Posts Tagged

itunes

Since being introduced in 2001, iTunes’ features have expanded well beyond its name. Once a simple music player, it has evolved beyond the realm of tunes and into a hub for just about all the media on our Macs. It also features an enormous digital content store, and is the program responsible for syncing all of that stuff to our iDevices. Many users, like myself, have complained for years that the expanding features of iTunes have let it become a bloated piece of software.

Tomahawk is an open-source media player that cuts out some unnecessary iTunes bloat, while trying to create some more relevant functionality in the important area of actually playing music. Do its features make it a viable iTunes replacement on your computer, or is it just another mundane addition to an already oversaturated market of iTunes alternatives?

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Long ago Apple had what seemed like a simple idea: iTunes should be the hub to sync all of your i-devices to your Mac. It made sense at the time, when the decision really only encompassed the iPod line. Then came the iPhone and subsequently the iTunes App Store, the one-stop shop for third party iPhone apps. The final piece of this mess of a puzzle came in the completely separate, non-iTunes-connected “App Store” app, also known as the Mac App Store.

These days, this organization scheme is a frequently complained about aspect of OS X. It seems perfectly logical that Apple would give us a single “App Store” app from which we could manage all things app related on every device we own. This argument suggests stripping iTunes back to what it’s good at (music), and putting all that extra functionality where it belongs, in the App Store app.

Regardless of whether or not you agree with this idea, today we want to know if you think Apple agrees with it. Will we see a simplified iTunes app and a unified App Store any time in the near future or will Apple leave things as they are?

As always, here’s Mac AppStorm’s weekly roundup of news and this week, it isn’t related to Facebook’s purchase of Instagram. Enjoy!
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This week has seen quite a few updates to popular Mac apps, such as iTunes and Safari as well as a sneak preview of some new upcoming Adobe software. As always, here’s Mac AppStorm’s weekly roundup of the goings-on in the world of Mac software.

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This post is part of a series that revisits some of our readers’ favorite articles from the past that still contain awesome and relevant information that you might find useful. This post was originally published on April 5th, 2011.

Dropbox is one of those tools that spends most of its time sitting in the background, and yet has become an essential app for users on just about every platform. Dropbox as cloud storage, as a syncing solution, and even as a way to host a website is an incredibly useful tool.

That utility isn’t lost on app developers. Software that works with Dropbox is springing up everywhere — sometimes as a built-in function, and other times as a user hack. Either way, it makes life among many gadgets easier to have certain files accessible anywhere, anytime.

Here are some apps that you can start using to take advantage of cloud storage even more.

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This post is part of a series that revisits some of our readers’ favorite articles from the past that still contain awesome and relevant information that you might find useful. This post was originally published on March 31st, 2011.

It’s a problem we’ve all faced. You’re happily listening to a podcast or song when the phone rings or someone interrupts you. The track is paused, you deal with the distraction, and then get back to work. Only half an hour later do you realise that you never hit play again!

Although this isn’t an earth-shattering problem, a simple utility to combat this seemed like a great idea to me – especially one produced by the super-talented Iconfactory team.

Their Take Five application has been available on the iPhone for a little while, and today makes its debut on the Mac platform. Let’s take a look and see how it works.

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This week’s news isn’t quite as populated as last week’s because, as you all know, Mountain Lion made its first developer preview debut last week. However, there was some special news during the week including the Growl developers’ response to Apple’s latest operating system. You see, Growl was once a great notification system on the Mac, but now it seems that Mountain Lion’s Notification Center — which was conveniently ported from iOS — has replaced the small app.

This may come as a disappointment to some since Growl worked so well and had lots of customization, but the developers have responded in a blog post from last weekend assuring that the service is not dead and that the developers are in the process of investigating other options for Growl’s purpose in Mountain Lion. This is great news for the many users out there who’ve been devoted to Growl. Hopefully they will be able to integrate Growl into Notification Center or something in a way.

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Well, as you probably might have guessed, the news this week has been dominated by Apple’s surprise announcement of Mountain Lion, the next reincarnation of their OS X operating system and if you’re lucky enough to be registered as a developer with Apple, you can already try out the beta by downloading it from their website.

Mountain Lion is looking to bring more features inspired by iOS into OS X, yet still keeping them two very distinct and separate operating systems. New features include Messages, a brand new Notification Centre and full Twitter integration. Feel free to join in our “debate” on whether Apple has made the right move here in the comments section of the original post and be sure to read Joel Bankhead’s comments on it over at What’s Hot: Big Cats.

In other news this week…

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When iTunes was first released, it quickly impressed users with its intuitive interface and extensive feature list, soon becoming the standard music app not only for Mac users, but many Windows users as well. Though it started out strong, the constant addition of new features and subsequent decreases in performance have left many dissatisfied users complaining of sluggishness and feature bloat.

Enqueue is one of several new apps attempting to offer an alternative to iTunes for frustrated Mac users, offering a simplified experience, better performance, and improved features. Let’s find out if it delivers!

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