(Detailed background at
another take at

The software that Logitech developed in parallel with their devices, the
Logitech Media Server (previously "squeezeserver") was written in Perl with a
web interface, and used to run perfectly on a wide range of platforms
(including routers and Raspberry Pis!).  So Logitech was the "budget
audiophile" solution for many Linux users (including myself).

Now, while hardware like the Duet has been dropped, Logitech's software
support is continuing, in some sense (see background link above).  So perhaps
things are not so bad in the short term?  But there are already problems - the
latest OpenSuse (12.2) includes Perl 5.16, but the Logitech software only
works with 5.14 (bug report -
http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=17985).  And it's hard to believe
that the company will continue to put effort into supporting hardware it no
longer sells.

So this is going to be a big deal for Linux audiophiles.  What will come next?

One option is to switch to Sonus.  But that is expensive, seems to have
stagnated and, I believe, has some weird limitations on the number of tracks
it will support.

Another option is to move towards one of the commerical uPNP solutions.  Many
companies, including "audiophile" companies are making media servers and
streamers and various other fancy boxes.  Various pieces of software on Linux
look like they would support streaming to uPNP (eg Amarok).

But the great thing about Logitech was that it was just one component in a
more flexible system.  It could be used as a "simple" a wireless, digital
signal, feeding digital output to a better DAC (although later Logitech DACs
had a decent reputation the earlier duets sounded pretty rough).

People like me (middle aged audio nerds!) typically already have amplifiers,
DACs, and a computer.  And what we want, I think, is a simpler alternative.
In particular, one that is a component at the hwrdware level, so that software
support issues are not such a big deal.

The solution, then, may be the AudioEngine D2.  At the hardware level this is
a USB audio device.  It will work with Linux (I am confident of this; I have
chatted with the company support and not only were they helpful, but they use
Linux internally).  And it does pretty much exactly what I want - it takes a
USB audio signal, sends it across wireless, and then produces the digitial
signal (or audio via what seems to be a decent DAC) at another, remote,

I already own an AudioEngine D1, which is a DAC/headphone amp (see
http://acooke.org/cute/DACReviews0.html).  The build quality is excellent and
it has been completely reliable.  And the reviews for the D2 at
http://audioengineusa.com/Store/audioengine-d2-reviews look impressive.

I'm trying to get hold of one now.  The Chilean distributor may still have one
in stock...


Update: D2 Review

From: andrew cooke <andrew@...>

Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2012 10:19:35 -0300

I just posted a review of the D2 at http://acooke.org/cute/AudioEngin0.html


Comment on this post