Monday, April 30, 2012

How To Use Google Music Outside USA

Google Music left beta stage four days ago and was made available “to all”, at least in the United States. Today we came across a rather simple method involving Tor (the anonymity network) which enables Google Music outside the USA. Check it out after the break.

Google Music

The method comes from Engadget – a popular consumer electronics website – in the form of a guide-post where they discuss how to go about the process of tricking Google Music to work outside USA.

We won’t get into the details of what Google Music is about since you can read about that here.

How To Enable Google Music Outside USA

Step 1: Locate and download the APK for Google Music 4.0.9. Use your Google-fu skills.

Step 2: Download and install Tor browser bundle [Official Website] for your operating system.

Step 3: Launch Tor from the desktop. You should see the Vidalia Control Panel with an onion at the top. When this onion turns green, it means you’ve connected to the Tor network.


Tor’s integrated browser will open up. Close it.

Step 4: From the main menu, click View the Network.

Step 5: You must now find a US-based node. US nodes are the ones with, well, the little US flag. Right click copy > fingerprint for a US-based node that is near the top of the list of nodes. Paste this to a text file so you can use it in Step 8.


Step 6: Exit the Tor Network Map window.

Step 7: Click on Settings and go to Advanced tab from the Vidalia Control Panel. You will see an option to edit torrc file, click on it to open up a text editor.

Step 8: Add the following to the very top of the file:

ExitNodes XXX
StrictExitNodes 1

Where XXX is the fingerprint you noted in Step 5. Click on OK.


Step 9: Exit Tor and launch it again.

Step 10: Open up Tor’s browser and login to to set things up.

Step 11: Once set up, close Tor’s browser and Tor itself.

If the hack worked, you should be able to login to using your favorite browser.


Step 12: Install the uploading software for Google Music to your desktop. Be sure to install Google Music from Step 1 on your device after enabling Unknown Sources from Settings > Applications.

If you followed the steps correctly, you should now be able to use Google Music outside USA. We’ve tested the method and can confirm that it works.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Use Google Docs as a Batch PDF Converter

If you have a huge bundle of Word Documents, Excel Spreadsheets and PowerPoint Presentations on your hard drive that you would like to convert into PDF at once without investing in commercial software like Adobe Acrobat, try Google Docs.

While it has always been possible to convert Office documents into PDF using Google Docs, the new export feature makes it even easier for you to batch convert Microsoft Office and OpenOffice file formats into PDF (or HTML) in three easy steps.

Batch Conversion to PDF with Google Docs

Step #1 – Create a new “input” folder in Google Docs where you’ll upload all your documents and presentations that are to converted into PDF.

pdf input queue

Step #2 – Now select the Upload Document option in Google Docs, set the destination folder to the one that you created in Step #1 and upload* all your documents.

Google Docs officially supports the following file formats though you may also upload images:

  • Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt, .pps).
  • Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx), OpenDocument (.odt) and StarOffice (.sxw).
  • Microsoft Excel (csv, .xls, .xlsx) files and OpenDocument Spreadsheet (.ods).

pdf upload documents

[*] You may also use the email option to upload documents onto Google Docs but that would put everything on the main folder and managing documents can therefore become a issue especially when you have too many files.

Step #3 -  Once all files are uploaded onto Google Docs, open the dashboard again and select the “input” folder from the right sidebar. Select all the files in this folder and choose “Export” under “More Options”.

Here’s select “PDF” (or HTML) as the output format and all your Word Documents, presentations, spreadsheets, etc. will be instantly converted into PDF.

batch pdf convert

And if you are converting a large batch of documents into PDF, you don’t have to wait in the browser for the conversion to finish as Google Docs will automatically send you an email once the processing is over. The email will have a link from where you can directly download all the PDF files in one large ZIP.