Friday, 21 December 2007

Consolidate and de-dupe iTunes Libraries

I have been researching the movement and de-duping of iTunes Libraries for a client as they have two separate libraries on two machines in different houses. They first wanted them consolidated and then de-duped with the ultimate aim of choosing one as a master and then synchronising them over the internet thereafter.

I spent hours spinning my wheels about the best way to consolidate them without loosing ratings etc and finally I found this marvellously clear piece by Chris Breen.

If you then layer into the mix the excellent Dupin from Doug over at then you have a pretty neat solution.

Hurrah! Job done.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Macbook Pro keyboard freeze fix

Apple has finally posted a fix for the keyboard freeze issue that was affecting some Macbook Pro's (and that made the whole Mac experience look pretty remarkably un-slick). It is available from Software Update or here.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Windows Mobile - owned

That might wipe the smile off their smug faces:iPhone market share passes all Windows Mobile devices

Reduce PDF File sizes

I am a huge fan of the pdf integration in Mac OS X but it does tend to churn out some huge files if you have many images in the document (which you might well have if you have been using Pages because putting images in there is so dang easy!).

But thanks to the wonderful John Gruber referencing this tip by Jerry Stratton (from all the way back in early '06) you can solve the sledgehammer compression of the pre-set reduce file size filter by making a new one of your own.

Way to go, Jerry! (Now why hadn't I ever heard about that before from Apple?)

Sunday, 16 December 2007


So I had to watch 'Strictly' with my mother-in-law who was expounding on the virtues of Gethin when I realised that he has surely been moonlighting as Sylar in Heroes. Just a thought.

Happy mock Christmas to anyone who is having a preview Christmas with their spouse's family (or their own) prior to swapping families for Dec 25.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

iPhone Ringtones for the UK

With complete gratitude to draperm25 in this thread on I reprint below some simple instructions for putting custom ringtones onto your iPhone without the need for iToner or other software.

pick a song you want to have as a ringtone
select the part you want to use and cut it to size between 30 -39secs long using Audacity (Thats what i use), and have it no longer than 39seconds
once you have picked which section and the correct length,
export it as MP3
then drag the MP3 file into you MUSIC list on iTunes
then right click on the MP3 in iTunes
and click on "Convert Selection to AAC
once that has converted it, you will have the 2 file 1 MP3 and 1 AAC
delete the MP3 file which leaves you with the AAC file
Right click on the AAC file and click COPY
go back to your music folder and perhaps setup a folder in the called Ringtones
and PASTE the AAC file into the RINGTONES folder
once the file is there, it should say at after the file name .m4a
then you change this to m4r and will ask you do you want to change the extension of the file which you click YES
then once its changed you just Double click on the song and it will automaticaly go into your ringtones section in iTunes

Canon 50mm f/1.4

So previously I have been mature enough to understand that my desire to buy new camera kit came from my tech & gadget inclinations rather than any real belief that the Canon 5D would actually make a huge difference to the quality of my photos. But then the guys over at Mac Break Weekly kept going on about the Canon 50mm f/1.4 (or f/1.2 if you can stomach the 500% increase in cost) and what a wonderful lens it is.

So I bought it yesterday and I have to say that it has single-handedly improved my photography. The fact that there is no zoom aspect means you just concentrate on composition by moving around, the low-light ability means that you don't have to rock a Speedlight on top (which is a piece of kit I still can't get good results out of) and being f/1.4 it produces some wonderful depth of field, and indeed bokeh (check it out on wikipedia as I can't explain it nearly as well as they can).

Truly a revelation and great fun. I urge any interested photography fans to wind one onto their DSLR soon.

In the beginning

... there wasn't a pithy political insight or a world in 7 days. But I will throw a photo up here or two. And let the game begin slowly. 

Let me know your thoughts. Cheers.