Category: software

Audacity recovery utility

For you Mac users* of Audacity you may have had a crash and lost your recording. It happens… trust me. I just had a massive crash and turned to my friend, the Audacity Recovery Utility, and it made a very bad problem turn into a blip on the radar… a small bump in the road…

You see, Audacity is always saving your audio in about 10 second chunks. The problem is that in a lengthy recording, you have hundreds of these chunks. You could string them together one by one, but that would take forever and probably not work anyways. Download the program (there’sa version for older PowerPC Macs as well as Intel ones) and make it your friend. The trick is finding the hidden temp files… go into your Audacity preferences tab to find them – it’s usually in a hidden folder you can’t find without going into the finder (Go>Go to Folder). Once you have them, plug that path into the recovery utility and let it roll. It will string these files together into a WAV file in the same place as those temp files.

After that, breathe a sigh of relief.

*PC people, check out a similar option here.

Apple’s offerings: 2008 MacWorld Keynote

I’m blogging this as we go along… here’s Apple’s new stuff as announced by elJobso this morning in San Francisco:

9:18 AM – Time Capsule, a new network attached storage device that merges the Airport Extreme with a big old hard drive. Wireless backups for your notebooks… $299/$499 (500GB/1TB)

9:22 AM -iPhone and iPod Touch get a a lot of new goodies, most notably the ability to find yourself on a Google map automatically. Nice feature. The Touch will now include a lot of apps from the iPhone, most notably Mail. Weird part? Apple’s throwing in a $20 fee for upgrading current Touch owners… kind of surprising there.

9:36 AM – iTunes Store now offers rentals… most surprisingly it includes ALL studios, including Universal. Universal owns NBS and we all remember that they yanked TV shows from the iTunes Store this season. You have 30 days to start watching it, and once you start you have 24 hours to watch and finish it. Movies are all transferable to iPods and iPhones. $2.99 for older titles and $3.99 for new titles. HD is also now available for a buck more.

9:44 AM – Apple TV Take 2 – an upgrade of the current allows movie and TV purchases & rentals from the screen. The YouTube offerings have increased as well (presumably for iPhone owners too). All purchases sync back to your computer. More HD podcasts as well… good news for those of you who jumped on this! Also new: Flickr integration. That’s pretty nice… definite upgrades to a product that was coolly received so far. Existing owners get the new software for free, and new units ship in 2 weeks (with a price drop to $229).

10:08 AM – What we’ve all been waiting for (and by “we” I mean me) – the MacBook Air. Jobs describes it as the world’s thinnest notebook… .16 inches thick at its narrowest point, .75 inches at its thickest (!?!). Fits in a manilla envelope. It has a backlit 13″ LED display (that’s lower power consumption… nice touch). The screen trackpad has multi-touch just like an iPhone too. It can be skinny because it’s using iPod hard drives in it. “Ships with 80GB drive, option of 64GB SSD.” So, not a notebook for storing a ton of stuff, but they didn’t compromise on speed… its got a full Intel Core 2 Duo in there that’s slower than the other MacBooks, but it’s probably because it’s 60% smaller than the ones in the MacBook line.

USB port and a headphone jack on one side, but no internal optical drive. Apple has an interesting new system that allows the MacBook Air to “borrow” an optical drive wirelessly from other Macs on network. External USB drives are available too for the people that need to spin a DVD or CD. 5 hour battery life… this sucker ships in 2 weeks… $1799.

Speech recognition meets the law

I am always interested in seeing technology poke its head into legal applications… check out this video where a young attorney figured out how to integrate voice recgonition software with templates for often-used forms he uses in his law practice. Wish I had that ten years ago!

RIAA: Rip your CD? Thief!

The Washington Post reports:

In legal documents in its federal case against Jeffrey Howell, a Scottsdale, Ariz., man who kept a collection of about 2,000 music recordings on his personal computer, the industry maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer that music into his computer.

So, is Apple aiding and abetting this theft with iTunes? Will Fake Steve Jobs be led off in cuffs, ranting and raving about person responsibility? All I have to say is that this Scottsdale guy was probably picked out of a huuuuuge list of people who rip their CDs for personal use. Talk about winning a reverse sucky lottery…

UPDATE: Turns out dude was using these files in Kazaa, a popular file sharing program. Moral… RIAA not as evil as we thought, Washington Post, much worse reporting than we thought.

Reinstalling SoundSoap in Leopard

I am a huge fan of BIAS’s SoundSoap2, but I was without it for a few days after upgrading the trusty Nineball Media computers to Mac OS X Leopard. Turns out that on a reinstall some people were running into permissions issues that are easily solved by making folders in your Application Support directory… check this out for more scoop. I actually had to go a step further and make two folders. You’d think these installers would be smart enough to do it on their own, eh?

In any event, I’m now able to scrub background sound out like a champ, thanks to SoundSoap being back. And the crowd roars… with less hiss.

Customer service

I’m realizing how much this blog leans towards Apple products… a true tech blog should spend a little time away from the fruited tech giant. Maybe tomorrow…

Nineball Media’s latest acquisition, a pimped out new iMac has been feeling a little sad lately. It doesn’t like speaking with the great tubes known as the Internets. After running every diagnostic and even reinstalling OS X (yes, one day before the new one comes out, I have to install the old one again), I came to the conclusion that I had to call tech support.

Now, tech support gets hammered all across the computer industry, and for good reason. It’s hard enough to figure out computer issues over the phone, but it’s even worse when there’s very little talent and it’s spread very thin (and often, across time zones and oceans). The experience with Apple was, all things considered, pretty good. Thankfully, I had pretty much exhuasted their checklist, so my supposition of a fried Airport card was confirmed by Andrew (from now on referred to as “my boy Andrew”). We got a doctor’s appointment set with the not-overstated at all genius tomorrow at 1. Nineball shall not have to rely on its older equipment for more than a day. My boy Andrew made it so.

One note… I’m not sure how long the process would have taken if I hadn’t taken an hour before the call to my boy Andrew to do a fresh reinstall of OS X… I think even he would have made me do it and then call back if it hadn’t worked. Word to the wise… before calling tech support, exhaust all options you can think of, even the ones that border on really annoying (like, say… reinstalling an operating system one day before the new one comes out).

One other bit of Nineball news… I just signed up for the Blogworld and New Media Expo in Vegas in a couple of weeks. Since I missed out on the Portable and New Media Expo in California last month, I thought it would be good to check this one out. If you’re heading to Vegas and want to meet up to chat about podcasting or whatever, feel free to drop me a line…

Gates bids adieu

Some may accuse me of having a distinct pro-Apple bias… but I know when to give credit. Bill Gates defined mass appeal with Microsoft, and he has forever left his mark on the world of technology. Last week, he gave his final address before the Microsoft employees at Safeco Field in Seattle. Gates leaves Microsoft next year to focus exclusively on the Gates Foundation, an incredible philanthropic organization that has done and will continue to do amazing things in the areas of information technology and world health. Sounds like his address wasn’t earth-shattering, but I think he may already be looking ahead to his next phase in life. Cheers to that!

Beware movie pirates!

A hard-core Linux user who was busted for pirating Star Wars Episode III (the least objectionable of the painfully bad second set of Star Wars flicks) was smacked upside the head by his sentencing judge. Because he will have his computer use monitored as a part of his probation, and because the monitoring software doesn’t run on Linux… yes, he is being forced to use Windows for all computing needs. Open Source users are proud of their lack of affiliation with Apple or Microsoft… now this guy is being fored to turn to the Dark Side. Cue the irony alert!

Conventional Wisdom turned

Not to make this an all Apple blog, but I read a terrific piece today on Mac applications for business. As most of you have figured out by now, I run Nineball Media largely on Apple computers… although I certainly use Windows when clients need it, and I’m by no means anti-Windows. It’s been a truism for many years that Windows is better for business and Macs are better on the creative side… I think that conventional wisdom is starting to shift a bit, and many of the applications listed in this post help me tremendously.

Friday funny: Paint

Last week, we had members of KISS promoting… um, something. Projectors I think. This week, a parody on the wonders of everyone’s favorite bundled Windows application: Paint.

Have a great weekend!