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Showing posts from December, 2009

Removing dead tracks from iTunes

On occasion, for one reason or another, iTunes seems to have a link to a file that no longer exists. Your options are then to either hunt for the file manually, one by one, or manually hunt and delete all the dead ones. There is a handy exclamation point icon that will tell you which are broken, but there is no way to filter for these. Fortunately, thanks to a bit of logical jiggery pokery, you can use Smart Playlists and a cunning quirk of iTunes to do it for you. Herein lies a step-by-step guide to finding all those annoying broken links. Step 1 Create a new Smart Playlist with a single Artist Does Not Contains rule. Put some garbage into the search field so it will return every artist. Call this playlist "All Music". Step 2 Create a normal playlist called "Working Music". Step 3 Create a Smart Playlist with 2 rules. These are: Playlist - is - All Music Playlist - is not - Working Music

iTunes Dupe Wrangling

Using a music management program like iTunes can be very useful when keeping a large collection in order. It can rename files, keep them organised in a decent directory structure and let you browse and edit the tags with ease. Perfect, as long as the songs you import are all properly tagged and have no duplicates. If anything is wrong, though, it can be a royal pain in the posterior. When creating an iTunes library out of an existing music collection, it is often the case that an existing set of MP3s has to be imported into an existing iTunes library. In this case, many terrible things can happen, including duplicates and MP3s with subtly different (and sometimes incorrect) tags. Enter Dupin , from Doug's AppleScripts . Dupin is a handy iTunes duplicate finder and remover. This is not a free tool, but if you're dealing with several thousand MP3s and don't fancy the agony of the iTunes dedupe tool, it's well worth a tenner. The key to ef

Pallas at the Monty Hall

Last night I went to see a classic prog rock band at my local Classic Rock Society venue, the Montgomery Hall in Wath-on-Dearne. I went to see Pallas there a couple of years ago, and they put on an amazing live show. They might not have the lightshow, the arena-sized crowds or the support of big labels, but they have what matters; enthusiasm, talent and showmanship. Looking around the room and seeing maybe 110 people, averaging about 45 years old, it struck me that it is a good job the CRS exists. Somebody needs to be promoting gigs for great bands like Pallas, Magenta and Threshold, even if only to a handful of faithful followers in Wath. Old rockers never die, and new rockers are coming along all the time. Cheers, CRS, for letting us see them!

Bad code is good?

I has been recently pointed out to me, after a rant on the state of a particular codebase, that I actually love terrible code. The only time I sound truly enthusiastic about my job is when describing just how badly factored, bug-ridden and generally god-awful a piece of code is, and just what I'm going to do about it. The only time I sound happy with my job is just after refactoring, reworking, rewriting and thoroughly debugging said code, and I have an air of triumph about me. So, is bad code, in fact, the only thing that makes my job even remotely bearable? Discuss.