How to tag mp3 files

I have a collection of mp3 files which I have named in the form "ARTIST – TITLE.mp3" and wanted to get them tagged properly.
My first plan was to write a Python script to do so, I tried two Python libraries: pytaglib and eyeD3. pytaglib didn’t install, on Windows you need a Visual Studio C++ compiler installed to make it work, which I don’t have currently. pytaglib was the reason why I tried to deal with ubuntu which confronted me with lots of other problems and finally didn’t buy me anything since pytaglib also didn’t install properly on ubuntu and ran into some other compile issues.
eyeD3 installed but apparenty can not handle modern mp3 tag formats.
I also tried MusicBrainz recommend in this article "How to tag all your audio files in the fastest possible way", but its user interface is weird and didn’t get me my files tagged. And I tried the linux id3tag command mentioned in the same article, again no success, looks like it does not support latest tag formats neither.
Then I bumped into Mp3tag for Windows. Brilliant. It made it a piece of cake to tag my mp3 files through a function ‘filename to tag’ where you can specify some sort of pattern for the filenames you have been using, %Artist% – %Title%.mp3 in my case, and a few clicks later all my files have been tagged properly.
I right away donated 5 bucks to the author of this freeware tool.

Just discovered: jsconsole.com

Just discovered jsconsole.com, an awesome way to quickly test out some javascript code.

So far I like jsFiddle to test out javascript code in the context of a html page and css styles, or cscript to run some javascript locally in a command prompt window.

jsconsole runs in your browser but works like a console, thus you just type or paste in javascript code and will see the output in the console. Like:

a = 1;
1
b = 3;
3
a + b
4
A nice feature is that you can paste in functions as well and execute those:
function addit(v1,v2) { 
  return v1+v2; 
}
addit(a,b);
4
A much nicer feature is that you can load any web page to make it available as a document in your javascript context:
:load www.google.com

Loading url into DOM…

DOM load complete

You can also use that “:load” command to load any external scripts, or a javascript framework like jquery:

:load http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/2.1.0/jquery.min.js

Loading script…

Loaded http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/2.1.0/jquery.min.js

Now we have the google page available as a document and jquery as a library we can easily find out ( programmatically ) the text of the two buttons on that page:

$("input").each( function() {if ($(this).attr("type") == "submit") { console.log($(this).attr("value")); }});

"Google Search"

"I’m Feeling Lucky"

Isn’t hat just … wow !?

PimpGoogleBookmarks.js

My latest Greasemonkey / jQuery script PimpGoogleBookmarks.js I wrote to – as the name of that script already says it – pimp Google Bookmarks.

One thing I hate about the Google Bookmarks Screen is the long list of tags on the left ( yep, I do have many tags ) which makes the entire document very long ( high, to be precise ).
My little GM script adjusts the height of the list of tags on the left and the list of search results on the right to my screen size and gives both areas a scroll bar, thus I can scroll down the tags list or the list of search results separately.

In addition it is possible to search for a combination of tags by doing a double-click on those.

Sweet, isn’t it ? Greasemonkey and jQuery are two powerful friends when it comes to tweak web pages to just work a bit better and become more convenient to use.

How to improve readability of some tag soup with Editplus

Today I discovered a simple trick to make very long lines of ( XML or HTML ) tags more readable using Editplus.

Here we go:

Note that the “Regular expression” feature needs to be turned on for this to work. This will add a newline to each tag closing bracket and thus convert long lines of tag soup into multiple lines where each tag has its own line of text.

I tried to achieve the same with Notepad++ but failed so far.

Searching a useful video converter for mpg to divx conversion …

Over the weekend I tried several video converter alternatives to convert videos in mpg format as recorded with my TerraTec Home Cinema ( allowing me to receive DVB-T TV on my PC )  to a divx format my Panasonic DVD and Harddrive Recorder DMR-EX79 is able to read. So far I have evaluated the following alternatives:

Software Worked ? Comments Prize
OJOsoft Total Video Converter

Yes

Very easy to use !

$ 26.95

Hamster Free Video Converter

No

Output was not readable by my Panasonic DMR-EX79, nor Windows Media Player

free

DivX Plus for Windows

No

Conversion hung up at 54 %, no further progress. Besides this tool comes with too many other features I probably never need.

€ 19.03

Dr. DivX 2.1 Beta 4

  That’s basically DivX Plus under a different cover.  
Advanced X Video Converter

No

Quality too poor when checking it out with VLC Media Player. Windows Media Player only played sound.

€ 22.92

Any Video Converter

No

Didn’t really seem to support DivX format.

free

4Free Video Converter

No

Doesn’t run properly under Windows Vista ( reports crashes during startup ). Allows to create AVI DivX file but it is not readable by my Panasonic DMR-EX79

free

Format Factory

Yes

Quiet easy to use. Produced good quality AVI DivX File ( 43 min yield 0.9 GByte in 11 minutes ). Plays fine with Windows Media Player and my Panasonic DMR-EX79. On the latter sometimes jerky, but this probably is a problem either with the player or my USB stick ( too slow ? ).

free

My favorites for week 17, 2011

Big GrinSomething to laugh: my favorite comic strip of the weekabout redundancy

One road to simplification leads through reducing redundancy. Redundant solutions or processes lead to confusion, expensive overhead and loss of productivity. Thus, it is important to not introduce more redundancy in the attempt to reduce it or to “simplify”. Simplification  should mean throwing things away instead of adding more. Nicely illustrated in this Dilbert comic strip !

NerdSomething to watch: my favorite video clip of the weekabout the smallest computer in the world

How small can you make a computer ? Well, this version, nicely presented by John, has a keyboard with just one key. John show us how to use it in this funny video “THE FUTURE TECHNOLOGY!”.

  Something to enjoy: my favorite photo  on flickr under a Common Creative licenseabout Egypt

Egypt
"Egypt" by NASA Goddard Photo and Video.

This impressive photo from NASA shows Egypt in spring, where you can see the green Nile delta and vegetation zone following the river throughout the desert.  The photo was taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer aboard the Terra satellite on April 11th. Where the Nile begins to broaden and form the delta, the city of Cairo can be seen as a gray oval smudge.

Cool Something to discover: my favorite bookmark of the weekabout a nice little time saver for Lotus Notes
Tired of typing the same thing again and again ? “ has been a question I recently asked in my blog when I introduced a little gadget I developed using AutoIt: TypeBot, a little tool letting you define phrases to be typed into windows with a particular title through a simple single click on that phrase. Meanwhile version 2 became available allowing you to add, change and delete your own phrases through the GUI, allowing to handle multiple INI-files and also coming with an executable so that you can use the tool without having to install AutoIt.
Alan Lepofsky must have had a similar thought when he developed the Paste Information Application,  a little Lotus Notes database and tool to avoid re-typing the same things again and again, allowing you to paste pre-defined bits of information that you reuse often into Lotus Notes documents and mails with two simple clicks ( one to select that bit from a listbox, one to click OK ). In his blog he nicely describes the application and how to install it, and provides links to download the needed Lotus Notes database.
I installed it on my Lotus Notes 8.5.1 client and it works like a charm.

Tired of typing the same thing again and again ?

Me too. If you find yourself re-typing the same thing again and again you are either doing something wrong or you are victim of a dump process, system or user interface. Part of working smarter to me is less typing.

I have been looking for a solution to auto-type particular strings for me I again and again need to input into some applications. Since a while I am using a tumblr blog to quickly collect photos, quotes, videos and links. Their gadget ( bookmarklet ) to post from a firefox or chrome browser works nicely more or less but requires me to type in my tags, and I found myself using always similar lengthy combination of tags, like e.g. “flickr, photo, bird, animal”.

My search for a solution was not successful, since I have very special requirements. I wanted it to work on any window on my Windows desktop and not only in a particular browser ( I tried some browser autotype gadget but it for instance ran into the problem to properly access the special type of dialog opened by this tumblr bookmarklet I am using ). I didn’t want a tool to replace short acronyms with longer strings like many do it  since I am too lazy to remember all those acronyms. I wanted the typing to be initiated with a single click and I wanted to organize to-be-typed items by categories, so that I quickly can find them in a GUI.

I thought AutoIt must be the perfect solution to implement this, a free gadget to automate tasks on a Windows desktop which however requires programming skill to make real use of it. It is very powerful, allows to develop GUIs and has a rich set of functions to handle arrays, ini-files, SQLite databases, Excel spreadsheets and you name it.

Thus I came up with a little tool I called TypeBot, which can be downloaded from here. The package contains the script code which can be run when having AutoIt installed, and an executable which should work without having AutoIt installed,

To-be-auto-typed entries can be specified in an ini-file for now ( TypeBot.ini ), see my example here, also caontained in that package:

   1: [Mail]
   2:     Count=2
   3:     WinTitle=New Message - IBM Lotus Notes
   4:     Phrase1=With best regards ...
   5:     Phrase2=Mit freundlichen Grüssen ... 
   6: [Tumblr]
   7:     WinTitle=Auf Tumblr posten
   8:     Count=3
   9:     Phrase1=flickr, photo, bird, animal            
  10:     Phrase2=flickr, photo, animal
  11:     Phrase3=flickr, photo, insect

Sections are defined through words in square brackets, for each section a proper count of entries has to be specified, entries for auto-typing are defined by using keywords “Phrase1”, “Phrase2” and so on. In addition a “WinTitle” has to be defined describing the window on your Windows desktop to which the auto-typing will be sent. Specifying a sub-string of the window title is sufficient. In this example here for instance the program checks for a window with title “Auf Tumblr posten” ( “Post on Tumblr” in German ) before typing in one of the strings below when clicked on in the GUI.

Here is how the program looks like when launched:

In order to auto-type an item simply click it. The program will find the desired target window and type in the text. If that window does not exist nothing happens.

A text editor can be used to create and update that ini-file, but meanwhile ( with version 2 of this tool ) it is also possible through the GUI to add, change or delete sections and phrases, also to clone an entire section, to save and open INI-files.

Cloning of phrases is planned as another new feature for version 2.1 coming soon.