Jan 13

UkeFish: An Experiment In Search, Ukulele Style

Uke Fish - Universal Ukulele Search

You know I obsess sometimes, right? Well, a while back I was frustrated by the cruddy search results Google kept returning. To be fair the results were expected (GIGO, right?), but not all that useful — too many weak, or non-authoritative, or pure commerce sites kept infringing on what I considered “the correct” results should have been.

Solution: use Google to fix Google: Uke Fish (ukefish.com) is a custom Google search (can I name ‘em or what?).

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Jan 13

Easily Format Your Song’s Text Into ChordPro Format

Confession time: I don’t actually edit my songs by typing chords into the lyrics. Well, at least not initially. The very obvious problem is that setting exactly when (where) to change chords requires playing through the song a few times, and moving that [Gm] one word or syllable to the right, well, it’s a pain.

So, I dont’ begin with “nicely formatted” text (ChordPro format).

Gm                 Cm            Gm
People are strange when you're a stranger 
Cm         Gm   D           Gm
Faces look ugly when you're alone 
Gm                Cm          Gm
Women seem wicked when you're unwanted 
Cm          Gm     D           Gm
Streets are uneven when you're down

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Jan 13

(Free) Power Tab Editor Software by Brad Larsen

If you’ve ever stumbled upon a song file with the “.ptb” extension, well, you’ve found a Power Tab (Music) file that you can open and edit thanks to this free (Windows-only) editor:

Power Tab Editor is a tablature authoring tool… to create sheet music, more commonly known to musicians as tablature. The program provides the most commonly used symbols in tablature, including chord names, chord diagrams, rhythm slashes, bends, slides, hammer-ons/pull-offs, harmonics and palm muting.

This program even plays (in full MIDI glory) the song with metronome!

Power Tab Editor screenshot

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Jan 13

Free YouTube to MP3 Converter

Ken Middleton turned me on to this super cool tool that converts a single YouTube video — or entire YouTube playlist — to MP3 (several quality presets available) or lossless WAV files. It even auto-imports ID3 tags and embeds a thumbnail. Sweet.

DVD Video Soft's Free YouTube to MP3 converter

This is a godsend for practicing — I’m currently converting the Ukuleles For Peace 2011 demo performances.

DVD Video Soft site

Jan 13

Installing a PDF Printer Driver

Bridget, up in Ottawa, asked how she could save her songs as Acrobat PDF files so she could easily share them with her ukulele groups. Well, this isn’t built into UkeGeeks, however, it’s a fairly easy task to install a “printer driver” that’ll work with any program, including your web browsers (we’re talking Windows here, I believe that it’s built into Apple’s OSx)

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Jan 13

Song Editor Gets a Facelift

From the outset I’ve viewed Scriptasaurus as a widget — an add-on for other folk’s existing websites. What this completely missed, of course, was what most people actually want: a way to spruce-up (“prettify”) one or two songs for their themselves and their uke clubs.

So my “demo” editor was, well, lame.

Secretly, however, I’ve had this alternate design laying fallow for a couple years, an artifact from another, now abandoned, side project. So I’ve finally made a few adjustments and adapted it for the public song editor, hopefully making the task of prepping songs faster and friendlier.

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Jan 13

The UkeGeeks WordPress Plugin (BETA!)

UPDATE: December, 2014: This plugin hasn’t been actively worked on since I originally coded it. Chiefly this was due to a lack of time, but also a lack of interest. I have tested it on WP 4.0.1 and it works. The plugin code itself is a bit stale, however, that said, it might be good enough 😀 – ed

Easily add chord diagrams and styles to your website with this nifty plugin.

How To Install

  1. Download the UkeGeeks WordPress plugin .zip file to your computer.
  2. Login to your blog’s WordPress admin (wp-admin)
  3. Click “Plugins” in the left sidebar
  4. Click “Add New”
  5. You’ll see a link at the end of the sentence about plugins extending WordPress — there’s a link that says “upload a plugin in .zip format via this page” — click the “this page” link.
  6. The rest is super easy — “Choose File”, then click “Install Now”
  7. After a moment you’ll get the “Plugin installed successfully” page — click “Activate Plugin”

You’ve done it!

To use this you just need to wrap the song portion of your blog posts in this short tag: [ukegeeks-song] like this:

This would just be part of my normal post.
{c:Verse 1}
[C]This is my song, [E7]a song I like
But [A7]oh! I can't sing!
Oh, [D7]woe! True, [G7]I cannot [C]sing [G7]
This is back to normal post content.

It’s important that you include the begin and end tags — the end tag includes a forward slash.

NOTE: This plugin only works on installed WordPress sites you host: WordPress.com users, this is not for you.