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Archive for the ‘Software’ Category

I hate it when they change iTunes around.

Take a look at this:

iTunes video close button

They’ve moved the “close video” button in iTunes. If my memory is working properly, they’ve expanded the video playback controls, but why did they need to move the button so that it is so hard to find? It took me a good two minutes to hunt it down and I only found it when I entered full-screen mode because everything was black and it was easier to see.


Written by Jeff

Wednesday, January 16, 2008 at 4:42 pm

Posted in Apple, iTunes, Software

Wikia’s search is a piece of crap

When I search for “iMac” on Wikia’s new search, the only Apple result on the first page is number 7.

I’m a big Stargate fan and earlier I was looking for an episode recap or description for “Misbegotten”, an early episode of Atlantis‘ season 3 and I got nothing useful from Wikia Search, though I got excellent results (the exact site I was looking for, in fact) from Google and Yahoo! Even Live Search or whatever from Microsoft gave me usable results.

I, apparently, am not the only one who’s not impressed:

In trying out the service, put Wikia Search through a history test and the engine did not score well. In response to a query for “Abraham Lincoln,” three of the top four search results provided links to elementary and high schools bearing Lincoln’s name. Amusingly, Google’s results for the same query led off with Wikipedia’s entry about the former President—absent in Wikia’s own results—followed by a string of biographical articles that one might expect. By contrast, such entries were buried deep within Wikia’s results. #

Maybe in two or three years it’ll be something worth checking out again.

Written by Jeff

Tuesday, January 8, 2008 at 1:46 am

Posted in Internet, Software

Tagged with , , ,

Mmm… Automator

I just love using Automator and iCal to schedule the sending of emails or uploading of files (using Transmit).

It’s really easy. Just build your Automator workflow and save it as a plugin. Choose iCal from the drop-down menu and save it. iCal will automatically open and make a new event with your saved iCal plugin as the alarm. Just set the time of the event and you’re done. Emails send when you’re not at the computer and, with Transmit’s Automator actions, files are uploaded to web servers automatically.

Say at 5:00 PM a deadline expired and you needed to update a website to reflect that expiration. Just download the file, make the necessary changes and save the file. Make a workflow and plug it in to iCal and set it to upload at 5:00. Voilà! You’ve updated the file at precisely 5:00 and you didn’t even have to be at the computer.

I love it.

Written by Jeff

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 at 2:04 am

Posted in Apple, Software

Tagged with , , , , ,

Wal-Mart DRM-free downloads: Not for me.

Wal-Mart is offering DRM-free music downloads in MP3 format for $.94. They claim that you can “download to any player” and that may be true but I tried to buy a track from Wal-Mart and guess what? It doesn’t work on a Mac.

When I go to the Wal-Mart catalog and click “Check out MP3 music” in their flash thingy I get the following:

Wal-Mart hates Macs

Everyone claims that Wal-Mart’s new Windows-only DRM-free MP3 download service is a competitor to iTunes but I don’t see how.


Wal-Mart also seems to not play well with any browser but Internet Explorer.

Wal-Mart hates Firefox

Firefox users can still use the “original” store which, apparently, isn’t as feature-rich as their new store. I don’t know what their new store looks like or what sort of features it has because when I tried to open it in Internet Explorer 7, it just showed a blank page with the error icon in the lower-left of the window with “Done” next to it.

Written by Jeff

Thursday, August 23, 2007 at 9:51 am

Posted in Browsers, iTunes, Music

Tagged with

Twicetab 1.3

Twicetab is a SIMBL plugin for Safari that allows you to create a new tab by double-clicking on the tab bar. The new version allows you to close tabs by option-clicking them or clicking them with your middle mouse button.

Twicetab will open either a blank tab when you double-click or it will duplicate the current tab.

I’ve not had any problems with it at all and I’ve used previous versions for a while now. The only complaint that I have is that it places a menu item in the Safari menu. It puts its preferences item there instead of putting it into Safari’s preference window like other plugins.

Twicetab is donationware.

Written by Jeff

Thursday, August 16, 2007 at 12:17 am

Posted in Browsers, Software

Tagged with

I love Audio Hijack Pro

I use it to schedule and record an audio stream from Chicago Public Radio so that I can hear Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Marketplace without having to actually be listening to it at the time.

Audio Hijack will, on a schedule, run an Applescript that plays an audio stream in iTunes. It will then add the resulting file to an iTunes playlist of my choice via a second Applescript file. It’s completely automated. Just set it and forget it.

The Applescripts are really, really simple.

The first, to play the audio stream:

tell application "iTunes"
play track "Chicago Public Radio" of playlist "Chicago Public Radio"
end tell

I could leave out the of playlist part, but I sometimes listen to the stream without Audio Hijack so I don’t want to sort through the entire music library to find it and searching is usually too logical for me to think of.

The second script that adds the result file to iTunes is a modification of one of the stock scripts that comes with Audio Hijack:

(* Audio Hijack Script *** (C) Copyright 2003-2004, Rogue Amoeba Software, LLC *)

on process(theArgs)
--Coerce args to be a list
if class of theArgs is not list then
set theArgs to {theArgs}
end if

--Into iTunes ye files shall go
tell application "iTunes"
repeat with theFile in theArgs
add theFile to playlist "AudioHijack Recordings"
end repeat
end tell

end process

All I did was add to playlist “AudioHijack Recordings”. It’s that simple.

Rogue Amoeba – Audio Hijack Pro: Record any audio on Mac OS X

Written by Jeff

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 at 10:23 pm

Posted in Audio, Internet, iTunes, Software

Tagged with

Newshutch Revisited

I wrote recently about Newshutch, an online RSS feed reader. I liked it, but wouldn’t use it because it wouldn’t import my OPML file. Well, I got the file to import last night and have been using it since.

The folder structure of my OPML file was maintained but the feeds that were “loose”, that is not in a folder, were just scattered throughout the other folders willy-nilly. I had to make a special folder for them and move them. That’s not really a big deal but it’s a little bothersome.

Now the only drawback I can find is that I can’t view an entire folder’s new items in one go. I have to move between each individual feed. I can live with that.

Newshutch is good stuff.

Related: Newshutch « JeffSay…

Written by Jeff

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 at 11:37 am

Posted in Internet, Software