Archive for April, 2008

April 29 '08 - 4:26 pm
UPDATED: Needle Drop v3.0

Fixed an error in Needle Drop when canceling from the first dialog box, made it universal binary, and added the ability for it to quit automatically if you pause iTunes while running it. This script will play through the tracks of the selected playlist at your set time interval.

April 25 '08 - 7:41 am
Automatically Download Available iTunes Purchases

If you subscribe to any TV Shows from the iTunes Store Apple can send an email notifying you when the latest episode is available. Then you can go to iTunes’ “Store” menu, click “Check for Purchases…”, and the download will commence.

A while back I had posted a script called Check For Purchases which used GUI scripting to automate this process. It required that you hardcode your iTunes Store user name and password in the script and also have GUI scripting enabled. Yuck. These are two of my least favorite–if not my most least favorite–techniques for using a script. But, it turns out, there’s an even simpler and better way to accomplish this

April 24 '08 - 11:12 am
Plays For Sure Sure Won’t

I am not a fan of subscription services, if only because the idea of paying and paying for music just doesn’t make any sense to me. I just can’t get over that hump, like Dan Frakes and Chris Breen have, for example.

Well now the chickens have come home to roost.

Microsoft ends support for tracks purchased from MSN Music – Microsoft is once again causing problems for its customers, closing down support for tracks purchased under its failed ‘PlaysForSure’ campaign.

The company is warning customers – who paid good money for music using the now defunct MSN Music service – that it will no longer supply authorisation keys for the tracks they bought.

What this means is that after 31 August, music fans who want to shift their sounds from one computer to another will be blocked from doing so. It also means that once all five Windows PCs a user can have authorised for music playback have failed, they will lose their music.”

Explain to me, without using the phrase “yeah, but”, how any subscription service can work in perpetuity without either failing or costing its subscribers a boat-load of money.

April 23 '08 - 10:09 am
UPDATED: Make Bookmarkable v2.4

The newest version of Make Bookmarkable fixes a problem with files not being re-added to iTunes. Listen:

Recently, I had been seeing some reports of Make Bookmarkable mysteriously not working correctly for some users. The changing of the file type and extension of the selected tracks’ files would go all right, but the file would not be re-added to iTunes’ Audiobooks Library. After some investigation, the common thread of the problem was that the files were located on a MS-DOS FAT32 formatted external drive. Normally, Macs can deal with this. However, AppleScript cannot follow aliases of a file on such a drive unless the alias is the literal path. Make Bookmarkable changes the extension of files; such that an alias that earlier pointed to musicfile.m4a on a MS-DOS FAT32 drive doesn’t recognize it when its name is changed to musicfile.m4b–unless you update the path of the alias to point to it. Do you follow?

Here’s the thing: with an increasing number of Windows users switching to Mac and more Mac users working in Windows it’s not out of the realm of possibility that they just plug their MS-DOS external drive into their Macs without re-formatting it. Also, as hard drive prices have gotten cheaper, users may be more apt to purchase a drive pre-formatted as MS-DOS. I know I’ve gotten a cheaper deals on MS-DOS formatted drives than Mac formatted, but, of course, I always reformat to HFS+. Considering this, I suspect I will be seeing this alias anomaly more in the future.

April 22 '08 - 1:46 pm
UPDATED: This Tag, That Tag Scripts v2.0

I’ve updated the This Tag, That Tag Scripts package to v2.0. These four scripts assist with swapping, copying, and appending data between two user-chosen tags in a batch of selected tracks. The latest version of each of the scripts now includes the “Show” tag, is saved as a script bundle (universal binary), and has general tidying of code.

April 18 '08 - 11:17 am
Time Machine Ignores the XML File

Something I had not known until reading about it in the X4U mailing list: apparently, Time Machine does not back up the “iTunes Music Library.xml” file. This is the file that is periodically updated by iTunes which contains track and playlist data. It isn’t used by iTunes, but it can be used to re-import data and what not. Most of the time, this file is located in your [username]/Music/iTunes/ folder (you should not relocate it). Thus, if you are concerned about this file, you may have to manually back it up, independent of Time Machine.

UPDATE: A post at Mac OS X Hints discusses what files are ignored by Time Machine and how to list them.

UPDATE ALSO: Any copy of the “iTunes Music Library.xml” file that is not [username]/Music/iTunes/Tunes Music Library.xml will get backed up. So periodically copying it as something like [username]/Music/iTunes/bu/Tunes Music Library.xml will ensure Time Machine sees it.

April 16 '08 - 4:50 pm
MacUser Logrolling

Thanks to Dan Pourhadi at MacUser for the thumbs-up on Dupin.

April 16 '08 - 2:03 pm
NEW: Search CD Universe for Album

My friend Kirk McElhearn has a very fine article at Macworld on working with album artwork: where to get it, how to get it, and so on. He mentions that the CD Universe website is a good place to snag album artwork and so I thought I’d slap together a quick script to search the site. Search CD Universe for Album will use the album tag of the selected iTunes track as the basis for a “Title” search at CD Universe. You’ll have to manually navigate the site once the search results page comes up, but at least the script gets you started.

April 16 '08 - 11:06 am
Server Move

I’ve just completed moving to a new server and flipping nameservers. As a result, there may be a few bumps and 404s until I nail down any remaining minor discrepancies. On the plus side, man, this server rocks. There’s a perceptible speed increase in page loads and database access. Hopefully, this will put an end to the database outages which occurred with the old host.

April 6 '08 - 8:34 am
Dupin at Klakinoumi

Thanks to Eric at the French blog Klakinoumi for posting this article and screencast of Dupin. There’s a point in his vid-demo where the tracks are being deleted and he provides some rapid-fire sound effects, which I thought was tres drole. Also, it’s worth the look just to hear “Dupin” pronounced in French.

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