Tried Pandora? Now try Tunatic.

tunatic picture

I recently posted about Pandora, the online tool that looks for music that is similar to a track or artist name you enter. It’s great, by the way, and I’ve found myself using it as my permanent radio source. It was even the tipping point for me to purchase Airfoil so that I could stream it to my hi-fi downstairs via my Airport Express.

But what happens when you hear a tune and don’t know the name of it? That’s where Tunatic comes in. Play a bit of the tune into the computer and Tunatic analyses its ‘signature’, checks its database, and gives you the name of the tune. I’ve tried it on some obscure Euro-trash playing here in Germany and it found it. I have to say I’m quite impressed.

You can also help increase the scope of the database by downloading Tunalyzer, which analyses the music on your computer and uploads the meta-data to the database.

Lost Pictures Found, Recoverd from Compact Flash

Like many idiots over the holidays I accidentally deleted a few pictures from my digital camera’s Compact Flash card. I was walking around repeatedly pressing ‘Delete’ then ‘OK’ before I realised I had gone into the pictures that I wanted to keep.

I tried the demo of Photorescue and it found it all it seems, but I was feeling a bit miserly and didn’t really want to part with $29 for a few images. In any case, the long way round and a bit of command line action is always good to bolster the ego.

So, thanks to a bit of a Googling I found an excellent Perl script and description of how to recover the files using the terminal from Jay Savage. It did a good job, though a couple of files were corrupt. Not sure whether Photorescue would have managed to salvage these, probably, but it’s hard to tell. It even found a bunch of pictures from months ago, which just goes to show how insecure “Delete” is if you really, really wanted to get rid of the data.

Christmas Zeitgeist news from Google

Gotta love Google. They’ve posted their 2005 Zeitgeist report noting our search trends around the world. The top Google News searches of 2005 are (pathetically really given the No. 1 slot):

Google News – Top Searches in 2005

  1. Janet Jackson
  2. Hurricane Katrina
  3. tsunami
  4. xbox 360
  5. Brad Pitt
  6. Michael Jackson
  7. American Idol
  8. Britney Spears
  9. Angelina Jolie
  10. Harry Potter

The other categories also make for interesting reading, especially the rise of Wikipedia in the phenomena section.

On a slightly riling note for, the Parisienne bakery, Polaine, has knocked us off the number one slot in Google. Sigh. Hey well, I think that’s where our name comes from originally anyway and I love bread, so it’s not so tragic. But this happened since I changed around my domain a bit (and put Playpen under /playpen rather than /blog) so, any of you linking to me please update, and those of you that don’t, do it now!

I think it will probably go down pretty badly for me to blog over the Christmas break. So Merry Christmas to you few readers out there.

3D Graffiti

One of my (most brilliant) ex-students, Gaby, just sent me this link from a friend of hers in France who does graffiti. It’s a bullet-time style version of Picasso’s famous picture where he draws a bull via long exposure with a torch. You’ll need Shockwave (the Director one) to check it out, but it’s very cool.

COFA Annual (2005)

COFA Annual 2005 CD-ROM content interface

COFA Annual 2005 CD-ROM main interface

Role: Interactive Director/Producer

The Annual CD-ROM for the College of Fine Arts is always a significant logistical and creative undertaking. With almost 400 students submitting up to nine pieces of work each, managing the project and satisfying the various creative tastes in an art college was a challenge. Once again, in collaboration with my students, we produced a visually and interactively rich as well as highly usable CD-ROM.

RDC theme

I got a bit tired of the old Kubrick theme and I still have not managed to find the time to design something different. So I’m borrowing the RDC theme by Paul Lloyd and John Roobottom. With a few mods by Gringod. I like the theme, though I really need to get on and do my own one day, unless there are any volunteers out there.