Tag Archives: Ruby

Downloading Apple Trailers

I enjoy watching movie trailers and iTunes Movie Trailers is a wonderful resource for high-quality, current trailers. The problem is that I can not view Quicktime videos in my browser — and might not want to if I could — but downloading the files is not immediately possible.

Luckily, I found this guide on how to download trailers from Apple’s archive. Since it is tiresome to perform these steps by hand for every trailer, I put a little Ruby script together to ease the process:


if ( ARGV.size > 0 )
  ARGV.each { |url|
    url = url.gsub(/_(\d+p)\.mov/, '_h\1.mov')
    IO::popen("wget -U \"QuickTime/7.6.5\" #{url}").readlines

Calling this script with URLs you get from the Watch Now menus downloads trailers directly to the directory of your desire.

Where to get your trailer URL

Control Pulseaudio from Shell

As you know I mainly use Fluxbox on a minimal Ubuntu installation without access to all the every-day functionality provided by panel applets in Gnome, including volume control. Therefore, I have been using pavucontrol for controlling Pulseaudio. It is a really nice application that gives you very finegrained control, for instance over which application should be how loud. Lately I have been annoyed with opening a whole application just for the sake of adjusting volume a little bit, so I set out to find a way to control it via shell. Turns out there is no convenient interface to pulseaudio at all, leaving me to script something together, this time in Ruby. It uses a very unwieldy interface to Pulseaudio named pacmd, contained in Ubuntu package pulseaudio-utils.

def current
  c = IO::popen("pacmd \"list-sinks\" | grep volume | head -1").readlines[0]
  return c.split(" ").last.sub("%", "").strip.to_i

def max
  c = IO::popen("pacmd \"list-sinks\" | grep \"volume steps\" | head -1").readlines[0]
  return c.split(" ").last.strip.to_i - 1

def index
  c = IO::popen("pacmd \"list-sinks\" | grep index | head -1").readlines[0]
  return c.split(" ").last.strip.to_i

def set(v)
  IO::popen("pacmd \"set-sink-volume #{index} #{v}\"").readlines

def muted
  c = IO::popen("pacmd \"list-sinks\" | grep muted | head -1").readlines[0]
  return c.split(" ").last.strip == "yes"

def toggle
  t = 1
  if ( muted )
    t = 0
  IO::popen("pacmd \"set-sink-mute #{index} #{t}\"").readlines

interval = 5

if ( ARGV.size == 0 )
  puts current
elsif (ARGV[0] == "?" )
  puts muted
elsif ( ARGV[0] == "+" )
  set([current + interval, 100].min * (max / 100.0).round)
elsif ( ARGV[0] == "-" )
  set([current - interval, 0].max * (max / 100.0).round)
elsif ( ARGV[0] == "!" )

This is certainly not the most efficient way to do it, retrieving all the info multiple times, but it works and I do not perceive any delays. Note that the script will just use the first sink that pacmd prints, so if you have a setup with multiple sinks you will have to be more clever.

Of course, the obligatory Fluxbox key bindings

None XF86AudioLowerVolume :execCommand pavol -
None XF86AudioRaiseVolume :execCommand pavol +
None XF86AudioMute :execCommand pavol !

and conky volume display:

Vol: ${exec if [ `pavol ?` != 'true' ]; then echo `pavol`%; else echo 'Muted'; fi}

Update: The script now has a home on GitHub.