See ya, Rdio

When I opened Rdio today, I saw a link to the message following message: Important information about your Rdio account. I learned about the beginning of their end a couple of days ago through sad colleagues and friends on Twitter. I started using Rdio in 2012 after a recommendation by Andrew Spittle, and I’ve had fun listening to new music.

Gary Pendergast wrote about replacing Rdio. Referring to his post, our three must have items are:

  • Offline sync to mobile.
  • Ability to play from my Mac.
  • Family accounts.

After I read Macworld’s Apple Music FAQ, I started the Apple Music three-month trial, plus Family Sharing for Amy and myself.

Switching from Rdio to Apple Music might mean scrobbling to my account will be inconsistent, which makes me sad because I’ve been tracking since 2007. 😢

On July 8, 2015, Florian Eckerstorfer posted, “Apple Music and Does it Scrobble?“. I have installed on my Mac, and I just installed QuietScrob – Background Scrobbler. Fingers crossed.

Alfred 2.7.2, snippets, and Quick Entry for Things

When using Alfred’s clipboard and snippet viewer with the Quick Entry window for Things, the item would paste into the previously active window, not the Quick Entry window.

I use Alfred snippets1 or several items of text in clipboard history when entering new to-dos into Things, and have been annoyed for awhile because I couldn’t do the same with the Quick Entry window.

Today, I’m stoked to see that Andrew and Vero fixed it. Thank you! :star:

I think one—or both—of the first two items from the Alfred Change Log for 2.7.2 addressed this issue:

  • Significantly improve Alfred’s focusing behaviour, not taking active from the currently focused app. This improves a number of things including clipboard history paste behaviour with a multi screen setup.
  • Bring the Alfred window forward in the window hierarchy

  1. Specifically, timestamps. It’s a worthwhile habit to note when you added a to-do, or track how long it took you to complete a to-do. See also: Using Dynamic Placeholders in Clipboard Snippets

Transporter Sync: Installed!

I ordered a couple of Transporter Sync units after hearing it mentioned on Mac Power Users. It was icing that they offered a 2-for-1 Transporter Sync Mother’s Day special. I felt that Connected Data site sold the strengths of their products well, and I was ready to take some control of my data.

I’ll share my initial thoughts and experience.

I only had a 120 GB USB hard drive, so I ordered a 1 TB Toshiba Canvio Basics USB 3.0 Portable hard drive.

Setup was really easy. Plug in the Ethernet cable, hard drive, then power. And wait.

  • 120 GB hard drive: the Transporter sync took 22 minutes before the light turned solid blue. 100 GB available.
  • 1 TB hard drive: 17 minutes.

So much room for more activities!

A couple of missteps happened during the account setup process. Their site didn’t recognize my Transporter Sync as active, so I had to claim it manually ny entering a couple of fields from the bottom of the device. (For my convenience, I took a photo of information on the bottom of the device.) Secondly, the password length is limited to 32 characters.

I added a couple of Shared Folders with Amy, who doesnt have a Transporter for herself. Yet. Like Dropbox, she’ll need to create an account, then add the apps to her devices befofe she can use the Shared Folders.

On my laptop, I’ll use Selective Sync to uncheck these Shared Folders. I want the data in her folders sync’d to the Transporter Sync hard drive, but the files won’t be copied onto my laptop.

I started moving folders from Dropbox to my Transporter. Aside from on-the-fly organizing, it was simple moving my files. I also added some movie files that weren’t on Dropbox, and was pleased that those would finally be sync’d.

Testing a couple of apps was painless. In nvALT, I switched the folder to my Transporter, then tested a few edits to see if they sync’d. In Alfred, I also had to change the sync folder location from its settings.

Fast forwarding to the present, I have 19.1 GB sync’d to my Transporter, not much left on Dropbox, and looking for more to “migrate”!

I’m stoked because:

  • Transporter for iOS has automatic upload enabled with my camera roll to start when I’m at home and on WiFi. I usually import photos with Lightroom, and delete them from my iPhone with Image Capture. Now any photos that were in limbo won’t be anymore.
  • I have access to my hard drive.
  • I don’t have to worry about my hard drive.
  • Data is encrypted during transfer.
  • Nobody else sees that data unless I allow it.

I’m not sure if I’ll use the Transporter Library, as my laptop hard drive is spacious, but I’m glad I have the option. (Confession: Access speed would be slower.)

I’ll post a follow up sometime to describe some quirks that are super minor, and wanted to publish this right away because I’m pretty stoked. :)

SuperDuper, I choose YOU!

I never used my Time Machine backups since I started using it for my Mac in 2012 (two MacBook Air laptops ago). Today, I finally chose to wipe it fresh and stick with SuperDuper alone to free up that space on my external hard drive. (In other words, ditching the previous versions of files.) I’ll stick with a daily regimen of using Smart Update from this point forward.

Context: OS X clean install completed

Favorite workflows for Alfred 2

The following are a current, alphabetical list of workflows I’ve installed for Alfred 2. Enjoy the rabbit hole! :)

Caffeinate Control by Shawn Patrick Rice: Replaces the Caffeine Mac app.

Caffeinate is a native OS X command line utility that solves the problem of your Mac constantly falling asleep on you. […] Caffeinate was introduced in Mountain Lion (10.8)[…]

Chrome Bookmarks by Marat Dreizin: I remember seeing this workflow, and I’m glad I finally installed it.

Faves by David Ferguson:

Mark a folder/app/file as a favorite and then provide you with quick access to those items by a keyword.

Results from the workflow are actionable (marked as file items), they can be opened it by pressing Enter, browsed in Alfred by pressing Cmd+Enter, or removed from the favorites list by pressing Ctrl+Enter.

Menu Bar Search by Ted Wise: Despite the workflow page on Packal saying it isn’t compatible with Yosemite (10.10), it works fine for me.

Netflix Search by Dorian Karter: “Search, autocomplete and launch Netflix.” Update 2015-06-19: v1.5 doesn’t work with the Netflix website revamp, so I’ve stopped using this workflow.

Non-Secure Empty Trash by Arthur Hammer: With the Empty Trash securely option checked in Finder Preferences, the default Alfred command to empty your trash (“Empty”) means the files will be deleted securely. If you don’t have anything sensitive that requires a secure file deletion, this workflow will save that time.

OS X Toolbox Workflow by Sayz Lim: The “tb” keyword gives you eight options in Yosemite:

  • Relaunch Finder
  • Toggle Desktop
  • Toggle Hidden Files
  • Memory Purge
  • Reset Launch Services
  • Toggle WiFi
  • Reset Launchpad
  • Relaunch Dock

Random Choice by Clinton Strong: Leave indecisiveness to chance. Options include:

  • Get a yes or no response to, “Should I…?”
  • Flip a coin.
  • Choose a random number using a minimum or maximum value.
  • Choose ‘…’ from a comma separated list of values.
  • Roll the dice

Rate iTunes Track by David Klem: “Assign a star rating to the currently playing track in iTunes.” I use Smart Playlists. Most of those have a rule which require songs to have ratings, and a couple of them only play songs that need a rating. For the latter, this workflow speeds up that process. (Related post from March 2006: How I use the Grouping field in iTunes.)

Rdio by David Ferguson: “Control your local Rdio application, search for tracks, artists or albums to play, and also provide you with information about the currently playing track.”

YouTube by Simon Støvring: Search YouTube videos with Alfred 2 and the “yt” keyword. Includes eleven commands, which you (fortunately) don’t need to remember. :)

Honorable mentions

Add to Things by Kim Franken: Add new tasks to your lists in Things. I don’t use this because I prefer the Quick Entry window to add context immediately.

Sometimes, when you’re replying to an email or browsing the web, you might think of something you want to jot down. Things makes it easy to do that before you forget, and without losing focus on what you’re doing. You can even automatically link to a website, email, or file, and capture snippets of text that you need to refer to later.

You can see more details on the support page from Cultured Code, “Creating To-Dos From Other Apps“.

Bluetooth Toggle by Jakob Wells for Yosemite only. For older versions of OS X, you can try another workflow here.

PingPong by Vítor Galvão: Hold the ⌘ (Command) key, look for the word “Pong”, and press the corresponding number to hit the ball. There are three difficulty levels.