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Hacker Public Radio

Your ideas, projects, opinions - podcasted.

New episodes Monday through Friday.


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Host ID: 182

episodes: 5

1393 - Audio Metadata in Ogg, MP3, and others | 2013-12-04

Metadata in MP3, Opus/Ogg/FLAC/Speex, and other audio files.

Today's episode discusses (and encourages) the use of metadata tags in audio files. Most of the episode is spent on id3v2.3 (metadata for mp3 files) and vorbiscomments (metadata for opus, ogg vorbis, flac, and speex files), and how to mix them, though metadata in webm/matroska, windows media, and wav files is briefly discussed as well.

This episode's files have also been crafted with substantially more metadata than the ID3v1 set of tags that HPR normally limits itself to, to serve as examples.

Listeners to the opus, ogg (vorbis), or speex versions will also have access to chapter markings if your playback software recognizes standard vorbiscomment chapter metadata. (No chapter markings in the mp3, as support for it is extremely sparse, and I've not yet even managed to find a tool for making mp3 chapters that actually works - the java utility I mention in the episode crashes on me without starting...)

All metadata conforms to the published standards, so your playback software should at best fully use it all, or at worst simply ignore it. If your player software actually DOES have a real problem with this file, I would very much like to know!

If there's anything wrong with the metadata, blame Epicanis, not HPR (I did the metadata myself).

If you hear or see any errors in this episode, please tell me. I'll issue appropriate corrections in subsequent episodes. If I'm a big enough screwup with this episode, I could even do a small episode on "everything I got wrong in my metadata episode" if I did badly enough. I don't THINK there should be more than a few minor errors or omissions here, though.

ERRATA: In chapter 18 (at 34:53) there is one small error: oggenc does NOT transfer attached pictures from flac input (though it DOES transfer all vorbiscomment metadata. FLAC stores attached pictures in a separate metadata structure so oggenc misses it. opusenc - at least in recent beta versions - DOES appear to transfer the attached pictures as well as the vorbiscomments, though. Another reason to upgrade to opus, I suppose...)

1312 - Deepgeek interviews Birgitta Jonsdottir (Icelandic Pirate Party parliamentarian) | 2013-08-13

Epicanis makes a brief introduction to the following show. (see also: )

In this special episode of TGTM news Deepgeek interviews Icelandic Parliamentarian Birgitta Jónsdóttir. We discuss Ban Ki-moon's recent faux pas in Iceland's Parliment, Birgitta's hacking, her work in human rights and privacy, and whether or not Wikileaks is living up to it's original mandate.

1233 - Playing Ingress | 2013-04-24

This is the first of two or maybe three parts on the subject on Ingress, which was released into invitation-only beta-testing by Google in November of 2012.

Ingress is a world-spanning location-based game set in a world somewhere between the real one and a fictional one that is almost exactly like the real one except with space-alien mind control conspiracies.

This episode is purely about "playing the game". The follow-up episode will be more about the underlying technology and things you (and Google) might be able to do with it besides the core gameplay.

There may be a third part if there is enough interest.

A final note - the app version that I mention in the show was upgraded literally about 5 minutes after I finished editing and started to prepare this show for upload. (And, yes, I'm using "literally" correctly - I mean I finished exporting the file from audacity, went to check Google+, and within 300 seconds someone was mentioning that a new version was out). It does seem to resolve some of the problems I mentioned, just as I speculated that it might. I'll follow up on this and any subsequent updates in the followup episode.

Comments and suggestions and demands for more episodes are welcome, nay, encouraged either on this episode's comments at or on my own blog at . Thanks for listening!

1103 - Thoughtkindness: In Defense of Media Freetardation | 2012-10-24

It took 14 months longer than intended to get this episode done! To make up for it, I've unintentionally ended up with enough time of me talking to almost make up a minimal-useful-sized episode every month while everyone's been waiting.

Today's episode of "Thoughtkindness" consists of:

  • Me begging for forgiveness for disappearing for a year.
  • An update on "bunnies", my linux laptop from Ohava Computers
  • Over an hour of my attempt to collect and explain why we need to make media on the internet more "freetarded"

After revealing what ticked me off and made me start on this episode, I launch into a short technical and historical talk about the handful of audio and video files that matter on the web today.

(Opus, Ogg Vorbis, WebM, MP3, Flash Video, MP4, and a few others).

Following this, I explain why I think the legally-free media formats are so important, and much more useful than most people seem to recognize, why I think we need to be paying more attention to audio than video, and what needs to happen to make legally-free media ubiquitous.

I conclude by once again begging for attention and foolishly publically announcing that I want to try to develop some software and invite everyone to pester me for it as well as for future audio shows. Maybe I won't be allowed to procrastinate for another year before producing more this time.

Let me know if this is helpful or at least entertaining...

Note: an Opus version of this episode will be available at for either online listening in Firefox 15 or later, or downloading for listening in VLC or other Opus-supporting applications.

0757 - Episode 0: "Acknowledgement Courtesan" | 2011-06-28

My attempt to get started, finally, with HPR, including a rambling introduction and, more usefully, a review of the OpenBook DO laptop from natively Linux laptop vendor "Ohava Computers".

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