Play FLV files through QuickTime

Perian: The swiss-army knife for QuickTime

Perian is a FREE QuickTime plugin that greatly expands on the formats that QuickTime can play.

For me, the coolest thing is the ability to play Flash Video (FLV) files through QuickTime. I tend to save a lot of videos I find on YouTube, and until now I’ve had to either convert them to another format, or use FLVThing to play them. With Perian, QuickTime can play those files directly.

Check out the site for the complete list of formats Perian can play. I didn’t see installation instructions on the site, but all you have to do is copy the plugin to /Library/QuickTime or your-user-folder/Library/QuickTime. You may need to create the folder if you decide to place it in your user folder.

For some reason, the download links on the Perian site aren’t working, but you can get the plugin over at Cool OSX Apps.

UPDATE (11/05/2009): QuickTime X (part of 10.6 Snow Leopard) seems to play flv files without the aid of Perian. So, unless you need Perian for another format you should be able to uninstall it. Thanks Lee!

PowerPoint Security Advisory

Microsoft PowerPoint

Yesterday, Microsoft issued a PowerPoint security advisory for a vulnerability that could allow “remote code execution” in Microsoft PowerPoint 2000, Microsoft PowerPoint 2002, Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003, Microsoft PowerPoint 2004 for Mac, and Microsoft PowerPoint v. X for Mac.

In order for this attack to be carried out, a user must first open a malicious PowerPoint file attached to an e-mail or otherwise provided to them by an attacker (or unsuspecting friend or client).

Check out the article for more information.

iPhoto makes jpg copies of all RAW files

iPhoto library size

Are you shooting your digital images in RAW format? If you use iPhoto to organize them, there is something you should know.

I was under the impression that whenever you edited a RAW file in iPhoto, iPhoto created a jpg copy of the image. As it turns out, that’s not really the case. iPhoto actually makes a jpg copy of EVERY RAW file imported into iPhoto. It doesn’t matter if you edit it or not. Two copies (RAW and jpg) get stored in your library folder.

If you shoot a lot of RAW, this could start adding up quickly. It’s something to consider if you have limited drive space.

Tip: Navigate Coverflow with your keyboard

Navigate coverflow with your keyboard

By now we all know about Coverflow, the new album browser in iTunes 7. But, did you know that you can navigate Coverflow with your keyboard?

With Coverflow active (you may need to click inside the Coverflow window), you can use the left and right arrow keys to navigate back and forth within your albums. Tap the keys to scroll by one album at a time, or hold them down to quickly scroll through you library.

You can also use the letter keys to jump straight to that letter. How this works depends on how your list view (under Coverflow) is being sorted. If you’re sorting by artist, tapping on the letter D will take you to artists names that start with D. If you are sorting by name, tapping on D will take you to songs that start with D, etc… You can refine the scrolling by typing multiple letters. For example, if you’re sorting by artist, you can type DEP, and you’ll go straight to Depeche Mode, and skip over other artists that start with D.

Hitting the Return key (not Enter) will start playing the frontmost album / song.

We’re back!

It’s been a few days since I posted anything, but we’ve been out of town. We took a long weekend down in Big Sur, with friends. It was great!

I should have some new posts coming up sometime today.

Monkey Portraits

Monkey Portraits: by Jill Greenberg
Images © Jill Greenberg. All rights reserved.

Monkey Portraits is the new book by photographer, Jill Greenberg. Jill is more known for her celebrity portraits, but a few years ago she was on a shoot, that just happened to include a monkey. She enjoyed the experience so much, that a few years, and quite a few monkeys later, Jill had enough Photographs to fill a book.

You can buy the book at Amazon, or if you’re feeling especially creative, you can win a signed copy by submitting a photo of your best monkey face (or photo with a monkey) to Check the bottom of the CH article for details. Photo must be received by Monday, September 25th, 2006.

I just love these Monkeys. If I can find the time to shoot between now and Monday, I may just try to snag that book. If, not… I may have to buy it.

Oh, and if you live in NYC, you can see the photos at Jill’s show, at the ClampArt Gallery from October 12th – November 11th, 2006.

Movie to iPod now 640 x 480

Movie to iPod in QT 7.1.3

As of version 7.1.3, QuickTime’s built in Export function, Movie to iPod, now uses 640 x 480 (instead of 320 x 240), just like the videos available through the iTunes store.

One other good point is it now respects the source file’s frame rate. I can’t remember for sure, but I think QT 7.1.0 automatically set the frame rate to 29.97, even if the source had a frame rate of 15 or 24.

Unfortunately, Apple still doesn’t give us any options when using this setting, like changing frame rates, or quality levels.

found via MacOSXHints

Podcast Chapters moved to the Menu bar

Podcast Chapters

You may have already noticed this, but I thought it worth mentioning, just because it freaked me out for a moment.

I listen to a fair number of podcasts, and I really like the chapters feature. In iTunes 6 you skipped to different chapters via a button near the top of the iTunes interface. iTunes 7 doesn’t have that button, and at first I thought they got rid of that feature.

Luckily, they didn’t get rid of the feature, they just got rid of the button. You now access chapters via the menu bar. I personally liked it better as a button.