Murphy Mac - Screencasts and Tutorials » Posts in 'iTunes' category

Product of the Week: Remote Buddy

Remote BuddyMurphy used to control iTunes using a laptop. With an almost two-year-old little girl on the loose that’s not always so convenient. Laptops are a prime toddler target. If Murphy’s little angel isn’t beating on the MBP she’s slamming the lid shut and saying, “Buh-bye.”

Remote Buddy changes everything. A toddler doesn’t always notice an iPod touch or an iPhone. So now Murphy can select a playlist, skip to the next track, rate a song – all kinds of things. If a toddler approaches you can jam the iPod between the sofa cushions.

Remote Buddy has a nice layout. The buttons are easy to tap and you can browse using a very iPod-like interface. Murphy has been making lots of progress rating songs and cleaning up his library.

Murphy’s music is on a G5 upstairs, but he listens on a stereo in the living room via an Airport Express. When it’s safe to use a laptop the interface is perfect. Murphy set a keyboard shortcut to open Remote Buddy in a custom sized window – using a special kind of bookmark.

The screencast shows some basic functionality. The Remote Buddy interface launches in Safari, so you don’t have to hack your iPhone or iPod touch.

Remote Buddy product site.

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iTunes Shopping Cart Error 5002

A lot of people found they couldn’t get into their shopping cart for the last few days. They got an error from iTunes that said 5002, indicating a mysterious server error. Users could access the store and they could add items to their cart. They could even switch out of shopping cart mode and make purchases.

It’s happened before, it’ll probably happen again.

Murphy’s cart came back today. If you’ve got a lot of stuff in there you might want to make a backup of the list. Select the cart, go to the File menu and click Print. Choose “Song listing” and iTunes will make you a snazzy looking printout. Save it as a PDF or print it out for your fridge. Maybe you’ll work harder and save up for all those Fergie songs you want.

Murphy’s list was intact when the cart came back. But you never know – like anything in your online universe it could get lost. According to some reports users who called Apple to reset their cart lost the contents.

Click here for more posts about iTunes.

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Heads Up on Movie Rentals, DRM Restrictions, and Jailbreak

movie rentals drmIf you’ve jailbreaked your way to 1.1.3 it looks like movie rentals won’t play on your iPhone or iPod touch. That’s based on first hand experience and this thread over at Hackint0sh.

Other things you might want to know about rentals:

  1. When you transfer your movie rental from your Mac to your device you need to be able to connect to the iTunes store. This could burn someone planning on watching on their Macbook in the airport and their device on the plane.
  2. You need to be connected to the Internet when you first play the movie, to stamp the 24 hour start time.
  3. Front Row can’t play your rented movie.
  4. The rental can only be stored on one device at a time.

It’s been widely reported that a rental will only play back on one Mac – the one that downloaded it. Check the update on this review at Ars Technica. According to David Chartier, you can transfer a rental movie from one Mac to another, using an iPod or iPhone to make the transfer. Copying the movie file from one Mac directly to another isn’t supported. Read more »

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Select a Playlist by Email – And More

Playlist by EmailI can see the comments now. “Why not just…” But let’s be patient and save judgements until you’ve read the whole post.

Yes, I know there are tons of ways to control iTunes from your iPhone or your touch or another computer or your fancy remote. (Murphy even dug up an old Pocket PC recently to try out Salling Clicker, which also supports BT phones) But there’s no harm in having yet another avenue for getting some music playing.

Murphy stumbled into a script that checks the content of an email for instructions on what to play in iTunes, like a playlist or an artist. But there’s more – just like the title of this post says. The script can also tell iTunes to play through external speakers via your Airport Express. That might not sound like much, but it is, because iTunes doesn’t provide the necessary hooks to control speaker selection. Read more »

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iTunes Storage Location Exceptions

iTunes StorageMost people probably have iTunes keep their music folder organized, allowing the application to copy files to a predetermined location when adding to the library.

But there might be instances when you want files to remain where they are. Movies, television shows – whatever files you’ve stored in a special location. A good example would be videos stored on an external drive.

You can still add those files to your library with a drag and drop. Simply holding the option button on the keyboard while you drag will ignore the setting in your preferences, and the files won’t be copied to your Music Folder.

Murphy heard this tip on an episode of Mac Geek Gab, after Mac Core called it in. The caller went on to point out how useful this can be for users with an Apple TV. If you add media to your library this way, and then disconnect the external drive the shows are stored on, the Apple TV will still hold on to the synced content. Here’s a quote from The Mac Core’s Apple TV review:

The TV shows on my Apple TV don’t disappear the next time it sync with my MacBook, even if the external drive isn’t attached, because the shows are still linked (although not accessible) through my iTunes library.

That might be exactly what some users are looking for.

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