Tips and Tricks

How to use Your iPod to move Your Music to a New Computer

From Macworld

Got a new computer and want to move your entire iTunes library? Starting with iTunes 7 there is a new backup feature that will archive your entire library to CD or DVD, including ratings and playcounts, which can be moved to another computer. If you are interested in moving your library using this method click, here.

If you do not have access to a CD or DVD burner then there is another option if you own an iPod. Because your iPod contains a high-capacity hard drive, you can use it to move all your music from your old computer to the new one.

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Eliminate Color Casts

From Macworld

Accurate exposure, faithful color, and sharp focus are the technical cornerstones of good photography. Of the three, color is the most often overlooked—many indoor shots end up with a dark reddish tint, while many outdoor snapshots end up blue and lifeless. But there’s plenty you can do to avoid these problems—even if you’re using a basic point-and-shoot digital camera. The key is understanding your camera’s white-balance settings.

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TextExpander: Simplify Tasks With %Clipboard

From the SmileOnMyMac Blog

Gordon Meyer, author of the O’Reilly book Smart Home Hacks, offers this tip, based on his experience posting Amazon links on his blog:
Here’s a great tip for bloggers and the like. I use TextExpander to create a handy macro for creating Amazon Affiliate links. It’s much easier than using Amazon’s web interface.

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How to Transfer from iPod to Mac

From MacInstruct

The iPod is probably the best portable music player the world has ever seen. It's simple to use, easy to operate, and instantly updatable. Never before has it been so easy to purchase, store, and transport thousands of songs. It's easy to take this beautiful and reliable device for granted!

One of our pet peeves is the inability to transfer an iPod's music to a computer. This seemingly simple feature has been disabled by Apple for fear of copyright infringement. We can understand the copyright stuff: Apple doesn't want punk kids giving all of their music to their friends. But there are some legitimate and legal reasons for transferring an iPod's music to a Mac.

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Stop Today's Spam

From Macworld

By some estimates, spam now accounts for 80 percent of all e-mail sent. I believe it—in the past two months, 73 percent of the messages I’ve received have been junk. And that’s not counting messages that my ISP filtered out before I even saw them. This is no mere annoyance; it’s a serious problem that demands serious action. Even if you’ve taken steps to curtail spam in the past, you may need to adopt some new strategies to keep your inbox under control.

Although some of the time-tested techniques for stopping junk e-mail still work, spammers have adapted their methods in order to outsmart junk-mail filters and other countermeasures. (You know those odd messages you get with quotations from novels and no sales pitch? Their purpose is to trick adaptive spam filters into putting more “good” words and phrases onto their “bad” lists, thereby decreasing the filters’ overall accuracy.)

Before you do anything else, make sure you’re following a few fundamental pieces of advice you’ve probably read before.

Getting Out of a 2 Year Cellphone Contract Alive

From The New York Times

The two-year contract. It is the bane of a cellphone owner’s existence, especially one who must have the latest hot phone at a discounted price.

Two years is a long time, and few other marketers can get away with demanding it, much less adding to it. Every time you walk back into the cellphone store or call the customer service operators, it seems, the contract is extended. Lose the phone or ask for a replacement, and the contract is extended. Sign up for a family plan, same thing.

But try getting out of a contract early? You can do it, but you will have to pay an early termination fee of as much as $240.

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11 Ways to Optimize Your Mac

From Low End Mac

Every now and then, my Macs begin to feel a little sluggish. There are many potential reasons why: I tend to run 8-10 applications all the time - and sometimes push 15 or more. This alone will bog down any Mac. At other times, I realize that it's been weeks since I restarted the computer, and a simple restart will solve a lot of these woes.

When those don't speed things up, I've found a number of things I can do to encourage my Macs back to their youthful snappiness. Here are a few tips I've found for restoring my Macs to full speed without spending a penny.

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5 must have Apple Mail Enhancers

From Apple Gazette

Apple Mail is a great email client…

…but there’s always room for improvement, and if you get a lot of mail, or compulsively check your mail, there are some really excellent Apple Mail plugins that can help you get more work done, and still stay on top of those forwards you love getting from grandma….

I’ve compiled a list of my favorite 5 Apple Mail Enhancers that I think are must haves for anyone using Apple Mail that has to deal with more than a few dozen emails a day.

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Getting a Fix on Daylight Saving Time

From Macworld

Starting this year, in most locations in the United States and Canada as well as in numerous other regions around the world, Daylight Saving Time (DST) will begin on the second Sunday in March and end on the first Sunday in November. This is an earlier start and a later finish than in previous years.

This can spell trouble for any device with a built-in digital clock that provides automatic adjustment for the shift between DST and Standard Time. The problem is that, unless these devices are updated for the new rules, they will shift to and from DST on the wrong dates. And those devices can include your Mac.

Happily, Apple was ahead of the curve here.

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Reclaim HD Space

From Macworld

Hard drives have a way of filling up—especially laptop drives. Although desktop Macs come with up to 750GB of hard-drive space, some Mac laptops still ship with hard drives as small as 60GB and the biggest laptop drive money can buy holds only 200GB. Install OS X and your favorite apps, and then add your music collection, photos, and videos—and that space can disappear in a flash.

If you can’t get a larger hard drive for your portable Mac, the easiest way to get more storage space is to get rid of stuff you don’t need. To start the process, consider the following suggestions.

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Finding the Combined Size of Multiple Documents

From Apple's Tip of the Week

Let’s say you have several files on your desktop, and before you copy them all onto your jump drive, you want to find out their combined size. Here’s how it’s done: Select all the files for which you want the combined size, then press Command-Option-I, which brings up the Multiple Item Info dialog, complete with a list of how many files are selected and their combined size.

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What's New in iTunes 7.1

From PlayList

Apple released an update to iTunes and, for the most part, it appears to exist largely in order for iTunes to be ready for the release of the Apple TV. iTunes preferences have been slightly reorganized and a few new option, other than Apple TV, appear within.

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Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 7.1

From iLounge

Wondering what’s new and interesting in today’s release of iTunes 7.1? Here’s the breakdown.

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Creating Playlists on Your iPod

From The Mac Observer

Making Playlists in iTunes for your iPod is easy enough, but what about creating Playlists *on* your iPod? No problem. Here's how.

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Speed Up

From Hawk Wings

As everyone knows, it is possible to get quite a speed boost out of by stripping all the bloat out of its Envelope index, an SQLite database Mail uses to store senders, recipients, subjects and so on.

Here is a faster way to get the same result.

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Stop Entourage Background Churning

From Macworld

I’m routinely impressed by how helpful and knowledgeable our forum visitors are. Today I offer the example of one Larryw, who — out of the pure goodness of his heart — offered up this tip that has made my computing more enjoyable.

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The Top 5 Mac Hard Drive, Diagnostic, and Repair Utilities

From Informit

Macs are notoriously reliable computers, but even the best computers sometimes have problems: be it a hard drive crash, Mac OS X problem, or a more extensive hardware failure. Having the right diagnostic, repair, and data recovery tools can make all the difference for recovering your data and for diagnosing or resolving issues. In this article, Ryan Faas identifies and compares the five best tools for working with the hard drive, keeping your Mac running, and diagnosing problems.

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Prevent Accidental Wakeups

From Macworld

I decided that it would be better if my Macs, as they do with sleep, would only wake on my command. There’s no built-in GUI solution to this problem, but it turns out that Apple has hidden a number of power management options in a Unix program called pmset. We covered one use of pmset, to set newer Macs’ sleep mode, in this tip. But pmset can do much more than that.

To see what options your Mac is presently configured with, launch Terminal (in /Applications -> Utilities), and type pmset -g.

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