Saturday, August 17, 2013

Easy CD Ripping on Mac OSx

As we all know, there are a plethora of applications out there to rip music cd's to mp3 format.  All of them have some kind of learning curve, as well as learning to configure them properly, not to mention, some of the better options will cost you a few $$ out of pocket if you want to use them. 

In this post, I will show you how to easily configure your iTunes software to import a music cd and convert it to MP3 on the fly.  The only limitation that some will skoff at, is that it only seems to support up to 192kbps.  For me, this is not an issue as I tend to use 192 by default.  I have found the higher rates above 192 don't always play or are sketchy when playing, but that's just my observance.

For these instructions, I am using iTunes 11.0.4 on OSx 10.8.4.  If you are using something different (including Windows), your going to have to figure out where to go.  Hopefully it won't differ to greatly.

The first thing you will need to do, after putting your cd in you Mac and selecting it from the source drop down menu, is to go to iTunes->Preferences in the top menu.   When the window appears, you will need to be in the General tab. On that screen, look for the section called "When you insert a CD:"  Here is what it looks like.

Once you found the above, you will click on 'Import Settings'.  The new window that opens will look like this:

In the above, you will want to set your settings as shown.  The 'Import Using' setting is important for the conversion to MP3.  After changing the settings, hit "Ok' to save them. 

When the tracks are converted to MP3, iTunes will save the files to the designated 'iTunes Media folder location'.  You can find out what this is, and even change it, on the 'Advanced' tab.  Once you are done, hit 'Ok' to go back to iTunes.  

The only thing left is to click on the 'Import CD' link in the upper right corner of the iTunes window.  This will begin the import and conversion of the files.  Believe it or not, its not that awful and only takes a several minutes per CD to rip all of the tracks.  

I hope this tutorial provided what you needed to rip mp3s with iTunes.  

Issues/Bug Tracking Software

I recently started working on a software project during my companies recent Hackathon.  While I ended up getting a good chunk of the application completed (ok, the initial configuration script and the first part of the app itself), I see an immediate need to track both needed enhancements and bugs/issues.

I did a quick search and found a Wikipedia page comparing the different issue tracking systems out there.  Some of my requirements are:
  • It must be FREE!
  • Support for git (as that's what I am using for my versioning)
  • Python based (because Python rocks!)
  • Not hosted.  I want to host it myself.  ( I'm a control freak)
  • An option for OpenID login would be sweet.
  • Ability to lock it down securely.
I know, its not a terribly long list, but its not short either.  Unfortunately, my options are quite limited, due in no small part to my Python requirement.  After looking at the options, I am currently looking at Trac (quite popular) and Apache Bloodhound.   Before you say it, Launchpad is python based, but unfortunately appears to be a hosted solution.  

In comparing the two potential choices, I have decided to go with Trac.  I did some research on their site (and through the Googles), and there has been plenty of additions made to the project.  For instance, someone implemented pastebin support in Trac using a Python module called ClueBin.  That is SWEET in my opinion.

Update:  Thankfully, I quickly realized something I overlooked in my decision.  That was the need for support for multiple projects.  I know, I didn't list that above, but an issue tracking system that only supports one project is quite tunnel visioned.  Trac claims that people have modified the application to add support for multiple projects, but at the point that I am at, I am in no place to take on that modification.  So, it looks like Apache Bloodhound is going to get my current vote and i will update after I have it installed and have used it for a bit.

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