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  • Apple Music Classical waltzes onto iPhone

    Quick first impressions:

    1) This app retains the utterly ignorant-of-classical-music method of assembling playlists that was so infuriating with Apple Music. One is presented with the third movement of this followed by the first movement of that, and so on. The people at Apple Music simply view each part of any complex classical composition as a separate, independent "song". It's like reading chapter 3 of one book followed by chapter 12 of another book etc. This ignores the fact that all the movements of a classical composition are actually a whole narrative that loses meaning and context when broken, separated and thrown together randomly.

    Clearly, Apple has not hired anyone who actually understands classical music but just people who view it in the paradigm of pop or jazz albums that are indeed collections of "songs" that can generally stand alone as independent pieces.

    2) On the positive side, if one avoids the ignorant playlists, it is quite a bit easier to find music by an actual composer or by the name of a composition. A search on "Gotterdammerung" for example yields the actual Wagner opera and not a page of miscellaneous pop recordings that have little or nothin to do with Wagner, or opera.

    Don't get me wrong: I listen to and love a wide variety of pop, rock, jazz, World, etc. music. I am just dismayed that Apple, one of the richest and most innovative companies in the history of the World, can't find even one person who understands the important differences amongst various genres of music.
  • tvOS 10.2 update requires AirPlay hardware verification, breaks third-party streaming apps...

    AirParrot has issued an update that is compatible with tvOS 10.2. It works OK for my setup.
  • Apple Music acquires famed classical label BIS

    sflagel said:
    Thanks to all the responses, I will definitely now broaden my horizons and listen intently to BIS recordings.
    Excellent!  But also, do try to attend some live classical (and other) concerts. You have nothing to lose and much perhaps to gain.

    You might even find some for free. This summer, here in Montreal, there were, among other great free musical events, several free outdoor concerts given by the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre Metropolitain. Attendance was in the 60-75 thousand range for some of them. A standing ovation among that many people is a part of the wonder of classical music that comes rather rarely.
  • Apple Music Classical waltzes onto iPhone

    On further use, I note that one aspect of playlists has improved a little. The actual piece or movement being streamed is more or less properly identified. It use to be that the descriptor, for example: "Double Concerto for Violin and Cello: lii. Allegro vivo" is a "song" title in a current Apple Music playlist. Indeed, that's probably the name of the track on the recording. Unlike "Cocaine", which is a distinctive song title that pretty much anyone knows was composed by J. J. Cale, it is not so likely that anyone would easily know who is the composer of "Double Concerto for Violin and Cello: lii. Allegro vivo" It isn't actually a title of a "song", and in fact several composers could have compositions that include this as one of the movements.

    Apple Music Classical seems to provide information about who is the composer and which composition is being exerpted even in playlists.

    Also, I was able to Airplay from my iPhone to an Apple TV 3rd generation which I use as the source for my audio system because it has an optical audio output that I feed into a DA converter which inputs to  my preamplifier.
  • Apple releases macOS Big Sur with redesign, Safari updates and more

    Perhaps Apple is testing out just one of the new Apple Silicon Mac Minis as the sole server to handle distribution of this update for the entire world?

    Almost makes one nostalgic for the days of dial-up modems. I don't remember even them being quite so slow.
  • Apple Music acquires famed classical label BIS

    Dozens of labels other than D.G.G., thank-you. For decades to be precise. D.G.G. has some good stuff in their catalogue, but is by no means the best for all compositions. If one wants to appreciate, for example, the richness of Beethoven's symphonies, one ought to listen to numerous interpretations, which means one inevitably needs to listen to offerings from many other labels. This is true of most classical music and quite a lot of music in general. When someone claims to "Know what they like", they really mean they like what they know. Restricting oneself to just one source seems to be a pretty impoverished condition.
  • Apple releases macOS Big Sur with redesign, Safari updates and more

    "Major new features in macOS Big Sur"

    Many of us have discovered one of them: It's unavailable.
  • Apple releases macOS Big Sur with redesign, Safari updates and more

    emoeller said:
    uphill said:
    I am glad someone has had a good result.

    My Software Update has for about 45 minutes been showing "12.18 GB of 12.18 GB" as being downloaded but nothing is happening. The progress bar shows about 85% complete. It looks frozen and/or stalled.

    No point losing sleep over it, so I'll have another look in the morning.
    I had the same problem last night and tried exiting and restarting Update and finally got it to finish up by powering down and then back on and downloading the update again.  Finished up around midnight.

    As others have noted it looks nice and seems to perform faster (late 2018 MBP, loaded).  Little Snitch doesn't work at all and my Mallvad VPN apparently needs to be reinstalled - it just disappeared.  Copied not working.  Microsoft Office works well, as do all of the Apple updates so far (including Messages - although it has a Green icon instead of old Blue one).  iPulse needs to be updated, and GraphicConverter 11 has a new update out today to make it play nice with Big Sur.  

    I always hated Catalina (first upgrade in a long time that degraded my workflow), but so far Big Sur is snappier and smoother.   
    A good night's rest has seemed to fix everything  B)

    No particular trouble installing on two Macs this morning. They did seem to do many more restarts than I am used to, but seeing how much has changed, that's not surprising.

    It is, in my opinion, an even bigger change in the appearance of the User Interface than back in September 2020 when I started using OSX Public Beta. I think Apple tried then to not disorient users of the old System 9 too much. Even then, there was quite a bit of outrage from people who felt forced to change from what was familiar. Apple was a little bolder this time.