Apple just celebrated the 10th birthday of its famed iTunes, which is easily the most popular source for buying digital content. Still, I regularly field questions from my family and friends about how iTunes works. These range from basic questions about syncing to storing music in the cloud and sharing music with family. And iTunes also has a lot of features most people don’t know exist. This week, I rounded up some ways to improve the way you use iTunes.Digital Allowance
If you aren’t thrilled at the prospect of setting your credit-card number as the default payment on your kid’s iTunes account, a monthly allowance might be a better solution. From the iTunes Store home page on your computer, select “Send iTunes Gifts” on the right, then “Learn More About Gifting” and scroll to the bottom to find allowance settings. You can set the allowance in amounts ranging from $ 10 to $ 50.
Recipients must have an Apple ID, but you can set up an Apple ID for them at the same time. You can decide to send the allowance right away or wait until the next month, on either the first or the day of the month you set up the allowance. You also can add a personal message.Redeeming Gift Cards
Some people are thrilled to receive iTunes gift cards, but they just don’t know how to redeem them. A simple shortcut on a computer or mobile devices is to open iTunes, navigate to the iTunes Store, scroll to the very bottom of the store’s home screen and click Redeem. (On a computer, this is under Manage. In the iOS app, it’s in the bottom, center of the screen.) You’ll be asked to enter your Apple ID and then to enter your gift card or download code. If you accidentally scratched letters or numbers from your code like I did once, call or email Apple Support and they’ll help you figure it out.Gifts Without the Gift Card
Anything in the iTunes Store or Apple’s App Store can be given to another person via an email. On your computer, select the arrow beside the price and click on “Gift this.” If you’re using an Apple mobile device, select the share icon (a small square with an arrow pointing right) at the top of the screen from the store and choose “Gift.” Then enter a personal message and choose Now or Other Date to decide when the recipient gets it.
This is especially helpful for favorite games or TV shows that you want friends to start playing or watching.Sharing Libraries
Many family members or friends may find themselves frustrated by how their digital content is stored in individual libraries associated with individual Apple IDs, making it harder to share this content. While you can’t merge Apple IDs to combine libraries, you can turn on Home Sharing within your home Wi-Fi network to let various devices share content while they’re within range of the network. Turn on Home Sharing from the Advanced menu in iTunes and enter the same Apple ID on up to five computers. Likewise, you can stream content from other shared computers, or drag it onto your computer’s local library.
You also can see this shared content from iOS devices and Apple TV. Within the Music app on iOS, click the More tab in the bottom right. In the Videos app, tap the Shared button at the top. On your Apple TV, go into Settings, Computer and turn on Home Sharing, then open the Computer icon in your Apple TV’s main menu to access libraries and stream content.iCloud vs. iTunes Match
Owners of Apple products surely have heard of iCloud, but they may not use it. Some people aren’t sure how it works with music and how it differs from iTunes Match.
ICloud is a handy insurance policy against losing your iPod and all of your iTunes content along with it. Once you set up iCloud using your Apple ID, any content that you buy from the iTunes Store will show up on other devices without any syncing. Any past purchases from the iTunes Store will show up on all of your devices, too. Tapping a tiny cloud icon beside each file will pull it onto your device.
To replicate all of your content across devices, including stuff you haven’t bought from iTunes (like CDs you imported or bought elsewhere), iTunes Match will do the trick. This costs $ 25 a year and matches up to 25,000 songs. From iTunes on your computer, open the Store menu, select “Turn on iTunes Match,” enter your Apple ID and password and click Subscribe. On iOS devices, open Settings, Music and turn on iTunes Match.
ITunes Match will work on up to 10 devices, and it auto-scans for newly purchased content so you have it on all devices.Getting Rid of Content
It may seem like everything in your iTunes library is stuck there for good. But if you’re tired of keeping unwanted files, like episodes of Season 2′s “Mad Men” or irritating tunes from a Christmas party playlist, the process to delete them is painless.
From your iTunes library on the computer, click the item to select it, press the delete key and click Delete Item. From here, you can opt to remove the item only from your iTunes library, which keeps the file on your computer though not in iTunes (click “Keep File”), or delete the item from your computer permanently (click “Move to Trash” and empty the Trash).
When you know how all of its features work, iTunes can be a real pleasure to use. But if you’re confused, syncing content can be a dreaded experience. If you know people who tiptoe around how to use iTunes, share this guide with them.
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- Some|Tech Meets Blog
Google made plenty of nerds happy earlier this week when it began reaching out to the 8,000 people that would have the privilege of spending $ 1,500 on the company’s head-mounted Glass display, but that thrill wound up being short-lived for some.
About seven hours after announcing that the outreach to would-be Glass Explorers began, the Glass team once again took to the project’s Google Plus page to admit they needed to rescind some of those invitations.
After noting that the #ifihadglass program yielded applicants from all walks of life, a representative noted that “it’s become clear that a few applications that don’t comply with our terms have slipped through the cracks” and that those applications would have to be disqualified.
It’s not clear exactly how many people ultimately got the boot from the Explorer program, but a quick Twitter search yields two viewable tweets breaking the bad news directly from the Glass account. In both of those cases the applicants (hopefully jokingly) said they would engage in some ill-advised behavior while wearing Glass — the more extreme of the two applicants said “#ifihadglass I’d cut a bitch!” which definitely flies in the face of the Explorer program’s terms and conditions. The other was mild in comparison, but still pretty pointless:
#IfIHadGlass, I'd throw it at your face. ._.
— Le Queen. (@wutabril) February 20, 2013
Of course, there’s still the question of how those people got selected in the first place — it doesn’t seem like whoever was at the helm was being very selective in the first place. According to the terms of the Explorer program, entries were “evaluated and scored by a panel of independent content moderators” who aren’t employed by either Google or its promotional partner, a New York-based marketing firm called Anomaly. Either someone on that jury found those, erm, colorful entries funny and gave them a pass, or the jury just wasn’t paying attention at all. Either way, Google was left to deal with the aftermath publicly.
It’s also unclear how many more applications (if any) will wind up getting the boot as well. Entries like this were earnest and potentially very cool, while others who were chosen seemed to have their tongues planted firmly in their cheeks when tweeting their original applications.
[via The Next Web]
Question by Caitlin M: Why do some samsung galaxy s2 phones look different? I’ve noticed that some of the samsung galaxy smartphones have one button as in this: http://cdn-static.cnet.co.uk/i/product_media/40000779/image1/440×330-1200x900_1.jpg
And others have a row of buttons as in this: http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Galaxy-Epic-Touch-Android/dp/B005LHN47S Does this mean they are different or they are the same?
Answer by DanielSome of them are probably from different companies like maybe one is from version wireless then compare it to sprint or at&t. Guess that’s how the other companies make it
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HTC might have rekindled its old romance with Microsoft for its 8X and 8S Windows Phones, but Nokia is still the closest partner to Redmond. In an interview with Pocket-lint, Microsoft’s senior Windows Phone marketing manager, Casey McGee, has revealed exactly how close the pair are. Describing how Microsoft brings Windows Phone to life, McGee notes “it feels like our child too” in the process. “Especially with Nokia,” he adds, as both companies work so closely together.
“Our relationship is so close we get hardware early and we have some say in how these things are designed,” explains McGee. “I am very happy with the relationship and the ability to influence what they are doing.” Microsoft may have pumped most of its marketing dollars…
While Canadians got a major NFC payment system through Rogers’ Suretap service late last year, it was largely defined by what it couldn’t do: there was only one platform to use, in only some places, with only one bank. Those horizons are at last broadening, as the carrier just certified a much wider range of phones for Suretap-capable apps. Android at last joins the party with approval for Suretap use on LG’s Optimus G, as well as Samsung’s Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II. BlackBerry fans also won’t have to cling to older devices now that the Z10 is good to go. More than a few pieces of the NFC puzzle are still missing, of course. Beyond waiting for the apps themselves, there’s no certification for Windows Phone 8 or a broad range of Android devices, and customers still don’t have the freedom to choose their banks or carriers. Still, we’re glad that there will be at least some choice in hardware for future wallet-free trips to Tim Hortons.
Source: RogersRelated Posts:
Question by rikki: What are some MP3 Players that are touch screen and have app? I’m looking for a MP3 player that works like an iPod. Are there any? Or is it just the iPod Touch?
Answer by SimonThe biggest competitor to the i Pod Touch, is the Microsoft Zune HD. It is a touch screen mp3 player, and it has apps as well. However it does not have as many apps as the i Pod Touch as of yet. Apps are one of the biggest strengths of the i Pod’s right now. But the Zune’s do have Lot’s of advantages over the i Pod’s also. One of these big advantages is that, the Zune’s have better audio quality compared to the i Pod’s.(This is why audiophiles prefer them.) And another is that they are compatible with a wider range of video, and audio formats. There are other advantages also that I did not list, But You can go to www.zune.net to learn more, about the mp3 players that they offer, and there services. (Also just on a side note.) Unlike the i Pod’s, you can buy songs from another web site like Amazon for example, and download them onto your Zune, without having to go through Zune Market Place. The i Pod’s have to use i Tunes for handling all there music at some point, no matter what.
Here are the specs below for the 64GB Zune HD.
Capacity1 64 gigabytes (GB) Up to 16,000 songs, or 20 hours of high definition video from Zune Marketplace, or 96 hours of video optimized for device, or 25,000 pictures
Colors Retail (Black), Zune Originals (Platinum, Black, Blue, Red, Green, Purple, Magenta)
Size and weight Size: 52.7 mm x 102.1 mm x 8.9 mm (w x h x d) Weight: 2.6 ounces (74 grams)
Battery Music, up to 33 hours (wireless off); video, up to 8.5 hours2 Charge Time: Approximately three hours when connected to your PC; approximately two hours with A/C adapter
Screen Size: 3.3-inch OLED color display, 16:9 aspect ratio Type: Scratch-resistant glass with touch input capability Orientation: Vertical (music) and horizontal (videos) Resolution: 480 pixels x 272 pixels
Wireless Connectivity: 802.11b/g compatible
Wireless sync Yes Connectivity: 802.11b/g compatible Authentication modes: Open, WEP, WPA, and WPA2 Encryption modes: WEP 64- and 128-bit, TKIP, and AES
Audio support Windows Media® Audio Standard3 (WMA) (.wma); Up to 384 Kbps; constant bit rate (CBR) and variable bit rate (VBR) up to 48-kHz sample rate; WMA Pro two channel up to 768 Kbps; CBR and VBR up to 48-kHz WMA Lossless: two channel up to 768 kbps and 48-kHz Advanced Audio Coding (AAC-LC) (.mp4, .m4a, .m4b); .m4a and .m4b files without FairPlay DRM up to 320 Kbps; CBR and VBR up to 48-kHz MP3 (.mp3); Up to 320 Kbps; CBR and VBR up to 48-kHz
Picture support JPEG (.jpg)
Video support Windows Media Video (WMV) (.wmv); Main and Simple Profile, CBR or VBR, up to 10.0 Mbps peak video bit rate; 720 pixels x 480 pixels up to 30 frames per second (or 720 pixels x 576 pixels up to 25 frames per second); Advanced profile up to L2, 1280 pixels x 720 pixels up to 30 frames per second, CBR or VBR, up to 14.0 Mbps peak video bitrate;Zune software will transcode HD WMV files above stated capabilities at device sync MPEG-4 (MP4/M4V) (.mp4) Part 2 video3; Simple Profile up to 4.0 Mbps peak video bit rate; 720 pixels x 480 pixels up to 30 frames per second (or 720 pixels x 576 pixels up to 25 frames per second); Zune software will transcode HD MPEG-4 files at device sync H.264 video3; Baseline Profile + bframes, up to 10 Mbps peak video bit rate; 720 pixels x 480 pixels up to 30 frames per second (or 720 pixels x 576 pixels up to 25 frames per second);1280 pixels x 720 pixels up to 30 frames per second, up to level 3.1 and 14.0 Mbps peak video bitrate; Zune software will transcode HD WMV files above the stated capabilities at device sync DVR-MS4; Zune software will transcode at time of sync
Audio output Analog Audio Out; Optical Digital Audio Out (requires additional dock, sold separately)
Video output HDMI or Composite (requires additional dock, sold separately)
Radio Built-in FM/HD Radio™ receiver5
Included accessories Headphones Zune Sync Cable Three pairs of foam earpiece covers
Ports Connector port 3.5mm Headphone jack
Languages English, French, Spanish
Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!Related Posts:
This is a video of some guy in Argentina trying to protect his car from hail damage by breast-stroking around on top of it. At some point a friend comes out with a rug to help but quickly realizes his buddy is a moron and retreats back inside for some hot cocoa and to troll for new friends on Facebook. Of course we’re only assuming this guy is trying to protect his car from hail damage, he could just be on drugs and having the time of his life swimming on a stranger’s car.
Hit the jump for the video.Related Posts:
HP has made it clear it has some ambitious aspirations, and at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference today, CEO Meg Whitman gave some insight on how the company is hoping to achieve those goals. Unsurprisingly, a large part of its approach is to address the company’s former failures in mobile. “What happened is the market moved very fast to tablets and smartphones and now we’ve got to manage that transition,” she said, noting that her predecessors did to try to address the shift by buying Palm. “But as you know, under the previous administration that took a little detour to nowhere.”
As a result, HP has expanded the way it thinks about its computing business. “We now have the opportunity to compete in a…
Question by Jordan J: What are some birthday gift ideas for 14 year old boys? In April, I’m turning 14 and I’m writing down my birthday gift list and I can’t think of much stuff. I already got iPad 1 or 2, iPod Touch, and Kindle down so don’t say those. So if you could please give me some gift ideas I would be really grateful!! I also already have an Xbox 360 with Kinect.
Answer by nikPS Vita? PS3? Xbox 360? Depends on what you like to do . ahah
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Those of us lucky enough to work for gadget sites got to check out the Surface Pro last month. Now you can too, dear reader — if you happen to live near a store that got one early. Although shoppers in the US and Canada can’t actually purchase it until February 9th, the device is already on display at some retail locations. Sadly, there’s no way for us to confirm which stores have it (short of making a few road trips), but we do know that it’s going to be available at Best Buy and Staples in the US, along with Microsoft Stores. So, assuming you have one of those chains nearby, it can’t hurt to wander over — you might be rewarded with some advance hands-on time.
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]