iTunes could not connect to the iTunes Music Store

On my MacBook I got this message…

iTunes could not connect to the iTunes Music Store

Tried different versions of iTunes from 7.4.2 to 7.5 and 7.6 but no luck.
I then tried running iTunes on WindowsXP on the same MacBook via Parallels which connected. I installed Little Snitch to see what was happening to the network connections and found out iTunes wasn’t even attempting to connect.

The problem turned out to be a proxy configuration file (PAC) which had been setup in System Preferences | Network | Airport | Advanced | Proxies

As soon as I removed it, the problem disappeared.

iTunes could not connect to the iTunes Music Store

iTunes could not connect to the iTunes Music Store

Remove duplicate files on a Mac

Several solutions see to do the job.

These are:

  • Singular
  • dupeGuru
  • MrClean
  • FileBuddy9

Review:

I created a 2.7 GB directory of various duplicated files and ran them against each other.

Fastest: Singular, closely followed by dupeGuru. MrClean and FileBuddy trailed a long way behind.

Easiest to use: Singular starts off with a window asking you to drag your files into it. Super-simple. dupeGuru has more options on the initial screen which can be cumbersome. For example, you have to select which directories you wish to scan. However, the additional options allow you to add two different directories and also sort by size – very useful. MrClean and FileBuddy again have a rather complex initial setup.

Cons: FileBuddy obviously suffers from being an all-in-one application.

In conclusion, for a single directory, Singular is by far the easiest. However, if you wish to sort by size and/or check for duplicates on multiple directories then with dupeGuru wins out. One other consideration is that Singular has occasionally crashed with big directories whereas dupeGuru completed a 62GB directory scan comfortably.

Maxtor OneTouch external hard drive with a MacBook

First of all, this is the product:

http://www.maxtorsolutions.com/en/catalog/OTIII_Turbo/index.html

Oddly, it doesn’t appear under: Office and Business
but does under Creative Pros:

http://www.maxtorsolutions.com/en/Main/creative_pros.html

There are several differences between this and the other One Touch systems.

1. This offers RAID (both striping, for disk performance, and mirroring, for secure backups).

2. It has two large disks giving 1.5TB (or 750GB if mirroring)

3. It has Firewire 800 which is superfast. The MacBook doesn’t support Firewire 800 but the MacBook Pro or desktop do which is handy if you ever decide to upgrade.

OK, the down-sides.

1. The Disk Manager tool doesn’t work properly under Leopard (it won’t let you manage the RAID settings) which means if you want disk mirroring you having to install the Manager tool on a Windows machine to change the RAID settings as it is set up to do Striping by default. A pain and odd given that the disk is very Mac friendly – e.g. the disk is Mac formatted and the first section in the user guide is aimed at Mac users as opposed to PC users.

Handy links:

Topic : MLeopard and MAXTOR one Touch III 350Gb external Hardisk http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1209889&tstart=0

Maxtor OneTouch III Family
http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/installation_assistance/installation_instructions/external_drives_&_personal_servers/ot3

Seagate/Maxtor External (and/or Network) Storage Compatibility Issues with Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard)
http://seagate.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/seagate.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=4975&p_created=1193688733&p_sid=HYgybLVi&p_accessibility=0&p_redirect=&p_lva=2223&p_sp=cF9zcmNoPTEmcF9zb3J0X2J5PSZwX2dyaWRzb3J0PSZwX3Jvd19jbnQ9MiwyJnBfcHJvZHM9NDEwLDQyMSw0NjEsNDY1JnBfY2F0cz0wJnBfcHY9NC40NjUmcF9jdj0mcF9zZWFyY2hfdHlwZT1hbnN3ZXJzLnNlYXJjaF9ubCZwX3BhZ2U9MSZwX3NlYXJjaF90ZXh0PWxlb3BhcmQ*&p_li=&p_topview=1

Sync iCal tasks and Blackberry Tasks

PocketMac SyncManager [PM SM] does the trick.Just one slight tweak required – in PM SM Preferences make sure you uncheck the iCalTasks Advanced Preferences option that says “Ignore tasks older than x days” (OR set it to zero days) otherwise this error message can be an issue:”No Gregorian Date” http://blackberryforums.pinstack.com/9295-finally_got_tasks_to_sync_properly_with_ical.html  

ffmpegX failing to convert .MOV to .avi mpeg4…?

On my MacBook I dropped in a .MOV file into ffmpegX, selected DivX AVI and clicked Encode… with no luck.

The error message I kept getting finished with:

Movie-Aspect is undefined – no prescaling applied.”

The solution was to go into Options and change Scaling method from Fast Bilinear to Bilinear.

Plenty more discussion on this here:

http://www.videohelp.com/forum/archive/encoding-finishes-immediately-when-using-flv-source-t316847.html 

ffmpegX failing to convert .MOV to .avi mpeg4…?

On my MacBook I dropped in a .MOV file into ffmpegX, selected DivX AVI and clicked Encode… with no luck.

The error message I kept getting finished with:

Movie-Aspect is undefined – no prescaling applied.”

The solution was to go into Options and change Scaling method from Fast Bilinear to Bilinear.

Plenty more discussion on this here:

http://www.videohelp.com/forum/archive/encoding-finishes-immediately-when-using-flv-source-t316847.html 

MacBook drops wireless when on battery and connecting to certain routers

Quite annoying but:

I’ve just noticed that my MacBook drops its wireless connection when on battery power and connected to a Netgear DG834 router.

It only happens when on battery power and the internet connection is idle for a few seconds.

SOLUTION: Either do not run on battery power OR if you must do so do not let the internet connection run idle.

IN PRACTICAL TERMS:
1. Keep your Macbook plugged in.

OR
2. On battery open a TERMINAL session and run the following command at the prompt.
$ nohup ping -i 10 somehost.com > /dev/null &
where somehost.com can be any server that responds to ping.

http://www.appledefects.com/wiki/index.php?title=MacBook
and
http://kristopherjohnson.blogspot.com/2006/08/macbook-wireless-connection-drops.html

Leopard Update:

Now, using Leopard, I notice that it disconnects periodically and then reconnects which is better than before but, not great. Not sure if this is an Apple or Netgear problem.