Two more tips about iTunes 11 from the readers of Mac OS X Hints:
While it’s not obvious, you can use the MiniPlayer in iTunes 11 when you’re in full-screen mode. To do so, switch out of full-screen mode, set iTunes to show on all desktops (right- or Control-click on the Dock icon, select Options > All Desktops), open the MiniPlayer as a separate window (Window > MiniPlayer), then click the full-screen button on the main window.
Note that if you have the MiniPlayer set to float above other windows (in the iTunes Advanced preferences), then it won’t display when you switch to iTunes. This makes sense, of course, because you don’t need it then. Also, this is the only way to get the MiniPlayer to work across spaces, if you use them. If iTunes is not in full-screen mode, then the MiniPlayer only displays in the same workspace as iTunes.
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There are a lot of changes in iTunes 11, including a new way to navigate among the different types of content in your iTunes library: from the keyboard. Reader kbradnam was the first to send in this list of keyboard shortcuts that you can use to switch the view between different sections of your iTunes library:
- Cmd + 1 = Music
- Cmd + 2 = Movies
- Cmd + 3 = TV Shows
- Cmd + 4 = Podcasts
- Cmd + 5 = iTunes U
- Cmd + 6 = Books
- Cmd + 7 = Apps
These shortcuts will only work if the corresponding sections of your iTunes library are enabled in the General pane of your iTunes preferences.
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It's annoying that there's no easy way to create new reminders in Mountain Lion without launching the Reminders app itself. But an anonymous Hints reader did figure out a way to do so with Automator. The only hitches: All reminders you create with this workflow must go to the same list, with the same priority, and you can't automatically assign a due date.
Open Automator and opt to create a new service. At the top of the Automator scripting pane, choose No Input from the Service Receives drop-down and Any Application as the In option. Next, open the the Text actions library, choose Ask for Text and drag it to the right-hand part of the Automator window. Enter a prompt, such as
Enter a Reminder. From the Mail library, choose New Reminders Item and drag that below Ask for Text. Choose a list to which you want to add the item. You can select a priority, but you probably don't want to select a Due Date. That done, save the service.
Now open the Keyboard preference pane in System Preferences, open the Keyboard Shortcuts tab, and find the Services section on the left. Select the service you just created and assign a shortcut to it. Now, you can hit that keyboard combo from any Mac app, and you should get a dialog box prompting you to enter a reminder.
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Savvy Preview users know they can do some interesting things to PDFs—convert them to black-and-white or sepia tone, increase or decrease their lightness, and more—by selecting File -> Export, then selecting one of the Quartz filters in the resulting dialog box. Reader zpjet is one of those users, but he was never satisfied with results of the Reduce File Size filter (which he'd use when trying to make PDFs small enough to send by e-mail): It made them too small and made the graphics fuzzy.
After a little digging around, he found that these filters are located in the folder /System/Library/Filters, and that they're XML files that are easily edited with TextEdit (or any other text editor). Examining the file for the Reduce File Size filter, he found out why it didn't work for him: Two of the parameters—Compression Quality and ImageSizeMax—were just too low (0.0 and 512, respectively).
So he copied this file to his Desktop, made two copies of it, and then renamed all three: Reduce File Size Good, Reduce File Size Better, and Reduce File Size Best. Then he changed the parameters of each file: 0.25, 0.5 and 0.75 for Compression Quality (respectively) and 842, 1684, and 3508 for ImageSizeMax (ditto). (The first is A4-size at 72dpi, the second A4 at 144dpi, and the third A4 at 300dpi).
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Have you ever been annoyed to find that your Mac won’t go to sleep when you tell it to? Reader wjv found that, in Mac OS X 10.6 and later, there’s a simple way of finding out what’s keeping your Mac awake. To do so, run the following command in your Terminal:
pmset -g assertions .
In the first section of output, you’ll see the status of two kernel assertions (essentially, assumptions the system makes about the state of your system) named
PreventUserIdleSystemSleep. An accompanying status of
1 for either of these means that it is currently triggered. For example, here’s what I see when I run that command on my Mac mini:
Assertion status system-wide:
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