Thursday, October 16, 2003
Posted 1:22 PM
Windows, Schmindows -- The Belkin iPod Media Reader Stole the Show
At a special event at San Francisco's Moscone Center, Apple today introduced iTunes for Windows as well as iTunes 4.1 for the Mac, a minor update that enables music synchronization between the Mac and Windows versions of iTunes, provides enhanced burning features, and a few more goodies. iTunes 4.1 is a 10MB download.
But that isn't what has my heart thumping and my charge card itching.
No, what's making me smile is the announcement of the Belkin iPod Media Reader for third-generation iPods. This compact, $99 add-on plugs into the bottom of the iPod and enables the little music player to download and store photos from all common digital camera memory cards. Connect the iPod to your Mac, and you can use iPhoto or Image Capture to import the images.
I've been longing for a device like this ever since I schlepped my PowerBook G4 on a trip to Hawaii just so I could have a method of downloading photos from my digital cameras.
Belkin also announced a voice recorder add-on for the iPod. That's swell for folks who need such beasts, but as for me, life is all about the Media Reader.
Note that the iPod Media Reader (and the voice recorder) require iPod Software 2.1 Updater, now available for downloading. According to Apple, the new iPod software also "includes faster browsing and accessing of large music libraries, the ability to sync On-The-Go playlists back to iTunes, and a new Music Quiz game which tests a player’s knowledge of their own iTunes music library."
Music Quiz? Hey, why not? The ability to sync On-The-Go playlists back to iTunes? Yessss. I've longed for this, too.
Stay tuned to this site for more information on iTunes 4.1. Now if you'll excuse me, I have an order to place.
Sunday, October 12, 2003
Posted 8:58 AM
How to Add Photos to an Existing .Mac Photo Album
A reader writes with a question that seems simple at first: "How can I add new pictures from iPhoto to an existing .Mac HomePage album?"
The answer isn't simple at all. You can indeed add photos to an existing album, but it's an awkward process that Apple should streamline.
In short, you have to open your iDisk, find the folder that corresponds to your album, and then copy the new photos to that folder.
Here are the specifics:
Step 1. Choose iDisk from the Finder's Go menu, and type your .Mac name and password when prompted.
Step 2. On your iDisk is a folder named Pictures. Open this folder.
Step 3. Within that folder is another folder named Photo Album Pictures. This is where your HomePage album photos live. Open this folder.
Step 4. Within the Photo Album Pictures folder, you'll find even more folders -- one for each of the albums you've created. Unfortunately, the folders have weird names consisting of dates and times (for example "2002-04-13 12.20.42 -0700"). If you have a lot of albums, it isn't exactly easy to determine which folder matches which album. I used trial and error: I opened a folder then double-clicked an image to see if it was from the album I wanted to change.
Step 5. Once you find the folder that corresponds to the album you want to change, you can add new photos to that folder. You could simply drag them out of iPhoto and into the appropriate folder, but for faster uploading and downloading, you should export them from iPhoto, make them somewhat smaller, and then copy those downsized versions to your iDisk. (See "Exporting Photos by Hand" on page 89 of The Macintosh iLife.)
Step 6. Go into .Mac's album editor, rearrange the order of the photos as desired, and click the Publish button. Even if you don't need to rearrange the photos, you still need to go into the editor and click Publish. Otherwise -- at least according to my experiments -- the new photos won't appear in the album.
Whew! That's more work than it should be. Here's hoping Apple makes this process easier in the future. At the very least, those album folders should have names that somehow reflect with the name you've given to an album.