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ExtraBITS for 15 February 2016

In this week’s ExtraBITS collection, Google is shutting down its Picasa photo service, a serious (but now fixed) bug in Adobe Creative Cloud’s Mac software deletes files, Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus sets his criticisms of iTunes to music, Apple Music works with Sonos audio systems, and the Apple Store is installing Belkin screen protectors on iPhones.

Google to Shut Down Picasa in Favor of Google Photos -- Google has announced that it will shut down its Picasa photo service on 1 May 2016. The company advises Picasa users to log in to Google Photos to access their Picasa photos, which should already be transferred. Google also said that it will provide a way for Picasa users to access their photos without Google Photos. As for the Picasa desktop app, Google will stop supporting it on 15 March 2016. We can’t say that we’re surprised by this move, since Google has shifted heavily toward Google Photos, but we will miss Picasa’s Mac app, as it was one of only a handful of alternatives to Apple’s Photos on the Mac.

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Adobe Creative Cloud App Deletes Contents of Hidden Folders -- The folks at cloud-backup service Backblaze discovered a troubling behavior in Adobe Creative Cloud: an update to Adobe’s Mac software was deleting the contents of the first hidden folder it saw, in alphabetical order, at the root of users’ disks. (Hidden folders aren’t displayed in the Finder, but often contain important settings or other data.) Backblaze users noticed the bug because the Backblaze app depends on a hidden folder called .bzvol, which is often alphabetically the first hidden folder on Backblaze users’ drives. For other Mac users, the first folder would likely have been .DocumentRevisions-V100, which stores data required for OS X’s Auto Save and Versions features — deleting that data could be problematic. Adobe acknowledged the bug and replaced the update quickly, so make sure to let Creative Cloud update itself.

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iTunes Must Die: The Song (and Petition) -- Over the years, we’ve shared numerous lamentations about the myriad problems with iTunes. The latest person to lend his voice — literally — to the cause is well-known author and musician Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus, who has recorded the song “iTunes Must Die” in conjunction with an “iTunes Must Die” petition. You can preview it for free on CD Baby, and if you want your own copy, it’s available for $0.99 from Amazon, CD Baby, and Google Play, though not yet from the iTunes Store. Hmm…

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Apple Music Arrives on Sonos -- If you’re a fan of both Sonos wireless audio systems and Apple Music, we have good news: they now work together! To stream songs from Apple Music on your Sonos system, choose Add Music Services in any Sonos controller app, tap the Apple Music button, and log in.

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Apple Stores Installing Belkin iPhone Screen Protectors -- Although iPhone screens are generally quite durable, particularly if guarded by a case, some people like to add a screen protector too. But installing a screen protector can be a finicky and error-prone process that suffers from problems with alignment, air bubbles, and trapped dust. Apple and Belkin are trying to address these frustrations in Apple retail stores, where Apple employees will install screen protectors using Belkin’s proprietary ScreenCare+ Application System — a machine designed to perform perfect installations. The system works with the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, and 6s Plus, and offers two screen protector options: InvisiGlass and Anti-Glare.

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