Repair MP3 files

And here comes the next post about a nice tool I found last night: mp3splt (yes, without “i”). It seems like my blog turns into a collection of tips about nice tools.

Anyway, the sound engineer of our choir sent me his USB stick via snail mail. He recorded our last gig with a hardware MP3 encoder which dumped some garbage into the MP3 file and even corrupted the filesystem. He could not copy or play it with his M$ system. So I was interested if it can be repaired.

It turned out to be very easy to fix. The filesystem was just done with a fsck.msdos -a. But for the MP3 file I needed a tool and found mp3splt. I decided to enforce to write new id3 tags and to cut the first 5 seconds and the quite a few minutes at the end of the recording (they were empty anyway). Btw. cutting MP3 files into pieces without to recode the material is the main purpose of this tool. So I just ran:

mp3splt -1 broken.mp3 00.05 118.00

This created a new and valid MP3 file with just our gig – thanks to the mp3splt authors.

Download Picasa Webalbum

Did you ever got an invitation eMail from a friend or a colleague to his Picasa Webalbum?

Well actually I do not use these online photo albums (yet). The nice thing about them is, you can show a huge pile of photos to someone without having to send him tens of eMails with 4 or 5 photos attached to each – depending on resolution, file format and the allowed size of attachments of the receivers mail server.

On Saturday, 2008-11-15, I had a concert with my gospel choir Profil and a professional photographer took photos of us. Liberally he offered to send me the images to put them into the gallery of our website. As I am a geek of course I asked for the images in their original resolution (maybe we want to use them in some print material).

Today I finally got an eMail from him, and guess what: He uploaded all the 240 images to his Picasa Webalbum. Its nice to see the slideshow online in the browser or to get a an overview in the thumbnail view. But I wanted to download the real data on my disk to work with it. On the website I did not find any link to download that stuff. I could click around to get the image in original resolution, but only one at a time and it took about 5 clicks to get the real download link.

Google itself told me to install Picasa on my system. Another blog described a way how to download the images with the Firefox plugin Downthemall. I also found a Java applet and a Mono application that could have done the job. But I didn’t want to install some big blob just to download some images from the net – this is insane.

Then, thankfully, I found this page. It provides a simple Bash script that can download Picasa Webalbums just by passing it the URL. It even knows about nested albums and you can specify exactly what you want to download. The script is licensed under GPL3 or later so I’ll host it here as well (to never lose it). Just put it in your ~/bin folder or even in /usr/local/bin

Now assume you got a link to the Picasa album GNULinux of the user abhishek.amberkar. The link you got looks like this:

All you have to do to download this album is this:

mkdir newPictures
cd newPictures

See the linked site and the scripts help for the usage. It supports listings of albums and images and once you downloaded something you do not need to specify the full URL any more but can download the next album just by name. Veeeery cool. Thanks “Loïc Cerf” for this great script. Now its a matter of a few seconds to download enire albums.

openSUSE Board Election

Finally I voted for the openSUSE Board. I think this is a quite important committee in the openSUSE project. Their job is not about taking control over the openSUSE development, but rahter to interlock of the community and the interests of Novell. They are communication partners for both sides and help in decision making processes. Thanks to the current board for their good job, and all the best to the next board.