Edit Mp3 tags in Ubuntu with cowbell

14 07 2007

I posted here on what I liked for editing Mp3 tags in Windows. Unfortunately these apps don’t work in Ubuntu so I went looking for an alternative. While searching I wasn’t surprised to find several threads where people have been looking for the same type of thing. I ran across a few programs but none of them worked very well, IMHO, until I ran across a reference to cowbell someplace.

From the cowbell site

Do you ever pull your hair out trying to hand-edit all your tags with some arcane editor? Tell your inner OCD to take a hike because Cowbell is coming to town.

Cowbell is an elegant music organizer intended to make keeping your collection tidy both fun and easy.

Most of the editing I do is to podcasts so the album feature of Cowbell doesn’t fit in here. I need to edit each Mp3 individually which is easily done by simply dragging the file into cowbell and removing it when I’m done. Of course this could all be handled rather nicely if Podcast authors would simply tag their files in some consistent manner, but I guess this is where I need to tell my inner OCD to take a hike.

You need cowbell

Cowbell screenshot

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Ubuntu and Sprint EVDO

1 06 2007

As I move along in making my Ubuntu install my own, and keep from reverting back to Windows, I am reaching some personal milestones.
Today I was able to get a Sprint EVDO PanTech PX-500 connected. It was not as difficult as I thought it would be. I was able to follow the directions in the Sprint documentation here. The KPPP (GUI) option did not work for me but the terminal based WvDial worked just fine.

Kudos to Sprint for creating Linux documentation for getting their devices connected.

Google Gears – awesome

30 05 2007

Google Gears has been released and it seems to be a pretty pivotal application as the lines begin to blur between offline and online applications.
I tested Gears on Google Reader on Ubuntu and it worked without any hiccups.

I’ve also been following Dojo Offline and it appears they have been working to make Dojo offline work well with Google Gears.

This will be a very interesting space to watch.

ReadWrite Web wrote up a nice post, here.

Easy Print to PDF in Ubuntu

26 05 2007

I’m rarely connected to a printer with my laptop and had not dug into printing to PDF since moving to Ubuntu. I came across the following link to a tutorial for just such an operation and am happy to report that it works entirely as advertised. When you print to PDF you’ll find a PDF folder in your Home folder. The PDF folder will contain your printed page. Thanks ArsGeek and NewLinuxUser for the info.

ArsGeek – Free your inner geek » 5 steps to create a PDF printer (print to PDF) in Ubuntu

Ever wanted to print a document of just about any sort to a virtual printer that would then turn it into a PDF? It’s pretty easy to do in Ubuntu. In fact you’ll need just 5 steps and about as many minutes of your time to set this up.

Open Source Projects To Watch

26 05 2007

Here is a list of 15 Open Source projects to watch. My recent adoption of Ubuntu Kubuntu has further fueled my interest in Open Source alternatives. I wish I was more secure in my knowledge of application development so I could contribute to the community. My goal will be to get to the point of contribution.

I have not tried any of the projects listed but will be looking into many of them and likely posting some feedback here.

Open Source Projects: 15 To Watch

Ubuntu Desktop Effects error

26 05 2007

Since installing Ubuntu 7.04 I have wanted to enable the desktop effects but have been unable to do so.
The error displayed is shown below.

A Google search shows that many other folks are having the same issue.

The answer ended up being a change in the xorg.conf file, which I learned about while reading this thread in the Ubuntu forums.
Now to install Beryl and learn how to use it.

Finally plunged into Ubuntu – Feisty

21 05 2007

I had been thinking about giving Ubuntu a real try lately. I have had it installed on a PC that sets on my desk in the office but it was too easy for me to just push my chair away when a challenge presented itself and get back to comfortable old Windows. I never spent more than a collective hour a week tinkering with it.

While messing around with my laptop last week, a Thinkpad T42p, it dawned on me that most of what I do on my laptop is done in a browser and this machine may be the best Ubuntu candidate. So I did it. I moved all my data to an external drive, booted to the Live Feisty CD and blew XP out in place of Ubunutu, which became Kubuntu in only a few days.

It’s important to note that I have lived in Windows for all my computing life, since before 3.1. I have never done much at all with Unix or Linux aside from some casual shoulder surfing and the same is true of the macintosh.

I’ve been running Ubuntu now for a week and have not suffered much.

What I was impressed with:

  • Hardware support – I have not had to seek out one driver. Wireless networking just worked at home and in the office. Wired networking took right off too. Video and sound were also optimal out of the box. My Mp3 player was immediately recognized as was my Cruzer titanium flash drive. I was also able to configure network printing with no effort (printing to a Lexmark T640 with the T614 driver).
  • Installed software – The installed software is more than enough to get you going. The Rhythmbox Music player is one of the best I’ve seen. On my to-do list is looking for some lists of required Ubuntu software. I really have no clue. I did install kubuntu because it was mentioned in many of the articles I read. I’m not entirely sure what it does for you. I know it is KDE vs. Gnome and it has its own apps bundled that are equally as nice (Konsole).
  • Management – overall the management of the OS has been very intuitive. Each time I would look for something online invariably my search would lead me right back to a setting in the OS, and not a setting that has to be tweaked via the terminal but an honest to goodness GUI with options and everything. I know there is much that can and should be done via the command line but the fact that you aren’t forced there for every little thing is nice. While I was researching the OS all the mention of having to adjust settings via the terminal was not something I was looking forward to. It’s not that I’m afraid of using a command line, I use them all day long in the AS400 and Windows, I was not into having to learn a new set of commands and syntax just to run an alternate OS. Thankfully I haven’t had to beat away at too much from the command line. Learning more about it is another to-do item.

Here’s what I have working:

  • Email – Evolution – We are an Exchange shop and evolution was the only real solution which allowed me to be connected to the Exchange environment for calendaring, contacts, etc. I’ve only been satisfied with Evolution in the office. Evolution will not connect from anyplace outside the LAN. This is a bummer as Webmail looks like crap when viewed in anything but IE. I’ll likely resort to VPN and a remote Desktop to my office PC when I need to do any extensive Outlook stuff outside the office. Oh, I failed to mention that Evolution uses the webmail interface to Exchange.
  • VPN – A VPN into the office was essential for after hours emergencies, etc. It was very easy to get setup using this info.
  • TN5250 – AS400 access – This took a little bit for me to get working. I’m sure this had to do with my lack of knowledge around the console/terminal in Ubuntu, and not the app itself. Once configured it works pretty well. I have some tweaking to do in the keyboard mapping but nothing too serious. The documentation here is 100% required reading.

All in all I have been very pleased. My biggest shortcoming, and possibly greatest benefit, is my lack of knowledge. I really don’t have any idea what software works better than another. I simply did not have much in the way of expectations aside from eventually dumping Microsoft. As I mentioned my world has been Windows and thus far I do not feel crippled using Linux at all.

Its a neat feeling to be digging into an OS again, for the first time.

Following are some links that helped get me acquainted.

Connecting to Windows from Ubuntu « Linux for human beings?

High-speed cellular wireless modems (e.g. EVDO, HSPDA) in Ubuntu GNU/Linux 6.10 | Samat Jain’s personal home page\

How To: Configure custom keyboard shortcuts on Ubuntu – Lifehacker

HOW TO: Ubuntu Linux for Novices – PaulStamatiou.com

HowTo: Dual Monitors (Xinerama/TwinView/MergedFB) – Ubuntu Forums

Installing Beryl On An Ubuntu Feisty Fawn Desktop With An ATI Radeon Graphic Card | HowtoForge – Linux Howtos and Tutorials

keepass installation – Ubuntu Forums

No Kidding IBM iSeries Access (as400) Client on Edgy [Archive] – Ubuntu Forums

NoMachine NX – Linux Terminal Server, Thin Client Access and Management Software

nVidia TwinView – Ubuntu Forums

Ubuntu:Feisty/Networking –