OK. macOS Live Text is pretty mental.

So, recently I have been trying to “cloudify” pretty much everything I can.  The idea is that the computer hardware I’m using is secondary to the data present, and I should be able to go to any device I own and have access to the same, well, STUFF.

I am, of course, keeping local backups because I’m not 100% an idiot.

One of the things that I was most reluctant to move over to cloud-based storage was my music library.  I tried Apple’s “iTunes Match” service several years ago, and it wasn’t exactly perfect at the time with quite a few mismatched songs.

In 2023 it seems better about song matching.  I checked all of the songs I could remember it messing up previously and they were all OK this time.

There’s just one problem, and it only affected 17 songs in my library, but it was an annoyance:

A number of songs I bought from the Japanese iTunes Store, mostly between 2007 and 2010, were copy protected AND didn’t exist on the iTunes Store server any more.  So it was both unable to upload the songs (because copy protection) and couldn’t match them to song masters in Apple’s library (because expired licenses maybe?).

So I couldn’t get these into iTunes Match.  I did a little searching and found that the universally-agreed-upon solution was very low-tech and consisted of burning them to a CD and then re-importing them.  Obviously there’s a generational loss there, but I’m getting older and my ears aren’t getting any better.

Burning them to a CD was easy enough, after I rummaged through some boxes in my garage and found a single 80-minute CD-R blank.  The Mac I use for the Japanese iTunes Store is a 2009 MacBook Pro that actually has an optical drive in it, and I was able to hook up an external optical to my M1 Mac mini to import the music.

Naturally, iTunes had no idea what the track names or artists were, etc, and I was not looking forward to manually entering all this information.

Now.  Apple introduced a feature back in macOS Monterey called “Live Text” which lets you copy and paste text out of pictures.  I knew this was a thing, and I’ve even occasionally used it.  But how good WAS it, really?


I took a screenshot of the CD burn screen on the MacBook.

I copied this screenshot over to the other Mac.

I moused over the kanji.

I hit command-C and command-V into the artist field, and it pasted as “避坂大河(釘宮理恵),※枝実乃梨(堀江由衣)& 川崎亜美(喜多村英梨)”

So, I’ve been using computers for over 40 years and there have been very few times when I have had my mind absolutely blown by something they can do that I thought was impossible.  The first time I can really remember that happening was the first time I saw Wolf3d in motion, and it has remained a high water mark despite being a 30-year-old memory.

But this, THIS is black magic of the highest order.

Also it made filling out all the metadata on these tracks extremely easy, and I am happy to report that I now have access to all of these via iTunes Match.

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