How To Import MP3 Files Into Audiobooks of iTunes and iPhone

Recently I got my hands on a new audiobook and I wanted it to appear in the AUDIOBOOKS section of my iPhone/iPod. At first this was a difficult task. I dragged the folder full of MP3’s into iTunes into the Books Library. It imported them just fine, but it was into the Music Library.

I thought ok, I will choose Get Info and change it to Audiobooks. Well that doesnt exist in the latest iTunes. You can however add the word Audiobooks in Genres, so I did that. I went to sync the iPhone and I chose that Genre on the lower bottom half of the music part of the iPhone sync section in iTunes.

After the sync was complete I checked, and it didnt do much good. It was mixed in with my music. All this had done was, when you click on the MORE section of your iPod on the iPhone, there is a place called Genres, all the mp3’s were in there and mixed in with my music, so this was not acceptable.




Finally! I figured it out.

In iTunes, in the Music Library, I chose the album or selection of mp3’s and right clicked and selected GET INFO and on the OPTIONS tab where it says MEDIA KIND I chose AUDIOBOOK. Next I chose REMEMBER POSITION-YES , and PART OF COMPILATION-YES then it moved into the Books Library.

Next before I synced my iPhone I went to the books tab on the Devices part of iTunes and at the bottom of the page I chose Sync Audiobooks, then chose Selected Audiobooks and finally placed a check by the Audiobook I wanted to sync.

That was it.

After the sync it was under AUDIOBOOKS on the iPhone just as it should have been all along.

Hope this helps.


Megapixels-Do They Matter?

Hey the new iphone 4s is coming with an 8 megapixel camera, but does that really mean its going to take better pictures?

Yes its going to take better pictures, but only because its going to have 5 lenses, better aperture to bring in more light,  and a new larger sensor.

So how many megapixels do you really need?

See in the past, the 2g(first) iphone, the 3g, the 3gs and the 4 were all almost capable of taking fantastic pictures, but they lacked the lens and sensor to do so. Its always been the Lens that makes the difference in good pictures.

Sure having 8 megapixels is nice, but only if you are going to print out 16×20 inch photos for your wall. Let me explain.

The choice of how many megapixels you need on your phone depends on what you want to do with your photos. If you just want to capture life’s memorable moments, send them to friends and family, and post them on the Web, a 1.3 or 2 MP camera will do the job. If you want to take high-resolution pictures, blow them up, and edit them on your computer, then pixel-size really matters.

This guy explains it really well.


So you see you can’t always believe the hype when it comes to advertising megapixels. People tend to go on the notion that more is better. Especially in this case when all the cellphone makers are competing to be the leader. Most people will buy simply based on how many megapixels a camera is cause the average consumer thinks that more is better.

The latest cellphone trying to get the top megapixel spot is the “Samsung’s M8910 Pixon12” capable of 12 megapixels.

Crazy isn’t it?

This is terrible for networks and network speeds. Emailing a 12 megapixel photo from your cell phone? Forget sending that over MMS. Are you serious? That’s going to be 9-10 megabytes in size. Ridiculous!

If you can take anything away from this short article and video, just remember that when it comes to purchasing a Digital SLR camera, a point and shoot, or cellphone with high megapixel camera, just remember its all in the lens and not the advertised megapixel. Please do not believe that the more megapixels the camera has, the better this is. This was not the case with the iphone 2g, 3g, 3gs, and 4.



Enable Airplay on Boxee – XBMC – Plex

I had the chance a while back to play with airplay on the Apple TV in conjunction with the iphone and I quickly saw how wonderful this was and how useful it could be at times. One big drawback was that it was only available on the Apple TV through Itunes and the iPhone….until recently.

First let me remind how AirPlay works by showing you this video.

Ok so now that you are reminded of what it does, some of you do not have an Apple TV and you use XBMC or Boxee or even Plex as your media center.

Thankfully there is a fellow that has coded a way to finally do this. His name is Pascal Widdershoven. Check out his website here for information on what he has done and a video to show you.

He has some great code, and I installed it and all of it went somewhat well, but it took me a long time to figure it out even with instructions. There were a few pitfals so I wanted to write this article to help out some of my freinds and the rest of you out there on the web, so lets get started.

First off download the following files and place them in an easily accesible folder, like c:\apps. If you do not know how to make a new folder under the C drive on windows, stop reading now. Oh and by the way this tutorial will focus on Windows as my Boxee system is running on Windows 7 and most of my friends are doing the same thing.

Files to get:

Install 7zip so that you can untar the file below that you will need to download
This is Pascals hard work right here and there is a file inside install.mdown and I suggest you open it up in Wordpad to read the instructions inside.

Next get Python for Windows and this is the best and easiest version to install so that you will not have to fool with installing PIP or any other special tools. Get the appropriate version for your version of Windows.

Get the Bonjour SDK from me so you will not have to log into Apple to do so.

Ok now install
1. Install 7zip
2.Bonjour SDK
3. Active State Python
4. untar the airplayer file you downloaded by right clicking on it and choosing extract to blah blah .tar using 7zip. After that do it again on the tar file and choose extract to here and it will show the name of the file. Next go inside all that and you should see all the files that are listed here.

Copy the Airplayer folder to your c:\Python27 folder. It can really go anywhere but I like it mixed in the meat where the work is going to be happening.

Ok now we need to open a cmd window and do some work, go to START or the ORB/Pearl thingy on Windows 7, and in the search box or run box type cmd and press enter.
While in here lets start with cd \ and press enter to get to the C: prompt and only the C: prompt.

Now lets type cd python and you can actually just type cd pyt and press the tab key and it will complete it for you and it may say python27 press enter and you should now be at c:\python27.

Type cd scripts and press enter, now you should be at c:\python27\scripts

While here type the following at the command line and press return or enter

pip install -r c:\pyhton27\airplayer\requirements.txt 

Some things will install that you need and you will see lots of text go by.
Before we fire this off and test it all out
edit the to reflect your setup.

I went into the airplay folder (C:\python27\Airplayer\Airplayer\ and opened with Wordpad.
Since I use Boxee for Windows I edited the following:


And thats it, save it and exit.

Now you can test it out right now by opening a cmd window and navigating to your file and make python run it.
At the command line enter the following and press return or enter

python C:\python27\airplayer\airplayer\

You should now see a some time stamps if its connected or if Boxee is closed, it will say it can not connect.
It will run in this window there until the window is closed, and while its running, launch Boxee, now while holding your iphone in hand, go to your pictures and open one and in the upper right hand corner you will see a tv looking icon with an arrow pointing upwards. This odd arrow looking icon means there is has been an airplay device detected. Touch it and you should see your computer name and when you select it, it will put the image or video on the screen. Way cool huh?

Ok that is way cool and all, but what happens on reboot? Do I have to start it up again manually? Well yes, but there is a better way.
Lets make it a system service that starts automatically when the computer boots up.

I  cannot take any credit for this next bit of work either, but to make it a service download nssm2.9 and read this blog on how to do it.

Check that out and it will show you all about how to make a service and make airplayer start up when the machine boots up.

Now if you do not see any video on your boxee box, you will need to go into settings, media, advanced and disable the hardware acceleration.

Here is a video we made today when we made this happen.


Netflix Streaming Only and iOS 4.2.1

Big news in tech today! Netflix announced its Streaming Only package, and Apple released its long awaited iOS 4.2.1 for all of its idevices.

Not too long ago I signed back up with Netflix to take advantage of the new streaming video they offered. I wanted to stream video to my iPhone and to my Media Center in the living room which ran Boxee. It was a not braining to go with them since their service was $8.99 and I could stream as much as I wanted to as many devices as I wanted.

All the while I was thinking it would be great if they offered a cheaper streaming only package since that’s all I used anyways. Then I read where Netflix was thinking about doing just such a thing. They thought about it for a few months and BAM! They did it!

Today they announced that they would offer a streaming only package. Here a list of the new price matrix.

So as you can see my current plan was about to increase by a dollar and I didn’t even use the mail DVD option, so I quickly went to my account settings within the Netflix website and chose the streaming only package.
If you have not took the time to sign up with Netflix, do it now! Its a great service.

In other news Apple released their 4.2.1 software for the ipod touch, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPad. This is great for the iPad as it now allows the iPad to have backgrounding, airplay, and folders for apps.

Here let me break it down for you:

Multitasking for the iPad
Folders on the iPad
Find my iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch (for free now)
Notes with fonts that you can easily change
Reply to Calendar events to Yahoo, Google, and Exchange.
Messaging with Text Tones, now 17 new text tones that you can set for individuals that contact you.
Find Text on Web pages in Safari (finally this comes to the iPhone)

Airplay (video)

I am really glad that the Find My iPhone is now available for free. See how it works here. (video)

Read more about iOS 4.2 here

Updating is easy.

Connect your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to your Mac or PC and follow the onscreen instructions in iTunes.

For those wondering about the Jail Break for the iOS 4.2 READ THIS

How to get the most battery life for your iphone

I often see people with their iphones and they love it, but often complain of battery life issues.

Here are my top ten tips to help you maximize battery life on your iphone. This mainly applies to the Iphone First Gen phone, the iphone 3G, and the iphone 3GS. The iphone 4 has significantly better battery life than its predecessors, so some of the following are a non issue.

1. Adjust Screen Brightness: Dimming the screen is another way to extend battery life. Go to Settings > Brightness and drag the slider to the left to lower the default screen brightness. In addition, turning on Auto-Brightness allows the screen to adjust its brightness based on current lighting conditions. Go to Settings > Brightness and set Auto-Brightness to On.
Also, it may seem obvious, but you should lock your iPhone when you aren’t using it. You will be able to receive calls and text messages while it is locked, but nothing happens if you touch the screen. To lock iPhone, press the Sleep/Wake button. You can also set the Auto-Lock interval so your iPhone will turn off more quickly after a period of inactivity. To set Auto-Lock, go to Settings > General > Auto-Lock and set the interval to a short time, such as 1 minute.

2. Turn off 3G if you don’t absolutely need it: Using 3G cellular networks loads data faster, but may also decrease battery life, especially in areas with limited 3G coverage or in large metal buildings where it constantly switches from EDGE to 3G. To disable 3G, from the Home screen choose Settings > General > Network and set Enable 3G to Off. You will still be able to make and receive calls and access cellular data networks via EDGE or GPRS where available.

3. Turn off Bluetooth: If you rarely use a Bluetooth headset or car kit, you can turn off Bluetooth to save power. Go to Settings > General > Bluetooth and set Bluetooth to Off.

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