Whatever can be happening at Apple?


My iPad crashed three times this evening whilst using iTunes Music. I was also getting warnings from time to time about running out of space, so I suspected the two things were connected. I deleted some apps I don’t use very often so had 700Mb free, but still had crashes and when I checked in Settings the free space had gone down to 300Mb.

So I connected it via cable to my MacBook, and on the summary tab it was reporting 5Gb free (This was after the OS X iTunes update reported below). I cleared out some data files in some of the music apps, and got this to over 7Gb free after a new sync.

Looking at usage on the iPad it’s now reporting 607Mb free whilst the MacBook it is still connected to is now reporting that it has 5.19Gb free. Looks like the IOS Music app is corralling free space in some way, but not letting on to the sync host.

The OS X update was more sad than confusing. As I plugged the iPad in I noticed an update had been downloaded and was waiting for permission to run. I looked in the updates tab of the “App Store” app (Whose icon had a red circle with a 1 in it) and no available downloads were listed. Without knowing which app was updating, I clicked on update and it asked to shut iTunes, so I did. As part of the decluttering that came with Yosemite, I often find myself feeling that I no longer know what’s going on when updates and downloads are occurring, nowhere could it be found. There used to be progress bars on the Applications icon or the App Store icon and there weren’t, so I assumed it had finished the update and clicked the iTunes icon in the dock only to receive the warning shown above. The meaning was clear so I just clicked the button and waited and it relaunched by itself in a minute or so.

The sad bit is that the message lines are written as they are, all capitals to make them stand out and linked by underscores so that they are all one word, because they are put at the top of the code file, after a #define statement thus :- #define UPDATING_LOCKED_TITLE “UPDATING_LOCKED_TITLE” or some such, so that the coder can continue coding until someone from the user interface design team tells them the proper message and they then change it to :- #define UPDATING_LOCKED_TITLE “Warning – file is being updated” or similar and everywhere in the code that the message is called, the correct text is substituted.

Apple have user interface design guides and style guides for coders, and buildings full of people who test and validate software and they used to matter. In this case :-

a). The approved message was never substituted, and

b). Nobody noticed.

It would seem that Apple Music has performance and reliability issues on IOS and is a space hog that doesn’t own up or clear up after itself. It would also seem that they are rushing out updates for the OS X iTunes app without checking it properly. I know it is a trivial thing to have let through, but the whole Apple ethos used to be “It just works”. Because they checked every little thing, we could safely assume that they had checked every big thing. That would seem to be no longer true.

Apple Music – Connect

I have access to the Artists’ bit of Connect and can post stuff there. It’s a bit of a faff at present as you can only post from IOS devices so any music or video files you want to put up have to be available either in iTunes Music or Photos on the device before you can include them. That apart it works well and I have added a couple of non-published tracks.

I then got a bit carried away last night as whenever I felt a particular enthusiasm for whatever I was listening to, I added it to Connect. This has made for a quite cluttered page, but it’s all good stuff, so invite you all to have a look and comment as you see fit.

Her Majesty’s subject Windrince

Phew, after spending only about half a day as a sans-culottes I was exhausted, my sympathies go to those who have to keep it up for an extended period.

I had imagined I would model myself on the rather earnest young chap in M. Hulot’s Holiday who hangs around the Hotel lobby boring everyone rigid (If they are unfortunate enough to sit within earshot) including the young lady who is holidaying there and trying to have a bit of fun. Expecting, as a beginner, that I wouldn’t be able to equal let alone improve upon his success, I decided to devote what little time I had available to being a theoretical communist rather than a practicing one.

Even this proved dreadfully tiring, keeping up that peculiar combination of a sense of superiority, righteous anger and victimhood is a full time job.

Anyway I have decided it is not for me and have resumed my former persona as a loyal subject of Her Majesty who shouts at the TV and Radio news but keeps himself to himself, gets ignored when at the bar in pubs, and has people sit on his lap on buses (Really, it’s happened twice).

Apple music – downsides

Music Error

Further to my previous post, there are some downsides to the Apple Music revolution which should be noted.

1. It hasn’t been awfully reliable, the screen on the left was appearing for two days whenever I tried to use Connect on my MacBook.

2. It crashes two or three times a day on my iPad.

3. Apple have taken music that artists gave them to sell, and rented it out to people, without taking on any of the risk themselves. I can’t think of another example where a company running rental business didn’t have to buy the goods themselves before renting them out to others, in fact when renting out videotapes companies used to have to buy premium priced versions to rent out, and because they were physical objects could only lend them out one at a time.

Apple seems to have taken a rather cavalier view of their artists’ IP rights, surprisingly, given their historical litigious behaviour in securing and protecting their own.

Apple Music – upsides

In my newly adopted role of communist agitator (See earlier post), I am delighted that for a single monthly payment I will have access to the entire Apple music library to listen to and download songs whenever and wherever I want.

The Music app shows no distinction between music I own, and music I don’t. There is literally no benefit to be had from buying and owning music as long as I pay the monthly subs.

I can also take comfort from the fact that artists are only being paid about a penny per listen for their music, so few are going to get rich from the scheme, apart from Apple which keeps 30% of the monthly subs.

All power to the revolution.

Citizen Windrince

CheHighI sold one of our cars yesterday, about half an hour after the insurance company’s telephone support line closed for the day, so I rang this morning.

The insurance ran from the 11th of the month so that delay cost me another complete month’s premium. I had paid for the year upfront however, so I expected still to be refunded 5 months of it.

This, it turned out, was true, but there would be an early repayment charge equivalent to four of those 5 months.

Licensed thievery I call it, especially since I had bought the insurance via one of the banks that had received a £37 billion bailout after demonstrating a mix of incompetence and illegality that must have surprised even themselves. A show of grace, thankfulness, and even handed behaviour would have been nice.

There are few responses to this sort of thing available to the meek and broken of spirit, in fact I can only think of three viz:-

– to never do business with them again (on my own account at least, can’t stop governments throwing money at them)

– to write angry posts on highly influential blogs like this, and

– to become a communist for the rest of the day.

The last of these may well be the most fun, I shall be railing about the way the Irish have been through years of misery, and the Greeks are still being put through it, in order to ensure that French and German banks don’t lose out after recklessly lending them money they couldn’t afford.

I started rehearsals with the cat, but she found the iniquity of their behaviour too much to bear and left the room.