From The Tips Box: OS X Applications, Organising Music, Apple Software Update

Readers offer their best tips for installing applications on OS X, organising your music library, and installing QuickTime on Windows without Apple Software Update.

About the Tips Box: Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips in our inbox, but for various reasons — maybe they're a bit too niche, maybe we couldn't find a good way to present it, or maybe we just couldn't fit it in — the tip didn't make the front page. Got a tip of your own to share? Email it to tips at

Add an Applications Folder to Your OS X Home Folder for Better Organization

CamJNexplains the nuances between the two Applications folders in OS X:

Ok so I don't know how many Mac users won't know this one already, but I just found out about some benefits of doing this so I figured I'd share.

On a Mac you can install Applications to your own profile but there is a right and wrong way to do this.

Naïvely you could just put the Apps in your home folder or a subfolder of your documents folder or wherever you like really as long it's a child of your home folder, and this alone would already allow you to skip needing admin rights to install software.

However if you make a folder called "Applications" under your home folder it will get a shiny "Applications Folder" icon and some extra special treatment.

The first benefit to any apps installed here is kinda a puttz but the new icon for the folder makes finding the right folder much quicker, and if you put it in your dock it makes it look nice there too. Further if you use icon theming apps like candybar the new Applications folder's icon should be swapped automatically just like the regular one.

The second benefit is much more real, you get the folder indexed as containing applications, so when you right click on a file you get the option to open with the applications in this folder, unlike the apps which are in other directories (useful for development in my experience).

The last is kinda a gimmie again but if you have multiple versions of an app installed (with the extra ones in your home folder to avoid name conflicts) you have the option of choosing which version of an app to use to open a file. For example I have multiple versions of firefox installed (3.6.8, 4.0b4-x64, minefield 4.0b5pre-x64) and can pick which one I want to launch when I right click an html file.

This also protects less technical users on your system from having access to dev-channel software, or in my case my own development/testing environment. And keeps them from being confused about which Firefox to use.

Scan Your Music Library for Untagged and Low Quality Files with GrooveShark

Danielblakes shares a clever way to tell which songs in your library are untagged and low quality:

If you have a large music library, and are thinking of redownloading/ripping some songs at a higher quality, but don't want to go through and have to find each songs individual properties, or if you have a large music library, and want to fix that one song that's missing it's title but can never remember which song it is: head on over to

Once you create an account head to "Upload Music" and select your music...the best part is you don't even have to upload it...Grooveshark will scan your music and tell youi which songs are low quality, and which songs are missing id3 info. a real time saver.

Install QuickTime Without Apple Software Update

Tlingitsoldier tells us another way to avoid Apple's annoying Software Update on Windows:

I'm currently working on installing necessary updates on the computers in the college library where I work. I frequently get annoyed when I see Apple Software Update pops up and students try to install the updates, then realise they don't have admin privileges.

Installing QuickTime was what put it on there but I figured out a way to prevent it from happening with each install.

First, I downloaded the QuickTime installer from Apple. Then, I used 7-Zip to extract the exe. This gave me a folder with 4 different installers: AppleApplicationSupport.msi, AppleSoftwareUpdate.msi, QuickTime.msi, and QuickTimeInstallerAdmin.exe. By just deleting or moving AppleSoftwareUpdate.msi it removes it as a point of reference from the QuickTime installer and will not add it without your permission. From there you can run the QuickTime.msi and not have to worry about Apple Software Update being installed. I've tested it on multiple systems and it seems to be the case each time.

You can also install previously mentioned QT Lite, if you prefer.

Add Bookmarks to iCal to Remind Yourself of Web Events

Being.for.itself lets us know of a neat way to create reminders for webinars:

Did you know that you can tell iCal to open a bookmark for an event? In firefox you make a bookmark of the webcast or webinar that you want to have open right before the event, then you open the bookmark manager and drag your bookmark to whatever folder you want it to reside in.

You then make an iCal event for the web event, and tell it to run a file 15 minutes before the event. Under the dropdown menu for what file you want to run, select "Other," and find the bookmark or webloc file for your event, and select that. iCal will then start your default browser with that bookmark right before the web event.

You can also tell iCal to run a terminal command, but that would be better for more advanced users.


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