Open Source Win

Volume 13, Issue 29; 20 Sep 2010; last modified 08 Oct 2010

One of the nice things about open source software is that you can fix bugs when you find them. More importantly, if you wait a few days, other smart folks will fix the bugs for you. Such is the case with iTunes and MT-DAAPD.

I have all our music ripped and stored on a server in the house. The Sonos box feeds that music into our living room and iTunes feeds it to my laptop. As I have said many times, iTunes is the suck. Most recently, an iTunes upgrade broke the media server. Well, the media server is fine, but iTunes can't see the music.

I waited a few days, and smart people seem to have worked out most of the problems. Here's how I got it working again.

  1. It seems that forked-daapd is the right place to start. I had been running mt-daapd (ne “Firefly”), but development there seems to have stalled.

  2. I grabbed the code and tried to build it. It seemed to want things that weren't easily available for Ubuntu 9.10, so I went ahead and ran the upgrade to 10.04. It went fine, I'm happy to report.

  3. For reasons I couldn't work out, pkg-config didn't seem to know about zlib, so I followed the advice to set ZLIB_CLFAGS and ZLIB_LIBS directly.

  4. There also seemed to be some issues with Antlr that someone else also worked out.

  5. A few apt-get install …/./configure iterations got me through the rest of the dependencies, though working out that ALSA is provided by libasound-dev took a little digging.

From there, the standard make install dance got it up and running.

Was this more complicated than I would have liked? Sure. But it was possible!

The forked server isn't (yet) as nice as mt-daapd. The most annoying bug is that iTunes occasionally disconnects in the middle of a song. Also, it doesn't have a web UI or smart playlists and doesn't seem to correctly parse the metadata in some files. It does transcode from FLAC on the fly though, so that part is still working.

These bugs will go away. Because smart people will fix them. Because it's open source.

Now, if someone's knows of a decent DAAP-aware replacement for iTunes, that would make things easier too.


Just that the proper upstream git repo is git:// and tarballs are at

and your website doesn't know UTF-8, my name was filled in as Matěj Cepl

Have a nice day,

Matěj Cepl

—Posted by Matěj Cepl on 11 Oct 2010 @ 12:39 UTC #

Thanks for the pointers. A subsequent update to iTunes seems to have fixed the problem. And sorry about the UTF-8 bobble. Must be something in the Perl, if I had to guess. It's right in the end, I'm happy to see.

—Posted by Norman Walsh on 11 Oct 2010 @ 12:53 UTC #