Monday, January 22, 2007

MP3 Tag Fixing with MusicIP Mixer

I'm a stickler about my digital music tags (the meta data about a song). I've been known to meticulously scour my collection and manually fix bad identifying information. Slow and annoying!

Enter MusicIP Mixer, which promises to fix improperly-tagged files based on their Music DNS database of over 26 million songs. A quick analysis of my collection tells me that about 21% of my collection needs some sort of data tweaking. After a few minutes of churning through my songs (7 seconds per thousand tracks if you'd like to benchmark), I now have (more) pristine data, and to me that means more accurate cataloging, storage, and mixing. During the process, though, I received a couple of errors telling me that the application AACTagReader.exe (installed with the Mixer) had unexpectedly quit. Not sure what that's all about (need to look into that one). I figured out that two problems were causing the tag fixing to halt: read-only files and any file names that were very very long. After repairing all of the bad files, re-running tag fixing worked beautifully for the most part.

Some--not all--files with quote marks (such as '12" remix') in the ID3 track name were an issue as well. Although the tag fixer told me it had repaired these files, re-running tag fixing continued to find the same problem files. I may have to fix these files manually.

The paid version of the Mixer (only $20) takes the fixing one step further and will normalize artist names for you, so all those "Eliot Smith" and "Elliot Smith" tracks become "Elliott Smith."

Disclosure: I've been paid by MusicIP for a freelance project unrelated to the Mixer.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Her Short-Term Memory Reverie

My wife is forgetful. Yes, I have my own faults but this is my blog.

Yesterday she called me from home and asked if somehow I had taken her car keys. I checked...nope. We hadn't had time to get a spare key made for her newish car (a life saver in past situations such as these) so I had to leave work to bring her my key. Earlier in the morning she had taken Harry to school so the keys existed then. (?!)

When I got home I took about five minutes to look in the usual places: purse, clothes pockets, bathroom counters, all horizontal surfaces, dog bowls, laundry basket, teacups. Nothing.

The boys got home from school and started a search party. They looked in the semi-unusual places: the vehicle itself, trash, dog food bag, guinea pig cage, refrigerator. Nothing.

I was determined to find those keys last night: searched in the bed covers, under the car seats (amazing amount of electronics under today's butts), all vertical surfaces, the washer/dryer, unused Kroger bags, wrapped Christmas presents, plants, birds, rocks, things. Nothing.

Because I watch too much television, I was then convinced that an organized crime ring had been casing our house and had taken the keys with the intent to return later and steal both our cars and loot our house. Never mind they could have stolen the car when they first took the keys, but these are smart criminals. You never know what they're up to. One step ahead of us.

I battened down the hatches, turned on every conceivable alarm and light fixture, Harry placed a Gilligan-esque bucket trap over the door, we went to bed, and I woke up about every hour to check on our cars.

This morning I went to the garage fridge to fetch some milk for my coffee. Marci's car keys were nicely chilled in the fridge door where you usually put your beer. Seems when she was ready to leave the house yesterday, she stopped by the garage fridge to grab a water and by the time she reached the car three seconds later, had misplaced her keys.

Have any good stories of misplaced items?