Blog Hiatus

So I don't post very often here anymore. I've determined that this is because I've allowed the focus of this blog to become very narrow.

Good blogs have a subject or general theme. I've tried to keep my posts focused, but it has become far constrained resulting in infrequent posting.

Because of this I'm putting the blog on hiatus until August. No posts, nothing. When it comes back I expect to have redesigned the site, done a major overhaul of the blogging engine, and decided on a broader theme that I will actually write about.

Until then, if you just can't survive without my quips and thoughts, check me out on twitter. You can just follow my RSS feed there if you're not interested in joining.

Permalink | Posted: Apr 22, 2009 | Tags: 42

Album Sound Check - The GUI

A while ago you'll recall that I wrote a little Python script that would average out the sound check gain adjustment created by iTunes for a given set of songs.

I've gone a step farther and created a simple GUI tool for doing the same.

Album Sound Check (download link) provides a basic interface to editing this field based on the values in a given set of files.

Sound Check GUI

After running the program go ahead and open a directory containing songs from your iTunes library. They will be scanned in and the gain dB adjustment values stored. ASC will then determine an average from this.

You can choose to not have certain songs affect the resulting average by unchecking the "Use" column. You can choose to not have the computed average applied to a given file by unchecking the "Apply" column.

Once you're ready just click "Apply" and ...

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Permalink | Posted: Apr 22, 2009 | Tags: python osx music pyobjc

Oggify Updates

I've gone ahead and made an update to Oggify, pushing it to version 2.0.3. If you have version 2.0.1 or 2.0.2 you should really upgrade. They're a little bit (totally) broken.

Download link for tar.gz

Permalink | Posted: Mar 10, 2009 | Tags: oggify

Album Based Soundcheck

iTunes supports a feature called Sound Check. Similar to ReplyGain in other players, the goal is make songs playback at a similar volume. This is particularly useful with mixes, songs from various albums do not have jarring transitions. Since this computed on a song-by-song basis, different songs on a single album get different values. In some cases this creates a jarring experience while listening*.

For example: Muse's Absolution has an introduction track that never gets terribly loud, but leads in directly to a normal song. Sound Check did the following:

The ending of the first track is meant to be the same volume as the beginning of the second, but because of Sound Check, this doesn't happen.

I have written which computes the average volume of m4a or mp3 files and replaces the iTunes information ...

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Permalink | Posted: Jan 15, 2009 | Tags: python osx music

Best of 2008

This is out of the norm of my blog posts, but it being the end of the year I thought I'd mention some things I've found to be really good this year. I recommend these things to anyone.


Video Games

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Permalink | Posted: Dec 31, 2008 | Tags: 42

Building Cocoa GUIs in Python with PyObjC, Part Six

Handling Images

Cocoa provides an easy interface for dealing with images, NSImage. It can be a bit tricky in Python, but once you get it right the first time, it is fairly easy. For our application we have the images stored inside the audio tags and need to populate an NSImage object from binary data stored as a Python byte-string.

There are a number of methods for initializing an NSImage object from various sources. A few of note:


All of these are worth reading about in the developer documentation. We will be using initWithData:. This accepts a NSData object to make the NSImage. This is a multiple step process, so we'll create a method to make things easier:

def buildNSImage(bytes):
    data = NSData.dataWithBytes_length_(bytes, len(bytes))
    return NSImage.alloc().initWithData_(data)

bytes is a Python byte-string containing the image. NSImage will automatically handle the formatting ...

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Permalink | Posted: Dec 25, 2008 | Tags: python osx programming pyobjc cocoa

Audio of My UTOSC Presentation

I gave a presentation this past fall at UTOSC about various programming tips I've learned while I worked on Oggify. The audio from this was recorded and is now available. Enjoy.

Permalink | Posted: Dec 15, 2008 | Tags: oggify utosc programming

Building Cocoa GUIs in Python with PyObjC, Part Five

Adding Python Modules to the Bundle

If you try to use Python modules on the standard OS X Python path import statements will work fine. However, if you have non-standard modules that might be in a different location, or ones that you want to ship with, you will notice you can't just import them.

To bring them into the application bundle you'll have to go through a couple steps, but when it is all done the application will be able to use the modules, and you don't have to require the end user to install anything extra.

  1. Add the files to the Xcode project.

    • Select 'Project -> Add to Project' (option-command-a)
    • Select the Python module (directory) that you want to add.
    • On the next screen select "Copy items into destination group's folder (if needed) Add to Project dialog
    • Select the correct targets in 'Add to Targets'
    • Select "Create Folder References for ...

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Permalink | Posted: Sep 29, 2008 | Tags: python osx programming pyobjc cocoa

Now on Twitter

Well, I've finally given in, and am now on Twitter. You can find me as _ spr _ (hm. that's _spr_. python-markdown has a bug).

Permalink | Posted: Sep 26, 2008 | Tags: 42

Key-Value Coding in PyObjC

So when doing GUIs in with PyObjC you'll realize that the IBOutlet for tying objects to variables have a few limitations. The one I hit was that a single outlet can only be connected to one object. So I read up on Key-value coding. So to do this you have to add two functions per variable:

def name(self):
     return self.var
def setName(self, x):
     self.var = x

You can imagine that this becomes tedious really fast. Luckily there is a solution. As an example:

from PyObjCTools.KeyValueCoding import kvc

class controller(NSWindowController, kvc):
    title = ""
    artist = ""
    album = ""

So this ties __getattr__ and __setattr__ to valueForKey: and setValue:forKey. Making every class variable available for Key-value coding. Very handy.

Permalink | 1 comment | Posted: Sep 10, 2008 | Tags: python pyobjc cocoa

Rambling on Git

So during my UTOSC presentation I add some spare time, and ended up doing a "Git in Five Minutes" demo. I've done a written version for everyone to enjoy. So yes, I've written a Git tutorial.

Oh, and this Git Magic tutorial is pretty good too.

Permalink | Posted: Sep 10, 2008 | Tags: programming tips git

UTOSC Slides and Related Files

I presented at UTOSC this year, presenting a series of tips and best practices that I've learned from Oggify. Entitled Things I've Learned From Oggify, the slides are available on the conference site. There are a few files I used in the presentation which I have put in a tar and uploaded. Enjoy!

Permalink | Posted: Sep 10, 2008 | Tags: 42 python utosc

Blog Update | Django 1.0

The blog code has been updated to be compliant with the recent release of Django 1.0. And a small patch from Jeff.

Permalink | Posted: Sep 05, 2008 | Tags: django python blog

Oggify 2.0 Released

Oggify has now been officially released at version 2.0. Oggify now includes:

So go and download it now, and enjoy your audio conversion!

Permalink | Posted: Aug 28, 2008 | Tags: oggify

My iPhone 3G Buying Experience

I've been reading various responses to the iPhone 3G activation issues. These range from "my phone is a brick," "the store won't sell any that aren't activated," to "the line barely moves." I had a different experience yesterday morning out here in California.

I went to the smaller local Apple store in the Stanford Shopping Center. The line started at 5 AM (mall rules) and my friend and I got there at 7 AM. We were around the 100th in line. Around 9 AM the Apple employees started to alert people that if they had a business discount on their phone they needed to call AT&T and get it removed. So I called and in 5 minutes I got the PLU number removed from my account. I got into the store at 9:45 AM, and quickly bought my 8 GB. The employee helping me told ...

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Permalink | Posted: Jul 12, 2008 | Tags: 42 iphone


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