bigpicture Cataloguer 0.5 Released

Posted: 2011-01-23 20:49   |  More posts about code

Mainly a bug-fix release, with problems relating to HTML in captions fixed.

If you already downloaded the "Haiti: One Year Later" photo album, you might want to delete it and run this version of the cataloguer.

Download available here.


Bigpicture Cataloguer 0.4 Released

Posted: 2010-10-09 11:19   |  More posts about code

New version of The Big Picture Cataloguer available from here. Thanks for your patience; sorry it took so long.


Critical Bug in bigpicture Cataloguer

Posted: 2010-09-23 19:24   |  More posts about code

Update: Version 0.4 now released. Please upgrade immediately.

I'm aware of and have fixed a critical bug in the Big Picture cataloguer. The cataloguer stops downloading when it reaches a recent photo album, since its title ends with a full stop.

I moved recently and unfortunately my main computer was destroyed in the process. With it went my proper development environment.

This means I'll not be able to update the executable versions of the cataloguer for perhaps a week, but in the meantime, a new version of the script is up.

If you are encountering this bug, please check back next week for an updated version of the executables. The program will resume where it left off; you will not have lost the chance to get any galleries.


Tricks with python and music

Posted: 2010-05-22 17:30   |  More posts about art code computer science computers experimental music oddities

From Music Machinery:

One of my favorite hacks at last weekend’s Music Hack Day is Tristan’s Swinger.  The Swinger is a bit of python code that takes any song and makes it swing.  It does this be taking each beat and time-stretching the first half of each beat while time-shrinking the second half.  It has quite a magical effect.  Some examples:

Every Breath You Take (swing version) by TeeJay Sweet Child O' Mine (Swing Version) by plamere

You can find more examples in the original blog post. The results really are truly impressive. I'm looking forward to playing with Tristan Jehan's code, and also having a look at his PhD thesis:
Machines have the power and potential to make expressive music on their own. This thesis aims to computationally model the process of creating music using experience from listening to examples. Our unbiased signal-based solution models the life cycle of listening, composing, and performing, turning the machine into an active musician, instead of simply an instrument. We accomplish this through an analysis-synthesis technique by combined perceptual and structural modeling of the musical surface, which leads to a minimal data representation.

Fascinating stuff!


Big Picture Cataloguer: An update

Posted: 2010-05-20 20:11   |  More posts about art code computers internet photography

In just over a week since I released the Big Picture Cataloguer, there's been a surprising amount of interest and enthusiasm about it. Since I still haven't gotten binary versions of the program for OS X and Linux up (I've no access to an OS X computer, and getting the required libraries installed on Linux has proved to be quite difficult), I've decided to relent and share the source code of the cataloguer under a Creative Commons license.

The script makes use of pyexiv2 - the 0.2 branch - for metadata editing, mechanize for grabbing pages and submitting error reports, the very handy unaccented_map() class (included) for unicode trickery and of course the wonderful XML parser, BeautifulSoup.

Naturally, it's available from the Big Picture Cataloguer's page in the Code section of this site.

Given how much The Big Picture galleries' HTML format has subtly changed over time, and the fact I wrote this in a rush, it's quite messy, but it does the job.

Today's update is of version 0.3, which has an optional "quiet mode" to enable users to schedule the program to run frequently. Enjoy!

Comments Big Picture Cataloguer

Posted: 2010-05-12 20:02   |  More posts about art code computers internet media photography politics

I'm a big fan of The Boston Globe's photojournalism series, The Big Picture. So much so, in fact, that I decided to dedicate a few hours this week to building a program that would not just download the entire series, but add caption metadata to each photo, since many are informative and look very nice in Picasa, for example.

Now, I'm happy that the application is stable enough to release to the world in the Code section of my website.

Since I don't want people to be hammering The Boston Globe's servers, I've made the script wait a fraction of a second between each request, and since I don't want people to be able to disable this functionality, unfortunately only binaries will be available for the time being. Windows binaries are available already, OS X and Linux binaries to come in a few days.

Indeed, if those at The Boston Globe have a problem with how the program operates, they need simply contact me and we can come to an agreement, but I've worked hard to make sure that the program contacts their servers as little as possible.

Bug reports will be automatically submitted through this website too, but if you have any unforeseen problems (e.g. a crash or a hang), email me with as much information as possible (text describing the "Traceback" printed before the crash, what album/photo the program was working on, etc).

What can you do once you've got the entire 2GB collection of photos downloaded? Well, you can simply look through them at your own pace and comfort, or indeed choose to create a montage screensaver from them (although be warned - a screensaver that fades from a beautiful Antarctic landscape to a bloody photo of a victim of the war in Afghanistan might not be exactly what you had in mind.)

But in any event, hopefully it'll be of some use. Enjoy!