Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Using the USB Memory Stick Connection on Land Rover LR4 2011

How to:  Create, Clean Hidden Files, and Organize
Music for USB Memory Stick Connected to 
Land Rover LR4 2011
The Land Rover LR4 (2011 model)  has a connector for a USB memory stick.    We planned on using one of the 16 GB sticks we ordered online to store some of our  iTunes music library or mp3’s. 

My husband loaded on some of his music in the form of mp3’s by dragging and dropping them into the USB stick mounted to his Mac.   Here are some of the things he encountered:

(1)  The USB stick needs to be FAT or FAT32 format (requirements from Land Rover).  And most memory sticks sold are already FAT32 formatted.

(2)  The mp3 songs placed in the Root Directory did not appear on the Land Rover display.  

(3)  The songs did appear okay,  if placed within a folder in the Root Directory (i.e., in a folder on the first level of the directory).  He proceeded to make several folders with varying number of mp3’s in each folder.

(4)   He found that he could organize the mp3’s in nested folders by Genre, Artist, Album, Songs -  the Land Rover was able to access the files in the nested foldersThe Land Rover display allows you to browse in each nested folder.  So arranging in nested folders gives a little more organization in helping to find and play groups of songs.

Suggestion:  You might want to have the top level folder be a genre folder,  called "Country" which contains various Country Artists in folders named: Alan Jackson, George Strait, Reba McEntire and within each Artist Folder you would put their various Album Folders and inside the Album Folders you would have the songs for each album.   When songs are played they are played from the inner most folders to the outer most folders with all songs in one album folder in alphabetical order for all the songs,  then all the albums, then all the artists, then the genres.  

Suggestion:  If you wish to make playlists - you could create a folder called for example:  My Playlists.  Inside this folder you could have for example:  My Favorite Playlist (where you had songs from multiple albums, artists and genres organized in the folder)  or one called Christmas Playlist (that contained Christmas music from various albums and artists) and additional folders for each type of playlist you wanted to have available. 

Note:   If you have a specific order you want to hear the songs and don't want them played in alphabetical order, append track number at the beginning of each song to keep them in the track order you wish (i.e. 01 songname, 02 songname, 03 songname)

(5)   When the mp3 files are copied from a Mac to the USB memory stick additional files show up in the folders one for each mp3 song file  and these additional files do not play on the Land Rover audio player.   These extraneous files appear at the top of the LR4’s displayed list of songs with a “._” preceding each song name, as in this display example below:

._03 Per Amore <-- extraneous file which appears on the Land Rover display song list.

03 Per Amore <-- this is how the all the song titles should appear on the Land Rover display, i.e. without the "._".
When "03 Per Amore" was selected the song plays as it should.  But when "._03 Per Amore" was accidentally selected,  the entire sound system hangs for about 20 or 30 seconds which is, of course,  very annoying.

I researched what could be done to eliminate or strip these extraneous files from the folders on the USB Stick.   I came across a freeware program called “ Hidden Cleaner’.   The application Hidden Cleaner is a simple drag and drop utility that cleans and ejects USB devices like MP3 players, USB sticks.  It deletes the hidden files OS X creates like .DS_Store, etc.

My husband loaded Hidden Cleaner application onto his Mac.  Connected the USB memory stick  to the Mac.  The USB memory stick icon appears on the hard drive and he dragged and dropped the USB memory stick icon on top or into the Hidden Cleaner application.  The USB memory stick  icon is automatically unmounted from the computer display,  once the extraneous files are eliminated.    He disconnected the USB memory stick from the Mac, inserted it into the Land Rover LR4 connection in the center console.  All the extraneous files were no longer visible on the Land Rover display and the music folders appeared on the screen in alphabetical folder order.  He could select folders, browse inside of the folders and nested folders and see the list of songs within the folders to play.

Results:  It worked!  

Note:   This should work equally well with the other Land Rover models (Range Rover Sport, etc) that have the USB port as well.

Technical Note from husband:   When transferring (i.e. copying) Macintosh files to a Windows formatted drive (USB thumb drive with FAT32 format in this case), the Mac also transfers meta data just in case it is needed. This meta data is in the form of an additional very small file for each file transferred. Most computers systems that do not need the meta data simply ignore the meta data files which are easily recognized (e.g. by the period and underscore as the first two letters in the filename). But, since the Land Rover’s system is not ignoring these extraneous meta data files they need to be removed.   This additional small amount of “meta” data might contain, for example, the size of a picture or document when it was last closed by the user so that when it is opened the next time it can be the same size it was when it was last closed. It might also contain other data such as the color of a folder’s background.

Setting Up Custom Lists on Flipboard using Formulist

I am still a little frustrated with the fact that I can't use Flipboard to access my multiple Twitter accounts.  I decided to explore Flipboard a little further this morning, as they have continually added new features over the past year.

I noticed that you can Add Custom Twitter Lists.  Basically you click on the Add Section.  Scroll down to click on 'Add a Custom Section' (add any person, list or blog from all of Twitter).   You then enter the name of the list in the textbox and the Twitter List will now be available on Flipboard.  You can view the tweets from those people you follow if you set up a list of all who you follow.

Since I did not have a list of all the people I follow created on Twitter in my second Twitter account, I needed to create one.  Now this can be a tedious task to add each one individually to your list using Twitter.  I found a site online called Formulists which allowed me to quickly create a list of people I follow.  It even allows me to filter by certain criteria.   It is a pretty good site for setting up lists for Twitter.

First you sign up on using your Twitter account.  Then you select Add Lists and Select from a list category - I choose 'Filter Who You Follow'.    A screen appeared and I typed in the name of my list, set it to public, and then tried to save it.  It seems that you have to have one filtering criteria selected to create and save this list.  So I selected filter by location and just left the location info blank (as is) and then clicked on Create List.

A list of all that I follow was created and that is the list that I added to my Flipboard Custom Section.  This little trick allows me to view another Twitter account that I have, but in order to retweet or comment on this account I am only allowed to do so by selecting the accounts associated with Flipboard, which are my main Granny_Joan Twitter account and my Facebook account.  I can't at this time comment using another account that I have setup on Twitter.

Flipboard has so much potential and I am sure there is a reason they currently don't have the multiple Twitter account access.  I made a suggestion on their support site when they first released the product.  So guess I will continue to use other clients such as the Twitter app for iPad to be able to switch between my multiple Twitter accounts.  But occasionally, I will use Flipboard to view the tweets in a very unique magazine type format.

Monday, March 28, 2011

How to Get Previous Video into Camera Roll to Edit with iMovie on iPad 2

I am still playing with the new iMovie app for iPad 2 and have noticed several things.

iMovie seems to import or load only videos that are stored in the Camera Roll section of the Photo Album on iPad 2.  Some have assumed wrongly that you can only edit movies you made using the video camera function on the iPad 2.  I have been playing with various means to edit video that I have in the Movie tab of my iTunes library that are viewable on my iPad 2 but are not located in the Camera Roll section.

It is probably a good idea to make sure that the video or movie you wish to edit with iMovie app on your iPad 2 is in the proper format for viewing on iPhone.  As we all know, iTunes can handle this conversion for us by selecting our video movie and then Advanced>Create iPod or iPhone Version from the menubar in iTunes.

 I figured out a way to get this movie that I have in iTunes library into my camera rollDrag the movie from iTunes to your desktop and then into an email as an attachment.   Email this to one of the existing accounts you have setup on your iPad 2.  (Note:  This is a way to get photos or videos to and from your iTunes or Mac without having to sync your device to your Mac and iTunes).

 Once you receive the email on your iPad 2, select the attachment icon in the body of the email (allow the movie to fully load in your email window) and then click on the curved arrow in the upper right hand corner of the email display page.  You will be given a choice to 'Save Video'.  This option will save the video to the camera roll section of photo album on your iPad 2.

Now, you will be able to run the iMovie app on your iPad 2 and access this video for your project.  You  click on the + to create a new project then tap the upper screen or select the square movie icon to bring up the available video clips to edit from your camera roll.  You then click on the video clip you wish to edit and then the arrow to download it into the frame for editing.

As I explore iMovie, I will post tips and things here on my blog periodically that I discover.  There seems to be a lot of things to explore and frustration by users in getting some of their previous videos from other devices into the camera roll to edit.  Personally, I see the primary function of the iPad 2 video camera and iMovie app for editing an occasional movie that I might take on the iPad 2, but for any serious editing of longer movies that I might take with a video camera I would probably use iMovie on my Mac which has so many other features readily available.  Not sure if Apple intends to add more features to the app, but I secretly hope so as well.

One of the other things that I learned in my exploration of iMovie today is that you should also have the location set to ON in your Settings on your iPad for iMovie to be able to access your camera roll.

In addition, I emailed a movie from Talking Tom app of the cute cat from my iPad 2 to myself.  I then saved the movie to the camera roll from the email, but it did NOT show up in the list of videos that I could edit.  It seems that the format that came directly from Talking Tom app was not set to the format needed by iMovie.   So I dragged the video into iTunes and then using the Advanced>Create iPod or iPhone Version from the menubar in iTunes to convert it to a format that would work with iMovie app.   I then dragged Talking Tom converted video to my desktop and then emailed it back to my iPad 2 and saved to camera roll.  I was then able to edit the Talking Tom video, adding a music theme and title.

TEST:   I recorded a brief video using my iPhone 3GS and emailed it from the iPhone 3GS to an account that I could access on my iPad 2.  I then accessed the email on my iPad 2, allowing time for the video to load in, I then clicked Save Video (which went to my Camera Roll).   I was able to load that video into the iMovie app on my iPad 2 and created a new project, adding theme music and title.   While doing this edit, I discovered if you tap on one of the audio tracks in the movie timeline, you can adjust the volume of each one.  

Once the videos were edited, I uploaded both of these last two videos to YouTube using iMovie share option on my iPad 2.  The uploads seemed to work fine if I selected Public.   I had problems uploading them as Unlisted.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

How To CLIP OUT Sections of Video Using QuickTime Player 7

When editing video using QuickTime Player 7 it is fairly easy to do so at the beginning and ending of the video using Trim Selection from the Edit menu.

One merely moves the IN and OUT selectors under the down arrow above the video clip display line.  Set the IN or left marker to the place where you wish to begin the movie and the right or OUT marker to where you wish to end the movie.   The area that is shaded is the area is the resulting movie after trimming the excess at the beginning and ending of the clip, by selecting TRIM SELECTION from the EDIT menu.

If you wish to keep the beginning of a video and the ending, but wish to take out a section in the middle this may appear to be confusing.  You will have to utilize making a NEW PLAYER and basically PASTE sections of the original video into this NEW PLAYER in the order that you wish to view it.

Load in your video that you wish to edit and select the first section that you wish to copy.  Remember to place the IN and OUT markers on that section that you wish to KEEP (i.e. the shaded area in the video display bar).

Select COPY from the EDIT menu to copy Section 1 or shaded area.
Select NEW PLAYER from the FILE menu to create a blank video player, where you will insert the clips that you copy from the original video, in the order that you wish to compile them.

Select PASTE from the EDIT menu and place the first section of video into the NEW PLAYER.   

Select the next section (i.e. SECTION 2) from the original video and COPY and then PASTE to new video player by inserting and the END or OUT marker to place the video clips in the sequence you wish to compile for viewing. 
The original movie clip will remain unaltered as long as you do not save the new video clip over it.  When you are satisfied with the new video then select SAVE AS under the FILE menu giving the edited video a new name.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Solution Finally for 'Unable to Backup My iPad Session Can't Start Error'

It is a good thing that I am retired and that I have time on my hands to pursue my computer and mobile device problems.   Yesterday I updated my iPhone to the latest iOS 4.3.1 update without any problems.  Today, I started my day updating the new iPad 2 and that went okay as well.   I have been struggling with the update for my original iPad this morning.

I connected my iPad, proceeded to sync the iPad, before updating with latest software.  That seemed to work fine.  When I clicked on the update, the extraction of the software began, but it got to the point where it was backing up my iPad before installing the update and I received the following message or something to similar to this:

'Unable to Backup iPad because session could not be started'

There was a button in the message window that I clicked for 'further info' and was taken to an Apple support page.  I read through all the suggestions, trying various things like rebooting my Mac, using a different USB port, deleting all old backups (in the preferences>devices>for my ipad) and other suggestions from the page.  Nothing worked.  I tried control click on the name of my iPad under Devices on the left hand side of the iTunes window.  Selected 'Back Up' and still it would NOT backup my iPad or install the latest updated system iOS software.

Finally I found a solution, I ejected my iPad from iTunes and then did a hard reset holding down the home and top right hand button (sleep button) on my iPad and then I reconnected to iTunes and it worked.  I was able to run the update, it proceeded to extract the update, backup my iPad and is now verifying the updated iPad software.

Again a solution where you restart or reboot the device seems to be the answer.   Check for the obvious:  make sure all cables are plugged in, make sure to reboot or restart machines. 

Tip for Adding Movies to Instant Queue on iPad

The iPad app for Netflix is NOT the best or easiest way to add movies to your Instant Queue.  The app is meant to use to watch or stream from your iPad those movies you already have in your Instant Queue. 

The best thing to do is to use the Safari browser to go to the Netflix web site on your iPad and log into your Netflix account.  SEARCH and ADD works well on the site in this Safari browser on iPad much like it does on your Mac.

TIP:  I don't always know the names of movies, so I search by putting a favorite actor or actress' name in search field at top right and when it brings up their movies you can look for the ones that have PLAY - ADD options.   ADD will put them in your Instant Queue.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Using iPhone with LandRover LR4

We just received delivery of our new LandRover LR4.  It is our second LandRover and has a few new bells and whistles that weren't available on the LR3 that we had for a few years.   I love the ease to which one can connect their iPhone(s) via bluetooth and the new touch audio system that allows for access of music from my iPod or iPhone.

The LandRover LR4 allows mulitiple iPhone connection via bluetooth.  I believe that they allow up to 6 or 8 iPhones to be connected via the bluetooth.  One merely turns on their bluetooth feature on their iPhone, select 'Phone' on the dashboard or from the Main Menu on the dash display.  It takes a few seconds and once you see LandRover in the list of devices that you can connect to on your iPhone, select that LandRover.  Once it is connected the name of your network (AT&T) and your iPhone name will appear on the dash display.  It automatically downloads your contacts from your Address book into the memory of the LandRover.  In fact, all the contacts from each of the iPhones that you choose to connect via bluetooth will have their own PhoneBook available on the dash display.

You can answer a call by touching the green phone icon on the dash display or on your steering wheel.  You can type in a phone number on the keypad on the display screen or access a phone number by scrolling the Phonebook on the dash display and then clicking on the green phone icon.  To hang up you merely touch the red phone icon on the dash or steering wheel. 

The LandRover will automatically display the last phone connected if it is still within range.  Once you get out of range, it will then recognize another phone that has been connected via bluetooth in the car and load in the Phonebook that corresponds to that phone.   This is a great improvement over the bluetooth system that was present with the LR3 model.  This allows both my husband and I to use our phones when the other one is not in range.  So when I am out and about my phone is connected and vice versa.  There is no need to turn off bluetooth and reconnect the iPhones each time we enter the car.  It remembers each iPhone.  

The LandRover LR4 also has an audio touch system and special connectors in the center console.  One of the connectors is made by LandRover and with the special LandRover cable we can directly connect an iPod or iPhone.  This connection shows up in the Auxillary Audio Section of the Main Menu as an option for audio.  The really neat thing is that it automatically loads your entire iPod music library of mp3's into the LandRover dash display.  You can browse your iPod/iPhone music library by playlist, artist, song and play in various modes with functions like: random, repeat, etc.  The name of the song that is playing is displayed on the audio screen.  Next the song is a right arrow key and you can touch this to display - artist, album title, genre, etc.   Below is a photo of the songlist display on the dash:

Another connector in the center console is for a direct connection for a memory stick.  We have one on order and I will let you know in a future blog or comment on this blog how that works out for storing music and using with the dash display.

I also tested the ability to use my iPhone while connected to the audio connector.  It worked great - I was able to play songs, make phone calls using the dash display Phonebook and buttons to call out and to also receive a call.  The song mutes while you are on the phone and then once you hang up or disconnect then the song is resumed.  If you want to run another app or browse the internet with your iPhone while music is being played through your car speakers, you can do that too!

Additionally -  The iPhone also charges while it is connected via the audio connector cable!

The car has some other cool features like auto dimming 'your bright' headlights when other cars approach on highway, a pretty good navigation system, HD radio, satellite radio capability, single CD player and front/rear and side cameras for aids in parking and backing up.

Overall, I am pleased with the improvements and the noticeably more stable ride.  Looking forward to a journey to test all the features.  My husband is anxious to take it into rock climbing mode.

What is This American Flag Icon in My Dock on My Mac?

Awhile back I decided to put a folder of Applications into my Dock on my Mac to enable accessing applications from one spot.  To add a folder to the Dock you drag the folder’s icon from an open Finder window into a position on the right-hand side of the dashed line of the Dock. You can move it to a new position by dragging it sideways. The adjacent items will move to make room for the folder.

You can then click on the Applications folder in the Dock to reveal the myriad of applications and folders you wish to access that are neatly stored in one place.

After several months I noticed that the icon on that Applications folder had somehow turned into an American Flag icon.   I tried to ignore this, hoping that my Mac had NOT been hijacked by some alien virus.  Knowing that Mac's don't easily get virus, if at all, I decided to take a moment this morning to clean up some of the many other icons that had been placed in my Dock.

Checking the Applications folder revealed that the first item in the folder (arranged alphabetically) was an educational application named 50 States and Capitals that had an American Flag icon This was my first clue.  When I removed that application from the Application folder, the icon on the Dock, changed to the Address Book icon.

I decided to create a second folder called Extra Programs.   As I often download applications that I wish to try out and possibly find useful, my Dock seems to accumulate a multitude of applications that at the time intrigued me, but are seldom used.  I decided to find the original applications for these Alias application icons located in my Dock and to put the originals in this newly created folder.  Using the Finder window to search for the originals, went smoothly and I dragged them from the Finder window to the new folder.  Then I moved the Extra Programs folder into the Dock and noticed that the icon for that folder became the same as the first application (alphabetical) in that folder - the American Flag icon.   I had placed the 50 States and Capitals application into this Extra Programs folder. 

Reminder - Solutions to problems are often found in preferences or options for the items or applications that you are trying to fix.

I decided to view the options for the folder by clicking on the folder as I also held down the control key on the keyboard.  I noticed when I used the control click when selecting the Extra Programs folder that Stack in the drop down  menu was selected for the Display As option.  This was my second clue.

I then selected Folder as a choice for the Display As option and this fixed my American Flag icon problem.  Now my Dock displays a folder icon for the Applications and Extra Programs folders.   

Thursday, March 24, 2011

How To Report A Problem With An App or Request Refund

Sometimes we make mistakes in purchasing the wrong app by purchasing the iPhone app instead of the iPad app and wish we could remedy the situation.  Well normally Apple doesn't refund money for purchased apps, but there is a means to at least report a problem to Apple and possibly receive a refund if the reason is substantial.

If you have received a receipt for the purchase of the app via email, you can click on the Report a Problem link within the email to take you to your iTunes Store Account.

Alternately, if you do not have that receipt you can click on the iTunes Store in iTunes, click on the home icon to take you to the home page of the iTunes Store.  Here you will click on the link 'Account', on the right side under Quick Links.

This will bring up your Account Info, where you will then click on Purchase History.

A list of apps that you have purchased will appear on the screen and scroll down to bottom of the page and click on Report Problem link.

The list of apps purchased will now appear with Report Problem to the right hand side of each one, find the app that needs to be returned or reported and click on that selected app.  A screen will appear where you can then enter the reason or report the problem to Apple.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Making a Movie with iPad 2 and iMovie App

One of the features of the iPad 2 that is not available on the original iPad is the camera mode, which allows you to take video clips or photos. With these video clips and photos you and iMovie app available in the iTunes App store, you can edit and share these video clips with others.

My granddaughters were here for a visit yesterday and I thought I might try out the new iPad 2 video taking features. Of course, I am not one to read instructions and usually find it more fun to explore apps and devices by the trial and error method. So I took out the new iPad 2 and clicked on the camera icon, moving the icon button on the right hand side of the screen to the video position. I then clicked on the record button in the center of the app to start recording. I realized early on in the recording that holding the iPad 2 in the landscape mode that I was not getting the full range of the action of my granddaughter performing her gymnastic maneuvers. So I rotated the camera to the portrait mode to finish recording her acrobatic and jump rope maneuvers.

When I played back the recorded video, I soon realized that I had part in portrait mode and part in landscape mode, which did not look right. As I had purchased the new iMovie app and had not tried it out yet, I was elated to realize that somehow Apple had realized that many of us novice camera operators would make this mistake. It wasn't obvious to me how to edit out goofs (delete, split and rotate clips). I tried all the obvious icon buttons in the iMovie app, tapping the clips, etc.

I noticed the "i" on the left side of the iMovie app screen and was pleasantly surprised to see all the things I wished to do with this first video production to make it tolerable for viewing and sharing with others. The app has a nice help built in, one of the things that Apple has always been great at providing for us novice or beginners.

Within a few minutes I was splitting, deleting and rotating clip sections, and adding theme music and sharing with youtube.

Here is a sample of the video. The quality of the video is pretty good as well. I find that when I use the iPad 2 to take a photo or video and the lighting is good the clip is good, when the lighting is poor the video or photo is grainy.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Testing iPad 2 Audio and Camera Photo Post to

I was given the option to take a photo with the rear or the front facing cameras. This was a photo using the rear camera that was posted on

If you haven't tried it is a site that allows audio posting, via your computer or phone or iphone/ipad or android apps.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Must Have App - CardStar App for iPhone/iPad

CardStar - is an app that allows me to keep track of all those membership cards that take up so much space in my wallet.  You know the ones, the rewards cards with scanner friendly barcodes.  I keep track of my frequent flyer numbers, hotel membership cards that allow me to give the clerk at the hotel the number so that I can get credit for all the points for that hotel chain or loyalty program.

Today I was purchasing some Easter surprises for my granddaughters at Rite-Aid.  When the clerk asked if I had a Rite-Aid Savings card, I whipped out my iPhone and pulled up CardStar app to show her my card number with barcode stored in my iPhone.  I had an old card that needed to be replaced.  Since it is so easy to keep these type cards in the CardStar app on my iPhone and the fact that several of the duplicate items I was purchasing would be at half price with this new card, I quickly consented.  She scanned the card and I received my added bonus of saving some money on the Easter goodies.

When I arrived home, it was easy to run the CardStar app, select the Rite-Aid info within the app screens and then select edit.   I was able to use the built in scanner option in the app and didn't even have to type the new number.

If you haven't gotten this app, I suggest that you try it out.  Not only does it hold all your savings cards all in one convenient place on your iPhone, but also is easy to use to enter new cards as you acquire them.   The info for these cards can be kept in the cloud so that even if you restore your iPhone, you will have a backup of this data to reset the info.  I even keep the info on my iPad.  There are also coupons and deals to all your local and national merchants, at no cost to you!