MacFixIt Answers

MacFixIt Answers is a feature in which we answer questions e-mailed from our readers. This week we have questions on the OS X keychain not saving passwords, internal speakers no longer working on a MacBook Pro, an external optical drive not reading some discs, and Apple's FaceTime application not running. We continually answer e-mail questions, and though we present a few here, we certainly welcome alternative approaches and views from readers and encourage you to post your suggestions in the comments.

Question: OS X Keychain not saving passwords

MacFixIt reader "Raul" asks:

My OS X Keychain does … Read more

More consolidation among major music labels?

Warner Music Group is reportedly entertaining acquisition offers even as the third-largest record company continues to pursue its own acquisition of troubled rival label EMI.

The New York Times reported that after being approached by buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Warner Music hired Goldman Sachs to seek out buyers. Instead of selling to KKR, Warner's management wanted to see what kind of price it could get on the open market.

Warner Music is home to such artists as Green Day, Faith Hill, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. According to the Times' story, Warner's private-equity investors want Warner … Read more

What happens when the CD factory closes?

PITMAN, N.J.--In this corner of the music universe, you won't find many limousines, groupies, or people lighting guitars on fire.

While the public often associates the music business with jet-setting rock stars and lavish living, this place is marked by minivans, Phillies and Eagles fans, and, very soon, people without work.

Pitman, which has 9,365 residents and is about 17 miles southeast of Philadelphia, is home to one of Sony's two remaining U.S.-based CD-manufacturing plants--until March 31. After that, the company will shutter the facility and 300 workers will be out of jobs. … Read more

Bye-bye, physical media? Sony closes CD plant

Sony Corp., the company that brought us the Walkman and parent company of music label Sony Music Entertainment, plans to shut down a CD-manufacturing plant in southern New Jersey in March.

About 300 employees will be laid off once the 50-year-old Sony DADC plant in Pitman, N.J., is closed. Sony said it plans to shift CD-making operations to a facility in Indiana. The company moved DVD manufacturing from the plant about a year ago.

Lisa Gephardt, a Sony spokeswoman said in a statement: "In light of the current economic environment and challenges facing the physical media industry, Sony … Read more

Book Saver device takes a page from CD rippers

Here's something that could have publishers quaking in their books: gadget makers continue to look for ways to do for books what the CD ripper did for music.

Ion Audio, a company known for helping vinyl-record owners digitize their music, says it will trot out sometime this summer a device called the Book Saver, according to a story on Engadget. Ion said the Book Saver is capable of digitizing a 200-page book in 15 minutes. An owner of a Book Saver, which will likely sell for $150, places a book into the scanning cradle and the device makes color … Read more

Music organizer and more

Too many music lovers rely on their media player's library and file management features, which too often aren't up to the task of finding, organizing, and even playing all your music files, not just MP3s. Mp3nity is a free all-in-one music file organizer, manager, converter, and even player. It can rip CDs, generate playlists, and convert and compress files. It has some unique tools for managing large numbers of files simultaneously, including editing tags, renaming files, and fetching updated information online.

Mp3nity has an efficient layout that does a good job displaying tons of information, though of course … Read more

Onkyo 'rediscovers' stereo components

Onkyo may be best-known for its receivers and home theater-in-a-box systems, but the company planted deep roots in audiophile-grade hi-fi in the 1970s. As I recall, Onkyo had more street cred among audiophiles than Sony or Pioneer in the days before home theater ruled the roost.

Today at CES in Las Vegas Onkyo will debut a new range of elite stereo hi-fi components, with a style reminiscent of the company's classic models of the 1980s. All three components--the P-3000R preamplifier, M-5000R power amplifier, and C-7000R CD player--incorporate Onkyo's new Dynamic Intermodulation Distortion Reduction Circuitry (DIDRC), that is said … Read more

'Untitled DVD' folders remaining in Finder sidebar

When a blank CD or DVD is handled by the Finder, a special burn folder is created for that disc which appears on the Desktop or in the Finder sidebar. Burn folders in OS X usually are static folders that remain until you remove them, but the ones representing optical discs should be created when the disc is inserted, and then destroyed when the disc is either ejected or burned. Despite this, some people may find that after managing a number of blank CDs or DVDs, the Finder will retain a few burn folders in the sidebar that are labeled &… Read more

Why does digital sound better than analog?

Digital audio won the popularity contest years ago, and nowadays almost every sound you hear coming out of a speaker is digitally encoded. Sound is always digital, whether it's on your phone, computer, radio, TV, home theater, or in a concert hall. I'd go so far as to say most people never hear analog recordings anymore. Unless you're a musician, or live with one, virtually all the music you hear live or recorded is digital.

Digital audio eliminated all of analog audio's distortions and noise-related problems. In that sense digital is "perfect." When analog … Read more

Tools and techniques for printing folder contents

There aren't many of us left who remember using PCs before Windows arrived. While I don't pine for the good old days of DOS, I was comfortable operating those old machines from the command line.

Back then, I frequently had to print a list of the files in a folder. Doing so was as easy as copying the list to a text file that I opened in my text editor and printed from there. This trick still works via the command prompt built into Windows.

Instructions for using commands to print the contents of a folder--including various command … Read more