Saturday 27 December 2008

The Travis Noakes blog's disclaimer

A legal disclaimer for this blog that covers all its readers, such as you!

All content on the Travis Noakes blog is governed by these policies*.

1. Copyright
All content published in this blog is the intellectual property of Dr Travis Noakes (the author) and should not be reproduced or copied without permission and/or without giving credit.

2. Attribution

Contents/images/information sourced from external sources are given due credit, wherever possible/necessary.

3. Copyright concerns
If you have any copyright-related issues with the author's blog's content, please add a comment to the relevant post (with all necessary evidence, if applicable). Such concerns will be given all due consideration and addressed as early by the author as he can.

4. Proprietary information of third parties

Company names, trademarks, logos and other proprietary information quoted in this blog are the property of respective companies/owners and are mentioned here for reference purpose only.

5. Personal opinion
Opinions/viewpoints expressed in this blog are entirely personal to the author. His clients, relatives, family and friends have nothing to do with these contents and are not liable for anything whatsoever.

6. Privacy protection
Every precaution is taken to protect third-party identity. If you name/photo has appeared in this blog and you wish to get it removed, do let the author know by contacting him.

7. Waiver
The information in this blog is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights. While every caution has been taken to provide the author's readers with the most accurate information and honest analysis, please use your discretion before taking any decisions based on this blog's information. The author will not compensate you in any way whatsoever if you ever happen to suffer a loss/inconvenience/damage because of/while making use of information in this blog.

8. Blog corrections are ongoing
The author may keep updating old posts on a regular basis and is not bound to explicitly state all corrections made. Regular visitors/email subscribers are likely to miss these updates and are urged to check back, whenever relevant.

9. Requests

The author currently has no commercial interest in blogging and may not accept certain types of invitations/requests which he deems inappropriate.

10. Links
The author is open for link exchange, but such requests will be entertained on a case-by-case basis at the author's sole discretion.

11. New posts and updates
Blogging is not a primary activity for him and new posts may get delayed if his primary activities demand it. Your patience in these circumstances is appreciated.

12. Availability of this blog
This blog does not have any promoters or sponsors and is fully-owned and operated by its author. The author of the Travis Noakes blog cannot guarantee the availability of the blog. It is hosted on Blogger and the availability of this blog is therefor subject to both Blogger and Google's Terms of Service.

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The automated advertisements featured on this blog are provided via Google Adsense and are governed by its terms and conditions. Adverts may be personalised since the Travis Noakes blog supports Google Ads personalisation.
14. Nofollow tag
All links given to commercial websites will carry rel=”nofollow” tag, for the fear that Google will interpret them as sponsored posts and may choose to penalize the author. Please be informed that the author does not do any sponsored posting on this blog and articles/links on commercial websites are given because the author finds them relevant/interesting/useful to readers. Links given to personal pages and blogs do not carry nofollow tag, except in exceptional cases where the author feels the need for same.

15. Adding comments
Readers are encouraged to challenge the author's ideas in the comments section of each blog entry. Please note that the author reserves the right to delete any comment for any reason whatsoever. In particular, comments that are abusive, profane, rude, spammy or off-the-topic will be removed. Kindly note that no comments published to this blog are endorsed by its author.

* My blog's disclaimer is based on eNidhi India-Blog's Disclaimer at

Friday 26 December 2008

Download album artwork and lyrics into iTunes without using the iTunes music store

Written mainly for South Africa's Mac OSX, iTunes-using, internet-connected, music fans.

As of posting, the iTunes music store does still not sell music in South Africa :(. So, if you want to select a tune or album to play using Apple's nifty Coverflow viewing option, this service is not going to look like it should {i.e. loads of blank squares, instead of album artwork}.

To fix this on a Mac*, you should download the free GimmeSomeTune software from After installing it, check that the following preferences are active:

- Start GimmeSomeTune with iTunes
- Fetch cover artwork from the internet when the song has none
- Fetch lyrics from the internet when the song has none

Launch iTunes, press play, check the GimmeSomeTune icon shows network activity and GimmeSomeTune will start collecting album covers and lyrics for each song you play...

If GimmeSomeTune doesn't download album artwork, try these work-arounds:

1 Check the song's fields for Name, Artist, Album Artist and Album are all present and correct. The Album Artist's is often blank; filling it in often delivers positive results.

2 Check tha
t no blank spaces are left at the ned of the texts in these fields.
3 Check that the album's name doesn't feature extraneous information (i.e. Felt Mountain Bonus CD2 (UK release) should be changed to simply Felt Mountain by deleting it [or cutting out Bonus CD2 (UK release) and pasting it into the comments box]. From what I've seen, iTunes still knows CD1 from CD2 after this information is removed, so this shouldn't interfere with playing an album's songs in the album's original order.

Once you've changed the song's information, replay it: GimmeSomeTune should be able to identify, then fetch, the album's artwork. If you've got many tunes, I suggest you let iTunes play your music library with shuffle selected. This is a relatively painless way of getting the most album covers in the quickest way!

If you still can't get the album artwork you want, do a search with Google images (listing the artist and album name). Choose the best resolution image, open its page, then drag-and-drop the album's arwork into iTune's blank Artwork box.

I hope following this post's advice helps you make the most of Coverflow; whether it's on your desktop, laptop, iPod, iPhone and/or iTouch...


* I'm assuming you run a version of Mac with OS X version 10.4 or greater.
* I'm also assuming you're inte
rnet-connected, while running iTunes.

Suggested link.

How to organise US account so that your iTunes music store works in South Africa

Saturday 20 December 2008

Hey! Mr South African Music Industry...

This post is written on behalf of South Africa's Mac-using, internet-connected, music buyers.

"Hey! Mr South African music industry, provide a better shopping experience to me,
I'm not pirating, this Mac-user just wants to buy mp3's so easily,
I'm not traveling to your store, being ripped-off no more or changing to a friggin' PC."
Apologies to Bob Dylan's 'Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man'

Instead of emailing each one of you Music CEO bigwigs, I'm just going to blog my thoughts on what I think each-and-every South African, Mac-using, internet connected music buyer is looking for:

1 Convenient access to music
My music is on Mac. Your website doesn't work on Mac. I don't see why your failure to implement web standards should be the problem of every Mac-loving South African... Musica, Pick 'n Play, Look and Listen... I'm talking to you! Then let's not even get into the delay of launching iTunes' Music Store. Sony BMG, you suck! Guess I'll be using Amazon until you sort this out for me....

2 Access to thorough back-catalogues of local and international music
OK. Since your website didn't work, I've walked into your store and you only had the most recent albums of my new favourite artists... but I want albums from Guster and Watershed's back catalogues! Oh, and there's no convenient way to order in-store... Too bad, I'm walking out, empty-handed and wallet-full. I mean, didn't you read the Long Tail?

3 Create exciting buying experiences
I'm demanding, I know, but how about tying-in custom product bundles with discounted gold-circle seats, single remixes with club complimentaries, etc. would do wonders for sagging customer loyalty. We're in an experience economy, after all!

4 A bit of value-add
I know the more I pay you, the more profit you make. So, I'm not expecting your pricing to change BUT I've spent gazillions on music in this lifetime with no recognition (AKA value-add) from you, Mr Scrooge Mc'Label. Wouldn't it be cool if you provided me with the odd ringtone-or-two, bulk-purchasing options online, special offers to concerts, decent recommendations on new buys... or even just updates on the bands I like? Yip, I think it's about time to be changin'. Oh, and if a new version of an album I own is released with bonus tracks, please prompt me to check out the the songs I don't have. Who knows, I just might buy them!

5 Automatic, accurate indexing of the music I buy
OK. So I put your band's CD in iTunes and guess what... the song's name is the artist's name, there's no album artwork or lyrics, the genre's completely wrong... Now, I've got to spend my time sorting this out (like the anorak I am). Now, imagine thousands of iTunes users having to do this... a loop is a loop is a loop! Can you not share our pain AND fix it, huh? Well, at least for contemporary releases. And I bet you could enlist die-hard fans to help with accurately cataloguing your older material. This brings me to...

6 South African music that's ready-indexed
OK. So not everyone's into Jonny Cooper's Swingin' Safari, but do I have to be the first to index all its track titles, composers, etc? Well, yes, if I want to be able to tell track 1 from 2! Then there's no artwork. Bummer. So, now I've got to do a Google search. And failing that, I'll scan the artwork in myself. This is not an unusual experience when importing local artists' music into iTunes. Yes, I do have too much time on my hands, but I could be using it better!

7 Partner-up
My health has improved and my medical insurer's rewards program wants to reward me. Now, wouldn't it be cool if I got some tunes from you to motivate me even further on the ol' glide master? It would also be sweet if you sponsored social networks where I could easily share my enthusiasm for music, too.

OK, which of my musical Santa CEOs is going to deliver first; earning increased loyalty and respect? This music buyer is not a cash cow or criminal, he just wants a 21st Century service for Mac-users in South Africa, capisch.

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