Friday, June 03, 2005
Posted 8:01 AM
Friday's Odds and Ends: Seeking a Consistent "Redo" Keyboard Shortcut, an Update on my Epson R2400, and Heid on the Radio this Sunday
What a week. What, a week? Incredible—it's Friday already. I'm still swamped, but wanted to leave you with a few odds and ends.
Quick! What's the keyboard shortcut for the Undo command? Most Mac users know it, and all Mac users should: it's Command-Z.
Okay, smarties, what's the keyboard shortcut for the Redo command?
Answer: It depends. The software industry is annoyingly inconsistent. Witness: in Apple's apps, the keyboard shortcut for Redo is Shift-Command-Z. In Photoshop Elements and Microsoft Office, it's Command-Y. In Photoshop CS2, it's Command-Z (again). In Adobe Acrobat 7, it's Shift-Command-Z.
C'mon, kids—can't we settle on something? I vote for Shift-Command-Z.
Epson R2400 Update
Well, the new printer is shipping, according to several online retailers, but Ink Jet Arts of Salt Lake City, Utah has yet to ship the one that I ordered on May 25.
The latest cryptic email I received says it may go out today. I have to say, my e-commerce experience with these guys hasn't exactly been silky smooth.
Rest assured I'll shout from the Web's mountaintops when my printer arrives.
Hear Me on KGO this Sunday
This Sunday evening, I'll be a guest on San Francisco's mighty KGO, the flagship ABC Radio Network station on the West Coast. I'll be sitting alongside host Karel as the guest for his semi-regular MacDaddy feature. We'll be talking about iLife '05, Tiger, the Mac, and more.
If you live on the West Coast of North America, you can tune in at 810 on the AM dial. Live elsewhere? You can listen live on the Internet. (And good news: KGO now streams all popular formats, including QuickTime and MP3!)
My guest slot takes place from 9:00 to 9:30 pm Pacific time. Have a good weekend, and don't forget to listen in!
Book 'em. Many thanks to Apple for mentioning my book in yesterday's Apple eNews newsletter! Don't forget, Amazon has restored the 34 percent discount on the world's best-selling iLife book. $23.09 gets you 345 full-color pages and a companion instructional DVD that runs for two hours and 43 minutes and dovetails tightly with the book. $23.09! Get yours now.
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Posted 7:43 AM
Music in Space, Movies on Earth
Busy day today; two quick items.
Item One. The UK-based Music Thing blog has a cool post on music in space: the various efforts undertaken over the years to take and play musical instruments in outer space. Memo to NASA: check out GarageBand!
Don't miss HobbySpace's page on related topics. I could spend the day here if I wasn't staring at a deadline.
Item Two. Tonight, I'll be hosting Point & Click Radio on our local public radio station. My guests will be Laurie York and Carmen Goodyear, two visual artists turned documentary filmmakers.
Their first documentary, Freedom to Marry, was edited and produced on their iMac—and will be shown on PBS television stations across the country this summer. We'll talk about the technical challenges they faced as well as the promise and potential of Mac-based filmmaking, and toward the end of the show, we'll take calls from listeners.
The show will stream live at 7:00 pm Pacific time; you'll need the often-obnoxious RealPlayer to listen live. Can't bear RealPlayer? I'll post an AAC archive within the next week.
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Posted 8:07 AM
Record an MP3 Stream, Go to Jail: Will the Record Industry Go Gunning for RadioLover?
I wonder if the dinosaurs filed a lot of lawsuits after the asteroid hit.
On Sunday, a news article from Reuters hinted at what might be the next battle in the recording industry's ongoing attack on its customers: utilities that enable you to record streaming MP3 radio stations and then split the streams into individual audio files.
Here's a snippet from the article:
"With products such as San Francisco-based Applian Technologies' Replay Radio, users can split, chop, trim and edit their recorded MP3 files from streamed music services.
"The company's Web site says the product 'works like a TiVo for Internet Radio' and can turn streaming music into perfectly tagged MP3 song files.
"'There's certainly a lawsuit waiting to happen because they're basically enabling consumers to record and the recordings are not authorized,' said Jonathan Potter, executive director of the Digital Media Association."
Oh, puleeease. (That's me again, not the article.)
These kinds of utilities have been available for a while now. The aforementioned Replay Radio is for Windows and has a user interface only a mother could love. In the Mac world, we have Bit Cartel's lovely $15 RadioLover, which I've written about for Macworld and Playlist and which I cover in my book.
RadioLover not only lets you record streaming MP3 stations—the kind that appear in iTunes' Radio list—it automatically splits incoming streams into individual song files, tagged with the artist name and everything. (Many streaming MP3 stations send this information with their webcasts.)
It's very cool, and it's helped me discover new artists whose music I've subsequently bought. But as a getaway vehicle for music theft, it isn't very effective: the beginning and ending of a song are often cut off. And a 128kbps MP3 stream isn't exactly hi-fi.
Never mind that, says the recording industry. It's wrong, evil, and dastardly, and it's taking bling off the pinkies of music industry executives.
My advice: if you're interested in trying out RadioLover, download it sooner rather than later.
The discount's back: As I reported on Friday, Amazon has finally restored the 34 percent discount on my book. Joy! The top-selling book on iLife—345 gorgeous, full-color pages and a two-hour, 43-minute instructional DVD—is yours for $23.09. Buy it—before the recording industry sues me, too.