Tag Archives: Software

My latest iTunes iPhone playlist setup

I have iTunes and my iPhone configured to sync tracks automatically, without requiring manual intervention. Smart playlists, coupled with my application, Autorate, pick my favourite tracks, and make sure they’re on the iPhone. I previously wrote an article on my iTunes playlist setup; this draws on that prior setup, but this is slightly more refined.

Like the prior setup, I have two standard playlists: iPhone Exclusions and iPhone Selections, which allow me to manually include or exclude tracks.

I then have three smart playlists which work in tandem to select the top tracks, not including the exclusions, and including the selections. The top-most smart playlist is then selected as the playlist with which to sync tracks for the iPhone.

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Loopy in Beta

200811251323.jpgLoopy, my live performance application for iPhone, has reached the beta testing stage. There are a few minor issues outstanding, but the application is almost ready to hit the App Store. Stay tuned, folks, this is going to be awesome.

Please, let me know if you’d like to have a sneak peek at the application – the more testers the better, and you will have much gratitude from me. You’ll need an iPhone running version 2.1 or later.

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A OS X service to encode HTML characters

I find myself frequently writing HTML code in comment forms which support use of HTML formatting, which means that I have to encode the html entities if I want them to show up (as in representing ‘>’ with ‘>’, for example).

This gets rather tiresome, particularly if there’s a fair chunk of text to encode by hand.

I used the always-useful ThisService app with a short PHP script which does a htmlspecialchars() on whatever’s passed to it, to create a OS X service called ‘Encode HTML‘. Put it in your Library/Services directory, possibly log out and back in again, and you’ll be set.

Select the text to encode, click the system menu, Services, Encode HTML, and it’ll be automatically encoded in place.

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Core Audio and freakin’ error -66632

This will only be of interest to a very small minority, but for those of us who have used Core Audio and come across error -66632 in all its glorious undocumented-ness, this is a helpful note.

The error occurs when using AudioQueueEnqueueBuffer. It happens when one tries to enqueue a buffer when the queue in question is no longer running.

Wrap the AudioQueueEnqueueBuffer in a statement that checks to see if the queue is actually running, as in the SpeakHere/SpeakHear (depending on where you look) example. Something like:

if ( [track recording] ) {
  // Re-enqueue this buffer
  status = AudioQueueEnqueueBuffer (inAudioQueue,

..Should do the trick.

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Re-organising/assembling uploads for WordPress

Migrating from Serendipity, I’ve had a few hiccups in data migration. It doesn’t help that I’m extremely OCD when it comes to data, so everything’s gotta be perfect.

I had a problem with the way my uploads (the resources linked into the blog) were organised from the old Serendipity days – all in one big ol’ folder – and wanted to re-arrange them the way WordPress does it, which is to arrange them into folders by year and month.

This is also useful if you’re changing your domain, or splitting up one blog into two. The entries link to the old domain/blog, and thus the alternative is to do keep the old site around or muck around with clever redirects.

My way’s neater.

So, I put together a script which goes through all posts, pulls out links to uploaded files, and moves/copies them into a better arrangement, fixing the link in the process. If it can’t find the files, it’ll use a ‘find’ command to attempt to locate them.

In case it’s useful to others, the script is here:

It goes in the WordPress webroot; put it there, then edit it to apply your settings. Give it a ‘dry run’ test, make sure all is well, then go for it. Beware, although I used it and it worked okay, I offer no guarantee that it won’t mangle your data, delete random files or eat your dog.

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Serendipity (S9Y) importer for WordPress

Update 2: Jon reports that he’s improved on Carsten’s 1.3 version, and has released Version 1.4!

Update: Carsten Dobschat has continued the fine tradition and improved the importer further, adding support for extended posts, and tags.  Grab S9Y importer version 1.3 over at his site.

In the process of merging this site from Serendipity over to WordPress, I came across an importer which lets me migrate the data across. Unfortunately it was a bit buggy, not properly assigning categories and timing out when processing the post data.

I made some improvements, and here’s the new version, if anyone else finds it useful:

Version 1.2 of Serendity importer for WordPress (patch)

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Convert text to iTunes audio book

200805071617.jpgAfter reading a hint on macosxhints on how to create an audio file from text, because I wanted to keep reading my book while I was driving, and figured that holding the book in front of me probably wasn’t the best option, I figured the process could probably be streamlined a bit.

So, I’ve made a service which appears in the Services menu and operates on selected text. So, select it in Safari, or from an eBook in Preview (or Textedit if it’s just plain text), and click ‘Speak to iTunes Audio Book‘ to speak the text into a track in iTunes that will appear in ‘Audiobooks’.

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Automatic genre identification and ‘similar track’ matching

200804101846.jpgI’ve got a bit of new music lately, and I’ve noticed that the genre is always a bit off. Genre is a pretty tricky thing to figure out for most modern music, as there’s so much ‘cross-pollination’ going on in the music world. Additionally, over a single album, several genres may be visited (eg. folk, acoustic, pop).

There’s no way anyone’s going to go through every track independently and assign a genre (unless they’re seriously O.C.D). So, automatic genre setting (a new AutoRate feature?).

It looks like there has been some work done in the field, although it looks like it’s all still at the early-research stage; I haven’t found any available software. So there’s another possible project.

Another use could be to build a database of tracks in the local music library, and offer similar tracks when playing, constructing an automatic playlist. The same could be done with an online database, similar to Pandora.

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