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Home > All articles > 09. TECH AND SOCIAL MEDIA > [tech] Four Firefox plugins for music journalists
[tech] Four Firefox plugins for music journalists
Firefox Internet browser and its addons along with LibreOffice, RSSOwl, Thunderbird or Tweetdeck belong to a group of free and very useful applications which may technically help music journalists do their tasks more efficiently. I've chosen 4 Firefox plug-ins which I have been using to create Fabryka Music Magazine content and promote it on-line.

Note: Below plug-ins work well with this and older Firefox versions. However it's not guaranteed they will still work with the next versions so always be sure to check out the developer websites or find the most matching replacements. None of these plug-ins need to register an account or pay any mandatory fees (but you can donate the authors on your own).

Here's what I have:

Browser: Firefox v. 13.0
Plug-ins:
1. Case Changer v. 2.0.0.18
2. Cutyfox URL Shortener v. 1.4.1
3. Last.fmCode v. 0.7c
4. Pixlr Grabber v. 2.1.1

1. Case Changer

This plug-in turns out the most useful when it comes to reviews, news and everything else when you need to mention names and titles. It changes a sentence or word into UPPER CASE, lower case, Sentence case, Capitalise Each Word and tOGGLE cASE.
It can also convert sentences listed in a few verses so if you need to convert the entire tracklist, this plug-in will do.

2. Cutyfox URL Shortener
Author

Short links have become essential for people who use the Internet on mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and netbooks as well as other small display gadgets.
Fabryka Magazine uses long links which is depended on our CMS engine. A long link may not fully fit a small screen size so for this reason Cutyfox URL Shortener plug-in will do the job well.
First of all, it's faster than other plug-ins that kind. Secondary, it supports Twitter clients such as Echofon, Twitter for Mac, Nambu and Twitter web. Thirdly, its basic function is Auto-Copy into an OS clipboard so you can paste these shortened links anywhere.
Finally, it shortens links to domain names such as bit.ly, j.mp, is.gd, goo.gl, mcaf.ee but also supports specified sites with their own self-hosted shorteners as Youtu.be, Flic.kr and Amzn.com.

When it comes to Bitly.com platform, you can also authorize this plug-in to connect to your Bitly.com account and to let you track an activity (clicks, locations) of your on-line content. Cutyfox will have an access to your link history as well as stats though, but it will add any new links created through Firefox to your Bitly links history as well (learn how).

There's a fully customizable keyboard shortcut as well as a few options to place the main icon (scissors) into a toolbar, addressbar, statusbar and right-click popup. You can also shorten image URLs which can be very useful if you find cool pictures but they were posted e.g. on Wordpress.
Moreover, this shortener can add a page title before a shortened URL. Examples for Fabryka Magazine with a use of Google's goo.gl shortener where the last part is an alternative new short link:

The news entry
- basic URL: http://industrialrock.net/php-files_en/news.php?readmore=313
- changed with the title: FABRYKA MUSIC MAGAZINE - [06/04/2012] Buy music - new arrivals - http://goo.gl/4EU2C
An article
- basic URL: http://industrialrock.net/php-files_en/articles.php?article_id=414
- changed with the title: FABRYKA MUSIC MAGAZINE - Fabryka - Testimonials - http://goo.gl/fPPCs
For a YouTube video with a self-hosted short domain:
- basic URL: http://youtube.com/watch?v=wDd1IXHKWPQ
- changed with the title: Tempest & the Diaspora - Stitch - Video Single - YouTube - http://youtu.be/wDd1IXHKWPQ

3. Last.fmCode
Author

Last.fm - a paradise for music fans, uses a special set of BCCode to let users link artists, songs, albums and apply other markups matching the entries in their database. This way your post, once marked with the right codes can be featured on an artist's or release pages.

Last.fmCode puts Last.fm platform specific BBCode into your Last.fm journal editor or forums but non-Last.fm markups such as [b]bold[/b], [i]italic[/i] or [align=justify]justify[/align] etc. can be utilized in any other on-line editors as well.
Of course, the same codes are available in the Last.fm native editor but sometime they either don't show up or, in case you have a long text to post, you'll have to scroll down to the very bottom of the editor to use the buttons. Last.fmCode lets you put the codes much easier, just from a drop down menu.

4. Pixlr Grabber
Author

A perfect plug-in to let you take screenshots of the entire website, defined area or a visible part. You can either save such a screenshot on your hard drive, send it to Pixlr.com website (which is almost like a free on-line copy of Photoshop) for a further editing, share on imm.io or copy into your OS clipboard. Pixlr Grabber uses .png file format which is the best for on-line images. Unfortunately, this plug-in won't take screenshots from Flash movies (like from YouTube) but try LightShot instead.

These and others found at Mozilla.org may improve your editorial work. See page 2 for more screenshots. I used Edit Pad on-line text editor to test LastfmCode.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, June 12, 2012)

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