The Next Track, Episode #220 – Headphones, Take 3

This is the third time we discuss headphones on The Next Track. Both Doug and Kirk have found that they use fewer headphones, and use headphones differently than in the past.

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Find out more at The Next Track website, or follow The Next Track on Twitter at @NextTrackCast.

10 Steps to Get Started with Scrivener for NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo is just around the corner. In a couple of weeks, the annual National Novel Writing Month will begin, and authors will attempt to write 50,000 words of a new novel in 30 days. Scrivener has been a NaNoWriMo sponsor for 12 years, and will be again offering an extended trial version of the app for Mac or Windows to all NaNoWriMo participants. At the end of the month, you’ll be able to purchase Scrivener with a 20% discount, and if you reach the 50,000 word milestone, you’ll get a 50% discount. Learn more about the Scrivener NaNoWriMo trial version here.

You can also download a special NaNoWriMo template for Scrivener, with a preset 50,000-word target, and, this year, the NaNoWriMo template can sync with your NaNoWriMo account, allowing you to update your word count from Scrivener with a single click.

Scrivener is different from other word processors: its underlying philosophy sets it apart from other apps. Scrivener is designed for long-form writing projects, either fiction or non-fiction, as well as for screenplays. Read about the philosophy of Scrivener to understand why this app is ideal for writing your novel.

Here are 10 tips to help you get started with Scrivener and reach your 50,000-word goal, with links to articles about Scrivener on the Literature & Latte blog.

Read the rest of the article on The L&L Blog.

To learn how to use Scrivener for Mac, Windows, and iOS, check out my book Take Control of Scrivener 3.

The Complete Guide to Apple MagSafe Chargers, Cases, and Accessories

Apple’s new iPhones feature the MagSafe charging infrastructure, allowing them to charge without plugging a cable into the devices. While this is not technically “wireless” charging – the MagSafe charger still has a wire – this form of induction charging is practical and it means that you can charge multiple devices without cables.

MagSafe is also a new accessory category for Apple, with a number of different cases available, several chargers, a battery pack, and the MagSafe wallet, which lets you attach a slim leather wallet to your iPhone to carry credit cards or cash.

In this article, I’m going to tell you everything about MagSafe: how it works, what you can charge with it, and which MagSafe accessories are available.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode #208: iPad mini 6, Facebook’s Time-Out, and a Contactless iPhone Rip-Off

Facebook’s downtime shows how risky it is to use social media services to log into other services. An interesting proof of concept can steal money from Visa cards on iPhones. And we discuss the new iPad mini 6, and the Apple Watch 7 that goes on sale Friday.

Follow the The Intego Mac Podcast, which I co-host with Josh Long. We talk about Macs and iOS devices, and how to keep them secure.

View and Edit Multiple Documents with Scrivenings

One reason many people like Scrivener is that, unlike most word processors, you don’t have to constantly scroll back and forth to see different parts of your work. When you’re writing chapter 17, and need to see what a character did in chapter 5, you don’t have to scroll, scroll, scroll, but just click the folder or document for that chapter in the Binder.

Yet there are times when you do want to read more than just a single Binder document. This could be the case if you split your chapters into folders, and, in each folder, have different documents for each scene; or if you want to do one final proofreading pass on your entire project, from start to finish.

Scrivener has the catchily-titled Scrivenings feature, which allows you to view multiple documents as though they were one. Here’s how.

Read the rest of the article on The L&L Blog.

To learn how to use Scrivener for Mac, Windows, and iOS, check out my book Take Control of Scrivener 3.

How to Use Multitasking on the iPad

Apple has long tried to convince people that the iPad can replace a computer; that it can be a mobile device that does everything that most people need to do on a laptop. To this end, Apple has tried to make iPadOS more flexible through a series of multi-tasking features, such as Split View, and Slide Over, and Center Window.

Apple first introduced multitasking features back in iOS 9, and expanded on them with iOS 13, but they were hard to use, and most iPad users only encountered them when an accidental swipe on their tablet’s screen enabled them. Now, in iPadOS 15, these features are a lot more usable, and easy to discover.

In this article, I’ll explain how to use multitasking on the iPad to view two apps at a time, and more.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

The Headphones I Use (Updated)

I often get e-mail from readers asking about what audio equipment I use. While I’m not an audiophile, I do listen to music on decent equipment. While I like listening to music with headphones, I do realize that it is, in some ways, artificial to listen with them. Instruments that are off to one side sound much further away from the center of the soundscape than when you listen to a stereo. I like the effect of having the music "in my head," but for some types of music, and some recordings, this isn’t ideal. This is the case with some symphony recordings, and some recordings of string quartets, where the instruments are separated too much. Generally, rock and jazz sound fine with headphones, but with any kind of music, good headphones are unforgiving. It’s much easier to hear any weaknesses in a recording when listening with headphones. Nevertheless, I do use headphones often. Here are the headphones I use.

Note that I’ve updated this article several times since I first posted it in 2012; this latest update was written in October 2021.

Podcasting

Sennheiser px 100 iiiWhen I’m podcasting, I need to hear both my own voice and the voice of my co-hosts and guests, but there is no need for audio quality, so I use a light, simple pair of headphones. I currently use the Sennheiser PX 100-IIi. I used to use these headphones on the go, and they are great, since they have an inline volume control and mic. This means that when I was walking, and listening to music on my iPhone, I could take a call without removing the headphones. For other uses, the volume control and play/pause button made it a bit easier to listen to music. The sound quality of this headphone is surprisingly good, though don’t expect a lot of bass from this headphone. But, again, for podcasting, I just need something light, and these are ideal. However, they are no longer available, and I’ll eventually need to replace them with something similar.

On the go

AirpodsAs mentioned above, I used to use light, wired headphones when I was out walking. Now, I use Apple’s AirPods; not the Pro model, because I don’t like in-canal earbuds, because I can hear my breathing. The AirPods are great for basic listening, the music quality isn’t great, but it’s good enough. The convenience factor is probably the most important. Since there’s no longer a headphone jack on the iPhone, I can’t use wired headphones on the go any more. (To be fair, you can use a Lightning to Headphone Jack adapter, but that’s one more gadget to have.)

Blocking out noise

Airpods maxThere are times when I want to listen outdoors and not hear the sounds around me. My neighbors may be mowing lawns, which, where I live, are quite large. After having had a couple of different noise-cancelling headphones, I recently bought Apple’s AirPods Max, which, while overpriced, are extremely comfortable, and the noise cancellation is very effective. These are Bluetooth headphones, but with a Lightning to 3.5mm Audio Cable, you can plug the AirPods Max into a headphone jack and get the full quality of audio, rather than Bluetooth compression.

Wireless listening

In the previous version of this article, back in 2012, I had only one type of wireless headphones. Now, as you can see above, I have two: AirPods and AirPods Max. So now I use one or the other when I want to listen unencumbered by cables.

Watching movies or TV shows

I had a revelation a few months ago, when I bought Apple’s AirPods Max. While I don’t like listening to music in Apple’s spatial audio, because it’s too artificial, but I enjoy watching movies and TV shows on my iPad, and the AirPods Max, which offer surround sound, are simply perfect. I don’t like the head-tracking feature – if you turn your head, the audio turns, as though you’re actually hearing it from the device you’re watching – but the surround sound is excellent.

Serious listening

Akg k702I have to have one "good" over-ear headphone, though I have to admit that I rarely use this any more. I have AKG K702, which are very large, very comfortable, and airy with excellent sound. The bass isn’t overdone, the treble is clear, and the definition is subtle and balanced. These are open headphones, so you don’t want to use these if you’re listening to music with other people around you. The foam rings are soft and plush, and the headband is comfortable. I can wear these for hours and not get tired, which isn’t always the case with full-sized headphones. But for most serious listening, I use speakers.

What’s next?

It’s interesting that, compared to the previous version of this article, I’ve reduced the number of headphones I use. The headphones I use for podcasting don’t really count; they’re not for music, they’re just for a task. So that leaves me with two headphones I use regularly: Apple’s AirPods and AirPods Max.

I’m no longer that interested in headphones. Over the years, I’ve had a couple dozen different models, and I don’t feel that I need to try to get better and better headphones. These days, I’m mostly interested in flexibility. Yes, that means that I listen to Bluetooth headphones most of the time, which uses lossy compression, but things sound good enough. Though I don’t often listen to music on headphones and home, and prefer listening to music on speakers.

If you have any favorite headphones, feel free to mention them in the comments.

PhotoActive Podcast, Episode 102: The iPhone 13 Pro Cameras

It’s Apple’s best iPhone ever! Well, yes, they say that every year, but this time around the camera improvements are more exciting than in the past. In this episode, we look at what’s new, from the sizes of the lenses and sensors themselves to the Cinematic and Macro modes, in the iPhone 13 Pro.

Find out more, and subscribe to the podcast, at the PhotoActive website. You can follow The PhotoActive on Twitter at @PhotoActiveCast to keep up to date with new episodes, and join our Facebook group to chat with other listeners and participate in photo challenges and more.

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode #207: iOS 12 Security Updates, Zero-Day iOS Vulnerabilities, and the iPhone 13

Apple issues a security update for iOS 12, zero-day vulnerabilities target iOS and iPadOS, and we look at the iPhone 13 Pro.

Follow the The Intego Mac Podcast, which I co-host with Josh Long. We talk about Macs and iOS devices, and how to keep them secure.