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Drag and drop MP3 burning with iTunes Apps
iTunes supports MP3 burning via a setting in the Preferences area of the program. However, if you burn both MP3 and audio CD discs regularly, it can be a bit of a pain to have to remember to switch the setting prior to each burn. Here's a workaround that (may) let you leave the setting alone and yet still burn both formats.

It turns out you can simply insert a blank CD-R in the Finder (and format it), create a new playlist in iTunes with the MP3s you wish to burn, and then select all within the new playlist and drag those items to the CD-R. Finally, click the "Burn" button in the Finder to create your MP3 CD-R.

One thing this tip does not do is order the MP3s on the target disc--they'll just show up (and play) in alphabetical order. The Number Tracks of Playlist AppleScript will solve that problem by prefixing a "01.", "02.", etc. before each playlist entry. Run the script prior to dragging the items to the CD-R.

By using drag and drop in this manner, you can leave your default preference to burn in audio CD format, and just drag and drop when you want to create an MP3 CD.

[Editor's note: I have not tried this myself, but it makes sense given that the native file format for iTunes is MP3; I'm just surprised that you wind up with the source files on the CD and not just a text listing of the playlist!.]
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Add a photo enhancement tool to iPhoto Apps
It seems there is a hidden feature in iPhoto 1.1.1 called "Enhance" that tries to do some color balancing and white point correction. This feature is disabled by Apple, but can easily be enabled by anyone with the Developer Tools.

Read the rest of the article for the instructions, which were originally posted on this thread on the MacNN forums.
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Create multi-session CD-Rs in OS X Apps
James Sentman announced today the "public beta" of his new shareware app CD Session Burner. CD Session Burner does only one thing, but it does it well - it burns multi-session CD's in HFS+ format. A multi-session CD is one which you write to multiple times, with each write creating a new volume as seen by the Finder (that's my non-technical description of how a multi-session disc behaves, at any rate!).

This is incredibly useful for those times when you need to burn some stuff to a CD-R, but you don't have enough to fill the disc. Instead of wasting one disc on a partial write, you can use CD Session Burner, write the data you need, and then add more to the disc later. It's also very useful for incremental backups, where you could create a "volume" for each day's backups, and keep several days worth of data on one CD-R.

I did manage to get the program to enter an error loop on me once; I dragged in a very large folder with a lot of sub-folders and package files, and got a "Item number XX is nil" (where "XX" is 1 to 4) message over and over. I'm not sure what caused it, and it only happened once. Everything else worked fine, and I'm now looking at a desktop covered with about 10 different volumes, all part of the same CD!

I'm still hoping this functionality may be included in Jaguar, but if it's not, then I'll be investing in a copy of CD Session Burner to provide some flexibility in how I use my CD-R media.
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Transfer Windows Outlook email to Entourage Apps
Microsoft does not provide an easy way to transfer your Inbox in Outlook from Windows to Mac. Their knowledge base even claims that it can't be done. If you have some patience, there is a way.

Backup your outlook.pst before beginning. Use an existing IMAP mail account or get a free Hotmail Account. Logon to the account in Outlook for Windows. Drag any messages and/or folders into the IMAP account. Keep in mind they will be moved, not copied.

Now just login to the account from Entourage and drag the folders into the default Inbox. You can delete them off the server when you are finished, or hold on to them for posterity.

If you have a lot of messages this can take some time, but it's worth it if you want to keep your old messages and folders. If you want to restore the messages back into Outlook, just overwrite the outlook.pst with the backup you created.
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Show the world your iTunes listening habits Apps
Adriaan Tijsseling, the fellow responsible for the must-read OS X tips page, has put together an Applescript application which does something very cool. It snags the artist and title information from the currently playing iTunes track, and FTPs it up to your Web site, so you can now share with the world how you're listening to that Kylie Minogue song over and over and over again...

The app started off as a shell script and Applescript that he wrote, which are still available on his Weblog ... good for folks that want more control over things or to see how it works. Go check it out!
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Printing via LPR from Photoshop Apps
I was reading MacIntouch and came across the following printing fix in their Photoshop 7 report. It absolutely works! I have spent so much time trying to figure this out and the fix was so easy:
Date: Mon, 22 Apr 2002
From: [MacInTouch Reader]
Subject: Solution to LPR printing problem

Another problem I'm having is printing to a HP Laserjet 4100 over the network using LPR. I noticed the mention in the last-minute readme file about using ASCII in the print options, but that does not help. Every time I try and print anything from PS7, I get hundreds of pages of garbage characters

The solution that works for us it to use "BINPS" as the queue name when configuring LPR printing to HP LaserJet printers. BINPS stands for Binary PostScript and tells the printer this is the type of file it should expect.
[Editor's note: There are some other interesting tidbits about Photoshop in the special report, including an experience with a 'bad' serial number when trying to upgrade from an original Photoshop 3.0 upgrade path.]
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Email iPhoto images with Entourage Apps
I happened to find a very smooth way to e-mail my iPhotos from Entourage. If I have my unsent message as the topmost window in Entourage, I can simply drag a selection of photos from iPhoto to the Entourage icon in the Dock and they will get attached to the message.

I don't know if this is documented anywhere, but now at least visitors of this site now know. =)
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Archive messages from Entourage Apps
While not obvious, Microsoft Entourage provides a simple message of archiving mail messages. This may be important since it has been reported by others that Entourage has a limit as to how many messages may be stored in it.

To archive messages in Entourage, simply drag a message folder, containing the desired messages, to the Desktop. A file is created, with the folder name, containing the messages.

To restore the messages to Entourage, just double-click the file, then click on the Import button. The folder and messages are restored into the root folder level of the Entourage message folders in alphabetical order.
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PowerPoint v.X and PowerPoint 4.0 files Apps
An anonymous tipster sent in a note about a PowerPoint v.X limitation:
PowerPoint v.X cannot read PowerPoint 4 files! Simply by upgrading to the most recent version of PowerPoint you may lose access to your old (or in my case, not so old) files. There is no mention of the inability to open PowerPoint 4 files anywhere in the help documents or in the knowledge base articles available from MS Mactopia.
I did some experimenting with the two versions of PowerPoint which I own (from Office98 and Office v.X) and a couple of version 4 presentations. As the hint suggested, PowerPoint v.X refused to open them, although they were handled easily by PowerPoint 98.

After some experimentation and help from the hint submitter (as I lack a version 4.0 of my own), we came up with a workaround that will allow you to convert these older files to the new version, assuming you own (or have access to) Office98. Use PowerPoint98 to open the version 4 presentations and select File -> Save As. When the save dialog opens, select "Presentation Template" as the file format. Launch PowerPoint v.X and open the template you just saved and then save it again as a normal PowerPoint presentation with a new name.

Although this works, you may lose some formatting (I lost some font information from one presentation, but not from another), but at least you'll be able to migrate your older files to the newest version of PowerPoint.

While Microsoft can certainly make whatever decisions they wish regarding support for past versions, and PowerPoint 4 is quite old (last sold in 1997), it would have been nice if they had at least documented this limitation!
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iPhoto 1.1.1 release and installation notes Apps
After making a brief (unofficial?) appearance last week as "iPhoto 1.1", a fresh iPhoto update is now available - iPhoto 1.1.1. You can grab it off the iPhoto download page, although it's quite busy right now (I got a "server not found" a couple times before it worked). Some of the more interesting new features include:
  • Adjust brightness and contrast
  • Email your photos with Apple Mail
  • Set your desktop image and screensaver from within iPhoto
  • Import folders of photos as separate film rolls
  • Retain and display EXIF data
  • Preserve imported image file names as photo titles
Prior to installing the new version, I used the Finder to duplicate my image library (as suggested in the Read Me), just in case of upgrade issues (the iPhoto 1.1.1 library is not compatible with the 1.0 format). The installer searches for an existing iPhoto 1.0 and runs in upgrade mode if it finds it; otherwise, it does a fresh install.

Installing took only a minute or two, followed by the usual three-minute "Optimizing System Performance" step. On first launch, iPhoto updates the photo library, which took about three minutes on my 1,000 image library. I should mention that I have my library stored in a non-standard location, but iPhoto had no troubles updating it and (thankfully) did not move the library back to its normal location. After the library update, everything worked as expected, and the new features are welcome additions to an already good product.
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