This week I finally dove headfirst into Apple’s iTunes Match. My collection consists of just over 2800 songs; my pre-fire collection of CDs ripped at 128k (thank you, River Road VFD, for rescuing the computer), 256k VBRs from much of my wife’s CD collection, a handful of Napster stow-aways (yar!), a few songs traded with friends, and over $600 of iTunes purchases.
I turned on iTunes match at let it run for a few hours. Over 1800 of my songs matched! I still mostly had the lower bitrate or DRM-laden versions. How to resolve the issue? Delete the local copies.
Three more iCloud Statuses presented other challenges:
Error: Convert the offending track to MP3.
Ineligible: Either a music video, or burn to audio CD and re-rip.
Duplicate: iTunes Match does not rely on the ID3 tags to find duplicates, which has been a great help for reducing duplicates from songs being mis-labeled. Duplicates are relatively easy to resolve once you find the dupe: just delete one.
The maddening realization for me was how often I had purchased the same song twice from iTunes (at least a dozen times). This may be the biggest advantage to iTunes Match: I always have my full music collection on my iPhone, so I know immediately if I already own the song.
This afternoon I deactivated1 my Delicious account. I feel the need to extract myself from websites that no longer serve a purpose to me. What Delicious once gave me I now use a combination of Xmarks and Instapaper for.
For some time I have been mulling over a reduction in my web footprint. Forget privacy concerns—this is about maintaining dozens of accounts across as many living, evolving web services. I worry about the security implications of so many different logins and passwords, almost as much as the security implications of unifying them all into one account.
There are a lot of reasons to leave a service, however. Eventually the pressure to turn an advertising profit will ruin Twitter. I have even contemplated extracting myself from the Google search-social-advertising-a-verse. This will likely happen when they finally force the new Gmail interface—which is garbage—on me.
1: “To deactivate your account, head to your Settings and click the “deactivate account” link in the “TOOLS” list on the right side of the page.” - Delicious Help
This is well timed, as I have lost the ability to share Google Reader articles.
The setup process was not the most straight-forward, but the instructions are clear and offer very helpful links throughout. The only obstacle I encountered was the need to enable Google Talk/Chat.
I have been using one flavor or another of PHPMyAdmin for almost the duration of the project. The app has become ubiquitous; every web host that I have used in the past seven years has had it as part of their control panel. I have installed it myself maybe a dozen times.
Late last year I moved everything from LunarPages to FatCow; I did not feel like paying for two years of hosting and FatCow was a little cheaper. For whatever reason, FatCow’s PHPMyAdmin would not import a 500kb SQL file. I hated the idea of installing my own version of PHPMyAdmin because
- you either need to keep up with security updates or remove the installation and
- it was already installed by my host!
So I looked at two alternatives. The first was SQL Buddy and I ran into similar issues uploading the file. I was starting to wonder if there was something wrong with the FatCow MySQL server, or maybe Comcast.
I finally settled on Adminer. Worked fine.
I have resurrected the blog portion of hraefn.net and converted to TextPattern. I like it so far; some teething pains tonight as I migrated from my local machine.
A few things are not working correctly, but it was important for me to get the site up and mostly functioning. I think a broken public website can be a powerful motivational tool…