Ranter or evangelist?

Tim ignored_mailbox at yahoo.com.au
Fri Jul 17 07:12:41 UTC 2009

On Thu, 2009-07-16 at 22:26 -0400, gilpel at altern.org wrote:
> Why is it that, when I insert an audio disk, I see it as an audio disk on
> my desktop, but when I click it, GNOME shows the .wav files that are
> present.

There are no files on an audio disc, of any type, it cannot be mounted.
It is not WAVE data on the disc, although the decrypted compact disc
digital audio (CDDA) data is similar to one possible format of wav, it's
not the same.

On various computer systems, if I try to open an CDDA in a file browser
I will see a faked representation of a disc with selectable files.  But
all they are, are clickable items for me to tell the computer to do
something related to a certain part of the disc.

On Fedora 9, I see faked "Track01.wav" contents, etc.  On other
competing systems I see tiny (other types of) files, which are treated
rather like MP3 playlists (giving some player a reference to what to
play - disc 1, track 2, etc).

It is then up to that additional application to play the track.  Or some
handler in the middle, that makes a track on a disc appear like it
actually were a file, to give something to the application at the other
end of things to play.

For what it's worth, this issue is not unique to Linux.  I've certainly
had grief trying to get Windows to play audio CDs, in the past.  It can
get really fun when someone's installed two different CD burning
applications on their computer, and they all have a fight about who gets
to play with the disc in the drive.

> No application is suggested, even under "Open", to play the damned
> music. 

Not having a populated list of CD player programs, sounds like a Gnome
problem...  Though it could be that you haven't installed any capable
applications that inform Gnome that they're available as a CDDA handler.

> If I go to Application, sound and video, the first option,
> "Audio Player", opens XMMS.

When I've used XMMS, in the past, it couldn't directly play CDDA.  It
needed a plug-in for that.  Though it's probably included by default, by
now.  It also needed configuration:  It needed you to specify a place on
the directory tree that it would understand as a reference to your audio
CD, so that when you accessed that part of the file system, it was to
read tracks from the audio disc, instead.  This is the same sort of
thing as I outline further above, but XMMS implementing for itself,
rather than Gnome acting as the go-between.  This is an XMMS application
issue, not a Linux one.

Other CDDA capable programs take different approaches.  They'll detect a
CDDA disc in the CD drive, and provide their own disc/track content

Further to this, CDDA programs have (about) two options for playing the

1. They can send commands to the CD drive, telling it to start spinning
the disc, move the laser in so-much to play track so-and-so, and decode
the audio itself (the drive), and the analogue audio out from the drive
will got to a spare input on your sound card, for an analogue path to
your speakers/headphones.  Naturally, this requires an audio lead
between your CD and sound card, and lots of modern computers don't have
one installed.

1.a. Some drives also have a digital audio out, and can pipe the digital
audio to something else for decoding (your sound card, your expensive
HiFi stereo amplifier with digital audio inputs, etc.).  As above, in
point 1, this requires an audio lead from the drive to the next thing in
the chain.

2. They can stream the data off the disc, the same as reading data from
a data disc, and use your computer to decode the encrypted audio (*) to
audio you can listen to.

*  All audio CDs are encrypted.  It's not a secret encryption, it's part
of the way audio CDs handle playback errors (scramble the data put on
the disc, so if a big lump of data is unreadable, it's actually only a
few missing bits here and there, spread over a wide area, that can
easily be guessed at, when unscrambling it for playback).

> Great! I click the forward button... I'm presented with a list of the...
> no, no, no! not the files on the CD, but the files in my home directory!!!

Sounds like a bug in your browser (Nautilus, for Gnome).  Perhaps it
needs a CDDA plugin that you haven't installed.

Try to find out what's available for it:  yum search nautilus

> Wow, we're really moving forward! I painfully navigate to /media, there's
> nothing in /media.

There won't be.  Only data discs will be mounted, and have files
somewhere inside /media.

> At least, normally, you should go to => System, Preference, File
> Management, Media to select a default CD and DVD player. Still impossible!
> No option to change anything. I wrote about this. Nobody replied.

Seen this mentioned before, even discussed it with the person, but this
was prior to Fedora 11 being around.  Nautilus is your file manager for
Gnome, that's the starting point of fault finding, bug reporting, for
this issue.

> You think I'm a ranter?

Yes.  And if you do it in the wrong direction, it'll be a useless rant.

> Cause... do you really believe I got any help from local coders for this
> fight? I got none, absolutely NONE. Why? Cause I'm a ranter. In other
> words, though I am not a programmer, when I see things that are not done
> correctly, I say so. They tell me I should fix the bugs.

Most common answer:  What doesn't work for you, is working for them, so
they cannot fix your particular problem.  This can be hardware
differences, but a very likely scenario is a difference in what's
installed on your system and theirs, and it could well be that you've
simply got an inadequate installation.

Or, if you're dealing with programmers completely unrelated to audio
disc playback, that they're doing other things, and aren't interested in
doing something else, and they'll leave it for someone else who is
interested, and has the information needed to do the job.

Linux is a group affair.  No *one* body makes it work.  It's created and
maintained by all those interested in working on it.  For those that
continue to be involved in the project, it does what they want it to do.
If you want it to do something else, you have to get your hands dirty.

In short, regarding your problems:

Gnome desktop - nothing listed as a handler application for CDDA
Nautilus - Not interfacing to your chosen CDDA handler.

[tim at localhost ~]$ uname -r

Don't send private replies to my address, the mailbox is ignored.  I
read messages from the public lists.

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