Accurate Pitchfork

So, I’m not much of a music buff, but even I have heard of the music review site Pitchfork. Among my friends, Pitchfork has a reputation for bad reviews, overlooking great albums and praising terrible ones. We talked about it a little in a recent podcast on LoadingReadyRun and I got to thinking that it might be fun to write a user script to manipulate the Pitchfork review scores to bring them more in line with reality. By completely inverting them. I call it Accurate Pitchfork.

Normal:

with Accurate Pitchfork:
 

In the process of making this script, I had the idea to make a variation that just sets all the scores to 10, so you can imagine a wonderful world where all the music coming out is amazing. I call it Optimistic Pitchfork.

The project ended up being trickier then I thought it would be because Pitchfork.com uses a fancy AJAX page loader, so as you navigate the site, it is only loading new content, not new pages. The way to get around this is a little silly, but I had to have the script monitor all DOM edits so that I could be notified when the content actually changed. I don’t have much experience with Greasemonkey, so if anyone knows a better way to do this, please let me know.

Installation Instructions:

Chrome:

  1. Click on the link for whichever version you want below
  2. It will tell you that extensions are dangerous and ask if you are sure, click Continue
  3. Click install on the confirmation window
  4. go to pitchfork.com and embrace your new reality

Firefox:

Same as Chrome, but you have to first install Greasemonkey

Safari:

Not tested, but it should work with Greasekit

Userscripts:
accurate_pitchfork.user.js
optimistic_pitchfork.user.js

Note: I don’t recommend having both scripts enabled at once, it will probably cause unexpected wierdness.

For those of you interested in seeing how the script works, the full source is after the jump:

Continued reading >

Just Breathe

So a few days ago, Ze Frank released a neat song called “chillout”. Check it out here:

It seems quite simplistic but I think the sentiment expressed in this song is something many of us could use when we are feeling overwhelmed, especially when you combine it with the story of how it was made.

The mantra-like, repetitive nature of the chorus made me think about what it would be like if it just repeated forever. Then I remembered that “Hey! I have a copy of GarageBand, why don’t I find out?”  After some careful cropping and a little crossfade tweaking, I made a little 14 sec chunk of the chorus that loops perfectly (to my ear, anyway). Perhaps someone else will find it reassuring to listen to when they are going through a rough patch and need a little reminder, so I present it here for your downloading pleasure:

Chillout Repeat [mp3]

Recommended Usage:

  1. Download mp3 file
  2. Import into iTunes
  3. Set iTunes to repeat just that song (double click the repeat icon in the lower left corner)
  4. Sit back, relax and just breathe
  5. Buy the full song from Ze Frank’s Bandcamp Page

If you don’t use iTunes, steps 2 +3 can be replaced by any other way to get a music file to repeat.

Obviously the song is copyright to Ze Frank so I hope he doesn’t mind me chopping it up.

Hey
you’re ok
you’ll be fine
just breathe

Disaster Movie Re-Cut Back Online

So, despite it being an textbook case of Fair Use, YouTube has decided to take down my re-edit of Disaster Movie. YouTube’s copyright dispute process goes something like this:

  1. Lionsgate flags video as infringing on their copyright, Youtube takes it down
  2. User responds explaining why it is actually totally not copyright infringement, video goes back up
  3. YouTube asks Lionsgate if they made a mistake, they say no, video goes down.
  4. To further the dispute, user has to mail a bunch of personal information along with a detailed account of why they are not infringing.

Putting the burden of proof on the side with least resources is bullshit.

In any case, I got to step 4 in the process and then realized that, “Wait! The friendly and awesome people at Dreamhost give me over 8 TB of bandwidth / month, I can just host it myself!”

Which I have.

So if you didn’t get a chance to see it before it was taken offline, check it out now!

Disaster Movie Re-Cut

Celebrate Good Times

Scenario One: You are waiting for the response to an extremely important business proposal. The client is over due and you have been reduced to compulsively hitting the Send/Receive All button every 30 seconds. Finally, you hear a small beep, and the message appears in your inbox. You got the job! But wasn’t that a little anti-climactic?

Scenario Two: Thanks to modern social networking advancements, you have found the IM username of your one true love. Perfect in every way, she loves musical adaptations of obscure Norwegian TV shows and hates olives on foccatia bread, just like you do. You log on to MSN, ready to declare your undying love, only to find that she is offline. You pace the room, unwilling to move on to anything else until she knows the depths of your feelings. 2 hours later the little icon beside her name changes to indicate she has logged in. You and your true love live happily ever after, but when you think back, don’t you wish you had something more then the change in a GIF image beside her name to remind you of this life changing event?

Our lives are full of these little lights, noises and images that let us know when things happen, but sometimes you need something a little more.

Introducing Celebration, a plugin for the Growl notification framework that gives you something a little more then a standard beep. In the form of a marching band and fireworks.

Celebration [zip]

Usage Instructions:

  1. Install Growl
  2. Unzip file (you should have a document called celebration.growlStyle)
  3. Double click on celebration.growlStyle
  4. When it asks to install, click Yes
  5. To get the maximum impact, go into the Display Options for Celebration and set the Duration to 10s
  6. Use Growl to set Celebration as the notification for whatever events you want.
  7. Celebrate good times!

Requirements:

  • Growl
  • Growl requires Mac OS X 10.4 or higher

For those of you not on OS X or who don’t want to install Growl, here is a video of the notification in action. In this case it is notifying me of a completed download.

YouTube Preview Image