Display iTunes music info on your blog

MacDude pointed out that you can use Now Playing to display iTunes track info on your blog. Now Playing is a little widget that checks iTunes every 15 seconds and then can upload the track data to any FTP, .mac or WebDav location. You can either use one of the default themes or build a custom one, which is music to my ears. Unfortunately the documentation is in Japanese only and to make matters worse their example XML file does not contain all the needed code to make it work. Existing themes only address font styling. So, it took me a while to find trick to get positioning sorted out, by adding an extra variable. I don’t know all the ins & outs of how to customize this particular Now Playing xml file; but this is what you need: Create a subfolder under Theme. In that folder you need a theme.plist file with xml info and a theme.png image as background. The first two # for PosAlbum PosArtist & PosSong indicate the left & right margin. The third # is the vertical spacing from the bottom. Add any custom PNG image you wish to use for background, (set spaces & align accordingly) and you get: I wrote the author asking about some English documentation. Babelfish didn’t want to help translate.

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iBlog 1.4.2

Lifli made iBlog 1.4.2 available with the following updates (it’s not announced yet): 1. Uses the latest .Mac SDK from Apple for iDisk publishing.2. Added support for printing entries from the Add/Edit entry window.3. The next and previous buttons in the photo entry window circle through the photo collection.4. Fixed some issues in the RSS 2.0 feed file. This update should help with podcasting & photo publishing.

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Tire shopping

I had planned to do a swap front/back to get the deeper treads in the front (power steering really takes a bite out of rubber), but with the flat tire earlier this week that’s not going to happen. For even traction I need to buy two tires and these Michelin MX4 run a tad expensive. The previous set were Michelin MXV, I believe, a series they quit producing because of manufacturing & wear (warranty?) problems. So, after this week’s side-wall adventure, I’m not exactly thrilled to pay premium for Michelins. C got a recommendation for BF Goodrich at a good price. “BF Goodrich?” I respond like a typical guy. “Which kind are they?” Hey, I’m just skeptical. The last time I saved a bit of money on tires (which still was some $350 A-brand set of 185/60R14) I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the very noticeable increase in tire / road noise in the cabin. Long story short: I prefer quiet tires with above average water handling & stability and the thought of a cheap(er) tire makes me itch. After liking the BF Goodrich Traction TA/T information and their value, I stumbled on tirerack.com which features a comparison and survey of all season tires in which the Michelin MXV4 falls. The results are performance rating, value & survey driven. Interestingly enough the Michelins are #12 and the Goodrich #1. Respectively 5.7/10 and 8.8/10 would buy them again. So it sounds like C got a good recommendation. I’ll take a good look at those Goodrich Traction TA/T tomorrow and likely will get 4. That way we’re good to roll again :) Now if only gas prices would drop a little … If you are shopping for any kind of tire for your sedan, truck, suv, … check out the tire surveys from tirerack.com

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Stylesheet problems

I just noticed that stylesheets no longer stick across categories, entries, … in Safari?!Safari has a problem showing my blog without the default style on the first visit (there’s a few blogs with the same symptom), which is why I added the little extra note at the top “if no style is …” Now things just got worse. After the latest security update for OS X (2005-003-001), every time I go to another page the styling is plain text. Of course there’s nothing that obviously changed to Safari other than Unicode International Domain Name support with the security update. Strangely enough, FireFox never has had a problem with the styling options. Every time, no matter how empty the cache & cookies etc, it shows everything nice & styled. I’m not sure what to do about it. I may take the stylesheets down till I find a method that’s more Safari compatible. I did send another bug report to Apple. Not that the previous ones changed anything. My luck they’ll fix it in Safari 1.3 or 2.0, whichever we see with Tiger (sigh) I’ll look into the problem tonight. Hopefully I can figure something out. In the mean time I apologize for all the inconvenience. Update: Surfin Safari from Safari guru Dave Hyatt suffers the same issue across pages. So it’s a bug to me. I’m curious how long it’ll take for this issue to make it through the “Report bugs”-mill. Tried to contact Dave directly, but it’s a no go. His comments are locked down because of spam & no email displayed. So I’m crossing my fingers that either Report Bugs, OS X feedback or Safari Support message will get to the right inbox or desk and will result in a prompt Safari update that fixes both alternate style-sheets issues.

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Who’s there?

Taking a peek with a tiny flashlight :) If you think M, you are partially right. It’s M & M. Note the darker nose hair? That’s M2. Around midnight Seven didn’t want to go to bed. Generally our cats are pretty good about running upstairs with either of us, so the other can close the hallway door to avoid cats running all over the house in the middle of the night, sleeping on the sofa, etc. I called Seven by name several times and did my cat-call-whistle. No show. Odd. A few minutes later, while we are dimming the lights, turning off the tv … she runs in hastily. 2 seconds later we hear “squeek squeek”. We immediately fell back on last week’s routine. I grabbed Seven, we rushed both cats into the hallway (Seven did not like that!), closed off the tv room and with the trusted kitchen strainer we had this mouse in no time. We hope M likes this family member for company.

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