Q&A: MacFixIt Answers

MacFixIt Answers is a weekly feature in which we answer questions e-mailed in by our readers. We welcome alternative approaches and views from readers and encourage you to post your own suggestions in the comments.

MacFixIt Answers is a feature in which we answer e-mailed questions from our readers. This week there were questions about the location and duplication of iTunes music folders, USB flash drives not mounting in the Finder, and how to read ClarisWorks and AppleWorks documents. We continually answer e-mail questions, and though we present a few answers here, we certainly welcome alternative approaches and views from readers and encourage you to post your suggestions in the comments.

Question: iTunes music duplicated in two locations

MacFixIt reader Ali asks:

My macbook is telling me lately that i have to free up space on my startup disk. I installed omnisweeper and i saw that my music seems to be saved twice- once in an "itunes music" folder, and another time in an "itunes media" folder. Is there a way to make itunes save my music only once, so it doesn't take up double room on my hard drive?

Answer:

Check your iTunes preferences in the Advanced section to see where your iTunes music is being stored. If the folder path mentions iTunes Media, then you can delete the iTunes Music folder on your drive. Older versions of iTunes stored music in the iTunes Music folder, but since iTunes now is used for videos, music, applications, and books, Apple changed the name and organization of the folder to be for all media that iTunes handles. It is likely that you upgraded iTunes at some point and switched the iTunes folder organization but did not remove the older organization folders.

The older library folder path was: /Users/username/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music/ and the new folder path is /Users/username/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/

If iTunes in fact is creating doubles of each newly imported file in both of these locations, then remove iTunes' preferences file (called "com.apple.iTunes.plist" and located in the /username/Library/Preferences/ folder) and then relaunch the program.


Question: Flash drives not mounting in the Finder

MacFixIt reader Kevin asks:

Just recently USB flash drives and SD and xD picture cards will not mount and do not appear on the desktop. They show up in disk utility and if I use disk utility to mount the drives the disk utility log says that they were mounted but they do not appear on the desktop. I have fixed permissions, applied latest 10.4.11 combo updater, and zapped pram but nothing solved problem. Any suggestions as to what else to try ? I believe the problem started after I installed the cameras preference pane from flexibits.

Answer:

Have you by chance set the Finder preference to show hard disks and external disks on the desktop? Try checking that by going to the Finder menu and choosing Preferences.

With the drives inserted and mounted, you can check to see if the system is actually recognizing them by using Terminal. Go to the Utilities folder and open the Terminal application, and then enter the following command to list all recognized volumes. If the flash drive is listed, then it is being recognized:

ls /Volumes/

In this case, you can also try removing the Finder's preferences file, which is called "com.apple.Finder.plist" and is located in the /username/Library/Preferences/ folder. After doing this, force-quit the Finder to relaunch it (or log out and back in).


Question: Reading ClarisWorks and AppleWorks documents

MacFixIt reader inerous asks:

Having various Clarisworks and mostly AppleWorks files (mainly databases), and since my previous laptop (MacBookPro 15-inch 2006 with MacOS 10.4) was capable of opening and expanding them, I neglected transforming them in the iWork 06 environment. Last week my MacBookPro 15-inch crashed (Motherboard failure too expensive to repair). So I bought the 17-inch MacBookPro which has the snow leopard software. How can I retrieve my above mentioned files. Apple support unable to help me since AppleWorks has been discontinued.

Answer:

Unfortunately reading Clarisworks and early Appleworks document formats is no longer supported by Apple's software, and I don't know of any others that will read these formats. Your best bet for reading them is to use an older Mac that is capable of booting to OS X 10.4 or 10.5 and can run AppleWorks or ClarisWorks using Classic or Rosetta.



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About the author

    Topher, an avid Mac user for the past 15 years, has been a contributing author to MacFixIt since the spring of 2008. One of his passions is troubleshooting Mac problems and making the best use of Macs and Apple hardware at home and in the workplace.

     

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