Looking for things to do during a trip to London next weekend, I spotted this wonderful photo of Russell Square:
It’s hard to tell how high the plane is, but I’m sure someone could work it out, calculating its length compared to the length of a given city block. But it doesn’t look very high.
Posted: 6/9/2013 by kirk | Filed under: iPhone, iPod & iTunes, Miscellanea | 1 Comment »
Apple has introduced a stripped-down version of the 5th generation iPod touch (that’s the latest model) for $229. This new iPod only has one storage option – 16 GB – and has no back-facing camera. With limited storage and limited photo/video options, who is this new iPod for?
It’s an odd hybrid: it runs apps, plays music and videos, but you can’t shoot photos or videos (not easily, unless you plan to film yourself). And the storage is fine for a limited music collection, but it’s not very useful for adding videos.
However, this might be the perfect iPod touch for a very large demographic: your children. The iPod touch is a great device for games, and there are thousands of games for kids. If you have an iOS device, you’ve probably found that your kids want to bogart your iPhone or iPod touch, but at the current price for the 5th generation iPod touch, you may have hesitated about buying one. Given that the 32 GB model is $299, the saving of $70 for this device is a nice chunk of change. You get the same processor and display, but you don’t get a choice of colors. But, above all, you get a cheaper version of the iPod touch that is fine for playing games.
If it’s music you want, then the 7th generation iPod nano is what you want. It’s smaller, lighter, and has the same amount of storage – 16 GB. But it doesn’t have any camera, and doesn’t run apps. But if all you want is music, there’s no need to spend more than the $149 this model costs.
I’ve been a fan of the iPod nano over the years, and I very much like the newest model. Not only is it small and light, but it has Bluetooth. I’ve become enamored of wireless headphones for listening to music when I’m out on my daily walks, and if I didn’t have an iPhone, I’d buy the nano for music on the go. It’s got enough storage for me to add music I like to listen to when I walk, and is small and unobtrusive.
Posted: 6/4/2013 by kirk | Filed under: Apple & Mac OS X, iPod & iTunes Tags: Apple, iPod | No Comments »
One of the things that irked many users when iTunes 11 was released was the inability to open more than one window. Some users kept an iTunes Store window open all the time; others liked to open playlists in their own windows, to make it easier to drag tracks to them and edit their contents.
AppleScript maestro Doug Adams has released the $5 Playlist Assist, a new tool which replicates some of the old iTunes playlist window features. Playlist Assist gives you a floating window that you can use to create and edit playlists. But you can also get track info, change tags, play tracks using Quick Look, and export playlists.
I’ve been using this for a while in beta, and I’m quite impressed by its flexibility. If you want a great tool for creating and editing playlists, you need Playlist Assist.
Posted: 6/4/2013 by kirk | Filed under: Apple & Mac OS X, iPod & iTunes Tags: iTunes | No Comments »
Apple released a minor update to iTunes last week (11.0.3), with, uncommonly, tweaks to a couple of features that are very welcome. The first I want to point out is the MiniPlayer:
I like the new MiniPlayer, but was critical of the lack of a progress bar in my review of iTunes 11 for Macworld. As you can see above, there is now a slim progress bar at the bottom of the window. By default, it shows the time remaining in your current song; click on the time to toggle through the elapsed time and the total time of the song.
Another new feature in the MiniPlayer is the merging of what I like to call the “artwork player,” a window that would display when you clicked on the album art thumbnail of the currently playing track. If you hover over the artwork thumbnail, you’ll see arrows showing you that clicking will expand this thumbnail. Click on the thumbnail to see the following:
The new artwork player is very nice. You can keep it on your screen, and it will change artwork as your music changes; just hover your cursor to display the controls.
I’m liking the MiniPlayer a lot more now. I’ve been keeping it visible since iTunes 11, but these two new features now make it perfect.
Posted: 5/20/2013 by kirk | Filed under: Apple & Mac OS X, iPod & iTunes Tags: iTunes | 3 Comments »
Apple has released iTunes 11.0.2, an incremental update to the latest version of iTunes, and states that:
This update adds a new Composers view for music…
Interestingly, it took a while to find where this new view is. A “view” is a way of viewing your media files, and you select views by clicking in the navigation bar above the content section of your window. Seeing nothing about Composers there, I went in search of more information. Several web sites mentioned displaying the Composer column in Songs view, and sorting that way (and one Twitter follower told me that’s what it was), but that has been in iTunes for donkey’s years.
It turns out that while Apple added this new view, it’s turned off by default. To activate it, go to the General preferences, and check Show Composers in the View section.
It’s odd that Apple would announce something new, yet have it disabled by default, but if you’ve been scratching your head trying to find this feature, it’s just a few clicks away.
Composers view is quite stark compared to the other views in iTunes 11. There is no album art next to the composers’ names, and there is no All Composers entry at the top, as there is All Artists and All Albums, for example. Just a long list of names. As if Apple didn’t think that composers’ names were worth illustrating, in the way they illustrate other content lists in iTunes.
In any case, it’s good to see that Apple is making a small concession to classical music fans. Viewing music by composer is one way I choose which classical music I want to listen to.
Posted: 2/20/2013 by kirk | Filed under: Apple & Mac OS X, iPod & iTunes Tags: iTunes | 6 Comments »
Apple has released iOS 6.1, the latest update to the operating system for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. A minor change has been made to the lockscreen music controls – these are visible if your iOS device is locked, and you double-press the home button. Instead of displaying the time in a huge font, and the name of what you’re listening to below the slider, these small texts are above the fold, and the time is missing (it’s visible in the toolbar already, so it doesn’t need to be so big).
This lets you see more of your lockscreen wallpaper, which is, I guess, useful, but I’d much rather see more playback controls there: perhaps the shuffle and repeat buttons that you get in the Music app itself, or even the Genius button. Since I do use the lockscreen controls often when listening to music, it would be nice for those controls to provide the same access to features as the Music app. It would also be nice to be able to view lyrics from the lockscreen.
Posted: 1/29/2013 by kirk | Filed under: Apple & Mac OS X, iPad, iPhone, iPod & iTunes Tags: iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod | No Comments »
My ebook, Take Control of iTunes 10: The FAQ was a best-selling compendium of tips, tricks and explanations about how to use iTunes to wrangle your digital media collection. And now, with iTunes 11 pulling the rug out from under long-time iTunes users, I’ve updated the book to cover all the new features in iTunes 11.
Take Control Books has just released Take Control of iTunes 11: The FAQ. At 192 pages for the PDF edition (page counts aren’t relevant to ePub and Kindle versions), there are dozens of pages of new and updated content in this second edition. Priced at $15 (with special upgrade prices for owners of the first edition), this book helps you appreciate and understand the process of bringing media into iTunes, tagging it, adding album artwork, and organizing it into playlists.
Once you’ve become an import specialist and tagging genius, you can enjoy your music, movies, audiobooks, and ebooks, and more without hassles when you want to do something special. Learn how to sync a select subset of music to your iPod, create a party playlist, identify music you haven’t heard in a while, listen to the chapters in an audiobook in the proper order, or get the most out of iTunes in the Cloud features, including iTunes Match.
And this book takes a close look at features new to iTunes 11: the new ways to view your content, how to use the Up Next song queue feature, how to get the most out of the MiniPlayer window, how to search and much more.
To see what’s new in Take Control of iTunes 11: The FAQ, go to the link below and click the What’s New tab.
So, if you want to be an iTunes power user, get a copy now – in PDF, ePub or Kindle format, or any combination of the above – from Take Control Books
Watch me or hear me discuss the book on the Mac Voices podcast with Chuck Joiner.
Posted: 1/24/2013 by kirk | Filed under: books, iPod & iTunes | 3 Comments »
The initial release of iTunes 11 had a bug with compilation albums where, in Albums view, they would not display Various Artists, but rather the name of the artist of the first track on the album. This has been fixed; now compilations show Various Artists in Albums view.
Posted: 12/14/2012 by kirk | Filed under: Apple & Mac OS X, iPod & iTunes Tags: iTunes | 5 Comments »