Playing MP3 files with java…

For a language as popular as Java, lack of standard ways of implementing mp3 playback is disappointing. This is understandable though, due to horde of patent and licensing issues relating to MP3 as a format. A bit of googling and I found two methods: using the Java Sound API along with the MP3 plugin and using the third party JLayer API from JavaZoom. Here I’m using JLayer as it seems to be the more popular alternative.

First we need to download the jlayer from here. Extract it and add the jl1.0.1.jar to the project. When using an IDE like eclipse adding the jar to the build path suffices otherwise  jl1.0.1.jar should be added to the CLASSPATH.

JLayer provides two built in players that play mp3s using the library: javazoom.jl.player and javazoom.jl.player.advanced. I’m using the Player class.

Create an instance of the Player class while providing a FileInputStream object of the mp3 file. Then use the play() method of the class to start playback.

Below is a very basic implementation of the playback process:

import java.io.*;
import javazoom.jl.player.Player;

public class JavaPlayerTest {

public static void main(String[] args) {
try
{
FileInputStream mp3file = new FileInputStream(args[0]);
Player playmp3 = new Player(mp3file);
playmp3.play();
}catch (Exception e) {
System.out.println(e);
}
}
}

Set up C/C++ environment with vim & mingw

For those who love writing code in vi/vim(let’s face it its the greatest code editor in the world) and miss it while using Windows, it is possible to set up vim in Windows. Here are the steps to install and set up Vim with MinGW(gcc/g++).

1. Download and install gVim from here.

2. Download MinGW automated installer from here and run the installer.

3. Select the package repository and the directory to install(default is C:\MinGW, I recommend leaving it as it is).

4. Select the optional components like C++, Fortran and MSYS base(this is useful; it provides the various bash shell tools like ls,grep,make,gawk etc).

5. The installer then downloads the latest version of the packages and installs them.

6. Finally, add MinGW’s bin directory to the PATH environment variable.

7. To test if MinGW is set up correctly, go to the command prompt and type g++ --version. If you see the version number as output, then congratulations.

Hope, this post has been helpful.