Thursday, March 30, 2023

Top Five Ubuntu Music and Game Apps

The music and game applications listed below can be found in and directly installed using the Ubuntu Software application with a standard Ubuntu installation.   The listed music apps can stream your favorite music over the internet.  Home media center apps are not included.  Some of the apps can also download music for offline use.  Stand-alone game apps are included, but games needing an emulator or a gaming service application such as Steam are not included.  The top five highest rated apps were determined using the ratings as reported in the Ubuntu Software application.  The average user rating was given a weight of three, and the number of ratings was given a weight of one when sorting the top apps.  The number of stars listed is out of five stars.  The rating information is current as of March 2023.

If you use some of the apps listed, please take a moment to rate the apps in the Ubuntu Software.  If you find an issue with an app, please report the specific issue to the developer and include a description of the issue in the Ubuntu Software rating comment, and include a workaroud description if possible.  If you see an app I missed that should be included using the criteria listed above, please mention it in the comments below.

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Top Five Music Apps

Shortwave comes in first place with 4.5 stars and 148 reviews.  Shortwave is an internet radio player that provides access to a station database with over 30,000 stations.  It allows you to search for streaming stations and create your own library containing your favorites.  Additionally, Shortwave can automatically recognize songs.  It is compatible with with large and small screens.  You can also play audio on supported network devices, such as a Google Chromecast.

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Olivia Cloud Music Player comes in second place with 4.3 stars and 152 reviews.  Olivia is an online cloud based music player like iTunes, Spotify, etc, and it also allows the playback of music while offline.  Olivia allows you to search any music online, stream it, and you can set the player to cache the stream while playing it. Olivia lets you create and manage your music library.

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Poddr comes in third place with 4.1 stars and 50 reviews.  Poddr is a free podcast player for Linux, Windows and Mac.  Poddr uses the iTunes API to gather information. Since iTunes has the largest podcast library in the world, this means you will most likely find something of interest no matter if you want music, politics or comedy. If your favorite podcast feed is missing you can manually add it with ease to your favorites.

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Pithos comes in fourth place with 4.1 stars and 39 reviews.  Pithos is a native Pandora Radio client that is more lightweight than the web client and integrates with the desktop.  It supports most of the functionality of such as rating songs, creating/managing stations, quickmix, etc. On top of that, it has features such as scrobbling, media keys, notifications, proxies, and MPRIS support.

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Spotify comes in fifth place with 3.6 stars and 2103 reviews.  Of all the apps compared, Spotify has the highest number of reviews.  Play your favorite songs and albums free on Ubuntu with Spotify.  Browse the charts or fire up ready-made playlists in every genre and mood.  Discover new music, and optionally build custom playlists.  Stream Spotify for free with occasional ads, or choose the premium option for an ad-free experience.

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Top Five Game Apps

Oh My Giraffe comes in first place with 4.7 stars and 183 reviews.  Eat fruit while being chased by lions. You play as an adorable and stretchy giraffe running through the savanna. Chew through vines to make the fruit bounce off your butt and hit those scary lions in the face. Don't be concerned about the fruit being too high as your flexible neck will let you reach everything. Don't forget that the lions sleep at night. That's your chance to gobble down as much fruit as possible, but be careful to not wake the lions.

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0 A.D. (pronounced “zero-ey-dee”) comes in second place with 4.5 stars and 1158 reviews.  0 A.D. is a free, open-source, historical real-time-strategy game currently being developed by Wildfire Games, a global group of volunteer game developers.  As the leader of an ancient civilization, you must gather the resources you need to raise a military force and dominate your enemies.

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SDLPoP comes in third place with 4.7 stars and 58 reviews.  SDLPop is an open-source port of the 1989 Prince of Persia video game.  It was made possible by the disassembly of the original DOS version.

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Mr. Rescue comes in forth place with 4.5 stars and 50 reviews.  Mr. Rescue is an arcade styled 2D action game centered around evacuating civilians from burning buildings.  The game features fast paced fire extinguishing action, intense boss battles, a catchy soundtrack and lots of throwing people around in pseudo-randomly generated buildings.

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SuperTuxKart comes in fifth place with 4.4 stars and 964 reviews.  SuperTuxKart is a 3D open-source arcade racer with a variety of characters, tracks, and modes to play. This game provides an enjoyable experience for all ages.  Discover the mystery of an underwater world, or drive through the jungles of Val Verde and visit the famous Cocoa Temple. Race underground or in a spaceship, through a rural farmland or a strange alien planet. Or rest under the palm trees on the beach, watching the other karts overtake you. But don't eat the bananas! Watch for bowling balls, plungers, bubble gum, and cakes thrown by your opponents.

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Sunday, October 23, 2022

MythRecCal - Set Recordings in MythTV Using TitanTV and Your Calendar

MythRecCal is a script that can be set to run daily on a MythTV backend computer which allows setting recordings from other devices using  TitanTV provides free online guide information, and the site allows several methods for interacting with computers that have DVR software.  One of the options on TitanTV for each guide listing is to add the program information to your personal calendar.  MythRecCal checks your calendar and sets a corresponding recording in MythTV for each program added.

Usage Instructions

After doing the setup steps shown below, login to  If using a mobile web browser, it is necessary to choose the desktop site.  Select a future guide listing, and the calendar icon will appear as shown in the screenshot image above.  Click or tap the calendar icon to to add the program to your calendar.

If using an Android device with a Google calendar, tap the TitanTV calendar icon, select download, openadd to calendar, and tap the Recordings calendar as shown in the screenshot image below.  If the download prompt does not appear after tapping the calendar icon, tap the calendar icon again.  With some Android versions, the prompt to select the Recordings calendar is not available.  If the option to select the Recordings calendar is not supported, the method shown below for using a computer can likely be used on the mobile device.

TitanTV Calendar to MythTV Recordings

If using a computer or other device with a web browser that is compatible with Google Calendar, tap the TitanTV calendar icon to download the calendar entry file.  Browse to and bookmark  Click select file from your computer and select the calendar entry reminder(#).ics file, select the Recordings calendar, and click import.

Google Calendar Import Recording

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Setup Instructions


    1. The numerical portion of the channel information after the space in the calendar entry description must match the corresponding MythTV channel number as shown in the screenshot below.
    2. Providing login information to access the Google Recordings calendar is not needed.  This is made possible by using the unique Google calendar url for specific calendars.  This url is put in the MythRecCal settings, and it is not shared.  It provides read-only access to only the Recordings calendar.  You can see what the script can see by putting the url in a web browser and opening the file that is downloaded with a text editor.  Only the Recordings calendar information will be visible in the text file. 
    3. Making the Google Recordings calendar public is not required.
    4. MythRecCal is compatible with Ubuntu.  Any operating system and device with a browser that is compatible with TitanTV and Google Calendar or other equivalent calendar can be used to set recordings. 
    titantv mythtv channel numbers match

    1. Start a web browser, and navigate to
    2. Under the latest release, download the tar.gz, and extract the files to your home folder.
    3. Open a terminal, and type "sudo ./install".  A message indicting the program was successfully installed should appear in the terminal.
    4. The files placed in the home folder can be deleted.
    5. In a web browser, navigate to  Sign up if you are not already a member, and create a channel lineup that matches the MythTV channel lineup.  If traditional cable TV is being used, be careful when selecting cable versus digital cable, as this will affect the channel lineup.
    6. In a web browser, navigate to, and add a calendar:
      • Go to settings (gear icon top right)
      • Click add calendar
      • Click create new calendar
      • Enter "Recordings" for the name
      • The description can be left blank
      • Select the applicable time zone
      • Click create calendar
      • Select the Recordings calendar on the left panel
      • Scroll down to Integrate calendar
      • Copy the "secret address in iCal format" (not the public address)
    7. Start MythRecCal by viewing the Ubuntu applications menu and clicking on the MythRecCal icon.
    8. Press the s key and then enter to access the settings.  This step will be skipped if no settings have been saved, and the prompt for settings will be displayed.
    9. Enter the MythTV backend address and the calendar addresses that was copied as indicated above when creating the Recordings calendar.  When prompted for an additional address, enter another address or just press enter if done.  For the other settings, press enter to select the default, or change the value as applicable.
    10. Set MythRecCal to run daily to check the calendar(s) and set recordings:
      • Open a terminal and type "sudo crontab -u mythtv -e" (change the username to the username needed to run mythfilldatabase)
      • Select nano if prompted to choose an editor
      • Enter "30 14 * * * /opt/mythreccal/" without the quotes at the bottom to run daily at 2:30 PM (change the time as desired)
      • Hold Ctrl and press s to save
      • Hold Ctrl and press x to exit nano
    11. Optional if using an Android device:
      • Open the Calendar app
      • Tap the three-line (hamburger) icon
      • Enable the Recordings calendar to make the entries visible on the calendar
      • Tap settings
      • Enable sync under the Recordings calendar

    Monday, August 1, 2022

    Google Pixel 6 Audio Cable Connection to RCA Stereo Input Jacks

    USB to RCA cable shown in video:

    This video describes an easy solution to connect a phone with a USB Type-C port to an older audio receiver with stereo RCA input jacks.  A Google Pixel 6 and a Sony audio receiver are shown in the video.