MacInTouch discussions include the following topics today:
MuseScore is a professional music notation program that’s cross-platform and open-source. In addition to a full set of notation and formatting feature, text support, and MIDI import/conversion, MuseScore offers playback capabilities with a mixer, MIDI output, synthesizer, and SoundFont samples. For getting started, there’s a Startup Wizard Tour feature along with a library of video tutorials. Other features include support for MusicXML files, early music, fretboard diagrams, keyboard shortcuts, and much more. (See the MuseScore 3 Handbook for more information.)
Linux discussion includes Chromebook conversion issues, better alternatives (new and used), issues with a new Dell Inspiron, and Linux workarounds with MacBook Pro graphics failures.
MacInTouch Community updates also discuss the following topics (among others):
- 2019 Mac Pro – weak graphics (and gaming) vs. iGPUs
- Adobe/alternatives – font issues, Affinity Publisher IDML import
- Audio – Sonos “recycling” issues, sandboxing
- Apple Messages – sync follies and confusion
- Competition – Intel NUC 9 Extreme (“Ghost Canyon”)
- Input devices – great, old Contour Mouse, alternatives
- iPhones – battery charge indicator bugs
- macOS Catalina – Dymo software, Finder-related problems
- Photography – SmugMug, hosting alternatives/issues
- Tax software – macOS version compatibility confusions
- Thunderbolt – Bluetooth interference with long Thunderbolt cable
macOS Catalina notes talk about Apple Books bugs, Dymo label software compatibility, QuickTime 7 elimination and virtualization workarounds, plus Thunderbolt sleep crashes and tips for installing Mojave (or High Sierra) on new Macs that can still run it while shipping with Catalina installed.
MacInTouch Community updates also touch on the following topics (among others):
- 2019 Mac Pro – real-world performance tests
- Apple Mail – PostCheck plug-in
- Apple Messages – sync/sound problems
- Audio – Sonos follies
- Benchmarking – Geekbench changes score confusion
- Displays – Apple Thunderbolt Display failures workaround
- Competition – new Dell laptops
- iPhones – GPS failure, replacement iPhone, setup problems
- Linux – introduction/tutorial; photo software (GIMP, Darktable etc.)
- Migration – 2009 iMac upgrade
- PDF issues – security/update problems; compatibility issues/options
- Photography – web hosting options?
- Safari – style sheet bugs
- Security – more IoT camera security problems (Xiaomi, Google Nest)
- Tax software – sale prices
Reaper is a cross-platform app from Cockos Inc. for multi-track audio and MIDI recording, editing, processing, mixing, and mastering. Features include multi-source recording, non-destructive editing of audio “in almost any imaginable way”, track layering, hundreds of audio and MIDI effects, support for all kinds of hardware and plug-ins, track metering, automation, pitch shifting, a project management “bay”, customizable user interface, and “the highly flexible ReaSurround plug-in – apply rotations, transformations, and diffusions, and even automate the positions of the speakers themselves.” (See Reaper user guide [PDF], Quick Start [PDF] and other resources for more details.)
Reaper 6.0.2 is priced at $60 for personal use ($225 for commercial use) and downloads support Mac OS X 10.5 (!) through macOS 10.15, as well as Windows and Linux (“experimental builds”) and the WINE environment. The download is “a free, fully functional 60-day evaluation. No registration or personal details are required.”
Shairport Sync is software from Mike Brady (building on the original work of James Laird and others) that functions as an AirPlay wireless audio player – “it plays audio streamed from iTunes, iOS, Apple TV and macOS devices and AirPlay sources such as Quicktime Player and ForkedDaapd, among others.” (It does not support video or photo streaming, however.)
Features include full audio synchronization – “it stays synchronised with the source and hence with similar devices playing the same source. In this way, synchronised multi-room audio is possible for players that support it, such as iTunes and the macOS Music app.” The software also handles Apple ALAC decoding, high bit rates and frame rates, metadata delivery, and more.
Shairport Sync is freely downloadable open-source software for Linux, Raspberry Pi, OpenBSD and other Unix-based systems. A Mac HomeBrew package is available but lacks synchronization capability.
Adobe and alternatives discussion continues with lots more about scripting and related issues, plus InDesign document conversion and archiving.
MacInTouch Community updates touch on the following topics, as well:
- 2019 Mac Pro – rack-mount model, accessory/upgrade pricing
- Apple Mail – bug apparently fixed by Catalina update
- Apple quality/security – more bad documentation
- Data recovery – accidental RAID erase sans backup…
- Help please – 2009 MacBook and High Sierra?
- iOS 13 – forced, unwanted updates
- Linux – iPad remote/terminal options; security issues
- macOS Catalina – AppleScript/resource fork issues; bug fix; TechTool Pro
- Old systems – Pascal, compilers, interpreters, etc.; hard drive heads
- Raspberry Pi etc. – VPN server, Arduino, glory days
- Security – solar systems
Adobe and alternatives discussion talks about Affinity Publisher and InDesign/IDML conversion with IDMarkz (including notes from the developer), along with various publishing/business issues and experiences.
Email discussion digs deeply into issues with G Suite and Gmail setups, along with alternative email providers, anti-malware and anti-phishing services, the Mail-in-a-Box server, etc.
MacInTouch Community discussions include the following current topics, among others:
- Antivirus apps – F-Secure Safe
- Apple Mail – junk mail processing problems
- Apple security – stealth location tracking; Find My, U1 chip and iBeacons; GPS
- Apple TV – Dolby Vision HDR failure; Hulu bug
- Backups – Time Machine restore options/procedures
- Displays – dual-layer (LMCL) vs. OLED mastering monitors
- File systems – APFS boot issues/tests
- Firewalls – Ubiquity EdgeRouter, Pi-Hole, Raspberry Pi notes, etc.
- Input devices – Corsair RGB keyboard profiles
- iOS 13 – voice control; iOS 13 bugs and update issues
- Linux – iPad vs. Mac; distro review; laptops; dual-boot; terminal apps
- Mac Pro (classic) – video card compatibility
- MacBook Pro – sudden shutdown bugs; speaking popping; display ghosts; hackintoshes
- macOS Catalina – bugs, enterprise concerns, Unix shells, etc.
- Malware – cryptocurrency fileless Mac infection
- Old systems – old drives, DEC systems, Televideo, Macs, motorcycles, appliances, cars…
- Security – solar systems; X10; FBI warnings: Smart TVs and iOT
- Storage – Thunderbolt and USB SSDs – performance, compatibility, prices, etc.
- Thunderbolt – CalDigit TS3 Plus, OWC dock
- Two-factor authentication (2FA) – PayPal/Authy setup
- Utilities – LiteSwitchX replacement, TechTool Pro 12
- Vulnerabilities – VPN-busting bug