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.

Five essential Mail rules

Overwhelmed by e-mail? Five essential Apple Mail rules can help you take control of your inbox. Learn how Mail can automatically forward, file, and highlight special messages and even trigger an alarm when certain correspondents write.

Stream classical music from Naxos Music Library

Most streaming music services take a generalist approach, offering a variety of genres, and tend to lean toward popular music. But there's another streaming service, which has been quietly offering huge quantities of classic music for several years: the Naxos Music Library. Kirk McElhearn takes a look at the service.

How to create custom toolbars for Microsoft Word 2011

You can make Word 2011's toolbars contain the commands you really use, some of which may be deeply buried in menus. Here’s how to customize your Word 2011 toolbars to fit the way you work.

How to extract media files from your iPod or iOS device

It's always a good idea to back up your iTunes library. But if disaster does strike, you may not be completely out of luck -- assuming you've synced a good portion of your library to an iPod, iPhone, or iPad.

Six ways to clean up your Mac

It's spring again, and with the new season comes the age-old ritual of cleaning out things you ignored for most of the year. If you're like most of us, this includes your Mac.

How to use Home Sharing on your iOS 4.3 device

Introduced in iTunes 9, Home Sharing was initially designed to allow you to share music and copy files between iTunes on different computers over a local network. But with iOS 4.3 and iTunes 10.2, you can now use Home Sharing on iOS devices as well. Here's how it works.

Nine ways to transfer files from one Mac to another

If you have two Macs—for instance, a desktop and a laptop—you may often find yourself transferring files between them. You might also need to send files to friends or colleagues, and, in some cases, file size could make this difficult. Here are nine ways to get a file from here to there.

Bowtie 1.3.1

If you want a simple, free tool to control iTunes playback, Bowtie will do the trick.

The biggest music download ever?

UK-based classical label Hyperion Records has released what may be the biggest music download ever. The Complete Piano Music, by Franz Liszt, a digital version of a 99-CD box set, is now available, in both MP3 and lossless FLAC formats.

DropCopy 1.6.8

If you want an easy way to transfer files across your local network, DropCopy makes it drag-and-drop simple.

My backup plan: Kirk McElhearn

We’ve covered the basics of how to keep your Mac backed up, and Macworld senior editor Dan Frakes has written about his own setup for backing up. Here’s the setup for Macworld contributor Kirk McElhearn.

Could Lion bring us closer to a Mac home server?

With Apple including server software in the next version of Mac OS X, Kirk McElhearn thinks your future Mac might be a server -- and you might not even know it.

Sleepytime 1.1.2

Sleepytime is a simple application that makes it easy to go to sleep to, or wake up to, iTunes music playback.

Four reasons to rip CDs without iTunes

For many people, iTunes is their main music management tool, and using this program to rip CDs fits perfectly with the way they work with their music. But, in some cases, you may not want to rip CDs with iTunes. Here are four times when others apps are a better choice.

Spiffy up your music with album art

The quickest way to find a CD in a pile of jewel cases is by looking for its cover. Similarly, you can use Cover Flow in iTunes to scroll through your songs and albums, and the iPod lets you do the same thing; the iPod touch and iPhone even let you flick through a Cover Flow view with your fingertip.