I kan’t spel

I rely on the red squigglies in word.  What happens when I author blog posts?  How about typing in gripes to web forms on web shopping sites?

The answer: I use IE Spell.  It’s a free add-in for Internet Explorer that will spell check any form entry on a web page… even the posts I write for my Space.

Now, I do have to remember to click the IE Spell button, but it beats copy-paste into Word, copy paste into notepad to remove all formatting, copy-paste into my Blog.

Get yourself a copy now (and don’t forget to donate if you use it… it keeps the author making new software).

Fix your Windows Media album info

Omar turned me onto this fantastic tool for quickly and easily fixing the album data in Windows Media.  Album Art Fixer may follow Microsoft’s not-so-sexy, name-it-what-it-is product title strategy but make no mistake, the product is way cool.  It is especially useful for people who are running Windows Media Center edition as MCE uses the “Album Artist” field where many tracks only get their “Aritist” field set when you RIP (esp. for those of you who insist on sticking to MP3s).  It also has a handy interface for getting cover art via a web search (Google by default). 

The process of fixing all your albums is very easy (Album Art Fixer is on version 1.5.2 at this point, the refinements continue).  I’ve ripped over 500 albums to disk so far and fixing them all was completed in one painless sitting last night (it took less than 20min).  I won’t re-hash the instructions on the Album Art Fixer page, their simplicity says it all.  I will add, however, that I’m picky when it comes to making sure my music is correctly labled and filed, so I was aprehensive about letting software do the changing.  Album Art Fixer does, however, allow you to adjust or reject any changes before it changes your media’s metadata.

The software is donate-ware, so you can download it and try it out absolutely free (it’s fully functional).  If you like it and use it you should, of course, show your appreciation by donating via PayPal.


You don’t have to take my word for it,

Album art fixer recommendation by Omar.

The album art fixer site: http://www.avsoft.nl/ArtFixer/default.htm

A review here: http://thomashawk.com/2005/01/album-art-fixer-review-two-thumbs-up.html

Media Metadata usage guidelines: http://msdn.microsoft.com/windowsmedia/techart/winmedform/default.aspx?pull=/library/en-us/dnwmt/html/wm_metadata_usage.asp?frame=true


Share your web favorites with all your machines

A while back Omar turned me on to FavoriteSync as a great tool to keep your IE favorites in synch across multiple machines.  Omar has since moved on to Groove but I still much prefer this light, simple tool to the heavy-handed beast that is Groove (Groove is designed to be much more than a synchronization tool, it’s a Share Point-like platform with a large feature set and a start up time to match).

Setup is fairly simple, download the installer and run.  In order to store your favorites on the FavoriteSync server you will need to sign up for an account, but filling out the form and waiting for the confirmation e-mail is about as complex as it gets.  Using the default configuration FavoriteSync stores your favorites on their web site but if you want to be more geeky (or more secretive) you can publish your favorites to your own ftp site.  Other advanced options include the ability to ignore certain folders (e.g. to keep work-only stuff off your home computer… or more importantly, vice versa), publish an XSL style sheet (useful if you have your own ftp/web site and want web-based favorites) and the ability to create multiple backup copies of your favorites.

Once installed the synchronization is automatic.  Anytime you start IE or you change your favorites FavoriteSync will merge an updated copy with the copy of your favorites stored on the server (either yours or theirs).  Your other computers will automatically pick up the changes when you next use them.  Changes are merged if you change your favorites on multiple machines and the options allow you to tweak the sync behavior if you desire.

With a work laptop, work desktop and a home desktop it’s great to have my IE favorites finally roam to all my computers.  The software is simple and effective, I recommend it to Windows IE users with more than one PC. 

Software: FavoriteSync
Web Site: http://favoritesync.com
Platform: Windows/IE (FireFox version in beta)
Cost: Free/Donate Ware
Ease of setup: 4 of 5
Ease of use: 5 of 5