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.

Use OS X linen pattern for desktop background

You know that dark linen-pattern background that Apple's been using everywhere lately--the Lion login window, for example? If you like it, you can use it as your desktop background. Kirk McElhearn explains.

Philips SpeechMike Pro LFH3200

Philips recently released Mac OS X software for their SpeechMike Pro LFH3200 handheld microphone allowing it to be used with Macs and with Nuance's Dragon Dictate.

Add Finder labels via drag-and-drop

There are plenty of ways to assign a color label to a file or folder in the Finder. But one OS X Hints reader seems to have found a new one.

Ask the iTunes Guy: Work with playlists

The iTunes Guy answers questions about gaps between songs, copying playlists on a USB stick, combining multiple playlists into one, and more.

Smultron is a capable and inexpensive text editor

Smultron is a capable, inexpensive, and easy-to-use text editor with iCloud support built in, although it could use some improvements when working with multiple files.

How to convert a POP email account to IMAP

If you want to see the same email messages and folders, no matter what device you're using, you've got to have an IMAP email account. Here's how to make the switch safely.

Correct spelling from the keyboard

OS X's built-in spell-check is nice, but it usually requires you to move your hands from the keyboard to the mouse to select the correct spelling. But one OS X Hints reader found a way to select the correct spellings from the keyboard.

Byword is a solid text editor for Markdown-focused writing

Though not ideal for non-Markdown writing, if you use Markdown and want a minimal tool to write with, Byword is a good choice.

Use iTunes to rip audio from videos

Have some videos from which you'd like to save just the audio? A Hints reader uncovered a iTunes menu item that does just that.

Seven ways to improve the iTunes Store

Kirk McElhearn takes a look at several things about the iTunes Store that he'd like to see changed, fixed, or simply killed off.

Ask the iTunes Guy: Work with iTunes libraries

The iTunes Guy answers questions about moving your iTunes library, opening multiple iTunes windows simultaneously, finding tracks in playlists, and more.

WriteRoom offers distraction-free writing without removing flexibility

If you want a minimalist tool for writing, WriteRoom is likely to have all the features you need. But unlike some other distraction-free writing tools, you can still personalize your writing environment.

Search iTunes radio stations using playlists

By default, you can't search for stations in the Radio section of iTunes; the search field is dimmed. But there's a workaround that'll let you find the station you want.

Eight tips for OS X's Quick Look

Quick Look lets you view a file's contents by selecting it in the Finder and then pressing the spacebar. There's no need to wait for the file to open in an application—it appears immediately. Here are eight tips for using this OS X time-saver.

Hide and unhide Mac App Store purchases

If your Purchases list is getting unwieldy in the Mac App Store, here's a way to purge (and unpurge, if necessary) items on that list.