MacCast 02.28.2007 - Show #178
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V News
V Quantum Research says iPhone is OK
* The UK company Quantum Research Group who holds a patent on capacitive sensing technology, says that they don't believe the iPhone infringes on their patents and despite reports are not suing over the iPhone.
* They still do a have a pending 2005 lawsuit against Apple and Cypress Semiconductor over alleged infringement in the Powerbook trackpad, Mighty Mouse, and iPod Nano scroll wheel.
V Apple, others sued over MP3
* A company called Texas MP3 Technologies is claiming to have the patent on any device that can play an MP3. At least that is how I see it.
* Apparently the patent for, “an MPEG portable sound reproducing system and a method for reproducing sound data compressed using the MPEG method.” was originally awarded to SigmaTel in 2006. They later sold it to to a Dallas-based patent licensing agency. It is not clear if Texas MP3 Technologies acquired it from SigmaTel or through another route.
* According to a Macworld report the suit was filed in Marsahall, Texas, which appears to be a city that is the hotbed for patent lawsuits. The report states the site offers speedy jury trials that rarely favor the plaintiff.
* These broad general patents seems to just keep cropping up and show the flaws in the US Patent system which has created a cottage industry for companies based solely on IP.
* The new commercial aired during the 79th Annual Academy Awards.
* The ad shows a series quick cuts from films and TV shows where the characters are answering the phone and saying “hello”.
* No mention of the product name. No URL?
* The hello concept does play nicely into Apple's history, as it marked their revolutionary introduction of the original Mac in 1984.
* Ad is available for viewing on Apple's web site.
iPhone "Hello" Ad
V Apple planning a Bluetooth headset for iPhone
* One sentence on Apples iPhone "High Technology" wireless page seems to indicate Apple will be releasing a Bluetooth headset.
Apple iPhone Wireless
* "It also supports Cingular’s EDGE network, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR, which links to Apple’s new, remarkably compact Bluetooth headset."
V Some iPhone rumors
* AppleInsider is reporting that it may be available to European Apple fans in September, earlier than expected.
* They also claim that an 3G iPhone will launch as early as 2008. Apple had said they would support 3G in the iPhone, but had not given any indication on when it would be available.
* In a deep analysis of the Macworld keynote the podcasters from Actioncorp TV they discovered a few things, the biggest of which is a "Ringtones" tab in the iTunes syncing interface. Evidence that Apple at least thinks ringtones are important enough to warrant their own tab (selling, syncing, creating?).
Actioncorp TV Macworld Video
V iPhone "Hello" ad on Oscars
* Gizmodo and MacNN are both reporting on a "leaked" video showing CoverFlow running on a 5th gen iPod.
* The video was posted anonymously to YouTube and the poster also claims to know that there is now new video iPod planned for release before the iPhone's launch in June.
iPod CoverFlow Video
* This video look HIGHLY suspect to me as a fake. It is so easy to put video on an iPod.
* Frankly, I can't believe that these sites would even report on this.
V Ms. Pac-Man is now on iPod
* Apple added Ms. Pac-Man for the 5th Gen Video iPod to the iTunes Store.
Ms.Pac-Man iPod
* Available now for USD$4.99
V Apple delays AppleTV until mid-March
* Apple has delayed shipments of the Apple TV until mid-March.
* Apple did not provide specific on the delay, but in emails to pre-order customers they said, "Wrapping up Apple TV is taking a few weeks longer than we projected, and we now expect to begin shipments in mid-March, not in February as originally anticipated."
* A recent BusinessWeek article suggests the FCC or component supply issues could be the reason for the slipped date.
* Listener Neil says his order status states that they will be shipping March 20 for a March 26 delivery.
V BBC planning on-line broadcasting, but not to Mac owners
* UK listener Tom alerted me to a BBC plan to offer a free TV on demand catch up service, which will require a special app called iPlayer for viewing the shows. The iPlayer will rely on Windows Media DRM and so of course will not be Mac compatible.
* There is a on-line petition to ask the Prime Minister to force the BBC to open the service up to other platforms.
BBC iPlayer Petition
* For it's part the BCC Trust (an internal oversight group?) is asking for public opinion on opening up the service, which I think prompted the on-line petition.
V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V Simplifying managing a "mobile" and local iTunes Library
* I had suggested a solution on the last show, but Steve left some comments that I added to to offer a simpler solution.
V Using the latest version of iTunes (7.0.2 (15))
* Start with the notebook. Copy all the music you wish to have locally stored to it and organize it however you wish. I would put it somewhere in the Music folder, but you can place it wherever you like. (downside: you must organize your music, see next step).
* Launch iTunes, in the Preferences>Advanced>General tab, make sure the checkbox for “Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library” is turned off
* Choose File-->Add to Library… and select the folder of music you just set up from the local disk. iTunes will add these songs to the library, but keep them in place.
* Now connect the external drive and repeat the same procedure for all the music you want stored externally.
* As long as the disk is connected, there are no issues. When the disk is not connected, iTunes will flag the songs that it can’t find, but in the new version will skip over them when playing sequentially or when shuffling. (If you try to play one of these “missing” songs directly, you will get an error, but not when iTunes goes from song to song.)
* When you reconnect and mount the external drive, you can simply start iTunes as you normally would. It will now “see” these songs again.
* All play-counts are the same and there is no need to worry about the juggling necessary to keep two versions of some songs on two disks with two libraries.
* If you would prefer not to get the "broken" link icons while on the road you could use the Option+Launch iTunes trick and create a second Library with just the local iTunes Music in it.
* Will need to manually managing moving any local music off to the internal and on to the external.
* If you move your music files in the Finder iTunes won't be able to find it and you will need to re-add it or locate it when your try and play in iTunes.
V iTunes Library Managers
* Libra
* iTunes Library Manager (Doug's Scripts)
iTunes Library Manager
V More tips for improving wi-fi
* Play comments from Dave
* Can get a 900MHz or 5.8GHz cordless phone
* Obviously to go to 802.11n you will need a newer Mac or 3rd party card. No Airport update available for older Macs
* iStumbler
* 802.11 on Wikipedia
Wikipedia - 802.11
V Review: Pen-It from Hitachi
* Play review from Wayne
* Captures as vectors that can be imported into Illustrator.
* Pen-it from Maxell Hitachi. Swedish "Skunkworks" with iWeb site, cool!
V Resolving Finder issues
* MarBel reported that drag and drop was not working
* Joe says he discovered Stuffit was causing the Finder to crash. Found via Finder, Crash Reporter log (Applications-->Utilities-->Console). Contextual menu item was the cause and the Stuffit Update had a patch.
V Viewing PSD files without Photoshop
* From listener Nathan, "Remembering the tip of the week on the Apple site, I held down Command and option, and dropped the .psd file onto Safari, and it opened up my website mock-up right in the browser!"
* Of course you can also open PSD files directly in Preview
V Using network drives using new Airport
* Many listeners seem to be taking advantage of this, with mixed results.
V Can't clone drives over the network using SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner.
* Can back-up with SuperDuper if you use the "Sparse Image" method to back-up. Details are in the Users Guide (available from the help menu), "Backing up over a network" section.
* Looking for a good how-to on sharing iTunes and iPhoto on a NAS between multiple Macs.
V Cloning a user account
* A listener recently asked, "Is there a way where i can copy the whole profile of one user to set up another with all the same settings and rights without haveing to go thru each profile and set up each program one by one?"
* This would be great for setting up a computer lab or office Mac with multiple accounts that contain certian common settings, preferences, etc.
V It's actually easy in OS X Tiger. You need to be logged into an Admin account to do this.
* 1) Go to the Macintosh HD-->Users folder and select the User you want to duplicate.
* 2) Choose File-->Copy (Apple+C) from the Finder menu
* 3) Now Choose File-->Paste (Apple+V). The system will ask you to authenticate, enter the admin username and password.
* 4) Now you will have a new user folder with a name like 'User copy'. Change the folder name to the short name you will use for your new user account. For this example I will call it 'newuser'
* 5) Now, go to System Preferences-->Accounts and click the "+" to create a new user account. (you may need to click the lock icon and authenticate to be able to add a new account) For the short name enter the name you gave the duplicated user folder. They must match exactly. In this example I would enter 'newuser'. Click "Create Account'
* 6) The system will now alert you that there is a user folder already with that name and ask if you want to use that. Click OK.
* That's it. Now you should have a new account with the same details and files as the old account. Just to make sure everything is OK, you probably should run Repair Permissions from the Disk Utility so the new account has access to all it's own files.
* This trick also works for manually copying a users home folder and account from one Mac to another.
V The right DVD/CD media makes a difference
* Listener Hector asks, "...could talk about some issues with the optical drive (DVD burning) in the macbooks, seems they only work right with some brands of media and not quite right with the cheaper ones..."
* This can make a difference, not only in the burning, but also the playback
* Video Help has a great DVD Media list you can search. Can also seach by brand of player or burner and see what media people have found compatible. Includes user comments and ratings
Video Help Media DB
V iTunes Album Playlists are in reverse order
* After importing a CD and then creating a playlist from the newly added album in iTunes listener Debbie discovered all her albums were playing in reverse track order
V The reason resides in how you add tracks to the playlist.
* Playlists are ordered in the exact order you add the tracks or if you add multiple tracks in the sort order they were in when you added them.
* If they are sorted by date added, then the tracks end up in reverse order since track 1 is imported before say track 11 (assuming you are date sorting from newst added to oldest)
* If you are sorted by track name the order will be alpabetical and jumbled from the track order on the CD.
V Solution is to set the sort order to the desired order before creating the playlist
* 1) Set your sort order. I use the "Track (1 of x)". Album or Artist also work
* 2) Select Album from the 'Browse' list or the select all the tracks and drag to playlist.
* Of course all this assumes your ID3 tags are set correctly. If you let iTunes get the data from the CDDB (Gracenote) you are pretty safe
V Closing
V Maccast Loop
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* Maccast Loop is being produced by Victor Cajiao from Typical Mac User Podcast
Typical Mac User Podcast
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V New music, "Chinatown" by Oneside
* Suggested by listener Thomas
* Band web site
* Buy on iTunes
Buy on ITunes
V Promos
* Macware Podcast
Macware Podcast