Software

Bugs & Fixes: iTunes 10, mobile Safari, and iWork for iPad tips

For today’s column, rather than serving a lone main entree, I offer a small plates special of three items—ranging from iTunes 10 crashes to iWork for iPad file sharing.

QuickTime may cause iTunes to crash

Following on the heels of my prior coverage of iTunes 10 troubleshooting, a new Apple support article reveals that “Tunes 10 for Mac may be unable to open or may quit unexpectedly.” While such crashes are a possibility for any application, and may be due to a myriad of causes, Apple focuses on one particular cause and cure in this instance: “This issue may occur if you have more than one copy of a QuickTime component in different folder locations.” These component files have names such as DesktopVideoOut.component or Sonix SN9C201 WebCam.component. The files may be located in one or more of the following folders: /Library/Components, /Library/QuickTime, ~/Library/Components or ~/Library/QuickTime.

If you find the exact same-named file in more than one of these locations (most likely one in a /Library directory and another in ~/Library directory), delete one of the duplicates. This should eliminate the crashes.

Does it matter which duplicate you delete? Yes, it can.

Choosing to delete a duplicate from a /Library folder means that the file will no longer be available to any of the other accounts on your Mac. This could be a problem if one of your other accounts does not have a copy of the file in their Home (~) directory. If so, they will wind up with no access to the file.

On the other hand, if you delete the file from your Home directory location, and other accounts do have the duplicate in their Home directories, they will still have the iTunes crashing problem — until they delete the duplicate from their own Home directories.

Choose you poison. In the long run, expect Apple to update iTunes so that the application is no longer susceptible to this bug.

Mobile Safari refuses to make calls

One of the great features of Safari on an iPhone is that, if you tap on a phone number displayed on a Web page, Safari recognizes it as a phone number and offers to call the number, shifting you to the Phone app if you accept. Recently, a colleague here at Macworld found she could no longer get this call feature to work.

The fix was easy. The JavaScript option, located in the Safari section of the iPhone’s Settings app, had inadvertently been switched to Off. Enabling it again restored the calling feature.

File sharing with iWork for iPad apps improved

As I have covered elsewhere, file sharing in the iWork for iPad apps (Pages, Keynote, and Numbers) is probably the apps’ weakest, most poorly implemented feature. Apple has begun to address this issue with the recent 1.2 updates for iWork apps.

The main improvement is that ,whereas you were previously limited to sharing documents via an awkward iTunes interface, you can now share files directly to and from your iDisk (if you are a MobileMe subscriber) or any WebDAV server. The original iTunes sharing option remains no better than it was before, but at least you now have other, more convenient, choices. If you’re not a MobileMe subscriber, consider Dropbox. It’s free and works very well as a file sharing option with a wide variety of apps, including the iWork trio.

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