Many years ago Murphy posted about customizing the toolbar in Finder. When I install a new Mac I still always add toolbar buttons for deleting a file or folder from the Finder. And another for creating a new folder.
OSXDaily has a practical post about how to make the Finder more useful. Over the years the Finder has evolved. A user who’s new to the Mac might find it’s easier to keep their bearings once they’ve implemented some of the suggestions.
For example, the post recommends having new windows open to your home folder. And always having the path displayed to the current folder. Along with other ideas that make a lot of sense.
Just when you thought you knew every keyboard shortcut someone finds another. OS X Daily posted about using Option+Delete to delete by the word instead of by the character. While looking over that post I followed a link to another suggesting ways to complete the word you’re typing, in OS X. In many applications you can hit the escape key after entering a few letters to see the suggestions. While typing this blog post in WordPress via Safari I had to use Option-Esc to see the list.
If I ever knew that I’d forgotten.
Murphy uses AirFoil to send audio from a web browser to an Airport Express or an Apple TV. It’s great for listening to Pandora throughout the house, with various speakers all in sync. There’s an Apple TV connected to the stereo and an Airport Express connected to a Tivoli radio in the kitchen. AirFoil can also send audio to another Mac, like the G5 upstairs that has decent speakers connected. Three sets of speakers all playing one stream throughout the house.
Airfoil keeps getting better. Recently it gained the ability to ‘hijack’ audio from an application that’s already running. Previously, you had to start AirFoil, and then launch the application from AirFoil to send its audio to another device. Not anymore – AirFoil can access already-running applications now. And they’ve added an iPhone app. So Murphy can bring a portable radio out on the porch – connect an iPod touch – and listen to the same stream that’s playing in the house. In a nutshell, it turns an iPhone or touch into a battery powered Airport Express in terms of music streaming.
The software is rock solid, no drop-outs. The interface is simple and unobtrusive.
Using Quicktime Murphy could listen to the aapl quarterly conference call over AirFoil. Sending the stream into the kitchen beats lugging a laptop in there. It’s great for Songza, Pandora, YouTube – or whatever audio you want to transmit. You can even transmit an iTunes stream to your iPhone or touch – enhancing its multi-speaker functionality.
The iPhone / touch application is free. The desktop software is $25. AirFoil for Mac / Windows. There’s a bundle with both for $40.
When you set criteria using the Finder GUI for Smart Folders each condition is set as an “and”, meaning all the criteria must be met by a file to be returned in the results. There’s no obvious way to change this in the GUI, but it’s there. Sometimes you want to return files that meet “any” condition of a given criteria set. For example, you might want to see files that end in .dng OR .jpg.
When you add a new criteria to a Smart Folder, hold the option key before clicking the plus sign and you’ll get a drop-down for Any or All. Select ANY when you want to create a less restrictive query. Select ALL to form a restrictive Smart Folder. You can drag the rows up and down to change their order.
I didn’t see this in the help anywhere and wonder how anyone was supposed to know about it. I guess I’m not alone, it was mentioned in MacRumors and credited to Macworld.
I messed around a little with adding an Any and an All at the same time but I’m not sure how OS X is interpreting that logic. Try it and see for yourself.
Watch TV on Your Mac
In Tiger I used to select multiple images in Finder and then invoke the Slideshow function. One of my favorite features was hitting the i key to quickly invoke the grid mode. I love grid mode.
In Leopard I expected the same thing to happen in Quick View, but my i key was rendered useless. Then I read somewhere that Command+Enter invokes the grid in Leopard Quick View. Nice. I’d give credit to whoever posted the comment, but I forget who it was.
So – select some images in Finder. Tap the space bar. Then hit Command+Enter. Done.
iPod touch $214 - Amazon