So I made this small application back in 2009, and was going to wait until I’d made this software compatible for multiple operating systems before I posted it on my blog, but it seems I’m never going to get round to it!

I made it in C# for generating cue sheets. You’re probably not going to want the software if you don’t know what a cue sheet is, but as Wikipedia says, “A cue sheet, or cue file, is a metadata file which describes how the tracks of a CD or DVD are laid out.”. You can also use them with some media players, such as the excellent Foobar2000.

Basically, you just paste a tracklist in using the “Artist – Title” format (without the quotes), putting each track on a new line, and load a track into it. You can then skip through the track in the embedded player and set cue points (based on whatever track is selected in the combo box). Feel free to comment if you get any problems and I’ll help out as much as I can.

You can download it here: Music Cue Sheet Generator

You’ll also need the .NET framework (version 3.5) if you haven’t already got it.

It’s in no way bulletproof, but it works well for my needs, so I never really improved it further 🙂

Hope it comes in handy for someone… here’s a screenshot:

Music Cue Sheet Generator

Music Cue Sheet Generator

I bought a Squeezebox (Wireless Network Music Player) years ago. It’s got a web interface where you can view your music collection, add tracks to a playlist, change the volume etc… and I wanted a quick way to access it from my browser which didn’t mean navigating away from the page I was viewing.

So, I thought I’d try and make my first Chrome extension while I was at it! Awesome documentation/help files from Google as usual, it seemed to go smoothly enough. The extension is perfect for what I wanted, but may be a bit basic for some people.

I’ve added it to the Chrome Web Store anyway, here’s the link if anyone’s interested: Mini Squeezebox Control

Couple of small screenshots below:

Windows 7 includes a new feature which allows you to hover over your taskbar icons, then middle click the thumbnail to close the program (similar functionality to closing Firefox tabs etc with a middle click). It annoyed me slightly having to click the thumbnail, rather than just being able to middle click the taskbar icon directly. The default action for middle clicking the taskbar icon directly is to open a new instance of the program… bit bizarre I think, but whatever.

So, I searched for a piece of software to add that functionality. Finally found a decent, lightweight one after Googling around for a while called 7 Taskbar Tweaker.

7 Taskbar Tweaker

7 Taskbar Tweaker

I had to install it again recently, and it took me a while to find it again. So this post is for my own reference more than anything! Hope it comes in useful for others anyway though.

Also, if you’re looking for something to do this on Windows XP or Vista, Taskbar Shuffle should do the trick.

I recently gave in to temptation and bought a PS3. Got a package with InFamous, Killzone 2 and Resistance 2. Loving it so far, definitely still keeping the Xbox 360 as well though.

Anyway, onto the real reason I was posting this. I’ve been looking for ages now for something that would play MKV files without any hassle… even muxing was becoming a pain in the arse as certain things still wouldn’t stream (depending on filesize and various other weird factors).

These are the things I’d tried to stream from (through the PS3 or Xbox):

Windows Media Player 11 – Extremely fast and nice to use when it worked, however, it didn’t support mkv or some older versions of DivX/XviD.

TVersity – Played everything I could throw at it, but it was totally unusable for MKV or any HD content. If I tried to pause, fast forward or rewind I just got a black screen for over 5 minutes until it started playing again.

Finally, I’d heard great things about PS3 Media Server but I wasn’t getting my hopes up too much as I thought it would be so similar to TVersity… how wrong I was! I don’t want to speak too soon, but so far after a few days of usage it’s been flawless. Plays everything I’ve thrown at it, relatively fast at transcoding when it needs to (not instant but it’s definitely short enough to be usable).

Another cool feature is the ability to go into the #–TRANSCODE–# folder and select which subtitles you want to use if a file has subtitles.

Best of all, it’s totally free. Plus because it’s written in Java, it works on Windows, Linux or Mac (I’ve only tested the Windows version though).

Here’s a screenshot of the main status page. I’m sure there’ll be plenty of images of the other screens around the internet, but if anyone wants to see any more just leave a comment.

PS3 Media Server

PS3 Media Server

So if you’re looking for something to stream any media from your PC (videos, music, pictures) to your PS3, then give PS3 Media Server a try! You won’t regret it. I know I didn’t anyway 🙂

Found another cool application the other day, it’s similar to in the fact you can stream music and find similar artists you might enjoy etc. You can also stream full albums, add music to a queue and create playlists. The quality isn’t perfect but it’s listenable, much better than most free “web” services. This is actually a desktop application though.

Here’s a few excerpts from their FAQ, they do a better job of explaining it than I can.

What is Spotify?
Spotify offers you legal and free access to a huge library of music. All you need to do is create an account and download our streaming music player.
What is your goal?
Our dream is to let everyone listen to whatever they want, whenever and wherever they want.
Do I need to pay to use Spotify?
No, the advertising-funded version of Spotify is free of charge, however, for now it requires that you receive an invite to register. Alternatively, you can pay for an ad-free subscription to Spotify.

I’ve been listening for quite a while now and I’ve only heard one short advert so far, so it’s totally acceptable in that respect unless you really hate ads. I’ve got a feeling ads will get more frequent as their user base grows but for now it’s great.

It’s only officially available for Windows and Mac at the moment but apparently it works under Wine on Linux.

Here’s a screenshot from their site:



Just a quick post about this awesome bit of software I just found. I was looking for something to add multiple desktop support to Vista and saw quite a few people recommending Dexpot online.
Installed it about half an hour ago and had a quick play. It’s brilliant! Does exactly what I wanted and a lot more.

There’s a couple of features included which I wasn’t expecting but have been wanting on Windows for quite a while, mainly the ability to minimize any application to the system tray and the Exposé feature on the Mac. They have called it “Window Catalogue” in Dexpot.

Overall, excellent application. It’s also free for private use which is always nice for a student 🙂