Fellow Europeans – tonight is the grand finale of the 55th Eurovision song contest – and you’d be a fool to miss what promises to be one of the closet fought contests in the last 10 years.

A few days back we tweeted a link to Alan Bell’s great post on how to watch the live Eurovision stream in Ubuntu. Since not everyone is subscribed to the OMG! twitter account many will have missed it, so here is a concise OMG! version of the installation instructions to ensure that you are able to cry with joy when Bulgaria/Sweden/London calling saves your nations’ honour from a null point embarrassment…

OctoShaping Eurovision
The Eurovision stream is powered by a rather obscure plugin called ‘octoshape’ that promises “higher quality video, faster startup, less buffering and fewer interruptions.” – all vital if you plan on making it through all 3 and a half hours of the contest!

Watching Eurovision final in Ubuntu
First you need to get the OctoShape plugin: –

  • wget http://www.octoshape.com/files/octosetup-linux_i386.bin
  • chmod +x octosetup-linux_i386.bin
  • ./octosetup-linux_i386.bin

Near 20:00 GMT you’ll want to run the plugin and head to the Eurovision stream page @ http://www.eurovision.tv/esctv/future

  • cd octoshape
  • . / OctoshapeClient
To run the stream outside your browser use: –
  • ./OctoshapeClient -url:EBU.esc2010.final;rtmp=false
MPlayer is set as the default player for handling streams. To use a different player you will need to manually edit the setup.xml file with the ./OctoshapeClient folder.

For example, to set VLC: –

  • config EulaAccepted=”true” PlayerExec=”vlc $url”
Optional dependencies include beer, snacks & misplaced national pride in a song you don’t even like.

Here’s last years winning song, Fairytale, by Alexander Rybak for Norway.

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