Posts Tagged

itunes

There was a time when I read a lot more actual books than is possible for me to read these days. I work a full time job, I have a daily commute, I have a family, and I have to try to get some exercise in. It all adds up to make me a little short on “sit down and read” time. Thankfully, I have in the last couple of years discovered an alternative. Audiobooks have been a great way to satisfy my appetite for a good book and still fit into my schedule. I most often listen to books on my commute, or when exercising.

But obviously the best way for me to listen to Audiobooks is on my iPhone since that is always with me. Some of my audiobooks are on CD, and of course I could rip them like any CD and they would appear in my iTunes library, split up awkwardly into different tracks, and mixed in with the rest of my music. But there is a much better way.

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So you want to control iTunes from your menu bar? It’s a simple enough task, but which app is right for you? Are there any free options? Can you also control other apps like Spotify and Rdio?

There are a million of these apps on the market but we’ll save the research and present five of the best options around for controlling your music from the menu bar.

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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 Feb 22nd, 2011.

It’s that item in your iTunes sidebar, fourth from the top. The one that looks like a little figure, with weird circles radiating around him? You click on it, and iTunes tells you this is where Podcasts live. If it’s the first time you’ve explored this little crevice of iTunes, you’re given a nice little explanation of what a podcast is, where you can find one, and how iTunes will help you to enjoy them.

But there’s still one critical piece of information missing – what podcasts should you download?

Today we’ve put together a list of ten of the best Mac and Apple related podcasts. The list ranges from the perennial greats, to some of the new kids on the block. From pixel-perfect designer, to hardcore developer, from an OS X power user, to the most recent convert — there’s a podcast here for everyone.

The bottom line is, if you want to be entertained and educated about the Mac ecosystem, these are the podcasts for you.

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In what could be described as an extremely fitting venue for an education announcement, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, Apple announced today a range of tools designed to help people in education with their studies, namely an updated version of iBooks, iBooks 2, which is designed to integrate more closely with textbooks, iBooks Author, allowing users to create their own textbooks for the iPad and a new iTunes U app for the iPhone and iPad, allowing professors to communicate more easily with their students in the classroom.

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This week at AppStorm we’ve looked at not one, but two interesting iTunes companion apps. Notice that I used the term “companion” and not “replacement.” This is because these apps are meant to supplement your iTunes use, not get rid of it.

The two apps that I’m discussing are Ecoute and Sonora, both of which have the same basic goal: to provide you with a simpler, faster way to listen to your iTunes music library.

iTunes is a powerhouse of functionality and serves as the go-to hub for your syncing music, movies, books and apps to various iOS devices. But as great as iTunes is, the increasing popularity of apps like Ecoute and Sonora bring to mind interesting questions about whether or not iTunes has become bloated over the years. In iTunes you’ll find everything from half-baked social networks to ringtones, which is admittedly a lot of extra functionality when you just want to listen to your favorite tunes without all the distractions.

On the other hand, maybe the features aren’t the problem. Perhaps Apple just needs to rethink the interface entirely. The final possibility is of course that we’re all over thinking this. iTunes is exactly what we need and requires very few, if any changes.

What do you think? If you could change one thing about iTunes, what would it be? Vote in our poll and then leave a comment below with your thoughts. Have you tried Sonora or Ecoute yet? Do you think there’s a legitimate market for these types of apps? We want to hear your thoughts.

Choosing a media player – a music player, to be precise – for a Mac is a no brainer. iTunes is the crowd favorite and has the chops to entertain both an audiophile and the casual listener. Despite becoming bloated and unduly heavy over the years, iTunes is more or less the default audio player for the Mac ecosystem. Even folks who are die hard Windows users and those who don’t own an iOS device also are fans of iTunes.

But as I just alluded to, iTunes is a tad bulky and lacks the advanced features of a full fledged media player. The choice of full blown music players for Mac are pretty thin when compared to any other vertical. Winamp hardly needs an introduction. For more than a decade, it ruled the roost as the popular media player for Windows.

Winamp for Mac is a free download and promises to offer the same powerful featureset it is known for. Is it awesome enough to replace iTunes? Read on to find out!

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The latest iteration of the Macbook Air was released this year and it caught my attention immediately. It was such a beautiful device. I found myself going to the Apple Store website over and over to look at pictures and mull over the specs.

I felt like this version of the Air covered almost all of the shortcomings I saw with previous versions. In fact, it was a more powerful machine than my current Macbook. The one factor that kept making me hesitate was the hard drive size. Would it be enough for me and for future growth? Can I work around the limitation? Should I work around that limitation? These were the questions bouncing around in my head. I decided the constraint would be a good thing and I’d figure out ways to work around it as needed. Enter TuneSpan.

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Digital photography has made it cheaper and easier to capture the brightest moments of life. The number of megapixels in digital cameras go up with every new model and so does the size the of images we capture. After a few months, even those who occasionally use their cameras end up with few gigabytes of images in their hard drives.

Not all the images are going to be viewed frequently, so it makes sense to burn them to DVDs or upload them to the cloud. Easy portability and plenty of affordable space to store make the cloud the ideal photo storage destination. I recently discovered MemoryCloud and unlike its peers, this photo (and multimedia) storing app focuses only on the files stored on Macs. Sounds interesting right?

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At AppStorm, I’ve reviewed all kinds of media players and managers for Mac, from the great (Plex), to the not-so-great (Songbird). I’ve always been looking for something that has wonderful management features, but is also a pleasure to actually consume media with. While I use and love Plex, it still hasn’t satisfied all of my media needs – There’s definitely a gap for something incredible.

Elmedia Player is a media player for Mac, which boasts a huge range of codecs, including support for SWF Flash files, and it also has support for downloading movies. Let’s take a look at how it compares, and if it’s the media player of my dreams.

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I am a very fussy person when it comes to my iTunes library. I like to have it completely organized and I can’t stand it when there are gaps in the song information or when cover art is missing – it’s one of my pet peeves. A tidy iTunes library leads to a clearer mind and, in my opinion, a far better listening experience.

There are a number of ways to tidy up an iTunes library on a mac. The first (and the most long-winded way) is to sit down with a beer and trawl through all your songs, filling in any missing information by using good old Wikipedia! This is not a problem if you’ve only got a few songs, but if you’re like most of us, you’ve got a large music library and you’ll want something a little more sophisticated to help you organize it. Read on to see if SongGenie is the answer you’re looking for.

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