soma: Done perfectly, in so many ways

Waaay back in November, I got an e-mail from Peter mentioning soma, a text-only streaming audio tool. I diligently shuffled it away until the S section, and now I wish I hadn’t.

2014-05-04-6m47421-soma-01 2014-05-04-6m47421-soma-02 2014-05-04-6m47421-soma-03

This is what I really like to see in console applications: Use the tools that are available. Add a dash of customizability. Keep things clean and straightforward. Don’t sell the console short. Allow for others to adjust as needed.

soma, as far as I can tell, really only relies on dialog to handle the interface, and mplayer to do the actual playback.

There are three configuration files, all of which are well documented and easy to figure out. The soma executable itself is arranged in a way that even I could pick through it while troubleshooting. That’s saying something. 😐

soma has some hotkeys and some keystrokes to control volume and playback, and almost everything else is menu-driven. Check out the Scheduler options; that’s a rather good idea to have in an audio player. I’m surprised more don’t.

I don’t see soma in Arch/AUR, or Debian for that matter, but the developer appears to have bundled it for Slackware — so it’s not quite a free-roaming program.

If you have a burning desire to try it out, I decided on the quick-and-dirty way of making it work, by copying the three configuration files to ~/.soma and to /etc/soma (otherwise soma spits out errors) and running it from its unpacked folder, just as ./soma should do it.

I didn’t work with it long enough to get the Mixer or Output options working smoothly; on my system I have only one basic sound card, and I use Openbox’s hotkeys to spawn alsamixer anyway. If you get them configured, let me know how you did it.

I might take some time later today and try to put together a proper PKGBUILD; as luck would have it I’m bogged down with real-life commitments for most of the day, and this is going to be a busy week for me.

I’ll try though. This one gets a ⭐ from me. 🙂

5 thoughts on “soma: Done perfectly, in so many ways

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    1. K.Mandla Post author

      Thanks! I noticed a little while ago that the source page had changed. Thanks for adding it to AUR. 😉

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