OS X Lion: Disc Handling and Preferences

| TMO Quick Tip

I admit it—I liked Front Row. I’m one of the tortured souls who enjoyed using it to play my music and videos. But now that it’s gone the way of the dinosaur, you might need to adjust the settings for DVDs, for example, to make them do something other than sit on their behinds when you insert them. In this tip, we’ll also take a look at some of the other preferences we have for discs on our Macs—for the time being, anyway, until none of our machines come with optical drives. Then in a few years, some whippersnapper will ask me what a CD is. Get off my lawn, kid.

So if you look in System Preferences > CDs & DVDs, you’ll notice that this is where most of your disc-handling options reside.

But look at the funny little remnant that I’ve highlighted above! My computer is still set to open Front Row when I insert a video DVD, and it has that helpful little default document icon next to it. The practical problem with this is that when I insert a DVD into my Mac, nothing happens. Oh, Lion, you so crazy. To fix this issue if you’re having it, too, just toggle the drop-down menu off of Front Row and onto something else—DVD Player, for example, or whatever third-party application you crafty little devils are using.

While you’re hanging out in that System Preferences pane, you might want to have a look at your other choices if you haven’t before. It’s pretty neat to have your Mac do everything you command it to with discs when you insert them. On that note, you can also examine the preferences in the individual programs to see if there are special options for the way that discs can be handled. 

Let’s first check out what’s built in to your DVD Player application (assuming, of course, that you’ve set that as your default program for DVDs above). Go to the program and click on DVD Player > Preferences, and the choices we’re looking for are under the “Player” tab. There are all sorts of things in there for you to toggle on and off at will; my favorite is telling DVD Player to enter full screen mode when it’s opened. It’s almost like being in a theater with a really, really small screen. 

For another example, set the “When you insert a music CD” drop-down to “Open iTunes” in the System Preferences pane as above. Then go to your iTunes application and choose iTunes > Preferences. If you then click on the “General” tab, one of the choices you have is “When you insert a CD.” Switch that preference to “Import CD and Eject,” and you’ll have a much faster way to bring your CDs into your digital library. Pop it in—automatic import! It ejects when it’s done! Bam! Pow! Gosh, I wish I had a Batman font for this one. 

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13 Comments Leave Your Own

Lee Dronick

“I admit it?I liked Front Row. I?m one of the tortured souls who enjoyed using it to play my music and videos.”

I too liked it, but not so much for playing video and music that is on my Mac. I enjoyed it for surfing movie previews, particularly for the Indie and artistic type of movies that are not advertised on TV. Shakespeare’s Coriolanus coming this December 2nd, just in time for my birthday.

I would like to see Apple bring Front Row back in a future version of Lion.

Ross Edwards

Bam! Pow! Gosh, I wish I had a Batman font for this one.

The app you want is called Halftone.  It’s a hoot.  (Disclosure: no interest except as a happy user.)

I set my DVD insert behavior to “Open Mac the Ripper.”  The only DVDs coming in lately are kiddie stuff, and my children are young enough that they still have a casual approach to taking care of physical objects.  Just as well that they play their Dora and Pixar stuff from digital files.

Lee Dronick

I have bought more DVDs recently than I had back before digital downloads. I am finding some gems in the $5 box at discount stores, a lot cruft is in there too, but if your lucky you find a good movie.

Melissa, our Mail expert, I just found a feature that I don’t like. Start a new message and then try to open an existing message so as to say copy text. You can’t do it, or at least I couldn’t do it. You have to save the message as draft and then go to the message from which you want to copy, get your stuff, and then open up the draft.

AndyR

Hello Harry,

I found this when I first started using mail in Lion. That was in the days when I was also trying to get used to full screen mode!

If you are in full screen you cannot even move the new msg window, hence you are not able to move around, drag and drop email addresses (if using forward) or, as you say, go back to the main window and select another email.

This as you might guess became the biggest reason why I no longer use full screen mode.

enjoy.

Lee Dronick

I found this when I first started using mail in Lion. That was in the days when I was also trying to get used to full screen mode!

Yeah Andy, I think that Lion could have used a few more minutes in the oven, the center still hasn’t set. Things could change in the next update, I hope so.

Now overall I like Lion, but I have some gripes. I have been using full screen mode more and more, I just got annoyed trying compose a mail today.

Melissa Holt

The app you want is called Halftone.? It?s a hoot.

Ross, that is SO. COOL.

Melissa Holt

Sir Harry, I’m glad to see that Andy’s answered your question already. I really hope that Apple fixes that in a future update?it annoys me, too!

Lee Dronick

Sir Harry, I?m glad to see that Andy?s answered your question already. I really hope that Apple fixes that in a future update?it annoys me, too!

Synergy, yesterday I helped someone with an autosave question

furbies

Has anyone found a way to transplant Front Row from say Mac OS X 10.6 into Lion ?

I want my Front Row back!

Curse you Apple!

And has anyone else noticed that the Remote now launches iTunes instead of Front Row ?

Melissa Holt

Has anyone found a way to transplant Front Row from say Mac OS X 10.6 into Lion ?

Yes, quite a few people have (and if you Google “Front Row Lion,” you’ll see what I mean). The problem is that the latest version of iTunes breaks the fix. :(

?Melissa

Lee Dronick

Yes, quite a few people have (and if you Google ?Front Row Lion,? you?ll see what I mean). The problem is that the latest version of iTunes breaks the fix.

Now this begs the question is there a 3rd party program that replaces Front Row?

furbies

Thanks Melissa.

Can everyone who misses Front Row under Lion please go to Apple Feedback and “politely complain” about Apple dropping Front Row.

Maybe, just maybe, someone will listen….................

Of course there’s as much chance of Apple listening, as there is of the Democrats & Republicans sitting in a circle singing Kum Ba Yah, or Folks just trying to get along…......

Lee Dronick

Can everyone who misses Front Row under Lion please go to Apple Feedback and ?politely complain? about Apple dropping Front Row.

Been there done that. I am not optimist that it will come back, but yeah if there are enough requests for it then maybe.

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