Friday, May 16, 2008

QuickLook's Rounding Math

QuickLook in Leopard, which you use by tapping the spacebar when a file in the Finder is highlighted, tends to round some numbers. As you can see in the screenshot of a flash drive a client handed me to use it's actual Get Info stats are:

Capacity = 3.72 GB
Available = 2.97 GB

QuickLook says it's:

Capacity = 3.7 (GB)
Available = 3.0 (GB)

Not much of a difference, I guess but still bothers me.

CoverFlux Free Plug-In

idustrial revolution has released a free plug-in called CoverFlux which replicates Apple's coverflow with images. I'm not sure if it does video clips as well but the results with still images are fun. Seems like a niche ready-to-be-overused-to-death thing like Comic Sans but what can ya do?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Free Apple Seminar Videos

Here's a page where Apple lists some free instructional seminar videos. You'll need a free Apple account to view them.

.zips turning into .cpgz files!

A client today decided it would be best to send me a 400+ MB file via split up into 5 pieces. Downloading them is not a problem but I did end up with five files named something like,, etc...

Of course I have all of Safari's auto uncompress, trash and mount stuff off in it's prefs so I double click one of the files and BOMArchiver launches as it should and tries to unzip the things. No go. I end up with .cpgz files, errors about not having permission to write into a folder...and when you double click them they magically turn back into .zip files. Yay.

Here's the trick: download Split&Concat which was last updated -as of this post- on April 2nd 2006, and drag the first original to it and be amazed as Split&Concat will join them into one sane .zip file.

If you're not sure what the .001 file is or there's some other problem here's a tip: Launch the terminal (really, it'll be okay) and type "file" then hit the spacebar. Now, drag the first .001 file into it and you should see something like "Zip archive data, at least v2.0 to extract", ok, cool. Now, do the same for the .002 file and you should see something like "data". Get it? The 001 file is the zip "master", let's call it, and the subsequent files are the slave data files.

Luckily I bill by the hour on this project...

If you happen to run into a lone .zip file that when double clicked turns into a .cpgz file then it's likely a .rar file in disguise. If you toss it into the Terminal as described above and see something like:

RAR archive data, v1d, os: Win32

Try un-raring it with something like The Unarchiver.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


TapeDeck is a neat little piece of software from SuperMegaUltraGroovy which emulates the portable cassette decks from the days of yore. It's essentially a simple GUI to what QuickTime Player Pro does when you hit Control + Option + Command + N which is make a new audio recording.

What TapeDeck does that QT Player doesn't, aside from the retro look and feel is it allows you to label each recording and then search through them afterwards. It also automatically saves the recording when you hit stop. It records to compressed MP4-AAC audio and has an adjustment for low and high quality recording. It's $25 which seems a bit steep for a one-trick pony to me but it could be helpful if you're going to be doing a lot of small recordings in a short amount of time. I hope they make an app called VCRDeck or something next :)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Converting Audio with iTunes Tips

Often when I have to convert audio from one format to another I'll toss it in QT Pro Player or AudialHub. I've been doing this because iTunes loves to drop the converted files into the iTunes library, add a second listing to my music library and other minor annoyances. Here's a great tip to avoid most of that nonsense and use iTunes to convert audio.

Basically hold down Option before you select the Advanced item from iTunes menubar and instead of "Convert Selection to AAC (or whatever your prefs are set to)..." you'll see "Convert to AAC..." again, or whatever your prefs are set to, and iTunes will ask you which file on what HD you want to convert. Now, hold down Option again before you tap Open and it'll ask you where you want to save the converted file! That's handy.

Command + Tab App Switcher

Here's a simple one that's VERY handy.

You can use Command + Tab to bring up the Application Switcher and keep tapping tab to cycle to the right (including wrap-around). But here's the one that some people don't know about: once you have the app switcher up you can tap ~ (tilde) to cycle to the left with wrap-around.

Handy if you're doing more than quickly using Command + Tab to switch between two apps; if you're using three or more this is a very fast way to toggle between apps and easier on the fingers since some people use Command + Shift + Tab to cycle to the left.

Apple kbase Updates

Apple updated a fair bit of FCS knowledge base articles the other night:

Color: Video out from Matrox MXO may appear stretched

Compressor: Don't export from Final Cut Pro using a QuickCluster

Fibre Channel Hardware Compatibility Guide

Final Cut Express: DV widescreen 16:9 workflow for iDVD

Final Cut Pro 6.0.2: Holding the Option key invokes snapping

Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Express: Application-specific key functions with the aluminum Apple Keyboard (2007)

Final Cut Pro: Disabling visibility and its effects on rendering

Final Cut Pro: Dropped Frames--Causes and Solutions

Final Cut Pro: Render required when outputting to tape

Final Cut Pro: Tips for archiving memory card-based media

Final Cut Studio: Encoders not seen in export options

You can subscribe to the lists here.


RevolverHD is a little shareware app that lets you dump your HD exports from iMovie'08 or FCP specifically to your Playstation 3. I haven't tried it yet but it seems like a fun toy. There are ways to do this without this tool but this tool makes it easier, however it limits your options a bit.