Tag Archives: iTunes

Whatever can be happening at Apple?

Updating

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.

People of note unleashed on an unsuspecting world

As you will doubtless read in your Newspaper tomorrow, People of note was released today.People of note

It is now available from CD Baby, iTunes, and Amazon downloads (In the US now, by the time you read this maybe the UK also… depends when you read this really).

If you wish, you can play many of the tracks using the widget on this page, in fact it will start playing automatically unless you are on a mobile connection so stopping it playing may  be your first concern.

Echolalia

To celebrate Askew & Askance becoming available on the iTunes store, I have made a PopcornMaker video for Echolalia. Since it has a drifting / loose timing I wanted imagery with the same sort of casual nature and I happened across an article about the strange and rather vulgarly named shittywatercolour.com. I think the works are full of joy and charm, have a look and see here.

Mr. Thompson inside himself released

I have today finished uploading Mr. Thompson to CD Baby for sale and onward distribution.

All being well that means it should be on amazon.com and iTunes by the weekend.

Full speed ahead on the next epic “Askew & Askance”. The name was suggested by Askew’s bakery in Crickhowell. How satisfactory it would be, I thought, to have a shop run by a partnership of Askew’s with Askance’s. It would probably only suit one of those exclusive oddities shops that proliferate in places like Hay and Brighton, which tend to tail off a bit and become like Reggie Perrin’s Grot shops before long.

Borderland … again

Borderland has now been released by CD Baby, Amazon and iTunes to follow.

You can find it from the link on the left, designated in a subdued and tasteful way “Buy my Album” in the hope that this will work as a bit of subliminal advertising and before you know it you will have bought copies for self and friends.

There is a bit more detail here  with the opportunity to read about and preview the album. There is also a widget on that page in case you, for some reason, forgot to click the link at the left and haven’t bought it yet.

The usual advice / plea applies, viz. if you like it please tell all your friends, if not please keep it to yourself.

iTunes, iCloud and the Halo effect

The Halo effect describes the tendency of we humans to ascribe attributes about which we have no knowledge to people or entities to which we have already ascribed another attribute. Some victorian “scientists” thus used to describe a “criminal physiognomy” by which you could tell a bad ‘un without having met them before, and this persists among many in the population today in the form of “I wouldn’t trust him / her because …” followed by some such attribute as their eyes being too close together, a generally nervous (“Shifty”) manner, having a “weak” chin, or even being short.

The inverse is equally common with behavioural scientists often telling us that tall and beautiful / handsome people are often considered more trustworthy or competent even at first meeting. Which is sort of where I find myself with Apple.

Whilst adding my library to iCloud recently (See earlier post) quite a number of my songs remained unmatched and therefore had to be uploaded. Apart from the time this would take, and the fact that the quality of the songs would not be upgraded unless I dug out the CD and re-ripped them at a higher bit rate, at least part of me was upset that the files had not, in some way, reached Apple’s high standards and had been rejected. Apple’s “Bella Figura” had been discomposed by the “Brutta Figura” of my files. There may even have been a bit of shame in there. This is so powerful that I nearly downloaded versions of these songs to replace the ones which until now I had considered perfectly adequate from the iTunes store, a process which begins with me spending money.  Nearly.

Obscured by clouds

Cover of Pink Floyd's excellent album Obscured by Clouds

 

I’ve invested the best part of the last two weeks getting my iTunes music into the cloud with iTunes match. I can now download any part of my music collection to any of my devices wherever I am as long as I have good 3G or broadband connectivity. This means that my iPhone in effect has all 17,534 songs (1521 albums) on it, which is cool.

However my experience has highlighted problems learning opportunities in three areas viz:-

1. Being an early adopter of technology,

2. Rural broadband in the UK, and

3. iTunes doesn’t always work properly and displays almost fractal complexity as you dig into it.

It has also given me a personal insight into the Halo effect surrounding Apple and its products.

In an attempt to be tidy, I’ll cover these in separate posts.