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Thursday, November 21, 2013

HELP WANTED: iTunes Guru

Here’s the situation: Feeling it was finally time to bite the bullet and check out iOS 7, I recently updated iTunes.

Yeah, I know. My first mistake.

When I started iTunes again, I saw that all of my media, playlists, etc. were gone. I wasn’t overly concerned about this, as I figured I just needed to click a box somewhere or something. But it wasn’t that simple. The instructions I found online told me how to find a previous iTunes library on my computer and use it to repopulate iTunes: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS196

But the most recent “previous library” I could find was from 2010. THREE YEARS OLD. (I don’t update iTunes all that frequently, but I’d certainly done so within the past three years.)

I found other instructions on how to re-create my iTunes library and playlists: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1967

No dice. Even using the XML file, the most recent version I could find was 2010.

No problem, I figured—this is why I have a backup drive. I’ll just pull up the right file from there and use it. But nothing worked. Whatever file I located either yielded no media and playlists at all, or else the 2010 version.

I realize that all my media—songs, videos, apps, etc. are still there. It’s not that they’ve been deleted—iTunes has just lost its record of them. And because I chose the setting to allow iTunes to organize those files, they’re all together in my iTunes folders. That’s a plus.

Another plus is that most of the playlists I’ve built are still intact on my iPhone. It’s a pain copying them off one by one, but they’re still there. (Another issue, though, is that when they point to any tracks that I’ve added in the past three years, iTunes rejects those tracks from the list because it thinks they don’t exist. Oy.)
So here’s my question, iTunes gurus: What do I do next? If there’s a method I haven’t tried for recovering my old data, that would be the best solution. If not, what are my next steps? Do I start with a clean slate and have iTunes re-locate all my media? Do I start with the 2010 version and do the same? Will I need to copy all the playlists from my iPhone? In the (many) cases where I’ve pulled album covers off the web to accompany the tracks, am I going to have to make those connections again?

I’d appreciate any advice (other than the “iTunes sucks” or “use Linux” variety) you can give me.

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Friday, October 04, 2013

This Mutant Life

This Mutant LifeI’ve been remiss! In updating this blog in general, as well as in promoting the publication of a Devil’s Cape short story.

This Mutant Life is a neo-pulp anthology available in paperback and ebook format. Just what is neo-pulp you might ask? (I did.) The short answer is that it’s a successor to the original pulp fiction of the 20s and 30s, amped up with superheroes or other modern flourishes. Funny story—I Googled “What is neo-pulp” when I was reading the anthology’s submission guidelines. I came to this page, which prominently featured the cover for Devil’s Cape. So I guess I’ve got that covered!

Edited by my old Aussie gaming compadre, Ben Langdon (a damn fine writer), This Mutant Life is a crackling “collection of of 21 stories where the ordinary world is well and truly gatecrashed by the extraordinary. There are tales of flying boys and miniature girls; dark creatures beneath the waves; scientists losing their mind; and heroes trying their hardest to make the world a better place.”

It also features “Raiden’s River,” a new Devil’s Cape story featuring the mysterious fortune teller Jazz.

Fun fact: Three of the story contributors, including Ben, are old gaming pals of mine whose names made it into Devil’s Cape in one form or another—look for references to Langdon Fork, Louisiana; Lockheardt Street; and Ma’s Spectacular Amusements.

READ MORE ABOUT THIS MUTANT LIFE

Website

Buy on Amazon

And here’s an excerpt from “Raiden’s River”:

I shake my head. “You can fly and shoot lightning. You’re teammates with a dinosaur man and a girl who can lift a tank over her head. And yet when you come in here to have your fortune read, you’re surprised to find out I can actually do it?”

“Well—”

I jab a finger at him. “You need to leave and leave now. This ain’t Vanguard City, boo. Heroes die in Devil’s Cape. You hear of the Gray Fog? Our last superhero. Strung up from a tree. Out-of-towners, too. The Omega? I can show you a crack in the cement down by City Hall that’s all that’s left of him.”

“But—”

“There are half a dozen organized crime groups in this city that I know about,” I say. “The Kalodimos crime family. The Pang Hui tong. Gangs like the Hombres Asesinos or the Concrete Executioners.” I swallow. I know more than I want to about the Concrete Executioners. “Hell, the Devil’s Cape Police Department, if you don’t want to put too fine a point on it.” I look past him through a window as if expecting to spot an assault team poised to take him down. I see nothing but darkness. “Nobody would be happy to see you in this city. No one would think twice about killing me in the process of getting to you.”

Now go buy the book already!

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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Triumph Over Tragedy: quick update

Triumph Over Tragedy_kindle

I updated you recently about the Triumph Over Tragedy anthology released as a fundraiser for victims of Hurricane Sandy (featuring one of my stories). Many thanks again to editor, contributor, and organizer R.T. Kaelin for arranging this and allowing me to participate.

The original fundraiser, through IndieGoGo, is over, but the anthology will now be on sale for six months for both Kindle and Nook and their respective apps. All profits (over and above the Amazon and B&N cuts) will go to the charity—still a significant percentage. Lots of great authors are involved. Please jump in and pick up your copy now!

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