Update to My Take Control of macOS Media Apps

The first update of my recent book about the apps that replaced iTunes is now available.

Are you bewildered with the new Catalina apps that replace iTunes? Befuddled by Apple Music? Do you want to customize the Music app sidebar? Wish you could organize your podcasts? Wondering what the difference is between loves and stars? In this book, Kirk McElhearn (author of three previous Take Control titles on iTunes, going back to 2010) explains not only how Apple’s new media apps work, but how normal people can make the Music, TV, Podcasts, and Books apps do what they want.

Version 1.1 of this book contains changes made mainly to the Music and TV apps shortly after their initial release:

  • Column Browser: When Apple released the new Music app, it was missing a feature that had been in iTunes from the very first version, which is ideal for navigating large libraries: the column browser. Apple responded to the many users who lamented the loss of this feature, and restored it in December 2019. I discuss the Column Browser in “View Your Music Library.”
  • Multiple libraries in the Music app: I have added some information about creating and using multiple libraries in the Music app. For a long time, you could create multiple libraries, but all your libraries would still inherit the preferences set in iTunes. Now, in the Music app, each library uses separate preferences, notably that to sync your library to the cloud. See “Create More than One Music Library on Your Mac.”
  • Navigation from the keyboard: I have added a couple of tips for navigating different views in the Music app. See “View Your Music Library” to find out how to quickly move down a list of artists, composers, songs, or albums.
  • Using an Audible account in the Books app: I have added information about authorizing an Audible account to listen to audiobooks in the Books app. See “Listen to Audiobooks.”

If you already own a copy of the book, click EBOOK EXTRAS on the cover to get your free update. If not, purchase Take Control of macOS Media Apps now.

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode 117: The Year in Apple Security 2019

We look back at the eventful year 2019 in Apple security. In the news, Apple is switching to randomized serial numbers for its products, Apple sues a company over jailbreaking, Firefox has critical vulnerabilities, and more.

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

Macintosh HD Is Archaic

It has been a while since the Mac was called a “Macintosh.” The last computer to bear that word in its name was the Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh, released in June 1997. Every Mac since then has been called a Mac.

Yet when you set up a new Mac, the company still names the drive on your computer Macintosh HD. Not only is the first word archaic, but in most cases, new Macs have solid-state drives, or SSDs.

Macintosh hd

I understand that Apple may have maintained this name for a while for legacy purposes – software that looked for that as the name of the root volume on a Mac. But it seems archaic now. In addition, the icon for the drive in the Finder, as you can see above, is that of a bare hard drive.

Perhaps it’s time for Apple to change the way they name the default drive on Macs. They could use the user’s name and say, for example, Kirk’s Drive. Or allow users to choose a name during setup. (You can change the name at any time by selecting the drive, pressing Return, and typing another name.)

8 Mac security and privacy features to set up right away

Congratulations on getting a new Mac. You’ll be able to use your new computer for work and for play, to listen to music, to shop, and to view the world. But it’s important to protect yourself, and the best time is right at the beginning, as soon as you can. There are myriad threats to your data, your identity, and your privacy, and there are a number of features that you can use on your Mac to protect you. Here are eight features you should set up on your new Mac.

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

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode 113: Mac Pro costs the same as Tesla Cybertruck

Apple has released the new Mac Pro, along with updates for all its operating systems this week. Google Chrome gets a serious update, Google Maps gets incognito mode, and the Ring doorbell leaks some location data allowing journalists to create heat maps of Ring-protected homes. Plus an AirDrop vulnerability, a tweet with an iPhone decryption key, and more.

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

macOS Music App Brings Back the Column Browser

Apple has released macOS 10.15.2, and one of the big features in the Music app is the return of the column browser. As I wrote back in August, the loss of the column browser was devastating. It was the best way to navigate large libraries, and without it, it was painful to choose music.

Go to System Preferences > Software Update and get the latest version of macOS. Then, in the Music app, go into Songs view and press Command-B to display the column browser.

This update also fixes the issue where the iTunes Remote app on iOS didn’t work with the Music app.

Thanks, Apple.

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode 107: admin / admin

Apple has release a whole slew of security updates this week, stretching back quite far, and we discuss some of the changes, and also Apple’s problematic HomePod update. Equifax is sued for using admin as user name and password to protect sensitive data. (Duh.) And we take a close look at the many security alerts and dialogs you see with macOS Catalina.

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

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode 105: Developing a Security Mindset

After a couple of news items, about Apple sending browsing data to Tencent in China, and a Google exec warning people to be wary of its smart home devices, we discuss Josh’s talk at the MacTech conference about developing a security mindset.

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

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode 104: Getting Ready for Catalina

Josh and Kirk celebrate the two-year anniversary of the podcast, and discuss getting ready to upgrade to Catalina, with tips on how to ensure that your upgrade will be smooth, and the most efficient way to upgrade your Mac.

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

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode 103: Updates, Legit-Looking Lightning Cables, Malspam, and Touch ID

Josh and Kirk discuss the many updates to iOS 13, how legit-looking lightning cables that can hack your devices will soon be on sale, how malspam mostly tries to trick people with bogus links, a Touch ID issue, and much more.

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