My day job is as the editor for MobileAppsToday.com (and MobileDevicesToday.com). So, one of the tasks I perform on a daily basis (sometimes several times a day) is to find the extremely long URL addresses associated with iPhone apps in the iTunes App Store. The most obvious way is to email it to yourself. But, that is a slow process. It turns out you can also guess the human readable URL based on an app’s name. But, that is not 100% consistent. A few weeks ago, I noticed the simplest way. And, I’m embarrased I never tried it before. Right-clicking (if you use a two-button mouse on a Mac like I do, otherwise, Ctrl-Click should work) on the app name in iTunes results in the dialog you see above. This copies the URL to the clipboard. And, from there I can paste it into a blog item about an iPhone app. Fast, clean, and simple. Wish I had discovered this last year!
U3 is utility bundled with SanDisk’s USB flash drives. It steals away megabytes of space to store Windows apps and then launches itself when inserted into a Windows PC. At best, this is annoying for Windows users and a waste of flash drive space. At worst, it is a potential security nightmare for them to have apps launching without warning from U3. For Mac users, the hidden partition is just a waste of flash drive space. Until now, you had to run the U3 uninstaller utility from a Windows PC to retrieve that hidden wasted space. I was happy to learn that U3 now provides a U3 uninstaller utility for Mac users too. You can find it at:
Pixelmator updated itself today to version 1.4 (codename Sprinkle). The new feature includes an improved painting engine, clouds filter, and document presets (web, photo, print). And, of course, there are bug fixes.
Here’s another thing that’s been bothering me since the OS X 10.5.6 update. Once or twice a day Expose simply stops working. I use the F9 and F11 keys a lot during the course of day on my Mac. But, ever since the 10.5.6 update, Expose stops working at least once a day and sometimes more often. I’ve found that logging out and then logging back in resolves the issue. But, it would be far better if Expose simply worked 100% of the time.
I’ve been posting at least one and often two podcasts per week as part of my day job as Editor MobileAppsToday.com and MobileDevicesToday.com. The vast majority of these podcasts are recorded Skype conversations saved as AIFF files, volume leveled using the freeware Levelator, and the processed using the Open Source Audacity audio editor to add the intro music and a commercial before mixing it down to an MP3 file.
This all worked reasonably well except for one minor and annoying issue. The podcast length reported in the iTunes feed was always incorrect. iTunes always reported the podcast being about twice as long as it actually was.
I ran into another problem with my most recent podcast (#16 with Frank McPherson). My podcasting host service limits the size of MP3 files to 30MB. This seems pretty reasonable. However, Frank and I found a lot to talk about in podcast 16 and it went a bit over an hour long. When I processed the first MP3 file, it was over 30MB large. Since I didn’t want to edit the discussion to a shorter period, I took a look at Audacity MP3 saving options and noted that I had been saving my files using the Stereo option. I reasoned that using the Joint Stereo option might reduce the complexity of the audio file and let the MP3 encoder reduce the file size a bit more.
This, as it turns out, was correct. My file dropped from over 30MB to just a bit over 20MB. The added bonus was that changing this audio option also fixed the podcast time length problem over on iTunes. So, starting with podcasts 15 (W3c’s Deborah Dahl) and 16 (Frank McPherson), my podcast lengths are reported correctly in iTunes.
Found this on Macworld.com…
VMware Fusion Imports Parallels Desktop 4 Virtual Machines
I bought both Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion. I have not updated to Parallels 4.0 and found myself using VMware Fusion almost exclusively for the past few months. Perhaps this VM importation feature is enough to seal the deal and only use Fusion from now on.
I’ve never used the iWork 08 trial version that came with my Mac. And, I guess I’ve never deleted it either because I was notified of these updates: Keynote 4.0.4, Pages 3.0.3, and Numbers 1.0.3. The notes for all the updates indicate these updates address compatibility with Microsoft Office documents.
Notified that I have GarageBand 5.0.1 update to install. Update notes are:
This update improves overall stability and addresses specific issues with downloading lessons from the Learn to Play Lesson Store. It is recommended for all GarageBand ’09 users.
My old PPC-based Mac mini died back in 2007. So, I only installed iLife 09 Family Pack on my Intel-based Macs. According to this ars technica item…
iLife suite quietly going Intel-only, PowerPC owners cry
…the GarageBand 09 Learn-to-Play component only works on Intel-based Macs. The rest of the iLife 09 suite works on the old G4 and G5 Macs. The one exception to that rule is that iMovie HD 09 probably requires a G5 (no G4) like its 08 predecessor.
My iMac has been flaky since the 10.5.6 update. Symptoms are random lockups and the occasional Safari crash. Fortunately, these problems do not occur frequently. But, still…