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itunes

There are two kinds of Mac users: those who use apps like Alfred, LaunchBar or Quicksilver, and those who don’t. If you fall under the second category, I greatly encourage you to try one of those apps: you have not unleashed the full potential of OS X until you get your hands on these gems. And while we’re talking about trying one, why not go for the only one that’s completely free: Quicksilver? If you’re not sure, go read our review first.

Already convinced Quicksilver can help you in your everyday tasks? Perfect! We have crafted in-depth tutorials so as you can get the most of it, either for replacing the Finder or browsing your contacts and sending emails. The series keep on rolling today with some basic — and more interestingly, advanced — ways of controlling iTunes with Quicksilver.

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There are a lot of people out there who aren’t exactly satisfied by iTunes 11, the release that overhauled Apple’s flagship jukebox last year and was built on with this year’s iTunes Radio release. For a lot of people — myself included, occasionally — the app is overly complicated and doesn’t easily do what it needs to: Let me play my music.

With that in mind, Vox aims to create a simpler interface that’ makes navigating and playing your music easier. It’s a free app, but is it worth making it a real personal part of your life? Let’s take a look.

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In the rush of new apps and upgrades on iOS 7’s launch day, the app that started it all got updated, too, with some features you won’t want to miss. In the 13 years since Apple bought out SoundJam and turned it into their music library app, iTunes has grown beyond anyone’s wildest dreams from 2001. It’s where we manage our Post PC devices, or — increasingly — just that old app we forget about in the age of streaming music services.

So Apple decided to make it about music again. iTunes 11 streamlined the aging music app’s interface, hid much of the complexity, and added a rather nice mini-player in last year’s upgrade. That still doesn’t help much if you don’t buy music or rip CDs these days.

Enter iTunes 11.1. It’s the iTunes — on your Mac, PC, and iOS — that finally makes sense in the post-download age. It’ll get you listening to — and likely buying — new music more than any iTunes before.

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We just closed our giveaway; congrats to our winners Bob, Alex, and Lauritz!

Frustrated with all the blank music note covers on your albums? Combine that with messed up song info, and it can be terribly hard to find that song you’re looking for. If it’s easier to go grab the original CD than it is to find the song in iTunes, you need help. And that’s what TuneUp is for. It’s the iTunes plugin that’ll cleanup your library, adding album art and song metadata and getting rid of duplicate tracks in just one click with the just-released TuneUp 3. It’ll analyze your library, organize everything in easy-to-understand graphs about your music library, and make you wish you’d taken it for a spin sooner.

We called it “a great timesaver if, like most of us, your iTunes library is a mess” in our review, and that still holds true today — even more so with the revamped latest version.

TuneUp usually costs $49.95 for a lifetime license, but we’ve got 3 lifetime licenses of TuneUp 3 just for our readers this week. Sound like something you’d like to get your hands on? Then just leave a comment below and let us know how big your iTunes library is to get your entry in our giveaway. If you’d like an extra entry in the giveaway, just share this post on your favorite social network and add another comment below with a link to your post.

Hurry and get your entry in; we’ll close the giveaway on Friday, August 23rd. Oh, and for the record: my iTunes library currently weighs in at just over 6.2Gb, with around 1100 songs.

Envato staff or those who have written more than two articles or tutorials for AppStorm are ineligible to enter.

I have long been a strong supporter of cloud storage, highlighting the many different ways to use Dropbox, for example. Combine that with iCloud automatically backing up most of our digital purchases and the documents we create in tons of popular apps now, and cloud syncing suddenly just works. We can just sit back and forget about all the complexity — that is, until we need to restore something.

That’s still usually not too much of a problem, since iCloud has all of our purchased music, apps, and movies ready for redownload. But it’ll come as a shock, however, to realize that iTunes does not fully meet this expectation at the moment. Audiobooks purchased through iTunes allow a one-time download at the point of purchase, but you can’t then download to other devices or even the same device once erased. You can re-synchronize them from your PC or Mac library back to your device, but it is the cloud functionality that is not behaving as expected here.

We thought it best to give you a general advisory about this, and to briefly show you how to prevent the loss of your important digital media purchases with a short backup tutorial.

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Need to get media off of an iPhone, iPad, or iPod without syncing it to iTunes? Perhaps your device was originally registered to another computer, or to your computer before you reinstalled your OS, and it won’t sync with iTunes now? Then you need to try out Sharepod, our sponsor this week.

Sharepod is the simplest way to get your music, movies, podcasts, and more from any classic iPod or a new iOS device like an iPhone or iPad. You won’t have to sync with iTunes or anything else. Whether you’re getting back long-forgotten tunes from an old device, or are recovering your library after you lost your Mac’s iTunes library (or got a new Mac), Sharepod is the perfect companion for your media.

Sharepod is fast and simple, and you’ll have all of your media back ready to play faster than you would have ever imagined, all without jailbreaking or doing anything else to your iOS device. You’ll even get to keep all of the playlists you’ve spent time putting together. Best of all, it can work on your Mac or on a Windows PC, so you can get your media off your devices wherever you are.

Try Sharepod Today!

Ready to get your old media back from your old iPods? Sharepod is the app you need. You can download Sharepod and try it out for free, then purchase your own copy for $20.

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot just like this one.

I know there are Mac users out there who still have hurt feelings, even after all these months, over the most recent iTunes redesign. Let me tell you, you’re among friends here, and I want to help. While it’s hard to replace iTunes, especially if you have to sync any iOS devices with your Mac, you can find alternatives to lessen the iTunes sting.

Music player app Pinna works with your iTunes library so you won’t have to give up iTunes altogether, but it’s a far sight better looking and easier to use. Will it have what it takes to displace iTunes, at least for pumping out your jams? (more…)

It’s been a busy one this week with app updates and the launch of Apple’s Best of 2012 for the best Mac applications in the store so read on for our full weekly news roundup!

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Last month, Apple announced a 13″ MacBook Pro with Retina Display, an inevitability to replace the “previous-generation” 13″ MacBook Pro sans high-resolution display. While that old model remains available as a cheaper alternative for the holiday season, our guess is it will be completely removed from Apple’s lineup by the end of next year leaving not a single consumer-level Mac with an optical drive.

What started with the MacBook Air in 2008, and seemed like a crazy concept to an industry reliant on hard media, is now complete, four years later. With software distribution moving entirely to the web and entertainment increasingly being bought and stored in the cloud, the need for an optical drive is diminishing, right? (more…)

Winners Announced

Thanks to everyone who took part in the giveaway this week, and special thanks to the kind people at Algoriddim! I’m excited to let you know that the winners have now been chosen. Congratulations are in order to:

Julian Fricker
Bob
Dave M.

Well done to the lucky winners, and we’ll be in touch soon. Sorry to those who missed out, be sure to check back for more great competitions!

Old Competition Post

The simply superb djay for Mac has recently been updated to include Retina Graphics, I though it the perfect opportunity to look at what makes it so great — and give three readers the chance to grab a free copy.

Read on to find out how to enter…

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