tinyapps.org / blog

Batch download and embed album cover art #

If you have a huge MP3 collection and just want to batch download and embed cover art without verifying each cover individually (and iTunes' "Get Album Artwork" is insufficient*):
  1. Download and install Mp3tag
  2. Download DisCoverArt and unzip contents to the Mp3tag program directory (e.g., C:\Program Files (x86)\Mp3tag)
  3. Open an elevated command prompt and cd to the Mp3tag program directory
  4. Run regsvr32 custommsgbox.dll and click OK when the success dialog appears
  5. Open Mp3tag
  6. File > Add directory... > navigate to your music folder > Select Folder
  7. Create a new tool:
    1. Tools > Options > Tools
    2. Click the New (yellow star) button
    3. Name: DisCoverArt Google 300x300 Artist+Title NoQuotes
    4. Path: Browse to the Mp3tag program directory and select DisCoverArt.exe
    5. Parameter: "%artist%" "%title%" -discomusic.com 0 1 300 300 jpg 1 1
    6. Check "for all selected files" > OK > OK
  8. Create a new action:
    1. Actions > Actions (you need to select at least one song in the main interface for this menu item to be available)
    2. Click the New (yellow star) button
    3. Name of action group: Save Coverart
    4. Click OK > click the New button again
    5. Select action type: Import Cover From File > OK
    6. Format string for image filename: %artist% - %title%.jpg
    7. Import cover as: Front Cover
    8. Check "Delete existing cover art" > OK > OK > Close
  9. Right click on column header > Customize columns... > check "Cover" > click "Move up" until it is at or near the top of the list
  10. Click the Cover column to sort
  11. Select all files without an entry in the Cover column (the author recommends selecting no more than 300 at a time to avoid problems)
  12. Right click on highlighted files and click Tools > DisCoverArt Google 300x300 Artist+Title NoQuotes
  13. Wait for all console windows to close
  14. Actions > Actions (Quick) > "Import cover from file" > OK
  15. Format string for image filename: %artist% - %title%.jpg
  16. Import cover as: Front Cover
  17. Check "Delete existing cover art" > OK > OK
  18. File > Save tag > OK
  19. Close Mp3tag
  20. Getting the artwork to show up in iTunes:
    1. Open iTunes and click "Albums"
    2. Edit > Select All > Right click > click "Uncheck Selection" (album covers will appear)
    3. Edit > Select All > Right click > "Check Selection"
Another option is to download cover art with Album Art Downloader and embed with Mp3tag:
  1. Download and run Album Art Downloader
  2. File > New > File Browser...
  3. Enter path to music directory under "Search for audio files in:"
  4. Click Search
  5. Click Options...
  6. Click "Automatically download and save the first result that meets set criteria"
  7. Click "Select all albums with missing artwork"
  8. Click "Get Artwork for Selection..."
  9. Click "Download and save results automatically"
  10. If desired, change minimum required image size to 300 px and allowed cover types to Front
  11. Click Start
  12. When the process is complete, embed the album art with Mp3tag by starting with step 14 above. The only change is in step 15, where you'll need to use Folder.jpg as the format string.

* On a related note, cover art obtained through iTunes' "Get Album Artwork" is not embedded within files by default. To quickly embed all such artwork, the fastest and simplest tool I've found is the $5 iCoverArt (via the "Embed Downloaded Artwork" function). The free and open source iTSfv looked promising, but kept crashing in a clean Windows 7 32 bit virtual machine, even after installing the required .Net Framework.

/windows | Sep 10, 2014

Hard keyboard carrying cases #

for 60%, 75%, or tenkeyless mechanical keyboards are back in stock today at KeyChatter (thanks Aaron!). Options include various pockets, handles, closures, and colors. Made in the USA. See also this recent discussion on /r/MechanicalKeyboards.


UPDATE: New thread in /r/MechanicalKeyboards, including a coupon code.

/misc | Sep 07, 2014

Mount floppy images as drive A: #

with ImDisk Virtual Disk Driver (thanks again for the tip four years ago, Claus!). Even if A: is assigned to another device, ImDisk VDD can force reassignment (no need for the aforementioned ReMount).

(Virtual Floppy Drive 2.1 looked promising, but even with ReMount I was unable to force the drive letter assignment ("Source volume mount point 'letter' is invalid - abort").)

/windows | Sep 07, 2014

Create an image file from floppy disk #

or write an image file to floppy disk with RawWrite: * dd can of course be used instead of RawWrite for creating and writing floppy images (among other tasks); here are a few examples from the author's site:

/windows | Sep 07, 2014

Map a USB floppy drive to A: in Windows XP Mode #

  1. Connect USB floppy drive to Windows 7 host
  2. In XP Mode, click "USB" in toolbar at top and then click the entry for your USB floppy drive. It will be connected as B: by default.
  3. Download and run Uwe Sieber's ReMount from the command line:
    C:\>ReMount.exe -s b: a:
  4. Your USB floppy drive is now assigned to A:. This assignment appears to be permanent (unless changed with ReMount)
See also:

/windows | Sep 07, 2014

Batch script notes: set system date, launch an application, run as admin #

/windows | Sep 07, 2014

Dis-ease #

"The idea of the accumulation of private property beyond your needs was considered a mental illness."

Thom Hartmann in I Am, discussing Peter Farb's Man's Rise to Civilization As Shown by the Indians of North America from Primeval Times to the Coming of the Industrial State

/misc | Sep 03, 2014

OS X: Blank authentication dialog #

A Mac running OS X 10.9.4 would only display a blank authentication dialog when admin privileges were requested:


Text could not be typed or pasted into the text fields.

The issue was ultimately resolved by replacing the entire /System/Library/Fonts folder with a fresh copy from the Mavericks installer (restoring from Time Machine was another option), but not before these potential fixes had been tried:
  1. "Look for Enabled Duplicates..." in Font Book (see Resolve duplicate fonts)
  2. Clear the font caches $ sudo atsutil databases -remove and reboot. (This command did fix the issue for a single launch of the authentication dialog, but the problem returned immediately afterwards.) Others suggest simply running $ atsutil server -shutdown && atsutil server -ping afterwards, but a reboot is recommended.
  3. $ sudo fontrestore default (Restore the available system fonts to a pristine state, if possible.)
  4. Create and login as a new user to see if issue is associated with user profile (needed to create the new user from the Terminal since the authentication dialog was not working).
  5. A thread about A's with boxes around them in authentication dialogs (Mysterious authentication dialogue font error) pointed to Lucida Grande as the likely culprit, but replacing /System/Library/Fonts/LucidaGrande.ttc with a clean copy did not resolve the issue.
  6. Deleting (in desperation) ~/Library/Fonts/ and ~/Library/FontCollections/ did not help, but did render the user account unusable until those folders were restored with fresh copies from the new user account (folder permissions fixed with BatChmod, though Mavericks now offers a "Paste Item Exactly" option (via Alt+Shift+Command+V) which preserves permissions (but not ACLs)).

Microsoft fonts were restored by running the Microsoft Office 2011 installer and selecting only "Office Fonts" (there was no need to reenter the product key).

/mac | Aug 31, 2014

Working with CSV files from the command line #

csvkit is a suite of utilities for converting to and working with CSV. Tools include:



Output (and Analysis)

(via author's comment on a blog post about parsing CSV files with the standard *nix tools: "Just a heads up that most of these commands will fail with non-trivial data because CSV files can contain rows that span multiple lines. I wrote csvkit to solve exactly this problem: http://csvkit.readthedocs.org/en/0.8.0/ Similar commands, but it handles CSV format correctly.")

/nix | Aug 27, 2014

Beautiful new software firewall and network monitor #

GlassWire is a network monitor and firewall for Windows with a lickable UI:


Only downside appears to be that outbound connections from new apps are not automatically blocked.

On a related note, I recently tested a number of firewalls with Comodo's HIPS and Firewall Leak Test Suite; the only product to pass all tests with virtually no setup or configuration was SpyShelter Firewall (though I didn't test Comodo's own fireall product; the download was over 230MB, compared to SpyShelter's 10MB).

(via Hacker News)

/windows | Aug 25, 2014

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