Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Making Unplayable Phonograph Records Playable

NPR is running a story on how the Library of Congress is testing a way of playing broken, fragile and deteriorating phonograph records without spinning or even touching the record. Instead, there's a camera linked to a computer. It then snaps detailed images of the groove cut into the disc, and uses the images to reconstruct the sound.
Using this method they scan a record quickly enough to make it roughly comparable to a trained technician playing an old record in real-time. Brilliant! A great way to save and restore music and other recordings that would be otherwise lost.

Geek Out your Dog - Gadgets Made Just For Dogs

For the Geek Dog that has everything. We know you have all the latest shiny, new technology. When someone walks into your house they know you have the latest and greatest geek gadgets, but how about your dog? Can they tell how much of a cool geek your dog is? In this article I will take you on my quest for the best dog, tech accessories to geek out your pet.

For starters, you dog will want this w00f! dog shirt embazoned with the rarely heard "1337" version of a dogs bark. As ThinkGeek says, all the tech-savvy dogs are saying it this way these days.

Next I found a red, pulsing led dog leash. This leash will definitely make sure you and your dog stand out in the neighborhood.

Does fido want something a little more understated then the led leash? How about the lighted collar with lighted dog bones flashing around the collar.
How about a Electronic Dog Tag that stores up to 40 lines of stats you can change at any time. You could add the tag "digg this bone", "give me a treat" or "I want an iPhone too".
Another idea is the GPS pet collar so you can locate your dog after he runs the geeksquad guy that tried to come to your house.
Some more LED Lighted Pet Collars, Leashes and Harnesses can be seen in action in this video:

Want to track how much excersize fido is getting? How about the doggie pedometer

Last but certainly not least, your dog is going to want to be cool with all the others in the hood. How about some doggles for when he's riding on the harley or waverunner with you ? The gadgets above are all available to purchase, but I challenge you to make your own techno-dog accessories. Lets see some cool diy dog gadgets that will make your tech friends (er dogs) jealous!

Tag Your Music Files with MP3Tag

As your digital music collection grows, keeping your music organized by tagging (labeling) your music becomes more and more important. Before I began using iTunes as my digital music "organizer", I used only two programs for my music: WinAmp and MP3Tag. WinAmp was and still is an excellent music player and Mp3Tag has continued as the supreme music file tagger available. It's a small freeware (donations welcomed) app that handles tagging a small or large digital music collection with ease. It's reliable, simple to use and very powerful so if you want an application for music tagging, MP3Tag is the one.

Why MP3Tag?
First of all tagging your digital music is useful to organize everything. You tag for genre (rock, rap, 80's etc), for artist, album name etc. This will typically be done for you already if you downloaded from some online music sites, but others might not have the correct descriptions or tags for the files. It's likely you might want to customize your songs to your genre classifications. Also, if you ripped the songs from your CD's you will want to add all the tags before adding to your music player or even to iTunes. Even though every one of your MP3 players including iTunes, WinAmp, and Windows Media Player all have the capability to tag your music, you will likely want a quick, easy and powerful standalone application that will quickly do the job independently of your music player.

What does Mp3Tag do?
Mp3tag edits the tags, renames the files based on the tag information, replaces words and/or characters based on the tags and file names, imports and exports tag information, creates play lists, adds album covers and more. MP3tag has the ability to check the online freedb database and for tag information. One of the new features of versions 2.35 to 2.38 include the ability to search for and add the album art to the music file based on the album name.

Using MP3Tag
First download MP3Tag HERE and install it.
Select the directory with your digital music files (File-Change Directory) and select the folder with your music.
MP3Tag will then load all of your music files ready to be categorized.
From this point you simply select your file and update the title, artist, file name and any other tags you want to edit

One of the really nice features of Mp3Tag is the conversion feature. Here you can key off of the filename to create tags: Say your file names are all formatted like: amy winehouse-rehab-back to black.mp3. You can do a convert file name to tag where it adds tags in this way: artist-song name-album name. It then can populate one or more songs based on the file names. You can do the same thing in the reverse way to change the file name based on the tags. There are unlimited ways to use the convert feature including cleaning up file names, tags etc in a more automated way.

MP3Tag supports MP3, aac, flac, ape MP4, M4A, OGG Vorbis, OptimFROG (ofr)(ofs), Musepack (mpc), AAC, wma, Monkey's Audio(ape), FLAC, True Audio and a bunch of other file types. I highly recommend this free program. If you have digital music that needs to be organized, give it a try.

For the Mp3Tag Website CLICK HERE

Related Posts:

Converting Standard Audiobooks into iTunes Bookmarkable Files

Mp3 Player That Matches Music to Heartbeat and Movement

SmartPlaylists for Workouts Based on Beats Per Minute

Back Up Your Music From One PC to Another Automatically

Stream your iTunes Collection over the Net

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Google Stalking - Find Map Location by Phone Number

Using Stumbleupon I ran across an excellent mashup of Google Maps and a phone number exchange service that allows you to input most U.S. and Canada prefixes and it finds the approximate location on a map.

It doesn't work for all locations, but I was able to pull up about 95% of the numbers I tried including mobile phone numbers, home numbers and work numbers. It won't work with Skype or many other VOIP numbers of course and it is only for the U.S. and Canada. Try your number and see how accurate it is. Pretty amazing and sort of creepy that its that easy...


Monday, July 16, 2007

MP3 Player synchronizes to running rhythm using accelerometer & pulse monitor

Cool Device. JKonTheRun writes "At the gym MP3 players practically outnumber people. As useful as music is for motivation during a tough workout, nothing can kill your mood faster than a poorly chosen song. This BODiBEAT mp3 player uses an acceleration sensor and an ear clip pulse monitor to sense your workout pace and matches the song."
While I think it's a cool idea, 512MB is too small for me and the price is expected to be over $200 so I guess I'll continue using the workout playlists that I create using Beats Per Minute customized to my various workouts.

via JKonTheRun digg story

Easy TV Data-Possible Replacement for Zap2It

A possible savior for those that rely on Zap2it's free tv guide service

Last month when Zap2It announced they would no longer offer their free tv listings to "hobbyists" for their own noncommercial use there was a lot of hand-wringing by MythTV, GBPVR and MediaPortal HTPC users since they all rely on this service for the TV Guides built into their HTPC software. The GBPVR forums have been extremely active on this topic with a group of people working on possible replacements.

The net is buzzing with a possible replacement for the free, Zap2It service called EasyTVData. Right now the site has the following message:

Greetings from the newly-formed team at Easy TV Data,This
organization was formed by members of various software projects in response to
the announcement from Zap2it Labs that they will be discontinuing the free TV
listings service that they have been providing to the non-commercial free and
open source communities for the last 3+ years.We know that many of you are
waiting on the edge of your seats to find out what's going on behind the scenes
here, and we're just as excited to tell you, but we can't give you many details
while we are still involved in negotiations. We can, however, let you know that
we are actively working on a solution that will provide what we hope will be a
smooth transition away from Zap2it Labs by the September 1 deadline. We will
release more details as soon as we are able to do so, so please keep an eye on for updates.In the mean
time, we are in need of a good lawyer who is familiar with business contracts
and federal nonprofit law (preferably someone willing to work pro bono, at least
initially). We are also looking for a good accountant/CPA (we are registered in
Washington State) to help with any eventual financial/tax paperwork. If you are
qualified and willing to help, please contact us.

Thanks for sticking with us,

The Easy TV Data Board: Isaac Richards, Chairman (MythTV)Robert Eden (XMLTV)Daniel
Kristjansson (MythTV)Kevin Odorczyk (MacProgGuide)Chris Petersen (Mythtv)

If they are able to pull off a usable solution, this would make MythTV, GBPVR and Media Portal Users extremely happy. If it doesn't work out other possible solutions include:
  • Someone developing a screen-scraper to scrape data from an online tv guide site. This could create a major bandwidth demands for the site beeing scraped. Another concern is that any change to the source site would require an adjustment to the screen scraper with the users relying on volunteers to continually update the screen scraper.
  • Getting guide information from EIT Data - This would work, but would include only the program name, the show time and duration, and a description. Not included in EIT data is any indication of whether the show is new or not, no original air date, no indication of whether HD or SD and no episode title.
  • Some other service opening up thier guide data for free or a small fee. I kind of doubt this would happen but you never know.

We have 45 days to see what happens - lets hope EasyTVData comes through. I should mention that the loss of the free Zap2It Labs data will not affect BeyondTV, SageTV or MCE as those companies pay for their guide data and the price is built into the purchase price of the software.

Blogger Hack: Subscribe to Blogger Stories Based on Category

Want to subscribe to an RSS feed of a blog, but only to a specific Category (or Label in Blogger speak?) Lets say you wanted to only subscribe to the stories on this blog with an "Snapstream" label. In other words only the articles I write that have the category label of Snapstream. To do this you would type in the hyperlink below and subscribe to the feed with whatever feed reader you use.

If you wanted to change the label, you would of course change "snapstream" to whatever label you wanted.

Of course I know you love this blog so much that you want to subscribe to all of the blog posts and not miss a post like this. So to do that just click on this link or on the Subscribe button at the top right of this blog.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

10 Favorite Blogs in honor of the 10 Year Blogging Birthday

According the the WSJ, Blogging turns 10 yrs old this month (although this is debatable) and one of my favorite blogs Mashable is asking for my 10 most favorite (mostly under the radar) blogs of all time. So here are my 10 Best not-yet famous blogs ever. These don't include the very famous and also excellent ones like Lifehacker,, etc.

  1. Davis Freeberg’s Digital Connection
  2. Zatz Not Funny Digital Media Blog
  3. Missing Remote
  4. Brad Linder's Digital Home
  5. Hack A Day
  6. Digital Inspiration - pretty popular, but I'm including it anyway :)
  7. Digital Media Thoughts
  8. DIY Happy
  9. Dumb Little Man
  10. Thomas Hawk's Digital Connection

That's some of my favorites I could think of today. I know there are many more that I read daily so this was a tough list to do. Want to discover some blogs you might not have run across yet? Check out the Mashable Post:

While you're here, don't forget to take a look around. This Blog started almost a year ago and has been growing and is getting better every day. Thanks!