Geek Freely: scraping

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    I have an iPhone and I used to use an application called SimplifyMedia to stream all my music across the nets to my phone – freeing up space on the device.

    After about 4 months of using it, I guess, SimplifyMedia was acquired by Google and took their service offline, so I needed to fine a replacement.

    In steps

    (http://www.subsonic.org/pages/index.jsp), a great little service that can run on a variety of OS, including my FreeNAS box if I chose to.  I currently run Subsonic on my Ubuntu box, I have donated to the cause allowing me to use the API’s (when I say me, I mean I can use apps that use the API’s).

    Along with Subsonic, I use

    3.0 (http://isubapp.com/) currently on my iPhone, the whole thing has been such a success I bought the application for my wife’s phone.

    I am not going to go into the nitty-gritty here, but Subsonic allows you to access your music (and video to some extent) through an encrypted connection via the web or supporting app.  Once connected the user can access any of the folders available to subsonic, make playlists, rate tracks, and scrobble tunes to last.fm (apps have some limitations, but it is mostly catch-up to support APIs).  iSub allows me to see what others are playing as well as chat to them, once scrobbling is implemented I am laughing – oh and the caching feature of iSub is awesome too, along with the desire to implement video streaming!

    To implement the whole solution, will cost about $14.99 before tax, $10 (min) donation to Subsonic, and $4.99 for the iSub app – well worth it!

    Just came across Ember Media Manager, this looks like your solution for Movie organization problems.

    http://code.google.com/p/embermediamanager/

    So far I have just had a quick look at this product, but it looks like you just select the folder that contains your movies, and then you can search each file and scrape the media information from online.  This basically accomplishes what XBMC does, but will give you an offline solution, a ‘backup’ incase you ever need to blow away your XBMC video database.

    Will have to look into this more, but this seems like a great solution for movie management.

    I love keeping all my media and music organized, whether it is completing music tag information for some OCD sanity or keeping clean file names for scraping purposes (the task or retrieving the information by parsing data from a website).

    Now this can be a bit laborious for TV show names/episodes so I searched to find a convenient/efficient way to do this and came up EpNamer.  EpNamer scrapes a couple of sites for file information, you just select the files, specify the series name and then search!  EpNamer will come back with the suggested names for the various files you queried, show you a preview of the changes that will be made, and if applied it will make those changes.  Find out more about this free application here (mac and windows):

    Now, for keeping my music tags up to date I like to use the open source solution MusicBrainz, specifically their Picard tagger.  MusicBrainz is an open source publicly maintained database of thousands of albums.  The Picard tagger comes with a variety of plugins, allowing album art download, original release date tagging, among many other great features.  Maintaining music can be hard, but MusicBrainz is there to help, the software has the ability to lookup tracks based on existing tag/filename information as well as PUID (acoustic fingerprints) – therefore that actual audio data content, rather than name/tag.  Be sure not to rename the files unless you know what you are doing, as this will mess up your music database if it uses filename, which iTunes and I imagine most others do, for database management.  To find out more about MusicBrainz click on the following link:

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