From The Tips Box: Dead iTunes Tracks, Facebook For Android

Readers offer their best tips for cleaning up missing tracks in iTunes, deleting posts in Facebook for Android, and freezing food for easy preparation later.

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? Email it to tips at

Easily Delete Dead iTunes Tracks in One Fell Swoop

Mikeparkie shares a quick and easy way to get rid of those exclamation points:

Classic one I need from time to time when using iTunes on Windows. When my OCD kicks in renaming mp3’s ID tags etc I get a lot of dead tracks. Simple solution…

  1. Make a smart playlist called “All Files” with this rule: “Artist” is not “123456789? (or any nonsense name that won’t be in your library).
  2. Make a static playlist called “All Live Files”.
  3. Make a smart playlist called “Missing Files” with these rules: Match all of the following rules, Playlist is “All Files”, Playlist is not “All Live Files”.
  4. Select all the files from “All Files” and drag them into “All Live Files”. The dead files marked (!) will not copy over.
  5. “Missing Files” will contain all of your dead files. Select all and delete with Shift+Delete (or Option+Delete on a Mac). Voila, a nice clean iTunes library.
    [via Paul Mayne]
  6. Selected all tracks in my Missing Files folder, did Files > New Playlist from Selection (since it won’t let you drag & drop the dead tracks to a playlist), and then deleted them from there.

Swipe to Delete Comments in Facebook for Android

Ron Babu shares a hidden feature in Facebook for Android:

To delete a comment you made in the new Facebook for Android, you slide right à la iOS.

This is the usual gesture for deletion, but a lot of times you forget it’s there — and this update didn’t really do a good job of letting people know they had added it.

Bypass “Account Only” Forum Posts with Google Cache

Googeling shows us a tricky way into closed-off forum posts:

When I’m Googling for solutions to certain computer problems, some of these answers are found in forums. The thing is, certain forums require you to register before you can read the thread. What I usually do is I read the Google cached copy instead. In Google’s search result, a ‘Cached’ link usually appears beside the result. Open it in a new tab to view contents without having to register. The catch is, the solution may not appear in the cached page but much deeper.

Freeze Bulk Foods Individually for Easier Preparation

Photo by Taz.

Craiglloyd makes dinner preparation easier for those of us that live alone:

Here’s a tip if you like buying frozen goods in bulk, specifically packaged meat.

I live by myself and I’m a light eater, but I buy a ton of frozen goods whenever it’s on sale. When I get home, I split up all the meat into smaller portions, put them into Ziploc bags (plastic wrap or aluminium foil is probably better, though), and stick them in the freezer. That way, whenever I’m hungry and want to fix a hamburger, I don’t have to get out and thaw the entire package of meat. I have perfect portions of meat ready to go at all times.

This works with ground beef, chicken breasts, bacon, etc. I also do this with other foods like cheese and even cookies.

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