December 17th, 2006


Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

Playing with musikCube, and listening to Christmas music. My previous music software was MusicMatch for ripping, and some version of Winamp for playback. I have discovered that my real old version of Winamp (2.05, circa 1998) can reliably crash XP on this machine if one opens Firefox whilst playing a CD (Jamming with Edward, anyway). Very strange, because I still use that version on my work machine with no problems.

I like 2.05 because it's simple, has a good shuffle function (by which I mean no repeats until the entire list is played, and let's you go backwards though the list in shuffle order, as well), and most importantly, it can use the skin I created for it. Even so, I had switched to Winamp 5.11 on Suzily, mostly because it could read and write extended tags. I never felt comfortable with it, though, and even the newer version is not much with the organizational capabilities.

I have a full, but aging version of MusicMatch, which is okay for ripping and doing some tag editing, and can organize the stuff I rip, but just seems bloated. It also choked when I tried to have it organize all my already existing mp3s. I want something a little less obtuse, because I really do need to organize this stuff. I did once download iTunes, but decided I don't trust Steve Jobs any further than I can throw Bill Gates on bloat and DRM. Plus I have no iPod, nor do I buy songs from the iTunes store, so what's the point? MusikCube came recommended from Lifehacker, and doesn't appear to have any ulterior motive to attempt to insinuate itself so far into the OS that I'll have to brainwipe the machine to get rid of it, so I figured, what the hey?

[I will note at this point in the narrative that I just crashed musikCube by trying to go backwards whilst the random playback function was on. And upon further investigation after restarting it, random appears to mean that the next track will be picked randomly, but if you hit the "back" button, it goes to the track on the list immediately above the current track. Also, if you do go backwards, then try to go forward to the song you just left, you get a random song. So, totally random forwards, predictable (and wrong) backwards. If you go back in Winamp, it goes back to the previous track played, i.e., it shuffles the list, and then keeps track of the shuffled order throughout the session. My dalliance with musikCube may be short lived. Lemme see if I like it better for ripping and doing initial organization than MusicMatch.]

Anyway, whilst merrily listening, Lennon's version of "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" comes on, and as usual, breaks me. It amazes me that I still have a hard time listening to him sing it some twenty-six years later. I'm also amazed at how annoyed I get with all the people who get the title wrong. It's not "So This Is Christmas," damnit! The "(War Is Over)" part is the whole frelling point of the song.
Computers 01


Okay, I knew there probably had to be some site like this on the interbunny, but it's a nice gift with purchase to actually find it. Ever wished you could find an installable copy of an older version of a piece of software. The tyranny of the new usually obliterates any trace of such from the originator, leaving those who prefer the version without all the extra features added for the sake of adding stuff holding short straw. has all those old, sometimes ancient, versions available for download. They have ninety-five versions of Winamp alone. They even have old versions of Windows Media Player, which are usually impossible to find. Very cool!