Archive for January, 2012

Something Interesting

Okay… this may not likely be new to many, but it’s something I think is interesting… Years ago, when iTunes started, every song was (and still is) an AAC file when you purchase through them. Any CD that is imported is given the option for AAC or MP3 format. Before cable connectors made it easier to just hook up the iPod to the car stereo, we might have to burn the playlist to a CD if we wanted to have it in the car. Then came the genius decision to make car stereos MP3 compatible. Make  a playlist, then burn that many more songs to the CD instead of just the 70 minutes (approx.) of music you could otherwise get.

Slight problem.

Remember, songs through iTunes are AAC. AAC ≠ MP3. Plus, early songs (prior to early 2009) were DRM encrypted, which would require some workarounds if you wanted to get an MP3 version (like burning the offending songs to make an audio CD, then reimporting the audio CD… tedious, but it would work).

At some point, though, since moving to non-DRM files, Apple has snuck in a handy feature that I don’t think was there earlier, and I’m almost embarrassed to say I only discovered it in the last month or so (I don’t live in iTunes – do some downloading, sync some tracks, but I haven’t really explored it much beyond that since about 2005, when I first began using the service.). See opening statement above.

They have added the ability to create an MP3 version of your iTunes purchased AAC tracks. Assuming a recent version of iTunes 10 (and coming from a Mac, not sure how the menu may shift for a PC), select the track, then go to “Advanced” –> “Create MP3 Version” and you’re done.

The catch… Two actually. First, it could eat up your storage space, depending on how many files you are converting (and cluttering up your library with duplicate titles). Second, and mostly of importance to us older users, you have to “upgrade” your previous purchases to the DRM-free version (which, again, means new downloads filling the hard drive), at, something like $0.30 per track (which can start getting pricey, depending on how much music you may had had before the wall came down).

But for the newer stuff, hey… if you want to make a burn an MP3 playlist to a CD for use in the car (or other player that you can’t hook an iPod to), there you go. If you knew about it before, good for you. If you didn’t, there you go.

Leave a comment

A temporary victory…

Something I missed in most of my time away from the internet this weekend, the Blackout and boycott seemed to have struck a chord.

By the time the week was over, dozens of lawmakers had abandoned the two bills or voiced opposition, and a cloture vote on PIPA scheduled for this Tuesday in the Senate was delayed as lawmakers try to find a compromise. In the House, Representative Lamar Smith, the lead SOPA sponsor and Texas Republican, killed his bill.

In the grand scheme, I see this as indicative of two things: That (1) a unified stand by a large enough representation of the people, for the people, is still a way to get the attention of the power brokers that hope to maintain their elected status, and that (2) there is going to come another day in the future where other similar bills may also be brought up, or it could be snuck into subclauses of  subclauses for other legislation, and the public may not know about it until too late.

Cynical, I know, but at least we have a victory for today, and a free-access internet for a little while longer.

Leave a comment

Happy Chinese New Year…

For those that may have missed it, we are now in the Year of the Dragon (by the Chinese calendar). If you are inclined that way, or even remotely interested, here’s a picture I am borrowing from Neil Gaiman’s site to celebrate.

For those not inclined… just remember the wise words of a bumper sticker I once saw: “Be kind to dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.”

Leave a comment

Rioting, in a Suit… on MVM

I went through a stage around the turn of the century (it’s weird to put it that way, but… well, it was the late 90’s)… Swing was finding it’s way back into the mainstream on the coattails of Ska, and one of the “newer” bands that managed to get a lot of radio play at the time was this single, by the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, on what was the lead track from a greatest hits album (since they had actually been producing albums for most of the decade before finally landing national airplay). Sadly, despite its awesomeness, this was the only full album of theirs that I had purchased. They are still a working band, and still putting out albums, and I would encourage you to check them out. I’ve actually been thinking about getting some more stuff lately…

Leave a comment

A Quiet Day…

Spent mostly doing odds and ends around the house, enjoying some disconnected time.

Then I popped on, and checked my usual sites, as well as a pop over to ESPN to check scores and prospects for the Super Bowl, only to notice a little blurb on the side. Joe Paterno died today.

I can’t say that I’ve ever really been a Penn State fan – I’ve never really been that into the scheme of understanding how the college conferences and rankings have been built – but the Sandusky fiasco aside, Penn State football is the house the Paterno built. It would have been nice for him to go out in a better way.

So, what have you been up to today?

Leave a comment

Happy 1/21/12…

Out and about, running some errands and working around the house, but just realized what today is… 1/21/12… Seem’s like a good day to pull out the album and crank it up. And we get twelve times to do that this year… Right. That is all…

Leave a comment

On Dealing With Rejection

Or, why I’m not all that heartbroken about not getting in…

That’s right. The first response is in from the seven schools, and it was a rejection. From the University of Edinburgh. And you know what? I don’t really mind. Yes, of course, it’s disappointing. Of the two schools in Scotland I applied to, I was really interested in Edinburgh for the historical/cultural draw and opportunities, but I had a funny feeling when I submitted the application. When I reviewed the faculty pages, I didn’t really see anyone that appeared to be a very good “click” or fit with research interests – some close, but that proximity could have been questionable. There actually wasn’t anything extremely special about the program, other than the fact that it was Edinburgh, that was a huge draw.

And it would also have been the most expensive to attend, in raw tuition.

So, disappointed? Yes. End of the world? Not hardly.

Right, back to the cards…

Leave a comment