Backing up and restoring musical instruments

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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A musician who wishes to remain anonymous finds his instrument suddenly silent. He writes:

Chris, this is a pretty obscure question, but your blog indicates that you’re a keyboard player so I’m hoping you have an answer. My 8-year-old synthesizer lost power during a gig last night and my custom programs were wiped out. Today I looked on the manufacturer’s website and see that a firmware update is available (which I hope will cure the problem), but it’s in the form of a MIDI file. How can I install this thing? And, is there anything I can do to back up my synth once it’s restored?

Now this takes me back. And it does because what you’ve encountered is a MIDI file full of system exclusive (SysEx) data. In the days before synthesizers had better ways to transfer information (such as a built-in USB port, for example) you had to move raw data between your synth and a computer over a MIDI connection—basically “playing” it from the synth and “recording” it on your Mac. Given your instrument’s age (and the nature of that firmware update file) I’m going to assume that this is the method you’ll use.

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How to view your iPhoto images on an Apple TV

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Reader H.S. would love to see his photos on his Apple TV, but can’t. He writes:

I’ve recently returned from a trip to Australia with a lot of pictures on my camera. I’d like to view those pictures on my Apple TV but I don’t see an entry other than Photo Stream. How can I stream my pictures from iPhoto to my Apple TV?

Although you may believe that iPhoto is key to this process, that’s not the case. Instead, turn to iTunes.

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iOS

The lazy man's guide to streaming iTunes movies to your iPad

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Reader Paul Inglis is interested in transferring media wirelessly to his iPad. He writes:

Okay, I’m lazy. But my Mac is upstairs and I’m downstairs on the couch with my iPad where I want to watch a movie. What’s the best way for me to do that without having to plug my iPad into my Mac and sync the movie using iTunes?

Never fear, Apple designed this stuff with you in mind. You have a couple of options.

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Dealing with iCloud spam

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Reader Rich Girrard is less than thrilled by what’s appearing in his Inbox. He writes:

I’m not sure why, but in the last couple of days I’ve received several spam messages via my iCloud account. The messages are so obviously spam I don’t know why Apple hasn’t caught them. I know I can delete the messages, but is there anything I can do to let Apple know about this stuff?

You’re not alone. I, and many people I know, have been hit by this wave. Fortunately you have some recourse.

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Saving documents to your Mac rather than iCloud

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Reader M. Burns asks about an issue that has puzzled more than one Mountain Lion user. He writes:

I’m running Mountain Lion on my MacBook Pro and using Pages. Since upgrading to Mountain Lion, Pages defaults to saving files to iCloud. I’d prefer that those files are saved to my Mac. Yet, even after choosing that option in the Save dialog box, the next time I save, iCloud appears again as the default location. Is there any way to convince Pages to always save files to my Mac?

There is, but the method I’m about to describe affects all applications that save, by default, to iCloud. (They include Pages, Numbers, Keynote, TextEdit, and Preview.) Just do this:

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iOS

Bugs & Fixes: Back up to avoid iPhone disasters

Ted Landau Senior Contributor, Macworld

Much too often, I get a phone call with a plea for help that goes something like this recent one:

I dropped my iPhone and now it’s broken. I can’t get to the Home screen or launch apps or anything. I took the phone to an Apple Store and they said the phone can’t be repaired. I need to get a replacement phone. But that means I will lose all the stuff that’s on the iPhone now, including over a thousand photos. Isn’t there something I can do to save my stuff?

After asking the person a few questions, I confirm what I had already suspected. There is very little hope of data recovery. Certainly there’s not any fast and easy solution. Which is too bad, because it could have been soooo simple.

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How to delete duplicate email messages

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Reader Susan Swartz has tired of reading the same messages over and over. She writes:

What’s the current best way to find duplicate mail messages?

Great question. Let me rephrase it so that the answer is more helpful:

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