irmp3 and irmp3-curses: All for naught

There’s a little clock in my head that starts ticking when I have been spending too much time trying to get a program to work. And that little clock was ticking furiously by the time I got this screenshot.

2014-09-06-l3-b7175-irmp3-ncurses

That’s irmp3-ncurses, a text-based front-end to the irmp3 audio jukebox. And believe it or not, after more than an hour of scraping around in two different distros, that’s the best I could come up with.

I am ashamed. My geek credentials are in jeopardy.😦

As I understand it, irmp3 is primarily aimed at environments that need infra-red support or LCD output, so … car stereos, custom-built home mp3 players, and so forth. And if you skim through a few of these examples, it’s quite impressive to see what you can do with it.

Unfortunately what I did with it … was almost zero. I could build both the daemon and the command-line control interface in Arch. I even managed to generate a configuration file with the built-in utility, but the daemon never seemed to find my music path, which meant the command-line interface couldn’t tell it to start playing, and irmp3-ncurses couldn’t help anyone out. Not even with alsa-oss on the team.😦

So I switched to Mint, because the previous verision of irmp3* is in the Lucid (and Debian Squeeze) repositories. If the issue was a faulty setup in Arch, perhaps the Debian/Ubuntu versions carried enough default settings to get things rocking. But as luck would have it, the Mint/Ubuntu version was no more successful. Oh well, I tried.

There are a few considerations, of course: The last version was released way back in 2007. I don’t have either LCD or IR hardware. And I have a long-standing reputation for butchering application conf files. Any one — or all — of those could be the problem.

If you know how to get this one working, or if you have tips on how to make it sing pretty, or if you converted your 1949 Citroën 2CV into an mp3 player with irmp3, please help us out. Science demands an answer.😉