Many tracks fail (with no error) when importing thousands of songs into iTunes (Mac)

I recently had a mammouth clean-up of my iTunes libraries, which basically involved bringing everything together in one new location on an external HD, and re-importing 10,098 tracks into iTunes (that’s about 59GB of music).

Problem was, I ended up with a few thousand less tracks actually in iTunes than expected, no matter which obvious way of importing them I used. I had tried dropping my content into the “Automatically Add to iTunes” directory, and I’d tried dropping my content from the Finder directly into the iTunes window (each time about a dozen artists per batch, in case it failed half way through). Here’s what finally worked… Continue reading

How a vote against capital punishment could help get it reinstated

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Earlier this week, the new Government Digital Service published the first user-submitted petitions on the new Directgov “e-petitions” website.

The press duly made a scandal out of nothing by running headlines claiming that as a result, the Government would soon be forced to debate the return of capital punishment.
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Trust these muppets with our money?

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Two examples of banks giving me ridiculously stupid security advice.

Firstly, when the original NatWest iPhone app came out but before it was well publicised, I stumbled upon it on the App store and thought I’d give it a try.

It was (and continues to be) made by an unknown third party called Monitise Group Ltd. Naturally worried about giving my bank details to a random company, I took the app into a branch of NatWest to ask if it was genuine. Continue reading

Uppercase, lowercase

Did you know that the origin of the words uppercase and lowercase dates back to the early days of the printing press?

Individual letters were stored in compartmentalised cases. The more commonly used ‘small’ letters were kept in the lower case, within easy reach of the typesetter. The capitals and accented letters were kept in the upper case – a little further to reach because they weren’t required as often.

Cases of type

Cases of type at Ditchling Museum.

Accessibility. You’re doing it wrong.

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Only have a few minutes?
Skip to the section on Extending accessibility…

I’ve spent over a decade creating websites for a living, and only recently have I worked on a project which included some research with disabled and deaf people, observing their online habits and chatting about their needs. This has changed everything. I’m no expert (yet), but I found it fascinating, and hopefully some of the insight I gained will be useful and interesting to you, too. Continue reading

Launching a prototype Government site –

For the past few months, Relly and I have been part of the team working with the Cabinet Office on an early proof-of-concept of what the UK Government could do with one central website instead of hundreds. Relly strategised the content, and I led the design. The site is called, and this week the team of 16 – led by Tom Loosemore (ex-Channel 4, BBC) – flicked the switch and made the prototype available for public use.

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