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iDo

I think I’m rebelling against myself for my quote the other day when I realised my blog was no longer about “iPods, Tube Trains or the BBC”. And thus although I toyed with the idea of having a whole ‘iPod Week’ here on the iBlog, I decided that I didn’t have enough material to fill four or five separate posts – but probably also too much too squeeze into one.

Four pieces of software which are an absolute must to know about –

Soundtaxi

Quite why this piece of software hasn’t hit the headlines more is a mystery to me. Quite why Bill Gates and Steve Jobs aren’t screaming to get it taken down and bust them is an even bigger mystery – so grab it whilst you can.

It’s a program that converts AAC and WMA files to MP3. But get this … It gets around DRM encryption. Yes you read that right!

So if your mate has downloaded an album off of iTunes, you can use this program to get a copy off of him and play it on YOUR mp3 player (whether it be an iPod or not). Or supposing you have a Creative player which only plays WMA and MP3 – you can’t use the Apple iStore. WELL YOU CAN NOW!

Download the stuff off of the iTunes and then use this program to convert to play on any MP3 player – not just iPods.

Ourtunes

More sneaky way to get free music. This program is ideally suited if you run iTunes on an office network or a college/university campus.

It sniffs around your local subnet looking for other people who are running iTunes shared – and allows you to grab/copy the files in MP3 format for you to add to your own library! Normally, you can only play the song streamed over the network – not anymore! It now lets you take your own copy.

Videora

Want the easiest program to convert movie files to work on your iPod video? This is it.

Download it, it’s free and converts a shedload of formats into iPod Video size, and is dead easy to use.
 

The Filter

And probably the coolest of the whole bunch here (and it’s not illegal).

• Download and load in this plug in filter into iTunes. You create a new playlist and put a few songs that you like into it, and filter when then analyse these songs, compare it to a database on the internet, and then auto-populate that playlist with other songs in your library which it thinks you will like – and you’ll be amazed at how well it works.

Trust me – download it and use it, it’s most fantastic.

Is anybody as incredibly sad enough as me?

I currently have 3912 tracks in my iPod library. And I would like to say this:

Each and everyone of them has got the ‘Year’ metadata tag filled in.

That’s right – not content with rating every single one of the, and assigning a correct genre to everything, I spent all of January of this year and the best part of February chipping away day by day, looking up when songs were released and filling in the ‘year’ field.

This initially allowed me to create smart playlists along the lines of “Songs from 1992 with 3 stars and over” allowing me to re-live the youthful year that I was nineteen and twenty years old.

But I then took it a step furthuer – smart playlists weren’t good enough for me, so I made dedicated playlists – one of for every year going back to 1986 (The year that I bought my first ever 7″ single) and have dragged all my favourite songs into them. Is this incredibly sad, or incredibly cool? I can’t decide.

Anyway, have done all the years – now it’s time to start on the artwork. So that every track has a nice picture to go with it too…

Random stuff

Fimb pointed out to me this week, that the phrase ‘iPod help’ on Google.co.uk gets me (Geofftech) the number 2 hit (for UK) and the Number 1 hit (for web) – which would explain why at least 3 times a week I get emails from random strangers around the world asking me for technical help with their iPod. If you didn’t know, I’ve got a helpful iPod FAQ here.

Mitchell and Webb have done and released six new Apple adverts in the UK, also available to see on the Apple UK website – and some of them are different from the US ones.

And finally, my friend Roland would like a plug of his dripod.co.uk website – duly done.

Back to the wedding next time. “iDo” and all that …

20 responses to “iDo”

  1. jaq says:

    Have you got a last.fm account?

  2. I don’t have an iPod. But I have got a database of all my CDs with numerous bits of data. Is that more or less nerdy?

    Jag – In the grey box, over there

  3. Oh. It’s Dr. iPod. I thought it was Dripod, an anorak for iPods. How disappointing.

  4. Michael says:

    I will buy an ipod if Apple loses the law suit in France. Till then I will make do with my ld mp3 player.

  5. Mikey says:

    #1, Last.fm is the dogs bollocks!

    I got my hopes up so much with that SoundTaxi, then discovered you have to pay for it. Ourtunes rules, videora seemed to always f*ck up with the sound video syncing.

    The years thing is a bit crazy, though admirable, and I already have artwork for all 2000+ songs I have 😉

  6. Alan Perks says:

    ifallingasleep

  7. Paul says:

    I’ve actually made a start on putting years on all my songs too – We are both sad!

  8. geofftech says:

    before anyone else mentions it (and for anyone who hasn’t), i HAVE seen this, yes:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/6470095.stm

  9. geofftech says:

    Oh come on… Soundtaxi is $15. that’s like… seven quid mikey! even you can afford that. it’s worth it.

  10. David - Lightwater says:

    That thing with the years would be good for my pub quiz!

  11. Bernie says:

    Hey – glad you like The Filter – the version for Mac launched yesterday and we’ve had a great response so far.

    The software is also available for Series 60 and Windows.

  12. Mark Garth says:

    Soundtaxi is excellent, I don’t know why Apple etc haven’t complained but I glad! It almost makes iTunes worthwhile.

  13. Mikey says:

    Have been trying out The Filter (instead of finishing my 3000 word essay for tomorrow), its OK, probably better when I get used to it. Would prefer if it didn’t select music videos, as they don’t count in last.fm, also would be good if it could refresh and update the playlists. Maybe it does already and I haven’t noticed yet.

  14. Bernie says:

    Ah… the music video problem! We’re working on fixing this problem, sometimes it is down to iTunes not telling us enough about the media file itself. Usually if the file is in the music video area of iTunes then it shouldn’t get picked up. Are you using the PC or Macintosh version of the software?

    There is a way of creating auto refreshing playlists although it is not clearly labelled as such in the UI. Click on the blue iPod and have a fiddle about in there to create this kind of thing.

    There is a basic screencast online for anyone that wants to see it at:

    http://www.thefilter.com/Captivate/How%20to%20use%20The%20Filter.htm

  15. Big Al says:

    Geoff,

    How do you decide when songs were released. If a “Best Of” is released in 2007 but the tracks were released over the last couple of decades do you look up release dates for the individual tracks?

    Cheers,
    Al

  16. (William) Andrew says:

    While on the subject of audio utilities, can anyone recommend a program for taking streaming audio (eg RealPlayer .ram) and saving it to file for later playback (maybe as mp3)?

    I know you can “re-record” the stream using the mixer/loopback, but that involves recoding via analog AND adds any other concurrent Windows sound-effects to the recording!

  17. geofftech says:

    Bernie… you work for the people that make the filter? were you technorati’ing around to find entries about people writing about it??!

    Big Al… good question! but I do indeed look up the individual release dates of singles from ‘best of’ albums. and for this, i use http://www.everyhit.com

    so yes.. it’s taken a LONG time to do.

  18. Richard says:

    I have listed my music collection in a particularly anal spreadsheet that features catalogue numbers as well as year of release. This sort of thing is important if you’re into record collecting.

    There’s really no justification for my adding a running total to it other than to appease my love of stats.

  19. geofftech says:

    They need to bring out a version of iTunes/pod where there are custom fields which you can re-name to suit your own needs…

  20. kristen says:

    when i click on my ipod in itunes it brings me to the istore, how can I see what is on my ipod?
    It is a new ipod, i traded in my old one.

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