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Music and iTunes

Audio on the Mac has become one of its more alluring features. The integration of iTunes, the iPod, AAC encoding, the Apple Music Store, Rendezvous, and 802.11 networking has created a vibrant music environment. Here's a list of articles that will bring your playback up to speed on Mac OS X.

What's The Big Deal About Making Music Players Social? Microsoft Zune and the Big Idea
Why does Microsoft insist that a social music player, its upcoming Zune, is the wave of the future? Zune social networking manifests itself through its Wi-Fi-based music sharing and its PC-based (and presumably MySpace-inspired) Zune Marketplace. Microsoft gambles that these two spheres are sufficient to define a new and unique Zune space. Erica Sadun takes a good hard look at the Zune and tries to figure out if it is the wave of the future--or just a pipe dream. Oct. 17, 2006

Burn Your New iTunes Movies to DVD (and Protect Your Other iTunes Purchases)
How much money have you spent at the iTunes store? And what do you have to show for it? An iPod full of music? TV shows? Those new games and movies? Too many people forget how much cash they've put into their digital media. And when bad things happen--house fires, computer theft, iPod loss--they're not always prepared to be able to recover those digital assets. Erica Sadun shows you archiving techniques to preserve your (hefty) iTunes investment. Sep. 19, 2006

Grabbing iTMS Preview Tracks the Geek Way
Ever tried to copy a preview track from the iTMS onto your iPod? Hint: you can't. iTunes won't add those 30-second free previews. Why would you want to? Some great audio and video are waiting for you to enjoy. Plus, there's the sheer thrill of geek accomplishment--the "oh, so that's how to do it" satisfaction. May. 9, 2006

Digital Bookmark Mods
Matthew Russell shows you how to add better bookmarks to your audio books, add slideshows to your music files, create enhanced podcasts, and share your favorite mods with others--even if they're on protected audio. Mar. 15, 2006

Tweaking iTunes
Our favorite music app, iTunes is much more than a player. It's Apple's representative to the non-Mac world, a focal point for Apple's growing media empire, and a pioneering combination of desktop application and online service. With all that in mind, let's ask ourselves: how can we mess around with iTunes? Giles Turnbull shows you how. Jan. 31, 2006

Shop Different: Accessorizing Your iPod ... for Cheap!
Even though there are aisle after aisle of iPod add-ons on display at Macworld, Erica Sadun went a different direction to accessorize her player. She made a visit to the Dollar Store. Here's what she found. Jan. 11, 2006

How to Record a Podcast Interview
Podcasting interviews involve two distinct tasks. First you have to record the audio and prepare it for listening. Then you need to syndicate it via RSS so others can subscribe to your programs. In this tutorial, Glenn Fleishman shows you some nifty tricks for recording your audio, especially if you want to capture phone interviews for syndication. Oct. 11, 2005

Inside Odeo with Evan Williams
Now that iTunes 4.9 has cast an even brighter light on podcasting, you might be interested in learning more about Odeo, the podcasting service from Noah Glass and Evan Williams (creator of Here's an inside look at Odeo, as described by Williams himself. Jul. 1, 2005

Going to the Movies (and More) in iTunes 4.8
Podcasting in iTunes 4.9 is just around the corner. Until then, have you played with the video functionality in 4.8? If not, here are a few things that Steve Jobs has mentioned--and a few he hasn't. By J.D. Biersdorfer, author of iPod and iTunes: The Missing Manual, 3rd EditionJun. 24, 2005

Music Gadgets
Every day, I seem to want to listen to music in a different way. Here are the gadgets I've been testing to "shuffle" my setup for music playback. A few of these are real keepers. Jun. 24, 2005

Syncing iTunes
What happens if instead of sharing your iTunes libraries, you want to keep multiple libraries synchronized? This should sound familiar to anyone with a laptop computer on the go and a desktop sitting at home. Throughout the course of the day, you tweak some playlists and would like to have those changes automatically reflected in your library at home. David Miller shows you how to sync up your music. Jun. 17, 2005

Build an iTunes Remote Control
AirPort Express is great for streaming music from your Mac, except when you have to change tracks from another room. There are commercial solutions available, but here's a great evening project using your web-enabled cell phone and the power of Mac OS X. Mar. 1, 2005

How to Record a Podcast
Podcasting involves two distinct tasks. First you have to record the audio and prepare it for listening. Then you need to syndicate it via RSS so others can subscribe to your programs. In this tutorial, Glenn Fleishman shows you some nifty tricks for recording your audio, especially if you want to capture phone interviews for syndication. Jan. 25, 2005

Getting in Tune with AirPort Express
Last month, we discussed how to extend your wireless network with AirPort Express. Now, Michael Brewer takes a look at streaming music using this technology. Nov. 12, 2004

Fun iPod Tricks
Seems like everyday someone figures out new and cool things to do with the iPod. Wei-Meng Lee discusses five of his favorite discoveries, including podcasting and internet radio, in this survey of fun iPod tricks. Nov. 9, 2004

GarageBand for the Musical Newbie
If you're a musician, GarageBand is a much different animal than it is for those who don't play an instrument. So, can a musical newbie with a good ear, G4 laptop, and a piece of software create an interesting song? Giles Turnbull explores. Apr. 20, 2004

Dev to Dev: James Duncan Davidson Interviews Panic
The folks at Panic have been producing great software for the Mac since the System 7 days. James Duncan Davidson, author of "Running Mac OS X," interviews the Panic cofounders to discuss Cocoa, Xcode, surviving with Apple, and making it as an independent developer. Mar. 23, 2004

Expo Speculations
Macworld SF has many of us thinking about how 2004 will unfold for Apple and its customers. Michael Swaine looks at the iPod, Disney, hardware manufacturing, a headless iMac, a Mac tablet, and more. Jan. 5, 2004

Using Java to Expand iTunes Functionality
An in-depth look at MyTunes, which provides an easy-to-use and extensible framework that allows expanded control of your iTunes library via Java, even from a remote computer.  Sep. 3, 2003

Newsstand in Your Pocket: See and Hear Current Events on Your iPod
Some people don't care what's going on around them, but some of us mainline headlines, becoming noticeably disoriented without regular infusions of CNN and Google News. J. D. Biersdorfer, author of iPod: The Missing Manual, explains different ways to use your iPod for your current events needs. Aug. 22, 2003

The Care and Feeding of Your iPod
Battery life is a rather toasty topic among iPodders. People are not just comparing play time between charges, but battery behavior, and overall life span. J.D. Biersdorfer, author of iPod: The Missing Manual, shares ten basic battery tips to keep the tunes spinning. Jul. 29, 2003

Goodbye PDA, Hello iPod?
Many casual PDA users dumped their old handhelds when Apple first introduced address and calendar synch to the iPod. But for more serious PDA enthusiasts, that just wasn't enough. Now with the new iPods running firmware 2.0, notes have been added to the mix (plus a few other goodies). Here's a look at how the iPod could become your next PDA... with a 10 GB hard drive or bigger! May. 5, 2003

Apple Brings Good Karma to Online Music
At a much anticipated media event in San Francisco, Steve Jobs announced Apple's new online music service, an updated version of iTunes and third-generation iPods. Here are the details complete with audio clips and photos from the presentation. Apr. 29, 2003

Power Tunes Playback
Digital technology's impact on photography and video has changed the way we use these media. And thanks to MP3 and Ogg Vorbis encoding, we're seeing a similar revolution in the world of music. Through my work as a wedding photographer, I've noticed another evolution underway. The bulky DJ's music cart brimming with hundreds of CDs (and requiring a van to lug around) seems to be shrinking in size -- possibly as small as a 1" thick PowerBook. Here's what I've noticed and how it works. Apr. 18, 2003

The DigiCam Chronicles: Sound Is Half the Picture
You can add pro-quality voiceovers to your digital imagery with just a few simple tools and Mac OS X. Derrick Story shows you how to easily record and edit QuickTime audio. Jan. 28, 2003

Cleaning iTunes
The Gracenote CD Database is a handy tool to help us classify music in our iTunes databases, but the CDDB is not perfect. brian d foy shows you how to easily tidy up your records by using iTunes' built-in tools and a little AppleScript. Jan. 17, 2003

Homemade Dot Mac: Home Web Radio
If the idea of having your own radio webcast intrigues you, then this article shows you how to create private playlists you can stream 24/7 to almost any Web-enabled device, inside or outside the home.  Dec. 13, 2002

Controlling iTunes with Perl
Perl can interact with Aqua applications through AppleScript. Using Mac::iTunes as a back end, you can create multiple iTunes interfaces that can be used on the same computer or on other computers on the same network. brian d foy shows how anyone on the network, including AirPort networks, can control iTunes using this module. Nov. 22, 2002

Audible Books on Your iPod
More than music, more than contact information, more than addresses--yes the iPod can now be your personal, audible book library too. It's easier than you think. Erik Ray shows you how. Aug. 16, 2002

A Week with the iPod
We hit the streets with one of today's hottest tech toys, the iPod. Is it the "must have" MP3 player for Mac music lovers, or just an expensive spoke in Apple's digital hub? James Duncan Davidson gives you the inside scoop. Nov. 28, 2001

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