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How to keep your Nano fresh

On 03, Feb 2007 | 3 Comments | In Apple, User Experience | By Ryan Feeley

Smart PlayslistsI love my iPod Nano; all 4GB of it. It’s just the right size for my Podcasts, calendars, contacts and notes. And even though the Nano won’t fit my entire music library, I utilize Smart Playlists to prevent my music from getting stale. As long as you are listening to music on your iPod and getting new music often enough, this approach is more or less self-maintaining.

I created 5 Smart Playlists each containing 700MB the following:

  • 1 CD Most Recently Added. 700MB of the most recently added songs.
  • Heaviest Rotation. A random selection of songs played more than 10 times.
  • Lightest Rotation. The least played songs that were not added in the last three months.
  • Newish. A random selection of songs added in the last 12 months.
  • Oldish. A random selection of songs not added in the last 12 months.

Toronto HDTV airwaves on your Mac

On 03, Feb 2007 | No Comments | In Apple, Toronto | By Ryan Feeley

Elgato EyeTV HybridFew people I know have heard of the Elgato’s over-the-air HDTV tuner. Essentially you plug this little guy into your Mac’s USB port, and then plug rabbit ears into it, and you’ve got not only regular broadcast TV (NTSC) but also HD-equivalents (ATSC) of many of those channels. I got mine from CDW Canada.

From the middle of my apartment building, sandwiched in between other houses, I get HD equivalents of CBC, CBC French, CTV, SunTV and CityTV. From the backyard facing windows I get OMNI 1 & 2, a few others. Wikipedia has a fairly complete list of Toronto ATSC broadcasters. The signal is 1080i with a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. And I can pause, rewind and record these channels. Be warned: one episode of LOST (42 minutes total, commercials trimmed) is over 5.5GB.

What interesting is that the quality of these stations very greatly depending on the content. It seems obvious that none of the channels have gone whole-hog on replacing their systems; be it video cameras or motion graphics software. I thought it would be interesting to present a comparison of the familiar images: the broadcasters’ logos. They are in PNG format which is lossless.

SUN TV logo

Logo SRC

CTV logo

CityTV logo

CBC logo

From my eyes, SUN TV is the winner. They broadcast a lot of detective shows from the 70s which look to be surprisingly good betacam transfers. Their local shows, like one of my favourites Street Eats is beautifully shot in HD. CityTV’s movies are the most disappointing. Very compressed looking and I have never heard a 5.1 soundtrack from them.

Does anyone have any screenshot requests?

Sustainable Seafood Guide for iPod

On 25, Jan 2007 | No Comments | In Apple, Food, iPod | By Ryan Feeley

Sustainable Seafood LogoCan’t remember what fish is safe and bountitful to eat when in the market? The Endangered Fish Alliance site is very handy, but perhaps this downloadable iPod guide I whipped up is even handier.

Foodland Ontario Produce Availability Guide for your iPod

On 20, Jan 2007 | One Comment | In Apple, Food, iPod, Ontario | By Ryan Feeley

Foodland iPod LogoI like to cook, and am happiest using fresh local produce. Sometimes I refer to the Foodland Ontario Produce Availability Guide which lists when Ontario fruits and vegetables are in season and at their peak. I don’t have a mobile browser and even if I did, the site would not work well on it. So I decided to make a version that would fit on an iPod.

  1. Download the iPod Notes Version (ZIP)
  2. In iTunes, enable disk use.
  3. Copy the Guide into your Notes folder.
  4. Unmount iPod.
  5. Browse to Extras » Notes » Ontario Produce
  6. Read the Read Me file
  7. Eat Local!

iPod Notes

If you would like easier access to the Notes you can do so in:

iPod › Settings › Main Menu › Notes (turn on)

Enjoy! Source: Excel (ZIP)