Sunday, December 20, 2009

iphone media database applications

If your like most folks who own an iphone and wish to see just what kind of things you can do with it, one of the biggest areas is database of your movies, music and books. So searching in itunes apps, I found threw the years in owning my iphone what I believe are the best for my needs.
Be it for Music, books, movies, you have some choices for the iphone. From Pocketpedia2(not cheap and like Bento, very intensive). Juicy library (does movies, books, music in one app) is buggy and no backup. Album dashboard, Book library, Dvd dashboard, Bento (where you need to buy the desktop version to). Idiscography, and a few others I may have missed.
Some of these have backups and others do not.
My ultimate choice came down to three apps by the same developer. Disc Tracker, Myboxoffice, ibookshelf. All of these have the same structure in the database and the most detailed, multiple choice views, and with scanning features that cost an extra 99 cents per app-in my view is well worth it if you have a lot of media. Has built in camera if you can't get an image or the one u want. All of these apps cost 1.99 on the app store. In my opinion there is nothing to compare with the details, choices this app gives you. Even write your own private notes on each media input. Each has a backup & restore feature. Other areas of interest: search, landscape view of photos. Rate product, if you viewed or listened or read the item. What type of media, blueray or other and if it's loaned out. Genre.
Update, Looks as tho I missed one. My Library by the same author and it covers cd's, movies, and books under one app. Not as detailed, but nice.
I suggest you check out a number of these for yourself. If you are someone who wishes to have everything and don't mind the time and expense, than "Bento" may be best suited.
Let me know which of these you prefer or if you find something I have missed. Jon L

Friday, November 27, 2009

PDF organizers

Started looking for a PDF organizer for websites I wanted to download information from. Articles, PDF's, News stories, etc. I found three of them that seem to be the top ones to get.
PDF pen or pro version.
Even Notebook, by Circus Poney, has many options.
Notetaker by Aguaminds.
But for the sake of ease, I choose the pdf centric apps. I have played with all three demo's and found that to my liking is "yojimbo", as it does more than just PDF's. So does "papers", but it's specialty is PDF's and search for academics. I opted for both "Yojimbo" and "Papers".
I like Papers for the iphone app that comes separately. So from your desktop to iphone your PDF's can be accessed. What I mostly like about "yojimbo" and "Papers" is that you can download them right from the web, already from the browser. Just save as if your printing and your webpage saves as a PDF. This is great to keep all kinds of documents for future reference.
One hint is in saving the whole document if it has multiple pages on your browser, is to hit the print icon. Some of the articles come up in one long page, making it perfect to save as a PDF. This way you don't have to try and work with it later in Preview. You will pay between 40 & 70 dollars. Jon L

Sunday, October 25, 2009

New iMac's and disappointments

Some thoughts on the new imac. I really like the idea of cinematic screens, but not on a computer! Why, because real estate is lost. The 24 inch screens had more vertical space to work with. Not all bad, as the Apple TV can work well with the new models(Update: found out this isn't true). One solution is for the imac to take on the iphones technology using sensors for vertical and horizontal views. I realize that the imac can't achieve this as is with the size of the screens. But, why can't Apple make a screen that turns horizontal and vertical - I have seen it done on other brand name monitors. I guess it might be problematic for the cords running into the computer (but were talking about Apple). If you remove the icons of the dash board you can get another inch or so of real estate.
The glossy reflections still bother me big-time! If your a photographer, artist, graphic designer or someone who works with color editing this can be a problem. If they can have matte screens for Macbook pros, why not imac's? I still love the matte screen on my imac 2006 17in) late edition model. The colors are still great and no reflections of any kind. Apple just seems to be uninterested in those who need or wish for matte screens.
Even if we have to pay more, I want that option. I do like the new computers, but will not be upgrading just because of that problem. This leaves me in a quandary as to where to go from here. The mac mini? No! Not enough power(graphics card). The Macbook pro? No, to expensive for my taste.
One last beef. Why can't apple make the calibration of the monitor easier than it is. On the third party monitors there is a much more professional options for getting the monitor calibrated at it's peak level of capability.
Don't wish this to sound like a rant, it's just that we can and do expect the most from Apple!
Checked out the new imac mouse; just love it. Simple but a bit small for bigger hands. Give us two sizes please. Jon L

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Major Snow Leopard Bug

Got this off the news. Looks like everyone should be aware of this and how to avoid it. Among other issues below.
Snow Leopard deleting user accounts
Here's another problem.
disappearing files
I have had problems saving files to the same folder. Once I save to a folder and try to do it again; it goes to the level above, but not the folder I previously saved to. Jon L

Monday, September 28, 2009

Battery charger for the iphone

After realizing that I needed backup power for my iphone, I went on a search for it. The web being the best place, as the stores I went to had little or nothing to offer.
Hense, googling a number of sites, reading reviews-I came upon the I found it by asking myself what I really needed and wanted. Did I want a powerful battery backup or something that was contoured and easy to go with my iphone? I chose the latter. I didn't really want a long chord going from battery charger to iphone, even thou I could charge the iphone 4 or 5 times from 10% charge. The uses on a plane ride would have been perfect for such a device. But, needing something for everyday use, I found some I really thought would work well, but sacrificing the power. I looked at the Fastmac Truepower iv, which I almost bought. Has more power than the Mili and a flashlight. Seidio, nice compact, cheap, but lacking any real power. The famous or well known "Mophie juice pack." Good, but problems with peeling materials and lesser power. Then there's the u2o ipu-5400 packs mega power, but have to use a chord to the iphone. If you check Amazon or bymeaniphone link , you can find more info and make an informed decision on what will work best for you. One last thing, I'm reading that if you get a battery charger that covers the whole iphone, expect potential problems with reception. Jon L

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Favorite iphone photo apps

Since having my iphone updated from 2g to the new 3Gs, I have Found it more compelling to look for apps that work with the new camera and video on the iphone. My list of useful iphone apps.
Camera Bag
Vint B&W
OOF Camera
Cool fx
Camera HD
Any of these you will have to decide for yourself on. These are just my picks. Would love to hear from others who use them. You can find these on itunes. Jon

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Snow Leopard

With the advent of the new release of Snow leopard, how was the upgrade and how much speed improvement was there really? For me, it wasn't a very good upgrade. One, I couldn't upgrade at all. So I had to erase my drive and do a complete new install. I only used snow leopard for the installation and used my time machine backup for getting things back. My main problem was using time machine, make sure you don't exclude your main internal drive or you won't be backing up anything. Other problem, was a quirk of not being able to quit a program? I rebooted and repaired permissions-haven't seen the problem again. Next problem, my mouse is crippled, as logitech hasn't completed it's leopard update drivers?
Regarding my image editing software. Lightroom had no problems. Cs3 wouldn't start. Licensing issue and I haven't resolved it yet? Adobe, damn you! Wonder just how much time I will have to spend just getting it to boot.
Otherwise, it's a nice upgrade. But without being able to upgrade my ram or video card, it wouldn't have been worth the upgrade if I had to pay a regular price. But at 29 dollars it was worth it.
P.S. After spending about 6 hours, I fixed Cs3 and had it launch. Not even sure how I did it. But manually changed a few key things in preferences in user mode and system library. Using my time machine backup prefs. Here is a link to some of the issues. Adobe sucks in my opinion. What a mess. Jon L
Adobe forum

Thursday, June 04, 2009


The one that Apple should have made. It's an operating system built into the web browser. Looks sweet. Although I think Apple can do so much more if it holds all the apps like the iphone. I may get one if the price is right. Apple needs to get to work on this big-time. My opinion only, as they may be afraid of the notebooks being cannibalized.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

colour calibration for monitor, print

So much time has passed since my last post on this, I thought I would share some of the latest information. JonL
Monitor calibration

Adobe forums

Overview of colour management
Delving deeper into the questions
My older post has more links. NOVEMBER 07, 2006

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Making an emergency Flash drive

I tried for years to get a good flash drive for an emergency disk. One that contained all my utilities for fixing or rescuing drives and the information on them. But the drives were just to small at one and two gigs. Well now that the prices of flash drives have dropped so low, now I find it is much easier to just buy a 16gb flash drive and put the whole OsX operating system on it. Of course this is the trimmed down version. Just the basic operating system. You will find this in the Leopard disk that came with your mac. Use the custom option.
I also tried the 8gb, but it is so slow (everything action crawls) and you have to trim down the operating system to an extreme in order to fit it in. But it can be done. But I’m much happier with the 16gigs.
Using the Leopard disk I have, I booted up from this and then formatted my flash drive using GUID and Extended Journaled with a partition of one. Then after it reboots you can update on the computer software update app or like I did, download the combo version off of Apples site.
Then just add the utility apps you want on the flash drive. Repair permissions and you have your new emergency disk. If you did it right, you should have just over 7gigs space left and it's much snapper performance than the 8gig or smaller. JonL
Emergency OS X Boot Device

Thursday, March 19, 2009

New Security Risks for the Mac?

Came across this post from Macworld today. Not sure about all it's implications, but thought I would pass it on. JonL
An interesting site called
Mac security blog.
Security help from Pauldotcom. I don't pretend to understand most of what these guys talk about on their podcast. but this link is pretty basic stuff.
New from Macworld: Fifteen easy fixes for Mac security risks
Another Macworld article on security: How to secure your home network

Monday, March 16, 2009

On-line backups

Carbonite has recently released a on-line backup for Mac.
Had some experience with Mozy. I found it way to slow. Perhaps DSL connection isn't the way to go.
One reviewer gives Blackblaze the thumbs up.
Comparision review
And some more players.
Would like to hear what you all prefer. JonL

Sunday, March 08, 2009

PGP encryption

Hi, Have been following encryption software options now for sometime. From PGP, Truecrypt, Fileguard. Tried them all and PGP seems to be the most comprehensive of the three.
While doing a search on PGP. I found multiple shows on Typicalmacuser.
Podcast shows
Intego with FileGuard.
Veridis has Filecrypt.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Automator (text to audio aiff)

I used to use ispeakit, but decided I didn't want to pay for an upgrade. So after doing a google search I found "Automator" in my own app folder. I found an article showing how to make a simple plug-in within automator that converts text to speech or audio file.
Turn text into audio
You can put this into itunes or on your ipod or iphone. Just double click the file and it's in itunes. Works for when you want to listen to something instead of read it. Or when your not able to read, but can listen. Or just write your own audio book.
You can find the automator workflow plug-ins under users-home folder-library-workflows-applications-finder folder.
I made a new folder in my documents called "audio books" for saving when using automator. Then put the folder in the side bar for easy access.
Here is another Script writer for doing the same thing and more. Jon L
Charles Kelly's Macintosh Page: Text to speech.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Lightroom shortcut

There was a discussion on moving from lightrooms develop to library and back again. Some complained about the time to go back and forth.

Short cut from develop to other library folders is here. In develop, look to the bottom where the thumbnails are. Right above the thumbnails, see the writing of details on the image. There is a downward v at the far right of the text. Click here and see all your library folders without ever leaving develop mode. Jon L

Develop to library and back

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Better Finder Rename

After finding this software posted on the dpreview board, I took a closer look. It is very simple software for renaming your photos and other files; music, text-with extra details on the website. You can also save as presets, thou I didn't do any.
I'm speaking strictly from a photographers use. The best way to learn is the demo and the screencast on the website to get you up to speed. Then read the Overview on the webpage for more details. The data changes will show in realtime previews, so it makes it easy to see what is going to show as the end result. My only misgiving, was the fact that dropping folders seems a bit confusing. Seems best to open folder first and then drop the images, one or all, or the sequence might be shown as a folder, for the first image.
I recommend this software for those who have lots of images and don't wish to change them one at a time. Should save anyone hours of time consuming work. If your like me, I can see it useful for generic photo-shoots (weddings, vacation, webmasters), but whether naming folders or like me, going threw every image and then typing in a caption,label, if this would make sense for organization of your photo library is your call.
Not sure if there are any photoshop software or plugins in this area. The closest things I can find is Graphic converter. Jon L
Graphic converter$35

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Mac and the Blu-Ray DVD

Here is a introduction to working with Blu-Ray. Just keep in mind what video card you have in your Mac; as anything but the newer Mac's may not be able to work with your new Blu-Ray player/Burner. DVD Authoring
More info on how to use with different mac's.
Blu-Ray drives and disc's for Mac's
Lacie also has one I'm told. LG also makes one. Jon L

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Lightroom workflow presets

Lightroom presets for workflow. A basic starting point. First you will need your monitor calibrated. Lightroom 2. Photoshop CS3 or newer.

After working with Lightroom for about two weeks now. I found that there is a learning curve to working with develop settings and trying to find the best image. I took this up, because I was getting kind of flat looking results with lightroom only. Figured I needed a good starting base to work from.

Since I already had CS3, I took the raw file from lightroom and edited it to CS3 threw edit export. Then using curves in CS3, I used Scott Kelby's Method of working shadows, mid-tones and highlights. From there I made any final tweaks opening up curves again.

Next saved the image and went back to lightroom 2. where it showed up as a PSD file. Next, I made a virtual copy of the (raw file) original and tried to match the same exposure, colour, contrast, etc. of the psd using lightroom. Making these adjustments in the develop module, mostly using Basic and Tone curves. After getting as close as possible to the settings I had made in curves with CS3 (psd file), I used the virtual copied clone file in lightroom to make a preset.

I called this preset "CS3 snap" and use it as my base starting point in lightroom. Works pretty good and I make tweaks from there when working with a new image. I think there is room for other presets in areas like hard backlight and Black N White. I made another for backlit images.
You will have to make new presets for every different camera you use.

Would like to know how other lightroom users are getting consistant results. Improving processes, techniques. Would like to know how it works for others. Jon L