Saturday, March 8, 2008

xPLHALi 0.4 Released

I guess I've done enough testing with the new gCal and SlimServer support. Grab it.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

xPLHALi Now Controls SlimServer

Now you can use HAL to play music through SlimServer. I'm still testing it out, but it's working pretty well. It extracts all this info out of the SlimServer database and creates the voice commands that allow you to queue up music by artist, album or playlist. Click the screen cap below for a video of it in action.

Even cooler is it can be extended to support other media servers through the scripting engine. There's an option to just pass to the scripting engine the zone, category (album, artist, or playlist) and selection that were chosen. This way the scripting engine can issue a command to launch another player. Granted you'll need to have SlimServer installed but not use it for other than its database.

This works for us since we use SlimServer for our SliMP3s and Squeezeboxes and MediaNet for our Rio Receivers. So for MediaNet zones, xPLHALi will pass parameters that the scripting engine can use to issue xPL commands queueing up the desired music to those non-Slim zones.

Google Calendar Sync Arrives! (Finally!)

You can finally sync GCal to Outlook. We gave up syncing our phones to Outlook a long time ago and moved over to GCal. It's so much easier to sync whenever we want with Oggsync than having to remember when we get home to sync with Outlook. But for those who still use Outlook, this is a great tool.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

AT&T U-Turns on U-Verse

This may help explain why AT&T is bumping up DSL rates. Their latest broadband initiative, "U-Verse", is costing more and going to reach less people. Brings back memories of living in a broadband black hole in the late 90s and early 2000s. AT&T or whatever they were called back then, promised to reach our house with "Project Pronto," which turned out to be "Project NoGo" as they never reached us. "Project Lightspeed," which followed, never reached us either leaving us with "Project DialupSpeed" until Comcast came to save the day. AT&T still has not reached us while Comcast started us off at 1 Mbps then bumped us to 2, 4, 6 and currently 8Mbps. Given AT&T's past successes, this latest effort should be dubbed "Project U-Turn" as they scale back their deployment goals again.

No Difference Between Coat Hangers and Monster Cable

Haha. Audiophiles think coat hangers sound just as good as Monster Cable. With the right packaging and marketing you can sell people anything at a premium, like water in a bottle!