iTunes Plugin : CoverFlow

I was reading this article on MacDevCenter about tweaking iTunes and they pointed to possibly one of the coolest music plug-ins for iTunes.

CoverFlow is completely amazing. The video on their home-page is exactly what it does, and it does it beautifully!

As their site says:

Don’t know about you, but I find browsing a list of album names somewhat uninspiring, to say the least. One of the big attractions of a physical album is the beautiful packaging and aesthetic appeal, something that’s sorely missed with the digital equivalent.

CoverFlow aims to bring that aesthetic appeal to your mp3 collection. It allows you to browse your albums complete with beautiful artwork pulled from any sources it can find, whether that’s buried in your song tags, collected via Synergy, or looked up on Amazon.

CoverFlow is far better seen than described, so you might like to take a look at it in motion:

And just so you don’t get too excited about it before it’s time: Mac OS-X 10.4 or higher only.

Useful Firefox Extensions

While at work I use the hell out of Firefox (portable), and OpenOffice (portable). I love the power and flexibility of these apps.

Firefox, for those of you that use it has the ability to add features through an excellent plug in system that developers can access. I came across this list of plugins that are great but not widely know about, but are worth their weight in gold. I didn’t even know about some of them.

10 Useful Firefox Extensions That Don’t Get Glamorised (Connected Internet News | Broadband Mobile Gaming News)

My Motorola L7 SLVR

I had been drooling over this phone for about 4 months now since I saw it on phone scoop. I got one about 2 weeks ago and this AM I saw an article on MacNN that said Cingular would be releasing the L7 with iTunes. It sux that the version that I have does not have either a headphone jack or iTunes. I speculate that not having one would preclude you from the other.Motorola L7

Anyway, I picked up mine on eBay through moe9918 for $250 about $50 less than anyone else was asking. He / She has ones for the same price with SD cards and headsets now, oh well.

I do have a couple of gripes about the phone, but overall it is an excellent phone.

The biggest problem that I had was configuring MMS (picture) messaging. T-Mobile‘s tech service was exceptional with helping me get this phone setup. This is not only a phone that they do not sell, but it is a very new phone and they fixed me up in about 30 minutes. The only reason that it took so long was because I had to get to level3 tech support.

Apple's Spell Check

I cannot spell, it’s no secret. So because of that I rely heavily on the built-in spell checking on Apple’s OS-X. I have recently found that some more obscure words like ceviche, also an excellent local restaurant here in the Tampa Bay area, is not in the spell checker but it is in the Dictionary application.

Order, Chaos and my e-mail

I have stopped organizing my email. after some thought and a bit of time playing with my G-Mail account I have decided that it is time to take an organizational leap of faith and allow to make it’s own order from my chaos.

Something that gmail does that is really a departure from the norm is the conspicuous absence of folders. I allows you to label you mail and apply rules to it but beyond that the interface and application require you to place your faith in the power of Google’s search algorithms. I have to admit that initially I was more than a little hesitatnt to relinquish controle fo my orginization to meerly searching for something wehn I may need to find it. But I has proved to be quite liberating both in the fact that I can find anything whenever I need it but also that it frees up a substantial ammount of my time because I am not trying to place my mail into the appropriate folder in case I needed to locate it later.

Taking G-Mail’s idea a little bit further I have decided to allow to do the same thing… more or less. Through the years I have spent on OS-X, I have written many rules to automatically move mail to special mailboxes and copy it to other folders based on who sent it, when it was sent, what mailbox it came in on…. you get the idea. I still have those rules in effect but I don’t use those mailboxes any longer. They are still there soly because I don’t want to move the 1.2Gb of mail into one huge folder just yet—I’m afraid it could be bad, but that is just my reluctance and time limitations. I may do that someday soon, but I will need to makie sure that I have a bit of time to try it out and have a really fresh backup.

What I do now is, I have several smart mailboxes that sort my mail into when it was recieved. This has been working amazingly well for me for quite some time. Everything stays in one mailbox and I either use spotlight to find it when I need it or I create a new smart mailbox. The power that this allows me is really impressive because not only can I search for a term, but I can also search from, to, date and with this hint from I can use boolian logic in my search terms.

(Bootnote: SmartFolders are only available in Apple’s 2.0 & G-Mail is only available via invitation)

Ask me for a gmail account if you would like one.