OK – so some time has past and I have started on my Linux education…
I have successfully installed Debian Etch with a basic command console and also running Samba so that I can share / transfer files quite freely with other machines. I installed Firefly with apt-get install mt-daapd which works. It also sets up avahi and the libraries. Of course the standard Firefly in the Debian repository is quite old (svn-1376 I think) but it seems to work well although I have not done long term testing. Also, the version of libflac which is accessed is based on the old 1.1.2 flac, and I really need a much newer one (1.2.1) for compatibility with some of my flac files. Not sure how to proceed with that (due to newb status I suppose) or where to go from there….
Other things I have played with… (may / may not be helpful)
I tried to install the svn-1586 .deb for etch from the nightlies site. I ran into various dependency issues. Despite apparently fixing those with apt-get -f I found that avahi would not start and I could not find a way to get it to run. I feel it may be significant that I only get a fraction of the installation messages when doing it that way, so I suspect that a load of stuff may not be set up properly. If instead I installed svn-1586 on top of svn-1376 then that solved the avahi start up issue but the mt-daapd.conf seems not to be compatible. Either way that would not solve the flac problem which I’d really like to tackle first.
At the moment I am clearly out of my depth. I have no experience of building code under Linux, but I suspect that I may need to go down that road to get an up to date flac library installed.
Any and all ideas appreciated.
Actually – just thought of an alternative… Is there an easy way that I can recode my FLAC files (8000 of them) with one of the old versions while keeping the tags (I am not using embedded art or anything fancy)? The problem then seems to be that FLAC 1.1.2 won’t take FLAC as an input. (1.1.3 can do this but it can generate some files which 1.1.2 cannot play.)