Cool Geek Tip: Removing Vocals From Songs!

Have you ever wanted to remove vocals from songs so that you could sing along and pretend you were the “star?” Or, maybe re-write the lyrics so you and your friends could sing to the background music and “mix it up?” Well, here’s a great FREE way to do that!

You already have Audacity, of course! It is simply the best audio editor in the universe, and it is Open Source and FREE! What could be better? You say that you don’t have it? Shame on you! Get it here:

Audacity – Open Source Audio Editor

Then, download this file:

Audacity Center Pan Remover

Then, un-zip the downloaded file, and move the contents (which will be one single file called “centerpanremover.ny”) to this directory:

C:\Program Files\Audacity\Plug-ins

or

C:\Program Files (x86)\Audacity\Plug-Ins

if you have a 64-bit Windows system.

Open Audacity, open your music file, and then select it by doing a “Control-A”, then select “Effect” from the top-most menu line, and locate “Center Pan Remover…” and click on “OK” (accepting the defaults.

Center Pan Remover in Audacity

After it does it’s thing… select another effect called “Normalize” and click “OK” to accept the default.

Play your tune! You will notice that the vocals are nearly gone! This works with MOST songs that have the vocals equally the same level in both stereo tracks. Of course, some instruments that were at the same level will be “minimized” as well. Your mileage may vary! Enjoy!

Dr. Bill.TV #256 – Video – “The Free-as-in-Speech Edition!”

DirCaster V0.9i really is out now! NASA replays ALL of JFK’s moon speech, little known Gmail fact. GSotW: RIOT! Google drops support for old M$ browsers, Apple apathy, free speech issues, helium drives? The NEW Dr. Bill Bailey.NET Private Roku Channel!

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

Blubrry Network

RIOT – Radical Image Optimization Tool


Start the Video Netcast in the Blubrry Video Player above by
clicking on the “Play” Button in the center of the screen.

(Click on the buttons below to Stream the Netcast in your “format of choice”)
Streaming M4V Audio





Streaming MP3 Audio

Streaming Ogg Audio

Download M4V Download WebM Download MP3 Download Ogg
(Right-Click on any link above, and select “Save As…” to save the Netcast on your PC.)

Available on YouTube at: http://youtu.be/aLrOKK8VT_Q

Available on Vimeo at: https://vimeo.com/49556082


Dr. Bill.TV #256 – Audio – “The Free-as-in-Speech Edition!”

DirCaster V0.9i really is out now! NASA replays ALL of JFK’s moon speech, little known Gmail fact. GSotW: RIOT! Google drops support for old M$ browsers, Apple apathy, free speech issues, helium drives? The NEW Dr. Bill Bailey.NET Private Roku Channel!

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

Blubrry Network

RIOT – Radical Image Optimization Tool


Start the Video Netcast in the Blubrry Video Player above by
clicking on the “Play” Button in the center of the screen.

(Click on the buttons below to Stream the Netcast in your “format of choice”)
Streaming M4V Audio





Streaming MP3 Audio

Streaming Ogg Audio

Download M4V Download WebM Download MP3 Download Ogg
(Right-Click on any link above, and select “Save As…” to save the Netcast on your PC.)

Available on YouTube at: http://youtu.be/aLrOKK8VT_Q

Available on Vimeo at: https://vimeo.com/49556082


Dr. Bill Bailey.NET Private Roku Channel Debuts TODAY!

Dr. Bill Bailey.NET Roku ChannelIt is finally ready! Check out the new Dr. Bill Bailey.NET Roku Channel! All the shows I do, all on one Roku Channel… can you stand it?!?!?

Go to your Roku account, log in there, then click this link:

Add Dr. Bill Bailey.NET to my Roku!

Private channels are “unofficial” as far as Roku is concerned. They have not been reviewed or approved by Roku, so don’t expect to get any support from them.

Developers use private channels to test channels that may be later posted for approval to the Roku Channel Store, also, private channels can be beneficial for small, specific interest audiences.

WD Hard Drives With Helium!

Want a 4 Terabyte drive? (YES!) If it leaks, will Server Admins speak in high, squeaky voices?

Western Digital Boosts Hard Drive Capacity With Helium

On Thursday, HGST announced a new helium-filled HDD platform, expected to hit the market in 2013, that boosts storage capacity while consuming less energy. In a statement, the company–which was formerly called Hitachi Global Storage Technologies until Western Digital acquired it in March–said the new design should ‘significantly [reduce] total cost of ownership.’

The new storage products are built around sealed drive enclosures that have been filled with helium, which is one-seventh as dense as regular air. HGST claims the new technology exerts less force on the drive’s spinning disks, thereby diminishing the mechanical power required by 23%.

The design also allows components to be arranged more closely to one another, meaning that Western Digital’s new HDDs can fit seven platters–up from the current standard of five–into a typical 3.5-inch form factor. The resulting increase in storage capacity makes the energy savings even more dramatic; HGST claims that energy consumption is 45% improved on a watts-per-terabyte basis. The company also stated new products will ’emit less acoustic noise’ than current models.

John Rydning, IDC’s research VP for hard disk drives, said in a phone interview that the helium-filled design caters to a ‘market hungry for capacity.’ He stated that data centers will be interested, highlighting ‘cold storage’ as an opportunity. When asked about current archival options, which obviously do not employ the new tech, he said he could not speculate about which hardware offerings will be purchased by given companies. Even so, he said services such as Amazon Glacier would be ‘most suitable for these types of drives.'”

Should Google Pull the Film?

And now, a rare somber moment from the Doctor…

Google says it stands for free speech. The government says that it wants the film pulled… did the video REALLY cause our diplomats to be killed? What do YOU think? And, from a tech and moral perspective, what should Google be required to do?

Google rejects White House request to pull Mohammad film clip

So, Reuters reports:

“(Reuters) – Google Inc rejected a request by the White House on Friday to reconsider its decision to keep online a controversial YouTube movie clip that has ignited anti-American protests in the Middle East.

The Internet company said it was censoring the video in India and Indonesia after blocking it on Wednesday in Egypt and Libya, where U.S. embassies have been stormed by protestors enraged over depiction of the Prophet Mohammad as a fraud and philanderer.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed in a fiery siege on the embassy in Benghazi.

Google said (it) was further restricting the clip to comply with local law rather than as a response to political pressure.

‘We’ve restricted access to it in countries where it is illegal such as India and Indonesia, as well as in Libya and Egypt, given the very sensitive situations in these two countries,’ the company said. ‘This approach is entirely consistent with principles we first laid out in 2007.’

White House officials had asked Google earlier on Friday to reconsider whether the video had violated YouTube’s terms of service…

Google said on Wednesday that the video was within its guidelines.

U.S. authorities said on Friday that they were investigating whether the film’s producer, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a 55-year old Egyptian Coptic Christian living in Southern California, had violated terms of his prison release. Basseley was convicted in 2010 for bank fraud and released from prison on probation last June.

(Reporting By Gerry Shih; Editing by Toni Reinhold)”

Some things to consider:

The supposed “spontaneous protesters” flew Al Qaeda flags as they tore down the U.S. flag and burned it.

The attacks began on September 11th… ring a bell?

Our government says that the attacks have nothing to do with the U.S., or U.S. policy, according to the White House Press Secretary.

Now, attacks on American embassies and installations are occurring in twenty countries in the Middle East, and they are burning BOTH the U.S. flag AND the Israeli flag.

Is it REALLY about a fourth rate, stupid movie that some joker put together and was seen in it’s entirety only by a handful (some report ten or less) people when it was shown in one theater?

A “trailer” was posted on YouTube? Should they pull it down?

Do unspeakable acts of people claiming their actions are due to a poorly produced video warrant curtailing speech? Should a government ask a private company to take down a video that was posted on their web site to appease a crowd of murderers? Where do we draw the lines?

Things to make you go, “Hummmmmmmm.”

Personally, I don’t think anyone should incite violence, but I also have a problem with governments, especially ours, curtailing free speech, or expression, even if people disagree with that speech. That is a slippery slope that I am concerned about going down. These are events to watch, and consider.

Apple, Apple, Apple…Yawn!

All anyone wanted to talk about in the tech world this week was Apple, the new iPhone 5, and the fact that their stock went higher than ever before. Whoopie. What can I say? I am not an Apple fanboy. And, I like Android phones… so, there you go. So, while everyone else drools over the iPhone 5, I am happy to play with my Android phone and fast-forward through all the Apple hype. (I know, some will say I am just dissing Apple because I don’t have one, and I am jealous.) To which I say, “Nanna, nanna, boo boo.”

Google Does The Right Thing and Drops Support for Stinky Microsoft Web Browsers Before IE 9!

Oh yeah! This is great news! Now, maybe the rest of the web will quit supporting old M$ web browsers that NEVER supported real, open web standards (they barely do in the newer M$ browsers!)

Google Apps Says Goodbye To Internet Explorer 8, Pulls Support For the Browser

“Today, the Google Apps team announced that it will no longer support Internet Explorer 8 (and lower). Thank goodness. This will affect everyone using Google Apps: businesses, educational and government institutions. The drop of support officially starts November 15th, a few weeks after Internet Explorer 10 launches.

This means no support for GMail, no Calendar, no Drive, no anything for Internet Explorer 8. Good riddance.

Here’s what the team had to say:

‘As we announced last year, we support the latest version of Google Chrome (which automatically updates whenever it detects that a new version of the browser is available) as well as the current and prior major release of Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari on a rolling basis. Each time a new version of one of these browsers is released, we begin supporting the update and stop supporting the third-oldest version.

Internet Explorer 10 launches on 10/26/2012, and as a result, we will discontinue support for Internet Explorer 8 shortly afterwards, on 11/15/2012. After this date users accessing Google Apps services using Internet Explorer 8 will see a message recommending that they upgrade their browser.’

I don’t think anyone will be crying over this, however, for companies who don’t get their workstations properly updated, this could cause some issues for sure. IT folks, put your hardhats on!!!!”

Geek Software of the Week: RIOT

RIOTHave you ever wanted to email, or post, a photo or other image that was just too large? If you are a webmaster, do you have an image that you need to reduce in size, but need to maintain the quality of the image? Well, this GSotW is for YOU! It is a RIOT! (OK, bad pun!)

RIOT – Radical Image Optimization Tool

Radical Image Optimization Tool (RIOT for short) is a free image optimizer that will let you to visually adjust compression parameters while keeping minimum filesize.

It uses with a side by side (dual view) or single view interface to compare the original with the optimized image in real time and instantly see the resulting file size.

The image optimizer is lightweight, fast and simple to use, yet powerful for advanced users.
You will be able to control compression, number of colors, metadata settings and much more, and select image format (JPEG, GIF or PNG) for your output file.

RIOT can be integrated as plug-in in well known programs like The GIMP, IrfanView and XnView

Main features:

  • open many image types including rare/scientific types
  • save and optimize JPEG, GIF and PNG with a simple, clean user interface
  • works in dual view: (original – optimized image) or single view (optimized image).
  • Automatic preview of resulting image
  • in-place compare function (alternativelly display the original image over the optimized image to notice small pixel changes)
  • compress files to desired filesize threshold
  • fast processing (all is done in memory);
  • see instant results including resulting filesize
  • batch support (process multiple files at once)
  • transparency handling options
  • decide if you want to keep metadata (comments, IPTC, Adobe XMP, EXIF profiles, ICC profiles).
  • Unsupported metadata is removed
  • transfer metadata between image formats (destination format must support them)
  • common tools: pan and zoom, rotate, flip
  • basic image adjustments: brightness, contrast, gamma, invert
  • visually reduce number of unique colors for PNG and GIF images in order to reduce filesize
  • (two quantization methods are available: Xiaolin Wu and NeuQuant neural net)
  • resize image by using well known resample filters (ex: Lanczos3, Catmull Rom, Bicubic, and others)
  • out-of-the-box support for external PNG optimizers (optipng, pngout, etc)
  • the compression and the results are comparable to those of commercial products, even higher.
  • Adaptive logarithmic tone mapping algorithm (Drago) used for HDR images

Input image types:

  • common bitmap images as well as Adobe Photoshop PSD files
  • popular HDR formats and RAW camera images
  • rare/scientific types (up to 128 bpp, integer and floating point)”
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