Listen to iTunes over the net via a free streaming server

This may become obsolete in oh say about 24 hours but it is a great post – one of many – over at Mac OS X Hints.  To quote:

I’ve seen some other hints about this, so I decided to contribute this "nothing-can-be-easier" hint. The solution is to use the free, open source, and absolutely easy to install and configure SlimServer. First, download SlimServer and follow the instructions to install it.

Note: SlimServer was originally designed by SlimDevices (i.e. Logitech) to be used with actual music bridges (hardware) which, obviously, you have to buy from Logitech, so you can play your music collection in your home stereo. However, SlimDevices (i.e., Logitech) was kind enough to open source the program, allowing us to stream music to any software MP3 player capable of playing MP3 from URLs, for free. Here’s how to configure it to stream your iTunes library:

  1. Go to System Preferences and click on the SlimServer icon. Turn the media server on. (You can set it to always run when you log in, or reboot.)
  2. Using your browser, open http://localhost:9000 to see the server’s web interface — it takes a little while to open on the first time.
  3. Go through the web interface to configure the server according to your needs. I suggest you enable the login/password so nobody can acuse you of illegally distributing music over the internet.
  4. From any media player supporting streaming (iTunes, Windows Media Player, Winamp, etc.), go to Open URL in its menus, and open http://1.2.3.4:9000/stream.mp3, where 1.2.3.4 is the IP address of the Mac serving the music files. The media player will login into your media server (and require user/password if you enabled such), and buffer some of the music. This might take one or two minutes depending on your connection. Some players are able to show you the title of the current song, but some aren’t.

To control which music you want to play, use the server’s web interface (http://localhost:9000). Using SlimServer, I can successfully listen to my iTunes collection stored in my Mac at home from my cube at work, 10 miles away.

Check out MacOSXhints.com or subscribe to their feed.

Turn Leopard's Screen Sharing into a better "Apple Remote Desktop lite"

 

We brought you early coverage and the first news of Leopard’s Screen Sharing capabilities back in August but Apple legal made us take it down.

Today, Macworld’s Rob Grifiths shows us how to turn Leopard’s built-in Screen Sharing into a full-fledged screen sharing application – with a lot of he features that are sold in Apple Remote Desktop.  It only takes a few lines of code in the terminal.

1. Find the screen sharing application and put it in the dock.  It is at /System/Library/CoreServices/Screen Sharing.app

2. Run this in terminal:

defaults write com.apple.ScreenSharing ShowBonjourBrowser_Debug 1

You will now be able to open Screen Sharing and see local computers on your network that can be controlled.  Close it again so you can add some more functionality…

3.  Now, to add a bunch of buttons that are also found in Apple Remote Desktop, type in this command (it is one line):

 

defaults write com.apple.ScreenSharing \
'NSToolbar Configuration ControlToolbar' -dict-add 'TB Item Identifiers' \
'(Scale,Control,Share,Curtain,Capture,FullScreen,GetClipboard,SendClipboard,Quality)'

Now restart Screen Sharing.  You should see all of the goodies that you also see in Apple Remote desktop.  Macworld runs down the list:

 

 

toolbar

So what do these new buttons do? Here’s a quick rundown on each.

button1

Switch between controlling the remote Mac (the default) and simply observing the other machine.

button2

Switch between allowing the remote Mac’s keyboard and mouse to be used (the default) and locking them out.

button3

This button will lock the other Mac’s screen, displaying an all-black background, a huge lock icon, and the text you enter after clicking this button. Note that there’s a minor bug here; you’ll actually see the name of a variable that Apple left in the text field, too—so if you type “Using remotely,” the displayed message will be “Using remotelylockedByString.” This button is off by default, meaning the other Mac’s screen displays what you’re doing.

button4

Click this button to capture the remote Mac’s screen to a local file. You’ll capture the full screen, and the system will ask you to pick a name and save location for the file.

button5

Toggle between windowed (the default) and full screen modes. In full screen mode, the toolbar floats in the top left of the screen. To exit full screen mode, click the “X” button on the toolbar.

button6

Not really a button at all, this is the quality slider. If you’re finding that screen updates are going slowly, for instance, you can reduce the quality—all the way down to a badly dithered black-and-white representation—to speed things up.

Some more great Mac related Christmas deals from Amazon

When doing some holiday shopping this weekend, we happened upon some more deals from Amazon.

 

 

Amazon lists the 8GB iPod Nanos for $179. That is 10% off of MSP and the best price a retailer has ever listed. It is far below Corporate or Educational discounts which usually are closer to $190. Get them while the getting is good.  Of note, All colors are availble at this price exept for the (Red) edition.

 

Elgato Eyetv Hybrid (NTSC) for $129

The Elgato Eyetv Hybrid (NTSC) is $129, the lowest price we could find anywhere.  As owners of other EyeTV products and users of CyTV Place shifting – which works much like Tivo, we are excited to be able to take our EyeTV experience on the road.

 

 

 

 

 

Also on our holiday shopping list is a few monitors.  A great price on a high end Samsung SyncMaster Monitor 22" display with built in speakers at $249 – which is almost 40% off.

 

 

 

Also, the HP LaserJet 1020 Printer is $99. That is over $100 off of the normal price and about the best deal we could find on a Laser Printer.

 

 

 

If you are a big Skyper like us, check out the Philips VOIP8411B/37 Dect/VoIP Phone System. It allows you to do your Skyping without a computer. $99 is the lowest price anywhere.

 

Sony HandyCam HDR-SR5 40GB for $699, HDR-SR7 for $999

Hey everyone – we are continuing to try to bring you some great Mac related deals at our Amazon Store. Hope you find these items relevant and useful. We’ll keep these going periodically until Christmas.  BTW, we make a few percentage points off of a sale if you buy – we haven’t tested nor do we endorse these products)

Amazon.com offers the Sony HandyCam HDR-SR5 40GB HD DV Camcorder (pictured) for $699.99. With free shipping, it’s the lowest total price we’ve ever seen by $28. Features include a 40GB hard drive, Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens with 10x optical zoom, 1080i recording, 2.7" widescreen LCD, 2.1-megapixel still images, Memory Stick PRO Duo slot, USB connectivity, and more.  It lists for $1000.

 

If you want to take the next step up from Sony and get 1080P recording, hit the Sony HDR-SR7 AVCHD 6.1MP 60GB High Definition Hard Disk Drive Camcorder with 10x Optical Zoom which is  $999.  It is $400 off of list.

 

Sanyo Camera HD Video/ 7 Megapixel still camera half price at Amazon – Glitch?

Sanyo Xacti HD700 7MP MPEG-4 High Definition 720p Camcorder with 5x Optical Zoom (Silver)

$299

(edit – too good to be true – wentback up to $519 – hope you got one early! We’ve linked to the Brown one which can still be had for a very reasonable $349)

Reatil Price: $600

Other stores: $530-600

BTW- we should be able to provide a review on oh about December 26th…

Manufacturer Description
Shoot high-definition today with this elegant state-of-the-art true 720p high-definition camcorder that doubles as a 7-megapixel digital camera. Encased in a stunning enclosure, the HD700 features a 5x optical lens and a large 2.7-inch widescreen display making the HD700 as convenient as it is useful. And, a HDMI port on the docking station allows you to simply connect to the latest high-definition TVs and recorders to view and share your footage. Also, the HD700 records to the latest MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 global standard, delivering exceptional video clarity and detail while maintaining the smallest file size possible.

Xacti HD700 Highlights

5x optical zoom The HD700 digital media camera features a 5x all-glass optical zoom lens with a bright maximum aperture of f/3.5. Consisting of nine groups and twelve total lenses (3 aspheric elements, 5 aspheric surfaces), the HD700’s lens provides a fantastic field-of-view with a 38-190 mm range (35 mm equivalent). Combined with the 12x digital zoom, the HD700 provides up to 60x zooming capability.

Large, 2.7-inch widescreen display The Xacti HD700 features a large 2.7 inch widescreen Liquid Crystal Display (LCD). The display flips out from the camera and rotates up to 285 degrees on an axis that allows you to take great video or still images from otherwise-difficult-to-view positions, especially useful when shooting in large crowds or in small rooms.

Convenient SD/SDHC memory card slot The Sanyo Xacti HD700 records high-definition and photos directly to a standard SD or SDHC memory card. In fact, the HD700 is capable of recording up to 2 hour and 46 minutes of 720p high-definition video on a single 8GB card (sold separately).

Random access Each video is recorded as an individual MPEG-4 and each still as a JPEG so you can have true random access allowing you to review a specific image or video quickly and easily, without waiting for tape rewinding or fast forwarding.

Ergonomic design The Xacti series has become known for the small size and ergonomic design. The HD700 features a comfortable angle designed to easily fit in the palm of the hand. The HD700’s adapts the new 105-degree angle design that is research proven to be less tiring to hold and shoot than typical camcorders. Easy to hold and easy to shoot with, the HD700 raises the bar in compact camcorder design.

Mac OS compatible Got a Mac? The new HD700 was designed to work with Apple’s full complement of video editing applications including the new iMovie ’08. Easily edit your movies and add them to your website or YouTube for sharing or create versions for iPod, iPhone or the Apple TV. It’s easy!

 

Adobe Premiere Elements 3.0 included For Windows Customers, the Sanyo Xacti HD700 includes the powerful award-winning Adobe Premiere Elements 3.0 video editing software. Adobe Premieree Elements 3.0 software makes creating and sharing impressive home videos a snap. Burn your footage to DVD in two simple steps, complete with a DVD menu and scene index, or easily assemble your movie by rearranging clips with drag-and-drop simplicity. And share your movies on DVD, the web, mobile phones, and virtually anywhere else.

Other Great Features

  • HDMI highi-definition output
  • Digital image stabilization
  • In-camera editing
  • Innovative docking station included
  • Superfast Startup (Record in as little as 1.3 seconds)
  • Playback directly onto a HD or standard TV screen
  • Easy connection to VCR or DVD recorder
  • Remote control included

Product Description
Shoot high-definition today with this elegant state-of-the-art true 720p high-definition camcorder that doubles as a 7 megapixel digital camera. Encased in a stunning enclosure, the HD700 features a 5x optical lens and a large 2.7-inch widescreen display making the Sanyo HD700 as convenient as it is useful. And, a HDMI port on the docking station allows you to simply connect to the latest high-definition TVs and recorders to view and share your footage. Also, the HD700 records to the latest MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 global standard, delivering exceptional video clarity and detail while maintaining the smallest file size possible. Playback directly onto a HD or standard TV screen. Easy connection to VCR or DVD recorder. Remote Control Included 5x all-glass optical zoom with a bright maximum aperture of f/3.5. Consisting of nine groups and twelve total lenses (3 aspheric elements, 5 aspheric surfaces), the HD700’s lens provides a fantastic field-of-view with a 38-190 mm range (35 mm equivalent). Combined with the 12x digital zoom, the HD700 provides up to 60x zooming capability Each video is recorded as an individual MPEG-4 and each still as a JPEG Records and plays from optional SD and SDHC memory cards; accepts up to 8GB capacity ? The new HD700 was designed to work with Apple’s full complement of video editing applications including the new iMovie 08. Easily edit your movies and add them to your website or YouTube for sharing or create versions for iPod, iPhone or the Apple TV NTSC / PAL (interfacing via included docking station or connecting adaptor) 720p 1280×720 video HDTV resolution capability Unit Dimensions 2.9 x 1.4 x 4.3 inches (W x D x H); Weight 6.7 oz. approx. (main unit only), 7.5 oz. approx. (including battery and a standard SD card) Includes SANYO Software Pack, Docking station, Dedicated AV interface cable, Dedicated Component interface cable, Dedicated USB cable, Cable adaptor, Lith

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=thepartim-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=B000W9YXFM&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

Skype Updated for Leopard

We’ve been using Skype on our Leopard MacBook since – oh about mid-October with very few problems – but there have been many cited on the Internets – mostly in relation to Apple’s redesigned firewall.

Well, for those with problems, Skype has answers – in the form of a 2.7Beta release (at your own risk).  Skype betas have treated us relatively well over the years so we’ll be downloading and testing this shortly.

From Skype:

New in this version

Leopard compatible – if you have the latest Mac OS X 10.5 then you can use Skype with confidence.

Better video resolution – your video conversations are now set at a whopping 640 x 480 pixels by default with up to 25 frames per second. If your webcam can handle this resolution you’ll soon be appearing in an improved and bigger format on friends screens.

Bonjour files found on the iPhone. Wireless synching?

 
mDNSResponder.  On the iPhone.  Why?  It isn’t currently being used for anything is it?   But the files are there.  Wireless printing?  iChat coming?  The Apple Social?  Maybe….maybe not.
 

Most likely, though, it will allow wireless syncing to iTunes and hopefully allow you to play your iTunes library around the house on your iPod touch and iPhone.
 
On Apple, Ink.
 

1.1.2 iPhone Upgrade: Say it with us.. DON'T DOWIT!

OK Ipod Touch v 1.1.2 already hacked.  but iPhone…still wait

OK, here we are again.  Apple is updating the iPhone.  For most of us, there is no reason to upgrade.  YET.  Apple is reportedly bricking AnySIM iPhones again , breaking the iToner and disabling all 3rd party applications.  For the tradeoff, Apple is providing international keyboards (AZERTY and QWERTZ for our European friends) and fixing bugs – including the TIF browser exploit which was used to jailbreak the 1.1.1 version.

Obviously there is a subset of people who have no intention of Jailbreaking/ using any of the 3rd party applications now or at any point in the future.  If so, this upgrade is for you.  Enjoy.  Let us know how it goes.

There are those who are sitting on the fence and may want to use a third party application at some point but haven’t jailbroken their iPhone yet.  WAIT.  We know it is tempting but just wait.  WAIT.  If there is a jailbreak on the 1.1.2 or a Option-restore to 1.1.1 then you are golden – upgrade away.  If not, it is a one way street and your iPhone will be jailled.

If you are using/enjoying applications like Navizon (we luv u navizon), Voice Notes (Thanks Erica!), Apollo/Mobile Chat, NES,  Books.app, WeDict, Sketches, Widgets, iBlackjack, Term-VT100, PDF Viewer, Sudoku, Themes, or the many other 3rd party apps, you can’t upgrade.  Let’s just repeat it just in case there is some confusion:

DON’T UPGRADE YOUR IPHONE TO 1.1.2

If you are (rightfully) concerned about the TIF exploit, AppTapp has a great fix for it.  They will likely also be able to port any imrovements that you’ll see in 1.1.2, so again.  So, again…Wait.

Hopefully the community will be able to knock out a hack for this phone pronto and we can all unite again under 1.1.2.

Apple, we understand you are just doing your due diligence and look forward to the day when you aren’t doing the bidding of the wireless telecom industry.

 Until then.  Thanks for the update.  We are going to pass…for now.

EDIT: As an astute reader just pointed out – it would also make sense not to update iTunes to 7.5 until we see exactly what Apple has planned for us.  Patience!

Fix your Time Machine with the Flux Capacitor

We made a quick little Automator application that removes the Time Machine restrictions on what kind of disk you can back up to.  We found the tip here.

We are now happily backing up or Leopard machines  to the SMB Share on or DLink DNS-323.

Download the Flux Capacitor here.  It is an automator action so you’ll see the unix command that it runs.  After you are done, Voila!  You’ll see ALL of your shares in Time machine – even wireless.

Obviously Apple closed this functionality for a reason so use at your own risk.


digg_url = ‘http://9to5mac.com/time-machine-fix-flux-capacitor-43262455′;

Ars does solid 802.11N router roundup

All of the big boys are there.  Linksys, Dlink, Netgear and of course, our little pony, Apple’s Airport Extreme, Gigabit addition.  We’ll get right to the results as the Ars can get a bit wordy.  The short answer is Airport Extreme is #1.  Especially with 5.0 Ghz (which used to be used in 802.11A) 802.11N only mode for its cutting through the household devices interference and Gigabit Ethernet for wired devices.

We couldn’t agree more.  If you are gonna drop a bill and a half on a wireless router (3 times the price of the capable base G models) you are gonna need a reason.  Gigabit Ethernet is a differentiator.  So is FAST wireless speed.  The other routers didn’t seem to offer much of a wireless speed increase – especially at significant distances with interference and regular ethernet speed.  The USB Hard drive/printer port also helps – though its reliability is still not up to Apple spec.

We are still a bit on the fence on when to update as some of our devices aren’t N capable and we won’t be able to enjoy the N only mode that shows the best speeds.  If we were in the market for a new wireless router today, however, the Airport Extreme would be at the top of our list.

 

 

Fairly significant data loss bug found and illustrated in Leopard

Slashdot sends us to Tom Karpik who illustrates very plainly a significant bug in Leopard.  It turns out that if you are moving data to an SMB (Windows) Share and the connection to that share is lost, the data you are moving which hasn’t already been copied is gone forever.  It isn’t on the Mac and isn’t on the Share. (Update – it turns out that this is true for a lot of shares – USB/Firewire etc – and has been the case in previous Mac OS’s)

Tom does an excellent job of demonstrating why this happens – which is basically that Apple deletes the data as it is being copied. 

It is possible that this is due to the last minute changes in Time Machine which originally allowed users to set a Windows share to be the backup partition in Leopard Beta but in the final version was turned off.  Since this is a pretty significant bug and Apple is fairly good at quashing serious issues we’d expect the next update (10.5.1) to fix this.

Until this is updated, be extremely wary of moving data to SMB shares.

MacBook Updates. Yawn.

Apple is doing a silent (and slight) refresh of it’s MacBook and MacBook Pro line as supplies of the new machines hit retailers.  While processor speeds, HDs and RAM specs remain mostly unchanged on the MacBooks, the motherboard chipset is being updated to include a 800Mhz bus and the GMA X3100 video card whose drivers had previously been spotted in Leopard (har).   The updated motherboard also includes better power management and Pre-N wireless.  

Unfortunately, it still comes with a combo (no super-) drive standard.  :(

The MacBook Pros now offer the option of a 2.6Ghz chip at a $250 premium and still top out with 4Gb of RAM and 250Gb hard drive options.

This refresh is similar to the silent Mac Mini refresh earlier this year which was made with little fanfare.

Obviously, much bigger announcements are on the horizon in the portable space from Apple.  If we had to guess… we’d say Macworld is looking like a pretty likely time frame…but our timing sucks.