July 13th, 2009
July 13th, 2009
July 5th, 2009
My new Pearl VMX Red Sparkle.
You can see more at my Flickr site.
July 2nd, 2009
I’ve been in love with my black Zune 30 ever since I bought it about two years ago. I’m starting to hit the wall with storage on it and my dreaming of a nice, big 120 someday. I also love the continued support from Microsoft with new firmware and software updates.
One of the latest features added to the software was auto playlists. Setting as little or as many filter criteria you want, the Zune software will automatically take care of it and you end up with a customized, dynamic playlist that may change based on how you use it.
One auto playlist I have is “My Faves”. Basically it keeps track of all my favorited songs – that way, I just need to tag them, and the list updates. Pretty cool hu? After amassing 200+ songs, I thought it be a good idea to backup those playlists in case of a system failure or library reset. By the way, I use Mozy to backup most of my critical files – it’s 2gb free online storage.
So recently I installed Windows 7(RC) and discovered that the Zune software had to do a library reset. That’s a bummer since I have 30gb+ of music – so it took a while for it to re-catalog my music. Ooops… resetting the catalog also blows away any favorited tags (any any other meta data of the like). No big deal, right, I’ll just launch Mozy and restore my favorite play list from before the reset and we’ll be all good. I restore the playlist file and then look at my Zune software… it’s only showing about 18 songs. What?! I try it again… same thing. I try copying the XML from the original playlist into the playlist directly, still same thing. Figure it out yet?
Since it was an auto playlist and my library was reset (canceling all my songs marked favorite), the auto playlist was only displaying the songs I’ve favorited since the reset. Grrrr!
No biggie. I’m a computer professional, I can get around this. Here’s what I did:
- With my original, backed up playlist, I opened it in Notepad++ (because I like it, notepad.exe or any text editor would do), copied all the lines between the <seq></seq> tags. Your playlists can typically be found where you store you music under Zune/Playlists
- I then went into the Zune software, and created a new standard playlist; “Backup Faves”. This new playlist appears in the Zune/Playlists folder with a .ZPL extension. It’s just a fancy XML document.
- Again, I open the new “backup faves.zpl” file in Notepad++, and paste the lines from my original file between the <seq></seq> tags.
- Save it.
- Verify that the Zune software now sees the change. Success!
- Now… with the standard playlist updated and showing all the songs, I need to re-favorite them all. This is where the magic happens; I select all the songs in the “Backup Faves” list (CTRL+A) and then hit the Favorite button (the little heart icon) and *BANG!*, *POW!*, all the songs that I liked but were un-favorited were again favorited! Oh happy day!
- Now, since all those songs were re-classified as my faves, my auto playlist recognized them and is back in business. Slick!
Now, for this to work for anyone, you need to have a backup of your auto playlist. If you reset your library without one, you’ll probably be S.O.L. So make sure you avoid disaster and having to re-categorize everything by making a backup of your playlists on a regular basis.
Backups are your friend!
Hope that helps someone out!
May 6th, 2009
My band – Straight Jack and the Ettes covering “Little Wing”
February 22nd, 2009
My old band’s one and only real music video. Shot during the recording of our second album “Spring Catalog” in 1997.
February 22nd, 2009
Straight Jack and the Ettes covering SRV’s “Going Down”. Feb 21, 2009 at the Algoma Club, Oshkosh, WI.
January 19th, 2009
Man.. I’ve neglected this blog for a while. I’ve been busy with a number of things:
- Finally finished Oblivion + Shivering Isles. I got all achievements except one in Shivering Isles – don’t feel like going back and getting it either. I had close to 140hrs and over 1100 saves. I really enjoyed the game, but stopped exploring about 80hrs in and just wanted to get it done – so I jumped from point to point. I think I ended up with my character on level 41.
- Been working on my drums a lot since joining a blues band (working name; Straight Jack and the Ettes). Playing along with the set list, buying PA speakers (JBL EON 15 G2), new parts, new triggers, etc… getting things ready to start playing out. First gig should be Feb 21.
- Letting my Xbox Live subscription expire and roll back to a Silver account. I just don’t play on-line enough to justify it right now. I have a literal ton of games that I have to play through and multi-player isn’t feasible right now. I’m too competitive and don’t like loosing. Plus I never seem to have enough time to devote to it. (Yes… I know Amazon and others are selling the 12+1mo sub for $30).
- Been having fun on FaceBook.
- Life in general has been challenging.
So there you have it. I’d like to think I’m going to pay more attention to the blog here; maybe update the site, but we’ll see.