Posted tagged ‘music’

Automatically download album art with foobar2000

06/02/2011

Foobar in all its album artwork glory!

If you’ve ever tried looking for a plugin that automatically fetches album art from the internet for foobar2000, you know how impossible hard it is to find a good one. But fret not, it exists, and it’s called, foo_uie_biography! (Go down to “Biography View” and click the version number to download.)

This plugin allows you to use the vast image library at Last.fm to download album artwork for all your tracks aut0matically upon playback, and send them to the standard artwork display area. Just make sure to enable the checkbox in the settings entitled “Provide artwork to other artwork viewers”. If you’re on windows and enable artwork caching, make sure to select a folder that doesn’t require administrative permissions for writing. (C:\Program Files\ will not work because foobar doesn’t run with administrative privileges.)

The magic checkbox.

Sources: Site

Isis and Dälek Live at Hornstull Strand, Stockholm (November 4th, 2009) – Photos and review

05/11/2009

isisdalek_combo

Remember in my last post, when I said it’s been a long since I went to a concert? It was time to change that! Seeing Isis and Dälek (Pronounced die-a-lect) really felt a world apart from Massive Attack. At Massive, we were standing ten rows back or so, but here, we were practically two feet away from the performers. Hooray for lesser known bands and up-close and personal concerts. I was initially surprised to see Dälek in the lineup, because they are a hip-hop band, but like someone pointed up, what Isis does for metal and sludge, Dälek does for hip-hop. They were great live, and reminded me somewhat of Coaxial, two thumbs up.

The club was a perfect venue for the concert, my only complaint being the horrible mixing of the microphone audio. Any singing by both Dälek and Isis was practically inaudible. Such a shame.

Highlights

isis_dalek_sthlm_09_013The most bored sound check guy in existence

isis_dalek_sthlm_09_015Steffi shows some love for MC Dälek!

isis_dalek_sthlm_09_017Yours truly!

Download
High-resolution photographs available here, lower-resolution (same size as gallery) archive available here. Also, big thans to Steffi, who took some of these pictures!

Also…
…apparently Mamiffer played just before Dälek, but we missed them. A shame, after coming home and hearing them, it would have been fun to see them live.

Gallery

Massive Attack Live at Annexet, Stockholm (October 18th, 2009) – Photos and video

22/10/2009

Massive_Attack

It’s been a while since I’ve went to a concert, so going to see Massive Attack felt great. The fact that their light show is über-awesome didn’t really hurt either. Having never seen them live, I was a bit worried that a lot of the performance would be on playback, because of the vast array of singers and musical elements they use in their songs, but I was pleasantly surprised to see them aided by a group of very talented singers. (Horace Andy, Martina Topley-Bird and Deborah Miller) They even played a brand-new song, exciting! You can see excerpts from the concert (Including the new song) in super-shiny high-definition resolution below.

Download
If you are looking for high-resolution, non-watermarked versions of the images in the gallery below, there’s a zip archive right here for you. If you’re looking for the lower-resolution versions (same as the gallery), click here.

Video

Gallery

Software Release: Homepage downtime kit for Apache v1

27/08/2009

downtimekitscreenshotThe bad boy in action.

When you’re managing a homepage for a while, there will be the times when you absolutely need to take your site down for maintenance – be it a hardware upgrade, code upgrade (When migrating to a new version of your/someone elses software.) or disk maintenance due to power loss or crash. But what do you show your users while the regular homepage is unavailable? Simply shutting down the server resulting in an error for the end-user is kind of boring, and gives a far less memorable expression than having a proper downtime page, all the big boys are doing it, so why shouldn’t you?

I spent a few minutes and hacked together a minimalistic “downtime kit”.

The easiest way is to temporarily redirect your page somewhere else (where you host the downtime kit) during the downtime, and there’s a multitude of ways to do so, all depending on the architecture of your hosting setup, so you’ll have to think of the best way for you to utilize this kit.

As for how it works, it simply uses the mod_rewrite functionality in Apache to redirect image requests to one central image, so that any hotlinked images you might have show a proper downtime dialogue on their respective pages. It also redirects users who want to download files and visit pages to a proper downtime dialogue.

Setting the kit up to work for your page takes less than a minute, here are what needs to be done (taken from the readme.txt file in the distribution.)

Prequisites:

  • PHP5 (Should work with PHP4)
  • Apache with mod_rewrite (XAMPP Lite distributions work great for this purpose.)

    License:
    This kit is released as beerware, a very permissive license, so do whatever you please with the code.

    Download link:
    zip file – (Mirror 1 / Mirror 2)

    Tutorial:

    1.) Upload all the files into the root of your web directory, if you want to restrict the script to a subfolder, read step 2, otherwise skip to 3.

    2.) If you uploaded the distribution into a subfolder (like http://www.mypage.com/ahomepage) instead of the root (which in this case would be http://www.mypage.com) – open the .htaccess in a text editor and change the second line from:
    ErrorDocument 404 /index.php
    …to:
    ErrorDocument 404 /<your subdirectoryhere>/index.php

    In our previous example, this line would be:
    ErrorDocument 404 /ahomepage/index.php

    If you have vhosts that link a subfolder to a domain name (ie you can visit the page at ahomepage.mypage.com) this step is not necessary.

    3.) Open config.php in a text editor and change the text
    <b>Status:</b><br>This page is down!
    …to whatever you wish for your downtime page to show.

    4.) Optionally change the notfound.jpg image for another one that suits you or your homepage better.

    5.) Enjoy!

    In other news…

    constantsCover art for “The Constants – The Foundation, The Machine, The Ascension”

    In this episode of “In other news…” we’re going to talk about post-rock. It feels like such a huge topic, but I’ll just satisfy myself by saying it’s a fantastic genre of music, especially instrumental post-rock, so without further ado, here is a list of some of my favourite post-rock band, in unspecified order – click on the band names to visit their homepages/profiles.

    Most of these bands are relatively small, and you can find a lot of music on their respective Myspace profiles and homepages.

    Why won’t OS X leave my thumb drive alone?

    10/05/2009

    hermesThe result after copying a few files from a Mac onto my thumb drive.
    I’m just waiting for the day when OS X comes with a “Don’t spam my drive
    with an extravagant number of unnecessary files” checkbox.

    If anyone else is interested in what these “._” files actually are and why you don’t need them you’ll find explanations here and here. In short they’re “fork files” that contain certain (unnecessary) settings and are a remainder from older days.

    In other news…

    61PKqcstHXL._SS500_Feer the deer.

    If you’re in the market for some amazing stoner rock you can’t go wrong with Dozers album “Through the Eyes of Heathens”. I found this little diamond a little while ago and it’s been played a lot these past couple of week. It’s great for programming, inducuing a state of melacholia where the only thing that matters is you and your code.

    Last.fm to start charging for listening to radio stations

    06/04/2009

    last-fm-logoYarr, I wants your monies!

    …except if you live in one of the “fab-three” countries: The United States, United Kingdom or Germany. Last.fm crew made the startling announcement a couple of weeks ago, and recently revisited it in another blog post postponing the decision somewhat but their goal remains unchanged.

    Now what really aggravates me is the fact that these three countries can already play full-length tracks on demand, in a similar fashion to Spotify. Now not only will they be able to keep doing that – absolutely for free, but the rest of the world will have to pay for simply accessing the radio feature, which played either tracks from a genre or your personally recommended tracks based on what you had listened to earlier. It doesn’t end there, they’re taking the opportunity to also increase their subscription pricing. A quick visit to the forum topic regarding the blog post reveals I am not the only one in anger over this sudden move. This is definitely carrying things in the wrong direction. I have always been a strong supporter of Last.fm and a subscriber for many months. I had high hopes of it being a strong contender in the music-on-demand race against Spotify in Sweden and was pleased when the on-demand feature was launched in the “fab-three” countries.

    I won’t close my account like many in the forum post have threatened to do, and I completely understand Last.fm’s reasoning behind this – some things aren’t economically feasible, but that doesn’t mean shutting a large part of the community out is a good way to proceed. Especially not for a site like Last.fm which is mostly community-driven. That’s just not the way I remember the Last.fm spirit like when it first started as a grassroots project many years ago. (I’m sure the CBS acquisition a couple of years ago has played its part.) Like one user cleverly pointed out – if Last.fm is economically feasible in some countries, why not cut some of their features and let the ad revenue temporarily subsidize the other countries while they work on deals there?

    Much has been said on the topic and I have a feeling the discussion is not going to end here, I just hope they pull themselves together before this all falls apart.

    High on validation

    26/03/2009

    thinlineThe thin… black line?

    I think I’ve found my drug of choice. It’s neither alcohol nor tobacco, and probably not whatelse you can guess – it’s W3’s (X)HTML validation engine. Pressing that big button nervously, awaiting the  validation server to fetch ones page, perform its ruthless tests and spit out either that satisfying green glow, releasing endorfins at light-speed into your system, or being faced with that that ominous red banner that makes your skin creep like a bad trip (I would assume.)

    Ah, to be alive!

    PS. I think the cwalken twitter might be influencing me a bit too much for my own good. DS.

    In other news…

    royksopp-junior royksopp_the_understanding_prcd1

    Covers for Junior and The Understanding, respectively

    The new Röyksopp album, Junior –  is good. Actually, it’s very good. Not really “The Understanding”-good and far more poppy, but I think that might be because “The Understanding” will always hold a special meaning in my life. Somehow Junior reminds me of Pocket Symphony, which is something very positive – even with all the hype I thought Pocket Symphony was very solid. I hope Röyksopps pays their neighboring country a visit on their upcoming tour.