Readers offer their best tips for getting your iTunes album art to transfer to other media players, hiding mail-ordered gifts from family members, and keeping up with the score of the game with Google.
About the Tips Box: Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips in our inbox, but for various reasons — maybe they're a bit too niche, maybe we couldn't find a good way to present it, or maybe we just couldn't fit it in — the tip didn't make the front page. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favourites for your buffet-style consumption. Got a tip of your own to share? Add it in the comments or email it to tips at lifehacker.com.au.
Embed iTunes Art With an Applescript for Support in Other Players
Rob shares a neat tool for migrating to other media players on a Mac:
I've slowly been making the switch from iTunes to Songbird on my Mac, and I ran into a bit of a problem. Because iTunes stores album art in its own strange (proprietary) way, most of my album art doesn't transfer to Songbird. I didn't want to add it all again, so I found this handy Applescript. It embeds the album art for the selected files into the actual metadata of the file—so when you import that file into Songbird or another media player, the album art shows up!
Note that this doesn't seem to work very well with the old protected AAC files, and if you're using Songbird you'll probably need the Songbird 1.4 beta to do this (or another media player than can read and write AAC metadata) - the current release doesn't have full AAC metadata support (the format that iTunes uses for bought and ripped music).
Avoid Spoiled Surprises by Adding a Second Address Line to Mail-Ordered Gifts
Logan prints a message on his mail-ordered gifts to keep them from prying eyes:
I have ordered about 90% of my holiday gifts for my wife online. During birthdays and holidays I use both of the address lines that most online stores offer to help avoid her mistakenly opening a package and spoiling the surprise. In the first line I write: " - - DO NOT OPEN NICOLE —" (of course, replace "Nicole" for your own loved one). Then in the second line I write my actual address. And I have never had a problem receiving packages. And my wife always knows not to open the package - even though she really REALLY wants to :)
Photocopy Wallet Items In Case of Loss
Lisa shares her contingency plan for a lost or stolen wallet:
Next time you're near a photocopier, place the contents of your wallet — credit and debit cards, insurance cards, etc. — face down on the glass and snag a copy. Flip all the cards over and grab a copy of that, too. Store the papers in a safe place so you always have a quick reference sheet that has all your card numbers on one sheet and company contact numbers on the other. If you're wallet's ever stolen, you'll know exactly what was lost and who you need to contact.
We'd recommend sticking with your own scanner, since public photocopiers aren't necessarily the most secure, and — even better — sticking the results on an encrypted drive.
Follow the Game With Google Real-Time Search
Tom goes to great lengths to keep up with sports scores at a website-blocking office:
My computer at work blocks just about everything: email, Twitter, Facebook, ESPN, whatever. But it doesn't block Google, and I can't think of a workplace that would. So, when I want to keep up with a game, I type the team name in the search box, and the first result on Google's results page is a scoreboard with a game clock. I just hit "refresh" every time I check in to see the score, and I'm okay.
Then I saw a little box that was updating with Twitter results down the page. It wasn't blocked because it was google.com, not twitter.com! I moved to the options section (see above picture) and clicked "Updates". Up came a scrolling, constantly-updating commentary on the game from the Twitter universe.
It was beautiful. I could just keep checking, and any big play was commented on by plenty of people! It was like having a crowdsourced play-by-play of the game (and the Pack won, too!). I could see when somebody missed a field goal, when Jay Cutler threw an interception (or two), or any big defensive stand.
If you're at work and you want to keep track of the big game, just search for the team name on Google and click "Updates". Then you can see what the world is talking about as it happens.
Note that there was no game on when Tom took the above screenshot, hence the lack of sports scores. You can read Tom's original blog post here.