FiiO X3, iTunes and ReplayGain?

I’m not a big fan of streaming services. Main reason (besides audio quality and that you always need an internet connection) is the fact you end up ‘zapping’ through ‘hits’ instead of (yes i’m probably old) experiencing an Album.
Growing up with a walkman, discman, minidisc and later the ipod i’m used to collecting music, arrange it and selecting certain albums to listen to (for someimes week after week the same stuff).
Since my collection of music was still growing (offline in itunes) I tried using my iPod again, but for some reason they are not only very expensive (second hand) but also almost always broken (they contain a little harddisk). So you will need a modified ipod where they replace the harddisk with a SSD or SDCard. You’ll end up paying around 300 euros for a refurbished modified model.
When researching I discovered alternative products, especially the ipod look-a-like products of FiiO.
Long story short, I ended up buying a X3 (2nd gen) for multiple reasons (like its also an usb DAC, has removable SDcard slot, scrollwheel like the old ipod etc..).
After receiving my new FiiO X3ii, hooking it up to my macbook, opening itunes… now what?

Relax and Sleep

As you might have noticed the Relax and Sleep app was updated after more then two years of silence. Most of you are probably not too happy about this event but there are a number of reason why this was necessary:

  • Deprecated implementation of keeping the App in the background.
  • Deprecated UI style guidelines.
  • Getting new features (which have been requested a lot over the years) implemented.
  • Prevent the App from being removed from the App store because of Google’s Policies.
  • And I like having a ‘pet’ project to work on once in a while ;-) to try out new stuff.

Now change is never fun, and while most of the users are okay with this there seems to be a few misunderstandings (mostly about the UI) but also sadly a bunch of issues.

Replacing Exim with Postfix

Fast guide to replacing exim4 with postfix on debian 8. Searched and used a lot of resources around the web to get this configuration setup and running. The reason for replacing has to do with the amount of custom maintenance and spam fighting I had to do. Postfix does have a bunch of more simple guides and implementations (like amavis) to fight spam.

Host your own Radicale CalDAV and CardDAV

Suddenly Outlook.com started to block all incoming email from my domains (i forwarded).
After GMail, now outlook failed to be a trusted cloudbased service.
Since a lot of email was being bounced I needed to resolve the issue asap by hosting my own dovecot imap (following my own guide ^^ see other blog posts).
But what about my contacts and calendar? I liked the way my email integrated this. On OSX for example I need to have the contacts in the ‘contact’ app to function with the Mail.app, keeping them on outlook.com would seperate the two.
So I discovered Radicale, a simple Cal and CardDAV server.

Here is a quick guide to setting up and securing Radicale behind nginx and https and getting things working on iOS and OSX:

Easy IKEv2 strongSwan VPN for iOS

Using a VPN on your mobile devices, especially on public hotspots, should be mandatory.
If you are going to run your own VPN server OpenVPN is the way to go (expecially on Linux) but on iOS (and OSX, Windows, Android..) this will need a client App to run properly.
I noticed all platforms do support IPSec based solutions and according to some articles IKEv2 isn’t so bad (if you use strongswan, the opensource solution).
But setting it up isn’t as straightforward as setting up an openvpn server.. so after some research and trail and error I came to these basic steps to get up and running almost as fast as setting up an openvpn server.