iTunes Match is “Interesting”

November 22nd, 2011

So iTunes Match came out last week and I’m going to use my mother’s favorite euphemism to describe the feedback I’ve been getting from techs and users: “interesting.”

Plenty of grumbles about the 25,000 song limit.  There’s a way around this, but it’s a bit complicated so you might want to consult with one of our brilliant, Apple certified techs.

As our tech James pointed out, iTunes Match also fails to recognize the most popular song in a lot of albums.  And there’s no AC/DC in iTunes!

You can use iTunes Match on multiple machines to match and upload songs to the same iCloud account, which is really handy. You can merge songs from your different libraries into the same library within iCloud, and then you can download those songs to other machines or get them on your iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad.

So is it worth $24.99 a year? If you have a lot of non-iTunes purchased music, then $24.99 a year might be worth the ability to upload un-matched songs to iTunes Match cloud storage for playback later. Also, your matched music will play back from the cloud in 256-Kps quality even if your original files were poor quality.

For more info on iTunes Match, visit Apple’s site here.

FileMaker offering buy one, give one promotion

November 22nd, 2011

I know a lot of our clients are writing up end-of-year purchase lists for much needed upgrades, so I thought I would mention this promotion that is being offered by FileMaker.

If you buy a Retail or Education version of FileMaker Pro 11 from the FileMaker Store,  you will get a bonus FileMaker Pro 11 license free.  The offer ends December 15, 2011.

Also! For our Bento users, FileMaker has released the Bento Holiday Kit, which includes 3 pre-designed library templates that help organize holiday greeting cards, print labels, plan parties and track gift lists.  And it’s absolutely free for Bento 4 for Mac users!

iOS 5 Now Available

October 12th, 2011

As of today, you can update your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch by connecting your device to your machine.  Onscreen instructions in iTunes will tell you how to proceed.

Among the over 200 new features are iMessage, Twitter, Notification Center, Reminders, and PC Free.  With PC Free you no longer need to own a computer in order to have an iPhone, iPad, or iPad Touch.  The app allows you to set up your device wirelessly, and you can back it up automatically to iCloud, which is also out of beta today and available for use.

For more on iOS5 click here.

iPhone 4S arrives October 14

October 4th, 2011

The new iPhone 4S was officially announced today, and pre-orders will be taken as of this Friday, October 7. The iPhone 4S comes in black or white, and is $199 for the 16GB, $299 for the 32GB, and $399 for the 64GB (with contract). But!  Users now have the choice between AT&T, Verizon and Sprint as far as carriers are concerned.

The latest and greatest version of the iPhone includes an amazing 8-megapixel camera that can record 1080p video AND has a new image signal processor for image stabilization (which brings it up to par with most point-and-shoot cameras on the market).

The processor is a zippy Dual-core Apple A5, which makes apps launch faster and increases the speediness of all the functions of the phone.  Battery life is also much improved over the iPhone 4, with up to 8 hours of talk time on 3G.

The iPhone 4S is also a proper “World Phone” – Hybrid GSM / CDMA and Bluetooth 4.0.

But really the most exciting part of the new phone is Siri, the “Assistant” or live AI.  Siri lets you use your voice to send text messages, schedule appointments, make phones calls, find restaurants… just about anything you would normally do with your iPhone.  Check out the video of how Siri works here.

How to clean your Mac

September 22nd, 2011

We get this question quite often… sometimes after the damage has already been done.  For example, one user thought it was ok to spray Windex directly on his iPhone.  Definitely a no-no!

Apple has a comprehensive list of cleaning procedures for all of its products — from iPods to iMacs to MacBook Pros.

We use iKlear products to clean our Apple devices.

For more information or recommendations on how to clean your Apple devices, please contact us and we can arrange for an appointment with one of our Mac support specialists.

Mayor Bloomberg Orders Mandatory Evacuation for Zone A New York City Residents

August 26th, 2011

Mayor Bloomberg just announced a mandatory evacuation for New York City residents living in Zone A.  Low-lying Zone A areas include Battery Park City, some areas in Manhattan along the Hudson River and East River, Coney Island, Manhattan Beach, Far Rockaway, Broad Channel, South Beach and Midland Beach.

For a full map of Hurricane Evacuation Zones A – C, click here.  NYC.gov’s “Ready New York: Hurricane Guide” can be downloaded here.

The MTA is shutting down tomorrow, Saturday, August 27  at Noon.

Charge your devices in advance, make sure you have flashlights, and be safe, New York!

Upgrade to Lion Special!

July 21st, 2011

Apple hails 10.7 Lion as the “best version of OS X yet,” with over 250 new features and a revolutionary new installation process.

During this summer, NeedMacHelp will be offering our Upgrade to Lion Special.  We will upgrade your computer to Lion* and bring you up to speed on all the new features. No DVDs or a trip to the store necessary. For users not running at least Mac OS X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard (the minimum requirement to run Lion), we will help advise you on updating or upgrading your system.

Best of all, the whole appointment is 10% off.

Call 646-924-2727 now to schedule an appointment with one of our Apple Certified Macintosh Specialists!

*OS X Lion is $29.99, payable directly to Apple.

Important update in Software Update today

July 20th, 2011

Actually, Apple released Migration Assistant Update for Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 yesterday.  From Apple’s site:

Download icon

About Migration Assistant Update for Mac OS X Snow Leopard

This update addresses an issue with the Migration Assistant application in Mac OS X Snow Leopard that prevents transfer of your personal data, settings, and compatible applications from a Mac running Mac OS X Snow Leopard to a new Mac running Mac OS X Lion.

So!  Be sure to update before you install Lion 10.7! Either update via Software Update under the Apple Menu on your machine, or download from Apple’s site.

Flickr as a replacement for MobileMe Gallery

July 19th, 2011

Another tip I meant to mention in the last post regarding the transition from MobileMe to iCloud, was about Flickr.  Flickr is a really good way to share photos, create galleries of images and even set up an online portfolio (we have several users who are graphic designers that do this).  Flickr’s integration with iPhoto, Facebook and other sites makes it very easy to use.  For example, when you post a new image to Flickr, you also choose to have it automatically post to your Facebook wall, Twitter feed, etc.

Flickr also generates easy to find links for sets or collections of images (so you can email direct links to the work you want to show).  Flickr is a Yahoo! service, but you don’t have to have a Yahoo account to join or sign in.  You can also access Flickr with your Google or Facebook account credentials.

You can also check out your Flickr photos on your Apple TV.

Best of all, with a Flickr Pro account you get UNLIMITED photo uploads (20MB per photo) and unlimited storage for only $24.95 a year.

What happens when MobileMe is gone?

July 12th, 2011

One of our users wanted to know what would happen to keychain syncing when MobileMe is phased out next year.  Just to updateeveryone on what is going to be safe in iCloud and what is going to be axed, here is the official Apple list:

iCloud = Mail, Bookmarks, Calendar, Contacts, Find My iPhone, and Back to My Mac.

The items that will be cut are Dashboard Widgets, Dock Items, System Preferences, iWeb publishing, Gallery, iDisk, and Keychains.

So what is one to do without keychain syncing through MobileMe?  As there’s no system wide keychain on iOS, one could either put a text file in Dropbox or go with 1Password.

1Password will allow you to do Over-The-Air syncing via an encrypted file in your Dropbox account, or over WiFi by manually opening the host app on your computer and your iOS device at the same time.

On your iOS device, you can use 1Password to browse the web (embedded Safari) and it will auto-fill your passwords for you.

There’s also an app called MacDropAny that allows you to add any folder on your Mac to the folders that Dropbox syncs. One of our techs uses it to back up his AddressBook, and it should be able to be used for keychains as well — assuming that one’s user account passwords are the same on each computer.

Also, what about iWeb sites that have been published to MobileMe? Apple’s document on how to move an iWeb site from MobileMe to another hosting service can be found here.

What about photos that have been published to the MobileMe Gallery? It’s likely that all of your photos are already in your iPhoto library, but you should make sure that you save your MobileMe Gallery photos and videos before MobileMe expires.

And last, files on users’ MobileMe iDisk?  Make sure you save your files to your Mac (or PC).  Dropbox is an excellent replacement for iDisk.

In the meantime, enjoy MobileMe until it ends on June 30, 2012.


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