Category Archives: Apple

Fix for error -15000 Remote speakers on iTunes / Windows 7

So, just to be clear: this is not about iTunes on MacOSX, it’s only about iTunes 10 on Windows 7. It might work on Windows Vista, but I have no PC with Vista to test. It might help on versions earlier than iTunes 10 (I read the version 8 already had the problem), but I haven’t tested that.

The problem is the following: while it used to be possible (in older versions of iTunes), your iTunes  might not stream the music to an Airport Express / Apple TV (the feature they call ‘Airtunes‘), and every time you try, iTunes will come back with an error ‘An error occurred connecting to the remote speaker (…). An unknown error occurred (-15000).‘. What is happening is that the Windows Firewall is blocking the UDP connections for Airtunes (ports 6001-6003 if you’re asking). For some reason the old firewall rules for iTunes don’t work with the new version.

How to fix this: only if you’re not afraid of diving into your PC’s configuration. If you’re a novice or feel unsure, ask someone more knowledgeable to do it for you. Check if the person knows what a firewall is used for. “Security” is a too general answer.

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Imagine: a virtual iPhone for everyone

I was downloading a free iPhone app at noon, and I thought: some of these applications have no good alternative in the browser world. Imagine everyone could start using/buying the Apple iPhone/iPod Touch applications right in their browser. You give your Apple ID, you purchase an app like ColorSplash and off you go. Some of the multi-touch interface would be hard to emulate, but still. It would have to be an Apple application that does it: like e.g. iTunes. It’s got your Apple ID anyway. Why not run a virtual iPod Touch in there?

The advantages:

  • some applications for iPhone/iPod just have no worthy counterpart in the ‘normal’ world.
  • an application would run immediately on Apple MacOSX as well as Windows XP/Vista/7
  • the iPhone developers wouldn’t be looking anymore at a potential audience of some X million iPhone owners, but at all iTunes owners.

Research analyst Sam Bhavnani, of the market research firm Current Analysis, says that iTunes has 200 million users. Research analyst Shaw Wu, of the market research firm American Technology Research, gives a figure of 100 million. Oddly, Apple itself gives a much lower number: 10 million.
Google Answers

iPod Touch running inside iTunes

My quest for “Let’s get lost” – Chet Baker by Bruce Weber

Let's Get lost - movie poster
Let’s Get Lost (1988) is a American documentary film about the turbulent life and career of jazz trumpeter Chet Baker written and directed by Bruce Weber.

I saw Let’s Get Lost in Leuven, I guess around 1990. Chet Baker has been a weak spot for me ever since, because I now knew how much suffering was hiding behind that vulnerable voice. I tried to find a DVD of it but apart from a VHS tape (I don’t have a player) I couldn’t find anything. Then the other day I found the whole movie, split in 13 parts, on Youtube:

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Create your own iPhone ring tones

I’ve had my iPhone for a week (loving it!) and of course I want to make custom ring tones for some of my contacts. I figured out how it worked from posts like create-free-iphone-ringtones-using-itunes-in-windows but I developed my own workflow:

1. Find a source file

  • I typically start from an existing MP3 file. It might be a CD I have ripped to MP3, or a soundtrack from DVDs or other sound bites. I also have a collection of accapella samples that are a nice source.

2. Create the 15 – 30 sec tone in MP3 format

  • You don’t need a 5 min ringtone, just 15 to 30 seconds will be enough
  • I use Audacity (with the LAME MP3 encoder add-on) to load the full source MP3 file, trim out the piece I want and then add a fade-in and fade-out.

Make iPhone ringtone with Audacity

3. Export to MP3

  • I then export the file to an MP3 file of 128kbps. You don’t need better quality than that anyway. If you want, you can convert the file to mono here, or it can happen in the next step
  • Result: ringtone.mp3

4. Convert with ffmpeg to MPEG4 ringtone

  • I prefer using the command-line ffmpeg for transcoding of audio and video.
  • The simple way of doing it: ffmpeg -i ringtone.mp3 -y ringtone.m4a (.m4a stands for MPEG4 audio, ffmpeg will see this extension and use default settings for the conversion.) Afterwards you then have to change the extension to .m4r (MPEG4 ringtone).
  • The detailed one-step-only way to do this: ffmpeg.exe -i ringtone.mp3 -ac 1 -ab 128000 -f mp4 -acodec libfaac -y ringtone.m4r

5. Open file with iTunes

  • Just double-click the file, that should do it.

The lazy way:

let’s make a batch file that will automatically convert the first 30 seconds of any MP3 file into an iPhone ringtone:
SET INPUT=%1
SET NAME=%INPUT:.mp3=%
SET OUTPUT=%NAME%.m4r
echo CONVERT %INPUT% to %OUTPUT% ...
ffmpeg.exe -i %INPUT% -t 30 -ac 1 -ab 128000 -f mp4 -acodec libfaac -genre Ringtone -y %OUTPUT%