Play flac, ogg, anything from anywhere on your Pre with Ampache Mobile

I was looking for a way to play my music collection (which is primarily ogg and flac) from anywhere, preferably with some sort of automatic transcoding feature. In the past I’ve just mounted my music collection via sshfs (more about that here) and then played music with some heavyweight app like Amarok. This is fine, but flac files are too large to be streamed realistically.

So – along came Ampache – an open-source PHP app that is just CHOCK full of features. Just crazy. It’s got a responsive AJAX interface, creates many different types of playlists, can transcode on the fly to other formats / bitrates and was fairly easy to install. It’s just awesome, and pretty much any music player can read an Ampache stream.

THEN I discovered Ampache Mobile (google code page) Рa FOSS Palm Pre app that hooks into your Ampache instance via XML-RPC. Amazing! I get  flac/ogg files transcoded to 96kbps MP3 streams on-the-fly, allowing me to listen to all my music anywhere I have a Sprint network connection. The app is beautiful, functional, and has made my Pre even more indispensible than it was before.

If you’ve got a Pre and a home server with even moderate upload speed, GET THIS WORKING. Now.

Edit: Corrected Ampache Mobile link. Thanks, bjgeiser!

5 thoughts on “Play flac, ogg, anything from anywhere on your Pre with Ampache Mobile

  1. Hey Dan, I found your blog via twitter, I am the creator of Ampache Mobile I’m glad you like it! Just a heads up there are actually 2 apps for WebOS. Mine, Ampache Mobile and AmpachPre. Looks like you mistakenly posted the link for AmpachPre to your blog when talking about Ampache Mobile. They are both good apps but I thought I should clarify. FYI, AmpachPre is free but not open source.

    Here are the links for Ampache Mobile:

  2. hi there,

    would you mind posting your ampache setup? I’m having some difficulties in transcoding ogg to mp3-files. Did you setup a dedicated user for your Palm?


  3. Make sure that the user your webserver runs as has the ability to access your media files – if they are under a normal user account, www-data (or whatever your apache web user account is) may not be able to get at them.

    The transcode commands are:

    ; List of filetypes to transcode
    transcode_m4a = true
    transcode_m4a_target = mp3
    transcode_flac = true
    transcode_flac_target = mp3
    transcode_mp3 = false
    transcode_mp3_target = mp3
    transcode_ogg = true
    transcode_ogg_target = mp3

    ; These are the commands that will be run to transcode the file
    transcode_cmd_flac = “flac -dc %FILE% | lame -b %SAMPLE% -S – – ”
    transcode_cmd_m4a = “faad -f 2 -w %FILE% | lame -r -b %SAMPLE% -S – -”
    transcode_cmd_mp3 = “mp3splt -qnf %FILE% %OFFSET% %EOF% -o – | lame –mp3input -q 3 -b %SAMPLE% -S – -”
    transcode_cmd_ogg = “oggdec -o – %FILE% | lame -r -b %SAMPLE% -S – -”

    and be sure your “catalog_file_pattern” includes ogg (probably does).

    You’ll need lame and oggz-tools installed for a debian derivative OS.

  4. I’ve used Ampache before, but have been thinking about setting up a dedicated server for it, ever since I saw the Palm Pre apps. I’ll have the exact same setup as you soon. I’ll probably get rid of my iPod!

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