Archive for October, 2009


Fixing MP3 Metadata (id3 tags) on Windows

I have had a lot of issues with MP3 metadata (title, artist, album) not displaying properly in Foobar2000 and Windows XP. Either it would not read at all, or the tag would be unreadable characters (in the case of alternate language MP3 tags such as Japanese tags on my English Windows installation). For example, sometimes it turns weird like this (Foobar2000 screwed this up in my case):



This ‘metadata’ stored in id3 format. From Wikipedia:

ID3 is a metadata container most often used in conjunction with the MP3 audio file format. It allows information such as the title, artist, album, track number, and other information about the file to be stored in the file itself.

Windows (even Windows 7) and Window Media Player don’t handle id3v2.4 tags. If you have any MP3 that is written in 2.4, Windows has troubles reading it. More information on Wikipedia here. You also have different encodings you can save the tag in, which messes with tags saved in different languages.


To fix the problem of MP3 metadata not displaying properly, download MP3tag to rewrite the mp3 ID3 tags. MP3tag is a MP3 metadata editor that does this very well.

MP3Tag Usage and Settings

You have to make sure you have the following settings in MP3tag Options:



After applying these settings, navigate to the directory with the MP3s with the bad ID3 tags. You will then see something similar to the following screen:


Now you simply need to save over the tags for every file. You can either do it one by one, or just hit ‘Edit –> Select All’ (Ctrl-A)


Notice that the save icon on the left of the toolbar (just below the File menu) is now clickable. Click it (keyboard Ctrl-S) to save the tags. Now you can see the tags in Windows and most of your other applications. Here is everything working in Windows Explorer and Foobar2000:




(Demonstrated under Windows XP English with Foobar2000 v0.9.6.9 and MP3tag 2.4.4)


Enabling AHCI On Windows 7 Post Install

Enabling AHCI enables NCQ (Native command queuing) and faster multi-tasking response. See this article describing why you should use AHCI instead.

So when you do get a chance in do a fresh install of Windows 7, check your BIOS to make sure that AHCI is enabled to save yourself the headache of having to play around with it later.

Manually Enabling AHCI

This is for people who forget to enable AHCI on their Windows 7 install and want to enable it after to improve hard drive performance.

If you enable AHCI in bios after installing your Windows 7 in IDE mode, it wont boot. Since Windows 7 already has the drivers built in, you have tell it to enable the drivers since they will be off if you installed in IDE mode.

These are values exported from directly from my registry. Windows 7 RTM 64 bit only. Copy into text file and import, then restart computer and enable AHCI in BIOS before Windows boots. This is supposed to enable the built in Windows 7 AHCI driver.

To modify this for a 32 bit install, change the value of “DriverPackageID” to “mshdc.inf_x86_neutral_3f3676f4c0e7d884”

Source: Windows 7 Forums and my own Windows 7 install
Relevant Microsoft KB:


Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

"Group"="SCSI Miniport"


Running Alternate Language Apps Using pAppLocale on Windows

Confirmed to work on Windows Seven 64-bit! Should work for WIndows Vista and XP too.

You’d figure that Microsoft would have ironed out these language issues by now. But the program is still in Windows Seven.

You can use a patched version of AppLocale located here:

piaip at ntu csie (In Chinese)

If you don’t know Chinese, the direct link to the modified AppLocale is located here:
(I didn’t want to directly link to the file. Link works as of Oct 26, 2009)

Anyways just install it like you would any other MSI file, and use it exactly like the official AppLocale from your WIndows XP install.

Now you can launch AppLocale from your start menu and make a shortcut to run the application in your selected language. Sorry for the Chinese screens, but your screens will be identical anyways:

image image

image image

Manual Method

image image

My original Japanese language program was located at:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\SmileDownloader\SmileDownloader.exe"
The modified shortcut link is now:
C:\Windows\AppPatch\AppLoc.exe "C:\Program Files (x86)\SmileDownloader\SmileDownloader.exe" "/L0411"
You can replace the file path with your target file. The 4 digit number (0411) after the “/L” switch is the language key.
0411 – Japanese

0412 – Korean

0404 – Traditional Chinese

0804 – Simplified Chinese
Of course, the location of AppLoc.exe may differ if your Windows was not installed on C: drive.






Right Click Context Menus Addon

There are also guides to add this to your right-click context menu. Here are some guides for this (as well as additional information about this method):

Or just Google “Applocale right click context menus” for more help.



Playing Around FLStudio – Two Songs

Made 2 songs using FLStudio. Took a while. Fun program. Still couldn’t get it to sound like what I wanted. I though I was going to make happy songs.

Both songs loop quite well too. I have the encoded MP3s on my computer…


Started playing around with a complicated drum beat then added instruments. Very difficult to time because my drum pattern was too complicated. Violin is actually not perfectly on timing but it is pretty close. Turned out pretty depressing. Wrote rap lyrics to boot:

Why this boy’s stirring up all these emotions
Well he’s just overthinking about his condition
About this ugly mess he got himself in
Like how he don’t like his life this situation he’s in

Still he\s just sitting here, n he’s still not movin’
In front of the computer pointlessly staring
Detrimental behavior he make no progress
He’ll soon feel regret, I’ll sure suggest

Right now he’s taking on the path of abolition
But he knows that this leads to his destruction
Awaken now from your disillusion
And work for the good of your salvation

Drizzling Rain

Try to do more of a rock beat this time. It worked to some extent.
Started with a drum beat and built it up. Added rain effects to it too


Applications to Ease Dual-Boot Windows 7 and Windows XP

On my HP TX2524CA (AMD HD3200, PUMA RM-70, 4GB RAM, 320GB HDD)  laptop, I am dual booting Windows 7 64bit and XP 32 bit. This is mainly to keep my Windows 7 install clean, and allows me to run a native Windows XP installation.

However, ever since switching to Windows 7, I had gotten quite fond of some its new features. I didn’t really are about every single feature, but for those I cared about, I found applications that made the backwards transition much more comfortable.

All these apps were selected with performance in mind. My computer is not very high powered (AMD dual core CPU at 2 GHz).


General Apps for Windows XP

WinSplit Revolution (Windows 7 AeroSnap)

version tested 9.02

  • Rearrange windows and snap to areas of your screen using preset layouts (left, right, top, center, down… customizable).
  • Keyboard shortcuts for different layouts, maximize and minimize.
  • RAM usage: 21 MB


(sample from WinSplit homepage)


John’s Background Switcher (Windows 7 Wallpapers Cycling)

version tested 4.0

  • Cycles wallpapers from a selected folder based on time.
  • Scales wallpapers properly, trimming oversized wallpapers and stretching smaller ones while keeping the screen filled and the aspect ratio of your wallpapers intact like in Windows 7.
  • Can publish a calendar onto the desktop and many other interesting features as well.
  • RAM usage: 25-30 MB (my usage scenario, which is just switching wallpapers from selected folder)


(options from John’s Background Switcher in my computer)


QT Address Bar (Windows Vista/7 Explorer Breadcrumbs)

version tested 0.9.6

  • adds breadcrumbs to Windows Explorer
  • full review at howtogeek
  • unknown ram usage, but snappy to use on my computer. supposedly not all that efficient.


(screenshot of Windows Explorer)


Vista Switcher (Windows Vista/7 Alt-tab with previews)

  • alt-tab replacement with previews
  • very good performance trade off (barely noticeable delay from unmodified alt-tab)
  • mouse over to switch apps
  • keyboard triggers
  • RAM usage: 11 MB


(screenshot from official page, but running from Windows 7)


Taskbar Shuffle (Reorder items in your taskbar and system tray)

  • reorder items in taskbar
  • very handy to keep your taskbar organized


Vista Drive Icon (Shows disk usage visually like Windows Vista and 7)

  • Shows a little colored bar under your drive in My Computer to show usage.
  • RAM usage: 4.5 MB


(official screenshot)


XPize (Better Visual Themes)

  • higher resolution icons
  • visual themes
  • (not intended to clone Windows 7 appearance)
  • RAM usage: varies. Probably 10-20 MB more than if you ran a unmodified Windows XP. Does not feel slower


(xpize screenshot from official site, Luna Royale Black theme)


Apps for Dual Booting

Junction Link Magic

  • creates symbolic links between folders. forget about moving files from one drive to another altogether.
    • Similar to mounting a drive on your computer, except you do this to folders. When you mount a drive, you see it as the letter you assigned it ‘F:’ for example, and when you move a file into it you write to ‘F:’.
    • Creating a symbolic link does it for folders. I linked the ‘My Music’ folder of my Seven in C: drive and XP on E: drive. So whenever I move files into ‘My Music’ in XP, it actually writes to the folder on my C: drive but I still use it as if it is a folder on E: drive.
      • “E:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\My Documents\My Music” has same contents" as “C:\Users\Administrator\My Music” and is treated like it is the same folder
    • I use it for my music, picture, video, download folders.


(official screenshot)


Mozilla Weave Sync Addon for Firefox

  • copies passwords, history, bookmarks across Firefox installs SEAMLESSLY. Don’t miss a beat despite being on your XP partition.


List of Some Apps I’ve Tried but am Not Using

These are some other programs I tried. But the performance and stability were good enough to use on my AMD based laptop.

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October 2009
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