Copyright © 2016
O'Reilly has released "iPod: The Missing Manual" ($25), a book that "not only covers all iPod models for both Mac and Windows," but also iTunes, MusicMatch Jukebox Plus, and even the new iTunes Music Store. New York Times technology writer J.D.†Ms. Biersdorfer "opens the secret doors of this gleaming beauty" with an "astonishing collection" of useful tips, tricks, and shortcuts.
iTunes Music Store user Declan McCullagh writes about his difficulties playing music purchased with the Apple's online music service, after moving to Canada. "Having purchased a number of songs from the Apple Music Store while in the US and using a US funds credit card, I regrettably didn't read the fine print ... I've now discovered that if you leave the country, your songs may just disappear." Apple has said it will launch its online music store in Canada and the rest of the world later this year, but the company has not commented on the specific issue described by McCullagh.
MacNN reader Bob Yaworski observes that Apple has posted job openings for an Apple store in Marlton, NJ. "The location is The Promenade at Sagemore," notes Mr. Yaworski, "it's about 30-45 minutes from Philadelphia."
BuyMusic.com is now redirecting Mac users to a page that indicates users must be running Windows and Internet Explorer to access the site. MacNN reader Adam Little notes that changing the user agent for Safari to Windows MSIE 6 makes the site load. Mr. Little also notes that Toast Titanium (a Mac-only product) is listed as a top CD-recording software package on the BuyMusic.com front page.
Apple has updated its Script Editor 2.0b2 application for reading, writing, recording, and saving AppleScript scripts. Version 2.0 introduces a simpler interface, auto-wrapping of long script statements, multiple undos, and a Find and Replace feature. The new version also supports Application Services and removes the script size limit. [Download - 1.3MB] Human Software's PhotoFixLens 1.4 is a Photoshop plug-in for correcting correct wide-angle and telephonoto distortions, including barrel or pincushion distortion. It allows users to save/recall lense parameters, pan/zoom at any level, supports layers in RGB/CMYK/LAB, and also works also with 16-bit images in Grayscale or RGB. The freeware MacDICT 2.9 now allows you to choose from a selection of public DICT servers. The Mac OS X client for the DICT protocol connects to dict.org to provide access to a number of databases, including Webster's Dictionary and the World FactBook. It also accesses translation services on the web. [Download - Classic, OSX] Blue Line Studios has released JewelCaseIllustrator 2.0, which adds image manipulation filters (RGB balance, HSL balance, brightness and contrast, etc.) to the $30 drawing program for creating labels, tray liners, and booklets for CDs and DVDs. [2.1MB] Alco Blom's Web Confidential 3.6.1 is a bug fix release to this $20 shareware utility for securely storing personal information such as passwords, PINs, and other confidential information. Web Confidential 3.6 added support for printing and added an iTunes-like list view. [Download - 2.6MB] Kompakt is a streamlined sampler that includes a comprehensive library and can import the most common sample formats. The factory library includes a wide range of detailed and convincing instruments. The $200 application also sports a simple drag-and-drop interface for managing large numbers of samples. Unsanity has released Silk 2.0.2, an updated to its 'haxie' that enables Quartz text rendering and smoothing introduced in all Carbon applications. This minor update provides bug fixes and is recommended for Safari users. [Download - 1.8MB]
Canon today debuted its CanoScan LiDE 80 Color Image Scanner (CiS), which it says is the first CIS scanner with up to 2400x4800 dpi. It features single-pass scanning technology and 48-bit color (both input and output). The bus-powered LiDE 80 ships with a film adapter unit (FAU), which allows users to scan a 35 mm un-mounted frame (positive or negative) at up to 2400x4800 dpi. The scanner uses Canon's exclusive Film Automatic Retouching and Enhancement technology, which offers dust and scratch removal as well as grain and fading correction. The USB 2.0 scanner also features the Z-Lid expansion top, four one-touch buttons and the Multi-Scan Mode as well as Photoshop Elements (and other Mac-compatible applications). It is due in August for $180.
Oregon Scientific today released "the world's thinnest" 1.3-megapixel digital camera with an 8mm super-slim design. The new flash thincam (Model DS6628) is pocket-sized at 3.3"x2.2"x0.2" and weighs 2.3 ounces; it includes a 48mAH lithium polymer battery to capture approximately 500 shots. The $150 camera offers an integrated 16MB memory for storage of up to 21 1.3-megapixel resolution pictures or 91 VGA-resolution pictures. The camera also features an SD memory card slot for expanded memory. The $150 flash thincam is sold with an accessory strobe flash attachment, a protective leather carrying sleeve, a hand-strap, and ArcSoft Photo-Impression CD-ROM bundled software.
ArcaneWare today released its ArcaneReader USB Barcode Scanner, designed for Library, the company's personal book cataloging utility. The handheld reader is an easy-to-use solution for scanning Bookland EAN ("ISBN") barcodes into Library 1.1, which will import a book and automatically fill in the book's title, price, page count, publication year, publisher, and color cover art using Amazon.com. Library offers batch scanning functions, and web export. ArcaneReader offers an easy-to-use trigger to start a new scan; CCD technology, which requires no cleaning or maintainence, auditory and visual feedback, an integrated error-checking barcode value decoder, and a 7-ft USB cable. It is available now for $200
MacResQ today announced a new PowerBook G4 "SuperDrive" upgrade as part of its PowerBookResQ repair program. The slot-loading "SuperDrive" DVD-R/CD-RW is bootable and compatible with iDVD, iTunes, Disc Burner, and Apple DVD Player, as well as other third-party applications. The 1x DVD-R/RW drive offers 16x8x24x CD-RW speeds. The $400 upgrade ships with a 1-year warranty, includes pick-up at the customer's location, overnight delivery to the PowerBookResQ service center, expert installation within 24 hours, and return overnight shipping to the customer.
Griffin Technology today announced the iTrip Station Finder, a free application that assists iTrip owners in finding clear frequencies in over 200 cities and towns in the United States. The $35 iTrip FM Transmitter allows iPod owners to play their iPod's music in their cars or over their stereo through the FM radio--on any FM frequency on the dial. The new iTrip Station Finder application makes this process much easier and faster by suggesting the frequencies that have the least interference near them. [577KB]
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TestFlight updated for iOS, watchOS
Apple on Thursday updated its developer-oriented TestFlight software to version 1.3.2 for compatibility with apps being developed for iOS 9.3 watchOS 2.2, along with the usual "stability and performance improvements." Some developers, however, are still reporting some issues loading beta apps onto the watchOS 2.2 beta. The latest beta for developers was released on Monday, and is available through the App Store or Apple's developer portal. [3.60MB] http://apple.co/1PQ64pF
CBS: No recent streaming conversations with Apple
CBS CEO Les Moonves has made remarks, casting doubt on a launch of Apple's live streaming television service. In interviews this week, the executive said regarding negotiations with Apple that "we had conversations awhile back, and we haven't had recent conversations with them," adding that "the phone is always ringing" regarding similar services, but not with Apple on the line. http://cnnmon.ie/1PptJM6
Complex date setting bug crashes 64-bit iOS device
A serious bug has been spotted with iOS devices running iOS 8 or newer, with a 64-bit processor. If a user disables auto-check time, and manually sets the date of a device back to as far as it will go, then again to January 1, 1970, and finally rebooting, the iPhone is crashed, perhaps terminally. The bug affects the iPhone 5s and newer devices, running a processor from the A7 and up. Theories abound as to the cause of the crash, but the most credible seems to be a clock set to less than an arbitrary "zero" date, causing all manners of routines relying on the time setting to fail during startup. http://bit.ly/1TV6psS
Weber buys iDevices' iGrill, Kitchen Thermometer
Cooking gear manufacturer Weber is purchasing iOS accessory manufacturer iDevices iGrill and Kitchen Thermometer lines. As part of the purchase, Weber is working in parallel with iDevices to roll out a new version of the products, and associated apps, this spring. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. CEO of iDevices Chris Allen said that the transition will allow the company to "focus even more heavily on becoming a leader in the home automation market." http://bit.ly/1PFk3uZ
Vevo music video app launched for Apple TV
Vevo today announced its new native tvOS app for the fourth generation Apple TV. The new app allows users Siri Remote navigation for discovery of top videos by genre, or to search for individual artists and videos. Playlists generated on another device sync between all the iterations of the app. http://apple.co/1PFhxEU
HydraDock team unveils USB 3.1 Type C Roadie
KickShark, the team that brought the HydraDock desktop USB-C dock to market, has launched a Kickstarter project for The Roadie -- a USB 3.1 Type C standard-compliant pocket hub for the 12 inch Apple MacBook and other compatible devices. The Roadie occupies the same footprint on a desk as a credit card, with a short USB-C male cable on one end for connecting to a 12 inch MacBook, and a female USB-C port on the other end for plugging in a MacBook power adapter. One side has an RJ45 jack for gigabit Ethernet, and an HDCP-compliant HDMI jack that handles up to 4K displays. KickShark promises shipment of all products within four weeks of campaign completion. The "early bird" offer for the hub is a $69 commitment, with a $79 commitment for a Roadie after 500 backers have pledged. http://kck.st/1o6knw5
HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler has confirmed that the online streaming HBO service, HBO Now, has 800,000 subscribers. When criticized for the seemingly low number, Plepler noted that the still nascent service was bound to Apple exclusivity during the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Plepler declared during the Time Warner quarterly earnings conference call marketing for the online-only offering would be enhanced in 2016. While HBO Now's critics are slamming the low numbers, the service must also compete against itself on cable, in addition to Netflix and other streaming services. http://on.recode.net/1QWoLHe