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The Lean, Green, Music Machine – Spotify For iPad Is Here

The wait is finally over, the world’s coolest music streaming service Spotify finally has a native iPad app – Was the wait worth while? Hell yeah, as the app comes packing Retina graphics, a unique tablet-centric design and AirPlay integration.

Below are screen-shots of what has already become one of my favourite iPad apps.






iPad / iPhone App Review – Groove 2 (Zikera)

All of us have been there, we open up our iTunes library on our iPhone or iPad and can’t decide on what to listen to. When this happens, invariably we end up listening to the same albums and playlists over and over again.

Groove 2 aims to change all of this, by reintroducing us to our entire music libraries – A grand intention I hear you say, but how can an app do this? Well let me explain.

Groove studies your listening habits and creates a wide variety of playlists accordingly, with emphasis on tracks from your favourite artists that you haven’t listened to recently. It doesn’t stop there though, the app is full of wonderful ways to listen to and rediscover our music.

If you choose the Three of a Kind playlist generator, the app will smartly create a playlist with 3 tracks in a row from artists in your library.

The Groovy Mix is another great feature, when selected the app will select a collection of music based on one artist from your library – This will be songs from the actual artist and tracks from other artists that the app considers to be similar in style.

The app also has a feature called ‘Better Together’ – When you tap on it, a playlist of music by 2 similar bands will be created – For example, from my library, it paired up Radiohead with The Smiths.

I highly recommend Groove 2 for music lovers, it has a gorgeous UI and is a great way to rediscover your complete iTunes library.

Below are screenshots of the iPad version.

Mac OS X Tip – Enable iTunes Track Notifications In The Dock

If your Mac is running Lion, there is a hidden feature that when enabled, will give you iTunes ‘Now Playing’ notifications in the dock.

With this notification, when a new song starts, a pop-up will appear in the dock, letting you know the artist and song title – After a few seconds it slowly fades away.

To enable this nice feature, you will need to open Terminal, which is located in Applications/Utilities (you can also search for Terminal in Spotlight and just select it from the drop-down).

Once you are in Terminal, paste in the following command: defaults write itunes-notifications -bool YES and hit return.

Now you will need to restart the Dock for the notifications to work – To do this, paste the command: killall Dock in Terminal and tap return.

If at any point you want to disable the feature, follow the above steps, but replace YES with NO.

Tutorial – Create A Facebook Timeline Cover With Instagram Photos

Facebook buying the photo-sharing app Instagram is currently the hottest story in technology news – So what better time for a tutorial that combines both?
Most of you will now be familiar with Facebook’s timeline, including the cool cover photo, which allows you to really show-off your profile page – Well now thanks to InstaCover, you can display a collage of Instagram photos as your Facebook cover photo. You can either use photos from your own Instagram account or alternatively choose to use photos by a specific user – You can also create a collage from photos in a particular category or from defined tags.
Let’s get started:
Step 1) In your web browser go to the InstaCover website.
Step 2) Sign in with your Facebook Account.
Step 3) Once you have gone through the signing-in process, you will see a screen similar to the one below.
Step 4) From the menu, you will first need to choose your Target Photos – You can select All (which displays a selection of Instagram photos) – User ID will show photos of a certain user (whether it be you or those of another Instagram user) – of course you will need to put the relevant ID in – You can also choose to select photos by Category or by Tags. For this tutorial, I will choose to create an InstaCover with the San Francisco tag.
Step 5) Next from the menu, you can choose the order of the photos – There are 3 options here: New, Popular and Random. For my San Francisco cover, I decided on Popular.
Step 6) Following on from Order in the menu is Layout – Here you will find selections which will determine the size of the photos displayed – These range from Small to Large and there are also 2 Custom options – For this tutorial I selected Large
Step 7) Rounded and Spacing are the next 2 options in the menu and are self-explanatory – I personally prefer to have no spacing between my photos.
Step 8) Is the Text option – you can add text here to be displayed on your collage and change the size and colour of it.
Step 9) The last selection in the menu is Option – You can choose here whether to display the date and / or number of likes on Instagram a photo has received.
Step 10) Once you have decided on the criteria for your InstaCover, you can hit the Preview button. To preview the image full size, click on the actual image that you have just created.
Step 11) If you are happy with the results, hit the Save to album on Facebook button. Once saved, you can hit the Go To Facebook button, preview your image again and choose to make it your Facebook timeline cover photo.

These Retro iPhone Cases Are Quite Possibly The Coolest Ever Made

Schreer Delights have possibly created the coolest iPhone cases ever made. I’m sure most Apple geeks will agree when they see these 3 retro cases, inspired by popular Apple products from the past.

The cases come in 4 designs, one based on a click wheel iPod, retro Macintosh, G4 Tower and my personal favourite, one paying homage to the original colourful iMac.

These cases have already caused an Internet frenzy and the company has had to halt sales after only 48 hours due to overwhelming demand.

“Thanks again to all who ordered the Apple inspired iPhone cases. The response was overwhelming.” said Don Schreer on the company’s website.

“There was so much interest in the last 48 hours that we were concerned that we would be unable to keep up with demand. Because of the response, we took those items off the blog so that we could figure out some production issues.”

Let’s hope the company figure out a way to produce more and get them back on sale soon.


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Tutorial – Create A Vintage Looking Image With iPhoto For iPad

This tutorial will focus on taking a colour image and editing it, to create a retro looking black and white photo with a vignette.


Step 1) Load iPhoto on your iPad and choose a photo from the left-hand side scroll menu to edit – To select a photo, just tap on it.



Step 2) Once you have a photo to work with, tap the edit button which you will find at the top right of the screen.

Step 3) Once you have tapped on edit, a bar will appear at the bottom-left of the screen – Choose the last option on the right-hand side of the bar – This is the Effects button

Step 4) After you select Effects, a pop-up swatch book will appear, choose the Black & White option from this menu.

Step 5) With Black & White selected, a bar at the bottom of the screen will appear which represents different tones – Sliding your finger along the bar will adjust the lightness of your newly created monochrome image – Play with it, sliding backwards and forwards, until you are happy with the result.

Step 6) At the side of the bar which adjusts the Black & White effect, there are 3 more buttons – The first one will add a vignette to your photo – Vignettes are great if you want to draw attention to a specific part of an image.

Step 7) Select Vignette by tapping on it’s button – Now place 2 fingers on your image and use a pinching gesture to move the frame around, until you reach a desired look.

Step 8) If you are happy with your new image, tap on the share button to either send it to Twitter or Facebook, email it to a friend or simply save it to your Camera Roll.

There you have it, you have learned how to create a vintage looking image in just a few minutes.


Now Live – Appleissimo Music

As you all will know, we at Appleissimo are great fans of music, so much so that we have set up a separate blog, where you can share the music we are listening to.


The blog can be found HERE

To listen to the albums just click on the Spotify Play Button, alternatively you can click on tracks to listen to them individually.


Tutorial – How To Record The Screen On Your Mac

Have you ever seen a video on YouTube showing a screen recording on a Mac and wondered how it’s done? Well wonder no more, as in this quick tutorial, we will learn how to record the screen on our Mac using QuickTime Player.

To use the screen recorder function explained in this tutorial, your Mac will need to be running OS X 10.6 or later.

Step 1) Go to your Applications folder and launch QuickTime Player – Alternatively you can select it using the Spotlight search function.

Step 2) Once loaded, click on File at the top of your screen – From the drop-down menu that appears, select New Screen Recording.

You will see the following Screen Recording pop-up in the left-hand corner of your screen.

Step 3) Click on the down arrow to the right of the Screen Recording pop-up – Once done, you will see these various options to choose from.

Step 4) If you want sound in your screen recording, choose to use the Built-in Input (Internal Microphone) – At the bottom of the menu, you will also have the opportunity to choose where on your Mac you want the screen recording saved to.

Step 5) Click on the centre red button to start recording your screen.

Step 6) Once you have finished recording, click once again on the centre red button to stop the recording.

Step 7) Your finished screen recording will open in QuickTime Player, where you can choose to watch it through and then use the share button to send your work to sites such as Facebook and YouTube.


iPad Photoshop Touch Tutorial #4 – Painting With Effects

These Photoshop Touch tutorials for iPad are proving to be extremely popular and we are hoping they are helping you all gain more confidence using this fantastic app. In this 4th one, we will look at Painting With Effects, specifically taking an image, making part of it black and white and then saturating with colour the focal part of the image.
Let’s get started:
Step 1) Choose to Begin A Project and choose an image to work with. For this tutorial we have chosen a photo of an iPhone’s back with a cool cover on it. As you all will be able to see, there is a lot of unwanted colour around the iPhone – We want to lessen the impact of this colour by painting it to black and white – Turning the background monochrome, will make the focal part of the image (in this case the iPhone) stand-out more.
Step 2) From the left-hand side menu, select the Paint tool (it has a brush icon). Now tap Mode and from the drop-down that appears, choose Effect and then Black and White from the pop-up menu.
Step 3) Tap on brush and select the size you wish to work with – For this tutorial I used sizes ranging fom 20-80%.
Step 4) Now paint everything apart from your focal image – As you start painting, you will see the background changing to black and white. Don’t be afraid to pinch and zoom on the image to improve the accuracy of the painting – Reducing the brush size will also enable you to be more accurate around the edges of the focal image.
Step 5) Now change the painting effect from Black and White to Saturation – Increase the opacity to 100% – Start painting the main part of your image (in our case the iPhone) and you will start to see the colours become more vivid – Again be prepared to pinch to zoom on the image to improve your stroke accuracy.
Step 6) Once you are satisfied with your image, tap the back arrow at the top of the interface and Save.
Mastering the Painting tool used in this tutorial, will greatly enhance your experience with Photoshop Touch and enable you to create great-looking, unique images.

iPad Photoshop Touch Tutorial #3 – Creating A Pencil Sketch From An Image

In this latest Photoshop Touch for iPad tutorial, we will take an image and turn it into a cool pencil sketch – This effect will look particularly good on photos of landscapes, flowers and portraits.

Let’s get started:

Step 1) As always choose to Begin A Project from the main menu and select an image from one of the sources.
Step 2) Once you have selected your image, tap on the + icon and choose to add a Duplicate Layer
Step 3) Tap on the fx icon at the top right-hand side of the interface – Now select Artistic, then Pencil.
Step 4) Set the threshold to anywhere between 50% and 70% – For this tutorial we have set it at 50%.
Step 5) Now tap the Layer Properties icon (it looks like 2 pieces of paper) which is next to the + icon. From the Blend Mode drop-down menu, choose Overlay and tap on the image to dismiss the dialogue box. Job done!
There you have it, we have taken an image and turned it into a funky Pencil Sketch.

iPad Photoshop Touch Tutorial #2 – How To Take An Image From A Photo And Blend It Into Another

In the 2nd of our Photoshop Touch for iPad tutorials, we will learn how to add an image from one photo and blend it into another. This is quite easy to do, it’s a lot of fun and comes in very handy – For example you might want to add a logo from one image onto an other, insert a relative into a family photo, or add a person onto a blank landscape. Let’s get to work.

Step 1) From the main menu, choose to Begin A Project and choose an image from one of the sources – For this tutorial we have chosen an image we would like to add a moon to.

Step 2) Once you have decided on the image you want to work with – Tap on the + button in the bottom right-hand corner and choose to add a Photo Layer. As you can see from the images, we have selected a photo of a moon in this new Photo Layer.

Step 3) Once you have your new image on top of your original photo, you can position it wherever you wish to. In our image we have placed the moon in the top right-hand corner.

Step 4) As you can see from the photos, the colours surrounding the moon, make it obvious that it has been added from another photo – To correct this, we need to use a Blending Mode. From the bottom right hand corner of the interface, tap on the icon that looks like 2 sheets of paper, it is next to the + icon. Now tap on Blend Mode and from the drop-down options that appear, choose Screen – This will take out the unwanted black colour from the 2nd image (in this case the moon) so that it blends in with the original image.

So there you have it, a quick and easy way to import an image from one photo and blend it into another. Give it a try!


Now Playing On The Appleissimo Stereo #4 28/03/12

The latest in our playlists has it all – The dirty laid-back grunge of Kurt Vile, early New Order, the guitar genius of Vinnie Reilly and Ronny Jordan – A classic from The Cure, U2 staying faraway but close and the dark sunglasses cool of The Jesus and Mary Chain.

You can subscribe to the playlist on Spotify by clicking on the link below


OS X Tip – Customise Fields In Mail

If you are anything like me, when you compose an email using Mail on your Mac, the only fields you will regularly use are those for the address and subject.

I for one, hardly ever use the Cc and Bcc fields and have chosen to disable them. With Apple mail you can change which fields appear by clicking on Customize, which is located in the bottom left of the toolbar when you are in compose mail mode.

From the Customize menu that appears, you can enable or disable fields, add a drop down menu for choosing which of your accounts to send from, add a menu for signature options and one for priority mail.


The Ultimate In Apple Geek – Our iMac iPhone Case Has Arrived

A month or so ago, I posted news on a collection of fantastic retro Apple iPhone cases, being designed by Schreer Delights – As I said at the time, my personal favourite was one based on the original colourful iMac. Such was the buzz generated by these cases, the company had to suspend taking orders for them.
A couple of weeks ago Schreer Delights once again opened up ordering (during a 3 day window), to those that had registered an interest and we at Appleissimo were ready with our credit-cards at hand.
Well yesterday we received our first one and it’s even cooler than we could have imagined. As you can see from the photos, it’s one inspired by the seminal bondi-blue iMac. We have already received admiring looks down at the pub, with one cheeky chap offering us £50 to sell – As you can imagine, we politely refused.
We look forward to receiving more of these beauties, but in the meantime Kudos to Schreer Delights for the seamless ordering process and the fast Trans-Atlantic shipping.

Spotify Announces 13 New Third-Party Apps

Some great new additions here to the Spotify App collection including offerings from Warner, Def Jam and Domino – We at Appleissimo are big fans of the existing apps especially those from Last FM, Top10 and ShareMyPlaylists and can’t wait to check these new ones out.

Here is the full press release:

Spotify launches next generation of music apps

Today Spotify is proud to present the latest, greatest batch of hot new apps – set to take your music enjoyment to a whole new level.

A total of 12 fantastic new apps, brought to you from record labels and distributors including Universal, Sony, Warner, EMI, Def Jam, Domino, Matador, [PIAS] and X5, are being unveiled today.

Want to check out complete album booklets in Spotify? Personalise playlists based on your Facebook likes? Delve more deeply into the history of legendary artists? Listen to the most popular Spotify songs on Twitter? All this and much, much more is coming to Spotify…

Incoming Spotify Apps include:

Classify: Classify opens Spotify’s doors to the world of classical music. Browse by composers, eras, moods, instruments or genres. A vast library of classical music is now intelligently organised for your listening pleasure.

The Complete Collection: Browse rich images, lyrics, and liner notes to learn more about iconic artists while listening to their music. Always wanted to know who wrote that Eminem song? Looking for the producer of your favourite beat? Use The Complete Collection to immerse yourself in music history while listening to legends you love! Subscribe to your favourite artists to learn more about their music. With the Complete Collection, you won’t miss a detail. 150 album booklets available at launch with many more coming soon.

Def Jam: For over 26 years, Def Jam Recordings has shaped culture and lifestyles by creating the very best in hip-hop, rap, R&B, and pop music. Def Jam’s new Spotify app will give you new experiences in music discovery and curation.

Digster: Digster has fresh playlists updated weekly. You can browse playlists by category, find playlists made by artists and match Digster playlists to your listening history and Facebook likes. When you find something you like you can play it in full screen mode. Perfect for a party or when you need to see what’s playing across the room while preparing dinner.

Domino: The Domino Spotify app is a discovery and listening destination for fans of Domino artists, the Domino label and the larger independent music community. Through the app, Domino leads the listener through its 20-year history by highlighting artist playlists, custom catalogue exclusives and commentary from their friends and neighbours in the world of indie.

Filtr: Filtr is a playlist app, which allows you to build playlists based on the music tastes of your Facebook friends, people who’ve accepted invitations to Facebook events, music genres, your Spotify playlists and favourite artists. On top of generating awesome playlists, Filtr also recommends existing and live updated editorial playlists based on what you like.

Hot or Not: Hot or not? You decide. Cast your vote on one of the two songs in the battle, either based on what you think is the most popular or what you wish to make popular. You’ll be rewarded with points and can earn badges as well as track your progress. Your voting will also contribute to the ‘Taste Maker’ top list based on users with the highest points score.

The Legacy Of: A visual feast. Dig deeper into some of the world’s most acclaimed artists with hi-res photos, curated playlists, handpicked albums, biographies and more. Delve into the catalogue of artists like Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, Daryl Hall & John Oates and Stevie Ray Vaughan. New artists highlighted every week.

Matador Records: Matador’s app gives you the ultimate experience in new releases, tour dates, playlists and more. As well as keeping you clued up on Matador’s latest releases and tour dates, you can browse through the history of releases from Matador since 1992 – an interactive guide to music from the New York indie label.

[PIAS]: The [PIAS] app helps you discover the very best new albums and expertly curated playlists from the indie label. Updated weekly, you can now rely on trusted voices to introduce and recommend great music from both past and present.

TweetVine: TweetVine is a perfectly formed little app that listens to all the tweets on Twitter with the hashtag #NowPlaying and creates Spotify charts from the results! The idea was developed at a London Music Hack Day by brilliant coders Matt Larsen and Matt Schofield from Universal Music.

the warner sound: the warner sound features songs, albums, and playlists from Warner Music Group’s outstanding roster of artists including Green Day, Bruno Mars, Linkin Park, and Cee Lo Green, hot and emerging artists like Wiz Khalifa, Ed Sheeran, Kimbra, Birdy, and Fun, as well as legendary acts like The Doors, Grateful Dead, and Aretha Franklin. Additional features include genre-specific playlists, album of the day, family tree (where current artists are traced back to the classic roots), and artist-curated playlists from today’s hottest acts.

Sten Garmark, Director of Platform at Spotify, says: “This is going to take music enjoyment to a whole new level. These Spotify Apps offer something for everyone, from ways to discover music both old and new, to amazing imagery and apps simply there to entertain!”

He adds: “The potential for Spotify Apps is just massive and we can’t wait to see what people are going to blow us away with next.”