Host Your Own Mix Tape

Opentape on PlaylistMix.com

Muxtape was great. Then it got shut down. Now it’s on the way back.

You could upload any mp3s you wanted, get Muxtape to host a mix tape for you, pass the link around, provide download access to the MP3s etc.

While Muxtape is set to make a return and allow the hosting of playlists again, there is an opensource alternative in the form of Opentape. It’s been around for a while but it was only last night I got to roll out a self-hosted version for the Playlist Mix.

It is opensource so it will be as flexible as you decide to make it as this custom design shows.

The idea is simple – upload it to a folder on your server (you need to be running PHP5+), set an admin password and start uploading your tracks. There doesn’t seem to be any way at present to make multiple mix tapes from one install though there’s nothing to stop you rolling out the script into multiple folders. You can then upload tracks through the browser interface or ftp them into your songs folder and away you go.

I’ll be using it to run a mix tape of the acts featured each month on the podcast. It’s light, it’s easy to use (though there are some style errors in IE6) and it’s free to download.

Convert DOCX To DOC On A Mac (OSX)

One of the developments of Microsoft Office 2007 was the introduction of the Office Open XML file format for Word Documents (extension is .docx), presentations etc. One of my clients has apparently upgraded in recent days as the new attachments I receive are all .docx, unreadable on the Mac in Office 2004, OpenOffice, any way you look at it.

None of the online converters I tried seemed to be working (one wanted a “lifetime” fee of US$5 to access to a conversion tool). Microsoft, on the other hand, released a beta converter for OSX that will convert your unreadable .docx documents to DOC / RTF format allowing them to be opened and edited. Via Microsoft…

Microsoft Office Open XML File Format Converter for Mac 0.2.1 (Beta)

This version of the converter extends the expiration date for this beta release.

This version of the converter can convert the following Open XML file formats:

  • Word Document (*.docx)
  • Word Macro-Enabled Document (*.docm)
  • PowerPoint Presentation (*.pptx)
  • PowerPoint Show (*.ppsx)
  • PowerPoint Template (*.potx)

The converter is a Beta release, and might be unable to convert all the data in Open XML files. After you convert a file, you should review the file carefully to make sure that it contains all of the information that you expect. For a complete list of known issues, install and open the converter, and then on the Help menu, click Office Converter Help.

This Beta release expires on December 31, 2008.

As converters go, it does exactly what it says on the tin. It installs with ease into your Applications folder then works on a drag-and-drop basis i.e. drag your unreadable document onto the app window and presto, one readable and workable document. You can find it by clicking here.

Keeping The XP Machine Rolling

Windows VistaIt looks like HP and Dell are going to continue shipping XP machines well past the June 30 expiry date, both manufacturers making use of “downgrade rights” offered as part of the Windows Vista license agreement.

While new XP orders will phase out from mid-June this year, new customers will be able to pick up Vista machines, pre-downgraded to XP on request, a practice I’ve seen many people make use of since Vista was unleashed on the public.

Barring the look and feel of the Vista interface, I’ve still not spoken with someone thoroughly happy with XP’s successor as a choice of operating system.

However, come June this will apply only to those ordering machines in the Windows Vista Business or Ultimate Edition specs as standard home models can’t be downgraded. The upside is, if you do decide to upgrade to Vista at any point after your purchase, the upgrade is already catered and paid for.

I’ll be weening myself off XP before the end of the year as it is. I’ve no intention at all of upgrading to Vista and with the purchase of the N95 now out of the way, the next target on the list is a new iMac for the house. The Mac Pro is just a little too far out of budget for the moment…