Apple Drops 40Gig AppleTV, and price of 160Gig Model.

Apple TV BannerLooks like the AppleTV is getting some attention after being ignored during the Music event Apple just hosted. Apple has done away with the 40Gig AppleTV and slashed the price of the 160Gig Model to US$229. Perhaps they are clearing inventory in preparation for a new AppleTV? It seams lately all other Apple Products have been getting all the love maybe we can look forward to a revision of the AppleTV.

Apple TV PriceWhatever apple ends up doing one thing is for sure they need a Software update, even if its only to add support for the new iTunes LP format. It would be nice to be able to browse all that new content on my Big Screen.

I know of several people that don’t understand the AppleTV but I love mine, what are your thoughts on apples Media device?

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iTunes 8, Genius!

If you wonder what this little icon in iTunes 8 is, its the Genius button. according to Apple Genius is:

a brilliant way to create perfect playlists. Play a song, click the Genius button, and iTunes creates a playlist of other songs from your library that go great together. Genius playlists help you discover songs in your library you never knew you had — and rediscover forgotten favorites.

So far I’m failry happy with it, although from time to time its fumbled a bit, tossing a loan country song into a mix of Disturbed and Metallica. How do you use this little gem you might ask… EASY when listening to any song in iTunes you’ll see the Genius icon in the lower right portion of the iTunes window click it and WHAM! iTunes will create you a 25 song playlist (yes you can adjust this after your Genius playlist is created at the top of the windows you can select a 25, 50, 75 or 100 song playlist for Genius to create, I have mine set to create a 50 song list.

What are your experiences with Genius?

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Harmonic recievces a much needed update.

Not to long ago I wrote about an application for automatically downloading lyrics, If you Gave Harmonic a shot you may have noticed recently that Harmonic has been having trouble downloading lyrics and/or taking a long time doing it.

Turns out this was an issue with the LyricWiki, their API had stopped returning lyrics correctly. as of Yesterday this has been fixed and Harmonic should be returning Lyrics correctly again.

Harmonic is curently looking for a few good lyric websides to act as a “backup” for when there is an issue with LyricWiki,

Head over to http://mindquirk.com/ to download Harmonic and start populating your iPod or iPhone with Lyric data!

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The Secret of lyrics in iTunes

Here’s a little known secret. Well at least little known to me since I just discovered it.

While I knew iTunes supported lyrics, I just discovered that both the iPod and the iPhone support it too.

Great good news and bad news right?

While I got a kick out of being able to load up the lyrics on my devices, I dread the idea of looking up the lyrics for 3500+ songs. On top of that, then needing to copy all that information over to each song. You can imagine that would take about forever.

And to tell you the truth, my collection really isn’t that large. At least compared to some of my other friends. Hell, I have a friend I used to work with that can fill a one-terabyte external drive with her music.

Sorrow Lyrics in HarmonicFortunately, I found a neat a little utility to help out. It’s called Harmonic by Mindquirk Software. (Link at the bottom).

This little guy is a dashboard widget (yep, you need a Mac) that does a few useful things. First, it checks to see if the lyrics exist for the current song playing. If they do, it simply displays them for you to view.

Now the real magic takes place when the lyrics do not exist. In this case, it automatically grabs the lyrics from the net and displays them for you. Then it writes the lyrics to the file so you can view them with your iPod or iPhone while you’re on the go.

WNo Lyrics Foundhat if it can’t find them for you?

It provides you a little button (the magnifying glass) to automatically search Google for the lyrics. In the example to the right the song was Bring Em Back Alive by Audioslave. When you click the button, it automatically launches your default browser and searches for the lyrics.

When it locates them, you simply copy them, go back to your dashboard, and click the “arrow” button to paste them into Harmonic. At the same time, they’re also written to the file.

The real beauty to this application is that you don’t really have to do anything, most of the time. It typically has no problem locating the lyrics.

Simply install this widget and then just listening to your music in iTunes like you normally would. Your collection will slowly become populated with lyrics automatically.

I hope you find this little guy as useful as I have.

Till next time

//Brandon Leon

Linky – http://www.mindquirk.com/

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iTunes, and Smart Playlists

smartplaylists1.pngAs I promised in my last post, here’s a quick walk-through on creating your own Smart Playlists for iTunes.

This is handy if you have an iPhone, but your music library is larger than 8Gigs. It works just as well with a Nano or any iPod smaller than your collection.

Your first step is to select “New Smart Playlist…” from the File Menu.

This will bring you to a new window with several options.smartplaylists2.png Next you’re going to want to make some selections.

For this example, I’m creating a playlist that contains the music I’ve listened to over the past 2 weeks. This playlist is real handy when you’re out and you want to listen to a song that came up in iTunes last night while you were home.

Assuming you sync’d your device before you left that is.

This Smart Playlist will contain that song, as well as everything else you’ve listened to over the past 2 weeks.

Another handy feature available allows you to limit the playlist to a fixed size, if you don’t want to fill up the entire device. Because I store movies and other goodies on my iPhone too, I have this list capped at 1Gig. (I’ll display my settings for this playlist later.)smartplaylists3.png

For this next drop down option, you’re going to want to select “is in the last” and then enter 1 month, 2 weeks, or whatever time frame you want this list to go backwards.

In the example image I used 1 month.For my own playlist, I use 2 weeks.

Finally, be sure that you have the “Live Updating” box checked. This ensures the playlist updates in real time. If you leave this box unchecked, it builds a static playlist that meets the criteria.

However, when you listen to new music, it doesn’t update the playlist. Instead it stays exactly the same as when it was created.

Live updating allows it to constantly update based on the music you’ve listened to recently.

Thats it! You have just created a simple Smart Playlist using iTunes.smartplaylists4.pngHere are the settings for the playlist I use.

I have a few more options set in order to prevent the my audio books and podcasts from appearing in this playlist. I use separate playlists to sync that content over.

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