After getting my Abney Park CDs, it was, yet again, time to try to do something with the linux box: play back music stored on the ReadyNAS using the built-in Firefly media server using DAAP.
So a few snags.
The biggest one was making sure that DAAP was working completely on the linux box. I tried Rhythmbox and Amarok. Amarok was more difficult to get working completely, and I don't like the interface as much.
The second one was preventing the Firefly server from crashing, necessitating a reboot of the ReadyNAS. That's bad.
It turns out that Firefly isn't terribly robust when it comes to flawed mp3 files.
How do you sort out (and fix) flawed mp3 files? It turns out there's a nice little free utility called MP3val. It can take your music folders, read every file and, in most cases, fix underlying structural problems that your mp3 player software ignores (if you're lucky) or crashes on.
It's not perfect. It chokes on filenames with really odd characters in them. Still, it was able to validate all but a few dozen of my over 30,000 songs. It just took a while. There are a few things it can't fix. It takes a tool like foobar2000 to build missing VBR headers (which it does identify). Missing ID3 tag information has to be populated from somewhere else (like the iTunes "Convert ID3 tags" option).
So I've got clean mp3 files. While waiting for these jobs to complete, I found a neat iTunes manager app called beaTunes. beaTunes is a Swiss Army Knife of music management utilities. The main reason I picked it up is the automated tempo (BPM) calculation. It allegedly works (as well as any cheap auto-BPM does, at least). The reason I paid for it is the library inspection tool (which finds and fixes inconsistent spellings of artists and genres, among other things). It also collects missing tag information from the MusicIP database and generates automatic playlists (kind of like Genius does, but with more control).
That's probably going to run a few days. We'll see how it comes out.