a personal domain


a little bit techie

Apr 24th, 2021 at 5:25 PM · wtf an update, 2021 means levelling up, happiness, technology rocks
I've been having some fun. Last year I set up a Jellyfin server on my humble home computer. It works pretty well—very well, for a totally free product that connects many sorts of devices to your self-installed server—but I had a few friction points that I wanted to satisfy more completely, so I have been trying some stuff.

(Not so much stuff, because a bunch of things that otherwise sounded neat turned out to require Java, and I don't particularly want to reinstall Java on my computer after taking a silly amount of joy in getting to remove it quite some time ago. But still.)

Anyway, I was hoping to find a free, open-source music server that would support the Subsonic API, so that I could use one of many Android apps to stream music to my phone and cache it there for future re-listens. (Jellyfin, especially Gelli, works nicely for music, but neither has any support for downloading more than one track at a time, and both only work when connected to a server - no playback from offline cache, unless I've missed something lately.) All the main Subsonic forks are Java based, but I stumbled upon Navidrome, a separate project that supports the same API. I'm liking it a lot. Mind, I turned out to have a loooooot of work to do sorting and tagging my music correctly so that Navidrome could parse it correctly (don't even talk to me about Starmen.net's Mother 1 soundtrack and its several embedded typos), but I finally seem to have got it all Picarded up.

After trying several Subsonic API clients, I think I've settled on Ultrasonic as my fave so far. It's not as pretty as Gelli (none of the Subsonic clients I found are; they seem to range from "maybe a little dated" to "this storefront's version has not been updated since 2013"), but it works for me and isn't years out of date.

The other difficulty I had with Jellyfin was ebooks. Jellyfin persistently misidentified a subset of mine: it thought that a slice-of-life humour comic book was a true crime story; that a Hugo-winning time travel novel was about football; that a copy of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein was instead a biography of Shelley; that a supernatural romance was a Mickey Spillane noir. I could correct these mistakes when I found them, but I could not prevent Jellyfin from doing the initital misidentification.

And then I updated my Jellyfin install, and it re-pulled metadata for everything, even the books it had gotten wrong which I had specifically ordered it to never do again. So I had to trawl through every subfolder, again, looking for and correcting mistakes, again.

And if I want a way to get Jellyfin to start automatically when booting my computer, it will require me to re-scan everything from scratch. Including all the books, which I would need to search and correct. Again. That's because of a mistake I made early on with Jellyfin, but there's no correcting it now without embracing the hassle.

So now instead of Jellyfin, I have my ebooks folder set as a Windows (SMB) share. I can access it on my phone through Material Files, which had already become my default Android file manager even before I found it would solve this problem for me. Pretty sweet. Not at all fancy, no metadata search, no browsing through covers - and no snarling at Jellyfin, because the only mistakes lying within are ones I made myself. Plus it also helps me keep space free on my phone, since anything I download to it can be promptly shunted to my much larger PC hard drive. (I am pretty sure I have some sort of linguistic badness happening in that previous sentence, but I'm too tired to figure how to fix it and I just want to get a thing written here so I can be done and stop.)

Technology can be a pretty good helper sometimes.

I'm still around.

Mar 12th, 2021 at 5:09 PM · life right now, owning things correctly, 2021 means levelling up, wtf an update
I don't have much to say these days. I'm quiet and tired and basically okay, just... quiet and tired.

Words are hard. Communication is hard. I try to read my friends' social media and tap "like" so they know that I am around and I am pulling for them, for their happiness, but just trying to string some words together is usually too frustrating and ends with me canceling my unposted comment. I hope likes can be enough.

I am trying to pare down my ebook library to save some filespace and make it easier to back up. This goes against my squirrelly nature; normally I grab and stow absolutely everything that I can. I'm only just starting to rummage through folders and honestly ask myself, "Am I ever going to read this? Yeah? So I may as well start reading it now? Ugh, I'm not interested in this at all..." Some things I'm keeping (sooner or later I do think I'll come back to that collection of vampire stories; I generally do return to vampires) and some things I am not (mostly Victorian fiction that is public domain throughout the world, easily re-obtainable for free if I ever change my mind; and some nonfiction that should appeal to me but somehow doesn't quite).

It may be worth noting that, with me, organizing is generally a coping mechanism: something bothers me that I cannot control, but I can control this small, specific thing, so I am going to control the shit out of it. Pandemic (one South Dakota county had over 51% positive tests and what the what, WHAT). Insomnia. Parenting. Older parents. Everything.

Everything is kind of hard and I am slogging onward, one determined footstep at a time.
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