14 December 2008

Computer Science, a Degree in 'Thinky'

Last night I ran a script to strip the DRM from my 890 songs from a store that rhymes with "myTunes" but couldn't be named anything further from the truth.  

When I checked the output folder (rather than strip the DRM from existing files, the application I used creates new mp3 files as "myTunes" writes to a virtual CD drive), I noticed one small problem.  There were only 889 songs.  And the DRM-stripper didn't keep a log.  Balls.

Thus began an hour of looking at ways to organize the data in "myTunes" and Windows Explorer so that I could find the missing bugger.  The challenge here is that "myTunes" is no help at all.  You can only export a playlist to a giant, useless text file.  It also "helps" users by ignoring "a" and "the" when sorting.  So, when I first attempted to compare groups of filenames, song titles, or albums, I ran into problems because "The Go Team" would show up under 'G' in "myTunes" and 'T' in Explorer.

How to sort these 890 songs without relying on sorting text?  I would have used file size, however, Explorer shows size in KBs and "myTunes" rounds to MBs.  Thanks again, "myTunes" devs!  What ended up working was sorting by song length.  Then, with Explorer positioned above "myTunes," I set the window sizes to show 20 songs each.  From there, I hit page down on both windows and made sure the top and bottom songs were the same in each.  Doing this, it didn't take more than a couple minutes to find the set of 20 songs that were different.

Which one was it?  Si*Se - More Shine.  Turns out the DRM-stripper couldn't handle the asterix character in the artist name!

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