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

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

MacOSX Compact Sparse Image…

One useful OS X feature is the ability to create disk images. A disk image is a single file that, when double-clicked, appears like a typical hard drive to the operating system. (Most software you download comes on a disk image.) Disk images a great way to store related files that you don’t need to use often, as they can be “out of sight” until you need them. They’re also useful if you want to store something securely, as you can create encrypted disk images that require a password to mount.

There are essentially two types of disk images—a normal disk image and a sparse disk image. With a normal disk image, the disk image will consume as much drive space as its size, even when empty—i.e. a 40MB normal disk image requires 40MB of drive space, even if you’ve never used it. Sparse disk images, on the other hand, are disk image files that require just as much space as their contents require. So a 40MB sparse disk image will only need 40MB of drive space if you’ve saved 40MB of data onto it. The disk image will grow automatically as space is required.

What isn’t so obvious is that a sparse image won’t shrink automatically. Check out the link for a handy article on how to compact a sparse image.

http://www.macworld.com/weblogs/macosxhints/2007/06/compactsparse/index.php

MacOSX Compact Sparse Image…

One useful OS X feature is the ability to create disk images. A disk image is a single file that, when double-clicked, appears like a typical hard drive to the operating system. (Most software you download comes on a disk image.) Disk images a great way to store related files that you don’t need to use often, as they can be “out of sight” until you need them. They’re also useful if you want to store something securely, as you can create encrypted disk images that require a password to mount.

There are essentially two types of disk images—a normal disk image and a sparse disk image. With a normal disk image, the disk image will consume as much drive space as its size, even when empty—i.e. a 40MB normal disk image requires 40MB of drive space, even if you’ve never used it. Sparse disk images, on the other hand, are disk image files that require just as much space as their contents require. So a 40MB sparse disk image will only need 40MB of drive space if you’ve saved 40MB of data onto it. The disk image will grow automatically as space is required.

What isn’t so obvious is that a sparse image won’t shrink automatically. Check out the link for a handy article on how to compact a sparse image.

http://www.macworld.com/weblogs/macosxhints/2007/06/compactsparse/index.php

Upgrading to PHP5 on the MacBook

An upgrade to PHP5 using the Entropy package on my MacBook just tanked.

Turns out the fault is pretty basic.

If you’ve been running PHP already (i.e. you have already uncommented the lines in your httpd.conf file that allows PHP to run) then Apache can’t figure out which version of PHP to use and the install fails.

Simple solution – recomment those PHP lines.
E.g. #LoadModule php4_module        libexec/httpd/libphp4.so
#AddModule mod_php4.c

http://www.entropy.ch/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=2390

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.