Category Archives: Misc

How to create tag clouds for Evernote

Evernote’s current clients cannot create tag clouds, i.e. a visual representation of your data. Here are three simple steps to generate a tag cloud:

  1. Select all notes in Evernote for which you want to generate a tag cloud and export the data via File|Export|Export as a file in ENEX format to a folder on your hard drive, say c:\temp\Evernote.enex. Depending on your number of notes that file may be huge.
  2. Convert the exported file to something that only contains the tags.
    1. Convert the file with a command line utility from Microsoft (or any other XSL processor). Download msxsl.exe and save it to c:\temp.
    2. Download the XSL file which sets the conversion format and save it to c:\temp.
    3. Open a command window, go to c:\temp and use

      msxsl.exe Evernote.enex tagcloud-xsl.txt > tagcloud.txt

  3. Upload or copy/paste tagcloud.txt to a service that generates tag clouds.
  4. Your’re done.

In a future post  I will explain how to analyze your tag and possibly other meta data with Excel.

How to export your XBMC library to CSV

I have set up all my movies in XBMC and wanted to clean the library from movies which I’ll likely never watch. My idea is to export the library to plain text CSV format, read the file with Excel, filter for crappy IMDB ratings and remove the movies files. Here is how:

  1. Export your library to a single file from XBMC. The file likely ends up in C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Application Data\XBMC\userdata and is called videodb.xml.
  2. Convert the XML file to something Excel can read.
    1. Download the XSL file which sets the conversion format.
    2. Convert the file with a command line utility from Microsoft. Open a command window and use

      msxsl.exe videodb.xml convert.xsl > movies.csv

  3. Read movies.csv with Excel and analyze to taste.
  4. You’re done.

Creating a movie database

I have a ton of movies in a number of different formats (DVD folders, avi, mpg) and I have no idea whether they are all worth watching. So I was looking for a program to scan through the files, add the rating from IMDB and help my find the good, the bad and the ugly movies. Here is what I did …

  1. Install XBMC
  2. “Add source”- the root folder on my external hard drive
  3. XBMC can now scan all files and folders and retrieve IMDB’s movie information. Problem: some of the filenames are so cryptic, that XBMC cannot find them. So I had to manually correct the filenames. Ideally, filenames adhere to “Titel (Year)”. Helpful was a little tool that renames files with the help of regular expressions. A number of filenames can be easily stripped of unnecessary information with simple \[Nero\] or \(DE\).
  4. Set the source format of the root folder
    1. Set content to “Movies”
    2. Always choose “” as scraper. If you pick more than one scraper (, etc.), the ratings get mixed up.
  5. If XBMC cannot find a movie (the cover icon has not been replaced), go back to step #3. Maybe add “part 1”, “part 3” or change the scraper from to Don’t forget to re-scan the source.
  6. Your’re done.