iCloud, Macworld Expo and Throttling

This week on Your Mac Life, sponsored by TabGrip, Smile, Circus Ponies and PowerMax: iCloud, Macworld Expo and Throttling

Live Video is on Your Mac Life thanks to MacOSG.com and available on your desktop, iPhone and iPad! You can watch the show live from anywhere at this URL:
http://yml.macosg.com

Or you can listen in to the plain old audio feed at:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/yml-audio-only

You can also join the Chat Room that runs during the live show - on the Live Video Feed itself or on the dedicated IRC Server at irc.chat-solutions.org in the #yourmaclife Channel.

Make sure you listen in this and every Wednesday evening from 5:30pm to 8pm PT or from 8:30pm to 11pm ET, for the most fun you'll have listening to your Mac.

How to convert Audio and Video Files for Free

Scenario: You’ve obtained an audio or video file that’s either in a format unsupported by the device you intend to play it on—an iOS device, traditional iPod, or your Mac, for example—or in a form that you’d prefer to not use (large AIFF or WAV audio files, for example).

There are scads of utilities you can use to convert media files (and some of them aren’t marketed by spammers), but what might you use when you want something converted quickly, without a lot of fuss and bother, and that costs nary a nickel? Try these on for size.

Ars reviews the mid-2011 MacBook Air

Pros:
Size and weight
Good screen
Excellent backlit keyboard
Long maximum battery life
CPU performance on par with last year's MacBook Pros
Thunderbolt port
Network recovery

Cons:
No Kensington slot
Network options are a bottleneck for local file transfers
Hard to get the best battery performance in real-world use
Software support for higher resolution display incomplete
iLife software tied to your account, can't be resold with the machine
Network recovery

Four Lion Terminal Hacks

Lion's great, but some of us prefer mucking with the behind-the-scenes stuff with our operating systems. We've found a variety of Terminal tricks that can tweak various Lion behaviors.

Apple’s iCloud Pricing vs. the Competition

Apple has announced pricing for its upcoming iCloud service. In typical Apple fashion, the company kept things simple. 5GB of online storage is free; 10GB is $20 a year; 20GB is $40 a year; 50GB is $100 a year.

So is Apple’s pricing a deal?

Interview with Paul Kent, GM of Macworld Expo

While Macworld Expo 2012 is still over six months away, Paul Kent, GM of Macworld Expo, and his team have already started working on the show.

To that end, last week they put out a Call for Papers and are asking all and sundry to come up with ideas on how to make this next Expo the best Expo.

I spoke to Paul about what he is looking for and what you can expect in six months in San Francisco.

You can Click here listen to the interview directly or even better, subscribe to Your Mac Life on the iTunes Store to have all of YML's interviews and shows delivered hot and fresh to your computer or iOS device.

Lab tests: Build-to-order Core i7 MacBook Airs

How fast is a MacBook Air when it's powered by an Intel Core i7 processor? Now that we've posted performance reports for the standard-configuration MacBook Airs, it was time to turn our attention to testing the optional, build-to-order (BTO) configurations of Apple’s latest line of ultra-portable computers.

OS X Lion: One week later

Apple’s new operating system, OS X Lion, has been out for a week, giving the Apple community some time to digest all the changes.

Lion is a dramatic departure from Snow Leopard, with a new, mobile-inspired user interface. Apple reportedly sold 1 million copies of the operating system, priced at $30, in the first day. Nearly all the new features were revealed from the moment Lion hit developers’ previews, so customers knew what they would be getting before they bought.

I can’t complain about the system’s features, speed or usability. It’s forward-looking, user-friendly and evolutionary. That said, I’m not quite sure how I feel about it.

Safari 5.1

Pros:
OS X Lion integration
Improved Reader feature
Security and privacy improvements
Reading List feature for marking articles for later reading

Cons:
On some machines, the slowest JavaScript benchmark of any current browser
Occasional rendering glitches
Support for some cutting-edge features turned off by default
Not all features available to

Review: 13-inch MacBook Air

With OS X Lion pre-installed, the MacBook Air gives users Apple’s latest hardware, including some of the industries fastest technologies and the most modern operating system on the market today.

The 13-inch MacBook Air is the computer that all other laptops will be measured against. It has power, portability, and a sleek design that is only matched by other MacBooks.

Sly's Website of the Week - July 27th, 2011

The Owl and the Pussycat - The Sequel. ;-)

The Perfect Friendship

Enjoy!

~ Sly

Apple Mail 5.0

Pros:
New layout optimized for widescreen displays, Improved conversation display, Upgraded search capabilities, Better integration with webmail and Exchange accounts

Cons:
Most innovations already available in other programs

Archives for July 27th, 2011

This week's show "A week with Lion"

A Week with Lion, "Broken" eReader Apps

This week on Your Mac Life, sponsored by TabGrip, Smile, Circus Ponies and PowerMax: A week with Lion, "Broken" eReader Apps

Live Video is on Your Mac Life thanks to MacOSG.com and available on your desktop, iPhone and iPad! You can watch the show live from anywhere at this URL:
http://yml.macosg.com

Or you can listen in to the plain old audio feed at:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/yml-audio-only

You can also join the Chat Room that runs during the live show - on the Live Video Feed itself or on the dedicated IRC Server at irc.chat-solutions.org in the #yourmaclife Channel.

Make sure you listen in this and every Wednesday evening from 5:30pm to 8pm PT or from 8:30pm to 11pm ET, for the most fun you'll have listening to your Mac.

5 Best Streaming Music Services

Whether you prefer free streaming at your computer, paid streaming on the go, or the ability to host your own music in the cloud, there are more streaming music services coming online now than ever before.

Here's a look at five of the most popular ones.

Hackinations: 5 really Good Lion Tweaks

Lion. We love the OS. We hate a few tiny details.

Here are five extremely handy Lion tweaks that can improve your day-to-day use. Enable each by typing the supplied commands into Terminal.

Why there's no grown-up Quicken for OS X Lion

If you're on a Mac, you might think Intuit has abandoned you. There's Quicken 2007 for the Mac, but nothing serious after that. And if you upgraded to OS X Lion, Quicken 2007 will no longer work on your Mac.

It's the most infamous of the applications that have been left behind by the latest version of the Mac operating system, which no longer runs apps written for the PowerPC architecture, as Quicken 2007 was. What's worse, if you upgrade to Lion, you won't be able to extricate your data from Quicken at all, as no other app can read its proprietary format.

How did Intuit end up screwing over loyal Mac Quicken users so thoroughly?

10.7: Create Your Own Recovery HD

This hint shows how to create your own Recovery HD (Disc or Flash Drive).

Mac OS X Lion includes a hidden Recovery HD. This is a small partition about 650MB in size which you can boot from by pressing down Option at startup. It includes a variety of utilities which can help you troubleshoot a Mac.

It can be very handy to have a bootable copy of your own on some other media incase you need to troubleshoot a Mac with a bad drive, or something has happened to the recovery partition, unlikely but possible.

Change Mac OS X 10.7 Lion iCal and Address Book Skins - Easy Method

I am not a fan of the new leather title bar in iCal on Lion... what were they thinking? Now all we need is a wood-effect dashboard for our cars and rotary-dial iPhones...

I created new images files to go inside iCal.app and AddressBook.app to give them an aluminum look like previous versions of OS X.

How Apple uses its Cash Hoard to its Advantage

Over the last few years, Apple has stockpiled cash in such huge amounts that investors often question Apple about its strategy of keeping so much money around. When asked about it, Steve Jobs and team always points out that the market is unstable and they need to have cash in place for good times and bad, as well as have money available for major acquisitions, as part of its growth strategy.

And even though this answer normally keeps its investors at bay, as Apple continues to grow its cash reserves, which currently sits somewhere around $70 billion, investors and media alike continue to tell Apple that perhaps it's time to release a dividend to shareholders. But Apple is steadfast about its position. An interesting post from an anonymous writer on Quora recently shared a fascinating view of why.

Interview with Steve Abernethy, CEO of SquareTrade

Depending on the product, many of us have differing opinions about gadget insurance and warranties, extended or otherwise.

One name that always pops up in the discussion is SquareTrade. Earlier this week, Steve Abernethy, CEO of SquareTrade, sat down to talk to Shawn about the company and the kinds of warranties they offer.

Click this link to listen to the interview directly but, even better, subscribe to Your Mac Life on iTunes and get all of our interviews downloaded automagically.

Archives for July 20th, 2011

This week's show "Lion and Buckets of Cash!"

Lion and Buckets of Cash!

This week on Your Mac Life, sponsored by TabGrip, Smile, Circus Ponies and PowerMax: Google+, Internet as a Right and the Death of Netflix?

Live Video is on Your Mac Life thanks to MacOSG.com and available on your desktop, iPhone and iPad! You can watch the show live from anywhere at this URL:
http://yml.macosg.com

Or you can listen in to the plain old audio feed at:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/yml-audio-only

You can also join the Chat Room that runs during the live show - on the Live Video Feed itself or on the dedicated IRC Server at irc.chat-solutions.org in the #yourmaclife Channel.

Make sure you listen in this and every Wednesday evening from 5:30pm to 8pm PT or from 8:30pm to 11pm ET, for the most fun you'll have listening to your Mac.

10 Good Minutes on Net access as a Right

On last Wednesday's Your Mac Life show, we debated whether or not you had a "right" to internet access.

Listen at the link below or, even better, Subscribe to "10 Good Minutes" on the iTunes store and get each episode delivered automagically!

Western Digital's 3 TB MyBook Studio perfect for pre-Lion Backups

For Mac users looking for a relatively inexpensive external backup drive with FireWire 800 connectivity plenty of space, the Western Digital MyBook Studio 3 TB is just the ticket. If you only have USB 2.0 or just need a slow and steady backup drive, there are many other less expensive external drives. For example, Western Digital's WD Elements 3 TB USB-only drive can be purchased through Amazon for about $150; a tremendous bargain.

I like Western Digital's attention to the Mac market, and this drive is a perfect example of the meld of form and function that Mac users love.

10 Good Minutes on Netflix

Last week, Netflix made significant changes to its model, doubling the price for some customers. Outrage understandably ensued.

Two out of the three YML hosts use Netflix. Tune in to this episode to find who who doesn't and whether the other two will be joining him and what their thoughts are on the Netflix changes and what your options are.

Listen at the link below or, even better, Subscribe to "10 Good Minutes" on the iTunes store and get each episode delivered automagically!

iPad Power: How to Print

Among other things, the iPad is a great way to save paper: It lets you carry around all kinds of digital documents that you might otherwise have had to print.

But from time to time you may still need to print data that’s on your iPad—business documents that you created in Pages and Numbers, for example, or driving directions to hand someone who’s not packing silicon. Printing from the iPad can be easy if your needs are modest, but even if you require extensive printing control, there is, as they say, an app for that.

10 Good Minutes on Google+

There's been a lot of talk about the new service from Google called Google+. Now that Ian, Shawn and Bill have had some time to play with it, they talk about what it is and, more importantly, what it isn't.

Listen at the link below or, even better, Subscribe to "10 Good Minutes" on the iTunes store and get each episode delivered automagically!

First look: Spotify

Spotify, the popular-in-Europe music subscription service has arrived in the U.S.

The service is available in three flavors—free (you can listen to a limited number of hours of music per month), Unlimited ($5 a month with unlimited listening), and Premium ($10 a month with unlimited listening, higher bit rate tracks, and support for downloads and mobile listening).

I’ve had experience with the current crop of domestic streaming services—Napster, Rhapsody, Mog, and Rdio—and have now browsed through Spotify. Here’s what I’ve found while using a Premium plan.