iTunes

Mac App store now Open!

Mac App Store

I randomly visited the Apple website to check if there was any announcement on the Mac app store and here’s what I find!

App Store

The store is announced to be open in one small corner of the front page and when you click on the link you are directed to the main page for Mac App store.

Importantly and quite obviously the link from that page suggests that you can only open it from Mac OSX. This might be good and bad depending how you look at it. If you are a Mac user through and through then you would not find an issue with it but if you are someone who uses Mac for personal use and PC at work then this might be a bit of concern to you as you would not be able to check /Navigate for the best Apps to suit your need from a PC.

Mac App Store notice

From the first look it looks like the store has both productivity applications and games. The games are obviously game center enabled which takes Apple game centre to a whole new market. You’ll find IOS games for the Mac and will be able to play them on the Mac. This means that developers will be able to taper both markets and will be able to make more sales using the gamecenter platform.

The Mac App store is definitely a new beginning and it remains to be seen how this move shapes for Apple.

Mac Essentials: VLC

VLC Media Player
VLC Media Player

VLC is an open-source multimedia player and framework that plays nearly every type of multimedia file. VLC is simple, clean and has a small footprint and because it is open source it can be extended as per need.

We all need to play videos on our computer both at home and in office for one reason or the other. There are various of video formats in the wild and each company choosing to support a particular format for their own reason. But this does not leave the user(us) in a very good shape as the video files that we want to play or receive from someone may not necessarily be in the same format all the time. iTunes does not support all available formats because of license issue and the fact that there are just too many formats out there in the wild. It is always a pain to install format specific application on the machine as you would end up with too many applications that are not doing too much.

This is where VLC comes in handy. VLC can play almost all possible video formats flawlessly. In terms of interface, VLC has a very simple and basic interface that is fun to use. Hidden behind the simplicity is the power to play anything(video) that makes VLC media player so good. It can also download streams from the internet. Because of the simple and minimalist look, VLC is very quick in streaming video from the internet.

Over all, VLC is a very good media Player for you Mac. It is simple, lightweight and will successfully play the most stubborn of the media files.

Click here to download..

How to add Album Artwork through iTunes

iTunes

Follow these steps in iTunes to filter to all songs without Album Artwork
1) Go to File Menu
2) Select “Create Smart Playlist”
3) Select “Kind” in first cell, “is” in second cell and type “Music” in third cell
4) Click on + besides the third cell. This should add another row below the first row
5) Select “Has Artwork” in first cell or second row and “is false” in second cell
6) Click on “ok”

You’ll now get a list of all songs/albums that do not have an album artwork assigned

To update Album artwork through iTunes

1) Select advanced menu then click on “Get Album Artwork”
Note: 1) You can also select Song/Album and right click then click get Album Artwork to get for individual song/album
2) You’ll get a notification asking “Are you sure you want to get Album Artwork” Click “Get Album Artwork”
3) On completion you’ll get a notification stating “Could not get artwork for some albums”
Click on the plus sign to check which albums artwork could not be found

It would have found album artwork for a large number of albums but there would be few that it would not be able to find. The ones for which Album artwork is found would be automatically removed from the list you created.

You can manually update album artwork for the rest of them. You can either do this by individually selecting songs or by selecting a group of songs that you want to have a similar Album artwork. To do this
1) Sort by Album
2) Select all songs in an Album
3) Right click
4) click “get info”
5) search for google image / wikipedia to get image of the album
6) drag and drop the image from google image/wikipedia in to the album artwork space
7) click “OK”

Now, if you are left with a bunch of songs that are individual songs like free downloads/DJ mixes/Self compilations etc. then you can select them all and add one common image for all in the album artwork space

If you want to further group them and add albums based on a different grouping like artist/Genre/Year then sort them by the group you want to create and select all songs you want to group together and add album artwork to them by the manual process mentioned above.

Mac Essentials: Flip4Mac

Flip4Mac
Flip4Mac

Flip4Mac is a collection of QuickTime components that allow you to use QuickTime based applications to play, import and export Windows media audio and video files on Mac

Since Windows is the most popular operating system in terms of numbers installed, there is a lot of media that is generated on Microsoft Windows platform which is compatible with the Windows platform but may not always be compatible with media players on Mac.

Once Flip4Mac is installed on you machine it allows you to play all the content on the internet that is designed for Windows without any problem. There are no more hassles involved after this. All files directly work as they are supposed to.

Windows in the past would develop a version of their media player for the Mac so that Mac users could take advantage of media files that are supposed to run on the windows media player. They have stopped developing this software and their site would point you to Flip4Mac if you tried to find Windows Media player for OS X.

There are plug-ins available for Flip4Mac that can be sued with mot QuickTime based applications like QuickTime Player, iMovie etc. There are paid versions of Flip4Mac pro available from the developer but the free version is almost sufficient from an end users perspective as the pro version is generally useful for professional and people working with media files on regular basis.

The software is recommended as a must have for any user who has just used to Mac or the ones who have managed to live without it for so long!

Click here to download free version