New Year

So it’s a new year with new resolutions. I’m actually bringing on employees so my load shouldn’t be quite so big as it was this fall. That’ll (hopefully) mean more posts. Also since I have employees again I’ll be doing a lot of automation and automation based posts.

Happy New Year and I hope the next year brings even more exciting stuff.

PS if you’re a regular reader you might be interested to know that my chocolate company1 won the New York Times taste test of best bean to bar chocolates. Check it out. We’re really proud of our work with our chocolate. We’re also really proud of having helped shaped the bean to bar industry here in the US.

  1. My primary company is a computer company specializing in linguistic and text indexing software. But I’ve returned to help my other company this last year to get it back on its feet after some unfortunate events with investors and employees.

Fixing iTunes

So I’m completely reorganizing my iTunes. Somehow, and I can’t figure out how, half my media is on my internal drive and half on an external drive. I tried to use the File > Library > Organize Library >> Consolidate Files to do this but so much of the media were large 1080p video that iTunes choked on it. (And didn’t clean up the copied files properly) Fortunately while I was at Costco today I noticed they had a 5 TB backup drive for only $130! Yes. I couldn’t believe it either.

I’m now running consolidate files to this external drive. I can then, after consolidation, delete a lot of the older media files then do a more proper backup of my media again. (I already backed up most of it to two separate drives)

Continue reading Fixing iTunes

Apple TV

After all those comments over the years on the Apple TV I probably should chime in on it. First in terms of software it’s everything I’ve wanted. Yes a few features aren’t there yet (Siri for Music, universal search that really works) but it’s what I’ve wanted for years. It’s hard to find a lot of faults in the software honestly.

Here’s the problem. The hardware.

Continue reading Apple TV

Daylite 6

I’ve not posted much the past few months. Work has taken most of my time. Still I thought I’d chime in and mention there’s a new Daylite out. Here’s the MacStories review. Christmas is my busiest time of the year so I don’t know when I’ll be able to review it. Hopefully I’ll have something in January.

I’ve actually not bought my copy yet. I’m trying to decide if I go for the cloud version. I probably will as I’ve had a lot of problems of late syncing to my iMac at home even with tunneling set on my router. Primarily because I don’t have a fixed IP address. I was using one of those free dynamic IP services but it was extremely flakey. Calculate in all the hassle of having to use a more robust service and suddenly the extra for the cloud version starts to make sense.

Initial Apple TV Thoughts

A few people wanted me to share my thoughts on the new Apple TV. I’d ordered mine opening day but oddly they were available for purchase at Best Buy before mine even got shipped out. The short review is that the product feels rushed. Lots of missing features that will likely get added over the next few weeks. Rather than a real review here are short thoughts on various points.

Continue reading Initial Apple TV Thoughts

Future of TV

Lots of stories that Apple’s TV like service is postponed at best to 2016. Since Apple’s been working on this for years but networks like Fox, NBC & CBS don’t want a deal I think we can probably say the deal will never happen.

The problem is that the economics of TV are all base upon bundling of services. So you buy 20 – 30 channels even if only 5 – 6 of them are channels you want. People say they just want “the channels they want at a reasonable price.” That is, they want their Discovery channel but not ESPN. The problem is that likely is just not economically feasible when you move to ala carte that means fewer people order each channel so the costs go up not down. This is especially true for basic cable channels like ESPN. Speculation is that an ala carte ESPN could easily cost $30 per month.

Continue reading Future of TV

Twitter for Apple?

I know there are lots of reasons why Apple wouldn’t buy Twitter. However let’s look at the reasons why they should. 

o Bring on talented cloud employees. While Apple’s definitely doing better in cloud services they still are talent starved according to many reports.

o Bring on an establish social network for Music. The original Ping failed due to Facebook pulling its service integration at the last minute. Right now let’s be honest, Connect is by far the weakest part of Music. Integrate who  you follow with Twitter and push sharing playlists and songs by Twitter will improve the social aspect of Music by magnitudes

o Provide a broader platform for iAds. iAds is the ugly stepbrother right now. By integrating it with Twitter Apple can push it’s privacy philosophy as well as making iAds much more formidable an offering.

o Twitter can offer better ways to do the App Store. There are all sorts of integrations with the App Store Apple could do.

Continue reading Twitter for Apple?

Biggest Apple Music Annoyance

Overall I’ve come to really like Apple Music. UI problems notwithstanding (and there are a ton) it’s a very good service.

All that said though some things are very annoying. The main one is that wherever I am viewing an artist name in either the iOS Music app or iTunes there’s a good bet that there’s no way to jump to the Music page for that artist. While that’s annoying, you can still jump to search and do it manually. Apple should fix that quickly.

Here’s the most annoying bug though. If you are looking at an artist or a playlist and click “Make Available Offline” all the songs will start to download. However click on an individual song and it’s not smart enough to know it’s already downloading. Further if the song stalls out for some reason such as jumping from WiFi to cellular, Music isn’t smart enough to start the download later. Sometimes the download is completely borked and it’s hard to even convince it to redownload. Worst of all, if I have a playlist where all the songs but a few are downloaded there’s no “Make Available Offline” for the playlist to download the list. I have to manually find and download each track individually.

I should note that iTunes Match, with a very similar function, worked completely correctly for all these offline needs. 

Trying to figure it all out a post at a time