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Kirk McElhearn

Kirk McElhearn

Kirk McElhearn is a Senior Contributor to Macworld, an occasional contributor to TidBITS, and writes about more than just Macs on his blog Kirkville. Follow him on Twitter at @mcelhearn. Kirk's latest book is Take Control of iTunes 10: The FAQ. (September 2010)

Kirk McElhearn 15 comments

How to Download all Your Apple Data

Apple now allows Europeans to download most of the data linked to an Apple ID that is stored on their servers. Kirk McElhearn tried it out to see what data was available and how complex the process was.

Kirk McElhearn 140 comments

iTunes 12.7 Giveth, but Mostly It Taketh Apps and Ringtones Away

Apple has updated iTunes, as it often does around this time of year. The new iTunes 12.7 has a few minor tweaks and one huge change: the removal of the iOS App Store. iTunes expert Kirk McElhearn looks at the most significant changes and digs into problems and solutions for those who manage iOS apps from their Macs.

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Beware Nasty Auto-Download Music Bug in iOS 9

Many iCloud Music Library and iTunes Match users are finding that their iOS devices are downloading music without their knowledge. Kirk McElhearn explains how to prevent this before it could leave you with an enormous data bill.

Kirk McElhearn 12 comments

Vox 2.0: A Minimalist Music Player that Needs Work

Vox promises a simplified alternative to iTunes, but how does it hold up for serious music fans? Kirk McElhearn, author of “Take Control of iTunes 11: The FAQ,” puts it to the test.

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Going In Depth on Mountain Lion’s Notifications

Notifications are one of Mountain Lion’s most compelling new features, but they can become overwhelming. Kirk McElhearn looks at how to set up notifications, and how to keep them from becoming a headache.

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Take a Memo: Ten Tips for Successful Voice Dictation

Kirk McElhearn has been dictating for years, into tape recorders, digital dictaphones, and his Mac via speech recognition software. He shares his top ten tricks and techniques for making your life easier with the new dictation features in Mountain Lion and the third-generation iPad.

Kirk McElhearn 9 comments

Free Disrupts Telecom Market in France

Kirk McElhearn explains how the French telecom provider Free enables him to pay far less for connectivity — including cell phone, landline, Internet, and TV. We’re not all likely to move to France just to save on our communications costs, but similar market disruptions could take place in other countries.

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Syncing iOS Devices Wirelessly with iTunes 10.5 and iCloud

The big news in iTunes 10.5 right now is support for Wi-Fi syncing and iCloud backups of your iOS devices. Kirk McElhearn explains what they’ll do for you and how to turn them on.

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Video Viewing in Lion Freezes New iMacs

Owners of new iMacs are reporting a significant number of hard freezes after upgrading to Mac OS X Lion, even when the same Macs worked perfectly under Snow Leopard. The only way to avoid the problem currently known is to avoid sleeping. The iMac, not you.

Kirk McElhearn 7 comments

iTunes 10.3 Offers Automatic Downloads and Access to Purchases

In the first glimpse of what iCloud will mean to Mac and iOS users, Apple has released iTunes 10.3 with a pair of new features: Automatic Downloads that ensures that all purchases appear on all your devices, and the long-awaited capability to re-download purchases.

Kirk McElhearn 21 comments

iTunes 10.2: More Than Just iPad 2 and iOS 4.3 Support

iTunes 10.2 is out to support the upcoming releases of the iPad 2 and iOS 4.3, but Kirk McElhearn’s eagle eye has spotted a few other minor changes, largely in the program’s preferences, along with slightly improved performance.

Kirk McElhearn 74 comments

Is iTunes Bloated?

Apple has shoehorned every feature short of the kitchen sink into the increasingly misnamed iTunes - surely that means the program is a classic example of bloatware? Or is it? Kirk McElhearn, who has written numerous articles and books about iTunes, examines the charges that iTunes is bloated to see if they're valid.

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Amazon Extends Kindle Beyond United States

Amazon has released the international Kindle, bringing its signature ebook reader to the world outside the United States. But do the company's pricing plans blunt an otherwise exciting announcement? Kirk McElhearn, writing from his home office in the French Alps, takes a look.

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Apple, iTunes and France: The Reality

You may have read that the French are at it again: harassing Apple, and requiring them to open the FairPlay digital rights management (DRM) system used to protect music files sold by the iTunes Music Store

Kirk McElhearn No comments

Spinning Around with the ShuttleXpress

When I bought one of Griffin Technology's PowerMates, I thought it was the cat's pajamas. In my review here last year (see "Unleashing the Power of the PowerMate" in TidBITS-653), I said, "It will most likely remain by my keyboard for a very long time." Alas, that time is shorter than I had expected, for I have found something even better: the Contour Design ShuttleXpress. The PowerMate is a strange gadget: consisting of a rotating knob and a push-button, it can be programmed to do almost anything with any application