I'm always so pleased when I find a way round some exasperating computer problem that I thought I'd share my moments of triumph ...

Saturday 4 January 2014

Music files: convert m4a to aiff - or other

I use Audacity to edit music files.  I delete the chat or whatever, tag different tracks and save as AIFF format files, one for each track. For some reason, recently I've saved some recordings as m4a files. (Was it something I set??) Audacity won't read these - I installed the plugin as recommended but all it did was crash.

iTunes does the job

After quite a while trying this and that, I finally found out that iTunes will do the job. This is what you have to do:

Set up iTunes

  • Choose iTunes > Preferences > General
  • Click the dropdown choice button, Importing preferences (never mind it's associated with When a CD is inserted, ignore that)
  • Click Import using: and select your choice of format from the dropdown list. I use AIFF, high quality and seems to be fine for burning to CDs or playing in iTunes or on an iPhone.
  • The Setting: seems to want to be automatic.
  • Click OK, and OK in the Preferences pane.

Convert your music file

  • Import your m4a (or other format) music file into iTunes
  • Highlight to select it
  • Right click - and you have a choice to Create AIFF version - iTunes will make an AIFF copy for you.
  • To see it in a Finder folder, right click again and select Show in finder.

Edit your music file

Then you can locate your converted file, open it in Audacity, and edit and save it in the usual way.
Credit where credit's due, http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1550 does sort of explain all this.

Thursday 2 January 2014

Image transfer iPhone to computer

Break free from struggling with iPhoto and iTunes to retrieve images from your iPhone! Instead use Image Capture, or even Preview. Preview allows you to do some basic image editing, as well.

First, simply connect your iPhone to your computer (maybe you can also use WiFi, but I don't).

Using Image Capture

  • Open up Image Capture.
  • Your iPhone will appear under Devices and you'll get a list of thumbnails in the window (omg, what a lot of images I've got there!) 
  • Set the folder to Import to in the usual way
  • Select the images to be imported
  • If you want to delete them from the iPhone, you need to select them all, cmd-a, or those you want. Once imported, you have the option of deleting them from the phone.

Using Preview

  • Open up Preview
  • > File > Import from iPhone
  • Thumbnails of your images appear.
  • Select those to be imported, or Import all
  • Click Import
  • You can then select the folder to import to
  • And also choose to delete the selected images from the iPhone.
  • The imported images open up in Preview.
  • There you can delete selected images (cmd-backspace sends them to the trash)
  • Or edit them, using > Tools > Adjust colour or > Adjust size.
  • Adjust colour provides various adjustments and to sharpen the image, too. And you can crop by using the cursor to draw a rectangle, then > Tools > Crop.
  • You can also Rename the file, but I find that a very tedious way to do it.