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Using iTunes to organise your recordings

Friday, April 20th, 2007

As an avid producer of podcasts, I have for ages been trying to find a good way of organising my recordings. I needed to keep all my recordings together in a sensible directory structure AND a way of tagging, categorising and searching them.

I was getting to the point of writing some sort of recording content management system when it suddenly struck me - “Hang on, isn’t that what iTunes does?!” Doh!

So I’ve started an experiment. I downloaded iTunes onto the PC where I store all my recordings, interviews etc. Then I brought each recording into iTunes (File -> Add file to library). When you do this at least 5 cool things happen:-

  • The sound file gets copied into a sensible, non changing directory structure maintained by iTunes (ensure you have Edit -> Preferences -> Advanced tab, Keep iTunes Music Folder organised and Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library ticked);
  • You can now edit the information associated with each recording - right click on the recording and select Get Info. You can edit the title, year, and add a description among other things.
  • You can group clumps of recording together by assigning them an “album” - for example, if you were putting together a podcast series about Alien Abductions, you could put all you interviews and other recordings into an album called “Alien Abduction Recordings”.
  • You can use the search box in iTunes to find stuff - invaluable when you recording library gets really big. Top tip - put tags in the Composer field when you edit the info, this field is searched by the iTunes search box. So for example I did a recording the other day of a guy called Jim on the seafront at the Al Fresco cafe, my tags were “jim andy beach seafront al fresco”.
  • Another way of “tagging” is to use playlists. Make playlist of your top dozen or so “tags” and drag the relevant recordings into them - cool.

I’ll keep you posted on how my iTunes experiment is going.

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A Properous New Year Message and Free eBook Recommendation

Friday, January 5th, 2007

I meant to write this in the holidays but better late than never!

From the bottom of my heart I wish every one of you a PROPEROUS, JOYFULL, HEALTHY and AMAZING 2007!!! In addition, thank you for listening and subscribing to the podcasts, commenting on the posts and joining the Audio Unleashed mailing list (the tips are coming soon - promise ;-) ).

A while ago I discovered an amazing free ebook called The Science of Getting Rich. It has been a major positive influence in my life along with the amazing lady, Rebecca Fine, who made it available to us all. You can download it here.

Once again PEACE and PROSPERITY to you all.

Encrypting data the easy way

Wednesday, August 9th, 2006

Never again worry about the wrong people getting their hands on your sensitive data. In this post I’ll tell you about a great tool for encrypting data & files - and it’s free! (more…)

Mind Mapping for all

Tuesday, July 25th, 2006

Must tell you about a great free Mind Mapping tool I’ve been trying out. It’s called FreeMind and it rocks.

FreeMind is a program that allows you to produce a Mind Map. OK, so what’s a Mind Map?

Have you ever tried to write an article and just found yourself staring at a blank sheet? Have you ever tried to think through an idea but ended up going round in mental circles? Well if you have, Mind Maps can help.

Instead of writing things down in a linear fashion you start by writng a central theme or idea in the centre of the sheet. Then you start writing related ideas branching out from this. Try and get 6 or 7 of these first level ideas down as quickly as possible. Now start doing the same branching process from these branches so you end up with a kind of tree of ideas.

The idea is that you avoid the log jam of linear thought and free the mind. Try it, you might like it.

If you get into it there are some good books on the subject. I’ve read The Mind Map Book by Tony Buzan which is a great introduction.

Converting documents to PDF

Saturday, July 15th, 2006

Folks often ask me “How can I convert documents to PDF?”

This is my usual response.

If you don’t want to go out and purchase Adobe Acrobat, the first choice would be to use Open Office (discussed earlier in this blog), which has a built-in PDF converter.
If you don’t want to install Open Office, try Pdf995. Download and install their PDF995 product.

Now it’s free as long as you don’t mind seeing an ad each time you use it. It’s actually 2 files and you need to install both of them. The end result is that a new printer named PDF995 appears in your printer list. When you want to convert any file into a PDF, simply send it to your PDF995 printer instead - simple.

Internet telephone that’s easy to use – Skype

Friday, May 5th, 2006

You can use your PC to chat using the Internet – I do it all the time.

All you do is go to http://www.skype.com, create an account and download and install the free software. Get a headset (often less than £5), plug it into your PC and you’re away. When you call another Skype user it’s free but you can also call land lines for a small fee (about a Euro cent per minute).


A firewall - Zone Alarm

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006

This is a free (for home use) software firewall. This means that it protects your PC from probes and nasties lurking on the Internet and stops horrible things that shouldn’t be on your PC from emailing all your friends without you knowing.

Download it from http://www.zonelabs.com