Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the best-selling Take Control ebooks.

 

 

Pick an apple! 
 
See All Your Books in iBooks

The iBooks app for iOS lets you assign your books to different collections, but does not have any obvious way for you to see all of your books, regardless of the collection you have put them in. There is, however, a workaround that can show you just about all of your books at once: reveal the search field at the top of any collection in iBooks and type a single space into that field.

With this search, iBooks lists all of the books that have a space either in the title of the book or in the author's name. Other than the rare book that has a one-word title and a single-name author, you end up with a list of all of your books.

Submitted by
Michael E. Cohen

 
 

Listen to Music Online with PandoraBoy

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Thanksgiving is past, and December is here, which means that my month-long window for listening to Christmas music is upon me. We have a decent selection of Christmas music ripped to iTunes from our CD collection, but unlike my normal listening habits, where I want to pick the artists quite carefully, Christmas music is all about the genre for me, and I like hearing new takes on favorite songs from artists I've never heard before.

The online music service Pandora is great for that. By merely telling it what you like and don't like, it plays a variety of songs from its broad selection of holiday music (see "Pandora Beats iTunes for Holiday Music," 2005-10-05). But as much as I like the idea of Pandora, the fact that it runs in a Web browser bugs the heck out of me. It's too easy to lose track of the tab Pandora's using, and if I minimize it to a small window, clicks that open URLs from other applications often end up using that small window if I forget to switch back to a normal browser window after using Pandora's controls.

A clever little application called PandoraBoy fixes all that. It uses WebKit to display the Pandora player in its own window, but goes beyond that to provide global hotkey shortcuts for rating songs, skipping to the next song, and adjusting volume. It also supports the Apple Remote, provides AppleScript support, updates itself via Sparkle (see "Sparkle Improves Application Update Experience," 2007-08-20), and uses Growl to notify you when a new song starts playing.

Future plans for PandoraBoy include integration with the iTunes Store (to make it easy to purchase tracks you've heard), logging of played tracks, and support for the Last.fm online music service. For now, though, the free PandoraBoy 0.4.2 is a 757K download and works with Mac OS X 10.4 or later.

 

New for iOS 8: TextExpander 3 with custom keyboard.
Set up short abbreviations which expand to larger bits of text,
such as “Tx” for “TextExpander”. With the new custom keyboard,
you can expand abbreviations in any app, including Safari and
Mail. <http://smle.us/tetouch3-tb>