News Archive for: Wednesday, September 13th, 2006 (later posted items first)
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iPod 1.2 Software Update Error/Tips, Apple iPod Game Troubleshooting/FAQ Docs
I've gotten a few mails today from iPod owners about the new iPod games, some having problems with the (required) iPod software update. The FAQ about viewing and syncing video with iTunes and iPod notes that the new iPod Games require a 5th Generation (video) iPod with software version 1.2 or later." Connecting an iPod video (with 1.1.x software) in iTunes 7 pops up a note about the 1.2 updater being available and offers to download it or download and install it. I selected to download/install. After the download and update attempt I get the same "unknown error occurred (1417)" that some others have reported in Apple's forums. I pressed "ok" to dismiss the error dialog and then quit iTunes. I unmounted the iPod from the desktop and then noticed the iPod showed the firmware update progress bar (dark screen with progress bar at the bottom). After the update finished - the iPod's "About" item showed v1.2 software was installed. A quick check of music and previously installed videos showed no problems, but I have not bought any of the new games.
BTW, Apple has some updated kbase docs on iPod games:

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Mac Call of Duty 2 v1.3 update
Aspyr has posted a Mac Call of Duty 2 v1.3 patch (Thanks Eddie) that " fixes some multiplayer game and level issues, raises the gamestate from 16k to 128k and addresses the PunkBuster GUID issue". See the linked page for complete list of changes/fixes and download, but here's a note for those running a Multiplayer server:

" When hosting a PunkBuster enabled server for the first time after installing the 1.3 patch, you may experience stability issues. To avoid this, launch the Multiplayer application, wait 10 - 20 seconds, then quit. Once you relaunch Call of Duty 2 Multiplayer, you will be able to host PunkBuster servers without any issues. "
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Reader feedback on iTunes store movie downloads (DVD burn info, Image/Audio quality)
Due to the length of the posts, I've created a separate page of Reader feedback on iTunes store movie downloads including notes on DVD burns/playback limitations, image/audio quality, download times, etc.
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Canadian EyeTV program guide support
" News flash for Canadian EyeTV users, and other countries that have not had program guide support within EyeTV:
Guillaume Boudreau has released "EyeTV EPG Proxy 0.9.1" (v0.9.2 was released today-Mike), a FREE utility that brings 100% EPG support within EyeTV for previously unsupported countries!
It works like a charm, and takes only about 5 minutes to set up.
Just in case anyone wonders "why couldn't Elgato or iEye Captain do this," it is important to note that the only way Guillaume could do this is by offering it for free. The TV providers he uses will not allow commercial products to license their services.
Hope this helps,
Graham Jones
(developer of iEye Captain) "
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iTunes 7 Feedback/Compatibility Notes
(updated again at 9:30PM) BTW - Matthew called saying he could not use the iTunes 7 backup menu item with his external (Firewire) DVD burner rather than the internal drive. I asked if he had selected the external drive in the iTunes burning prefs, but he said it didn't appear there (although ASP listed it). On a hunch I suggested he insert a blank DVD disc in the FW burner. The drive then appeared as an option in the burning prefs. (Just a FYI in case anyone else sees this after the update.)

" itunes 7 doesn't work with oss3d,
they are working on an update...
-Adam "

" Just curious if anyone else has reported that sorting a list of tracks is broken? In the case where you have defined a CD or list of tracks and entered the information (1 of 12, 2 of 12, 3 of 12, etc.), when you select the Album field in the iTunes library, the tracks are all over the place! Very strange if you are trying to burn a copy of a CD. Dragging a playlist into another application to burn the cd DOES include the correct information and allows me to sort as before.
-John E. "

Not checked that personally (yet).

" iTunes ITC files seem to be JPEG
GraphicConverter can open them up the iTunes 7 album art files. They seem to be JPEG compressed.
-Nick F.
Technical Support Specialist
Elgato Systems LLC "

A reply to the above:

" The ITC format is actually some kind of wrapper or header in front of regular image formats. I investigated .itc files that iTunes created from my MP3's that had existing (embedded) cover artwork. They turned out to be a 492-byte header with a normal PNG image following. Using dd I was able to remove the header and open the PNG file with any normal image app (also preview in Finder). I've had no luck so far pasting the 492-byte header onto other PNGs and introducing them into the Album Artwork folder.
-Bruce W. "

"Installing iTunes 7 has killed my 60GB iPod photo. I use it as a mountable disk and sync files at home and at work with Synchronize X! Plus. I had manually added artwork to my iTunes library. After I'd clicked 'agree' to the EULA pane for iTunes, it connected to Apple to collect artwork and the status panel said it was calculating gaps between songs or something and updating my iPod. (I didn't have my iPod connected when it updated the lib.-Mike) Then it hung. And the Finder hung.
Relaunching and restarting sorted the Finder and iTunes but not my iPod. It was recognised by iTunes at first but as corrupted. It no longer mounted in the Finder. I tried restoring original settings in iTunes but this failed. I then tried with my latest version of the iPod Updater utility - also failed. I then tried Disk Utility - failed to repair. Disk Warrior 3.03 - failed. I'm pretty sure the firmware (drive) partition has corrupted. I therefore tried recreating the partition map with pdisk but this did not make it my iPod magically updatable with utility. I believe the new partition map The update Utility recognises it's there, as does Disk Utility. I'm now erasing by writing zeros in Disk Utiltiy. I'll let you know how I get on.

The long and the short of it is I think it would be best to let iTunes 7 update your library first and then when it's done try with your iPod.
Of course, it could all just be a coincidence and my iPod was about to die anyway.
cheers, Leon"

Not sure it's common, but a Windows iTunes user also reported a problem with the iPod connected (see last report below), but now I'm glad I didn't have my iPod connected when it was updating the lib..

" Hi Mike!... On the posting on "iTunes 7.0 update breaks Volume Logic plugin" (below) I have noticed the same issue. Pretty unfortunate.
I love the Cover Flow feature, so I will wait for the Volume Logic update.
Here is a link of what they say at Plantronics on this issue.
-Dr.MORO "

" iTunes 7.0 update breaks Volume Logic plugin
Just a heads up on the update to iTunes 7 and a compatibility problem.
After updating to the newest version of iTunes, I noticed Volume Logic's plugin wasn't working right. The plugin is installed, and is displayed but it is inoperative.
Also, the show equalizer option doesn't work anymore (related or not?), the equalizer is not displayed at all.
A reinstall of the plugin does not help. I reverted back to iTunes 6.05 and everything is back as it should be. Apple, could you do a little testing before you rush to release the next update? The Volume Logic HP has no information on this issue yet.
-David V. "

Some other readers complained about the equalizer button no longer being on the main window and having no keyboard shortcut (have to use the Menu). After the update it also goes through the lib to "determine gapless playback" information which can take awhile with a large library.

" I installed iTunes 7 and QT 7.1.3. From early tests I can say that iTunes is now more responsive and reactive. One example: in iTunes 6.x EYEPHEDRINE 2.30 drops frames when selecting menus or dragging the iTunes window, now all is ok without reinstalling the visualizer.
-Sam "

BTW - Eyephedrine visualizer for iTunes v2.63 is available now.

" It seems that using the "Get Album Artwork" feature in iTunes 7 is hit and miss. After going through my library album by album individually, iTunes would rarely grab the album artwork on the the first try. It took me an average of 4-5 times before I could get the artwork for an album (if I did succeed). It seems that iTunes can get inconsistently picky if certain information is different than what is on the store when trying to retrieve artwork.

More importantly though is that the artwork downloaded is not placed in the music files. A new folder at ~/Music/iTunes/Album Artwork/ is where the image files are placed. However, the images are in files with an .itc extension and I have yet to find anything that can open them up. While this is fine for viewing in iTunes, the album art is not transferred if you move songs from one computer to the next, and from what I hear the art is not transferred to iPods (can't confirm that though since I don't have an iPod that can view images). This change in album art placement also causes the iTunes Artwork screen-saver to not use any art you have downloaded in this new manner.

While I do think the new version of iTunes has some great features, I hope some of these issues are fixed/changed.
-Phil L. "

" It still does not allow video imports of non standard QT videos. I imported a few .mpg's and .mov's, but it won't allow .avi's even though they will play in the QT player. Looks like I will still keep using iView Media Pro for a while.
-Awood "

A Windows iTunes user said:

"Unbelieveable... So I left the computer on last night so iTunes can finish determining gapless playback with my iPod connected to the machine. This morning I picked up the iPod and it's blank, all music and all playlists are gone. WTF?... I'm about to leave for work and my iPod is empty
furthermore, the iPod just freaked out I couldn't copy any files to it from iTunes, I had to reset it. Then I was able to copy music to it as usual. Again, this is Windows, iTunes for Windows always had problems.
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More Info on Belkin F5D7000 802.11g card Version numbers/Airport Compatibility
Yesterday's news had another report on Belkin F5D7000 802.11g PCI cards, noting that version 5100 and version 6000 of the card was not Airport compatible, although several previous reports said it was. (Later version numbers of the card may have changed chipsets from the original broadcom chip used, although the Belkin F5D7000 product page still lists Mac OS compatibility.) A couple readers replied to that post about the earlier version numbers of the card working:

" Just wanted to drop you a note about belkin wireless network cards. I just purchased one at the staples where i live they had two versions in the store version 5000 and version 4000. (I asked to verify he's talking about the F5D7000 card-Mike) I purchased the (version) 5000 first off and installed it. The card was not recognized as installed. I went back to Staples and traded it for the version 4000. The boxes for these were unlabeled on the outside but the clerk let me open the package and check the version number.
Using the version 4000 card the card is recognized as an airport card and works flawlessly. you do need to have the latest drivers for airport though.
-Carl "

Most broadcom chip based cards are compatible with Airport 3.1 or later (10.2.8 era and later). I did have a Microsoft 802.11g card (now discontined) a few years back that was broadcom chip based but required a plist ID change to work.

" ...about the belkin f5d wireless-g cards (both pci and pccard), i can confirm that version 3000 (with any version of airport extreme installed on 10.3) and version 4000 (with version 3.1 of airport installed) work. however, i've tested version 5000 and version 6000 cards and none of these were recognized as a valid airport card.
-Bill "

You'd think Belkin would update their product page by now about this.

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Beige G3 user report on Combo GigaBit Ethernet/FW/USB 2.0 PCI Card
I've updated the page on OS X compatible PCI Ethernet cards to include a Beige G3 owner's report on a Combo GigaBit Ethernet/Firewire/USB 2.0 PCI Card.
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Mac Pro 'Clovertown' Quad-Core CPU swaps
Last month I was sent several screenshots (Apple system profiler, Apps, benchmarks, etc.) from a Mac Pro with 2.4GHz 'Clovertown' (Quad Core) CPUs swapped in but I was asked not to post or mention it. (I can now he said, and will do so either later today or tomorrow.) PC site Anantech has now posted an article on Apple's Mac Pro - Upgrading CPUs, Memory & Running XP that verifies they do work. And page 2 has comments on using standard heatsink FB-Dimms (which some readers previously reported worked ok for them, others noted ECC error corrections)

" We had no problems running all of our benchmarks with the standard Crucial FB-DIMMs; however, if we ran a memory stress test for even just a short period of time the modules quickly reported correctable ECC errors. Apple's original modules did not generate any ECC errors, so it looks like the additional cooling is necessary under the most extreme situations. "

I've added this to the previous page here on Mac Pro owner reports on 3rd party Memory, which also has another updated report on standard (flat heatsink) FB-Dimms.

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Other Net News/Misc. Software Updates
(later added items first)

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Recent Reviews and Articles:
Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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