iTunes and QuickTime instead of Window Media Player ?

I love iTunes and use it to manage my iPod’s and some video podcasts. I must admit here that many of my friends use Anapod explorer to manage their iPods, but I love iTunes (Smart Playlists). I use Quicktime when I need to open QT movies and most of the time I even forget that I have QT installed on my machine. But this author from Roughlydrafted goes little further and says Apple already managed to convince hundreds of millions of Windows users to download and use iTunes and Quicktime in place of Windows Media Player.

If Apple had not already managed to convince hundreds of millions of Windows users to download and use iTunes and QuickTime in place of the Window Media Player software that comes bundled with Windows, it might be hard to imagine why Windows users might want to use Safari.#

IMO it’s BULLSHIT. I admit that I am a Windows user all my life, but right now I am planning to switch to Mac very soon and join the club. I am also closely following all the Mac related websites in my feed reader and after reading couple of articles on the above mentioned site, anyone can guess what he is trying to tell. So here is my question to all of you.

Do you use iTunes and QuickTime instead of Window Media Player ?

Extend Vista start menu search functionality with Start++

Start++ extends Vista’s already impressive start menu functionality with configurable key commands. Hit Win key and start typing like…

w apple – opens Apple’s Wikipedia page.
g apple – opens Google’s search page for Apple.
imdb cars – opens IMDb’s search page for movie Cars.

The list goes on. You can even search for music using keywords, then you can open the results in Media Player.

This method is faster than using Firefox and IE7’s inline search, which requires more steps to do some basic searches. Start++ is still in beta and expect some bugs to show up and its only for Vista. Check it out….

Revision to Vista retail licensing terms

Microsoft Windows division has revised the retail license terms for Windows Vista in a good news to all Vista users. The new terms regarding license to device assignment of the retail product now read as follows:

15. REASSIGN TO ANOTHER DEVICE.
a. Software Other than Windows Anytime Upgrade. You may uninstall the software and install it on another device for your use. You may not do so to share this license between devices. (more…)

New Windows Vista and Office 2007 packaging system

Windows Vista team blog posted photos of new Windows Vista and Office 2007 packaging system. According to their blog, the packaging has been completely revised and they are planning to extend this packaging style to other Microsoft products after the launch of Windows Vista and 2007 Office system. The new packaging is a small, hard, plastic container that’s designed to protect the software inside for life-long use and it provides a convenient and attractive place for you to permanently store both discs and documentation.

Now why I am blogging this news is, there’s a youtube video circulating about how the packaging will be if Microsoft manufactures ipod. Microsoft certainly did their homework as we can see from Zune’s packaging and the new Vista and Office packaging definetly looks cool.

Microsoft launches Soapbox Beta

Microsoft today launched their Beta release of Soapbox on MSN Video. Soapbox is a user-uploaded video service like Youtube which allows people to upload and share personal videos. According to Microsoft Soapbox will be deeply integrated with its various online services including Windows Live Spaces and Windows Live Messenger. This will be a good news for all the Windows Live Spaces users and with their new music player, Zune released this week, its gonna be an exciting news for Zune too. Currently the beta of Soapbox is available on an invitation only basis in the U.S. If you want to check it out, request an invitation on the Soapbox homepage. Check out the official announcement by Microsoft too.

Windows Live writer, UTW and Tag4Writer

I came to know that many Mac users use either Ecto or Mars Edit as their desktop blogging client. My previous idea works in those clients too and infact from any blogging client. Now I want to show how to customize the existing tagging plugin, Tag4Writer for Windows Live Writer. Tag4Writer enables insertion of a list into a template for tags. By default it comes with various templates for Technorati, Delicious, Flickr, IceRocket, Buzznet, 43 things, Live Journal, but there’s no support for local tags in wordpress. We need to add our WordPress blog as a new template in the plugin and just add tags from the plugin interface. This idea is similar to my previous one of using Ultimate Tag Warrior’s embedded tags option.

  1. Go to Ultimate Tag Warrior options page and then check the box next to use embedded tags option.
  2. Go to the Windows Live Writer plugins folder and open the xml file (SmilingGoat.WindowsLiveWriter.TagTemplates.xml) in a text editor and add the following code just above the last line and save it. Give your own blog name and blog url in the following code.

    tags

  3. In Windows Live Writer, go to plugins section and open the options for Tag list generator. In the Template drop down box you can see your blog name that you have added in the xml file. Select it. Once you have selected your blog from the list, it remains same everytime.
  4. Now in the Tag list HTML Template section add the following code and close the plugin preferences.

    tags

  5. Write a post in Windows Live Writer and at the end of the post, click on Insert tags from the sidebar. Write your tags separated by commas and click on insert.
  6. Publish your post and Ultimate Tag Warrior adds those tags to your post automatically. That’s it.

When you try to edit this post after publishing, you can still see the tags you added, if you want to change them. Ok, I am able to add tags but how to pull the existing tags on my WordPress blog and how to get tag suggestions. If anyone got any ideas or solutions please share with me. I hope someone writes a plugin for UTW with all its features. Sorry for taking so long to post this guys. Happy Blogging…

Windows Live Writer and Ultimate Tag Warrior

Ten days back Microsoft shocked the blogging world with their wonderful desktop blogging application, Windows Live writer. You can go through some great reviews by some great bloggers in the blogosphere. As a Windows user, I too was playing with this for the past 10 days to customize it for WordPress and one thing I realized was it’s lack of support for tags. Windows Live Writer doesn’t have the support for tags by default but they have released an API by which you can extend the capabilities of Windows Live Writer.

I use Christine’s kickass Ultimate Tag Warrior plugin for tags on my blog. Infact my theme, K2 comes prepackaged with support for UTW. So, this goes to all the K2 users using Windows Live Writer too. David Brunelle wrote how to make these two killer applications work together based on some existing hacks. His hack involves editing WordPress xmlrpc.php to add Ultimate Tag Warrior functionality to Windows Live Writer and use its inbuilt keywords section to convert them to tags. This works, but I am not comfortable with the idea of editing any WordPress files. No offence to David here but there is a simple way for adding tags using Ultimate Tag Warrior and Windows Live Writer.

  1. Go to Ultimate Tag Warrior options page and then check the box next to use embedded tags option.
  2. Write a post in Windows Live Writer and at the end of the post just use the following format to add tags to your post.

    tags

    Here tag1, tag2, tag3 are the tags you want to add to the post you just created.

  3. Publish your post and Ultimate Tag Warrior adds those tags to your post automatically. That’s it.

No need of editing any WordPress files. When you try to edit this post after publishing, you can still see the tags you added, if you want to change them. This method for Ultimate Tag Warrior works from any blogging application. I know some people will ask me, why should I type some extra words like [tag]..[/tags], when David’s idea lets me just type in my tags in the keywords section. I got an answer for that too. It involves Timheuer’s Tag4Writer plugin for Windows Live Writer where you can just click on insert tags and enter your tags. I will write about it in my next post.

Note: Thanks to Christine for suggesting this idea.