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Archived content 2005-2007 and copying mixed audio/data CDs

Posted by Tim Riley Tue, 21 Nov 2006 12:29:00 GMT

Here is my first Max OS X tip!

I have noticed some strange behaviour when using to copy a couple of my audio CDs. When it is storing the disc to be duplicated, the progress bar begins to grow steadily, but after a few percent is done, it skips straight to 100% and asks you to insert the blank disc.

This seems to happen when the disc in question is a mixed data/audio CD. Disco seems to only recognise the data session and ignores the audio one (which is the part I want).

To work around this, open up the OS X Disk Utility program (in /Applications/Utilities), and you will see two different mounted entries for your CD. Select the one that represents the data session and choose to unmount (not eject) it. Restrt Disco and then it will be able to properly copy your audio CD. You will lose the data session, but at least you can get your tunes!

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The P in Productivity is for Pocky!

Posted by Tim Riley Sun, 02 Jul 2006 08:00:00 GMT

Pocky, uploaded by olivander.

During my essay writing this semester, I found a new study aid: Pocky! Although I once had this magic on a stick many years ago, I found it again while shopping in the asian supermarkets around Moonta St in Adelaide. It gives a sugar boost that is particularly useful to stimulate study, but I only hope that I don’t go too far.

There is no hope, however, for Morning Musume. This is a Japenese pop band that my friend Mikael recently introduced me to; all of their music is so bouncy and saccharine that it appears to have been written entirely on a pocky high. I really enjoy it; it is an energy boost in itself, but I think I might stick to ABC Classic FM when it comes to the essays.

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On Sennheiser and How I Learnt to Walk Straight Again

Posted by Tim Riley Wed, 28 Jun 2006 14:21:00 GMT

My history with headphones — nay, my search for personal sound perfection — has been short but troubled. I had never been a big listener of portable tunes until I got an iPod shuffle a couple of weeks after they were released here in Oz.

For quite a while I used the standard white iPod ear buds, which I thought were reasonable enough. When I thought I lost them, I moved, upon Marco’s suggestion, onto a pair of Sennheiser MX 350s. At first I thought these were terribly tinny and bassless, but all they in fact needed was the foamies to be placed around the buds.

Ultimately, however, I decided that buds just weren’t for me, due to a shared tendency for them to fall out of my right ear. So I next bought a pair of Sony in-ear headphones, that come with little rubber tips that sit actually inside the ear canal. These generated great bass, but after a while I developed an unfortunate waxy buildup that resulted in a week of mornings during which I experienced some quite disconcerting dizziness.

So, ears flushed out and my balance restored, I armed myself (or is it eared?) with a pair of, much to Marco’s chagrin, Sony MDR-V500DJs. By this point in time, I was listening to music for several hours each day at work. Now I thought that these were some reaonsable enough cans (that is what you call them in the busniess) for my needs, but I was again mistaken. You see, while I thought the sound was okay, they were supra-aural headphones (sitting on top of the ears), which meant they were quite painful to use for extended sessions, particularly when I was wearing glasses.

After all this, I have finally settled upon some top notch headphones: some Sennheiser HD 555s. After reading this review, there was little doubt left in my mind as to their worthiness. Quality of the sound aside, I want to comment that when Sennheiser writes on its site, ”Extremely comfortable velour ear pads”, they’re not kidding. These things are like one big fuzzy hug for your head. What’s more, they’ve been keeping my ears nice and toasty during these cold winter mornings we have been having lately. There’s nothing like a bit of velour and synthpop to get the day started.

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She’s got me whistling her private tune

Posted by Tim Riley Thu, 16 Feb 2006 03:51:00 GMT

I love it when there is whistling in songs, because it is fun and easy to whistle along and sound good. It is much harder to sing along to a song and sound so good.

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First lists of 2006

Posted by Tim Riley Mon, 06 Feb 2006 11:12:00 GMT

Artists who recently sang in French, though I thought they never would:
  • Per Gessle
  • Shakira
Eponymous albums recently purchased from CD Baby: 1980s situational comedies I wish I had watched with greater lucidity:
  • Growing Pains
  • Family Ties
  • The Hogan Family
  • Perfect Strangers

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Bad Hair Day!

Posted by Tim Riley Thu, 12 Jan 2006 13:40:00 GMT

Per says: “I’ve got boxes and drawers of so many songs & ideas & rubbish lying around my house and I just felt like sharing all this with you guys out there! I guess it’s basically for the hardcore fan, but still, it’s kinda interesting if you’re into the mesmerizing enigma of songwriting…”

Today Per Gessle released a collection of demos for his smash-hit Swedish Mazarin album, freely available to download, along with PDF cover art!

I love these rare moments when smart musicians actually get the internet. This is a great way for Per to reward his fans and to stimulate further interest in his music, without detracting at all from the prominence of his for-sale works. Encouragingly, it looks like there will be much more unreleased music to come, under the “Bad Hair Day” moniker.

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Adelaide Breaks Collective Summer Jam!

Posted by Tim Riley Mon, 09 Jan 2006 09:12:00 GMT

So the Spring Jam was pretty happening, but I have a feeling this will be even bigger. Get down to Sugar on Rudle St this Friday night for a tasty dose of Adelaide breaks.

I’ll be going to Schutzenfest for a bit before this, so Friday the 13th should bring some pretty fun times, all things considered :)

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Music to hack to

Posted by Tim Riley Sat, 07 Jan 2006 23:20:00 GMT

Matt Palmer asks what music people like to listen to when coding. My preference is to listen so a good seamless mix of electronic music, usually driving and upbeat.

The Cloud Factory Collective’s web site is a great place to get music to hack by. Some choice mixes:

My friend Adam Bellinson has recently started DJing drum & bass mixes on Linux using the open source tool Mixxx. I have been enjoying his work a lot too. The mixes can be downloaded from his torrents page.

One track I acquired recently with an iTMS voucher I got for Christmas is the Back to the Future overture from the soundtrack of the first film. Although it is only 8 minutes in length, I have found this to be very enjoyable to have playing especially when overcoming big bugs or problems in code, because the emotion that is conveyed in the piece makes me feel like I am a hero like Marty McFly saving the fabric of space and time :-)

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I'm such a poptart

Posted by Tim Riley Thu, 01 Dec 2005 12:16:00 GMT

A couple of weeks ago I pre-ordered Per Gessle’s new album, Son of a Plumber, from some Swedish record store. It arrived a couple of days ago, and I am impressed! It is subtler, more textured and nuanced than anything he’s produced, while still retaining some decent bubblegum lyrics and tunes. It is like one big warm hippy embrace. I recommend you ask your local DJ to spin some of this! Read the review here.

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Posted by Tim Riley Mon, 28 Nov 2005 15:22:00 GMT

I have been reencoding some of my music into AAC since getting an iMac. Whenever I do this I am reminded about how awfully corrupt some of the CDDB/GraceNotes database is. For someone picky about his metadata, the misspellings, inconsistent capitalisation, and wrong track titles are terrible. I shared my true feelings with my friend Vidar:

Safari_Al: Using CDDB is like walking into a bar and saying, “Pour me a cheap beer into a used glass! And hey, throw some old needles in there while you’re at it!”

Vidar: “You want broken glass with that?”

Safari_Al: “Only if it’s bloodied.”

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