Gems in brief: A/V

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Over the long Memorial Day weekend, I took a trip to Chicago, where I caught a Cubs game at Wrigley, a few slices of the best pizza in the world...and a nasty case of the flu that kept me away from the Gems Weblog for much of the past week. But I’m back today with another installment of “Gems in Brief”—this one covering easy ways to rate your tunes, record Internet radio, sync multiple iTunes Libraries, and take snapshots with your iSight.

iTunesRating 1.0.2 (   ; free). For an easier way to rate your iTunes tracks, and view existing ratings, iTunesRating puts five stars in the menu bar; the number of darker stars is the current rating. Click on a star to set or change the current track’s rating. (iTunesRating is a Tiger-compatible alternative to Rating Bar,   , May 2004.)

RadioLover 1.4 (   ; $15). RadioLover (a descendent of the popular StreamRipperX) lets you record MP3-based Internet radio—both those “stations” listed in iTunes and those you enter manually—and then add the resulting recordings to iTunes. You can record multiple streams simultaneously, schedule recordings, and opt to automatically split recordings at set intervals. If the stream includes track information, RadioLover can even split recordings into individual tracks and then tag those tracks automatically.

syncOtunes 0.95 (   ; free). If you’ve got two Macs, chances are your iTunes Libraries are out of sync. With syncOtunes, you select your current Mac’s iTunes Music Library.xml file, connect to your second Mac using Personal File Sharing, select that Mac’s Library file, and then let syncOtunes do its thing. It will provide a list of files missing from each Library and then give you the option to copy the missing files in both directions—afterwards both Macs will contain the same audio files. Unfortunately, you then need to import the new tracks into iTunes on each Mac; syncOtunes provides some useful features for making this process easier, but it would be nice if it performed this step automatically.

MulleSight 1.0.9 (   ; free). Apple’s iSight makes a great video-chat camera, but for the 99% of the time you’re not participating in a chat, your iSight just sits there, unused. MulleSight let you use your iSight to take snapshots that are automatically copied to the Clipboard for pasting into any application that supports images. MulleSight also provides access to advanced camera and compression settings, and because it includes AppleScript support, scripts and other applications can access your iSight through MulleSight to capture images or video.

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