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Improve Apple Services with AirPort Base Stations

You can make iChat file transfers, iDisk, and Back to My Mac work better by turning on a setting with Apple AirPort base stations released starting in 2003. Launch AirPort Utility, select your base station, click Manual Setup, choose the Internet view, and click the NAT tab. Check the Enable NAT Port Mapping Protocol (NAT-PMP) box, and click Update. NAT-PMP lets your Mac OS X computer give Apple information to connect back into a network that's otherwise unreachable from the rest of the Internet. This speeds updates and makes connections work better for services run by Apple.


Apple Improves iTunes Gift Card Redemptions for the Holidays

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iTunes gift cards make great stocking stuffers for any Apple fan, since they can be used for music and video from the iTunes Store, apps from the App Store and the Mac App Store, and books from the iBookstore. Now, just in time for the holidays, Apple has improved its gift card experience in two big ways.

First, scratch-offs are no more. Now the redemption codes are hidden under a peel-off label. No more digging for loose change just to reveal your code.

Second, as much as the peel-off labels are welcome, if you have iTunes 11 and a Mac with a built-in camera, you don’t have to key in the code manually anymore. In iTunes 11, click the iTunes Store button in the upper right, click the house button to go to the main screen of the iTunes Store if necessary, click Redeem under Quick Links, sign in to your iTunes account, and click the Use Camera button. (iTunes doesn’t display that button on Adam Engst’s Mac Pro; presumably it doesn’t see third-party cameras like his Logitech C910.) Simply show the card’s redemption code to the camera, and iTunes should capture it quickly.

It’s almost worth buying an iTunes Gift Card just to see the effect. It’s a small change, but it makes the experience of cashing in a gift card so much more pleasant than typing in a long set of characters.


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Comments about Apple Improves iTunes Gift Card Redemptions for the Holidays
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William Dickenson  2012-12-18 07:01
Just tried it out. Too cool. Can't tell you how many times I keyed in the wrong number
I have been searching for confirmation whether this does, or doesn't, work in Snow Leopard. Your article suggests it *is not* OS-specific the same as Apple's Support document HT5556. If anyone has had success making the camera gift card redemption method work in Snow Leopard I would appreciate knowing.