Entertainment

Find the titles on that unlabeled music CD

Q: I've got an old mix CD, and I don't know the names of all the songs on it. Is there any way to look them up online?

Music-manager programs such as iTunes and Windows Media Player can look up song titles on mass-produced CDs by matching the sequence of track times to an online database, but they can't do that with one-of-a-kind or few-of-a-kind compilations.

Assuming you're not dealing with instrumentals, you can try searching the Web for an unusual phrase in an unknown song's lyrics. But you may have better results with a specialized music-tagging program that will analyze multiple characteristics in a song, not just its time, to identify it.

A site called MusicBrainz (www.musicbrainz.org) offers a few free programs to do this job, such as Picard for Windows and the charmingly named iEatBrainz for Mac OS X. I tested the latter – a simple program that elegantly integrates with your iTunes library – on two mix-CD mystery tracks, and it labeled both correctly.

Q: Can I safely load the copy of GoBack I used with my old Win 98 SE computer onto the XP machine my office handed down to me?

Most programs written for an older release of Windows will work in a newer version, but that's not the case with system-utility programs such as Symantec's GoBack, which lets you undo changes to your files. Unless the developer of the utility you're considering specifically lists your release as compatible with your copy of Windows, forget about installing it.

This is also often the case with drivers, the software components that let peripherals plug into Windows. For example, if you get a new computer, ignore the CD that came with your old printer and download the latest drivers for it from the printer vendor's Web site.

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