Andrew Guyton's Blog

To understand what we’re doing here, you may want to read my introduction to using YQL and Feed43 to create custom RSS feeds. I wanted to pull multiple unconnected elements from a webpage to make an RSS feed, but every example I’d seen recently only used xpath to get one element from the page. The solution to this problem is quite simple; however, the solution evaded me for quite a while. Read more »

A common task I’ve been using AutoHotkey for lately is adding the artist to the filename of an mp3. Here’s some quick code to do that:

RenameSongs(path, artist)
{
	Loop %path%\*.mp3
	{
		IfNotInString A_LoopFileName, %artist%
		{
			newfilename = %artist% - %A_LoopFileName%
			StringReplace newfilename, newfilename, (1),, All
			FileMove %path%\%A_LoopFileName%, %path%\%newfilename%
		}
	}
	TrayTip File rename,Done!
}

Then call it from somewhere else with a path and a proper artist name. How you do that part is up to you, I’m just plugging the values into the script. You could probably make an explorer keyboard shortcut and a box that prompts you for the artist name if you so desired.

So I recently noticed that my code to combine AutoHotkey with iTunes wasn’t working, so tonight’s project was to get it working again. Luckily, AutoHotkey has dramatically developed since I wrote the last post, now bundling native COM support in a version that is generally known as AHK_L. For a full list of things added to AutoHotkey, consult the AHK_L Changelog.

Using COM

So the best news here is that we don’t have to mess with low-level COM coding at all; anyone who has done so will know the pain of which I speak. Using COM is one of the most degrading, mind-wrangling and time-consuming tasks in Computer Science. Thankfully, the new syntax is simple.

Playback Controls

Media_Next::
	iTunes := ComObjCreate("iTunes.Application")
	iTunes.NextTrack()
Return

Media_Play_Pause::
	iTunes := ComObjCreate("iTunes.Application")
	iTunes.PlayPause()
Return

Media_Prev::
	iTunes := ComObjCreate("iTunes.Application")
	iTunes.PreviousTrack()
Return

^Media_Mute::
	iTunes := ComObjCreate("iTunes.Application")
	iTunes.Mute := !iTunes.Mute
Return

More after the jump. Read more »

So there are plenty of applications that will let you view PDFs on your iDevice, but if you really want to enjoy reading a book it needs to be reformatted to have a decent font size. To that end, I suggest converting it to ePub and reading it with the iPhone app Stanza. While using Dropbox is optional here (email would work just as well) I find opening files is very easy using the Dropbox iPhone app.

Instructions

  1. Go to Epub2Go on your desktop.
  2. Upload a PDF with the included buttons; it can either be on your machine or from a provided URL, which could be a file in your dropbox.
  3. If the conversion is successful, download it via the button (if you’re on your desktop) or have it emailed to you. Put it into your dropbox for easy access.
  4. Open it on your iDevice in Stanza (or some other ePub reader) with all of the features and easy reading inherent in a properly formatted eBook!

Hopefully, this tip will get me back into reading more than just Ars Technica articles! Read more »

Like many people, I don’t keep all of my data on one computer or device. I’ve got another machine that I dump less-used media to as my laptop doesn’t exactly have the largest hard drive in the world. Unfortunately, if you try to add a network drive to a Library using the GUI, it won’t let you. The back-end service, however, does support this functionality.

There’s a tool called Win7 Library Tool (aptly enough) that will let you add devices like that, so now you can view your video/picture (or whatever else) collection no matter where it is on your network. Huzzah!

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