It’s the season to be jolly, right? What better way to make yourself happy than to treat yourself, and your Mac, to a little iCandy.
You know, get yourself something you don’t really need but is just so cool you should probably have it on your Mac anyway. Just to show off.
Look, Mac OS X Leopard is more fully of eye candy than any previous version of OS X. Eye candy sells. But it’s also fun. Take Cover Flow as an example.
At first, Cover Flow was a nifty utility which let you thumb through graphics. Apple picked it up and stuck it into iTunes faster than you can say Oprah loves Obama.
Granted, Cover Flow has functionality, but the eye candy value is much higher. It’s just cool to flip through all that album art, even though scanning a list view is much faster. We’re a visual generation. We need our visual fixes.
Apple thought Cover Flow was soooooooo ultra cool and insane and whatever phrase they’re using in Cupertino these days, that they put it inside the Finder for Mac OS X Leopard.
Cover Flow is just as cool in Leopard, maybe more so, since it fits nicely with Quick Look. Drag, click, scan, hit space bar, view. It’s fun, it’s easy, it’s a little bit addicting.
But wouldn’t it be cool if you could put iTunes’ Cover Flow in a huge window right on your Mac’s Desktop?
Well, maybe. Maybe not. But that’s what Cover Stream does, and, remarkably, it’s rather cool.
Cover Stream lets you float through your iTunes music and album art in an attractive, giant window that sits on your Mac’s Desktop. From what I can tell, Cover Stream even works better than Cover Flow in iTunes or the Finder.
All your album art will show up, just as it does in iTunes, so you can select any album, flip it over, then select a song to play. The ‘flip it over’ is an extra step which really should be tied to the Space Bar, just as Quick Look works with Cover Flow in the Finder.
Volume and play buttons appear in Cover Stream which lets you control iTunes—adjust the sound, display or hide iTunes, play, skip, and so on. In fact, Cover Stream acts like an iTunes utility which lets you control iTunes regardless of which Mac application you’re using at the time.
Cover Stream doesn’t just show you the album art. That’s nice and all, but gets old after the 127th time you’ve seen Bono’s face on screen.
Cover Stream also shows basic information about the album, and that extra ‘flip’ step gives you all the tracks on the album.
But, wait. There’s more. Operators are standing by. If you try Cover Stream today, within the next hour (or, any day, or any hour—it doesn’t really matter), you can also use it to view and use your iTunes’ playlists. But it’s another flip effort.
Did I mention that Cover Stream is free? Good. Because it’s really not, but it’s not expensive, either, and this is the time of year when it’s OK to splurge a little, buy something frivolous yet colorful, functional yet totally unnecessary, but cool anyway.
OK, admit it. You’ve splurged on something for you and your Mac all in the name of the holidays, right? What did you get? Was it hardware or software? Did you gift wrap it? Or, did you buy something for that special someone in your Mac life? Bare your soul in an anonymous fashion and Talk Back to Mac360 readers in the Comments section below.
Oh, one more thing. This will be my last day at Mac360 for awhile. It’s that whole pregnant and ‘baby’ thing. He’s dying to get out and I’m happy he’s ready. But once the deed is done and another Kayhill Kid sprouts and officially enters the Kayhill household, I’ll be busy for awhile so you’ll need to wait a bit on the next list of Friday Freebies.
Much love to all, and to all a good night. Happy Holidays!!!