Adium 1.4 Will Have Twitter Support


Written on March 8, 2009 – 3:16 pm | by Dan

I’ve been thinking of weening myself off the Twitter, but Adium’s upcoming implementation looks ideal.

Fear not! Using Matt Gemmell’s MGTwitterEngine, a library used to communicate with the Twitter API, I’ve managed to make what I consider to be a very good Twitter client into Adium. Your friends (people you follow) are displayed in a group on the Contact List: adding or removing will follow or unfollow them, and chatting with them will send (or receive) direct messages. Note that you can only send a direct message to someone who follows you, so it might be a one-way conversation.

Read more about it on the Adium blog, including a screenshot of Adium treating Twitter basically like group chat.

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Mixing for MP3 Is Stupid


Written on March 7, 2009 – 10:04 am | by Dan

In my opinion.

Once in a while I’ll read something about mixing engineers and how they create different mixes for CDs and digital music services. The arguments are that encodes don’t recreate certain frequencies well, like anything below 100hz. So because of that they may suggest boosting the low-end on anything that will be used for an MP3 encode.

I think this is a bad idea.

I think mixing and mastering engineers should work on music for ears, not encoders. These days, bitrates for digital music stores are about 256k, which may as well be lossless for most people. And someday we all may get lossless encodes - which leaves a catalog of mixes that were poorly engineered in the hopes of making up for the weaknesses of an MP3 encoder.

Plus, there are so many variables to think about (which mp3 encoder? bitrate? AAC/WMA/OGG?) that trying to create the perfect mix for each of them means chasing your own tail, and it doesn’t account for the fact that I, and many others, will be ripping the official mix to a digital format anyway.

Besides, mixing for a certain encoder means giving those encoders a pass. Better to let the flaws of the encoder shine through so that the market can choose to not use that encoder and move on to something better.

However, I think you should arrange your album for digital formats. Please spare us hidden tracks or 5 minute stretches of silence that were a trend during the 90s. Downloading a 10meg file of 256k CBR encoded silence is obnoxious.

Link: I Went To The Mirror


Written on March 1, 2009 – 9:48 am | by Dan


Bob Lefsetz on Todd Rundgren:

But how come no one under twenty five seems to know Todd Rundgren? How come he had to do that execrable New Cars tour for the cash? Can’t we bring one of our supremely talented musicians/producers/engineers back? Someone who cut the Band’s “Stage Fright” and produced Grand Funk’s greatest track ever, “We’re An American Band”?

Not to mention “Bat Out Of Hell”… Supposedly Todd cashed out his production royalty and bought a spread in Hawaii. He’s talent rich, and cash poor. And that just sucks. If Concord Records could give Ray Charles a final hurrah, can’t we do the same for Todd? As well as so many unsung geniuses?

Indeed, Todd Rundgren is a musician to admire these days. He played most, if not all the instruments on his albums before the days of bedroom studios and digital recording. His albums range from the soft rock he’s known for, like Hello, It’s Me, to electronic music and harder, arena rock.

Maybe that’s why he’s so overlooked. You can’t nail him down. As a musician he’s a chameleon; each record is different from the last. The ability for an artist to try something new with each record is something that we simply don’t value - and he’s been punished for it.

Photo by ▌ÇP▐

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YouTube - Airwolf intro


Written on March 1, 2009 – 9:27 am | by Dan

I’ve had the theme from Airwolf stuck in my head for a bit.

Put Your Last Played Last.FM Track In Your Adium Status


Written on February 28, 2009 – 9:51 am | by Dan

Ever since getting a Dell Mini I’ve felt somewhat disconnected from my music collection, which lives on my main machine. I used to used Adium’s iTunes script to show what was currently playing in my IM status. But now that I use IM on the Mini, I’m playing music off my iPod, and iTunes is never open. Although, I may stream music from Last.FM.

So there’s a way to work this to use your Last.FM profile instead of iTunes. What if you could simply use an Adium script to look up your Last.FM profile information and stick the last scrobbled track in your profile?

This Adium Xtra does just that. Simply insert the script, enter your username and how often you’d like that information to refresh, and you’re good to go.

Display the last track you’ve submitted on your Last.fm account. If you’re like me and play your music on another computer or media center, you can use this Xtra to show the track you’re playing now or recently played. Just like Last.fm it displays either:

"currently listening to Come To Daddy by Aphex Twin"

or, if the song is played more then 10 minutes ago:

"was listening to Come To Daddy by Aphex Twin 23 minutes ago"
"was listening to Come To Daddy by Aphex Twin 1h and 4m ago"

It’s Last.fm friendly, since it uses a delay for fetching the last track of the last.fm server.

Usage

Put the following in your name, status message or message:

%_lastfmtrack{username,delay}

username: your last.fm username

delay: refresh time for fetching track of server (Adium refreshes like every 30 sec. so set delay to ‘6′ for every 3 minutes)

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Back to the old theme


Written on February 22, 2009 – 5:22 pm | by Dan

If you’ve been reading the RSS/Atom feed, you wouldn’t have noticed that I changed my theme recently. Today I changed it back.

Web design is kind of a funny thing these days, especially if you get most of your internet reading material through feeds. Design should help you navigate and read content. If you’re a heavy RSS user than you may have taken that for granted, like I have. Frankly, I didn’t think the theme I was using for the past few months did that very well. It looked alright, but I don’t think it fit very well with what I like to write about, and I don’t think that it gave enough width to the posts area.

So, not wanting to spend more time finding the perfect theme, I went back to the one I was satisfied with before.

Everything You’d Ever Want From A Kraftwerk Parody


Written on February 19, 2009 – 11:19 pm | by Dan

We Are Pork Products

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I don’t think Facebook will kill Twitter


Written on February 7, 2009 – 10:25 am | by Dan

Apparently Facebook has opened up more of its API and we’ll soon see many more tools for Facebook status (like Twitterrific for Facebook, or maybe Eventbox?).

From All Facebook:

As mentioned, Facebook has made it easier to set a user’s status. Get ready for streaming Facebook status tools galore. Just over one month ago I suggested that opening up that status API would be the first step toward Facebook killing Twitter. Now we will see if this really has as large of an effect as I claimed it would.

I’m skeptical that Facebook will kill Twitter simply because people don’t really use Twitter for the reason Twitter was invented. Twitter encourages people to post what they are doing, but I see it used more used as a microblog that asks “What are you thinking?” Meanwhile, Facebook status updates are typically “What are you doing?” updates.

In fact, I’m not sure I want to have a running stream of Facebook status updates ready to pull up at any moment. Since Adium and other instant messenger clients now work with Facebook chat, Facebook’s status updates are actually more of a fit, I think, than Twitter’s tweets for IM status. Facebook Status feeds right back into chat clients. I can see my Facebook friends’ status updates in the chat client and I can update my own status.

Plus, I’m much more likely to follow people I don’t know in real-life on Twitter than I would on Facebook. For me, Facebook is kind of like the inner-circle. I may follow you on Twitter because I’m interested in your opinions, but that doesn’t mean you’re invited to my inner-circle. On the flip-side, I’m comfortable with most anyone following me on Twitter, but not at all comfortable with just anyone wanting to be my friend on Facebook.

Part of that may be because Facebook makes me identify myself to everyone with my real identity. Twitter doesn’t. For you and I to be friends on Facebook, I think we need to have met face-to-face at least once and have gotten along well. I don’t have that requirement for Twitter.

It goes both ways, too. I like following Merlin Mann on Twitter. I follow him there because I enjoy pretty much everything he’s done and value what he has to say, even if it’s junk. But I don’t know him in real-life, so I won’t ask him for friendship on Facebook. There’s an unspoken boundary there.

Maybe I’m already too old.

There’s enough room for both right now, I think, because they both have different purposes.

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Link: The Case Against Everything Buckets


Written on February 3, 2009 – 11:05 pm | by Dan

I know there are some who love software like Yojimbo, Yep, and other organizers - but I’ve never understood why they don’t just use the standard filebrowser. Alex Payne pretty much nails why I feel this way.

One of my Rules For Computing Happiness is: “do not use software that does many things poorly.” Everything Buckets violate this rule up, down, and sideways. They’re poor filesystems, poor text editors, poor databases, poor to-do lists, poor calendars, poor address books, poor bookmark managers, and poor password managers. At their worst, they’re even poor web browsers, poor encryption systems, and poor synchronization schemes.

Unbelievable


Written on February 1, 2009 – 9:05 pm | by Dan

This is why Twitter is cool.