So I decided to finally cave in and sign up for an iTunes account, if only to enable the album art search feature. The first thing I noticed about the iTunes album art was that the art was all relatively good quality. All the images I would have found using an amazon search program, or similar sorts of applications were about half the size and quality of art from the iTunes search feature. So, I decided to erase all my album art for my collection and start fresh with the iTunes cover art search. Originally, I wrote another VB app that deletes the artwork for an entire playlist (just a quick modification to my lyrics search app). But there is a faster way:
1. Select all the songs for which you'd like to delete the album art.
2. Press Ctrl+I (or right click and show info)
3. Select the checkbox next to the blank artwork and press ok. The artwork for these tracks will be deleted.
If you already have iTunes art for most of your songs and would like to just delete the non-iTunes artwork, try this application. I modified it to just delete non-iTunes artwork.
I developed a program that will search for id3 (album, artist, etc) information for the currently selected song in itunes. Let me know if it's working or not, or if you have any suggestions.
See it here.
I've wrote a program tonight that displays album art and track info each time a song changes. It pops up with info for 10 seconds, then disappears. It also lets you rate the song...
I know some stuff behaves weird with it, so let me know if you experience any problems and I'll fix it.
I started out this year by building a new computer, which I had been researching and pondering over for quite some time. This post lists some of the key steps in building and overclocking a new computer.
1. Choosing AMD or INTEL
The main components of your system will either be Intel or AMD. Thus, your first choice should be which way you wanna go. At this point in the game, if you're overclocking, you'll want an Intel core duo no question. If you aren't overclocking, then the decision becomes a bit more difficult. If you're too much a n00b to overclock, then either decision will work fine for you anyways.
2. Choosing Your Motherboard
Perhaps the hardest decision to make in the overclocked system is the motherboard. The main criteria you'll want to look at is it's overclocking options. Some systems will let you adjust almost any component of your system. Some won't. Do your research on this one. I went with a Gygabyte board because I saw the name all over various overclocking forums, which tells me a couple things - it's probably a solid board, and it certainly has overclocking options. Another good brand to consider is ASUS, which was my second choice.
After making sure that your board has good overclocking options, you'll want to consider the additional features it holds. Do you need RAID support? SLI? In general, if you haven't heard of either of these options, you don't need to worry too much. SLI is convenient if you wanna run dual video cards, but with the new 8800GTX, I don't see why anyone would need to run dual video cards anyways...
3. Choose a Processor.
Again, the best place to do this is in various overclocking forums. The key to a processor is it's overclocking potential. The largest player in most overclocking scenarios is the thermal capacity of the CPU. The CPU's multiplier will only play a factor if your motherboard's FSB will be surpassed by your desired overclock.
ie. if you have a multiplier of 7, the max overclock is 7*your motherboard's max FSB.
Likewise, your memory will need to run at the same FSB as the CPU, unless your motherboard allows for a memory multiplier (if you picked a good motherboard in part 1, then there's no problems here - most CPU's should work with most memory).
So check reviews, etc. Look at the percentage overclock people are getting. Figure out what you want to spend, and find a processor that has the best overclock for the right price. And make sure more than one person reports a good overclock. Some people claim pretty high overclocks, but not everyone has their equipment/expertise.
Memory can be a tough choice at times. A lot of different brands are held in high regard by a lot of different people. My opinion? There's not too much difference between them. Buy whatever has the best statistics for the best price (but check into it if it's a brand that you don't recognize). You'll want to buy memory based on whatever you suspect will match your FSB the best. If you are guessing at a FSB of about 300, you'd probably be fine with 667MHz. As it turns out, 800MHz is the cheapest right now. So I'd go with that (unless you feel like spending huge cash on the next step up).
5. Case and Power Supply
Don't get me wrong - you should usually avoid cases that come packaged with a power supply. If you were just building an ordinary computer, most times a mid-class power supply will suit your needs. But overclocking means more volts. Research power supplies. Check how heavy they are, and make sure a couple people have confirmed the actual wattage it provides.
Cases are 50% asthetic and 50% practicality. No one wants some ugly grey and white box with hundreds of dollars of hand-picked components inside. Get one with a window. Also, make sure there's lots of fans and good airflow. My Antec nine hundred gives me such good airflow that I hardly have to worry about any temperatures for my components. Lastly, make sure there's room inside for anything you want now or in the future. An 8800 GTX doesn't fit in just any case.
6. All the rest
Video cards are pretty much get-what-you-pay. You want uber performance, expect to spend lots. If you don't care, then get whatever seems to be the best deal.
Hard Drives aren't a particularly intense choice. Make sure it's SATA if you have it, and Western Digital is probably a safe bet. Also make sure your optical drives are SATA as well (if you're buying a new one).
Start with a budget, and make a spreadsheet showing all the parts you want and a rough estimate of their cost. It'll show you where you can spend more and where to skimp a bit.
A new beta version of the iTunes Lyric Downloader has been released. The release includes support for sing365.com lyrics, erasing existing lyrics, and fixes some known runtime errors.
Details can be found here.
So, it turns out theres a couple programs out there that already perform the same task that mine has been written to do:
- The iTunes lyrics importer is a simple application written in C# to import lyrics for the songs in your iTunes, using the Lyricswiki's web services.
- Doesn't seem to support any other sites, which I may plan on doing.
- iGrabber is a Windows application that automatically downloads album art and lyrics for selected iTunes tracks.
- Same site restriction as above
- EvilLyrics has a client that supports itunes lyrics, but you need to have the program running as you listen to music. This does support various sites and I once found a script that automatically imports all your evillyrics files into iTunes. However, it is a bit of a nuisance always making sure that the program is up and running while you listen to music.
These programs all work and look better than mine at this point. As such, I've given up. Just kidding. I like to program, and i'll see where this ends up. Hopefully I can fix some issues on other computers, and support some other lyrics sites, or a guitar tab site.
- A script that pops up on a song change and lets you rate the track you just heard, and displays currently playing info after changing songs.
Leave any iTunes addon suggestions in the comments below.
I've decided to re-learn visual basic, and started by writing a quick program that scans for lyrics at lyricwiki.com, and will save them either to a text file or to the iTunes tag file. That would allow you to see the lyrics on your ipod video or ipod nano. See This page. Please leave a comment here if you have any success/failure stories.