Some Tech Successes

It all started when I found a Bose Soundtouch on Craigslist.  We tend to run a few years behind the tech curve, which is fine, but I finally decided it was time to try and stream music in the house, rather than use CDs.  It helped some that our multi-volt CD player finally died after 12 years of use.  So, when I found the Soundtouch, and some indications that you could sort of make it work with a Linux system, I was pretty happy.

Little did I know that the app to run the speaker wouldn’t work with the version of Android on my Asus Transformer.  It’s a TF-101, one of the first versions they put out, with an older version of Android that wasn’t compatible.  And you cannot get the app to work in WINE on Linux; it just won’t connect to their servers.  Luckily I was able to use my wife’s smartphone as an interim measure, but I wasn’t entirely happy with that solution.

Enter KatKiss.  I took the plunge and updated the OS on the Transformer.  It was really very easy.  The one piece of information that is difficult to pin down is that you do need to root the device so you can install the custom ROM that makes installing KatKiss easier.  I suppose that, strictly speaking, the KatKiss flash doesn’t need a rooted device, but all of the instructions reference using a custom ROM, rather than stock, and to install that you do need to root (at least, as far as I could figure out).  So, that done, my TF-101 now runs Android 6-Marshmallow, and it works really well on all counts, including to run the Soundtouch.

Then, in late November, Bose updated the software on the speaker while at the same time updating the app.  The app is slightly easier to use now, but the real update is that the Soundtouch now identifies itself on the network as a DLNA media renderer, whereas previously it would only identify as media server.  This sort of makes sense because of the built-in streaming services, but not really because it is, after all, a speaker that renders digital media.  In any case, someone updated the code so that it behaves as a media renderer, meaning I can stream music from my Linux system direct to the speaker by using pulseaudio-dlna.  I still use the Bose app sometimes (it’s necessary for configuration), but now I’m basically outputting the sound from the media player on my computer (current favorite is Clementine) directly to the Soundtouch.  Which is what I wanted to do in the first place.

The final success also involved my tablet.  It stopped taking a charge a couple of weeks ago (After all the music fun), and thought I would have to troll the Cyber Monday sales for a replacement.  I figured out I could trickle charge without using the keyboard dock, but that took days to get it above 25% (no, not an exaggeration).  Finally, after doing some additional research, I thought it might have been that the cable had gone bad.  So, I splurged on a $6 replacement cable that turns out to do the trick.  I’m back to being able to charge at a normal speed, as well as charge the keyboard dock/spare battery.

Not a bad few months for tech issues.