Google finally got around to releasing a YouTube app for the iPad, and after using it for a few days, I applaud the search giant's efforts. The app feels quick and responsive, and all of the basic features -- accessing your account, commenting on videos, subscribing to channels, AirPlay support -- are present. (The ability to play audio of a video in the background after closing the app, however, is not.) The app also lets you create playlists, but this feature is somewhat buried. In this post, I'll show you where to go to create a playlist and … Read more
In the past, classic search routines in the Mac OS scoured the directory tree of the file system to locate files, but with ever-increasing numbers of files on computers, these searches became slower and slower. To tackle this in OS X, Apple introduced an indexing solution called Spotlight as a replacement for the classic search, which actively indexes files as they are created or edited. When you perform a search, the system accesses this index to almost instantaneously bring up search results not only for file names, but also for relevancy since the indexing includes the content of the files … Read more
While there are a number of media players and audio programs that can be used to play music through your Mac, iTunes being a library and content manager as well as a player that comes preinstalled on Mac systems makes it the most popular option out there. The program offers simple controls for sorting through music, generating playlists, and playing your music, but in addition there are some settings that can be used to greatly improve sound quality during playback.
The first of these is the Sound Enhancer setting in the iTunes preferences, which is activated by going to the … Read more
Time Machine is Apple's built-in backup solution for OS X that creates hourly backups of all files on the system. Unlike a clone of the drive, the backups are not directly bootable, but they can be used to restore any instance of your OS installation and file structure to the drive. This makes it convenient for restoring data to a recently repaired system, migrating to a new one, or undoing a recent configuration change that is causing problems.
This backup solution is quite useful to have and is easy to set up, but there may be instances where Time … Read more
With the release of iTunes 11, Apple has made some significant adjustments to the media player. While Apple has removed some items including Cover Flow and iTunes DJ, it has offered a number of other features such as a new "Up Next" playlist feature and a radically altered MiniPlayer window. Even though there are some major changes to the program, the essence of iTunes is still there; however, there are a few hiccups you might run into when using it that require small behavior adjustments on your part to get by. This might be as simple as clicking … Read more
Apple's computers are not the cheapest in the world, but are highly desired and as a result many people purchase their Macs secondhand through auction sites like eBay and Craigslist. Unfortunately in most cases these systems are old enough that their warranties have expired, so if something goes wrong after your purchase you might need to spend more cash to have it fixed.
Under the circumstances, it is best to give any used Mac a thorough check before you decide to purchase it. (Obviously, it would be hard to do this for most online purchases.) I've covered this … Read more
One way to access or activate some display- and window-related features in OS X is to use screen hot corners, which you can set up to activate the desired feature by moving your mouse to the respective corner. For example, if you wish to manually activate the screensaver, then you can bind this to a hot corner and then move your mouse there to always activate the screensaver.
Hot corner features can be set up in the Desktop & Screen Saver system preferences by clicking the "Hot Corners..." button at the bottom of the Screen Saver tab, and … Read more
Taking a screenshot in OS X is a popular option for capturing activity on your computer, whether for communicating instructions to people or documenting events that are happening on your system. Usually screenshots are taken when sitting at the local system, but if needed you can also do so remotely by several different means.
The easiest way to take a remote screenshot is by using the Screen Sharing service in OS X. By enabling this in the Sharing system preferences and then connecting to the remote system to view its screen, you are provided a couple of ways to take … Read more
Readers have from time to time requested a list of the "test" tracks I use to evaluate gear. It's a long list, mostly recordings I've used for many years and heard on hundreds of products, and recordings I made myself or from sessions I attended. They work for me, but wouldn't necessarily help you. More than any specific tracks, I recommend starting with music you know best, favorite tunes you've listened to for years, and then listen to how the speaker, headphones, etc., you're considering changes, improves, or degrades the sound of your … Read more
The OS X Character Viewer is a system-wide text entry service that allows for quick access to numerous special characters from fonts in your system. While the use of keyboard modifier keys (Shift, Control, and so forth) allow for quick access to some common alternative characters, there are numerous Greek, currency, math, and emoticon symbols that can be accessed through the Character Viewer panel in OS X.
This panel can be accessed from the Edit menu in most applications, but can also be opened using keyboard shortcuts or the input menu, as outlined in this previous article.
The basics of … Read more