iPod & iTunes Hacks

iPod & iTunes Hacks As an iPod owner and fan, I am continually searching for cool new ways to use my iPod. I thought I was pretty cutting edge using it for voice recording, photo storage, and viewing driving directions. After reading iPod & iTunes Hacks I realized I could do things I never dreamed of trying. The book takes its “hacks” genre seriously and provides instructions on things iPods and iTunes were never meant to do. Want to dial a phone with your iPod? How about using your iPod as a universal remote control? These are a couple of the tricks that you can learn. Fortunately for more practically minded readers, the book doesn’t focus only on extreme hacks. It also explains more common concerns like downloading songs from your iPod to your computer, replacing the battery on your iPod, and making smart playlists in iTunes. I should note that while the book is multi-platform (Windows, Mac, Linux), Mac users will get the most from the book with tips throughout and an entire chapter on using AppleScript with iTunes. [Paul Ludington]

Feature Filmmaking at Used-Car Prices

I’ve got several ideas kicking around in my head, just waiting to be developed into feature length movies. While I don’t have access to big budget Hollywood producers capable of writing a fat movie check and turn me loose on a sound stage, I already own most of the hardware and software required to produce a movie. This book helps fill in the gaps about how to turn your idea into a feature length success, without needing a small fortune to get the job done. The original version of the book comes with a Kevin Smith endorsement. The book was re-released in 2000 to include information on using Digital Video and the Internet to further enhance the low budget experience. Digital Video software is even more affordable now than it was in 2000, and the movie making tips remain just as relevant. While I haven’t made a feature length movie, the information Rick Schmidt provides in this book, certainly leads me to believe I could. Before you get started making movies, whether you’re simply creating productions for family enjoyment or attempting to enter the Sundance Film Festival, this book is worth its weight in tips and information on avoiding common mistakes.

PDF Hacks

While the hacks concept has certainly morphed following the success of the original Google Hacks title, O’Reilly continues to cover topics in a way that puts a new spin on a topic or brings to light an under-represented topic. PDF Hacks falls into the latter category, providing important insight into the PDF publishing process, including many subtle tips and tricks vastly improving the process of taking text from Word, InDesign, Open Office, or even a simple text editor and converting to Portable Document Format. I thought I knew a ton about publishing documents in PDF format, until I read this book and realized I was doing a number of tasks in a very backward fashion. Hacks range in complexity from simple settings tweaks in Adobe Acrobat, creating Web forms designed to capture PDF data dynamically, PDF fax tricks, and even some Java programming code for outputting PDFs. A little something for all levels of PDF publishing. If you publish documents in the most widely distributed file format, PDF Hacks should be on your bookshelf.

Steal This File Sharing Book

File sharing is as old as the Internet. If you grew up trading taped copies of songs with your friends, it’s even older. We all know a few things about file sharing. Finding the tools share files is as easy as a trip to your favorite download site. Of course, there’s file sharing and then there’s file sharing. Steal This File Sharing Book (STFSB) offers an overview of the topic, providing some history, pointing out the legal grey areas, listing the major methods for sharing files before digging into the meat of the subject, which is where the majority of the books pages are focused. The legal risks of sharing files are becoming obvious with the regular media coverage of RIAA John Doe lawsuits, but STFSB offers a clear outline of the legal ramifications, how to play within the rules of the system, and where you might get caught with your fingers in the digital cookie jar. Spyware and virus infections both frequently originate from contact with file sharing software and the greater community of file sharing users. STFSB offers key methods for protecting your PC from malicious software, as well as offering smart steps to keeping your data safe from prying eyes and evidence elimination strategies for people who prefer to keep their bits to themselves. STFSB could be seen as a tool for users who want to learn how to skirt the laws and enter into the dark underground of file sharing subversives, but I see it a different way. The book offers numerous pointers on ways to legal participate in file sharing, without ever venturing into the realm of legal question marks. It also clearly points out the various methods of file sharing that are clearly operating outside the boundaries of the law, giving you useful guidance in avoiding having your IP address show up in a John Doe lawsuit. And for fans of computer lore, this is a must have addition to your library, simply because it tells the story of file sharing, dating back to its BBS origins.