Restore old itunes library ratings

July 22, 2009

So I finally got around to try and recover all my hard work on my smart lists that was done on my Scaleo machine that died.  I recovered the itunes library (the .itl, .xml and .itdb files).  One small problem though, in the mean time I have started a new library for itunes which I sync with an iphone and also with new ipods.  All good and well as I have my songs and I can sync – but I want my old smart playlists and my ratings.

I thought about trying a couple of things like copying the playlists from the old xml file into the new one and see if iTunes can recover it.

The one thing that did work to recover my old smartlists was to use the functionality of iTunes!  Just go to File->Library->Import Playlist then browse to the xml file of your old library and pretty soon you will see your old playlists again.

I then had to find a way to save the ratings from the old library to a file or something and restore it to the new library.  Wel it turns out I found something even better.

iTSfv – iTunes Store file validator

This little program just restored all my ratings (and it looks like even playcount) from my old iTunes library!

It has other functionality as well:

  • save the ratings and other tags in the library and you can restore it later (like if you start a new library or computer)
  • import music based on a schedule
  • check for files with missing lyrics, album art, etc
  • adjust the ratings of files automatically based on play count (very cool!)
  • some other functions which I haven’t look at yet

So if you are looking for a way to backup your hard work to rate all your music in iTunes or restore it from an old computer onto a new computer – then this software seems like it will do the trick!

Standby, sleep, hibernate

May 24, 2009

I’m still having issues to keep my media centere pc in sleep mode.  It would stay nicely in sleep mode after I changed the previous settings with dumppo as per my previous post.

The issue I have now is that it would go into sleep mode and immediately comes out of sleep again.

I found a really good site with lots of information on common solutions to sleep/hibernate problem


Sleep state and S3 standby

May 24, 2009

So it seems like the MST utility couldn’t solve all the standby and resume issues on its own.

I found this post and it seems like it solved some of the problems.

I set both the minsleep and maxsleep to S3 under the admin option so it only uses S3 now.  I had a problem where it didn’t want to resume from standby and I suspect it is because it used S1 on minsleep and S4 on maxsleep.

The commands I used was:

dummpo admin minsleep=S3

dumppo admin maxsleep=S3


May 23, 2009

Seems like there is even a better utility out there to convert MCE recordings to MP4 and to cut out the commercials.

Backups and SecondCopy

May 23, 2009

I use SecondCopy to synchronise my music files between my laptop, my NAS and my media center pc.  Recently I found that secondcopy copies the same files again over the other files.  I couldn’t figure out why it keeps on copying the file while it clearly shows that the files are the same.  I found an knowledgebase article about changing a setting which makes it ignore 2 seconds difference between the time stamps.  Coincidenlty I found similar settings in other software.  This solved all the issues I had with synching my music.

Here’s the link to the article

Remove commercials from MCE recordings

May 23, 2009

Next step is to set the machine up again to remove commercials from recordings.

I really didn’t look forward to setup op DVRMSToolbox with comskip or ShowAnalyzer againg.

Luckily it seems like Vista MCE has a lot more options to do these tasks.  I found the following software which seems to be able to do everything I want except converting the shows to MP4 after it removed the commercials.

How to move an iTunes library to an external drive

May 23, 2009

S3 standby on MCE PC

May 23, 2009

First thing I have to setup is to get the machine go into S3 standby like my Scaleo used to do.  Also important that I must be able to wake it up using the MCE remote.

These 3 links gave me everything I needed to get S3 sleep/standby right

Utility specifically designed to assist with S3 standby on MCE machines –

Step-by-step guide to enable S3 and Wake on Lan –

S3 Standby Done right –

Scaleo died

May 23, 2009

So my Scaleo machine died….

Got a new HTPC custom built using a Antec case with a little LCD screen in the front to show some information using iMON.

Let’s see if I can get everything set up again

The Green Button – RE: how to add extra keypress over IR blaster?

December 10, 2007

Title: The Media Center remote control does not change channels properly.


Even after learning your set-top box remote control, the Media Center remote control does not change channels properly.


Media Center may have misjudged the speed of your set-top box’s remote control, and therefore your Media Center remote may be sending signals incorrectly.


* Using your keyboard, press WINDOWS + R.
* In the “Run” box that appears, type “regedit,” and click OK.
* Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Service\Video\Tuners
* Look in subfolders whose names are in curly brackets and contain a bunch of random numbers and letters until you find the UserSettings folder. (There may be multiple folders with this name.)
* Click on UserSettings, and open the “STBCode” file on the right-hand side of the window. (If this file does not exist, go back to Step 4.
* Try changing the number contained after the tag to 100, 175, and 250. Each time, close out of the registry, restart your system, and try your remote to see if it works normally.
o If you have a Scientific Atlanta 8600 set-top box, change the numbers after the , , and tags to 100, 100, and 400, respectively.
o If you have a General Instruments DCT 2244 set-top box, change the numbers after the , , and tags to 1000, 300, and 1200, respectively.

If you want to tweak the numbers further, here is more detailed information:

The value of Key Duration is defined during set-top box setup. The other two registry entries are left blank by setup, and the values for Key Interval and Channel Pause are calculated in the following way:

Key Interval = Key Duration
Channel Pause = 2 * Key Duration

Key Duration Key Interval (Default) Channel Pause (Default)
FAST 100 100 200
MEDIUM 175 175 350
SLOW 250 250 500

If XXX for Key Interval and YYY for Channel Pause are replaced with numeric values, they are used instead of the defaults.

If your box seems to be dropping digits, try a longer Key Duration. If that doesn’t help or doesn’t fully solve the problem, try a longer Key Interval.

If the box is mixing digits from the previous channel change into the current one, try adding to the Channel Pause, and then Key Interval values.

NOTE: all values are in milliseconds, were 1 millisecond is 1/1000 of a second.

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