5/14/08
10:35 am

MacMost Now 81: Real Charger App Signature

Gary Rosenzweig takes some viewer questions: How to convert Real Player files, using international USB chargers, organizing your Applications folder and moving your email signature.

Video Transcript
Hi! This is Gary Rosenzweig with another socially aware episode of MacMost Now. Today, let's answer some of your questions.
The first question today comes from Victor. Victor writes, 'How do I convert Real Player files into QuickTime files?'
Well, Real Player files are a type of either streaming media or downloadable media, like QuickTime or Flash video that you see all over the web. They come in different flavors like audio and video. There's even ones that stream directly from server. Those you probably won't be able to convert, but the ones you download you might be able to try to convert.
Look for a program called ffmpeg. You can find it on ffmpegx.com, and if you go to the website you'll see that it's basically a parameter where you drop one type of video file onto it and tell it what you want to convert it to. So, give it a try. I'm sure it varies from file to file for Real Player files, but at least it's worth a shot.
The next question comes from Jan. Jan writes, 'Can I use my European Apple USB power adaptor to charge an 8GB iPhone shipped from USA or my only chance will be charging via my laptop?'
Well, Jan, I've never actually seen a European USB adaptor so I'm not sure if there's any difference. But what I do know is that most power adaptors -- these are adaptors that usually have a power brick as part of them, they're used on all Apple laptops, they're used for iPhone charging, that type of thing -- these types of adaptors usually take basically any type of power and convert it to DC power.
They automatically convert different types of voltage, so you can use the same adaptor in Europe as you can in the United States, even though the voltage is different. What may be different, though, is the type of plug. You may need a converter to convert the straight up and down-type of USA plugs to the different types of plugs used by different countries.
But most DC power inverters, including all the ones I've ever seen from Apple in recent years, work on any voltage. Then they convert it to DC and DC power is universal. It doesn't really matter what country you're in. Once the brick has converted the power, you can charge anything you want with it.
Now USB is probably an even a better case because USB should be universal. That's the 'U' in USB. So any type of USB device, as long as it plugs in and works, should charge any USB device that charges with a USB. So an iPhone should charge with anything that actually works. So, the short answer is, almost certainly, yes.
Next, Rune writes in, 'Is it possible to organize the default OSX applications in suitable subfolders in the application folder?'
Well, yes. Definitely. You can go ahead and create subfolders in the applications folder. As a matter of fact, some of these are created for you. For instance, there's an iWork folder, if you have iWork, that has the iWork applications in it. You can go and create your own.
I, myself, also have things like games, video applications and audio applications, things like that. Now, the one catch is that if an application is poorly written, then it may have some trouble. It may expect to be found in the applications folder. So, you want to be careful with some third party applications. But, if it doesn't work, you can always move it back to the top-level of the applications folder.
I've also noticed that in moving some applications around, it asks you for your password. It just wants to make sure that that user has permission to go ahead and move something in the applications folder, regardless of whether it's moving it out of the applications folder or rearranging it in the applications folder.
So, go ahead and arrange everything in your applications folder by subfolders if you like. I certainly have to as I've got just about 50, 60 applications, and just looking at my applications folder is troublesome if I don't have them sorted somehow.
Finally, Deb writes, 'How do I get my email signature to start at the top of a reply, rather than all the way at the bottom, after the quoted text?'
Well, Deb, this was a problem in earlier versions of mail. A lot of people didn't like this because other programs, including earlier Mac mail programs had put the signature right at the top so you can reply to it and then still have the quoted text below your signature. However, in the most recent version of mail this has been fixed.
Let's go and take a look here. All you need to do is go ahead into the mail preferences, and, under signatures, which is almost the second to last tab there, you can click on 'place signature above the quoted text.' So now, when you reply to an email, your signature appears right at the very top rather than at the bottom after the quotes.
That's it for today. If you've got a question you'd like me to answer on the pod cast, you can email me at questions (-at-) macmost.com. I'll try to either answer on the pod cast or maybe reply to you directly.
Until next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.