Kirk McElhearnSenior Contributor, Macworld

Senior contributor Kirk McElhearn (@mcelhearn) writes The Ask the iTunes Guy column and writes about Macs, music and more on his blog Kirkville. He's also the author of Take Control of iTunes 11: The FAQ.

Ask the iTunes Guy: Converting music files

The iTunes Guy answers questions about importing and converting audio.

Encrypt any disk in Mountain Lion

One of the more interesting (and less visible) new features in Mountain Lion is the ability to encrypt almost any disk, even simple USB flash drives. Here's how to access this hidden option.

How to save search URLs in Safari 6

The version of Safari that comes with OS X Mountain Lion has a new unified search-address field. That can be a big convenience, but it can also be a problem if you want to copy or save the URL of a Google search; the URL doesn't appear in the search-address field, only the search term. But Dan Frakes and others figured out some fixes for that.

Mountain Lion: Pause notifications, edit bookmarks

Now that Mountain Lion is here, it's time to roll out some reader tips for it. First up: how to quickly pause alerts and banners, and a shortcut for renaming Safari bookmarks.

Ask the iTunes Guy: Grab bag

The iTunes Guy answers questions on a variety of topics.

Use VisualDiffer to compare the contents of folders and files

With files, you may want to look at changes in source code, HTML code, or other data. VisualDiffer will spot these differences for you.

Force iOS to use YouTube site instead of app

The YouTube app that comes with iOS might be convenient, but it hasn't been updated in years. YouTube's own mobile site is better. Here's how to force iOS to use that site instead of the app for YouTube links.

Log Leech offers a clean interface for viewing system log files

Log Leech can group system log entries by application or process, something you can only do in your Mac's native Console by running searches.

Ten stellar keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts can help you save time and keep your hands on my keyboard. Here are 10 of Kirk McElhearn's favorite shortcuts for the applications he uses most.

Move iTunes media files to other locations with TuneSpan

TuneSpan lets you move parts of your iTunes library to other hard drives, but still use the content for playback and syncing as usual. Kirk McElhearn walks you through how to use it.

Back up blog or FTP directory with AppleScript

A Hints reader wanted to back up his Wordpress blog, but didn't like the available backup plug-ins. So he wrote an AppleScript to do the job and set it to run automatically every day.

TechHive: How speakers work

techhive.com

We often take it for granted that sound just comes out of speakers, but how they work is interesting -- and important to their placement.

Ask the iTunes Guy: iTunes Store questions

The iTunes Guy answers questions about the iTunes Store.

Prevent accidental app closures with CommandQ

CommandQ blocks the Command-Q shortcut, displaying a bezel with a progress bar on screen. You have to keep holding the Command and Q keys until the progress bar reaches the end to quit an application.

Fine-tune volume and brightness in OS X

Normally, when you use the volume and brightness keys on your keyboard to adjust those output levels, your adjustments are made in whole steps on a scale of 1 to 10. But there's a keyboard shortcut that lets you adjust them more finely--and that keyboard shortcut has returned in OS X 10.7.4.