iWatchSyncer – iTunes workflow – part II

iwatchsyncer
Well since iExporter is going so well on CodePlex ( thanks LifeHacker 😉 ), I’ve added my latest version of iWatchSyncer also to CodePlex!!

I finally got around the annoying problem in Windows when you Move folders ( the event handling is different then the Copy action ). So everything should be alright now!

A quick overview: iWatchSyncer will monitor a given path for file or folder additions and will automatically add all mp3 files contained in these folders to the iTunes Music library!

[Tags]iWatchSyncer, iTunes[/Tags]

iExporter – iTunes workflow – part II

iexporter

I’ve been working on my small iTunes playlist exporting program iExporter. Currently I’m at version 1.6 and it seems it’s been getting some good feedback from several users! Because I’ve seen different websites mentioning it and each release I’ve done so far has had 200 downloads each.

In version 1.6 you can again export existing playlists that are available in your iTunes, but now you’ll also be able to export several artists! The program will search for all tracks in your iTunes collection that have the selected artist as Album Artist, this way you’ll get all albums from that artists!

I hope you like it and if you do, you can now also donate through use of the Paypal donate button available in the iExporter.

iexporterscreenshot

[Tags]iExporter, iTunes, Paylists, Mp3[/Tags]

iExporter – iTunes workflow

Well since I’ve been busy with my iWatchSyncer program for iTunes, I also created a second iTunes tool!
( note, the iWatchSyncer tool isn’t finished yet, it still hase som issues 😉 )

The second tool is called iExporter and I’ve posted it up on CodePlex right here.
What it allows you to do, is exporting mp3 files through selecting available playlists in iTunes!

Why would you do this, I hear you thinking… well let’s give an example.
Assume you have a car or hifi set that allows for usb input or even sd card input and you don’t want to hook up your iPod each time ( or you don’t own an iPod ). And you have a fine tuned iTunes playlist scenario that dynamically changes after each iPod synchronization. Well wouldn’t you like to hear those same playlists on those other devices too?
So with iExporter, you can!! You only have to specify an export destination and select the playlists you like.
iExporter will copy the mp3 music files in those playlists to the destination, arranged in subfolders ( one for each playlist selected and then one for each Artist – Album ).

The source code is also available…
Any ideas, tips or remarks, just give a shout!

[Tags]iTunes, iPod[/Tags]

iWatchSyncer – iTunes workflow

iwatchsyncer If you are like me, a pc user that has an iPod… There is a big chance you’ll be using iTunes as your music library and have your iPod synced through use of PlayLists or Smart PlayLists.
But if you do, you probably also get annoyed by the importing feature for cd’s in iTunes…

What I mean is, that when you like your music library clean, you wont let iTunes manage your files. So in other words, you’ll be copying/moving your mp3 folders yourself to the iTunes library directory on your central hard drive!
But when you do so, you’ll still have to perform a manual action to get the cd known inside iTunes!! This action is done through the File menu, “Add Folder to Library…”.

Well don’t you hate that? How many times did I miss some cd’s, because I like to preview them on my laptop before I move them to iTunes. So mostly I’ll be moving 4 to 5 cd’s in one go to iTunes and then I have to add each and every on of them manually into the library. ( so 2 actions, where I would like only 1 )

But help is here! Thanks to the iTunes SDK for Windows, I wrote a small application, iWatch Syncer, that will sit in your tray and watch your iTunes music directory on the hard drive. Each time now folders ( or files ) are added, it will automatically add them to the iTunes library!!! So no more manual action inside iTunes…

The first time you start iWatch Syncer, it will fire up iTunes and you’ll get the option to select a folder to watch. There is also a second option, this to allow iWatch Syncer to create a new playlist, so that all newly added cd’s will be visible there… ( I don’t use this, because I have a Smart PlayList that shows me all cd’s I haven’t processed yet and newly added ones are also show here )

iwatchsyncer_main1

So without further a due here is iWatch Syncer for you to download ( feel free to send me any comments on the use )!

PS: Logo thanks to Dipfico!

[tags]iTunes, iPod, iWatchSyncer[/tags]

One Depeche Mode to rule them all

Guess who’s going on a tour again in 2009 ?
Guess who’s going to release a new album again in 2009 ?

Well yes indeed, it’s Depeche Mode !!!

Few days ago they announced their plans for 2009 and happy happy joy joy, we the fans are again treated with new goodies :).
DM will start a new tour next year, called ‘Tour of the universe’ and they also gave us their tour info. It seems that we in Belgium are given a ‘lesser’ treatment then the other countries…
Don’t get me wrong, they are coming, but they will be performing on TW Classic and that, for me, is not a real DM concert !! Of course they will be the headliners, but still it’s not an all evening filled with only Depeche.

So even though I’ll probably be buying tickets for TW Classic, I’ll still be going to a ‘full concert’ :).
And that has been arranged today !! I’m going to Dusseldorf – Germany on 4th of June 2009 !

Can’t wait to here the new record.

[Tags]Depeche Mode[/Tags]

Music discovery – 2008

Well, 2008 has actually just started if you ask me… but I think I can say with great pleasure I already found my music discoveries for 2008 😀 !

I actually like several music genres, but tend to always play 80ies music when I schedule my iPod playlist. Despite this habit, I’ll try to look around for new groups that come popping up here and there and I have to say thanks to social networking ( like Last.fm, Facebook and others ) I’m finding more things I like 🙂

But let’s cut to the chase and present the things I found.

  • The RGBs
  • A British pop-electro group that consists of 3 girls and one guy. I found this group through the Last.fm presents feature ! It was just an instant hit… the electro stuff they play during the songs gives me flashbacks to the New Wave songs I like.
    To get a good sample of what the RGBs are about check the songs available on their MySpace page.

  • The Knife
  • This discovery is actually made possible through an other group I like very much, Royksopp. There is one song “What else is there?” that features a very striking voice. Well I wanted to know who the girl singer was and behold she has here own group called The Knife. After this knowledge I searched the net and found their MySpace page containing several songs. I was hooked from the first sounds I heard :D. It’s actually very similar music to Royksopp.

Have fun checking out these groups.

[tags]The RGBS, The Knife[/tags]

File server – music server – HTPC

Now that I have my Lightroom workflow set up nicely and my iTunes library organised centrally… I’m getting aware of a new problem with my current hardware setup !!
Because of the use of DNG photo files and MP3 files that have a low compression, I’m using up disk space fast !! And due to the fact that I don’t want to loose these files, I’m also duplicating them onto another drive, so that drive is getting full also.
So it seems that I need some new hardware to accommodate this.

First of, let me give you a small overview of what I have available right now:

  • Laptop with 80gb ( 2 years old )
  • Desktop with 80gb ( many years old )
  • USB/FireWire external HD with 250gb
  • USB external HD with 500gb

What are my needs for the new system:

  • Less external devices ! ( those external HD’s are great but take up space )
  • Central networked system so I can get to my files from my laptop or other devices if needed

But given these features, there are several possible solutions. Let me sum up a few:

  • A networked external HD
  • A NAS, that will act as networked storage center
  • A low level server system ( linux kind ) with enough HD’s
  • A high level server system, guessing more like the Windows Home Server kind
  • A HTPC

So you see, to much options. Thus I have to define my needs in much more detail…
This brings me to following extra needs:

  • RAID would be a suburb option
  • Music streaming/serving

And that sums it up, so looking at these specs, I think a nice HTPC would do the trick. Because that way I can hook it up in the network and place it at my TV and Hifi set, making movie and music playback possible !
But I’m a n00b when it comes to building pc systems myself, so I’m a bit stuck on what hardware to choose.
Still, the first selection any HTPC buyer has to make is picking a case to put all the hardware in.

So I did some searching and let me present you the current choices:

Origen AE H6

htpc_shot5.jpg htpc_shot4.jpg

Zalman HD160

hd160_01_b0.jpg hd160_03_b0.jpg

Antec Fusion 430

fusion.jpg fusion-v2-b.jpg

Here again to much choice ;), but I have to start somewhere !
So any thoughts on what to pick and why, just leave a comment… now I’m of to my friend Google again to read some reviews 😀

[tags]HTPC, NAS, File Server, iTunes[/tags]

Love for the Tape Deck

Well I share a bit of the same love like my buddy Eskimodemus… the Tape Deck rulez !!

He posted a lot of link love for the old tapes, like this one and it seems more can be found here !!

So guess what, when I saw this in my local store, I couldn’t resist and bought the green version !!! More beautiful things from Addict are available on their site.

Some favourites…

   

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Currently listening to: RammsteinHilf mir ( Rosenrot )

Music integration – mp3

Well I like music a lot ! I listen to it during my work, while traveling to and from work and at home…
I’m using mp3 as my main source for music and have several tools both hardware and software to play them.

But here is something I don’t get, maybe I’m missing something or maybe I’ve just found a new feature that should be implemented as soon as possible !

You know that mp3 has several metadata fields available that describe the music file you are listening to. Well one of those fields is the ‘genre’ setting, here you give an indication of what kind of music it is ! Ranging from classic to punk.

On the other hand you have your hardware or software tool that plays your music in a specific manner. They all come equipped with some sort of equalizer to tweak this playing manner… most of them even have presets that are related to a kind of music setting ( like extra bass of loud, but also rock, spoken word etc ).

And what are we actually missing ?? Correction, what I can’t figure out is, the fact that nobody seems to have created some kind of auto interaction between the metadata info inside the mp3 file and the equalizer settings on the music player tool !!

Is it that hard to auto set the equalizer to Rock when the genre in the mp3 file is indicated as Rock ?

I don’t know… has anybody ever seen this ?

Update: Seems that there is a plugin available that does this for Winamp !! ( nothing for iTunes or iPod currently ) The Winamp plugin is called Auto EQ and is available here

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Currently listening to: Body CountBody Count ( Body Count )