celebration of cool iTunes feature turns to fear

iTunes LogoSo, I screwed up some files in my iTunes library. No prob. I grabbed them from my backup. I just dragged the whole album of MP3s into iTunes. The files got copied in and then I removed the duplicates. I had one AAC-encoded album that I did this to. For this album, iTunes only imported the tracks I didn’t have. At first, I thought that this was really cool. iTunes knows that I already have these tracks, so it didn’t bother. Then, I thought ITUNES KNOWS I HAVE THESE TRACKS. So, is there some sort of GUID in AAC? Is that GUID registered anywhere? If I encode my tracks as AAC and give them to you, can they be traced back to me? If this was some simple filename/filesize scheme, it would have caught the MP3 duplicates as well.

the frustration of zencart

I don’t know that much about zencart. I’m still playing around with it. I’m trying it out so that I don’t have to rewrite the old ASP-based Unit Circle store in php from scratch.

Compared to something like WordPress, it is incredibly clunky and difficult to configure. There are a zillion different things to set up and they are in a million different places. I understand that it is doing a lot more, but the usability on this thing is pretty bad. The other thing is that the default template is incredibly ugly. Which should be no big deal, right?

Like WordPress, there are a lot of people using it. So the zencart site has a bunch of different templates, but there are no preview images. There are a zillion other zencart template sites, but all of them are trying to sell you the same dozen templates for around the same price (I like how 10 sites are offering to sell you the exact same template, but how each will offer the template as “exclusive” to your site).

I mean, I will create my own eventually, but it’d be nice to not be forced to from day one.

Salty’s and Cutters

They stare across puget sound at each other like jealous lovers, but really they are more like brother and sister. Cutters gets the tourist traffic and serves the cruise-boat-crowd and Sleepless-In-Seattle-wannabes expensive seafood, while Salty’s gets the locals and serves them expensive seafood. In both cases you are paying for the view and in both cases the view justifies the price (mostly).

If you are a local, these are special occaison places. Places where you go to celebrate a birthday or other event. Locals know that there are many better places to get seafood in Seattle, but few with a view such as these. If you are tourist, you don’t know any better.

I don’t know if they have the same owner or if they just are stealing playbooks from each other, but both serve seafood that might be fresh or might be frozen. You’ll need to ask if you really care. To an extent it doesn’t really matter, because they will smother it in butter or cream sauces or surround it by mashed potatoes so that the flavor is lost anyway.

I find both to sort of fill a comfort food niche. You know that you’ll leave feeling full and somewhat bloated, your arteries clogging rapidly, but the food tasted decent, so you might not care (until you remember how much that you paid).

If you are going during daylight or near sunset, west-facing Cutters will be your choice. If you are having brunch or are eating after dark, Salty’s is the appropriate choice.

Get a reservation in either case.

If quality is your main concern, don’t bother with either. For the same prices, you can eat much better seafood in this town.

In fact, I can give a general tip that seems to hold up for every sea-side town I’ve ever been in: don’t eat in the restaurants on the waterfront (especially in the main part of town). They exist for tourists and will charge you too much money for average food.

I can’t think of an exception on Alaska Ave. I haven’t been to that pier-end place near the sculpture garden yet, and the bar at the Edgewater had good drinks, but I’ve eaten in pretty much every other establishment on the Seattle waterfront and the only place with a decent meal for the price is the walk-up window at Ivar’s and that is because it is cheap, not good.

The sad state of Seattle real estate

The Seattle Times: Real Estate: Fewer can afford to buy a house in King County, report says

Foreclosures up sharply in state, Seattle area

I’ve been saying this for years. The median home price in Seattle has far eclipsed the median income. This means that it is becoming impossible for people working in the area to actually afford a home. Which either increases the number of people in insane debt and living from paycheck to paycheck or it increases the number of commuters travelling into the city and around the region. This is unsustainable and the Mayor’s response of building condos everywhere isn’t going to fix the problem.

my iTunes quandry

I really like iTunes. Mostly because of the metadata and organization, plus being able to add scripts.

The one thing that bugs me is that you can’t split up the library across different hard drives while maintaining the auto-organize feature. I’d love to put my music on one drive, my video on the other, and my podcasts on a third. As it stands, I either have to not consolidate my library (which is do-able, but a pain in the ass), or rather, consolidate by hand; or I can try the trick of splitting up my library, but then I lose the metadata; or I can just get a bigger disk, but at this point that means getting a TB disk which kinda sucks (I’d have to get two so that I could back it up).

I’m going to try the first step and maybe whip up some script to make it easier to manage. If I do, I’ll post it here.