Saturday, September 24, 2005

Jobby Job

Things have been hectic since I actually got me employment. 1 week down: so far, so good. Still getting the hang of things, learning, but I think it'll work out.

Working on some stuff on the back end (getting web hosting/domain name/maybe moving to WordPress), so probably infrequent updates for a bit.

Oh, the new Harvey Danger album is good.

Friday, September 09, 2005

iTunes v5.0 Redux

I ended up spending a few hours yesterday cleaning up my iTunes library. Basically, when I first starting using iTunes (a couple of years ago), I didn't want it to control which songs it would sync to my iPod. I wanted control over that.

A couple of years pass and now my two libraries (the iPod and iTunes) are out of sync. When you manually update, iTunes doesn't bring play counts and last played data back from the iPod, so you lose some of the cool smart playlist abilities. It's bugged me for a while, almost to the point of writing a Perl script to update the data myself each time the iPod sync'd.

Instead, I figured I'd just spend some time merging my libraries. I started with CopyPod, which lets you merge your iPod library (play counts, ratings, etc.) back into iTunes. This, however, left me with an entire duplicate library. Thankfully, I could just sort by date added. Boom, dumped all the duplicates, leaving myself with a merged library.

How to control what songs sync to my iPod? I created a playlist called iPod Songs. This playlist contains all of the songs I want sync'd out to my iPod. Now, if I want to make a smart playlist that will work on my iPod, I just make sure it includes a criteria that the song exists on the iPod Songs playlist. Surprisingly, it works really well.

Finally, I figured I'd add album art in to iTunes. Found this nice app that will do it automagically by going out to Amazon and downloading the album art. It made a few mistakes, but 30 minutes of work cleaned that up.

So now I've got a single library, with both my normal iPod and my iPod Shuffle updating play counts. Now I can start adding some older CDs in and building out one big library, which was the plan all along.

The point: iTunes made all of this a pain, but once you get things working sort of the way iTunes likes it, it's a really good application. I'm a much bigger fan of the new interface and some of the abilities it has (playlist folders, particularly).

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

iTunes 5.0

iTunes 5.0 is out. It's got a slightly new interface, which I like.

It's packaged with Bonjour (for the PC). Apple never asked if I wanted this installed or running. They just install it and launch it without asking. That's not very nice. I don't think this was the case in older versions of iTunes, but I could be crazy.

It's still missing the big feature I need -- the ability to sync ratings and play counts back to the library from the iPod when using manual sync. It astounds me that it still doesn't have this. Bleh.

Otherwise, seems like a pretty minor upgrade. Not sure why it gets to be called 5.0. This is really like 4.95.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Music I've Been Digging

Since I've become jobless (hopefully ending soon), I've been listening to a ton more music. And spending a lot more money on music, which is counterintuitive, but whatever, I get bored.

So, here's some cool songs I've been listening to. This way you can be assured I'm a wannabe indie hipster minus any bone in my body being hip.

stellastarr* - Sweet Troubled Soul
It's the first single off stellastarr*'s (yes, that looks awfully weird) second album. It rocks. Their first album is one of my favorite albums of recent years and they rock live, so it's almost a given I'd like this song. But then it kicks so much more ass. All hard driving, while still showing the new wave-y influences. Awesome.

The New Pornographers - Sing Me Spanish Techno
One of the tracks of Carl Newman's newest pop masterpiece. It's just infectious. Between Carl Newman and Adam Schlesinger/Chris Collingwood, it's a wonderful time to be a fan of the pop music. Speaking of Fountains of Wayne ...

Fountains of Wayne - I'll Do the Driving
It's an older song that's gotten it's first release on the recent 2 CD set. It's pure FoW power pop with a huge hook, jangly guitars, and clever lyrics. I dig.

Hall & Oates - She's Gone
I'm so not even kidding. Saw a really good cover band at the Burren in Davis Sq. a couple of weeks back and they covered this, and I remembered how much I loved the Oates, so I grabbed the song from iTunes. Honestly, is it possible to not love this song? Really, is it possible?

The Decemberists - The Engine Driver
I don't think there's a song on the new Decemberists' album that's as good as 90% of the stuff off of "Castaways and Cutouts", but this is the closest, I think.

Ambulance, LTD - Stay Where You Are
It's a couple of years old now, but this song ages well. Soooo good.

Aaron Perrino - Every Year
I went and saw Aaron Perrino play a solo show a couple of months back and his solo version of his old band's "Every Year" was just plain awesome. His new band plays some shows at the start of September and I won't miss them.

I haven't heard any hip hop in the past few weeks that has blown my mind. I'm not a huge Kanye West fan, so I'm thinking the next time I hear a track that catches my ear it'll probably be off of the DJ DangerMouse/MF Doom/Adult Swim collaboration.

stellastarr* rocks my ass

Awesome NY band stellastarr* rocked my ass last night at the Middle East in Cambridge. I'm a little disappointed they didn't play my favorite track ("Somewhere Across Forever"), but I'll be damned if they don't put on the best live show of pretty much any band I've seen.

They rock and you should go see them and buy their CDs.

Me, I'm heading to bed slightly deaf but very happy. In the meantime, check out some cool pictures from flickr.

Oh, and here's my future wife for good measure:

(Photo from flickr)