Friday, April 9

Freeware cornucopia!

After going through a bunch of shitty programs for extracting songs from an iPod so I could steal music from my friend's iPod & put it on my computer, I finally found a good program:

Then there's a program that takes all your songs in your iTunes library, somehow weighs your ratings, and spits out a list of songs you'll probably like. A server in some far away land (actually, it's Illinois) generates the lists and at the same time stores the data to improve their database. I suppose it looks for connections, like that someone who likes the Faces also likes Fischerspooner, and uses that for future guesses. The server is overburdened, though, so I'm still waiting for my results. A day and a half they've estimated. But considering my playlist of songs I haven't even listened to is longer than that, then I shouldn't be in a hurry to find even more music that I absolutely must have.

Music Recommendation System for iTunes--also free!
I also found a dj program, though this is shareware. If I can get it working, it would definitely be worth the $25, as it appears to be a step above anything else I've found in the price range. For one, it allows different outputs, so you can have the master sound go out of the USB port and use the headphones for cuing. Or at least this is how it's supposed to work. In theory it allows mixing without having two soundcards, or two computers hooked up to a mixer. The program also seems to do pitch shifting well, without the clicks and pops that plague some programs that otherwise seem well made. There's no excuse for scrimping on that part. Also, if you use the built-in beat counter, then type in the bpm for a song, it stores that, and when you change the pitch, it shows the new, adjusted bpm on the screen, which makes it easy to get two songs in synch. If I ever get it working, then I might put up a short primer on using it for djing. The manual that comes with the program wasn't very helpful, at least at first glance.

Disco 2.3 for OSX, $25
I've been using Listen&Type for a while for transcribing tapes, and it's been great. There's a new OSX version out that works differently from the old one, and I'm not sure I like it so far. I'm used to the old version, Listen&Type X1.01, which you can buy for $15. It's a little confusing on their site; version X1.01 doesn't show up on the main page, but if you download the new version X3.0, then that package comes with X1.01 also. They allow a full demo for a while, so it's easy to take for a spin. And it's completely without bugs, in my experience.

Listen&Type, shareware, $15-20
(2nd from the bottom of the page)


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