Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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.

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


January 28, 2007

I noticed this whole thing about DVRMSToolbox which enables you to convert the DVR-MS files (TV recordings from MCE) to other formats and also enables you to cut out commercials.

I was pleasantly suprised at how well this worked.  It cut out commercials with 99% accuracy.  It only seemed to miss commercials right at the start of the show.

I used the default settings and setup and haven’t had a chance to really play around with the settings.   You can find the user guide here. The one thing that bothers me is that once you’ve converted the file to mpg it doesn’t shop up in MCE anymore as recorded tv shows and it also loses all the metadata about what the show is about.  This is a pitty especially as my ultimate goal is to convert it to MP4.

MCETunes version 2.0

January 28, 2007

There is an updated version of MCETunes with audio support for media center extenders.

It still doesn’t write back play counts etc to the iTunes database, which is really a feature I would like as I use iTunes extensively with smart playlists to play music on my ipod.

You can find mcetunes here.

New solution for South African EPG in MCE

January 28, 2007

There is an updated method of getting the guide to work in MCE.  I don’t really know why this is better except that it seems to integrate better with MCE.