mp3 to wav (a little app written in Objective-C)

Thu 28, April 2011

What?

Just knocked together a little app to batch convert selected MP3 files in iTunes to WAV format.

Seems to work pretty well so far.

When the app launches click the button to select the “Output Directory” of the converted files.

Then hit the “Go!” button.

 

Why?

I was looking for an easy way to batch convert selected tracks in my iTunes library to WAV format, and have them export into a directory (for later use in Final Cut Pro). I came across some Applescripts that would do the conversion within iTunes, but in the end wasn’t really what I was after. I started writing something in Python but then figured it would be a great opportunity to give it a go in Obj-C. It took half a day and I learnt a lot in the time it took to put it together.Hopefully people out there can find a use for the little app, or use the XCode project to build something better!


Requirements:

iTunes must be open and the tracks you want to convert must be selected

*Only tested on Mac OS X 10.6.7

 

Download:

App: Download MP3toWAV

Xcode Project: Download mp3towavXcodeProj

 

Notes:

Built using XCode and ObjC. I needed the following to talk to iTunes via OBJC:

 

 

 

Planet Kapow 24 : Caye Caulker to Tikal

Sun 24, April 2011

Caye Caulker, Belize. Beautiful glassy water, coconuts, and not much else. This was the perfect place to revive ourselves post Cuba and get ready to hit up the ancient Mayan ruins of Tikal over in Guatemala!

Grab your beach towel, a pina colada, and come chill in front of ep 24 of Planet Kapow:

http://www.planetkapow.com/1678

 

 

Cuba

Mon 21, March 2011

Two and a half weeks is never enough time to give a place a decent $.02 worth, but…

 

From memory Cuba is the one place where I have traveled and spent so much of the travel time digesting what we had seen that day and then falling asleep just as confused as the first day I landed.

 

We started our journey off in the corazon de Cuba, Habana.

Here is a city with style and finesse, but rough around  the edges like an old cricket ball.

A city of old colonial buildings crumbling into cobblestone streets, 1950’s yank tanks that will take you anywhere in Cuba for a somewhat negotiable rate, places to eat from between $0.04 and $25 a meal, and bars where you can dance the night away salsa style well into the morning.

 

But let me cut to the chase.

 

The minute we hit the streets of Habana we were befriended by folks who we eventually learned to be known as jineteros – hustlers.

These guys were nice enough. Patient with our awkward level of the Spanish language, full of info, and they knew a guy in the next street who has space for us to sleep in his casa particular (more on that soon). And most of the time these guys would leave you alone as you politely expressed “no gracias”.

 

The problem was we never really escaped it except for the time out on the eastern edge of Cuba in a great little town called Baracoa.

 

Whilst it seemed that most folks in the bigger cities of Santiago del Cuba and Habana were keen to befriend us, help us lighten our wallets and leave us talking about jineteros for the rest of the day, there were other places and people that were indeed the lovely type that you would really have enjoyed getting to know better, places like Baracoa & Santa Clara.

 

Looking back at the trip we have all decided that Cuba is probably best spent far from the bigger cities, out in a village surrounded by less entrepreneurial types.

 

Ok I’ll stop whinging.

 

In the moments we got over the jineteros we did meet some nice folks, like Roman & Amelia who were a son & mum combo running their casa particular in Habana.

We spent a few days of new year’s eve with them and had a blast. Roman gave us all some salsa lessons and educated us on the history of Cuban music. These guys were so fantastic and friendly. One night we were fortunate enough to get Amelia talking about her life and times in Cuba. Basically she said that she was tired, and hadn’t ever experienced a different way of life, and was extremely sad that her son and husband were living in Italy and that she it would be extremely difficult for her to visit them. When we tried to give her money for the new years day lunch she threw, she politely said “some things are more important”.

 

Basically:

We bicycled around and checked out the limestone peaks of Viñales.

Then we took a convertible taxi east to Santa Clara to see Che Guevara’s statue & sample a $.04 hamburger.

A slow bus journey took us down to Trinidad for more dancing and partying in caves.

Along the coast we dropped into Santiago de Cuba for …. hmmm not sure really, an old fortress and a nice view.

But then we found Baracoa, a beautiful little town (the first capital of Cuba and was where Christopher Columbus landed) on the eastern tip of Cuba, full of friendly people and a somewhat different look & feel to what we had experienced over the previous 2 weeks.

To me Baracoa was a taste of what everyone could have been like in Cuba if we didn’t stand out as foreigners with dollar signs floating above our heads. And we even managed to find ourselves out amongst the nature of Baracoa on top of  the table top hill “El Yunque”.

And managed to do this whilst using both the CUC & CUP money systems (what a feat!).

 

Everything in Cuba pretty much seems very old, and recycled. I met one truck driver whose truck dated back from 1954. He said his Dad had given him the truck 20 years ago, and his father’s father 20 years before that. And the old truck keeps on running (on a slightly more efficient diesel engine).

 

The poverty in Cuba is blatant and is an obvious explanation for the plethora of entrepreneurs. Perhaps it is all to do with the sanctions imposed by the US back in the day, or maybe Fidel’s plan of self sustainability just didn’t work out or wasn’t completely well thought out. Perhaps I should read a book about it all.

 

So, yeah i get it, should you go there (because you value my travel opinions so strongly of course) ?

YES! A big fat YES! I mean NO! I mean… work it out for yourself!

 

We’ve met way too many people with such positive views on their experiences in Cuba that it really must be awesome. We went in fairly unprepared and had to learn the ropes as we went, and especially after our chill time in Mexico we were really just not ready.

(photos coming soon)


Planet Kapow 21 : Tulum to Cancun

Mon 14, March 2011

The final episode of our Mexican leg on our way to the bottom of South America. Yes, there’s still quite a ways to go! And yes once you feast your eyes on this latest ep you might somehow realise that we are slightly behind on the episodes too!

But, you will really enjoy this one I promise.

We visit Tulum, spend xmas there, and spend a good few minutes talking about our favourite memories of our Mexican experience. Then, we head to Cancun…

As per usual head on over to Planet Kapow, sit back, have a read, and take in all that is our final Mexican PK episode.
Cuba, you’re next!

http://www.planetkapow.com/1641

Planet Kapow 20 : Palenque to Merida

Tue 1, March 2011

Ruins. Lotsa ruins. But amazing ruins!
THIS. IS. PALENQUE!!!!!!

After the a rather chilled tie in San Cristobal de las Casas we headed north on an overnight bus to Palenque. After Egypt I would say this place is one of the most impressive ancient sites I have seen.
To top off a trip to Palenque we headed north and swam in the blue sinkholes (ceynotes) of Cuzuma. The clarity of the water was amazing, and they fact that these sinkholes exist with swimmable conditions is beyond cool.

Read the adventure, and come experience the awe that is episode 20 of Planet Kapow:
http://www.planetkapow.com/1626

Planet Kapow 19 : Taxco to San Cristobal de las Casas

Sat 19, February 2011

Smack!

Here it is, Planet Kapow episode 19, featuring such fine places as the mountains around Oaxaca, the beautiful beaches of Puerto Escondido & the colonial town of San Cristobal de las Casas!

This episode also features one of our bestest buddies Liam who happens to be celebrating his 30th birthday RIGHT NOW!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMIGO!

Lachie has written up a novella of piece and I requires your eyes for review!

So head over to http://www.planetkapow.com/1622 right, now!

Guatemala: hike around Nebaj (Cuchumatan Mountains)

Fri 11, February 2011

IMG_1833_Nebaj_Guatemala.jpg

Ok, I’m jumping the gun a bit with my backlog of posts I should be getting on top of, but here is an update that I really wanted to get up.

A few days ago we got back from a brilliant 3 days up in the Cuchumatan mountains around Nebaj in the province of Quiché, Guatemala.

IMG_1916_Nebaj_Guatemala.jpg

Danielle & I headed of with our guide Asinto from Guias Ixil in Nebaj and spent 3 days hiking 40km up, down & around exploring the small Ixil Mayan communities whilst trying to get our heads around Asinto’s explanations in Spanish about the brutal Guatemalan civil war that he fought in.

IMG_1838_Nebaj_Guatemala.jpg

The folks up in these parts, especially the women and children, came across as quite reserved/apprehensive at first. We couldn’t work out why, especially after having found that most people in Guatemala are quite open and up for a chat. Later we heard that there had been a few incidents of foreigners “adopting” children (basically stealing them) which ended up with some unfortunate tourists being murdered after picking up one family’s little kid whilst walking through one of the communities.

IMG_1953_Nebaj_Guatemala.jpg

Also, I’d say that the civil war has left a lot of the indigenous people up here quite suspicious of strangers.

Most people are subsistence farmers as far as I could tell and fortunately for us we didn’t come across anyone who tried to sell us anything! There are chickens, roosters, turkeys, dogs, cats, pigs and all the baby versions of these running around the place.

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The women by far have the most interesting garb – purple, green and yellow pom-pommed hair braids, huipiles (blouses/dresses) and rebozos (shawls).

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Most of the dads & sons seem to leave in the morning for work in town, or farm, or head out into the forest to log trees and collect wood.

IMG_1958_Nebaj_Guatemala.jpg IMG_1996_Nebaj_Guatemala.jpg IMG_1913_Nebaj_Guatemala.jpg IMG_1805_Nebaj_Guatemala.jpg IMG_1748_Nebaj_Guatemala.jpg

The first day was some of the best hiking because we ended up walking from a hot sunny day up in to a thick fog on top of a mountain. It was beautiful.

IMG_1842_Nebaj_Guatemala.jpg

The second night we stayed with a family and ended up putting on a bit of show to about 20 kids who had gathered around staring at Danielle and I through the kitchen door.
What to do? I showed them how to make fart sounds with their arm pits, and we exchanged different whistling techniques and sound fx. It was one of the best cultural exchanges I have had! 🙂

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There seems to be a rather massive evangelical church presence up here too.
Both nights we tried to buy a beer or 2 and ended up having to go to the edge of each community to find the one family who sold alcohol. It was a little weird, but a lot of fun to be one of the outcasts drinking in the little watering hole.
With so many people living in cramped wooden houses with dirt floors I couldn’t see how it was ok for there to be so many reasonably sized churches built out of concrete/cinder blocks that had hard floors and electricity (to power the “jam session” that was blasted over the PA across the whole town & valley).
I have no idea what the medical facilities are like up there but we saw/met a lot of people with bad coughs and kids that didn’t look too healthy (one family had 3 kids who were all covered in what looked like hives, red eyes and sniffling noses). I felt really sorry for these little guys (especially when one of them nearly poked his eye out whilst trying to climb a tree).
It just seemed that the little money that is up there is kind of going into the wrong places (but i ain’t judgin’!).

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Our time up in the mountains was fantastic and I’d really suggest to anyone who is going near Nebaj to take a few days and go explore!

The Photos

The Route


View Larger Map

GPS track file (GPX)
http://adamteale.com/gps/Hike_CuchumataneMountains.gpx