The personal website of Chris Coyier

Archive for November, 2010

iTunes Not Accepting .mp4 Movie (Solution)

Friday, November 26th, 2010

Have you ever had an .mp4 movie file that iTunes just won’t accept? It’s a friggin Quicktime formatted movie, Quicktime can play it, iTunes can play Quicktime movies, but for some reason, when you drag the .mp4 movie onto iTunes it just won’t do it’s thing and add it to your library.

This .mp4 file might come from a torrent, a conversion from another format, or an extraction from a DVD with a program like HandBrake or RipIt.

The problem as I have pieced it together is that the file is missing meta information (ID tags?) that iTunes requires. Think of the column names within the iTunes movie area: Movie (artwork & name), Name, Time, Artist, Genre, etc. If some of that is missing (I don’t know which specific ones make it fail) the iTunes won’t take it.

The solution is to alter the file to have that missing information. I found a (“discontinued”) Mac App that will do the trick. It’s call iDentify 2 and it seems to be under pretty active development. You drag the movie file into it and it does some fancy internet lookups and find the information it needs. Then you process the files (fairly quick) and it gives you a new fixed up .mp4 file. This one, iTunes will accept.

My Top 10 Movies

Monday, November 15th, 2010

I recently saw Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and I liked it so much I’ve decided to place it into my Top 10 Movies of All-Time (in no particular order). Since I wasn’t exactly sure what those were, I’ve decided to carve it into the internet.

Honorable mentions: Clerks, Serenity, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Saving Grace

Notice the number of pretty-recent movies. I’m not biased, there just isn’t a ton of older movies that I really love. Plus, I just happen to think there has been some amazing movies recently. Maybe I’m too close to all these movies, but I can’t see a clear thread that runs through all of them. Something about them just clicks with me.

Me Whining about TiVo

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

WARNING: I should probably just delete this post because I hate whining in general and this is, most definitely, whining. But hey, I already wrote it all up. And you know what they say, unless you say something things aren’t going to get any better.


 

I was on the bleeding edge when I first got a TiVo. Must have been 8-9 years ago. I remember setting up the little IR thingies over the cable box just right so it would change the channels on it with the best accuracy. I remember having to get a land line for no other reason than just so the TiVo could connect and get programming info. I loved it. My roommates loved me for having it.

That love affair is over. TiVo, you’ve done a lot of things during that time to make me not like you any more.

I dislike how the only place you can find out what the monthly service fee is is this cluttered terms and conditions page.

I dislike how the price has gone up over the years but what you get is the same.

I dislike how rarely the software is updated. It seems only to be updated when a new feature is slapped on. Interface is all you have left, TiVo. You need to be crafting that thing into the best experience out there, like it was when you launched.

I dislike how there is a one-year contract now. I remember when I found out I was automatically enrolled into that contract without warning. I wasn’t very happy.

I dislike the $155.40 fee for “early termination” (even if you were say, at 11 of 12 months fulfilled).

I dislike how unreliably scheduling of a show from the web worked for me.

I dislike how it’s $59.99 for a TiVo-branded USB wireless connector when the same product typically costs far less.

Most of all, I disliked how I was treated on the phone when I was moving and wanted to cancel service for a while. First of all, it’s ridiculous that I had to call at all. The TiVo website is fully capable of allowing me to cancel my service. They don’t allow it because they want me to jump through hoops to cancel. If it’s too hard, maybe I won’t do it at all and they can charge me for longer. Then once they have me on the phone, you can throw every sales trick in the book at me to try and keep the service. I disliked having to lose my temper to make myself clear that I just wanted to cancel service.

I dislike the company TiVo has turned into. The cute little TV logo just pisses me off now. I’m afraid I’m just going to have to throw my TiVo away. I can’t even give it away to someone knowing how bad their experience is going to be.