Works for free

After yesterday’s post, I looked at what I had to do today and figured I’d really be able to get that post about blog comments done. I had more time today than I did yesterday. I really should’ve been able to do it.

But I didn’t even check to see if I can still track down those Fred Dekker comments.

I aimed a little high considering most of my free project time today was spent trying to figure out how to get transcribing to work. I found an app–InqScribe–which has a free fourteen day trial (enough time to get through the two projects I’d need it for) and was pretty happy with it until discovering you have to manually insert the time codes. I thought it was smart enough to auto-record them and then export them. Nope, you’ve got to hit Command-; or something.

The app costs $100 if you want to be able to export your transcript, which I assume you could otherwise copy and paste into a word document of your choice. Maybe you can’t copy and paste it. Because if you’re doing a lot of transcribing, I imagine the auto-timecoding thing would be worth $100. But since auto-timecoding isn’t even a thing in the app, what’s the point.

There isn’t one. I spent about thirty minutes figuring out how to do it myself in AppleScript and now I’ve got the same functionality thanks to TextExpander. TextExpander costs about $50 a year (it’s subscription so about means about) and does all sorts of other things. You could also use Keyboard Maestro, I think. All I’ve got is a shortcut to get the current time from QuickTime Player and dump it into whatever I’m typing in.

So InqScribe is a fail. And a bit of a rip.

And figuring out how not to use it at all–instead of just finishing the fourteen days (the first project is “due” Friday the second is “due” right before the trial ends), I wanted to be done with the app. I like my new workflow. It’s cleaner. It uses better apps. Whatever.

But it was a time suck so no blog post about blog comments today. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe not tomorrow.

If anyone wants to use the AppleScript, it’s below. You need TextExpander though. All it does is get the current play head position in a QuickTime Player window and print it out formatted. It’s far from the best AppleScript scripting but it works and works for free (plus AppleScript) and works and works for free* are more important than anything else.

tell application "QuickTime Player"
	tell document 1
		
		set current_time to (current time as string)
		set theMovieDate to date "Saturday, January 1, 2000 at 12:00:00 AM"
		set theMovieDateNew to theMovieDate + current_time
		
		set theDuration to the time string of theMovieDateNew
		
		set AppleScript's text item delimiters to {":"}
		set {hh, mm, ss} to text items of (text -11 thru -4 of ("0" & theDuration))
		set AppleScript's text item delimiters to {""}
		{hh, mm, ss}
		set theHours to (hh - 12)
		if theHours = 0 then
			set theHours to ("00")
		end if
		set theResult to (("[" & theHours & ":" & mm & ":" & ss & "] ")) as text
		return theResult
	end tell
end tell

Shortcodes

Apologies for the blog-geeky post. Not even Visual Reflux related blog-geeky.

I have a lot of indices over The Stop Button. Until a few weeks ago, all have them have been manually maintained. For about fifteen years. Well, wait. Going back to the first Sandvox Stop Button so probably more like thirteen years. Fourteen years? I could figure it out on the Way Back Machine but not right now. I’m going down enough of a blogging rabbit hole here.

Last year I started the “By Rating” index, which I’ve always thought about having but never put together. I got it together, then I never updated it because it’s not in my workflow. I have an Applescript to open up all the pages to edit. I don’t use MarsEdit for it because… reasons. Probably because I’d need to refresh the entire blog before editing the pages every other day. Fingers crossed there’s a post or page specific refresh some day. No matter what I’ll need to update the main index manually.

So with the ratings index, I kind of wanted to just get rid of the page since I knowingly wasn’t updating it. But it gets hits. It’s way more popular than the “By Country” index, for example. Only I didn’t want to update it. I didn’t want to figure out the workflow.

Luckily, shortcodes. WordPress shortcodes are these, well, short bracketed statements that, umm, expand to code?

For example,

[display-posts category="cult" posts_per_page="100" include_date="true" date_format="j M Y"]

Instead of that bracketed statement, there’s a nice descending list (by date) of all the posts in the Cult category. I initially didn’t like the display-posts thing because of a UX issue, then realized… The Stop Button is a hot mess of UX issues I don’t care about, why not have one more, which led to the “Index by Ratings” page updating on its own, then the “Index by Year” page, now I’m putting together the “Index by Genre” page. “By Year” is possible to convert, “Actor,” “Director,” are possibly possible; “Country” and “Series” are impossible. The problem with the last four is WordPress.com versus a self-hosted install. So I could automate Visual Reflux indexing to my heart’s content only… I don’t have any plans to index Visual Reflux.

I’ve known about shortcodes for years and probably use them somewhere on Stop Button already and forgot about it (maybe a video link?), but the display-posts one is working out. Automated indexing is awesome. Especially after fourteen years of the other way.