iTunes 9: “Genre-Artist-Album” panes restored

Friday 2009-09-11

iTunes 9 with 3 panesWhat I loved about iTunes is the three pane “Genre-Artist-Album” on top of my music list. It allowed me to quickly go through my music and find that great Anouk album I was looking for. After installing iTunes 9, it was gone. And I was sad. But I found a way to get it back.

Settings to get the panes back

Look at this screenshot (sorry, it’s in Dutch). In iTunes, select “View”, “Show Column Browser”. Now, put it on top by selecting “View”, “Column Browser”, “Top”. Voila, your trusted browser is at the top. You may need to add “Genre” and “Album” there, but you’ve already seen the options for that now, have you? ūüėČ

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Rip and Convert FLAC, M4A, MP3, AAC files

Saturday 2009-02-14

Max Audio TranscoderI recently found an old harddisk which used to be in one of my old PC’s. I discovered some FLAC files on there, which were rips of old CD’s I used to have. iTunes is not too happy with importing them into my library, and the original CD’s are in a box in a deep dark corner of my garage.

I searched for a converter and found this wonderful converter which can just about convert any audio format out there.¬†It’s called “Max”, it’s Open Source, free to use, and available as bundled OSX application. Brilliant! It does have a bunch of options, but as long as you go for the “MP4 Audio” output format, high quiality, 256 bits and VBR, you can’t go wrong.

According to their website “Max can generate audio in over 20 compressed and uncompressed formats including MP3, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, AAC, Apple Lossless, Monkey’s Audio, WavPack, Speex, AIFF, and WAVE”.

Happy transcoding!


DLNA on OSX, done right

Saturday 2009-01-31

Sony PS3 LogoMy wife bought me a playstation 3 last year, and I’ve enjoyed many hours of gaming on it, finishing Tomb Raider underworld, and now making decent progress in Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction.

DLNA logo

I was a bit sceptical about the DLNA capabilities of the PS3, because I read a lot of bad news on this fairly new¬† “Interoperability Guidelines” concept. It sounded like a lot of trouble to go through to simply watch the photos and home videos on a TV. For weeks, I was not able to find a single site telling me how to install a DLNA server on my Mac, or where to find a decent one.

Altgough they’re hard to find, there are a few OSX DLNA servers out there. One of them is actually very good. Here’s what I found:

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We are Free! Free, I tell you!

Wednesday 2009-01-07

iTunes iconRegular readers know that I’ve been ranting about the way ¬†the music and movie industry are selling us crippled content, which actually feels like punishing you for honestly buying your digital content.¬†Coincidentally, a month after that rant, Steve wrote a mail to the music industry in which he stated that DRM clearly was not working, and we needed to approach things differently.

A few months later, Apple and EMI actually started a new service in iTunes called iTunes plus, selling 256kbps DRM-free AAC files. If you’ve seen the latest Macworld 2009 Keynote Address¬†by¬†Philip (Phil) Schiller, you will have noticed that Apple hasn’t been sitting still. At the end of this quarter, all songs in the iTunes store will be available as DRM-free iTunes plus version. And there’s an easy button in iTunes which let’s you upgrade all your DRM-ed music automatically (payed, ofcourse). The link is in the iTunes Quick Links box, top right. I tried it, works fine.

Upgrade to iTunes Plus

Finally, your music will travel with you and play anywhere, just like those trusty CD’s did. Even better: with your iPhone you’re now able to buy music anywhere you are, because Apple has added 3G to the iTunes store on the iPhone.


Real guitar game: Guitar Wizzard

Thursday 2008-01-10

No, I’m not a guitar player, but I noticed this cool post on TUAW where the “Guitar Hero” game has been taken a notch up. TUAW reports that the guys at http://www.musicwizard.com have built “Guitar Wizzard”, a game with which you can learn to play popular songs on a real guitar. From what I can see in the video, this looks way less frustrating than doing the same excersizes over and over to learn to play the guitar.

Okay, you might not turn in to Mark Knopfler in a week, but isn’t it a much better feeling to hold a real guitar in your hand, in stead of that plasticky, toy-like mini quitar with the bright colored buttons? And the price is about right for a game including hardware aswell.


Headphone search

Thursday 2007-11-01

Last week I’ve been complaining about the capped volume on the iPod nano and the inability to circumvent it. At the end of that very week, the iPod earbuds solved the problem for me by breaking down. The rubber rings started comming off, and the right speaker produced only 10% of the sound the left speaker was producing.

I decided that this was enough reason to go looking for a nice set of in-ear headphones (earbuds) which would sound nice, and also improve on produced volume.

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Monokai

Sunday 2007-01-14

I just checked out the new Dutch CC CD/DVD released under the Creative Commons license. While I was there I found a great piece of music done by Monokai. It’s kind of old C64 game like music, you like it or hate it. I went to check out Monokai’s website and I’ve spent a good 30 minutes playing with it.

The website is filled with music, photo’s and electronic games, and is fun to play with. Go check it out! Nice quality!