Posts tagged Automation

MobileMe Media Sync — Apple Patent Watch

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File this under awesome x rad. Seriously, I find it so annoying when can’t carry on listening (or watching) to my current song or podcast when I move from one device to another. Sitting at my desk listening to a podcast on iTunes and switching to my iPhone when I have to dash off somewhere is mildly frustrating because I need to get to the correct podcast and then scan for the spot I was at before I can pick up where I left off.

With this I should just be able to pop my earbuds in and hit play on the head set control. It will save me time not only because I don’t have to find the right track, but I also won’t have to listen to the same parts of tracks again because I’m not sure where I was.

And I totally agree that Apple need to start working a little harder to earn my MobileMe subscription every year !

091019-applepatent-01

Synchronization of Media State Across Multiple Devices, one of the latest patents filed by Apple, aims to use MobileMe to make sure if you start watching a movie in iTunes or on the AppleTV, then switch to your iPhone, you’re at the exact same place in the movie (and back again) — with no USB sync required.

Last month, prompted by reader Seth Clifford, TiPb asked for just such ‘WhisperSync’ (to use the Amazon Kindle term) functionality. Not only would this be great for users with multiple Windows, Macs, iPhones, and/or iPod touches, but it would be a great way for Apple to add value to MobileMe, whose $99 a year is non-competitive to say the least, especially for Windows users (who don’t benefit from iLife, Back to my Mac, Mac sync, etc.) So, yeah, Apple — make this happen!

(Via The iPhone Blog.)

Billion take it to the next level

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You heard it here first, but now Billion have taken it to the next level.

Billion 2073N Homeplug Adapter

Billion 2073N Homeplug Adapter

With this device you can have the best of both worlds – Wifi and EoP (Ethernet over Power). You are pretty much guaranteed to have every inch of your house covered either with wired or wireless connectivity without the hassle of having to lay (and hide) Ethernet cable all over the place.

Billion is supplied locally by Nology and is apparently ready to be ordered from them. I’ve been scouring the local e-tailers but they are pretty slow and useless when it comes to new products.

Only people that seem to be on the ball are Expansys who have it on offer for R874.99 here.

This price puts it at about the same price as the Netgear units which don’t have the built in Wifi.

Definitely worth taking a look at if you are planning on wire(less)ing your home up anytime soon.

Automate getting your RSS fix

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4/5

4/5

Over time I’ve messed around with a number of OS X applications that automate the finding and downloading of content that I subscribe to with RSS.

Some of the applications that I have been using have not been updated in a long time and they have begun to become more and more unreliable.

Fortunately I recently came across “Automatic”:

The answer to your RSS prayers

The answer to your RSS prayers

Automatic allows you to set up subscriptions for virtually any content linked in RSS feeds: podcasts, videocasts, torrentcasts… Rule of thumb: if it ends in ‘-cast’, you can get it with Automatic.

Once set up, there’s nothing else to do but sit back and wait. Automatic will fetch and deliver the latest content for your subscriptions right to your download folder*, so all that’s left for you is to find some time to enjoy it!

For example, just imagine you wanted to ensure that you were always up to date with your favorite TV show. For this example, we’ll assume that “The Big Bang Theory”is the show in question.

Hit the best TV Show RSS feed, select “The Big Bang Theory” from the drop down list, click the “Get public feed” button and copy the URL that it spits back at you.

Show RSS

Show RSS

Open up Automatic (it lives in your System Preferences).

System Preferences

System Preferences

Click on the “Subscriptions” tab at the top and the on the “+” button to add a new subscription.

Add a feed

Add a feed

Click the “+” button again on the next screen to add a feed. Paste the URL into the top field and Automatic does the rest.

Automatic feed

Automatic feed

In this case I’ve made use of a feed that will only return episodes for this show. You can obviously use a general feed and then use the filter function to view only the items you want.

Play with it for a few minutes and you’ll get the idea. Pretty simple stuff really.

Note: This show used as an example only. Make sure you only use this only to download content that you have rights to. Otherwise you will probably get into trouble.

Click-to-dial from the Apple address book

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I’ve been using an IP softphone on my Mac for some time, but there has been no integration between the softphone and the Apple address book. It wasn’t the biggest issue for me, but I became really tired of copying the numbers I looked up and pasting them into the softphone to be able to dial.

After trolling the interweb yesterday and finding a few address book plug-in scripts (that no longer work with Snow Leopard), I came across Dialectic from JN Software.

dialectic_icon_w_reflection.png

It works with pretty much every softphone and web-based VoIP service I’ve come across. You can customize dialing rules based on the type of call (local, long distance, international etc etc) as well as your location.

There is actually a lot more power under the hood when you consider that it can hook into Apple Scripts as well.

While I was playing with the preferences, one setup that I thought would be particularly useful was to have all my in country calls route via my softphone and all my international calls route out via Skype, which is easily done with Dialectic. Nice work.

It looks slick and will only cost you $25 if you decide to keep using it after your trial period expires.

Get it.

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