Zach Berry

Designer & Developer

Hacking Cog to have an iTunes style library

I use Cog on OS X as my primary music application which I'm pretty happy with - It's very lightweight and plays FLAC files. Still, I prefer how Rhythmbox and iTunes manages your music in one large library. Cog, on the other hand, gives you a directory listing and requires you to drag and drop files into a library to listen to them.

This post describes a way to make Cog work more like iTunes. The library for Cog is simply a m3u playlist file on the filesystem. I wrote a script that would overwrite the m3u file with list of files in my music directory whenever you run Cog.

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Dynamically Rescaling Flex Applications

For a project, we've been meaning to implement some accessibility features such as providing the ability to resize all of the text in the application. The problem with this is that it requires a lot of overhead to build your application so that it can handle dynamic text sizes. I wanted instead to try some scaleX and scaleY action on the entire Flex application, emulating the way Firefox (and other similar browsers) now handle page resizing.

For the most part, this worked really well. You need some UI to set the scale value (for example, a slider component). Then, in your application you can just set the scaleX and scaleY values to the value of that component.

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Automatically Ripping FLAC Files to mp3s Via Shell Script

Disclaimer: These instructions are for Ubuntu (or other Linux distro).

Being somewhat of an audiophile, I've been encoding my music in lossless FLAC format for a while now - which is great, except when you want to put them on an iPod (which of course, won't play FLAC files). One option would be to convert these files to Apple Lossless, however, I don't mind sacrificing some quality to be able to put more music on my iPod. Plus, I probably couldn't tell the difference while I'm listening to the iPod anyway.

Therefore, I wanted a shell script that I could run that would find out which files I had recently added to my collection and convert them to mp3s (preserving metadata). Then, I could grab those mp3s and put them into gtkpod or iTunes.

I created the shell script below borrowing liberally from other similar scripts I found online.

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Required First Post

Jello!

Since I'm starting a blog, I have to get the introductions out of the way. I'm Zachary Berry, a web developer with a leaning towards Flex and Flash work. Since the end of 2004 I've been working as a Web Application Designer & Developer at the University of Central Florida under the New Media team. Before that, all of my web development work was simply various experiments, home-pages, angelfire sites, and the like.

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