Alerted

 Drivel, Mac software  Comments Off on Alerted
Dec 122010
 

proc.jpg

That’s something for the “to do” list then…

 
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I could have sworn that I had only used it 16,777,216 times…

 
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So how necessary was this alert message?

 
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“Nothing is wrong. Nothing needs to be done. Click me”. Sure. Fine. Yes. Get on with it…

Logic 9 announced by Apple

 Mac software, Music Technology  Comments Off on Logic 9 announced by Apple
Jul 232009
 

logic9.jpgApple has at long last announced a new version of its music workstation software: Logic 9 (as before, you can choose between the Logic Studio and Logic Express packages). Shipping time for UK customers is declared as “4 – 6 weeks”.

There was a time when a whole-number release indicated a complete rewrite of a program. Perhaps the test of that will be whether Logic after all these years finally allows the use of long file names.

Those who have requested better multichannel sound support will be disappointed that Apple has ignored their requests. Logic 9 still offers nothing above 7.1 support, so users who need eight channel support (admittedly a small minority) will need to stick to rival products such as Nuendo.

We are told that “now you can quickly perform complex edits, like correcting timing errors and bending time, that took dozens of steps before.” Let’s hope that Arrange page navigation as a whole has been made less fiddly to use.

Logic 9 is likely to be an irresistible upgrade for most Logic 8 users, who will have been reassured of Apple’s commitment to Logic and know that the long-awaited upgrade can be theirs within a month and a half.

Mac OS X 10.5 shortcuts

 Drivel, Mac software  Comments Off on Mac OS X 10.5 shortcuts
Mar 292009
 
Command-O

Display a spinning beachball

Command-Tab

Display a spinning beachball

Command-Q

Display a spinning beachball

Look at the screen

Display a spinning beachball

Are you sure?

 Communication, Drivel, Mac software  Comments Off on Are you sure?
Mar 132009
 

OmniWeb just threw up an alert. The problem wasn’t OmniWeb’s fault (the ethernet plug had fallen out of its socket). But I wonder if anyone facing this challenge has ever tried this suggested course of action…

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OmniWeb V. 6 is still expected

 Mac software  Comments Off on OmniWeb V. 6 is still expected
Mar 062009
 

Contrary to what some of us feared, it seems that in fact the OmniWeb Web browser should easily make it to version 6.0 (and hopefully beyond!).

So if you are interested in a browser for Mac OS X that offers site-specific preferences, tabbed browsing with useful previews, convenient saving of sites as PDFs, user-definable shortcuts for sites and versatile handling of cookies and which doesn’t feel alien to the Mac environment (hello Firefox!), you definitely give it a try.

Of course, the browser has some flaws, one of the worst being the shortcut “Cmd-R” in the Download Manager. Is that “R” for “Reveal the downloaded file” as one might think (since that would be in harmony with the use of Cmd-R in other Mac applications)? No, that’s “R” for “Repeat the download right from the start, but first immediately erase the already downloaded file”. Argh! You learn to stumble over Cmd-R, in the same way that, thanks to the abundance of illiterate morons on the internet, you learn to do a double-take every time you see the words “your” and “you’re”.

But despite that and a few other niggles – which are in any case due to be addressed in the forthcoming version 6 – this remains the best Web browser for the Mac.

Music technology preview – a barber writes

 Drivel, Mac software  Comments Off on Music technology preview – a barber writes
Mar 052009
 

eddie.jpgKeen users of Apple Logic’s EXS24 sampler have many reasons to love Redmatica for their suite of assistive sampling applications and hopefully the long heralded upgrades to the line will appear soon. However, it’s quite a tease to depict the upgraded software ahead of time, and now, to add to our distress, they have put pictures and videos of Jordan Rudess’s beard on their site. Now the man behind the beard is probably a Very Nice Man and is undoubtedly a talented keyboardist and demonstrator of all kinds of music technology. But that face fuzz… it reminds one of… it looks like… No, well, look, let’s be as kind as possible and say that Andreas Dorau and his friends somehow did that sort of thing rather more stylishly, and not just once.

Baldness is no crime either, but contrasting use of bouffant wigs can imbue pointy beards with a whole new mysterious dimension.

OmniWeb

 Mac software  Comments Off on OmniWeb
Feb 282009
 

The Mac OS X Web browser OmniWeb is now available for free along with three other applications from the Omni Group following a decision based on the obvious point that “we don’t have unlimited engineering resources”. OmniWeb’s combination of features and efficiency were not enough to win it enough friends in an age in which browsers that are not free are dismissed out of hand (to the extent that even the CEO of the Omni Group declared “every other browser is free”, overlooking the long-running iCab).

OmniWeb provides features only otherwise available by loading up Firefox with extensions that are generally far less elegant and reliable, but the rate of development of OmniWeb had slowed down to the extent that some bugs and other aspects needing attention (such as an “ad-blocking” system that expected the user to enter regular expressions!) had been on the “to do” list for over a year. It therefore comes as more of a disappointment than a shock that development has probably ceased – despite the fact that (in response to a bug report sent a fortnight ago), Omni Group developers had alluded to a forthcoming V. 6, which now of course seems unlikely to appear.

If you are tempted to try OmniWeb despite its uncertain future, you may well like what you find. Try to politely ignore the question “You’re a Mac fan, right?” and see the feature list. Otherwise, try
Camino, Firefox, Flock, iCab, Opera, Safari… The list of rival browsers for the Mac is, it must be admitted, quite long.

The plug-in

 Communication, Drivel, Mac software  Comments Off on The plug-in
Feb 142009
 

plug-in-3.jpg

Ah yes, the plug-in.

It’s a good job I only have the one, otherwise I might find it hard to guess which “the plug-in” was being referred to, besides having to click “OK” every time one failed to load.

Nannying applications through every single modal dialogue with no option but “OK” is great fun.

Snow Leopard enhancements revealed

 Drivel, Mac software  Comments Off on Snow Leopard enhancements revealed
Feb 142009
 

(Not really… Go and read something else instead of this nonsense).

The Mac world waits with excitement for OS X 10.6 “Snow Leopard”. Here are just some of the exciting features rumoured not to be included.

While the user waits for an application to deign to respond to keyboard or mouse control, the “spinning beachball” will no longer be displayed. Instead, iTunes will be launched: it will connect to imuzak.apple.com and play tunes based on the user’s current library, over which a soothing voice will assure you that user input is very important to your application and you should please hold.

The user will no longer be referred to as “the user”, but as “the subject”.

The OS’s firewall will continue to repeatedly ask the subject whether a given application should accept incoming network connections, but a new response button will be added to the dialogue once the subject has consistently answered the question the same way over 100 times: the subject will be able to click on “What do you think”. As with the other options, the firewall will forget this response immediately, as a safeguard.

The OS will no longer shit bricks whenever the subject attempts to open a zip file that has been downloaded from the Internet. It will instead shit small housing estates, warning the subject that not only has the file been downloaded from the evil parallel universe called the internet – a seething mass of corruption and viruses – but that one day there might actually be a virus for OS X, and that when that day comes you will regret your cavalier actions. The lecture will continue for 14 pages (the subject will click through the interface by clicking “I am but a fool”) and at the end, the subject will be required to agree to a disclaimer absolving Apple of any consequence arising from the opening of the zip file.

AVI and other media files will be handled more intelligently by QuickTime: if the subject browses to a site that contains video material not understood by QuickTime, he will be redirected to the movie trailer section of Apple’s site instead.

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If the Finder insists that a drive is in use and therefore refuses to eject it, the subject will be allowed to insist that the drive is not in fact in use, upon which application will be made to Apple for approval to remove the device. Confirmation by fax may be required.

If an application has an alert for the user, its icon will no longer bounce up and down in the Dock like a 3-year-old ODing on Sunny Delight. Instead, the display will turn black and the text “INCOMING ALERT – URGENT!” will flash on the screen. Access to all other applications will be blocked till the demands have been fully satisfied.

Conclusion

Clearly Apple has another winner on its hands, which will face up well to all 57 varieties of Windows 7 “Titanic” and even the rumoured “Slightly Useful” distribution of Linux.

Fission

 Mac software  Comments Off on Fission
Nov 152008
 

Rogue Amoeba’s Fission for Mac OS X is an editor for sound files that is easy to use and has all of the really essential features required for day-to-day editing.

It is with MP3s that Fission really comes into its own, however, since it is able to work with MP3 files without decompressing them first. Most sound file editors have to decompress MP3 files and then compress them again if you specify MP3 as the output file format. That means degradation of the audio, since MP3 is a “lossy” format that produces small files at the cost of throwing some audio information away. With Fission, it isn’t an issue: you just load your MP3 file, edit it, and save it, confident that the audio quality has been maintained.

Here’s another use for Fission. On rare occasions, iTunes will be unable to permanently change the tags in an MP3 file, perhaps because there is some sort of corruption to the tag data. Load the MP3 into Fisison and save a copy. iTunes will work fine with the copy.

For more information about Fission, see Rogue Amoeba’s site. Their other products are also worth considering, especially Audio Hijack Pro.

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