Wednesday, December 14, 2005

inPrint: Macworld (January 2006) 5/5

Another month, another solid issue of Macworld. Features include spotlights on all of Apple's new hardware, including the iPod with Video (and how to convert videos/DVDs for it using HandBrake or MacTheRipper), a host of digital photography tips (including photo gifts from Snapfish, Shutterfly, and Canvas On Demand), and lots more great info.

One of the coolest things I learned more about in this issue was how to use Apple's free Property List Editor application (included in the Mac OS X Developer Tools/Xcode suite: Finder->Go->Go to folder->"/Applications/Installers") to modify preference files (as of Tiger these are typically binary code files and are not easily editable). A couple of favorites:
  • Hide Your Desktop: open the com.apple.finder.plist file, create a New Child with the name CreateDesktop and the Boolean Value of No. Relaunch the Dock and everything on your desktop will vanish - application windows are still visible, but your desktop will be gone (you can't even drag things there, although your files are available through the Finder). Set to Yes to undo.
  • Change iTunes Link Arrow: by default, if you click the link arrows next to an iTunes song name, artist name, or album (activated through iTunes->Preferences->Show Links To The Music Store) then you'll be brought to the iTMS entry for the object you clicked. If you option-click then you'll get a list of matching items (e.g. all songs from selected album) in your Library (instead of being sent to the iTMS). To reverse this setting (so that you'll get your Library search listing by clicking) open com.apple.iTunes.plist, create a New Child named InvertStoreLinks, give it a Boolean value and set that to Yes. Make sure iTunes is closed when you make this change (and just set the value to No to undo).
Note that you can access the same variables through the Terminal using the defaults write command or using Night Productions' free Pref Setter.
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12/14/2005 10:25:00 PM  

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