The Pacemaker gets updated and how to get it working with wine

Me mixing live at BarCampNorthEast

So Finally in firmware update #8793 you can now record/save a mix on the device while on the go. In the past, I was recording using my laptop to record the main line-out using Audacity. But now its all working as advertised.

Some of you might like to know my 2nd recorded mix using just the pacemaker and headphones is now officially up at my Pacemaker DJ site. The mix is called Manchester to London a short mix and used the method described here to put up the mix via the editing software, so theres no track lists I'm sorry to say.

So as said before the Pacemaker now does everything it was advertised to do from last year, recording was added as of the 4th June but I wasn't able to pull down the firmware update because I had an old version of the Pacemaker software installed on my machine. As many people said, why don't you just uninstall it then? Well I couldn't because I was using Wine on gnu/linux. Somewhere along the line, it had got stuck and I couldn't uninstall or reinstall the editor software. So I had to manually remove it myself. Before I go into details, I wanted to spend sometime talking about getting the Pacemaker working under Wine, because if I'm not mistaken, I'm there only gnu/linux user.

Wine is pretty easy to get if your using a modern distro like ubuntu. #sudo apt-get install wine will do the trick, when your done download directx 9 or 10 and you may need a copy of the .net framework (its what I had installed already). I'm using wine 0.9.46 and getting things started I recommend you just hit the http://www.pacemaker.net site and download the latest editor application for windows. Once its finished downloading, unzip it and right click on the setup.exe and select open with wine windows emulator. If everything works, it should install without a problem. You should now be able to launch the application using the desktop icon. My editor only seems to open when I got the Pacemaker actually plugged into a USB port, this might not be true of yours. Once your in the editor everything works as expected but its quite slow, so if your analysing 5000+ songs, I recommend you leave it overnight (yep even on a Dualcore2). When you come back it will take a whlile to transfer but you should be ready to mix. Now what your meant to do is eject the pacemaker but that doesn't work in Wine. So I've learned to unmount the pacemaker device on the desktop then hold the on/off switch to put it to sleep. You only need to do this to stop the hard drive check when you pull the USB cable too soon. Everything else under wine works including firmware updates (yep I was bricking it when do this for the first time). If you find you can't upgrade the firmware of software, remove the pacemaker manually by removing all entries for pacemaker in the wine registry – http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=678747. Because its only wine, you can be pretty raw with the deleting of everything pacemaker. The last thing to add is I tried to virtualise the pacemaker software using Windows XP SP3 on Ubuntu using VirtualBox but it failed to work due to a problem with the USB connections. I'm sure VMware would work, but I don't have it to try.

So generally, yes the pacemaker can and will work on gnu/linux but its not very user friendly but also doesn't require any serious hacking. I know a lot of penguin-heads don't like Wine because it causes the user to use closed software but I don't really have a choice right now. People on the forums are asking for itunes, windows media, winamp, etc support instead of relying on a propitery editor but there a long way off. I think it would actually be easier to write a python script which read the BPM from Amarok, Exaile, etc copied the mp3 to the correct directory and write the metadata .xml file, which goes with it. But that can be a task for another day… I'm going to mix myself to sleep instead.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.