Friday, August 27, 2010

Tick and Tip: Adjust Audio/Video Position by Touch

I have trouble to adjust audio or video progress when I listen or watch a podcast. It is very hard to adjust the slide bar to a desired position. My touch finger is too big so that it blocks my view of the slide bar or its surrounding area. Today I found a tip to resolve this issue and it applies for iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone.

First, just touch the round button on the slide bar. Then move your figure down to an appropriate position. Move the finger left or right to adjust the play position. The slide bar now is clear in my view and it is much easy to adjust to a desired position. Here is my snapshot of my iPod Touch while I was watching CNN daily news. I added a yellow circle for my finger position:

One interesting thing I found is that the more your finger is far away from the side bar like down to the bottom, the less sensitive the movement adjustment will be. The same behaviour applies to the bottom volume control side bar. You just move our finger up.

Further I found that this behaviour applies not only to audio/video side bars, but it also works for side bars in other places. For example, in Settings->Brightness & Wallpaper->Auto-Brightness (iPad), you can also move your finger off the slide bar to adjust the brightness.

If you find your finger blocks your view, you may try to move it off the target and then move side ways. You may find it works well.

How Did I Find This Trick?

I have a free iPhone game: Boxed-in. I like to play it. One day I found out that I don't need to push or move the figure player directly. I can move the box-pusher easily when I move my finger any place on the screen, off the player. It is much easy to view when my finger is off my view of the player. This may not related to the default behaviour of side bar. It may be an application feature.

The trouble I have with adjusting audio/video position has been for so long and often I need to do it. A few seconds ago I thought that there must be a way to do it easily. Instead of reading menu of iPad(never read it even I have it in my iBooks) or googling a solution, the game's trick reminded me if I could move my touched finger off the bar. When I gave it a try, it worked beautifully! The same behaviour applies to iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

iWork Update 4

Today I read a news about this update from AppleInsider: iWork Update. A new feature to support ePub in Pages is included in the update.

I tried to drag a pdf file to my iTunes book area a few days ago. After sync to my iPod Touch, I can read the pdf file from iBooks; however, it is really hard to read. I think that the reason is that the layout of pdf is in 8 1/2 x 11 size, which is too big for iPod Touch to display. Then I realized that I need a tool to publish or convert doc to ePub format. I am not sure if this feature is good for my iPod Touch reading books or not. I'll give it a try it some time soon.

The following is the comparison of the used space difference between before and after:

Command: df -lakUsed(Kilobytes in 1024-blocks)
Before ...74,664
Difference (A-B)8,796

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Security Update 2010 005

This update is a critical fix on security issue reported recently about PDF security hole, which is described about the update by Apple Insider. The update was install during the restart process.

The following is the comparison of the used space difference between before and after:

Command: df -lakUsed(Kilobytes in 1024-blocks)
Before ...161,000
Difference (A-B)-80,420

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Apple's MobileMe Cloud Service

On August 19, 2010, I activated my MobileMe account. I knew MobileMe when I got my Mac. However, I have been not sure if I need MobileMe or not. For email, I have several free emails such as Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, Gmail and AOL Mail. For cloud space or disk, I have Dropbox free account. I have also heard a lot about asking Apple to provide MobileMe for fee for Mac users from my subscribed podcasts. I have been expecting Apple to give this free offer for a while.

Finally I decided to get this subscription services and give it a try after I have done some research on web and watching some YouTube shows. The attractions are mainly MobileMe's integration with iLife and iWork, and FindMe for my iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad devices. With MobileMe, I can create my personal Galleries and share my photo albums with my friends and family members. I can also create my personal web pages and blogs. MobileMe single person account has following features:
  • Mail. In mail, you can create five aliases. I think it is good time right now to create aliases otherwise those aliases may be taken by other people.

  • Contact and Calendar. It is good way to access to my contacts and calendar and I'll use them more with this clouding service.

  • Gallery. The default gallery web URL is[accountName]. I tried to upload photos to my account from Windows. It works fine, but you cannot set security settings from Windows. From my iLife on my iMac, I can submit my albums to MobileMe. You can add multiple user/password settings from iPhoto.<.li>
  • iDisk. From iMac, you can set up iDisk to back up some files from Mac's system preference. From Finder, you can also move or copy files to the iDisk as a way to save files on cloud

  • FindMe. You can add multiple mobile devices to FindMe. All have the same interface: from Settings | Mail, Contacts, Calenders. Just add MobileMe account and enable FindMe. With this cool feature, you can locate the device, send messages, lock device and remove data on the device

  • Web Personal Site Hosting. To create personal web sites, it is recommended to use iWorks' iWeb. From there, you just select a template to create a web page or blog. I tried to create two web sites: one for web page and another for blog. I can add security settings, however, it seems that only one user/password can be set. I tried to set difference ones but only the last one takes effect. I also notice that I can see my web files from iDisk on my Mac. I think that I may be able add additional css to my blog or web pages from there.

This is my first impression of MobileMe. It is very good. I think it is worth to try. With $109.00CAN annual subscription fee, I think it is actually much cost competitive to other web cloud services. For example, with 50GB space in Dropbox, the monthly cost is $9.99US. Personally, I don't think that Apple would offer this service for free. I don't think that Apple makes money on this service neither. I am expecting Apple will add more features to MobileMe. For the time being, I really enjoy the service.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Share Music in iTunes

Recently, I encountered one issue about sharing music between user accounts in one iMac or between iMacs. I have two iMacs and created several accounts. I would like to share some music songs between accounts.

As far I know so far, I found three ways to move music songs to another account.

Using Migration Assistant Application

What I did before for sharing music between iMac computers is the run the Migration Assistant to copy one user account to another Mac computer. Then I had to remove all the user documents, mail settings, iPhoto, iMovie files if I don't want them in another new account. It works fine to duplicate iTunes libraries. However, it is just too much to do afterwards I don't want other things migrated.

Moving iTunes Media Folder to a Public Accessible Folder

Yesterday I found some information from Apple web site about sharing music between accounts in one Mac computer. Under the section of On Max OS X. There are two ways to share. First to move "iTunes Media" folder to a public accessible folder. To find out the "iTunes Media" folder, you go to iTunes preference from iTunes menu, and then go to Advanced tab:

In above window, I moved the folder "iTunes Music" to my public folder. The original one is the same folder name under ~/Music/iTunes.

After that, I went to other accounts and opened iTunes. It seems that they can see my shared iTunes library, but I did the same thing for other accounts, I cannot see their music in my account. Not sure what prevented me from seeing their music.

Adding Another User iTunes Media Folder to Your iTunes Library

Then I followed the second option from Apple web information to add their music media folder from their public accessible folder to my iTunes library. See the instructions in the above link (under the section of "To listen to another account's music files". After I finished the steps, I was able to add their library into my library. Actually, all the music in another account are imported. I think I can do the same thing for an account on another Mac. If I want to move the files into my library, I may need to check my preference to Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library.

This option is actually adding the whole library of music items into my library. There seems that there is no way to select specific music files. Fortunately, I found a way to view library files by Artists in list view. This way can be used as filter to view songs by artists.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Snow Leopard Graphics Update 1.0

Today I a news about this update: Snow Leopard Graphics Update 1.0, from AppleInsider. This update requires a reboot. The following is the snap-shot of the update information.

and the following is the comparison of the used space difference between before and after:

Command: df -lakUsed(Kilobytes in 1024-blocks)
Before ...27,320
Difference (A-B)29,048

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Kill Application or Service

Sometimes I get some applications or services hanging there with no response. One way to restart them is to quit or kill them first and then start them again.

To kill an application is very simple. Mac has a menu item from Apple icon (top left).

From there a dialog displays a list of applications and you can kill the application you want. This window also provides a way to relaunch Finder, which cannot be killed. However, if you have some services such as Growl, Evernote or Dropbox, they do not show in this dialog window.

They are services running. To kill them, you have to use Activity Monitor tool. I use my favourite Spot Light (press command + space), and type in Activity... You will see the application:

Select the application or service first. Then press the Quit button on the tool bar:

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Apple New Devices: Magic Trackpad and Battery Charger

I purchased two new Mac devices: Magic Trappad and Battery Charger. The later one is really I want. I have used Magic mouse and wire less keyboard since I got my iMac 27. The only painful experience is the battery, especially the one for mouse. I don't like to use normal batteries, not environmental friendly and too costly. I have used alkaline battery and Sanyo's rechargeable battery. They all would not last long. I hope this new Apple charger will be as good as it says: 10 year life time.

The trackpad has been in Macbook and Macbook Pro for long time. This is a migration version for iMac. Basically it provides gestures for iMac. When I first tried this device, my iMac did not recognize it. I followed the instruction as in its menu: software update from Apple's menu. I did not get the update. I tried on both of iMac 24 and iMac 27, the same issue. Then I turned to web to google the update software. I found this update from Apple's web page and it works fine after the installation.

I seems the trackpad has all the features of mouse. However, it does not work as the way as mouse works. It is so sensitive, and very easily I get lost if I put too many fingers on the pad. The pad supports single, two, three and four fingers. I may have to take time to master its usages.

The following is the comparison of the used space difference between before and after:

Command: df -lakUsed(Kilobytes in 1024-blocks)
Before ...672,076
Difference (A-B)121,428

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Camera Raw Compatibility Update 3.3

Today I one new software update: Camera Raw Compatibility Update 3.3.

and the following is the comparison of the used space difference between before and after:

Command: df -lakUsed(Kilobytes in 1024-blocks)
Before ...360,620
Difference (A-B)401,680