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Pick an apple! 
 
Single Time Machine Backups

Tired of Time Machine running all the time? You can turn it off in the Time Machine preference pane, but still initiate a single backup by choosing Back Up Now from Time Machine's menu bar icon. Of course, your backup is much less likely to be up to date, but Time Machine won't be taking any resources while you're trying to work.

Submitted by
Richard Kane

 
 

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.

 

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