Apple, BMW, may revive talks for Apple Car partnership at a later date

Despite a recent report that indicated that the two had entered into a partnership, it seems that Apple and BMW have made no agreements regarding the development of a car. While last week’s report suggested that talks were recent, it seems like talks b…

read more

Your August Smart Lock can now be controlled from your Apple Watch

August has updated its app for controlling the company’s Smart Lock, adding support for the Apple Watch. Using the Apple Watch app, you can operate your lock, receive notifications if your door is unlocked, and view recent activity. Here’s everything…

read more

Audio Hijack 3.2 boosts the power of Time Shift with better controls and a global hotkey

Rogue Amoeba’s Audio Hijack has received a new major update with version 3.2, adding several major enhancements to features like Time Shift, session import and export, and more. This release of Audio Hijack also offers general support for OS X El Capi…

read more

How to clean up your Mac’s desktop

Don’t leave your Mac desktop untidy and cluttered—clean it up today!

Most of us have a tendency to use our Mac desktops as a dumping ground, saving files there that we access frequently; unfortunately, those files can pile up, turning your desktop into a hot mess. As such, this is your Friday reminder to do yourself a favor and take a few minutes to clean up your Mac desktop. And use these tips to keep it tidy in the future!

1. Organize desktop items into folders

You can keep your desktop from becoming a mound of files by grouping your documents and images into folders. Folders make it easier to keep track of related items, and they look nicer than random assortments of files over your desktop picture.

  1. Open the Finder.
  2. Click on the File menu.
  3. Select New Folder. (Alternately, hold down the command and shift keys and type n.)

  4. That will create a new folder on your Desktop. Name the folder.
  5. Drag the files you’d like to include in the new folder.
  6. Alternatively, you can select files on the Desktop you’d like to group together, then go to the File menu and choose New folder with selection to create a new folder that includes those items.

2. Align and sort desktop items automatically

You can also have the Finder align and sort items to keep any documents and folders you do have looking nicer and neater. You can do this by going to Finder > View and using the Clean Up and Sort By options.

  1. Open the Finder.
  2. Select the View menu.
  3. Click on Clean Up By.

  4. Options include cleaning up by name, kind, date created, date modified, size and tags. Select the criterion you’d like to clean up the icons by; the Finder will do the rest.

  5. Open the Finder.

  6. Select the View menu.
  7. Select Sort By to automatically sort items on the desktop by the criteria you set. If the icons have gone a bit askew, select Snap to Grid to get them to fall into a geometric pattern.

You can also adjust the size of the icons, spacing of the grid and other settings.

3. Customize desktop view options in the Finder

  1. Open the Finder.
  2. Select the View menu.
  3. Select Show View Options. (Alternately, hold down the command key and type j.)
  4. You can adjust icon size from small to large, adjust grid spacing, increase or decrease the size of label text and its position on the bottom or the right of the icon, and other criteria.

Any questions?

Hopefully this helped you clean out those digital desktop cobwebs! If you’re having trouble, just drop a note in the comments and we’ll look into it.

read more

Yes, iCloud Music Library has metadata-matching issues, but you don’t need to panic

Matching songs is hard, and Apple Music’s not doing too well with it. But you can keep it from messing up your library pretty easily.

Earlier this week, Kirk McElhearn posted a rather-worrying article about iCloud Music Library’s ”matching” algorithms.

As you might know, Apple offers the iCloud Music Library service as part of Apple Music and iTunes Match. This scans your Mac’s music library and attempts to do two things: ”match” tracks in your library with songs in the Apple Music or iTunes Store catalog (which catalog depends on which service you’re subscribed to), and upload songs it can’t match directly to iCloud.

From McElhearn:

If you’ve used iTunes Match in the past, you may know that it matches music using acoustic fingerprinting, which means that iTunes scans the music, and matches it to the same music. It doesn’t matter what tags files have: you could have, say, a Grateful Dead song labeled as a song by 50 Cent, and iTunes Match will match the Grateful Dead song correctly…

Apple Music, however, works differently. It does not use the more onerous (in time and processing power) acoustic fingerprinting technique, but simply uses the tags your files contain. And it can lead to errors.

This means that by changing metadata on a track, you may be able to ”fool” Apple Music into matching it with a different track in your iCloud Music Library.

Does this suck? Yep. It’s also likely a bug, and I have no doubt that the folks at Apple are well aware of it and working hard to make sure it happens as infrequently as possible—preferably not at all.

But there’s no reason to panic.

I can’t reproduce it in my library

I have both an iTunes Match and Apple Music subscription, and decided to duplicate McElhearn’s testing to see if I could get the same results. Answer: Not so much.

I used my auxiliary MacBook Pro which has a handful of local songs; most are stored in iCloud Music Library, matched with my desktop iMac.

I did this test three times for both a matched and uploaded track: First, I saved a copy of an AC/DC track that iTunes Match had matched to my desktop and reuploaded it to iTunes as The Weeknd’s ”Can’t Feel My Face”; upon local deletion and redownload, the track remained AC/DC’s music, though it kept the erroneous metadata I’d assigned it.

For the uploaded track, I added a 7-minute voice test I did for The Incomparable Radio Theatre on the Air, and labeled it as Foreigner’s Juke Box Hero. Interestingly, when I first uploaded the track to iCloud, it very briefly matched as Apple Music; when I deleted it from my hard drive, however, the track reverted to showing as ”Uploaded” in my iTunes library, and upon redownload, played the same 7-minute test as before. On redownload I did get pretty Foreigner album art, however.

What does this mean?

Likely what I’ve been saying about Apple Music, iCloud Music Library, and Match from the start: matching tracks is hard, and if you’re trying to trick a complicated system, there’s a chance you might do it.

From my tests, it looks as though Apple is still using acoustic fingerprinting, but may be augmenting this with metadata matching. I wouldn’t be surprised if, due to the whole ”having to connect to the Internet thing”, the metadata matching occasionally happens before the fingerprinting; if you happen to immediately delete your track as it’s processing, you may wind up accidentally with an Apple Music track.

I’m nervous now! Should I not use iCloud Music Library?

Well, first of all, do you have a local backup of your music? If so, none of this should really matter: iCloud Music Library is, ultimately, making a secondary copy with its matching and uploading. You’ll get these matched and uploaded copies when you download tracks on secondary devices, but it shouldn’t mess with tracks local to your hard drive.

Shouldn’t and doesn’t, however, are two different things, and as I said before—matching is hard. So if you have a history of problems with your Mac’s iTunes library and you’re concerned about iCloud Music Library messing up your tracks, it’s simple: Just don’t use it.

I made a really handy guide last week for people who want to use Apple Music without iCloud Music Library, which details a few different ways you can set up your devices to prevent your primary library from getting screwed up.

But seriously. Local backups are going to be your number one fix in this situation. Do not use iCloud Music Library as your backup. It was never designed as a backup service. Okay?

Still panicking?

Make a backup. Turn off iCloud Music Library. Check our our troubleshooting guide. Call Apple. Or ping us in the comments if you’re confused about this whole thing and this didn’t help straighten it out.

read more

How to make Apple Music’s Connect not suck

Can’t figure out how to use Connect? Don’t panic: We’re here to help. In theory, Apple Music’s Connect is a wonderful part of the service: It lets you view and hear new images, videos, songs, playlists, interviews, and blogs from your favorite musicia…

read more

Foton sägs visa komponenter till Iphone 6S

Nu är det dags för fler bilder som sägs föreställa komponenter avsedda för Apples nästa mobiltelefon.

read more

The best iOS word games

Hone your grammar and spelling skills in this collection of iOS word games.

Whether you’re an anagram master, a spelling sensation, or a grammar wizard, you’ll find something to pique your curiosity in these iOS games that reward those gifted at language arts. Many of these games even include support for the Apple Watch, in case you want to play with words on the go.

1. Alphabear

You’ve probably seen the adorable fuzzy faces of Alphabear splashed across all of your social media platforms lately, but you may not know that the game itself is actually a tricky Boggle-like word game. It’s free, but you can kick the developer $5 for ”infinite honey” if you don’t want to wait around to unlock more levels.

2. Sleep Furiously

Sleep Furiously game generates a cloud of words that the player must connect into a grammatical sentence, no matter how nonsensical; the resultant word strings are even better than my favorite dream memories. The screenshot above features my own favorite in-game creation.

3. Words With Friends

This old standard is pretty much Scrabble, but without the price tag that comes with the official branding. Every word game aficionado already knows about this game, but it’s been a while since we all got Words With Friends fever, so you may not know that the game now has Apple Watch support.

4. Letterpad

Anagram games abound in the iOS space, but Letterpad is one of the best, featuring a clean design, user-created puzzles, and even Apple Watch support.

5. Moxie

You’ll want to watch Moxie’s short tutorial video before you play, given that it’s a completely original word game — unlike the plethora of copy-cats and knock-offs in the word gaming world. This game encourages you to fine-tune your memory skills when it comes to spelling and word recognition; it requires you to place one letter per round to build up words or modify existing words, piece by piece.

Your favorites?

Which word games are your favorites, be they old standards like Crosswords or new indie sensations? Share your picks with us.

read more

New music on iTunes: Albums from Migos and Lianne La Havas, discounts on Apple Records

Every Friday, the iTunes Store adds new music to its lineup. This week, there’s new music from Migos, Lianne La Havas, and Buddy Guy, and discounts on albums produced by Apple Records. This week in new music, there’s Yung Rich Nation, the latest albu…

read more

How to back up your iTunes library

How do you back up your iTunes Library and make sure your music, movies, TV shows, and more are safe and sound? Like this!

Updated February 1st, 2017: Added information about backing up with macOS Sierra.

Though we store more and more of our music online these days, a hard-copy backup is still the gold standard for keeping your data safe. And if you use Apple Music or iCloud Music Library, the best way to do that is still iTunes.

There are a few ways to back up your iTunes library; it’s important to choose one and regularly back up so that you won’t have to worry about your local copy getting lost or damaged. My music — at least for me — is one of those must-backup items; I don’t want to have to manually re-build or re-buy thousands of tracks.

First: Make sure your entire library has been locally downloaded

If you use iCloud Music Library or the iTunes Store, you may have some or all of your music stored in the cloud. But to truly make sure your purchased and owned c…

read more