I have been doing a lot of burning audiobooks to CD, then ripping them to MP3, thanks to my little Audible.com leechery process. Unfortunately, some of these audiobooks end up being multi-gigabyte WAV files while I am splicing together the segments and creating final WAV files to encode as MP3. This is not a problem on the desktop, but a bit of a problem on the laptop (which is where I have been doing most of the processing) because I only have a couple of gigs free. Since the laptop is Linux and the desktop is OS X, I needed to find a replacement multi-track audio editing program that lets me time-shift tracks around until they line up right, then merge them into single tracks. Audacity did a good job of this with Linux, but what to do with OS X? I downloaded three or four editing programs–each with some pretty nice bells and whistles, but none that would let me easily do multi-track editing. Then, I happened across the Audacity homepage. THERE IS AN OS X VERSION! Coolness! It works just like the Linux version, including hotkeys (except instead of Alt-something it is Command-something). I am a very happy monkey because the desktop is now running the same software and has plenty of gigs to spare.
The command line parameters that the OS X version of tar accepts are meager, at best. In fact, they suck donkey scrotum. I am trying to write a backup script that will archive some stuff in my home directory, but tar keeps choking on files that are already open by other processes. I would very greatly like to say “skip past files that are open” or “do not archive any files in directory xyz,” but there is no way to do that. The OS X tar command has, like, 10 options. I ended up having to copy the files to the temp directory, then archive them (because “cp” will skip past the locked-for-reading files without aborting). Of course the cp command does not support the “-v” flag that actually allows me to SEE what it is copying, so I just have to take it on faith while debugging. Bleh!
In another month, I hope to have the 17″ uberlaptop, thanks to the savings account and the IRS.