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View Extra Audio Details in Snow Leopard

In Snow Leopard, Option-clicking the Volume icon in the menu bar displays a list of sound input and output devices. Choose one to switch to it; it's much easier than using the Sound preference pane. Also, hold Shift and click the icon to set the system volume, which is separate from the general output volume.

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Doug McLean

 
 

ExtraBITS for 13 December 2010

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If you haven’t been listening to iTunes Store previews recently, you might not have realized that they’ve largely been extended from 30 seconds to 90 seconds. And you’ll spend a lot more than 90 seconds reading Michael Mace’s fascinating explanation of why Apple is beating RIM, and how computing platforms die.

iTunes Store Offers 90-second Song Previews -- Lex Friedman writes at Macworld about how Apple has now modified the U.S. iTunes Store to play 90-second previews of songs longer than two-and-a-half minutes; that’s up from 30 seconds. According to Lex, not all songs have the new previews yet, and the longer previews are limited to the U.S. iTunes Store, presumably due to licensing restrictions in other countries. Still, 90 seconds is much better for getting a sense of a song. Oh, and look carefully at the screenshot; 90 seconds should be more than enough to get a sense of that piece!

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Michael Mace Explains Why Apple Is Beating RIM -- This lengthy blog post from ex-Apple and ex-Palm exec Michael Mace provides a fascinating look at what BlackBerry maker RIM is doing wrong, and, more generally, how a computing platform dies. It’s a few months old, but well worth reading for an insider’s view of how large technology companies can succeed or fail.

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