Restoring backup to new external drive using Time Machine

Waking up this morning I found my external rugged, firewire Lacie drive giving an error. It said: “The disk ” was not repairable by this computer. …” Did I panic? Of course not, I have Time Machine backing up my stuff! The problem: I had no room to restore it and it failed to restore on the external driving giving a weird ‘Error 0′. I bought a new external Western Digital 1TB drive, but how to restore from Time Machine on this new disk?
Well, it’s a simple trick really.

  1. Note the name you gave the failing disk and eject it.
  2. Plug in your new disk, format if needed, and give it the name of your old disk.
  3. In Finder, select the new drive and open Time Machine (should bein your dock, otherwise go to Applications.
  4. Once in Time Machine, just select what you want to restore, and restore it!
  5. After a while (which could be long), it should be there!

I had to restore my iTunes library!
BACKUP! MAKE BACKUPS! BUT! MAKE SURE YOU CAN RESTORE THEM! Test your Time Machine, or whatever solution you use, restoring old files from time to time.

Importing iTunes library into Last.fm (on Mac)

Yesterday I started playing around with Last.fm (bit late maybe..) and tried out the Last.fm Mac application. It’s updating or scrobbling what I’m playing in iTunes to my account on Last.fm.
Now, there is a feature which imports your playing history from iTunes. After digging a bit, I followed a tip clearing my Listening Data. This, however, didn’t help.
After looking around in the application I found Diagnostics which allows you to view the log of the application. That made it all clear:


Could not open iTunes Library
"/Users/geert/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music Library.xml"

I’m storing my iTunes library on an external drive so I can move it around easily.
To make the Last.fm application import my history I just made (or recreated) the /Users/geert/Music/iTunes directory and copied over the iTunes Library XML file naming it iTunes Music Library.xml. Starting the Last.fm application again, it asked me if I would like to import the history data: that worked perfectly now! If it doesn’t work for you, check out the logs in the Diagnostics.
I’m not sure if you can scrobble the iTunes history without cleaning up your listening data first. I’ll leave that to the reader to find out.

Importing Ken Ishii

Got to love unicode! Importing Ken Ishii‘s Jelly Tones album (btw, I won it at Studio Brussel in Belgium sending an email through BBS, somewhere in 1995!) I saw following in iTunes:

Found it pretty cool that ケン・イシイ shows up! I’m leaving as is. The Composer field is filled with ‘Ken Ishii’, so looking it up still works.

Apple iTunes gift cards unusable in EU

Nothing new, but I’m very upset that I can’t use my birthday present my sister and parents gave me: an iTunes gift card. They bought it through the Belgian iTunes store, but they didn’t realize I couldn’t use it since I live in Germany.

Just now I asked Apple through the ‘feedback’ feature what I shall do. I wonder when I’ll get a rely..
Maybe we should get the music industry before court? This is barely legal. I can buy anywhere in EU music and take it home with me. Just not on the iTunes website?
The bullshit that there are different laws in different countries doesn’t hold up. I can buy CDs (it’s digital information btw) at amazon.co.uk and let them ship it to Germany.
Anyhow.. We’ll hack around it, as usual.

iTunes’ brain-dead prices and services

I’ve been using iTunes for a while now. The music is good enough for me, and I don’t have to deal with the huge amount of jewel cases anymore. Price is OK, and buying music Sunday morning with all shops closed, it’s just ‘fun’.

There are things however where iTunes is brain-dead. I’m forced to use iTunes Germany because I happen to live in Germany. I do speak German, but I am Belgian. So…
  • iTunes Germany is .. in German only. Really, I don’t have the chance to choose the language, I’m just considered to understand everything.
  • I’m Belgian, so I want to buy Belgian music: no can do. (This is not really problem of Apple’s iTunes services..) This is the EU though! So I don’t see the problem. I travel to Belgium and buy music there. Why wouldn’t I be allowed to shop on the Belgian iTunes store, or the French one? Stupid.
  • TV offerings on iTunes. ARE THEY NUTS? 2,49 EUR for 1 -ONE- episode!!!? It’s not even full quality, not even comparable with the DVD box (which is like half the price).
  • TV offerings continued: Only dubbed in German? One of the best reasons one would buy on iTunes is to have the original version, and not the dubbed one. I have no chance on TV for that.
So, why am I ranting on my blog about this?
.. because Apple probably would just put these remarks in a box.
Why I keep using it? The music part is still OK enough. And the other services out there, don’t think they are better.
If you live in Japan as foreigner, and you see it all in Japanese.. Good luck!!!