Playlist Assist review: Drag and drop to create playlists, like iTunes of yore

Jonathan Seff , Macworld Follow me on Google+

Jonathan has been covering the tech industry since 1998. He loves watching TV shows on his iPhone while exercising, and has already indoctrinated his young twins in the ways of the Apple TV.
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Among the many (somewhat jarring) changes in iTunes 11 is that you can no longer open and display multiple iTunes windows. This feature of iTunes 10 and earlier was useful for a number of tasks, not the least of which was building playlists.

In those older versions of iTunes, you could create a new playlist, open it up as a separate window, and then drag and drop tracks from your iTunes library into that window to build a custom and organized collection of items. iTunes 11 instead offers a new Playlists view, accessible only if you hide iTunes’s sidebar. To add items to a playlist, you find or create that playlist, click the Add To button, and you get playlist-building functionality somewhat similar to what you had before, with the playlist appearing in its own sidebar to the right—you can drag items to it and arrange items within it. This approach works, but if using multiple windows is the way you like to build playlists, you’re out of luck. (There are other ways to make and add to playlists in iTunes, including by dragging and dropping from the main window to a playlist in the sidebar, but none provides the same two-window ease of use as before.)

Playlist Assist lets you drag and drop tracks to create and edit playlists; when you’re done, you send the playlist to iTunes.

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EasyRes review: Resolution switcher's animated previews set it apart

Roman Loyola Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Roman has covered technology since the early 1990s. His career started at MacUser, and he's worked for MacAddict, Mac|Life, TechTV, PC/Computing, and Windows NT Systems.
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OS X 10.9 Mavericks is out and it’s full of new features, including improved multi-monitor support. But it still doesn’t provide a quick way to change screen resolutions—you’d think that after a few generations of Retina MacBook Pro laptops, Apple would bring back a way to switch resolutions from the menu bar.

Of course, third-party developers have come to the rescue. The latest, Bright Vertex, offers EasyRes 1.0.4 (Mac App Store link), which joins Eye-Friendly, Pupil, QuickRes, and ResolutionTab in the resolution-switcher fray. Fortunately for EasyRes, it has one feature that makes it stand out from the crowd.

EasyRes 1.0 menubar
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Yojimbo 4 review: Stellar information manager adds better sync (for a fee)

Jackie Dove Senior Editor, Macworld

Jackie is always looking for creative mischief to get into. So it's fitting that she oversees photography, video, publishing, music, and Web design.
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Everyone needs a simple organization app. There are just too many random bits of information out there to rely on the sticky notes, snippets, and other hacks we all used at the dawn of personal computing to keep track of information.

Which is why when Bare Bones Software’s Yojimbo information manager arrived on the scene in 2006, many people snapped it up and never looked back. Since then, competitors such as Evernote and DevonThink have taken different approaches to organizing, managing, and storing data such as text notes, images, drawings, PDFs, passwords, serial numbers, Web URLs, Web archives, and much more. But Yojimbo has remained popular, and Yojimbo 4 is the most capable version yet. (Yojimbo 4 is $30—a $20 price drop from previous versions—or $20 for owners of previous versions.)

What’s compelling about Yojimbo, ironically, is that over time, relatively little has changed about the program’s clean interface, even as Bare Bones has added major improvements and enhancements such as sidekick, tags, and, in version 4, Mac-to-Mac sync. In fact, version 4 looks roughly same as the original release: the ultimate virtual file cabinet (or junk drawer, depending on your approach), with little bloat and a minimal upgrade learning curve. Version 4 also adds goodies such as a full-screen view and support for Retina displays.

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CargoLifter review: Automatically send email attachments via the cloud

Dan Frakes Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Dan writes about OS X, iOS, utilities, cool apps, and troubleshooting. He also covers hardware; mobile, audio, and AV gear; input devices; and accessories. He's been writing about tech since 1994, and he's also published software, worked in IT, and worked as a policy analyst.
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Email has come a long way in the past couple decades, but it’s still a hassle to send large files as attachments. Some email accounts have attachment-size limits, either for the sender or the recipient; many people check email on mobile devices, where large attachments can be both difficult to manage and expensive to download; and many people simply think that large attachments are bad email etiquette.

For all these reasons, cloud-based file-sending services have become quite popular. Instead of attaching a large file to an email message, you upload the file to cloud storage (a service that stores your data on a server that you connect to over the Internet). The service then provides you with a URL for downloading the file, and you include that URL in your message. The recipient receives an email unencumbered by an attachment, but with a link to download the file if and when they want.

iCloud email-attachment limitation
iCloud’s attachment-size limit
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PhotoReviewer review: Quick and easy image triage

Dan Frakes Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Dan writes about OS X, iOS, utilities, cool apps, and troubleshooting. He also covers hardware; mobile, audio, and AV gear; input devices; and accessories. He's been writing about tech since 1994, and he's also published software, worked in IT, and worked as a policy analyst.
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Way back in 2004, I reviewed PhotoReviewer 1.4, which quickly became my favorite way to “triage” the flood of photos from my digital camera. As I explained back then:

Although the ability to take unlimited photos gives aspiring photographers the freedom to make sure they get the best shot, it also has a drawback: At some point you have to weed through those 24 photos of Uncle Bob’s embarassing softball swing at the family reunion, and the 63 pictures of your niece’s first recital, in order to find the three or four worth keeping.

My complaint at the time was that while iPhoto is a decent app for managing the photos you want, it’s a poor solution for going through your photos and deciding which are worth keeping—and, thus, importing into iPhoto in the first place. Of course you can import everything into iPhoto and then delete what you don’t want, but it’s a slow process, and iPhoto just isn’t optimized for the task. What I really wanted was an easy—and fast—way to review photos before they ever got near iPhoto.

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Safari Keyword Search review: Searching made simple and speedy

Dan Moren Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Dan has been writing about all things Apple since 2006, when he first started contributing to the MacUser blog. Since then he's covered most of the company's major product releases and reviewed every major revision of iOS. In his "copious" free time, he's usually grinding away on a novel or two.
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About 90 percent of the time that I’m on the Web (to use a number I picked out of thin air), I’m searching for something. But while I usually turn to Google, my search engine of choice, there are times that I want to search a specific site—say, IMDB or Wikipedia. It seems like a waste time to have to go to the desired site, find its search box, and type my search query. Luckily, I can do all that right off the bat with the help of third-party software.

Safari Keyword Search is an extension for Safari 5.1 or later that mimics a feature found in Chrome and Firefox: You can define keywords that allow you to search particular sites right from Safari’s unified URL/search field. The extension is free, though the developer requests a donation if you find it useful.

For example, say I want to look up some information about the actor Sean Connery. I could type his name into Safari’s search bar, wait for Google to load the results, and then click on the Wikipedia page for Sean Connery (which would presumably show up near the top of the hits). Or I could simply type “w Sean Connery” into the URL field, and be taken right to his Wikipedia page. (W is Safari Keyword Search’s abbreviation for a Wikipedia search.) It’s speedy, unobtrusive, and efficient.

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HandBrakeBatch review: Easy-does-it batch video conversion

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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When you mention HandBrake around media-savvy Mac users, DVD ripping is the first thing that comes to mind. And while HandBrake is indeed a great tool for ripping the DVDs you own, it’s also quite a good (and free) video-conversion tool, letting you take video that doesn’t play on a particular device (like, say, an iPhone or an Apple TV) and converting it to a format that does. One thing that HandBrake doesn’t handle very elegantly, however, is batch processing—converting a bunch of video files in one shot.

In fact, for a long time, HandBrake didn’t support batch processing at all. It’s recently gained this feature, but it’s still not as easy as it could be: To batch process a group of videos, you must click HandBrake’s Source button, navigate to a folder full of videos that you wish to convert, choose File > Add All Titles To Queue, select the conversion preset you want to use, and then click Start. If the desired videos happen to be spread across several folders or volumes, you must repeat this process for each folder or volume. While the procedure is hardly painful, it’s not as easy as simply dragging movies into a single window, choosing a preset, and then starting the conversion.

Fortunately, there’s a utility that does exactly that: Cesare Tagliaferri’s HandBrakeBatch, and it doesn’t even require that you install HandBrake—HandBrakeBatch includes the open-source components of HandBrake necessary to perform conversions. (Though if HandBrake is installed on your Mac, and you’ve added any custom conversion presets, HandBrakeBatch will be able to use those presets.) HandBrakeBatch is free to download, but the developer asks that if you find it useful, you donate to a charity.

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