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Macast mpv DLNA renderer Linux

Macast is a new free and open source tool to use your computer as a DLNA media renderer, so you can cast videos, pictures and music from your phone (or another computer) to your desktop, kind of like a Chromecast. It’s available for Linux, Microsoft Windows and macOS.

The application is very easy to use, shipping with only a tray menu (without any other GUI) from where you can control it, and it uses mpv as the media player. A few days ago, Macast has added the ability to use other media players via plugins, with 3 such plugins being available right now (for IINA on macOS, pi-fm-rds for Raspberry Pi and PotPlayer for Microsoft Windows). You can also write your own plugin.

Macast Features:

  • Start / Stop casting from the tray menu
  • Set the player position and size (in a corner of the screen or centered, and various player sizes including fullscreen)
  • Optional hardware-accelerated video decode
  • Choose between 3 tray icons (default colored icon, light and dark)
  • Option to automatically start on login (not available in the tray menu, you must edit the Macast configuration, which on Linux can be found under ~/.config/Macast/macast_settings.json)
  • Set the DLNA friendly name (not available in the tray menu, you need to edit the config file)
  • Set the port used by Macast (not available in the tray menu, you need to edit the config file)
  • Support to cast videos when the DLNA client is connected to the computer’s hotspot
  • Disable or force enable a network interface (Blocked_Interfaces e Additional_Interfaces in the config file)
  • Uses mpv as the media player, with support for third-party players via plugins

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To use this, launch the application, and you should see the Macast icon in your system tray. There’s no need to do anything else. Next, install a DNLA client on your phone, such as BubbleUPnP/DLNA, use it to connect to your computer, and start streaming videos, music and photos.

E.g. with BubbleUPnP/DLNA, click on the Now Playing tab at the bottom, then click the cast icon in the bottom right-hand side corner and choose the computer which is running Macast:

Then click on the Library tab and cast some media from your phone to the computer running Macast. Obviously, the computer running Macast and the phone used for casting need to be in the same network.

In case the DLNA client you’re using is unable to find Macast, make sure it’s not blocked by your firewall or router. See the Macast FAQ for more on this.

Download Macast DLNA Media Renderer

The Macast releases page has binaries for Linux (DEB packages for Debian/Ubuntu and a generic Linux binary), Microsoft Windows and macOS.

You’ll need to install mpv to be able to use Macast (unless you use a plugin to be able to use a different player). You should find it in the repositories on most Linux distributions (on Fedora it’s in the RPM Fusion repository).

Also, to get the Macast tray icon to work on Linux, make sure you have the libappindicator3 package installed (even if you use the DEB to install Macast). E.g. on Ubuntu you’ll need to install gir1.2-appindicator3-0.1 (using gir1.2-ayatanaappindicator3-0.1 might also work, but I did not try it). Also, if you’re using GNOME Shell, you’ll need an extension such as AppIndicator and KStatusNotifierItem Support (this is installed by default on Ubuntu).

You can also install Macast using PIP, via AUR on Arch Linux / Manjaro, or build it from source. See the Macast installation page for details.

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Choosing the right laptop for a computer scientist is a very crucial task as they need to sit in front of it and do lots of programming for a long time. So it is ideal for them to find a laptop with a better display to protect their eyes from straining; a good keyboard so they can write for a longer period without getting tired. Other than that, high-end specifications where they can do all the coding and graphic designing and longer battery life will also be highly recommended for them. We will be discussing three of the best laptops that are worth your money.

Apple MacBook Pro

In comparison to its predecessors, the Apple MacBook Pro 2020 is still one of the greatest on the market. It is equipped with Apple’s proprietary M1 microprocessor, which is quicker and more efficient than Intel and AMD-based CPUs. This chip comes with an 8-core processor and an 8-core GPU capability for better processing speeds, and if you are a graphic designer, then it will generate and render video and animations a lot faster as well. This also means that you can run all the important programming applications with ease, such as Visual Studio and Android Studio.

Another great feature is that it comes with a 16-core neural engine for better optimization and decision-making based on machine learning which will also come in handy in improving the battery life, which is around 20 hours. Other than that, it also comes with 8GB of RAM that can be enhanced up to 16GB and fast storage up to 2TB as well.

It features one of the best 14-inch retina displays on the market, with highly sharp and crisp colors and a brightness of 500 nits, which should be plenty to use whether you’re inside or outside in the open. The screen has also come with less bezel compared to its previous versions, and the build quality is very premium and robust.

The camera and mic quality are also great so others can see and hear you properly, and it doesn’t lack ports as there are plenty of them as well, such as 2 thunderbolt ports, a display port, thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1, and USB 4. This laptop is a must-buy if money is not an issue for you as generally Apple laptops are expensive, and this laptop will cost you around under $1750.

Buy Apple MacBook Pro M1

Lenovo ThinkPad X1

This is one of the best Windows-based laptops you can buy, especially for computer scientists, and it costs roughly $1800. However, you can get an earlier version for a lot less money. One of its greatest features is its keyboard, which has incredibly soft and easy-to-use that will never strain your hand even if you type for lengthy periods of time. Its internals includes a 10th generation Core i7 laptop that can be overclocked to 4.9GHz, while it also features 16GB of RAM and a 512 NVME SSD for storage.

The display on this laptop is excellent as it has a resolution of 1920×1080 under the 14-inch screen. It comes with a full HD display, where the color representation is great and accurate. The maximum brightness of this laptop is 400 nits, whereas the bezel of the screen is finta noticeable compared to some other laptops. It’s a lightweight laptop with a weight of only 2.40 lbs, but its build quality is great.

This laptop’s battery life is also worth noticing since it can last up to 19.5 hours, which should be enough time to use it without needing to charge it. The speakers are also excellent, providing clear sound, and the cooling fan smoothly maintains the laptop’s temperature. Overall, this is an excellent laptop for programmers and computer scientists, whether you’re coding or designing on it.

Microsoft Surface Book 2

The unique feature of the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is that it comes with a detachable screen that you can remove from the keyboard. It comes with a touchscreen, which makes it super useful as now you can use it as a table, and you no longer need to carry the keyboard along with it. Other than that, it also has some of the most advanced specifications available on the market, just like the other laptops.

It comes with a core i7 10th gen processor that can be overclocked up to with the ram of 16 GB and the storage of 512 GB SSD NVME. Whereas the build quality is very premium, the keyboard is great with backlights that are finta visible even in the dark areas. The bezels are very thin from all sides, and it weighs around 2.38 lbs, which is a lot lighter compared to the other laptops.

It has a screen of 15 inches and comes with an LCD display having a resolution of 3260 x 2160 pixels, so the colors are very accurate and crisp. The sound quality is also great, and the laptop doesn’t vibrate at all at maximum level and has a very efficient cooling system so that your laptop doesn’t get hot even if you use it for a longer period. So, it’s a great laptop for programmers to run their favorite applications but it’s far better for designers as you can detach the laptop and can-do wonders with it.

Conclusion

Because computer scientists spend most of their time in front of a computer screen, they require a laptop that can suit their demands in any scenario. We looked at three of the best laptops for getting the work done swiftly and effectively.



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