How to reduce the hard drive space Spotify uses

Spotify uses too much hard drive storage space. They cache most of your songs, and use upwards of 1gb of drive space. They do this only to reduce bandwidth to their servers. If you have an enormous hard drive, this isn’t as big of a deal (though I still don’t like when programs use more resources than they need to).

But if you have an ultrafast SSD (such as the 60gb one I have), then hard drive space is once again at a premium. The following simple steps will allow you to limit the space Spotify uses, freeing back up your disk space, while still allowing Spotify to work just fine.

STEP 1: Eliminate the current cache

Open windows explorer and navigate to:
C:\Users\[computer username]\AppData\Local\Spotify\Storage

… replacing [computer username] with the name you are logged into Windows with. Note: you may have to first set explorer to display hidden files to see all the files.

Delete all the folders / files in this directory.

STEP 2: Manually edit the settings file

Since Spotify’s preferences only allow you to set the minimum storage space at 1 gb (i.e. 1024 mb), you’ll have to manually edit the settings file to set it lower. I’d recommend no lower than 20 mb, in order that at least the current song you’re listening to and a couple more can be cached. I’m using a value of 50.

Once again in windows explorer, go to:
C:\Users\[computer username]\AppData\Roaming\Spotify

Open the file “settings” in Notepad. Find the phrase “cache_size”, and change the value following it to your desired size. Example:    “cache_size”:1024   ** changed to **   “cache_size”:50

Notes:

These instructions are for windows 7. Another OS should only differ in where these files are located.

As with anytime you are editing files, backup the original files first (e.g. copy and rename to “settings.old”).

Mac OS X Lion Crashes When Using Google Chrome


I recently started encountering a problem with OS X Lion. I’m running a pretty sick Hackintosh setup that has always operated without problem. Then recently, out of nowhere, Google Chrome has suddenly started to cause my computer to crash. I get the gray screen prompting me to reboot my computer. Upon rebooting, if I open Google Chrome, my computer will crash again. If I leave Chrome closed and use Safari instead, everything runs fine. I know the simple solution is to stop using Google Chrome, but that’s not really a solution for me. I like Google Chrome. It is the 1 browser that is most similar between Mac and PC, so it is the browser that I choose to use on my work and personal computers.

Has anyone out there encountered a problem when running Google Chrome on Mac OS X Lion? If so, have you found a way around the crashing issue?

The odd thing in all of this is that the crashes do not even generate error/crash dump reports. So I guess I really don’t know that it is Chrome that is causing the crash, but I’ve been using my computer for 3 hours without incident. I’m writing this post in Safari. I’m fairly certain that opening Chrome will cause my computer to crash.

UPDATE
Yes, opening Chrome did, in fact, cause my computer to crash.

iTunes Keeps Opening Automatically in Windows 7


I recently updated to iTunes 10.5 here at my office and for some reason, iTunes has decided that it ALWAYS needs to be open. iTunes now opens when I boot up my computer. Upon closing it, iTunes will re-open itself within 1-5 minutes. Seems to be very random. This will happen continuously. As many times I close it, it will always open again. So far, the only way I’ve found to stop this annoyance is just to leave iTunes open, which really isn’t an option for me. I don’t need iTunes consuming any memory while I’m trying to complete other tasks.

Has anyone else had the problem of iTunes opening automatically, continuously and repeatedly? It is really frustrating because each time it opens, it comes to the foreground.

Symbolic Links Not Working in OS X Lion

I used to use symbolic links within Mac OS X Snow Leopard to point a few of the folders in my home directory to an external hard disk that I share with my PC (Music, Documents, Movies). Upon updating to OS X Lion, the Symbolic Links no longer work – they now show up as an alias (or as a PC style shortcut). This is frustrating because I can no longer select the “folders” when trying to save a file. I now have to go to my external disk and find the folder where I want to save my data/documents.

Has anyone else experienced this or found a work around?

The best Windows PC laptop alternative to a Macbook Air

For the past year or so, I’ve been doing work on an Asus 1000HE EeePC. Well, its no longer “working” for me. Don’t get me wrong… it’s a great little netbook.. probably one of the best made still to this day. It’s got excellent battery life, pretty quick, lightweight, and very small. But as a computer programmer and web developer, I just need something (literally) bigger.

But not too big. My main concern is ultraportability. I’m not looking for a desktop replacement. Especially since you can make a pretty killer desktop nowadays for under a grand (see this article). I’m sure there will be more articles to come on that project once its completed ;.)

I just want a laptop I can quickly throw in my bag and take to the coffee shop, and yet which has a big enough screen to actually get some business done on it. So I started looking at the (13.3″ Macbook Air). With it’s dimensions and weight, it’s a great balance between size and portability. But at ~$1300, it decreases the thickness of my wallet a little much for my liking. I also don’t need the frills and thrills of the Mac OS so much. Most of my business is done best in Windows. So my search for a comparable PC began.

I was sort of surprised to see that in terms of hardware layout and “slickness” (pure coolness factor), there weren’t many companies trying to compete. Apple certainly has the edge in terms of marketing. It took me a couple months, but I think I finally found a great alternative to the Macbook Air. I’ll just have to boost my image elsewhere.

So without further ado… the best “PC Air” that I found is the Toshiba Portege R835-P56X.


Let’s take a look at the specs compared to the Macbook Air… keying in on the most important features.

Portability / Size

Mac Toshiba
Display 13.3″, 1440×900 13.3″, 1366×768
Battery life 7 hours 8 hours (6 cell li-ion)
Weight 2.9 lbs 3.2 lbs
Thickness 0.68″ 1.05″

They have the same screen size, but Mac’s native resolution is higher… so you get a bit more screen space (at the cost of smaller text). The Toshiba squeezes out a little more life, and also has a removable battery for easy replacement in the future. The Mac is 0.3 pounds lighter, and 1/3 of an inch thinner.

Now lets take a look at the power aspect. Time is money. The faster, the better.

Power

Mac Toshiba
Processor 1.86ghz Core 2 Duo 2.3ghz Core i5
Memory 2gb 1066mhz ddr3 sdram 4gb 1333mhz ddr3 sdram
Hard drive 128gb ssd 640gb sata

Toshiba is quite a bit faster (Mac has a 2.13ghz option at the cost of $300 more, but even then, it’s still slower). Toshiba also states speeds of 2.9 GHz with it’s “Turbo Boost Technology” (whatever that is). Toshiba’s memory is faster by 125%, comes with twice as much, and is expandable to 8gb (compared to only 4gb max in the Mac). Toshiba’s hard drive is larger, while Mac’s is faster. However, some people have replaced Toshiba’s internal hard drive with a solid state drive. With several reports of power-on-to-fully-loaded-OS times of 20 to 25 seconds, this seems like a great option for this laptop (unless you’d rather have the extra space). Here’s a comparable SSD to the drive in the Macbook Air. You could even sell the Toshiba’s internal 640gb hard drive on ebay for $50 to $80, and end up making a great upgrade for ~$200.

Let’s try to compare apples to apples as much as possible (after all, we are looking for “an alternative to the Macbook Air”). If you were to upgrade each Machine to get them as close as possible to each other, here’s what you’d end up with:

Price

Mac Toshiba
Starting Price $1300 $800
Hard Drive Upgrade n/a $200
Memory Upgrade $100 n/a
Processor Upgrade $300 n/a
Total (incl. est. tax) $1840 $1083

So what do you get with the Mac for the extra $750? Not much: a higher res display, a slighty lighter / thinner Machine, Bluetooth preinstalled, and some cool commercials. But you also give up some battery life, a good deal of processing speed, an extra usb port, and an optical drive.

In conclusion… I set out to find a good alternative to a Macbook Air. What I found was something better, for a much lower price. I’ll use the extra money to buy some accessories, and still have enough leftover to buy an iPad if I want. Let me know what you think.

Highly Rated Accessories

Firefox 4 – Increase the Width of the Active Tab in Firefox 4


Though many people are complaining about the new version of Firefox, there is a lot of good that has come out of it. One of the things that happened was the tabs have been moved to the top of the screen. This makes for much more screen real estate, but the downfall is that we can longer see the page title. This little userChrome tweak will help you increase the width of the tab in order to make more space to see the page title.

You just need to add a few lines to your userChrome.css file.

  1. In the Firefox button menu, select Help>Troubleshooting InformationTroubleshooting Information  menu
  2. In the about:support page, press the Open Containing Folder to access your profile folder
  3. In your profile folder, move to the chrome folder, and open the userChrome.css file. If it is not there copy the userChrome-example.css file as userChrome.css
  4. Add this code at the end of the file:
    @namespace url("http://www.mozilla.org/keymaster/gatekeeper/there.is.only.xul");
    .tabbrowser-tab[selected]:not([pinned])[fadein] { min-width: 300px !important; }
  5. Restart Firefox to apply the change. Now the active tab will appear wider than the rest of the tabs so you can see more of the current page title.

Note: I wanted to have a very wide tab, so I set my min-width attribute to 300px – 200px is a good value to start with and you can adjust it from there.

GMC_Util is not defined – chrome://goobox/content/connection.js


I’ve recently been getting a ton of errors in the console within Firefox and I haven’t been able to figure out the cause. For some reason, chrome is telling me that GMC_Util is not defined, when in fact it is and is being referenced in other places within the same JS file.

Netflix Servers Down – Instant & Online – netflix.com/tvhelp


I tried to turn on Netflix today and was unable to connect to instant streaming through my xbox. It gave me an error message to look at netflix.com/tvhelp and their website seems to be down too. You’d think that a company that large would have backup servers in place so that their streaming and web servers wouldn’t be down at the same time.

Fire.fm Volume Problem – Volume Increases After Each Song

мебели от чам
I’m a huge fan of the Firefox extension Fire.fm and have been using it for quite some time now, but the most recent update seems to have a huge bug that needs to be fixed immediately. What’s happening is anytime I skip a song, the volume seems to jump up to 100% (though the volume slider remains in the same position). The same thing happens when Fire.fm just goes from one song to the next (without skipping). The funny thing is that when this happens, I click on the volume slider and slide up – the volume level actually goes down because of the fact the volume is jumping between songs.

Has anyone else noticed this problem, or am I the only lucky one?

Google Apps Transition – There was a problem with your transition.


I’ve been using Google Apps for myself and for many friends and clients email accounts whenever they buy a new domain name and want to have email associated with that domain. Recently, Google has rolled out their transitioning Google Apps accounts into standard Google accounts, and for most of the accounts that I have transitioned, there has been no problem, everything has gone smoothly, but unfortunately, one of my most heavily used accounts just failed the transition, and I can’t seem to find any help on the situation (probably because its a free apps account… if we had upgraded to premier, I’m sure we would be helped right away). After trying to transition, we got the following message:

There was a problem with your transition.

One or more of your accounts cannot be transitioned at this time. We will notify you when these accounts can be transitioned.

Here’s a screenshot:

Has anyone else come across this problem yet? Any solutions or suggestions? It seems that it got hung up on our one main account that we have a Google Voice account tied to, but I could be wrong. Any ideas?