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Mac OS X Services in Snow Leopard

Mac OS X Services let one application supply its powers to another; for example, a Grab service helps TextEdit paste a screenshot into a document. Most users either don't know that Services exist, because they're in an obscure hierarchical menu (ApplicationName > Services), or they mostly don't use them because there are so many of them.

Snow Leopard makes it easier for the uninitiated to utilize this feature; only services appropriate to the current context appear. And in addition to the hierarchical menu, services are discoverable as custom contextual menu items - Control-click in a TextEdit document to access the Grab service, for instance.

In addition, the revamped Keyboard preference pane lets you manage services for the first time ever. You can enable and disable them, and even change their keyboard shortcuts.

Submitted by
Doug McLean

 
 

Apple Releases iTunes 4.8

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Apple Releases iTunes 4.8 -- Apple today released iTunes 4.8, a free download with minimal documentation. According to the ReadMe file, "iTunes 4.8 includes new Music Store features and support for transferring contacts and calendars from your computer to your iPod," noting that the latter feature requires Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. Poking around a bit reveals that Apple is incorporating video into iTunes; you can drag a QuickTime movie to the Library, where it appears with a small gray videocamera icon. Playing the movie displays it in the little Now Playing box (where album covers appear); clicking the movie opens it in a separate window, and clicking a new Show Video Full Screen button presents the movie full screen (although the full-screen option doesn't work for videos or movie trailers downloaded from the iTunes Music Store.) A new preference also controls the default window setting for video playback. As of this writing, the update was available only as a stand-alone download, but I'm guessing it will appear via Software Update soon. The iTunes 4.8 installer is an 11 MB download. [JLC]

<http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/apple/ itunes48.html>

 

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