Extensions for Banshee Music Player

Originally I was trying to find a grooveshark addon for Banshee Music Player, while looking for that I found a surprise in the Ubuntu Repositories which include Banshee Community Extensions.  Here is the list of extensions included:

The following extensions are developed mostly by third-parties, and are not vetted by the core Banshee developers (though that will probably change over time).

  • Alarm Clock – You can use Banshee to wake up or go to sleep to a selection of your own music.
  • Ampache – Browse and play your remote music with Ampache.
  • AppIndicator – Use the new application indicator area available in Ubuntu.
  • Awn – Sets the current album cover as banshee icon in awn.
  • ClutterFlow – A CoverFlow clone that allows you to browse your album collection.
  • Cover Wallpaper – Sets the current playing album cover as the GNOME desktop wallpaper.
  • Jamendo – Download and listen to over 20,000 free albums.
  • Karaoke – Filter the singers voice out of songs.
  • Lastfm Fingerprint – Identify your music automatically, using the Last.fm online service.
  • LCD – Display track info on a LCD using LCDproc.
  • Lirc – Control Banshee via a normal (infrared) remote control. Requires LIRC.
  • Live Radio – Another way to discover internet radio stations.
  • Lyrics – Fetches and displays lyrics for the current song.
  • Magnatune – Listen to streamed music from Magnatune.com.
  • Mirage – Adds playback shuffle-by-similar and Auto DJ fill-by-similar modes, based on songs' acoustic similarity.
  • OpenVP – Draws patterns to your music using the Open Visualization Platform.
  • Radio Station Fetcher – Fetch radio stations from shoutcast.com and xiph.org.
  • Random By Lastfm – Shuffle your library using information from the Last.fm online service.
  • Stream Recorder – Record internet-radio streams.
  • Telepathy – Browse your IM friends' music library, download or stream their tracks and share what you're listening to.
  • Zeitgeist Dataprovider – Publish your Banshee activities into Zeitgeist.

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Complete List of Ubuntu Unity Shortcut keys & Mouse Tricks

Super Key(Windows Key) - Opens dash.
Hold Super Key - Invokes Launcher.
Hold Super Key and hit 1, 2, 3 etc - Open an Application from Launcher. When you hold the Super Key, specific numbers will be displayed in order above each application.
Alt + F1 - Put keyboard focus on the Launcher, use arrow keys to navigate, Enter launches the application, Right arrow exposes the quicklists if an application has them.
Alt + F2 - Opens dash in special mode to run any commands.
Super + A - Opens up application window from launcher.
Super + F - Opens up files and folders window from launcher. Both these shortcuts can be viewed by simply holding the Super Key as well.
Super + W - Spread mode, zoom out on all windows in all workspaces.
Super + D - Minimize all windows(acts as Show Desktop). Hitting it again restores them.
Super + T - Opens trash can.
Super + S - Expo mode (for everything), zooms out on all the workspaces and let's you manage windows.
Ctrl + Alt + T - Launch Terminal.
Ctrl + Alt + L - Lock Screen.
Ctrl + Alt + Left/Right/Up/Down - Move to new workspace.
Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Left/Right/Up/Down - Place window to a new workspace.
F10 - Open the first menu on top panel, use arrows keys to browse across the menus.

Mouse Shortcuts/Tricks for Ubuntu Unity

  • Clicking and holding an icon and then dragging it around will allow you to reorder it on the launcher. You can also drag it off to the right of the launcher to move it around. Note that you need to make an explicit movement to the right to move the icon off the launcher before you can move it around.
  • Dragging and Dropping an icon into the trash can will remove it from the Launcher.
  • Moving and holding the cursor on the left side for a few seconds will launch Unity dock.
  • Moving the cursor to top-left corner(near Ubuntu icon) will launch Unity dock as well.
  • Scrolling the mouse wheel while over the Launcher scrolls the icons if you have too many and need to move around quickly.
  • By Scrolling the mouse wheel while over the Sound icon on top panel helps you increase or decrease system volume.
  • Middle click on an application's launcher icon - Open a new instance of the application in a new window. Very useful at times. In laptops with touchpads, hitting left/right click buttons together is akin to middle click.
  • Maximizing - Dragging a window to the top panel will maximize it.
  • Restore/Unmaximize - Dragging the top panel down OR double clicking on the top panel will do.
  • Tiling - Dragging a Window to the left/right border will auto tile it to that side of the screen. One of the highlights of new Unity experience.
And Some Useful Window Management Shortcuts
Alt + F10
- Toggle between Maximize/Unmaximize current window.
Alt + F9 - Minimize current window.
Alt + Tab - Toggle between currently open windows.
Alt + F4 - Closes current window.
Alt + F7 - Moves the current window(both keyboard and mouse can be used).

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Canonical sets the date for ubuntu 11.04

Canonical has announced that Ubuntu 11.04 will be available on 28 April.

Canonical had always planned to ship Ubuntu 11.04 on 28 April, however with a week to go it has confirmed that everything is on track for a timely release. Gerry Carr, marketing manager at Canonical told The INQUIRER that last week's second beta was the final pre-production release of Ubuntu 11.04, adding that it is "good enough" not to require a release candidate.

For Canonical, Ubuntu 11.04 is a major release, in that it will be the first where the default desktop will be Unity, instead of Gnome. Carr said that Canonical spent the past two years designing and engineering the multi-touch capable desktop system but added that Gnome will be available to users for years to come. Carr also pointed out that Canonical, through Ubuntu, is still the biggest shipper of Gnome desktops.

When asked why Canonical took the major task of developing Unity when other distributions shipped with Gnome, KDE and Xfce, Carr told The INQUIRER that "other distributions are not as focused on bringing a free desktop to the market". As for whether other distributions might offer the open source Unity desktop in the future, Carr said that he didn't know of any other distribution and held no expectations.

Aside from Unity, Canonical is working to increase that awareness of Linux and Carr said that Microsoft, not other Linux distributions, is the outfit's main rival. Carr said that he "does not mind if people choose other [Linux] distributions". To that end, Canonical will introduce a cloud based trial of Ubuntu 11.04.

Ubuntu had pre-announced that it will be offering a cloud based trial service of Ubuntu 11.04, though Carr said that will come a little after the launch. A live trial version is vital to grow the popularity of Ubuntu, according to Carr, who said that even downloading LiveCDs is a barrier for some.

Carr said that in order to try out Ubuntu 11.04 all users will need is a web browser, but he confirmed that due to rendering limitations, users will only have access to a 2D version of Unity. Nevertheless, being able to try a fully featured Linux distribution should dispel any myths about its supposedly steep learning curve.

Canonical has enjoyed considerable success with its Ubuntu Linux distribution. It has made a brave move to rejig the user interface in order to attract more Windows users to Linux. Whether it will succeed remains to be seen, but Canonical certainly can't be faulted for a lack of effort.

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Ubuntu One Music on Android just got a whole lot better

The Ubuntu One team are feeling the joys of Spring, because after several months working hard we’ve got some great news about updates to our Android Music app, which don’t forget works anywhere in the world!
The first thing you’ll notice in the new UI is album art so you will now see any saved album covers. Managing your playlists is now even easier as you can create, edit and delete playlists straight from your device. Those of you with lots of music will notice the overall speed improvement, meaning you can enjoy your huge music collection without any long waits. Plus, we have also added support for non-DRM iTunes songs so that you can stream songs you’ve purchased from iTunes just as easily as your MP3s, bringing all your music together.

Album view Playlist view Playing paylist

In addition many of you requested this next feature so we’re sure you’ll be pleased that we now support songs in Ogg Vorbis format so you can stream your collection of Ogg music natively, without the need to convert it to another format. If you’re a developer you may be interested in knowing that playlists are stored in your CouchDB database allowing you to write applications that read/write to them.
So that’s faster access to more of your music wherever you are in the world. The latest version 1.2 is now available in the Android market, happy listening and watch this space for upcoming updates to our iPhone app.

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Ubuntu Remixes: 4 Of The Best Alternatives to Ubuntu -

Our recent article entitled Ubuntu As Intended drew in a fair amount of discussion about the base software and configuration in the default Ubuntu install. Some readers pointed out a few alternatives that aim to take the standard Ubuntu desktop and give it more polish than the original. Some of these projects just include a few extra packages, some replace the standard software suite, and others are complete makeovers. Today we aim to sift through a few of the more popular Ubuntu variants to find the best ones of the bunch, and see what they can offer.

Linux Mint

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. Linux Mint is an extremely popular Ubuntu variant, and for good reason. Mint provides several desktop solutions including Gnome, KDE, Fluxbox and XFCE, and what they all have in common is a solid software base with several of Linux’s “trickier” packages already installed. This includes some non-free software so that you have support for MP3, DVD, and Flash right out of the box.


Saner Defaults Remix

This is a fairly new project, but it’s beginning to gain a following. The basic idea of the Ubuntu SDR is that the stock Ubuntu is great, but some of the decisions regarding included software may not be ideal. While that is of course subjective, it’s hard to argue with some of the enhancements found in SDR.


Some of the changes you’ll find include:

  • Empathy IM replaced with Pidgin
  • Min/Max/Close buttons moved back to the right
  • Evolution mail replaced with Mozilla Thunderbird
  • Simple clean blue (Clearlooks) theme
  • Gufw firewall included and activated on install
  • All Mono-based apps removed (includes GThumb for photos and Gnote for notes)
  • Multimedia repos enabled by default

and more

Ubuntu Ultimate Edition

While some (including this author) find the intensity of the color scheme to be a bit jarring, Ultimate Edition does have a bit working for it, and one of those things is speed. Several of the existing applications have been removed in favor of smaller and faster alternatives. Additionally, UE gives you some help with a few of the more legally or technically complicated packages like Flash and DVD support, either by bundling in to the default system or providing install helpers.


Ultimate Edition is clearly the most “home made” of those on the list, but if you’re willing to tolerate or change the visual theme, it can quickly become a useful desktop.


One common complaint about the normal Ubuntu release is that can sometimes be a bit slow, especially on older computers. Lubuntu aims to solve that by replacing the normal Gnome desktop with LXDE. Gnome apps like Nautilus and Gnome Terminal have been replaced with the liked of PCMan File manager and LXTerminal. The system is also designed to reduce power usage over the standard install, making Lubuntu and excellent choice for laptops.


There are certainly several other Ubuntu forks worth checking out, including Super OS, gOS, andwattOS. There’s certainly no shortage of high-quality Ubuntu variants out there, so if you’ve got any others to recommend, let us know in the comments!

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Getting Enlightened with Bodhi Linux -

bodhi-smallIn our recent discussion about Ubuntu Remixes, there were a few names that kept popping up in the comments. One of them was a distro mostly unknown to MTE but immediately of interest, and that’s Bodhi Linux. With an Ubuntu base it’s got a solid core behind it, but the real kicker is the Enlightenment (E17) desktop. Over the last few years many distros have tried to base their desktops around the notoriously unwieldy Enlightenment, and the success rate has been somewhat limited (though Elive is certainly worth a look). Bodhi seems to not only include a usable Enlightenment desktop, but a few extra options when it comes to choosing just how that desktop will look and act.

A Bit About Bodhi

As an Ubuntu spinoff, it’s got the same behind-the-scenes software as your average Ubuntu remix. The two design principles behind Bodhi could be summed up as:

  1. Users should make their own choices
  2. E17 is cool

It doesn’t bundle in hundreds of helper applications, and the things it does include are generally pretty light. This keeps the ISO around 400MB.

Setting Up the Bodhi Desktop

When you boot the live CD, you’ll notice that you’re given a couple extra options on boot. This is part of the first principle mentioned above – there’s not one default Bodhi desktop, there are several, for different needs.

Once you’ve got past the language screen, you’ll choose which style of desktop you’d like.


We’ll be going with Desktop Light for the examples here, which looks something like this:


Whereas, for the sake of comparison, the Fancy Dark looks like this:


After that you’ll get to an Applications selection screen, but as it’s only got one option (XTerm), it doesn’t take much explanation.

The Quick Launch screen, however is a bit more complicated, as many of the choices are named similarly and give no detailed explanation as to their function. For example, if you wanted to open Nautilus, would you want File Browser, File Management, or File Manager? For the records, File Browser will get the job done.


These applications will be available on a OSX-style dock at the bottom of the screen.


Much of E17′s functionality is contained in modules. Modules can be controlled from the Module Settings screen (Main Menu -> Settings -> Modules) and control nearly all the interactive aspects of your desktop. The taskbar, desktop monitor, clocks and even the main menu itself are all modules.


Some aspects of E17′s modules can be a bit confusing (such as remembering the difference between and iBox and an iBar) but they all have a purpose. Remember that many modules can exist independently on the desktop as well as from within other modules (like the iBar).

To create a new dock-type launcher bar, for example, you’d open the main menu by left clicking the desktop. From there you’d go to Desktop -> Shelves -> Add a Shelf. Your new shelf will show up on your desktop, where you can right-click it to view it settings and change the contents.

This modular, layered approach leaves Enlightenment open to nearly unlimited flexibility, but can often cause confusion and frustration when trying to get used to the system.


It’s hard to separate Bodhi as a distro from Enlightenment, its defining characteristic. Ubuntu is clearly a quality base to build on, and E17 has been improving for a (very, very) long time now. Along with Elive, Bodhi seems to be one of the few E17-based distros able to make a thoroughly useable system. While there are a few rough spots here and there, Bodhi seems worth while. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort to master Enlightenment (pun intended), this might the the distro for you.

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iPad Lookalike Dual-Boots Ubuntu and Windows

Hard on the heels of the news earlier this month that Taiwanese firm Tenq has an Ubuntu-powered tablet on the way comes word of yet another iPad challenger running Canonical's popular Linux distribution.

It's a dual-booting machine, this time--running both Ubuntu 10.10 and Windows 7--and it's reportedly even closer to being an iPad twin.

Featuring a 9.7-inch screen, the new device is reportedly much thinner than the Tenq machine is, according to a Friday report on Giz-China. It also features a dual-core, 1.6GHz Atom Z530 CPU, 1GB RAM--expandable to 2GB--and an SSD hard drive, reportedly 16GB on the model Giz-China spotted

Compared with Tenq's P07, the new tablet is "based on a design more similar to an iPad," the publication reported.

Shenzhen Ruixin is the manufacturer of the device, Chinese Newpad noted on Thursday. Newpad also features a number of photos of the new tablet.

The Dual-Booting Trend

It's not yet certain whether this dual-booting device will make it to market, of course, as Giz-China points out. What is becoming increasingly certain, however, is the growing interest among tablet makers in the free and open source Ubuntu operating system.

In addition to these two latest tablets, we also saw last fall Augen's dual-booting Gentouch Espresso Doppio, which takes a different approach by dual-booting two Linux-based operating systems: Android 2.2 and Ubuntu.

Dual-booting, I believe, is a growing trend for 2011, and will be seen on an increasing number of devices this year.

A Natural on Tablets

But while Windows has been slow to adapt to ARM and the era of tablets, Linux-based Android has been on the forefront, posing the first real competition to Apple's market-leading iPad.

Now, it's particularly exciting to see Ubuntu stepping up as another mobile-friendly and Linux-based alternative. With its open source nature, its low resources requirements and its free price, Ubuntu may just prove to be the next tablet winner.

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