How to: Fix Kenwood Stereo MP3 file errors

I recently got a new (well, apparently from 2012,) Kenwood Stereo. The exact model number is the KDC-X498, but from my research most of the Kenwood stereos are pretty similar. It’s a pretty cool stereo as it has a USB port on it. I can plug in any phone with a USB cable and it’ll play music from it. It will also play MP3 files from a USB Drive.

Unfortunately there are a number of caveats to make this possible;
– The USB Drive is limited to 32GB in size
– The USB Drive must be formatted in Fat 32. Most are this way from the factory, so usually not a huge deal.
– Audio files must be in .mp3 format or .wav format. Some models will accept the .acc format also.
– Some stereos can only see a certain number of MP3s per a directory on the drive. Its roughly a thousand files, but on a 32GB drive that is easy to reach. If this happens, separate the files out into subdirectories. Or as I do, by Artist then Album.
– MP3s must be in 192k format. Not 320k VBR or some other format.

Despite all of this, my stereo (and several other models,) will suddenly display “NA File” while reading a USB drive full of MP3 files. After a lot of searching on the internet, most said to make sure that it’s in the right format. Well, I run a Mac, and spent several hours downgrading all my files to 192k yet still had the problem. After several more hours of searching and no answers at all, I finally figured out the problem.

The Kenwood Stereo’s firmware does not “skip” over the Macintosh’s .DS_Store files like every other operating system has been doing for years. Modern OSes see any file starting with a . (or period,) as a system file and ignores it, or processes it as appropriately. Not the Kenwood!

So to fix this, these can be disabled in the command line using these directions I wrote years ago.

Or, it’s easy to open up Terminal in OS X, and type ‘rm -rf ._*’ (without quotes.) This will delete all the .DS Store files and everything will magically work! Make sure you cd to the correct directory first , usually /Volumes/Crucial or something similar.

How to reinstall Apple App Store

How to reinstall Apple App Store

The Apple Store now allows Apple to bundle applications in an easy to download “iOS” like way. Since it’s release OS X application manufactures have been slowly moving over to it as a distribution channel for their apps. Some popular apps are now only available via the App store. If you are like me, one of the first things you might have done was to remove the App Store saying “I’m not going to play that game,” thinking we’d be able to continue to download apps as we wished.

Or perhaps you are in a corporate environment where the App Store has made managing Macs nearly a nightmare when it comes to application installation and asset management.

Unfortunately it seems that more and more application authors are going this way. It makes a bit of sense for the authors. It provides a better way to make some money off their hard work. It allows them to more easily digitally distribute their apps. And it saves them money on bandwidth.

The App Store itself is not a separately downloadable application though. The best, and quickest way, to reinstall it is to simply run and see if there is a Mac OS X Combo Updater install ready.

If not, you can download any Leopard or higher version from the Apple Support page. OS X Combo Updater 10.6.8 is a good start for most people; download it from here.

After that, you need to download an application installer program. Pacifist from Charlessoft is a good one.

Mount both Pacifist and and the Combo Updater Package. In Pacifist, go to the MacOSXUpdCombo10.6.8.pkg file and then use the search box in the right hand corner to search for store.

 

 

The first option that comes up is the Apple Store. Just click on the install button, make sure the check box “Install as Admin” is clicked, then hit OK. Enter your Administrator Password and Pacifist will start installing the application. When it’s done, go to your Applications and launch the App Store.

Please post in the comments if you have any questions.

How To: Manually update OS X time from Command Line

How To: Manually update OS X time from Command Line

Sometimes OS X’s time and date gets out of sync with the real world, and using the option “Set date and time automatically:” doesn’t always work.

You can use this command in terminal to update it manually:

ntpdate -u

The server address can be any of the Apple Servers such as time.apple.com or the free Time Servers, pool.ntp.org.

This same command should work for most Unix/Linux Operating systems, as long as ntpdate is installed.

How To: Flush DNS Cache on OS X

Most users don’t need to use this command, but it’s very helpful for web developers and network admins to troubleshoot issues with web sites.

This command is run via terminal.

On Leopard (10.6) and Snow Leopard (10.7):

(as root or admin user) dscacheutil -flushcache

On all other version (10.0 – 10.4):

(as root or admin user) lookupd -flushcache

How To: Deploy MS Office to Mac

How To: Deploy MS Office to Mac

One of the biggest pains in deploying MS Office to OS X in a business or education environment is making sure that the serial number deploys too.

To do this, you need to also deploy the following files:

~/Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.autoupdate2.plist
~/Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.error_reporting.plist
~/Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.office.plist
~/Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.office.setupassistant.plist

Deploying these files will keep also keep the initial setup assistant from running upon first launch.

Deployment can be via any of your normal methods, Apple Remote Desktop being the “Apple Preferred Way,” of course.