iTunes Smart Playlist based on encoder/file format (aka “Kind”)

I’m working on digitizing my 700+ CD collection (oy vey!). I may go into greater detail about that whole process in another post, but here’s a quick tip for now. If you want to isolate the songs in your iTunes library based on their file type (like MP3, AAC, Apple Lossless, etc.), you can do so with a Smart Playlist. But there’s a bit of a trick here, you need to know the magic string to type into the “Kind” field of the playlist. The folks over at Mac OS X Hints have done the work for us. Here’s a pretty table:

File Type “Kind” string
AAC AAC audio file
AIFF AIFF audio file
Apple Lossess Apple Lossless audio file
Audible.com Audible file
MP3 MPEG audio file
Radio Stream MPEG audio stream
WAV WAV audio file

Another way to get the magic string is to simply view the Get Info window of the file in question. But as Doug Adams of Doug’s Applescripts for iTunes pointed out, you can’t copy and paste that. So he whipped up this bit of code. Paste this code into the Script Editor and run it while the track in question is playing in iTunes:
tell application "iTunes"
display dialog "Current track's kind is:" default answer ((get kind of current track) as string)
end tell

If you have other file types not listed here, please comment with their magic string so I may compile them here. Thanks!

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Firefox extension error “… does not provide secure updates”

When trying to install the newest version of the ProxyButton extension for Firefox, I received this error:

Screen capture: Firefox "secure updates" extension error

Incompatible Extension

“ProxyButton” will not be installed because it does not provide secure updates

Luckily a solution exists over at Idea Shower. Add a new boolean key using about:config and restart. Easy-peasy. More at Idea Shower.

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Using a Mac .dfont on Windows

Update 2011-09-03: There appears to be a free GUI app available, DfontSplitter. And hey, it’s even cross-platform (Win & Mac)! I have no personal experience with it, so downloader beware. Thanks to Matt T. in the comments.

I was able to use a Mac OS X “.dfont” font file on windows by using a simple FOSS software to convert it into standard TrueType format (.ttf). The app is called Fondu. It’s actually a set of many command line programs rolled into one, but I only used the main fondu app. Couldn’t have been easier:

Update 2009-10-14: To clarify, these instructions are for Mac OS X. I do not have any info on running fondu from windows (if that is even possible. I suspect it isn’t). Perhaps windows users could run fondu on a linux virtual machine/box they have lying around? Maybe a linux live CD?

  1. Download & Install .pkg file
  2. From Terminal, cd into the directory where the .dfont file lives
  3. Run fondu MyFont.dfont
  4. Marvel as a .ttf font is spit out next to your .dfont file

Thanks Fondu!

Update 2009-05-22: Please note that the fondu binary lives in “/usr/local/bin/” by default. Either add this path to your environment, or prepend the path to the fondu command like this: /usr/local/bin/fondu MyFont.dfont

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Subscriptions in NetNewsWire change color

I had no idea why some of my subscriptions in NNW were a light tan/brown color. See here how “RateMyTeachers.com” and “sportsbbq” are brown:

Turns out that the subscriptions change to that color for feeds that have not updated (added a new post) in 60 days. Perhaps I’m just dense, but this was not obvious to me.

Anyway, if you care to change that color, go to: Preferences -> Fonts -> General -> Show Color Options...

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Host search concluded, the winner: Knownhost

A while back, I about Plesk and http.include. I casually mentioned my hoster, but I then realized I never really made an announcement that I have in fact concluded my search and decided on a host.

I decided on a company called Knownhost. So far, so good. Actually so far, so great.

I chose them for a few reasons (in order):

  1. Seemed to have good support
  2. True root access in a true VPS environment
  3. Good price
  4. Plesk control panel (although you can pick from many others)
  5. Ready to go servers (no installation of other software required)

I’m a big fan of the Web Hosting Talk forums. I cruised those for a few days reading various posts about VPS hosters. Knownhost personal have a pretty good presence on those forums. They answer various questions about tech and linux stuff, rarely (if ever) pushing their own company. I liked what I was reading.

They are a young company. I vaguely remember that they formed in 2005, although I could be wrong. In the age of come-and-go hosting companies, I was not fond of this fact. In an email to support, a gentlemen by the name of Jay responded “We are a new brand but have been in the industry for over 15 yrs …” I took a gamble and signed up with them knowing I could exercise the 30 day money back guarentee if need be.

Now check this out: I signed up around 9pm pacific time. I received a phone call roughly 10 minutes later from Knownhost with a question about my credit card (I put in the wrong billing address). I was impressed. We got the address corrected and I was up and running shortly. Some people may think that sounds weird for a hoster to call past 9pm … but I say it’s smart as I was obviously up and had just placed the order.

Over the months I’ve had a technical question or two and they’ve always answered them promptly and politely. I usually get a response in under 30 minutes. Nice!

From a technical standpoint, everything has been running very smoothly. I have yet to experience any down time in the roughly year and a half I’ve used them. To be clear, that’s ZERO (0) down time.

I would confidently recommend them to others seeking a quality VPS.

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