With a little bit of work, you can create DRM-free versions of your iTunes music. Digital rights management (DRM) prevents a music file from being played by an unauthorized user or player. The recording industry thinks DRM is necessary to stop piracy, but as Steve Jobs put it in his February 6, 2007, public letter titled Thoughts on Music, “DRMs haven’t worked, and may never work, to halt music piracy.” DRM’s restrictions effectively do nothing but annoy the people who bought the music. Since Jobs’s letter, the iTunes Store has gone on to offer DRM-free songs, but the iTunes Store’s DRM-free library, called iTunes Plus, is limited (although always growing). If you already have a DRM’d iTunes song, you can pay 30 cents per song to convert to a DRM-free version—if one is available. Or you can create your own.
The final release of the iPhone SDK is quickly approaching. As we impatiently await new apps, the Mac|Life staff has been speculating on what apps are already in the works by some of our favorite companies. Tell us what apps you want for the iPhone and we'll call the developer and get the info.
During the course of human events, it sometimes becomes necessary to bring the rock—and we cannot bring the rock without the hallowed tools of our trade. So we summon our guitars and amps, our boots and leather, our Pete Townsend windmills and Janis Joplin caterwauls. And now we also enlist our Macs—for they bestow furious powers of transformation upon those who seek rock star greatness. Yes, Macs are even more potent than cowbells. Consider the DIY career stylings of D’arby Rose, singer-guitarist of the As Ifs, a band that most certainly has the coolest name in the entire history of rock, ever. At the gravelly old age of 17, Rose has already produced all the must-have media assets that one would expect of a serious punk-rock frontwoman. She’s got the demo CD. She’s got the music video. She’s got the website with the obligatory music downloads and calendar of live appearances. And she, along with drummer Lily B, created all of this stuff with nothing but a MacBook. And we do mean nothing but a MacBook.
It’s pretty obvious where Apple wants you to get your music: the iTunes Store. And we’re not knocking it—we appreciate the simplicity and convenience of iTunes for buying songs, managing our collections, and loading up our iPods. But only looking for digital music in one place—even iTunes—is like only getting takeout from one restaurant, or only ever accessing the Internet through AOL. There’s just so much more out there if you’re willing to look around.
The next time some hater tells you that “Mac gamer” is a contradiction, fire back with these best-ever Apple-platform titles. Sure, Apple’s systems have had their gaming downs; the short-lived Pippin had few worth playing, and the most fun we had on a Newton was “Find Elvis.” But the Apple II and Mac have had a vibrant ecosystem of games that stood out among all titles.
You’ll have a hard time finding copies of most of our top games. Some are available online , while eBay and local computer stores might carry old copies of others. But if you do have the floppies or CDs, the game isn’t likely to run in OS X. Try an emulator like Basilisk II to trick the old software into thinking it’s running on an old Mac or Apple II.
One day, we wanted to watch one of our favorite DVD movies. We popped in into our DVD player, sat back on the couch, relaxed, and let ourselves get thoroughly into the action. Then it happened, and of course during a totally gripping scene: The movie playback suddenly got choppy, and then froze. Our DVD player was stuck, and we had to turn it off. When we ejected the DVD and flipped it over, there it was: a scratch deep enough to disrupt the movie, as well as put an end to our viewing experience. As versatile as DVDs are, the disc surface area is quite sensitive and prone to scratches that’ll render it unusable. If you have kids at home, chances are you’ve spotted your little ones enamored with the shiny discs and how they make great toys. Or maybe you’re just a little careless (unintentionally or not) with the discs. That’s why it’s a good idea to make backups of your DVDs.
Truth be told, the necessity of the screensaver is behind us. Since CRT monitors have gone the way of the 12-inch Powerbook, most people don't need to worry about screen burn. Yet we still love screensavers. Why? Some of them do useful things. Others are pure eye-candy. Your friends couldn't care less about seeing TPS reports on your new Cinema Display, but fire up one of these cool screensavers and watch as everyone becomes mesmerized.
Spore starts small. A simple life form--you, specifically--merrily swims around in primordial goo, absorbing nutrients. Nothing matters outside of this pool, not the rock basin that holds it, the continent that cradles the rock basin, the planet that holds the continent, the solar system that contains the planet, or the galaxy that surrounds the solar system. None of that matters--yet. Spore keeps its focus on the immediate goal, a race to survive and grow. Just like those scaling worlds, there’s always a hungry creature bigger than you.
After a very public dissagreement concerning pricing, Apple and NBC Universal parted ways a few months back. NBC wanted to experiment with pricing, Apple didn't. In the wake of the break-up, NBC announced it was creating a video portal named, Hulu. Hulu would allow NBC to control its content and sell ads much the same way traditional television does. On the surface, Hulu seems like the knee-jerk reaction of a spoiled child who, when it couldn't get its way with Apple and the iTunes store, went off and created its own video site. In fact, Hulu is a good start at offering video on demand on the internet. Once you begin exploring the site you get sucked into watching television shows, film and TV clips and full length films. All for free.