March 12th, 2008


Nerdly information

I have a portable hard disk that I stuck a bunch of MP3s on, which I'm using with iTunes. This gets my music files off of my work computer's hard disk, where they could be problematic with respect to the University. This led me to some conclusions:

1. ITunes could be a lot better. If there was a better OS X music library manager/player I'd use it. ITunes does not play well with fiddling around with your music files the way I've been doing. At one point I had to write a shell script to erase all the duplicate files ITunes created when I deleted all the tracks from the database and told it to import all my music files.

2. Shell scripts have trouble dealing with special characters. Something I commonly do in the C Shell:

foreach x ( `find ...` )
do something to $x

which basically goes through every file in a directory tree and do something to everything found. If there are any spaces, parenthesis or exclamation points in the filenames (like the regrettably named band !!!), this method doesn't work. I ended up dumping out the names of all the mp3 files I wanted deleted into a file, and then using emacs macros to make 3000 shell commands to execute to delete the duplicate files. Even then I had to make several passes to escape special characters.

3. At least on a Mac, Firewire rules all over USB 2.0. I have a portable drive with both interfaces, and using the Firewire is noticeably faster. Haven't played with it on PC, but at some point I want to build a fault tolerant RAID array for storage at home, and hook it up to FW800. Anyone know of a reasonably priced RAID tower?