Back in the day, CDs burned with custom playlists were the ultimate last-minute gifts: thoughtful, unique, and took just enough effort to warrant a "Wow, I can't believe you made this for me!"
For the most part, those days are over, but if you have a USB drive laying around, you can give a gift that might be even better than a burned CD: a customized USB hard drive. Not only can you pack it with a variety of goodies (like hand-picked music and photos), the gift recipient will use the USB drive over and over again … Read more
Skip Tunes is a 99-cent app that puts a convenient control in your Mac's menu bar for controlling music in iTunes, Spotify, and Rdio.
When I'm working, I'm often listening to music. And when I'm working, I can get very lazy focused, to the point where opening iTunes or Spotify to find out the name of a song I don't recognize feels like an arduous chore. (In my defense, iTunes can be slow to appear from its hidden state.) Because of this, I found the 99 cents I spent on Skip Tunes in the Mac App Store to be money well spent.… Read more
With Instagram, any boring photo is only a crop, filter, and tilt-shift away from becoming a piece of art.
Some might argue that such laziness through filtering discourages true photographic creativity, but there's no denying the Internet's obsession with the photo social network. If anything, it's a satisfying break from Facebook.
Even though it's only available on the iPhone (for now), many businesses have cropped up to provide services that augment what Instagram offers. From Stitchtagram pillowcases to photo magnets, there's no shortage of Instagram paraphernalia.
As a person who appreciates the printed photograph, here'… Read more
Google Music launched with much fanfare and anticipation, but with one giant flaw for downloading your library: you could only download one track at a time.
With the latest release of Music Manager, you are now able to download either your entire library, or only purchased music from Google Music in just a few clicks.
To see the new download option, you will have to have previously uploaded some of your library to Google Music via the Music Manager tool, as well as be running the latest version of Music Manager. The current version number for both Mac and Windows … Read more
The DJ plays a critical and often misunderstood role in any wedding ceremony. If you can afford a professional, by no means should you use the following tutorial to skimp out. You'll save yourself loads of hassle and be able to enjoy your day with one less concern floating around in your head.
Also be aware that the term "professional" does not apply to your estranged pothead cousin who owns a bunch of DJ gear and could really use some extra cash. In fact, that scenario is potentially more stressful and prone to failure than doing things yourself. Really, if you can afford an experienced wedding DJ, it is worth every penny.
That said, not everyone can afford a DJ for their wedding. I sure wasn't able to when I got married years ago. My wife and I sunk our budget into the venue and catering. For the rest, we either tried to do it ourselves, or got it on the cheap. We figured that with enough good food and wine in a beautiful setting, the wedding would be a success, even if the place settings weren't up to Martha Stewart standards.
One thing I did have was access to a great PA system and enough time on my hands to assemble a handful of useful iTunes playlists. The results, while not fairytale-perfect, worked well enough to steer a beautiful ceremony into a fun party with a full dance floor.… Read more
When you purchase a new Mac it almost goes without saying that some sort of office productivity suite is required, and though, based on popularity, some might gravitate to Microsoft's Office, there are others available as well, such as OpenOffice, NeoOffice, some standalone word processors, and also Apple's iWork suite.
iWork's programs include Pages for word processing, Keynote for presentations, and a relatively unique approach to spreadsheets with its Numbers program, which if you are used to Excel, offers some similar ways to manage data, albeit with some uniquenesses.
Unlike most spreadsheet programs that offer a seemingly … Read more
Following the recent release of the latest beta, Dropbox is now giving beta testers the chance to earn up to 4.5GB of additional space in their Dropbox accounts. Here's a brief rundown of how it works.
To get the additional space, you need to download and install the latest beta build from the Dropbox forums. Make sure to create a backup of your Dropbox folder before installing the beta. The easiest way to … Read more
Syncing your iTunes library to an Android device is easier than you may think.
DoubleTwist is a two-part application that can allow your iTunes (Windows | Mac) library to journey into Android land (and back) with ease. One part of the application, including a media player for your convenience, runs on your Android device. The other runs on your computer and automatically locates your iTunes library and populates its own list for syncing. Read on to find out how to set this up.
AirPlay, the wireless tech that lets you stream content from one Apple device to another, is certainly one of the cooler perks of owning a suite of iDevices.
At the tap of a button, AirPlay lets you wirelessly stream movies, music, and photos from any iDevice (iPad, iPod, iPhone, or computer) to your television with Apple TV ($99). The feature also works with any AirPlay-compatible speakers and AV receivers for streaming music.
To use AirPlay, you'll need:
iPad, iPhone (3GS or later) iPod Touch, or a computer with iTunes 10.2 or later. The iDevices must be running iOS … Read more
Being able to automate tasks is a very convenient option when using computer systems, which is one of the reasons why Apple included its Automator tool in OS X that can various scriptable tasks within applications and therefore do things like organize files and contacts, create documents with specific items in them, and manage calendar events.
While Automator and other scripting options like shell scripting or AppleScript are convenient, they are missing the triggering tool that will run them. Apple supplies its Apple Events options where you can have the system run a script when a folder's contents are … Read more