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After iTunes erroneously deleted my music collection a few years ago, I started looking for alternatives. Being a part-time Windows user, I had grown to love the simplicity of Winamp, with its file and folder based music management. Unfortunately there was no port available on OSX. Thankfully, I stumbled across a little open source project named Cog.

Cog is a lightweight music player,  which supports many audio file-types including MP3, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, AAC, Apple Lossless, Musepack, Monkeys Audio, Shorten, Wavpack, Wave/AIFF and much more. It also offers HTTP streaming, as well as some neat features like gapless playback, support for Apple remotes, chúng tôi integration and Growl notifications. Additionally, it lets you specify which audio output device to use, should you happen to have more than one.

Layout

The layout is as straightforward as they come. It has a window which serves as the playlist, into which you can drag and drop music from Finder or the “file drawer”. You are able to save and load playlists, and both m3u and pls formats are supported. There are also options to turn on shuffle and repeat as one would expect from any music player, and you are able to search the playlist to jump quickly to a specific file.

Music Library

Some people find iTunes’ management of our music folders less than ideal, in the way that it reorganises and renames files and folders. As mentioned earlier, my music collection suffered a catastrophic setback a few years ago when iTunes decided to delete the entire collection of files. I was able to recover most of it, but needless to say I’ll never trust iTunes again. Thankfully, Cog takes a very hands-off approach to managing your music.

Cog has what it calls the “file drawer”, which is basically an integrated finder window attached to the main playlist window. The first thing you’ll need to do is specify which folder to use as the base for the file drawer in the application preferences, as per the image below.

Shortcut Keys

Cog supports the Apple remote and also lets you specify shortcut keys in the preferences, under the “Hot Keys” tab.  It also offers full support for media keys, should your Mac keyboard have them. One issue you might run into, however, is that iTunes might also start when you use one of these keys.

Conclusion

All in all, if you’re looking for a music player that won’t chew up a lot of RAM and is fast and functional, Cog’s the app you’ve been waiting for.

You can find and download the latest release of Cog here.

JJ

JJ runs a company that specialises in IT Support and cloud IT Solutions in Australia. He also moonlights as a tech blogger.

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Useful Terminal Commands & Tips For Mac Os X

Disclaimer

Some tips may only work for a particular OS, though I’ve taken care to only select Terminal commands which should mostly work on Leopard, Snow Leopard and Lion.

Show Hidden Files

Though OS X doesn’t really place much emphasis on hidden files and folders, some files and folders are hidden by default. This is usually for good reason and deleting the wrong thing can cause issues, but if you wish to show the hidden files, then enter the following code:

defaults

write

com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles

true

To undo this command, replace true with false.

Enable 2D Dock

If you’ve ever moved your Dock to the left or right of screen (depending on which OS X version you’re running), you may have seen the 2D Dock shown above. If you’d like to enable the 2D Dock in all positions, enter the following into Terminal:

defaults

write

chúng tôi no-glass

-boolean

YES

Now restart your Dock to make the changes take effect by entering

killall

Dock

To put your Dock back to normal, replace the “YES”‘ in the above code to “NO” and restart the Dock once again by entering the above killall command.

Disable Dashboard

I’ve never been a big fan of the Dashboard as it’s something of a RAM hog and I like it to be completely disabled in case I accidentally launch it. If you would like to do so too, enter this into Terminal and hit return:

defaults

write

com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled

-boolean

YES

Once again restart Dock to make the changes take effect.

killall

Dock

To undo this command and bring back Dashboard, just change “YES” to “NO” and restart your Dock by entering the killall command once again (note: the killall command can actually be inserted into the same line of code to save time, I’m making it separate here to give you a sense of what exactly is happening).

Show The Library Folder In OS X Lion

OS X Lion comes with the Library folder hidden by default but this can make troubleshooting any issues with your Mac, deleting the cache or just plain “tinkering” very difficult. In order to bring back the Library folder permanently, enter this command into Terminal:

chflags nohidden ~

/

Library

/

Hide Desktop Icons

A nice clean Desktop looks great but sometimes it’s not practical to keep all your files organised. If you’d like to hide all the icons on your Desktop through a Terminal command, enter the following:

defaults

write

com.apple.finder CreateDesktop

-bool

false

Then our friend the killall command once again

killall

Finder

When you wish to bring your Desktop clutter back, copy and paste the following:

defaults

write

com.apple.finder CreateDesktop

-bool

true

Then enter the killall command.

Launch An Application

In order to launch applications from the Terminal, just follow this template, replacing Twitter with the name of whichever program you’d like to launch:

open

-a

Twitter Kill A Process

If you need to quickly kill a process or application, type the following into Terminal, replacing Twitter with whichever process you’d like to kill.

killall

Twitter Open A Finder Window In Current Directory

To quickly open a Finder window in whichever directory you’re currently in, enter the following into Terminal

open . Change Grab’s Default Image Format

OS X’s built-in screenshot utility Grab is very useful but if you’d like it to save files as JPG, enter the following into Terminal:

defaults

write

com.apple.screencapture

type

jpg

(note: You can also change jpg to png if preferred).

Conclusion

Adam Williams

Adam Williams is a journalist from North Wales, regularly covering music and technology for websites such as Make Tech Easier, Mac.Appstorm, iPad.Appstorm and Fluid Radio, in addition to writing weekly content for Apple Magazine. Follow him or contact him on twitter here

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Is Calligra A Great Alternative To Libreoffice?

LibreOffice may be the most popular open-source Office Suite around, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other good open source office suite that you can use. If you are looking for a simpler, yet equally powerful office suite for your Linux system, Calligra might be a good alternative to LibreOffice (or is it?) Let’s check it out.

Installation

Calligra is mainly created for the KDE desktop manager, but it will work in Gnome and all other DEs as well. However, for non-KDE system, you will have to install a bunch of KDE files for it to work.

In Ubuntu, you can install it via the command:

sudo

apt-get install

calligra

Other Linux distro can check out the Calligra Installer page for the relevant packages.

Usage

After using Calligra for a while, I actually prefer its interface to LibreOffice. Most of the tools are well-organized into its respective section and searching for the functions you need is often an easy task.

One thing though, it doesn’t support saving to Ms-Word .doc and .docx format. It only supports the Open Document Format (ODF). You can open, view and edit .doc and .docx file, but you can only save to .odf format.

Calligra also has support for Google document, so you can link to and open Google document for editing on your desktop.

The project management app – Plan in the Calligra suite is also a useful app that allows you to set project range, add tasks, set date, allocate resources, and even view reports. In Microsoft Office suite, you will have to purchase the Microsoft Project to have these features, but in Calligra, you get it for free.

Screenshots

Calligra Sheets:

Calligra Stage:

Calligra Flow:

Conclusion

Calligra also includes Kexi (a database management program similar to Microsoft Access), Karbon (A vector graphics editor), Krita (an image editor) and Braindump (a notetaking and mindmapping application) which I didn’t review in the article. If you add up all these application together, Calligra is actually more useful and versatile than LibreOffice.

If you have no issue with the limitation (unable to save in .doc chúng tôi format) and doesn’t require any LibreOffice-only or MS Office-only features, then Calligra is definitely a good alternative, particularly if you are using the KDE desktop manager. What do you think?

Calligra

Damien

Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.

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Cut And Paste Files & Folders In Mac Os X

The Mac now has the highly desirable “Cut and Paste” file feature throughout the Mac OS X desktop and Finder, allowing users to truly cut and paste to move the selected documents or folders to a new location, rather than just making a copy of them. In this sense, the cut & paste ability behaves much like the Windows explorer counterpart, and it represents a fast and efficient way to move and relocate files from one location to another location, without using the standard drag & drop approach that has been standard on the Mac since the origins of the OS.

Using the cut and paste file feature can be seem a little tricky at first, but it’s really not complicated. All you need to do is learn to differentiate the keystrokes that make the action happen. Let’s cover exactly how to cut and paste to move files and folders around on the Mac.

How to Cut & Paste Files and Folders in Mac OS X with Keyboard Shortcuts

What you need to do first is select files in the Mac file system browser, known as Finder, and then combine a series of keyboard shortcuts. The keystrokes necessary for cutting and pasting files on the Mac are as so:

FIRST: Command+C copies the files or documents in the Finder, note they won’t be ‘cut’ yet

SECOND: Command+Option+V pastes the documents into the new desired location on the Mac, cutting it from the prior locating and moving it to the new location

Remember, you must have a file selected for the cut & paste to work on Mac.

Important: If you just hit Command+V you will only move a copy of the files into the new location, as in a true copy and paste, rather than a cut and paste function. Notice holding down the Option key also changes the menu text to show “Move Items Here” to further signify the difference if you use the menu based approach described below.

Cutting & Pasting Files on Mac with Menu Options

You can also cut & paste files and folders entirely from the Edit menu in the Mac Finder.

Select the files / folders you wish to move in the Finder, then pull down the “Edit” menu and choose “Copy”

Now navigate to the new location in the Finder where you want to ‘paste’ the files to

Go back to the ‘Edit’ menu in Finder and hold down the OPTION key to reveal “Move Items Here” (the Paste command changes to this, choose that to complete the file cut and paste in Mac OS X

You must hold down the “Option” key to reveal the “Move Items Here” choice to actually cut and paste (move) the files.

You’ll notice that you can’t select “Cut”, which is why you choose “Copy” in the Finder instead. The Copy command turns into “Cut” when you go to “Move” with the Paste command. You can watch this sequence directly by pulling down the menu itself to see the accompanying keystrokes as well, you’ll find it in all modern versions of MacOS and Mac OS X:

Being able to cut and paste files and folders is a feature many Windows converts have been wanting for a long time. Prior to this, users would drag and drop items into their new locations to move them, or use the command line mv tool. Those methods still work too as well, obviously, but the cut and paste methodology is a very welcome addition for many Mac users.

This works the same within MacOS Mojave, Sierra, macOS High Sierra, El Capitan, OS X Yosemite, OS X Mountain Lion and Mac OS X Mavericks, and will likely continue as a feature in the future versions of the MacOS desktop as well.

Related

Drag & Drop Not Working In Mac Os X? Simple Troubleshooting Tips

Drag and drop is an essential feature on the Mac that is used frequently for interactions in the Mac OS Finder and throughout other applications, so obviously if drag and drop stops working seemingly out of the blue, you’ll want to resolve that fairly quickly. While this is a somewhat rare issue, a failure of drawing and dropping capabilities does happen frequently enough that we get questions about it, and it’s thereby worth covering. You’ll find that if you can’t drag and drop at all, troubleshooting the issue is the same regardless of whether you use a trackpad or mouse with a Mac, so read on to resolve the issue.

How to Fix Drag & Drop Not Working on Mac : 6 Troubleshooting Tips

For best results you’ll probably want to try these in order, they’re arranged in order of simplicity to slightly more complex.

WAIT! First, Check the Hardware for Gunk & Grime!

Before we get started with any of the software based troubleshooting tips, check to see if there is any material, gunk, or grime buildup on the surface of the trackpad, or in the tracking surface of the mouse, and in the buttons. If there is, clean that off first, as physical obstructions can definitely cause weird behavior with input interfaces. If you’ve done that and you’re certain it’s not the cause of an inability to drag and drop, carry on with the tips below.

Wait! Is the Mouse or Trackpad Bluetooth?

If the Mac Trackpad or Mac Mouse is Bluetooth, try simply turning Bluetooth off, and then turning Bluetooth back on again.

An easy way to turn off and on Bluetooth is through the Bluetooth menubar item near the top right corner of the Mac display. You can also toggle Bluetooth off and back on again from the Bluetooth preference panel within System Preferences, accessible from the  Apple menu.

Sometimes simply toggling Bluetooth off and on again resolves quirky issues including a failure of drag and drop to work. You will also want to make sure the batteries or battery of the Bluetooth mouse or trackpad is charged and they are working, if the battery is low you may notice weird behavior like some mouse and cursor activity not working as expected.

If you’re still experiencing issues with drag and drop on the Mac, proceed with the next set of troubleshooting steps.

1: Forcibly Restart the Mac Finder

If drag and drop is failing in file system interactions, often the easiest solution is to simplyrestarting the Finder, which is quite easy:

Hit Command+Option+Escape to bring up the “Force Quit” menu

Close the Force Quit menu

Try using drag and drop again, does it work? It should work fine now, but if it doesn’t we have a few other troubleshooting trick…

2: Reboot the Computer

Rebooting often works to resolve drag and drop issues when restarting the Finder has failed. This is particularly true if you’re one of us who basically never reboots their Mac.

Go to the  Apple menu and choose “Restart”

When the Mac boots up again, try to use drag and drop as usual

Drag and drop working in Mac OS X now? Great! If not… well we have yet another solution, so fear not!

3: Trash Related plist Files & Reboot

If you have already forced the Finder to relaunch and rebooted the Mac but you’re still experiencing issues with dragging and dropping, it’s quite likely the problem comes down to a preference file. Thus, we’ll trash the preferences and start anew, which is an effective technique for troubleshooting strange behavior for a Mac mouse and trackpad, and then reboot the Mac again.

You’ll be deleting some user level preference files here, it’s a good idea to complete a back up of the Mac first just in case you break something:

Locate the following plist file(s) from the user Library Preferences folder:

Delete those preference files and reboot the Mac again

Once again, try using drag and drop where you were experiencing the original failures in Mac OS X, it should work just fine at this point.

Go to the  Apple menu and to System Preferences

Choose “Trackpad”

Related

Enable Hdmi Audio & Toggle Sound Output From Mac Os X Quickly

The standard approach is to go through System Preferences to Sound settings and change output, but there’s actually a much faster way to adjust where sound output is directed, and it can be done from anywhere, without going into preferences at all.

Toggle Audio Output Quickly on the Mac

If you’ve ever connected a Mac to something else like a TV through HDMI, you’ve probably noticed that, unlike the video source, sound output does not automatically change to the newly connected hardware. This is intentional, but many users misinterpret that as a problem with their HDMI adapter or cable, or even their Macs output capabilities, when in fact it’s almost always just a matter of adjusting the OS X audio output chúng tôi standard approach is to go through System Preferences to Sound settings and change output, but there’s actually a much faster way to adjust where sound output is directed, and it can be done from anywhere, without going into preferences at all.

This works in virtually every version of OS X, revealing all audio sources:

Find the desired audio output destination under “Output Device” and select it from the pull-down menu

The change is immediate, and the set audio output destination will have a checkbox next to it’s name. Play a sound effect or any form of audio to confirm it is working. Though we’re focusing on HDMI here, this will apply to all other means of exporting audio as well, including apps like WavTap that capture all sound.

Going the other way, this menu trick will also let you change input sources as well, making it easy to toggle input from an external microphone, another audio source, or back to the default internal mic as well.

Why is the Sound Menu Icon Grey?

You will notice that after an HDMI sound output source (and many other output options) has been selected, the Sound menu icon turns grey:

This does not mean that exporting sound is not working, it simply means that sound volume must be controlled through the hardware the Mac is now outputting to through HDMI, which is typically a TV or presentation shooter, as the internal volume adjustment sliders and keyboard buttons will no longer work.

HDMI Audio Output Still Not Working? Check the Mac for HDMI Sound Support

Almost all new Macs support audio over HDMI, and practically anything newer than a 2010 model year will have native support. Nonetheless, if none of this is working, you don’t have the HDMI output source visible in the menu options or the Sound Output preferences, and you’re absolutely positive there’s nothing wrong with the HDMI cables and adapters, then you may want to double-check that the Mac supports HDMI audio output.

Select “Audio” from the Hardware menu

If you see nothing in the hardware audio menus about HDMI output, then the Mac doesn’t support exporting audio over HDMI. If the Mac is brand new and thus supposed to support HDMI sound, then there could be a hardware issue either with the adapter itself (this is a very common problem with the super cheap adapters bought online, get a reliable brand like Monoprice and pay a few bucks more), or, in less usual cases it could be a problem with the Mac itself, and you may want to contact AppleCare to make a determination.

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