Change your Audio / Video Formats with QuickTime

OS X is full of little features that are understated, yet extremely useful. Most of them are within less famous applications like Preview, Quicktime Player or Calculator. Sometimes you don’t find out about them until you stumble across them while working on something else.

I inadvertently found another one of these features the other day inside Quicktime Player…

Like it or not, there’s a zillion different file formats for Music, Movies, Text documents and Pictures. Sometimes you come across one that’s not standard like .MP3, .WAV/.AIFF, .JPG/.GIF, etc. In the past, you’d have to find a utility to convert the files from one format to another. You’d also have to hope that it was a Freeware or Open Source application. Luckily QuickTime Player will sort out your Audio / Video conversions needs, for free.

Before you begin:

On my Mac, I see the option for converting “Movie to Ogg”. I also know that Ogg Vorbis isn’t supported by QuickTime by default. This leads me to think that I can do all these cool conversions because I have some special plugins installed.

The first thing you should do, if you haven’t already is:

Download and install Perian and if you want to work with Ogg files, XiphQT.

Changing Audio / Video Formats within QuickTime Player:

- Open the file you wish to convert.

- In the Menu Bar, Click “File” and Choose “Export…”.

- The Save As: box will appear.

- At the Bottom, next to “Export:”, pick the format you’d like to convert to.

Quickly Convert Audio-Video Formats in Quicktime

- If you need, clicking “Options” will allow you to tweak advanced settings.

- Click “Save” and you’re done.

Missing Formats:

Some common formats are missing with this trick, such as .MP3 and .AAC. To easily convert them in OS X, use iTunes. So, to convert an Ogg file to .mp3, for use in an iPod or other player, use iTunes to do the conversion.

Backup and Sync Personal Data with Dropbox and Truecrypt

Dropbox is an easy and useful way to sync files across multiple computers. You can even share folders (and photos) with friends, family and co-workers. It’s also great as a simple backup solution for small documents.

As a backup solution, it brings me to ask the question.. What do you do if those documents are sensitive, such as financial records, bank statements, or scans of your passport?

Setting up your Airport Base Station’s Advanced Features

Apple’s Airport Base Station is much more than just a simple Access Point. In part one of this series we looked at how to connect your Base Station to the internet and secure it. Now, we’re going to explore some of the advanced features of your Base Station and see what makes it so special compared to other Access Points.

Setting up and securing your Airport Base Station

As Macintosh popularity grows, so does the use of Apple accessories. One such accessory is the Airport Base Station.

Now, you don’t need an Apple Airport Base Station to connect wirelessly – Macs connect to any 802.11a/b/g/n network that their network cards support. One reason why the Base Station is useful though is the built-in USB port for attaching a printer, Time Capsule or external Hard Drives.

You may think these extras would be difficult to configure, but don’t worry about that. In part one of this two part series, I’ll show you that setting up and securing your Airport Base Station is easy. Here’s all you need to do:

iTunes Home Sharing – What is it?

iTunes 9 brought us a new feature along with the store’s redesign – Home Sharing. Like many new features in Apple’s software, it’s either “What’s this for?” or “I must have it!”.

So, let’s take a look at Home Sharing and see: What exactly is it?, Why would you use it?, and finally What if it doesn’t work?

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