Burning Audio CDs With Text Info in iTunes

If you use iTunes to burn audio CDs from your playlists, you might have been bitten by this problem: you burn the CD to later find that there is no ”CD Text” indication of what the song or band is, despite your player’s supporting the display of such text. Just a whole pile of “unknown artists”.

How to Include “CD Text” When Burning in iTunes

Next time you burn, select your playlist or songs, click “Burn Disc” from the lower right in iTunes, and when the Burn Settings popup window appears, be sure to select “Include CD Text”. This, and “Use Sound Check” are not selected by default. Select them, and you are good to go. If you rip or ingest a CD into iTunes, this CD Text will show up in the first place if you have an active Internet connection, and iTunes was able to access the CDDB “Gracenote” database of artist, album and song titles.

By the way, I’m using iTunes 8.0.2 on the latest Mac OS X, so your mileage may vary. You can also use Toast Titanium to copy a CD you own directly, and include the CD Text so that when you play the CD in your car, the song titles show up.

Station Kiosks - the Hubs of Modern Japan

The Kiosks at Japan railway and metro stations are little stalls like US “News Stands” with two sides open, and two sides closed with storage. They have a refrigerator and a drink heater, as well as all manner of convenient articles - you can get drinks (alcoholic and soft), snacks (candy, bread, squid (yes!)), newspapers, magazines, novels, umbrellas, lighters, batteries, phone cards, neckties, handkerchiefs and the like.

They take cash and process it very quickly, but they also now accept “Suica” or “Passmo” cards, which are IC cards you “recharge” with cash at the ticket machines. When you make a purchase, you can touch your Suica on the sensor, and the price will be debited from your card balance. This is very smart, because people who live and work here usually go through the wicket with their Suica cards anyway, so one has it out and ready to pay for that little drink or newspaper purchase.

A couple of points about Japan Kiosks -

They don’t usually speak much English, but there are English papers for a small ransom (Japan Times is 180 Yen).

They don’t like one yen coins very much - I’ve been scolded a couple times when trying to unload my cache of 1-yenners.

Sometimes they don’t offer bags just for speed, but you can ask for a “biniiru bukuro” (vinyl bag) and they’ll give you one.

Japan does not really have a “haggling” culture - so asking for a discount will produce derisive stares rather than the desired result! The price is the price so pay and get out of the way.

The one thing that would be convenient, but is not yet sold at Kiosks, is pharmaceuticals - you can’t yet pick up a bottle of Tylenol or some cold medicine at the Kiosk. Maybe some day, though, since they are trialling that at Convenience Stores like 7-11 and AM/PM these days. I hope this tip might help the traveller to Japan.

Grab and GoUsually Two Open SidesAsking Kiosk Sempai's AdviceKiosk Woman Works Very Fast

Error Handling in Rapidweaver Websites Tutorial

I created a tutorial about Error Handling in RapidWeaver Websites which explains how to make a custom 404 page with useful links to help your visitors when a 404 does occur, and how to use 301 redirects in your .htaccess file to assist with page renaming or re-pathing.

A 301 redirect just points the visitor at the new file you specify, when they try to visit the old file. Useful for adds, moves and changes. The tutorial has a lot more detail than what is in this post, so please take a look at it. I hope it is useful to someone.

RapidWeaver 404 Contents with Google WidgetRapidweaver 404 Page Inspector

Upload Files via Email to Google Docs

I just discovered that you can upload files to Google Docs via email. Get your special email address at this URL when you are logged into your Google account:


There are some limitations as to what you can upload, both from a document type and size standpoint, but this feature sounds useful to me.

Asakusa Nakamise During Hozuki Matsuri

Asakusa is a popular tourist destination and fun for those of us who live here too. This was taken in the “nakamise” street (nakamise means something like ‘central shops’) which is the shopping area leading up to the Sensoji temple.

Continue →

HTML Signatures in GMail From BlankCanvas

I found a very useful Firefox plugin from ”Blank Canvas”, that enables your GMail to have HTML signatures. Because it is a Firefox plugin, I thought it might work in Flock, and sure enough, it does. Once you install it from this page on Blank Canvas’ site, and restart your browser, you can create your signature in GMail’s Compose window. This had been a GreaseMonkey script but the author converted it to a Firefox plugin. Thank you, Blank Canvas for a very useful tool.

Rainy Monochrome Mood

I took this monochrome photo on the platform at Shinjuku station, waiting for the Shonan Shinjuku line. The black and white treatment suits its rainy mood. We have had more than our share of rain, even into the fall, so it’s sunny days like today that make me feel grateful for this clear, crisp fall weather.

Consolidated RSS for This Site

I have RSS feeds from all different sources - my blogs, my topics Glossary, Flickr, SmugMug, Facebook and so on, and I imagine that this is not an uncommon problem for people using the latest technologies and social networking sites. I wanted a way to let visitors subscribe to the updates of my personal site, without complexity, and via either RSS if they are familiar, or, via the old standard email.

How to Consolidate your RSS Feeds and Allow Subscriptions

Here’s how I combined the RSS feeds from all my various sites, and static pages, into one consolidated feed:

Create a Yahoo Pipe, drag the “Fetch Feed” object onto the canvas and connect it with the Pipe Output object. Add all your feeds to the Fetch Feed object.

Create an RSS feed from my site’s static cycling training log, using FEED43.com, and add the resulting feed to the Yahoo Pipe.

Save and publish the Yahoo Pipe, and add its address to FeedBurner.

Use the incredible amount of settings on FeedBurner to customize your feed.

Copy the HTML for the subscription form from FeedBurner to an appropriate part of your site.

In the end, I added my blog feeds, my FAQ feeds, my Flickr feed, my glossary entries feed, and the special “scraped” feed via Feed43.com for my cycling records, to the Yahoo Pipes pipe, to have a single feed with all my updates in it. You can subscribe here.

Feed43 Extraction Rules for Cycling Training Log

Chinese Domain Scam - Register Now or Else

I received the unethical blackmail email below, which upon doing some research is a scam. Here is a telling blog entry on the same with hundreds of non-victims compleat with saucy-yet-puerile rebuttals from the scammers.

Report the China Domain Scammers to CNNIC

I reported this to the NIC in China - CNNIC and to the Hong Kong Police Technology Crimes division. If you receive a mail with a subject line similar to ”Subject: URGENT –dispute of internet intellectual property safeguard”, forward it along to CNNIC who controls the registrars in China. Here is the contact info from CNNIC’s website:

CNNIC Service

4, South 4th Street, Zhongguancun,

Haidian district,

Beijing 100190, China

POB: Beijing 349, Branch 6

TEL: +86-10-58813000

FAX: +86-10-58812666

E-mail: service@cnnic.cn

You can also report to the Hong Kong Police Technology Crime Division.

Technology Crime Prevention Unit,

Technology Crime Division,

Commercial Crime Bureau, HKP,

22/F, Arsenal House,

Police Headquarters,

1 Arsenal Street, Wanchai

Hong Kong.

TEL: (852) 2860 5012

FAX: (852) 2328 7128

Email: cpu-tcd@police.gov.hk

Here’s the scam letter, for your reference:

(If you are NOT CEO,please forward this to your CEO, because this is urgent.Thanks.)

Dear CEO,

We are the department of registration service in China. we have something need to confirm with you. We formally received an application on November 17, 2008, One company which self-styled “Speed(China)Investment Co.,Ltd” are applying to register (esolia) as internet brand name and domain names as below (esolia.com.cn esolia.net.cn esolia.org.cn esolia.mobi esolia.asia esolia.hk etc.).

After our initial checking, we found the internet brand name and these domain names being applied are as same as your company’s, so we need to get the confirmation from your company. If the aforesaid company is your business partner or your subsidiary company, please DO NOT reply us, we will approve the application automatically. If you have no any relationship with this company, please contact us within 15 workdays. If out of the deadline, we will approve the application submitted by “Speed(China)Investment Co.,Ltd” unconditionally.

We would like to get the affirmation of your company,please contact us by telephone or email as soon as possible.

Best Regards,

Kevin Wu

Senior Director

TEL: +86 21 69929440

Fax: +86 21 69929447



Just what we need. More scammers and spammers.

Enable Google Labs in Google Apps Premier

If you read my post about enabling Google Labs in GMail, I’m happy to report that the trick also works in Google Apps Premier Edition “GAPE”. Go to the Labs tab via an URL like this (edit it so that it has your own GAPE domain).


Now you can have that Google Labs goodness in GAPE. Enjoy!