Posts Tagged MP3

An interesting first week


Well, week one down, in the new job. It has been an interesting week. The highpoints of the week included:

  • Getting a work pass. As I mentioned in this previous post The First Day in the New Job getting back that piece of identity was an important step in the starting in a new organisations process. It certainly put me in the “I’ve started” a new chapter frame of mind.
  • Two days of Scrum training in the Old Parliament House. Scrum is an interesting approach to the development of software, focused on a couple of key points:
    • Getting the feedback loops working effectively. These are loops within the team (facilitated by the daily Scrum Meeting), and with the Product Owner, and users.  How Scrum would work in an maintenance environment is one question I’m not sure of the answer of. I’ll probably blog more about scrum and its benefits, pitfalls, and outcomes as I see it in action.
    • Getting a team of developers to self optimise. One of the purposes of the Daily Scrum is to give to team an opportunity to self optimise. The premise which is at play is the teams commitment to getting the product done (the definition of done is something which is negotiable in the scrum methodology).
  • Finishing playing “bouncing ball” (I hope). The last part of the week had me at one desk, and my IT equipment installed at another. Hence, the first bounce (to the IT gear). Then I expressed the opinion that the initial location was probably the most effective for the work I have ahead of me. Hence, the next bounce, back to where I started, after the equipment was moved. It took some time for the network to be activated in my new location. But, by Friday afternoon, I and my IT gear have landed in the location I think will be the best.

The “sideways points” (not sure they were highpoint, or low points either)of the week included:

  • Being invited to participate a staff selection process. This is one thing I did do a lot of many years ago. My journey through the previous organisations IT ranks did not include performing this function. So, another job to do, but not one which I have any worries about performing (apart from the time which the process will take out of the week).
  • Moving from home baked DVD’s of music, to an MP3 player. I was advised that the unofficial policy is not to use home cut DVD’s or CD’s. So, I’ve acquired a 16meg MP3 player. I’ve probably spent most of the last 24 hours loading, converting from wma to mp3, cleaning out image files which are of no use. The nett result will be a goodly slice of my music collection on the player. Converting lots of wma’s to mp3 has shoehorned a significant amount of extra music onto the device. I’ve a bit of rock and blues on there at present. I’m also toying with the idea of building a manager program to do the following:
    • Automate the conversion of wma’s to mp3’s.
    • Clean out the “redundant files”.
    • Help identify (and remove) the duplicates (the problem arises when different albums have the same songs on them – best of collections do this quite frequently).
    • Give a more convenient interface to mange loading music to the unit(s) (I suspect that this will not be the only mp3 player – I love a variety of music to listen to). I’m starting to get feed-up with Windows Explorer (it does the job, but could be a bit more friendly for the task).

The “backwards steps”. The major ones in this category are:

    • My previous organisation. Why? Well they forgot to pay me for the bulk of the fortnight I was working there. A phone call on Thursday uncovered the fact that they had “forgotten me”. The promised that they would pay me by Wednesday. In their defence they have the pay system in apoplexy trying to put through the pay rise. The back pay from which I’ll have to chase as well (I suspect).
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War with Windows Media Player!


Introduction

I’ve been on a long journey with Windows Media Player. The journey started with 100 Blues CD’s which I wanted to add to my music library. The CD’s came from a set of magazine and CD’s which I collected many years ago. This started a series of miss steps with Windows Media Player.

The Missteps

  1. Album Does not exists in the metadata service
  2. Album Art Does not exists (more to point was not found)
  3. Updating Album Art takes forever (almost)
  4. Using a network drive (file share) as the primary store for the media, with Windows 7 Home
  5. Loosing much of the library (and recovering it)
  6. Unidentified Tracks (I’m sure I’ve got some)

The Solutions

  • Album Does not exists in the metadata service

    The solution enter the information by hand. Not the most time efficient, but the option of searching the possible matches for something which matched usually resulted in not finding a match.

    • Album Art Does not exists (more to the point was not found)

    The solution here has been a very labour intensive search for on a music store web site. Find a “the” album cover, or it that failed something which is by the same artist. Save the image, and then paste that image into the album art using the context menu (right click on the “empty” album cover and then “Paste Album Art”).

    • Updating Album Art takes forever (almost)

    Not sure of the cause, and not sure what the solution could be. It seems that I have improved things by “loosing lots of the content”, and re-adding it.

    • Using a network drive (file share) as the primary store for the media, with Windows 7 Home

    I not convinced that the configuration I’m using with using is working 100%. The Western Digital My Book World claims to Windows 7 compliant. I’m not convinced that it is compliant with Windows 7 Home Premium. I suspect that the absence (or switching off) of some of the network functions could be “stuffing up” Windows Media Player, when using network share to store music library. I could have to upgrade to the Business version of Windows 7 to prove, or disprove, this suspicion. (Not something I really want to do just at the moment).

    • Loosing much of the library (and recovering it!)

    Yes, Windows Media Player lost a large proportion of the library! The content was there in the “MyBookWorld” version, but not present in the main library. I recovered from this “disaster” by doing the following:

    • Using Windows Explorer “Search for” (*.wma in one Explorer window, and *.mp3 in an other)
    • The select all of the “content” (all of the mp3’s and a second time all of the wma’s) and add to the Windows Media Player Playlist.
    • Wait for Windows Media Player to “digest” the play list.

    The effect is to “add all of the content” to the “Library” (not sure why, but damn glad it works!). Result, all of the content is now back in Windows Media Player.

    • Unidentified Tracks

    Another search for (*Track*.*) [excuse the old DOS wildcards – but it works], gets all of the Unidentified Tracks.

    Fixing these is something I’m still trying to find an answer for. I’ve noting quick and easy to offer (at this point). I’ll continue to think about the problem, and post my solutions as I discover them.

    Is it “war” with Windows Media Player? I’m not sure you’d call it war, but it’s not peace, sweetness and light, either.

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