MacBook Pro 3

Since my last posts concerning the MacBook Pro [see http://is.gd/2LEq9 and  http://is.gd/2LE7E], I’ve moved on quite a bit. I’ve sort of mastered iTunes, iMovie and iPhoto and I’ve also delivered three sessions using it as the main machine. So – what have I learned and how does it feel now?

(Before moving on, I must thank all those of you that commented on MacBook Pro 2 – your comments have been tremendously helpful. Readers, please view the comments on that post.)

Images

Snippy I opened an image in [Preview] the other day: just why it didn’t open in iPhoto, I’m not quite sure yet; but found that there is a [select] function – a sort of crop-tool. However, it allows you to freehand select tool [lasso] – in much the same way as Snippy and the Snipping tool in Vista. So if you like funny shaped pictures – use Preview and its select tool. Shift + Command + 4 to capture a standard still image of screen (thanks Di). This image defaults to the desktop b.t.w.

I used iPhoto big time on my American holiday [http://is.gd/2LGqu] but it took some time to ‘get’ it. All images the machine comes across find their way into an EVENT folder. You can then add the images to folders of your own choosing. But: If you delete them from the EVENT folder, they disappear from everywhere else you might have put them (you can easily drag them from EVENT to a folder of your own choice but the dragging only copies – it doesn’t move).

Troubles with iTunes.

screenshot - iTunes view icons

It also took me a while to ‘get’ iTunes. For someone used to yellow folder icons populated by file icons and the ability to view these hierarchically iTunes has been a steep learning curve and the bends are still making me dizzy. I can ‘view’ my music ‘albums’ in Album view (the chess board-like icon above) and easily see which album is which. I can even select different views within this view (!!) I can view albums, artists, genres and composers and each set of icons will be re-ordered and re-presented to aid my viewing/searching. But – and here’s where it took me a while to ‘get’ it – when you choose the lines icon (on the left above) you just get one HUGE list of individual tracks. Which I find alarming – almost scary. And then there’s the Album Art …

Screenshot - default iTunes album iconIf iTunes can’t find the cover image for your ‘album’ it grants you the use of its own generic music icon, which is dark and dull and if you have more than two albums; wrist-slashingly dull. To overcome this you have to be patient and committed (don’t all shout at once!!). You have to double-click the (dull) icon to open the album and see the track list. The (dull) icon will appear on the top left. Right click (or Control + right pad click) this and choose ‘get info’. Choose ‘artwork’. Now – open your favourite browser and go to: http://www.albumart.org/ to search for your album and a link to a CD cover image you can then copy and paste into the ‘artwork’ window you have left open in iTunes. Of course this may not be legal – so I may never have done it. But it is nice to see an image replacing the dull, generic icon. You could of course compose an image of your own – if you have the time. Oh – there’s another ‘beware‘ before I sign off this post.

If one of the albums you are importing into iTunes is a compilation (say ‘The Best of Eric Clapton’) it may (9 times out of ten for me) ‘split’ itself into two or three different albums (album icons). I had Eric on his own, Eric with John Mayall and Eric with Cream – which was space-takingly annoying. I just wanted one album, like I have in my CD rack. To repair this, Right click (or Controlright pad click) the previously (perhaps still?) dull icon and choose ‘get info’ and then ‘info’. Make sure that the artist name is the one you want and where there is a difference between the different splits (gosh this is confusing, sorry), ensure they become the same (?) and lo – your three (or more) albums will become one again, just like you wanted in the first place.

Phew. iMovie next time and other ‘stuff’

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