Over the past couple of years I've enjoyed listening to the audio edition of the Economist newspaper. The material is superb (although I occasionally get the feeling of listening to the Voice of America), the articles are read in a clear voice, the data's encoding is plain MP3, unencumbered by digital rights (restrictions) management silliness, and the audio format is convenient to listen on the metro or while jogging. Unfortunately, the articles in the audio edition's zip file are haphazardly ordered, which, until today, marred the enjoyment of my listening.
Specifically, although the articles are numbered sequentially, they are placed in the zip file in a random order. Here is an example from the September 6th issue:
10 Letters.mp3 13 Briefing - Georgia after the war.mp3 14 Briefing - Islamic finance.mp3 15 Briefing - A short introduction.mp3 11 Briefing - The West and Russia.mp3 12 Briefing - The north Caucasus.mp3 20 United States - Hurricane Gustav.mp3 21 United States - The economy.mp3 22 United States - Swing states_Minnesota.mp3 23 United States - Lexington.mp3 16 United States - The Republican convention.mp3 17 United States - Ron Paul's campaign.mp3 19 United States - Examining Alaska (2).mp3 04 Leaders - British economy.mp3 18 United States - Examining Alaska (1).mp3 25 The Americas - Mexico.mp3This is a problem, because the files are unzipped in the same order, and my cheap and cheerful MP3 player ends up playing them randomly, as stored.
I solved this through a little shell script that sorts the zip's files and then unzips them in that order. A small complication arises by the fact that both the zip file and the individual files contain spaces in them. Here is the script:
#!/bin/sh # Obtain list of the zip contents unzip -Z1 "$1" | # Order files numerically sort -n | # Run unzip on each newline-terminated file xargs -d \\n -n 1 unzip "$1"
Last modified: Thursday, September 11, 2008 6:05 pm
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