Geek Software of the Week: winLAME

Our Geek Software of the week is in line with our previous discussion of moving away from MP3 format to Ogg, or another open format for your sound encoding. winLAME allows you to convert your MP3 files to Ogg with a nice, clean interface. Check it out!


“winLAME is an encoder for several audio formats, including mp3 (MPEG Layer 3), Ogg Vorbis and more. winLAME lets you set up the encoding process with an easy-to-use wizard-style user interface. winLAME supports many input audio formats, and uses the LAME mp3 encoding library for encoding and the MAD decoding library for decoding.”

I Know, I Know… Where’s the Podcast?!??!

Well… it was a LOOONNNG weekend. It was Maintenance Weekend at CCL, it was my Mom’s birthday, and we had special meetings at my church. Wow. It was the most hectic, crowded weekend I have had in many a weekend. So, the podcast will be up soon… and it will be very cool, since I have a lot to talk about… what with the “MP3 crisis” and more. So, stay tuned and it will be out soon.

By the way, my buddy, Scott Redmon, webmaster of Guilford County, says that my new config for the Blog is WAY faster. And when you can impress Scott, you know you are on the right track! Dewd!

Should We All Move to Ogg Vorbis?

To what?!?! OK, first let me explain what Ogg Vorbis is:

Wikipedia Ogg Vorbis format entry

“Vorbis is an open source, lossy audio codec project headed by the Xiph.Org Foundation and intended to serve as a replacement for MP3. It is most commonly used in conjunction with the Ogg container and is then called Ogg Vorbis. Vorbis development began following a September 1998 letter from Fraunhofer Gesellschaft announcing plans to charge licensing fees for the MP3 audio format. Soon after, founder Christopher ‘Monty’ Montgomery commenced work on the project and was assisted by a growing number of other developers. They continued refining the source code until a stable version 1.0 of the codec was released on July 19, 2002.”

Why do we care? Well, the fact that Alcatel-Lucent won their case against Microsoft (that I mentioned earlier in the Blog) may soon spell “the end” of our enjoyment of MP3. It is encumbered by patents. And, I don’t want to pay for using a file format! So, what if we all switched to Ogg Vorbis… which is TOTALLY FREE and OPEN SOURCE? Do we have the “guts” to do so? Should I use Ogg Vorbis for my Podcast? What about Naomi? (An obscure reference to an old “Electric Company” routine.) Let me know!

Have You Noticed Better Performance?

That is, of my Blog? I have moved “Dr. Bill – The Computer Curmudgeon” to another server in my server farm here at Dr. Bill Bailey.NET. The difference? Load balancing… and it is now running over the LightTPD web server running on one of my CentOS Linux servers. For more info on what LightTPD offers, check out the link:

LightTPD web server

“Security, speed, compliance, and flexibility–all of these describe LightTPD which is rapidly redefining efficiency of a webserver; as it is designed and optimized for high performance environments. With a small memory footprint compared to other web-servers, effective management of the cpu-load, and advanced feature set (FastCGI, CGI, Auth, Output-Compression, URL-Rewriting and many more) LightTPD is the perfect solution for every server that is suffering load problems. And best of all it’s Open Source licensed under the revised BSD license.

light footprint + httpd = LightTPD (pronounced lighty)”

I also use LightTPD for my Dr. Bill.TV web site, because it natively supports Flash streaming!

FLV Streaming with LightTPD

Microsoft Fined for MP3 Violation

Here’s one of the few times I come down on Microsoft’s “side” (I know, the end of the world has come!) But, here’s (as I say often) the thing: Microsoft actually paid for the right to license and use MP3 technology, yet a court awarded Alcatel-Lucent a judgment anyway. This seams unfair to me!

Microsoft slapped with $1.52 billion payout in MP3 suit

“Those federal juries in San Diego do seem to frown on MP3 patent infringement. They just ordered Microsoft to fork over $1.52 billion (yes, with a “b”) to Alcatel-Lucent for infringing on two MP3 audio patents with its Windows Media Player, the largest patent ruling in history. Naturally, Alcatel-Lucent seems to like this turn of events. “We have made strong arguments supporting our view, and we are pleased with the court’s decision,” said Alcatel-Lucent spokeswoman Joan Campion. Microsoft is singing another tune, and is going to ‘seek relief from the trial court, and if necessary appeal,’ according to Tom Burt, corporate VP and deputy general counsel. The irony in all this — if you can call anything in a $1.52 billion case ‘ironic’ — is that Microsoft payed the Fraunhofer Institute $16 million to license the tech in the first place, but since Fraunhofer co-developed the MP3 with Bell Labs, and Lucent owns those patents, Alcatel-Lucent decided to go for the gold, and seem to have done a pretty good job of it. This probably won’t be the last we hear of this case, and it’s only one in a long list of lawsuits between the two companies, but boy is that a hefty sum.”

HowTo: Convert your Physical Windows Box to be Virtual on Linux!

Want to leave Windows, but still have a few programs you have to run on Windoze? Here’s exactly how to do it, and for FREE!!! This HowTo gives you all the steps, complete with pictures, on each step using free VMware tools.

Convert Physical Windows Systems Into Virtual Machines To Be Run On A Linux Desktop

“This article shows how you can convert a physical Windows system (XP, 2003, 2000, NT4 SP4+) into a VMware virtual machine with the free VMware Converter Starter. The resulting virtual machine can be run in the free VMware Player and VMware Server, and also in VMware Workstation and other VMware products. Vmware Converter comes in handy if you want to switch to a Linux desktop, but feel the need to run your old Windows desktop from time to time. By converting your Windows desktop into a virtual machine, you can run it under VMware Server/Player, etc. on your Linux desktop.”

Podcast #76 – The “Drum Roll Edition!”

Dr. Bill Podcast – 76 – (02/17/07)
Click on the “Streaming MP3” badge below to play Streaming Audio of this Podcast.
Streaming MP3 Audio
 Download MP3
(Right-Click on the Link Above and Choose “Save” to Save the MP3 file locally on your PC.)

Click on the “Streaming Ogg” badge below to play Streaming Ogg Vorbis Format Audio of the Podcast.
Streaming Ogg Audio
 Download Ogg Vorbis Format
(Right-Click on the Link Above and Choose “Save” to Save the Ogg Vorbis file locally on your PC.)

No video netcast this week! Geek Culture from Weird Al! Why send all those e-mails about virus alerts?!? Just DON’T DO IT! A Techpodcast member promo! The Geek Software of the Week: AutoHotKey – a scripting utility for Windows! The Windows key… finally a use for it! A new CPU chip announced from Intel that is a teraflop in processing power! WOW! A teraflop = a terrified pancake?!?! Gamers need MORE POWER! Nostalgic for OLD TV? They are coming to YouTube. Ever thought about the term “bated breath?” The VLC Player and how cool it is! The Doctor plays with Xubuntu and enjoys VLC Player on it! The Doctor continues to answer questions from listeners… Puppy Linux, Vector Linux and how cool they are! Stick a pin in the Doctor’s Frappr map! The Open Source community thing! Answering a message from a guy in my church that is having a Word problem. The file. A funny e-mail from Phil about Microsoft cars! How the Doctor finds Geek Culture. Thanks for the clean language… can you make Juice Receiver “grab” only one type of file by extension? No… but a filter should be coming! Don’t use anyone else’s restore CD to fix your computer. Use Knoppix for data recovery. A weird podcast comes to a close!

Follow-up on VLC Player

VLC PlayerSome time back I recommended VLC Player as the Geek Software of the Week. Now, some GSoTW’s are better than others… some are just interesting… but some actually quietly revolutionize your life. That is what has happened with VLC Player! I recently was “playing” with Xubuntu on a small, underpowered test box, and I was trying to see how useful it would be as an actual “web surfing” system to use to just surf the web, etc. I installed the Linux version of VLC Player by enabling the “universe” add-on in Synaptic and adding VLC using the Synaptic interface. It was smooth, and worked exactly the same as my Windows XP install of VLC… in terms of look and feel. It was fast, clean, and played anything I ran into on the net as I surfed. This was cool, simple, and actually AWESOME! No searching for various codecs, no special setups… it just plain worked.

I find myself using VLC Player for ALL my media on by Windows XP box too. Whether Divx, or Windows Media… whatever… VLC just plays in… fast, light… clean. I love it! It gets a HUGE “thumbs up” from me!

Here’s the link again to get it:

VLC Player Download

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