Sound editors that work with Gstreamer or PulseAudio?

Today, I wanted to edit a few MP3 files into suitable ring tones for my phone. The idea seemed simple at first: load up a song, chop off a few bars and loop that as a ring tone.

Nice in theory, except that sound editing software on a free desktop is challenging, at best: most of it was designed back in the days of OSS and GTK 1.2, some wants to use JACK for playback, while the most recent crop indeed supports ALSA but insists upon having exclusive access to the ALSA device.

Dammit! My understanding was that, with Gstreamer and PulseAudio, the free desktop had finally acquired a comprehensive, standardized sound framework, but not many applications seem to support it — or is there something I have missed?


Fresh out of NEW university: mkelfimage

I maintain the Debian package of mkelfimage, a tool to produce Etherboot images for use with thin client environments such as LTSP, which recently entered the Debian archive.

The key difference between mkelfimage and the aging mknbi is that mkelfimage does not reply upon any traditional BIOS call to produce the bootable code in the ELF image, which makes it possible to boot thin clients with LinuxBIOS as their firmware, such as the Linuterm and several other products designed by Artec.

mkelfimage accomplishes its BIOS-less operation using a simplified kexec implementation. However, this also means that explicit support for each architecture must be implemented with Assembler code. As it currently stands, the upstream tarball only includes support for i386 and ia64. Since amd64 boots in 32-bit mode, it should also work there, but this is untested.

This leaves support for several architectures completely uncovered for. LinuxBIOS developers have taken over the upstream code and they welcome patches towards improving support for other architectures and towards cleaning up the autoconf implementation currently in use.

GR: Debian Maintainer

Rumor has it that the General Resolution on acknowledging the concept of Debian Maintainers (mere participant who are granted limited upload rights, just enough to freely work on their own packages) has passed. I'm wondering what sort of timeframe we're looking at for deploying the infrastructure needed to manage this and then start accepting requests to be added to the separate GPG keyring. Would anyone know?

Telling Network Manager to prefer home AP?

I'm running Network Manager on my Ubuntu laptop. It's a really neat tool when it comes to selecting an open wireless network when traveling, but it has one major flaw: you cannot tell it to prefer some "homebase" among a swarm of available Access Points; it insists upon using the first AP it finds, regardless. Has anyone figured out a solution to this common situation?

Meanwhile, the OpenVPN front-end that Network Manager offers only covers a fraction of available parameters, which means that I cannot use it to connect to my dayjob's LAN from outside the company, because the few Windows clients we have connecting to it expect a VPN to work in a specific way and cannot adapt to non-Microsoft approaches to VPN concept, which means that we Ubuntu users are the ones who have to adapt. Thus, the OpenVPN front-end would need to be able to configure MTU, MSS and other arbitrary parameters supported by OpenVPN. Looking at various BTS, I notice that I'm not the only one who needs this. Are Network Manager developers listening? :-)