Sunday, September 26, 2010

Decibel Audio Player

is a music player built in GTK which takes a different approach when it comes to the way features are implemented, and that is, Decibel uses only plug-ins which can be enabled or disabled on demand. This makes it either a pretty featured player, or a very simple and basic one, depending on which plug-ins you need enabled.

Decibel integrates well in GNOME and follows its HIG

The first thing I liked after opening Decibel was its slogan, which goes "...And Music for All" (Metallica anyone?)
The interface is clean and simple, and according to the official website, it follows the GNOME HIG (human interface guidelines). To the left there is a tree view listing files and folders which can be be added to the playlist. It also includes three view modes, full mode (shows everything), playlist mode (shows only the playlist), and mini mode (shows only control buttons, cover - if enabled, artist, title and album).

The Mini Mode

Although Decibel may seem simple at first, this is because all the plug-ins (except the File Explorer) are disabled by default. You can turn Decibel into a pretty powerful player by turning these on. Here is a list of the plug-ins (which can be accessed via the Edit->Preferencesmenu item) bundled with Decibel:
- Audio CD: plays audio discs
- AudioScrobbler: submit music you listen to
- Covers: show album covers
- Desktop Notification: it is an OSD (on-screen display) to show when the track changes

Desktop Notification

- Equalizer: 10-band equalizer (no presets at the moment)
- File Explorer - browse through files and folders and add them to the playlist
- Instant Messenger Status: allows to set what you're listening to in your status message, with a configurable message (e.g. ♫ {artist} - {album} ♫); I tested it with Pidgin and it works, for Empathy it didn't seem to work though
- Library: organizes music by tags
- ReplayGain: normalize volume
- Status File: generates a text file with the current status
- Status Icon: system tray integration (not configurable)
- Twitter: update the status of your Twitter account

Plug-ins and the equalizer

To install Decibel in Ubuntu, type sudo apt-get install decibel-audio-player in a terminal.

Decibel is very nice, and its strong point is definitely its modularity, allowing you to turn it from a basic player into a more complex one.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Keryx: Offline Package Installation

from OMG! UBUNTU! by

The Keryx Project allows users with limited internet connectivity the ability to download and update packages for Ubuntu.

The real beauty of Keryx is that access to a Linux computer is not required to access and download updates as the application runs from a USB drive and works with Linux, OS X and, perhaps most vitally in many situations where internet access it limited, Windows.


How it works

To use Keryx you first have to create and save a “project” to your USB drive. This is simply a snapshot of your currently installed packages on Ubuntu computer.

Then, when somewhere with internet access, you plug in your USB key, load up your profile and click the ‘Get Updates’ button to download all available updates to your USB drive for installation back at home.

By being able to reference your systems’ package list – just as Synaptic/APT do – Keryx download anything you don’t need but does ensure all necessary dependencies are pulled in.

How do I get new applications?

Use the search bar to locate the application you want to install. Highlight it, right click on it  and then choose’ Download’.

The package(s) will be downloaded to your device ready for installation back on your ‘buntu box.

Installing downloaded updates/applications

When back at home/your computer you just plug your USB drive in, load up Keryx and use the ‘Project > Install’ button to install and apply downloaded packages.


Downloads can be found over @


The project has been in development for the last 3 years and the work so far is fantastic – but the team have plenty more ideas and features they would like to implement but not as much time or manpower to do it.

If you’d like to help lend a hand to such a worthwhile project head over and learn how you can get involved.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Best Video Editor For Ubuntu

from OMG! UBUNTU! by

A new version of Linux video editor OpenShot has been released today, some 5 months after the previous stable release was made back in March this year.

A large selection of new features certainly make this release worth the wait. Improved stability, the addition of 3D animated titles powered by Blender and a rejigged  ‘Preferences’ dialogue all sit amongst the changes.

Other enhancements include: -

  • Custom Transitions
  • New Audio & Video Effects including Chroma hold
  • Time-line Improvements / Animations
  • Improved Effects User Interface
  • New netbook friendly theme
  • Razor Improvements (now supports snapping to play-head)
  • Improved Language Support (Rotate effect now works in all locales)
  • New DVD Export (Create compliant DVD images)
  • Improved Exporting of different frame-rates

As is tradition with OpenShot releases, its creator Jonathan Thomas has made an accompanying video highlighting the new features: -


Sadly OpenShot still insists on using its own icon theme rather than adhering to the users default.

This certainly annoys many of you out there as our poll back in May this year suggested; a whopping 91.72% (1,163) of you said you’d prefer OpenShot to use your default theme.


The OpenShot PPA provides the latest version for  easy installation and updating on Ubuntu 9.10 or greater

To add it open a Terminal and enter the following two lines carefully: -

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jonoomph/openshot-edge

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install openshot

.deb installers are also provided but note that they only work on Ubuntu 10.04 or higher.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Install 64bit Flash from a PPA or .deb

from OMG! UBUNTU! by

With Adobe re-starting their 64bit Flash testing, Linux users are once again able to benefit from native flash on their 64bit desktops.

Installing it isn’t a great chore, as we outlined previously, but if you’re a PPA-kinda dude or dudette then a PPA maintained by SevenMachines is available for ease of use.

Installing 64bit Flash in Ubuntu via a PPA

I used to use this PPA myself so I can attest to the fact that it is a) genuine and b) works. Seeing that it was now updated with the latest version of 64bit Flash I couldn’t resist sharing!

Maverick, Lucid & Karmic users can add it via the following command below. Note that it *will* uninstall any 32bit version of Flash you have installed prior to replacement.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:sevenmachines/flash

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install flashplugin64-installer

Installing 64bit Flash in Ubuntu using a .deb

If the idea of adding a PPA is a little bit excessive for your needs you can, of course, just download the relevant .deb file from SevenMachine’s PPA instead.

Easy links below.

Ubuntu 10.10 Ambiance & Radiance themes for Chrome, Firefox & Opera [Updated]

The default Ambiance theme in Ubuntu 10.10 – and its lighter sibling Radiance – have received lots of due love and attention since Lucid and thusly many  third-party browser “themes” have also been pepped up in anticipation.

Radiance Chromium & Ambiance chromium by SWOriginal are the best looking and best ‘fitting’ Chrome/ium themes available for use on the Ubuntu 10.10 desktop.

Chrome in Ubuntu 10.10 using the SWOriginal's themes

The author has also created a Firefox Persona ready for users to apply, too. You can try it out before installing by directing your Firefox browser to

SWOriginal's Radiance Firefox Persona for Maverick users

KyleBaker has long been mentioned here on OMG! Ubuntu! for his fantastic Ambiance and Radiance Opera skins.

He’s wasted no-time in making them Maverick ready either, and both can be installed

Kyle Baker's revamped Radiance theme for Opera in Ubuntu 10.10

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Download YouTube videos in Ubuntu

There are plenty of ways to download videos from services such as YouTube to your hard-drive – ranging from command line foo & dedicated desktop applications, down to a simple bit of file-browsing.

ClipGrab is another of these, albeit with a slightly fresher-looking interface than most. It not only lets you download videos from sites like YouTube to your hard-drive but chucks in the ability to convert them to other popular formats – including audio only – as well.

"With ClipGrab the download of online videos is a breeze."

What makes the tool particularly attractive its competitors is the cross-platform nature; if you use OS X or Windows alongside Ubuntu but want to maintain a degree of familiarity between them then ClibGrab is well worth considering.

Supported sites

  • YouTube
  • Clipfish
  • College Humor
  • Daily Motion
  • MyVideo
  • MySpass
  • Sevenload
  • Tudou
  • Vimeo

Download & Install

You won’t be surprised to learn that ClipGrab has a PPA, right? Add it using a terminal: -

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:clipgrab-team/ppa

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install clipgrab

Video downloaded with ClibGrab

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

PhotoStory – tell your life in pictures

Photostory is a small application for taking a daily snapshot of yourself using your webcam.

The main draw over, say, simply reminding yourself to take a picture with Cheese is that Photostory is able collate the collected images into a ‘stop motion’ style video. Somewhat in the vein of this incredibly popular one: -


Whether or not you have the patience to keep it up for 6 years like the dude above is down to you!


When you launch Photostory it opens on today’s date and allow you to take a new snapshot. Now, you only get once chance (there is no delete button) so the addition of a preview screen within the application is a boon. Using the calendar widget embedded you can also scroll back through previous photos taken.

Keith, who's not been up to much since Karmic, takes his first picture with Photostory

Once you’ve taken a number you can press the ‘create film’ button to have your images assembled in chronological order, making for interesting viewing!

Features to come

Whilst the application does what it sets out to it is lacking a few features.

The inability to ‘retake’ a photo (which, admittedly, defeats the point somewhat) can annoy somewhat  if it turns out blurry or distorted. This could somewhat be remedied by introducing some sort of countdown (as in Cheese) to ‘snapping’.

Over on the project page the developer, Joel Auterson, has listed some features he hopes to include in later releases: -

  • Adding music to video
  • Sharing to social networks
  • “Invisible mode”
  • Reminders


Photostory .deb installers for 32bit and 64bit Ubuntu are available at the project page.

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