iTunes error -54

And it happened again today:

itunes_error-54I’ve solved this problem before but had forgotten what I had done to deal with “The iTunes Library file cannot be saved. An unknown error occurred (-54).”

A quick search around yielded a range of voodoo solutions but the one that did it the simplest; I asked Disk Utility to repair permission. This is the comment that solved it for me:
“From an OS9 reference, error -54 is a software lock on a file or a permissions error. (Some of the old codes still apply to OSX although there is no formal list of OSX error codes.)”

I’ll buy that. You can find the Disk Utility here:

/Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility
1. Choose your disk in the list on the left.
2. Click “Repair Disk Permissions”
3. Come back later and they’re fixed.
4. Restart iTunes.

Disk Utility_permissionsrepair


Emoji are enabled in iOS5? How did I miss this

  1. ‘Settings’ app
  2. Scroll down to General > Keyboard > International Keyboards
  3. Add new Keyboard…
  4. Scroll down to Emoji in the list of available Keyboards

Next time you use the keyboard, say, when sending a text, you will see a globe icon to the left of the space bar. Click on it to switch to the Emoji keyboard and/or scroll through your enabled keyboard options.

Safari forgets its PDF reader app association

This seems to happen regularly and not only when updating Acrobat Reader and/or Safari. When I go to open/download a PDF linked on a website and instead of the PDF opening within Safari a dialog pops up asking me to identify which application I’d like to use to view the file. Invariably, I cannot associate PDFs with either Acrobat Reader or Preview and must choose Acrobat Professional. Bleh. And then it forgets again.

Today’s “forgetfulness” would seem related to my recent Safari 4.0.5 update. Unsubstantiated wild guess.

So, here’s what I do to correct this problem:

1. Shutdown Safari
2. Go to the /Library folder (the machine’s root /Library, not your 
user ~/Library)
3. Open the folder called “Internet Plugin-Ins” (I’m using 10.6.x)
4. Remove AdobePDFViewer.plugin
5. Restart Safari.

PDFs will now open directly in Safari using the native Preview application. This is ideal for most PDF uses. However, I find that if I am opening a PDF that has embedded fields and forms then it’s best to open with Acrobat Reader.

You may either continue to use as your default PDF association and right-click to “Open with Acrobat Reader” — OR — you may “repair” your Reader installation by having Reader re-install the AdobePDFViewer.plugin that you just chucked out.

To do this:

1. Shutdown Safari.
2. Start Acrobat Reader.
3. From Acrobat Reader’s menu, choose “Help” and then pull down to “Repair Adobe Reader Installation”.
4. You’ll be prompted to enter your password and then AdobePDFViewr.plugin will be re-installed in /Library/Internet Plug-Ins. 
5. Restart Safari and your PDFs will now open using Acrobat Reader.

To switch back to Preview as the default, go back to the first set of instructions and delete ye olde plugin.

Shouldn’t this be automated within a Safari preference? Ahem.

Find My iPhone

Neat feature!

If you have a MobileMe account ( and turn on the feature in your iPhone’s MobileMe account preference, you can locate your phone in two ways:

1. Geophysically. The onboard GPS reports back where on the planet the phone is and displays a Google map of its proximity.
2. Sound. You can send a message to the phone from the MobileMe website that causes the phone to vibrate and play the Sonar pinging sound (a little too quiet if you ask me).

Here’s what the MobileMe interface looks like:

MobileMe Find My iPhone

You can also send a signal to remotely wipe all the info on your iPhone.

Update complete

The iPhone OS 3.0 update took

Before I began the update my 16GB iPhone had 3.82GB available space.
iTunes backed up my current iPhone (which I had already done manually so it was pretty quick).
iTunes contacted the iPhone activation server to be sure I had the real deal.

The activation server seemed stalled for almost 45 minutes. I gave up and told iTunes to quit via the Dock and that seemed to goose the thing into action. The  “Contacting activation server…” modal window went away immediately, the phone rebooted and a new modal window “Waiting for iPhone” took its place.

Soon that was replaced with an “Updating iPhone software…” modal window with progress bar. The actual software update and verification took about six minutes from beginning until the phone rebooted. authorization in iTunes 8.x

I recently moved my user  (including my iTunes library) to a new MacBook Pro and now I get this error when synchronizing my iPod:

“Some of the Audible files in the iTunes library were not copied to the iPod <my iPod> because you are not authorized to play them on this computer.”

It’s a modal window that looks like this:

iTunes Audible Error modal window

iTunes Audible Error modal window

There’s a lot of chatter out there as to what this might be. Here’s what I found:

1. This authorization is separate from the iTunes per computer authorization.

2. This authorization has no specific place to enter your authentication information except by clicking on the file that has failed. For whatever reason.

3. In iTunes, go to your Library and choose Audiobooks.

4. In my case, half the audiobooks there seem to work fine, the other half not so much. Oddly, these have all been purchased from using the same account. I think some may have been downloaded via iTunes and some directly from But I don’t really remember.

5. Since the error doesn’t tell me which books aren’t working (aren’t able to be synchronized) with my iPod, I looked in the iPod’s Audiobooks section and compared the books there vs the items in iTunes.

6. Clicking on one of the missing books prompted a new modal window that was simply an authentication dialog.

7. I entered my Audible username and password and now it’s all working fine.