I am now fairly confident based on evidence I don’t wish to make public at this point that Apple is planning new (likely UIKit) Music, Podcasts, perhaps even Books, apps for macOS, to join the new TV app. I expect the four to be the next wave of Marzipan apps. Grain of salt, etc.
I hope they still keep iTunes around. (I assume) I’m one of the few people who actually like it.
My iCloud Music Library is f*cked. Apple has been on it since yesterday and so far I’ve been on the phone for about four hours. Should get another call soon. The problem is that changes don’t sync between my devices and my HomePod is unable to play the music I purchased in the iTunes Store.
Cyrus Farivar, writing for Ars Technica:
Today, Winamp continues to be updated; AOL released its first Android version in 2010 and a Mac version in 2011. Amazingly, given all the time elapsed, AOL still makes a decent amount of money on the site and on the program—while the company has declined to release official figures, former employees who worked on Winamp estimate its current revenue at around $6 million annually. And Winamp still has an estimated user base of millions worldwide, a small fraction of which live in the United States.
When I first got my hands on Winamp, I learned that ID3 tags existed. That was when I started properly naming all my MP3 files, in both the file names and tags. I got my first iPod in 2006 and switched to iTunes, which I still use today. What’s more, I still have those 128 Kbps MP3 files — some I replaced with better rips, others I just left as they were. My iTunes library was automatically perfectly organized, thanks to Winamp. This was a time when the iTunes Music Store wasn’t yet available in Poland, so I solely relied on ripping my CDs. I did get an US account later and a few gift cards, which made things easier, but this was after Apple dropped DRM, if I recall correctly. I still have fond memories of Winamp, despite the fact that I’m probably one of the few people who like using iTunes, and was quite surprised recently, when I learned that one of my friends still uses it. I didn’t know there was a Mac version either…
I have waited years for this feature, just so I don’t have to waste space on my Macs.
My next request: 4K content.
Apple is altering the user interface of Apple Music to make it more intuitive to use, according to people familiar with the product who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. Apple also plans to better integrate its streaming and download businesses and expand its online radio service, the people said. The reboot is expected to be unveiled at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June. The changes will be accompanied by a marketing blitz to lure more customers to the $10-per-month streaming service. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.
I’m probably one of the few people who doesn’t have issue using Apple Music… or iTunes for that matter. Many complain that the latter tries to do too many things. Quite frankly, it’s only a music player and secure backup tool at the moment — I do everything else via iCloud. I would however like the For You, New, Radio and Connect sections to become one.
Tom, along with his boss Ezra, had just spent most of Saturday at my dining room table with me, trying to recreate a disaster like we were Netflix green-lighting Fuller House. So far, no luck.
In the days leading up to our face-to-face encounter, they’d earned more of my trust when they acknowledged that A), they’d read the phone transcripts, and although they maintained that she was mistaken, they did not dispute my account of what Amber had told me, and B), they, too, were convinced this was not user error. Before allowing them into my home, though, I’d laid out some conditions. Their research would be strictly limited to Apple Music, iTunes, and my iTunes library, and I would always be in the room to watch them work. Any information gleaned would be used solely for iTunes and Apple Music troubleshooting. If I had a document on my desktop called “Zapruder Film Unedited,” for example, they would still leave it alone. They agreed, both on the phone and in person, so we began.
I never linked to James’ original post about how ‘Apple stole his music‘, because quite frankly, I believed it to be user error. In the meantime my friend also told me about his problems — he also lost some of his files — and Apple showed up on Pinkstone’s doorstep to try to diagnose the issue.
What other company would do that? No, seriously. Is there any other tech company that would go to such lengths to figure out what’s wrong with their product?
Paul Mozur & Jane Perlez:
Last week, Apple’s iBooks Store and iTunes Movies were shut down in China, just six months after they were started there. Initially, Apple apparently had the government’s approval to introduce the services. But then a regulator, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, asserted its authority and demanded the closings, according to two people who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
“We hope to make books and movies available again to our customers in China as soon as possible,” an Apple spokeswoman said in a statement.
I’m sensing, based on various tidbits of news, that Apple’s problems in China will get worse before they get better. Quite frankly, I’m surprised they allowed any ‘western’ content in the first place.
Screening Room plans to charge $150 for access to a tightly-secured set-top box that would let people skip theater lines and watch brand new films in their own living room. On top of the equipment cost, viewers would have to pay $50 per screening, and they’d get only 48 hours to watch the movie after laying down that money. Theaters and movie exhibitors are expected to receive a decent chunk of profits to offset complaints that Screening Room could potentially throw a wrench into their profits.
I’m fine with the price, but I’m pretty sure the technology will be atrocious. I wish they could just get their act together, and put the movies in iTunes.
Make it easy, and people will pay; make it hard and people will go out of their way to make it easier, pirating along the way, not caring about the fact that they are doing so.
I wrote about NepTunes two days ago — a simple Mac app which scrobbles Last.fm. Well, it was updated to version 1.2 and adds something that I was missing.
Continue reading →
I used to have an app named CoverSutra running on my desktop. Not only did it display iTunes artwork in a visually pleasing way, but it also updated my Last.fm account with what I was listening to in iTunes. Unfortunately, Sophie Teutschler stopped development, and found a job at Apple. CoverSutra no longer works properly under OS X El Capitan, and while it ‘kinda works’ with iTunes, it doesn’t support Apple Music at all.
Polish developer Adam Różyński has the answer to my problems. His NepTunes is a simple app which lives in the OS X menu bar. All it does is report back to our Last.fm account, correctly scrobbling the music we are listening to. Although it is not as nice graphically as CoverSutra, it gets the job done. The preferences panel also allows the app to integrate with iTunes. This allows to ‘star’ songs with ‘hearts’ on both Apple Music and Last.fm with one keyboard shortcut (which can be customised).
Simple, but it gets the job done. That’s usually enough for me.
★ NepTunes – OS X – Social Networking – €3.99 →
Apple has passed 10m subscribers for its music streaming service, taking six months to hit a milestone that took its arch-rival Spotify six years to hit, say people familiar with the matter.
Impressive, but at the same time not that many compared to how many iPhones are out there.
Anyway, Netflix is talking about the bitrates for their 1080p videos soon being as low 2000 Kbps for the simple stuff. That’s down from the 4300-5800 Kbps range they’re using now. And I’m sure they can do that on the low end without any perceivable loss of quality while streaming.
But can Apple and Amazon sell 1080p videos — averaging about 5000 Kbps now — at bitrates as low as 2000 Kbps — less than half that average size — without a perceived loss of value?
I don’t know. It’s hard to predict because consumers… well… we’re fucking stupid.
A very insightful and technical post about video and audio encoders, bitrates, and the future for Netflix, Apple and others.
An example would be TIDAL and their HQ uncompressed format, or whatever they’re calling it. I’m sure it’s great if you have the right equipment, young enough ears, and the ability to tell the difference. I still can, but just barely, and quite frankly the added overhead in terms of size (amongst other hurdles) is just too much of a hassle for me. The current iTunes/Spotify/pick-your-vice formats are more than enough, and if they flipped the switch overnight without telling anyone, I doubt many would notice. I know I wouldn’t.
I already listed the best games and apps for iPhone, iPad and Mac a few days ago, but you’ve clamoured for the full list, so here it is.
Continue reading →
Apart from the best apps and games for every platform, Apple also published a list of the runner-up apps and games of the year. The list contains a few excellent pieces of software, some of which I use, including Fantastical, Reeder 3, Ulysses, and many others.
Continue reading →
Apple published their ‘Best of 2015’ app lists — you can find them below — and the first choice caught me by surprise. There are a few great apps in the list, apart from the winners, and I strongly recommend checking them out. It also appears that I’ll need to find the time to play a few of the awarded games.
Continue reading →
Unfortunately, it’s not available on Apple Music or any other streaming platform. Not exactly pleased with that, but I’ll buy it anyway.