Audiobook Builder and errors importing from a CD

If you see an error when importing from an audio CD, that’s almost always a sign your Mac detected a hardware error while reading data from the disc.  You can usually confirm this by opening /Applications/Utilities/Console.app, clicking the system.log item in the list of logs on the left, then using the Filter field at the top right of the window to find terms like “I/O“,”SAM Multimedia“, or “underrun“.  Each term is bad juju when interacting with a CD/DVD drive.  Even if you don’t see these in your logs, keep reading.

Here’s how to zero in on why an error appears:

  1. The disc you’re importing may be dirty or damaged.  Eject it and, if it’s not obviously scratched, give it a cleaning with a soft cloth – making sure you wipe in gentle, straight strokes from the center hole to the outer edge.  Do not wipe in a circular motion.  If the disc still doesn’t work, it may be damaged in a way you can’t see with the naked eye.  Do other discs work?  If so, it’s probably just this disc.  The next step might work.  If none of your discs are working, though, you might have a hardware issue, like failing cabling or even a bum CD/DVD drive.
  2. Try importing into Music or iTunes with error correction enabled.  For Music users, open Music, go to the Music menu at the top left of your screen and click the Preferences… menu item, click the Files button at the top of the window, then click the Import Settings… button near the bottom left of the window. For iTunes users, open iTunes, go to the iTunes menu at the top left of your screen and click the Preferences… menu item, click the General button at the top of the window, then click the Import Settings… button near the bottom right of the window. Now, in either application, make sure there’s a checkmark next to “Use error correction” and click the OK button.  Try importing the disc and, if it works, drag the imported tracks from Music or iTunes to your Audiobook Builder Project.  If the disc still won’t import, you’ve either got a bum disc or a piece of bum hardware.
  3. Last ditch – see what happens when you go to the Finder and try to drag all the tracks from the disc to your Desktop.  Do you get an error?  If so, the disc is in question.  Try the same thing with several other discs.  If they copy over just fine, you’re back to looking at the CD/DVD drive or your Mac’s connection to it.

Importing from a flaky audio CD or with a questionable piece of hardware is tricky business – and it can get confusing because, darn those moving parts and analog to digital conversions, sometimes things work and sometimes they don’t.  Heck, the discs might even play just fine – but reading each track’s data, bit for bit, is a much more intense process.  Remember, we’re talking about tiny light rays expected to reflect just-so while one or more motors – one in the CD/DVD drive itself and maybe one in your Mac – are vibrating the disc.  Throw in the potential for some small issue with the way the disc was made or scratches (lovingly?) applied by others, and you’ve got a recipe for inconsistent results.  A troublesome setup might appear to work just fine a few times with the same disc, then fail a few times, then seem to work again.  That’s because the hardware might try more than once to read data from a particular part of the disc and succeed sometimes and fail other times, and that’s why it’s critical to both observe behavior and dig deeper by examining your system logs, where you’ll see whether your Mac experienced any actual errors even while it seemed to be performing just fine.  Don’t draw a conclusion until you’ve tested several discs.  If more than a few fail, and especially if you see errors in your system log, it’s probably time to schedule some quality time with an Apple-certified technician.

This is an updated version of an article we posted back in 2015 for the original Audiobook Builder. If you have Audiobook Builder 1.5.7 or earlier, read that article here.

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Audiobook Builder 2.1.1 is out!

Audiobook Builder 2.1.1 brings a plethora of fixes and nixes a crash or two while bringing back the mojo on the latest public beta of the next major version of macOS. Click here to get the update and see a list of fixes!

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CheckBook & CheckBook Pro 2.6.16: Ready for Action

2.6.16 brings a few new keyboard shortcuts to our date pickers and nixes a few glitches. Try pressing the Y, M, or D keys while you’re entering a date and the date will adjust to today’s year, month, or day. T and L were already setup, for today’s date and the last entered date. These little gems come in handy when you accidentally enter the wrong year all morning or you mistype and just want the current date values. Get the update below!

CheckBook 2.6.16: Update now

 

CheckBook Pro 2.6.16: Update now

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CheckBook & CheckBook Pro 2.6.15 Now Available

This update resolves a date handling issue in CheckBook and CheckBook Pro 2.6.14 that could cause anything dated December 30th or 31st to jump ahead a year. Get the update below!

CheckBook 2.6.15: Update now

 

CheckBook Pro 2.6.15: Update now

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Glitch in CheckBook 2.6.14 with dates on December 30th and 31st

We just received word a late late late change we made to how CheckBook and CheckBook Pro handle dates for before the current era had a side effect we didn’t see in testing – Entries dated on December 30th or 31st, including imported Entries, will jump ahead a year, and changing that by hand won’t really have any effect. In fact, if you change the details for an existing Entry with those dates, that Entry’s date will also jump ahead a year. If you don’t change any existing Entries dated on December 30th or 31st their dates will display as expected and will be fine once a fix is ready. Expect that fix this afternoon. Here’s where to get the fix:

Splasm Store users

Update to CheckBook 2.6.15

Update to CheckBook Pro 2.6.15

 

Mac App Store users

Update to CheckBook 2.6.15

Update to CheckBook Pro 2.6.15

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How to get Quick Reports in CheckBook and CheckBook Pro

Getting at a quick report, or summary, for a particular Category, To/From, or Description for a particular date range in CheckBook and CheckBook Pro is a piece of cake. Here’s how to do it for Categories – and you’ll see it works the same way for To/Froms and Descriptions:

To get a quick summary in CheckBook
(This also works in CheckBook Pro – but there’s a reusable alternative with more options further down that may be a better fit.)

1. Click the Entry button at the bottom of the document window.

2. Go to the Search field near the top right of the window, click the magnifying glass symbol at the left side of the field, and click the Custom Date Range item to set the range of dates you’re interested in.


3. Go back to the Search field, click the magnifying glass, and click the Category item.  This will limit your search to the Category field.

Screen Shot 2020-08-19 at 11.47.27 AM.png

4. Enter the Category you’re interested in into the Search field.  Only the Entries with this Category will be shown.

5. At the bottom right corner of the window, click the label next to the Balance field, which usually reads “Balance”,

Screen Shot 2020-08-19 at 11.47.59 AM.png

then click the Search Total item. The total of the visible Entries will be displayed in the Balance field.

Screen Shot 2020-08-19 at 11.48.08 AM.png

When you go to the File menu and click Print…, what you see is what you get – only the Entries for the Category you entered will be printed.  Look for the Total at the bottom of the printout to see a total of these Entries.

To get a quick summary in CheckBook Pro

You can use the method above, but there’s another way using CheckBook Pro’s Smart Folders that’ll take less effort if you need quick summaries often or if you need additional criteria that aren’t in the Search field: set up a Smart Folder. Add all the Conditions you need and reuse as needed. Here’s the setup:

  1. Click the Entry button at the bottom of the document window.

2. Click the Accounts button at the top right corner of the window once or twice to be sure you can see the Accounts list on the side of the window.

3. Click the plus (+) button at the bottom of the Accounts list to reveal a menu, then click the New Smart Folder… item. A sheet will appear asking you to name a new Smart Folder.

4. Name the new Smart Folder something that works for you. You might call it “Quick Summary”.

5. Below the Smart Folder Name field, you’ll see the Smart Folder already has a single Condition, or rule, to find Entries whose “Date is exactly MM/DD/YYYY”. Click the is exactly button, then click the option that best fits the period you want a quick summary for. If you select an option that requires a date range, enter that to the right of is exactly.


6. Click the plus button on the right side of the window, above the OK button, to add a second Condition.


7. The new Condition will be set to find Entries whose “Description contains __________”. Click Description, then click the Category item.


8. Click the OK button.

You just set up your first quick summary Smart Folder – but it gets even better. Smart Folders can have any number of Conditions, so you can drill even further into your Entries. Say you want to see only Debits or Deposits, or just Tax-Deductible Entries, or almost anything else you can think of. Set up Conditions as needed and you’re in business.

Here’s an example showing how to set up a third Condition to limit your quick summary to Debits. After you complete steps 6 and 7 above, where you added a Category Condition:

  1. Click the plus button on the right side of the window, above the OK button, to add a third Condition.
  2. As before, the new Condition will be set to find Entries whose “Description contains __________”. Click Description, then click the Entry item. The Condition will now read “Entry is Resolved“.
  3. Click is Resolved, then click the is a Debit item.

That’s it. You’ll only see Debits when you use this Smart Folder unless you change that third Condition.

Now, when you want a quick summary, you only have to

  1. Click the Entry button at the bottom of the document window.
  2. Click the Accounts button at the top right corner of the window once or twice to be sure you can see the list of Accounts on the side of the window.
  3. Double-click your quick summary Smart Folder.
  4. Change the Date Condition as needed.
  5. Enter the Category you’re interested in.
  6. Click the OK button.

You’ll see the Entries that match and their total will appear next to the Smart Folder in the Accounts list. Go to the File menu and click the Print… menu item if you need a hardcopy. You’re all set!

As always, if you need any help setting up, please get in touch at support@splasm.com and we’ll help you figure out things.

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