Apple offers up two more free months of MobileMe to customers. Steve Jobs allegedly emails a customer about iPhone 3G connectivity and a fire at the Apple campus.
Los Angeles victims are chosen for our weekly, "Keep or Delete." Each week we download and review the free iTunes song of the week and decide whether we're going to keep or delete the file. This week's artist:
This smart playlist will collect every one-star song in your library.
Why didn’t Apple give me a way to delete songs that I don’t like while listening to them on my iPod, and then have those songs automatically delete from my iTunes library next time I sync? By the time I get back to my computer, I’ve totally forgotten which songs I wanted to get rid of.
There’s no automatic way to do this, but you can try this trick (it works with any iPod except the shuffle) to help make deleting songs easier in the future. But first let’s make sure everyone understands the syncing process between your iPod and iTunes: If you use automatic syncing (i.e., you don’t have Manually Manage Music checked in the iPod Summary screen), it’s a one-way sync from your iTunes Library to your iPod. However, there are a few important pieces of info that iTunes pulls from your iPod into your iTunes Library when you sync: purchased songs that don’t already exist in your Library, newly updated play counts, and star ratings. If you manually manage your music, this trick won’t work.
First, use star ratings on your iPod to flag the songs that you don’t like by giving them one star. On the iPod touch and iPhone, click the Track List button to display all the tracks on an album, then click the track you don’t like and drag your finger across the ratings bar to assign one star to the track. On the iPod nano and classic, press the center button twice while the song is playing, which makes the five rating bullets appear, and use the clickwheel to select a rating.
After you sync your iPod to your Mac, you can quickly find all of your one-star songs by sorting your Library by the Rating column. (If you don’t have a Rating column, choose View > View Options and check the Rating box.) Delete a song by selecting it and hitting Delete on your keyboard.
You can also create a smart playlist containing all of your one-star songs. Choose File > New Smart Playlist and create the rule “Rating is 1 star.” Normally when you delete a song from a playlist, iTunes removes the song from the playlist but keeps it in your library. But if you select a track and hold down Option while you press the Delete key, iTunes will delete the song from your library.
If you’ve visited iTunes recently, you may have noticed something different about the “Top TV Episodes” section. Currently, the three best-selling shows aren't episodes at all, but an independently produced series, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, written and directed by Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly).
Thanks to iTunes, this may be the beginning of a paradigm shift, where television shows will be freed from network control and put into the hands of their creators.
Ahhh, the silent ringtone. It’s been on every phone I’ve had in the last eight years or so. But, like voice dialing, one-touch speed dialing, MMS, and the ability to shoot video of my dog running around at the beach, it’s one of the things I’ve had to give up since transitioning to an iPhone.
I can hear you already. “Just flip the switch to make your phone silent, Stupid.”
But I don’t want my phone to be silent; I want the ability to selectively silence my phone for certain callers. Those annoying telemarketing recordings come to mind. Or maybe your crazy ex, or perhaps your parole officer if you’re on the lam. Anyway, the point is, the iPhone doesn’t offer a No Ring option for your contacts. But with a little GarageBand fiddling, you can roll your own non-ring in a couple minutes, with just a few clicks.
Learn how to make your own silent ringtone after the jump.
The App Store is sure to have its share of bugs, in fact, here’s one time-consuming App Store-update bug that could lead to severe frustration. Some users are logging into the iTunes Store to download app updates to find that they have an "outstanding balance." This predicament could leave users with buggy, partially downloaded software or just won't allow you to download the updates at all.
Fear not, it is probable that there is no outstanding balance (unless you're purposely trying to cheat the system). It seems the iTunes App Store belives you're trying to download applications without adequate credit available on your credit card when you select "Download All Free Updates." Downloading each App update, one at a time, should remedy the situation.
The idea behind the iTunes credit hold is tp keep users from downloading beyond their credit’s spending limit, but the bug can be annoying for users who just need their App updates.
When people reminisce about their college days, they look back with misty-eyed fondness on the flowing beer and promiscuity. But few get nostalgic for the lectures. So when iTunes U first opened its virtual doors on May 30, 2007, and presented the public with lectures and class notes, we marveled at the range of knowledge presented by some of the world’s finest minds, free of charge--and promptly ignored it.
But in the thirteen months since iTunes U has been available, the content has expanded considerably. (Over 60 accredited universities and colleges, 25 institutions, and several public radio channels have put content online.) Initially, iTunes U only provided the public with lectures, language lessons, and campus tours. Now, if offers music and dance performances, poetry readings, and a wealth of audio and video content that is as entertaining as it is informative.
In Little Snitch’s configuration screen, we set iTunes to deny connections to the Internet radio while still allowing access to the iTunes Store. In Safari, all websites are allowed except for www.pandora.com.
The Internet speed at my office slows down tremendously when my employees are streaming music through iTunes Radio and pandora.com. Is there any way to block my employees from streaming music on their Macs?
You could invest in a hardware-based content filtering firewall such as the Barracuda Web Filter (starting at $1,499, www.barracudanetworks.com), which blocks the users on your network from accessing websites that you specify based on domain name or category. It can also prevent applications, such as iTunes, from accessing the Internet.
For a software-based solution, there’s Little Snitch ($29.95, www.obdev.com), which informs you whenever a program attempts to establish an outgoing Internet connection (letting you know the specific port and IP address that your application is trying to access) and lets you block those attempts. You can prevent apps from accessing the entire Internet or just certain websites. Best of all, you can lock Little Snitch to prevent users from making changes to the settings that you’ve customized.