Posts Tagged ‘iTunes’

Colorshare – Available in the App Store

Hot off the presses and approved by Apple mere moments ago, colorshare will become available in regional iPhone App Stores the world over over the next 48 hours or so.

Colorshare is a simple utility which allows you to quickly design a palette of colours on your iPhone or iPod Touch and with the tap of a button share it with the web using the unique palette ID number, which you can punch right into the homepage.

Once you’ve entered the ID of the palette you want to work with, it will appear on screen alone with a full breakdown of each colour in RGB, hexadecimal and CMYK.

Colorshare is completely free, and you can grab it from the App Store by following this link.

Mac OS X 10.7 Lion iTunes Widget Download


Whilst Java was actually pretty easy to load and X11 is installed by default, one thing definitely missing from Mac OS X 10.7 Lion is the iTunes widget. I use the iTunes widget all the time, so it was pretty annoying that it was not included with Lion.

I pulled the widget file from a Snow Leopard install I have on another machine and, thankfully, it works perfectly with the dashboard on Lion.

For anyone also missing the iTunes widget in Lion, you can download it here.

[Legal: I’m not the copyright holder or the original author of this file]

Frank Zappa: Technology, Business & the Web

During his lifetime, Frank Zappa was an inspirational free thinker, a compelling speaker and, often flying right in the face of the norm, held absolute conviction in his beliefs. For me, he was also the greatest and most inventive composer and guitar player to grace the planet.

Business Nous, Technology Vision

In addition to those bitchen’ factoids, Frank is also a business and technology hero of mine, and it’s maybe not so widely known how switched on to these fields he was throughout his career.

From the very earliest days of his career, Frank was determined to maintain creative and business control of his own product – by 1969, he headed a pair of record labels (Bizarre/Straight), releasing his own solo & Mothers of Invention material as well as other artists, including Alice Cooper, Tim Buckley and Captain Beefheart. In the mid-late 1970s, Frank demonstrated his absolute commitment to control, entering a legal spat with Warner Bros. records after they refused to distribute the ‘Läther’ four-LP box, instead chopping it into four separate album releases. He was vindicated in court, winning back the rights to all of his MGM & Warner Bros. recordings. All of his releases post-1979 appeared on his own Barking Pumpkin or Zappa Records labels.

After years of complacency, poor management, lack of innovation and an inability (or unwillingness) to explore new business models, many major record labels are on their knees today, a direct result of their ignorance of digital distribution – a concept invented by Frank way back in 1983. In fact, Frank’s idea to distribute music over a phone or cable connection was designed specifically to save money on distribution and curtail piracy. Yes, not only did Frank predict Napster, LimeWire et al, but he also came up with iTunes as a means to prevent the recording industry meltdown we’re now in the midst of.

Frank’s embrace of the latest technology began before the days of the Mothers of Invention – even in the early 60s he worked with a 5-track multitrack recording system, when such a setup was very high technology indeed and restricted to only the most expensive recording studios. In the 1980s, he began creating music using the New England Digital Synclavier digital audio workstation, largely obviating the human performers he had relied on for the rest of his career. As the Synclavier’s technology progressed, Frank stayed at the cutting edge – adding disk drives to store samples and more and more memory for multitracking. Compare the (Grammy award winning!) Jazz From Hell album with the final masterpiece, Civilization Phaze III, to hear the difference between the cutting edge FM voices of 1986 and the most sophisticated wavetable synthesis available in 1993. Frank’s Synclavier in its ultimate form was specced with 640MB of sample RAM. (In 1993, my desktop was running Windows 3.1 on a 486 with 4MB of RAM.)

FZ Online, 2011

Even in his absence, Frank’s following today is stronger than ever, thanks greatly to the dedicated community of fans using the web to share, enjoy and spread the word. Tomorrow, I’ll share my favourite Zappa-centric corners of the web, but for now, Easy Meat.

Growl Extensions

Growl is a vital addition to OS X for any power user. Unobtrusive notifications may be new to iOS, but for many years Mac OS users have enjoyed informative yet subtle messaging in the corners of their desktop through this program.

What many people might not realise, however, is that Growl actually ships with a couple of great plugins which enhance its usefulness yet further.


iPhone 3G Crashed During Restore [Unbricked]

I was restoring my iPhone 3G (iOS 4.2.1) on my Mac when iTunes suddenly and unexpectedly quit. All I was left with on the screen was the Apple logo and a static progress bar. The thing wouldn’t even power off at all (I had to open it and disconnect all the ribbons from the logic board to cut the power) and the ‘helpful solutions’ from the internet all seem to revolve around Jailbreaking, which I’m not into.

Opening, I noticed an easter egg error message:

Jun 11 12:04:35 imac iTunesHelper[489]: _MobileDeviceConnect_locked (thread 0x7fff706eaca0): This is not the droid you're looking for (is actually Move along, move along.

Funny, but pretty jarring considering my phone was broken. There was very little information about this particular console log entry online, but it seemed to point to the device being locked in a semi-restored limbo.

I even tried using Jailbreak tools – for Macintosh and Windows – to force the thing into recovery mode. No avail.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, the way I managed to get the thing working again:

– Open up your phone (ifixit has great guides)

– Disconnect all the ribbon cables from the mainboard

– Leave the phone for a few hours

I left the stripped down phone on my desk, went shopping for two or thee hours and plugged it in on my return. To my amazement, I was given the ‘Connect to iTunes’ screen. iTunes initially recognised the phone was in recovery mode and offered to install the latest firmware. I accepted, and it downloaded and attempted to install. However, I was informed that the device was ‘Not Eligible’ for the file downloaded. The iPhone then – astonishingly – rebooted straight into iOS, with all of my old files, contacts and apps present.

While this might not be completely scientific, I encourage anyone with a ‘bricked’ 3G to persevere. Try disconnecting everything from the logic board – it worked for me. Bizarre.