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  • Apple Music rival Tidal accused of late royalty payments, inflating listener numbers

    I was done with Apple Music years ago when it completely destroyed my (legally) ripped collection of lossless music.  It also corrupted my library of 3,000+ past iTunes purchases -- something Apple has yet to fully fix.

    I still love Apple products, but I will be damned if I ever try Apple Music again.  And I sure hope Tidal doesn't fold. 
    1) That may have occurred because of you linking to Apple Music, but that's Apple issue, specifically with a bug(s) in their OS and/or app. That means you should be wary of Apple, in general, not Apple Music.

    2) After that happened did you at least decide to start backing up your data? At some point the user has to take responsibility for not taking precautions. That doesn't mean that Apple wasn't at fault, but it means you also have a personal responsibility. Like if a woman has a stroke while driving and runs off the road onto the sidewalk and hits you. While that's not your fault the car drove up on the sidewalk, if you walking and holding an iPad up to your face watching an episode of The Benny Hill Show on YouTube whilst walking there's a finger to be pointed at you, too.e>
    So you made some decent points. But streaming Tidal from an AppleTV, for example, digitally plugged into a high-end Amp with a high-end DAC does sound wonderful. As for my music files, I did have it backed up. But that isn't the point -- the files are fine, it's everything else that is the problem. Because the iTunes interface has become more draconian over the years, it has hobbled my entire music collection. For example, Apple "doubled" or "tripled" my purchases of about 2,000 songs on iTunes. It never charged me for this, but my Apple-sourced iTunes song history indicates that I made multiple purchases of many songs and albums. The result is that no matter how I arrange my library on iTunes, many, many albums have two and three versions of the identical song. And these files get pushed directly onto all of my apple devices, because the internal iTunes library indicates that I bought multiple versions. This eats up valuable space on my iPhone. It also makes these albums completely unlistenable, unless you want to listen to each song two or three times in repetition. Whenever I call into Apple to try to get it fixed (I have probably tried 3-4 times over the past couple years), I get put on hold for hours, and end up being hung up on or never called back. Additionally, my iTunes library file, which dates back to 2004, became completely corrupted by Apple Music when I unsubscribed. This was, of course, during the initial 90-day period back before Apple had Apple Music functioning well. But at that point, I just gave up on the whole damn thing. Rather than create a brand new library file, I just use Tidal now, and am very happy with it.
  • Apple Music rival Tidal accused of late royalty payments, inflating listener numbers

    Except that Tidal is the best music streaming service available.  It's the only service that will stream its entire catalogue in lossless data formats, making it the best format for serious audiophiles.  It also has an amazing host of extras -- music videos, advance rights to certain concert tickets, etc.

    I was done with Apple Music years ago when it completely destroyed my (legally) ripped collection of lossless music.  It also corrupted my library of 3,000+ past iTunes purchases -- something Apple has yet to fully fix.  

    I still love Apple products, but I will be damned if I ever try Apple Music again.  And I sure hope Tidal doesn't fold. 
  • Apple previews iMac Pro, the most powerful Mac ever built, coming in December

    Actually, to me, it looks like the opposite.

    The *biggest* complaints from the pro market all revolve around the perceived lack of customizability and expandability of the current Mac Pro.

    So what does Apple do?  They make one that will undoubtedly be even more proprietary and harder to customize and/or expand.

    Also, many professionals have dedicated, calibrated monitors that they use.  Why do they need an integrated 27" monitor?

    This, to me, is further evidence that Apple's current "pro" products are really just high-end enthusiast products that happen to work for some professionals.

    But we'll see.  It certainly looks like it will be a beautiful piece of hardware!
    tallest skilalmondrocadysamoriaphubert28
  • Stop panicking about Apple's rumored switch from Intel to its own chips in the Mac

    mario said:
    Typical consumers should not and will not care nor understand what you are even writing about here. They will just buy a Mac and use it.

    People who are concerned have vested interests in things continuing the same way.

    Things are not that simple if you are a software engineer. Transition from PPC to Intel wasn't as smooth as some like to believe. PPC was big endian and Intel is little endian.  If you had C/C++ or ObjC code that did low level bit twiddling and assumed byte order, you could not just recompile the code for new CPU arch. You had to re-write the some code in architecture portable way. People use and compile code from decades ago (I know I do), and having to re-comple everything again to get my tooling right is non-trivial task (that is if I can even find source repos for some of the things I use).

    There is also issue of virtualization. These days pretty much all software deployed to production is virtualized, even things like Node.js (JavaScript source code), and if you cannot install say Docker on your machine and test software as it will run in production (production is usually Linux on x86_64), then Mac becomes unviable software development option. 

    Considering that today majority of code committed on github.com is from Macs, this would impact quite a few people.

    Another issue is performance. High end Apple chips (which are by the way using 5 W TDP) are getting close to low power Intel CPUs, but currently there are no Apple CPUs that can compete with desktop Core i7 or i9 or Xeons. Not that Apple could not make one, but as it is now you will not get much faster CPU to emulate a slower one. It will be slower CPU emulating a faster one. Intel code on arm64 will run much slower, leading to poorer performance and use experience during transition.

    I just wanted to quote this one more time for a lucid, clear explanation of the issues surrounding this purported transition.

    I am an attorney at a large national firm, and we recently rolled out new MacBook Pros for hundreds of attorneys.  Our IT was able to accomplish this due to the excellent virtualization capabilities built into the current Intel x64 architecture.  My work computer now allows me to run osX for personal and daily activities, and to run a hyper secure virtualized environment (Windows-based) for work.

    I have always visualized the iOS-based operating systems to be for "casual use."  I own 5 apple TVs, a ton of iPads and iPhones, an Apple Watch, etc.  These work great on ARM-based architecture and they excel as such:  they are quick and efficient for media consumption and basic daily use.  

    The Mac line, to me, has always stood for more hardcore, versatile, professional-level work.  Plus, I like that I can run bootcamp and run some decedent computer games, etc., natively on Windows. 

    I'm no newb.  I understand that Apple's A-architecture can evolve and become more powerful.  But I still can't figure out, other than for Apple's own profitability and platform control, what possible benefits Apple would reap from switching its Mac line over to slower ARM chips?  It's unlikely (although not impossible) that the A-chips will catch up to Intel or even AMD's peak performance envelopes in the next decade.  So why are we doing this? 

    Anyway, nobody even knows if it will happen.  I'm keeping an open mind, but I'm also becoming more and more pessimistic.  The last couple years of Apple's products have, at least to me, indicated a transition away from serious users and the needs of serious users.
  • Ditching Touch ID in 'iPhone 8' wasn't Apple's first choice, was forced by technical restr...

    @Sog35: That assumes quite a few things. First off, while I am certainly not married to TouchID, a facial recognition system has tons of issues. The biggest of which is that I often need to unlock my phone when I am not looking at it or when my face is out of range of the camera. Examples include when I need to access my phone under a conference table discreetly at a meeting, or when I need to change songs when I am driving. Additionally, there might be issues (we'll see how it functions in practice) using facial recognition at night -- and I use my iPhone for reading at night and for sending out middle-of-the-night work e-mails. The TouchID home button had two things going for it: 1) You could find it by touch even when you weren't looking at the phone and/or the room was dark; and 2) You could unlock your phone without looking at it and without entering a password. Unless the new iPhone 8 has both of these capabilities, for my uses, it will be a step backward.
  • Amazon Alexa & Google's Assistant are inexcusably terrible at knowing when they're called

    This is the biggest bunch of crap. First off, Siri has lagged so far into third place in the digital assistant "wars" that this article comes off as a desperate Apple fanboy's attempt to find SOMETHING, ANYTHING that Siri is better at. Second off, there will always be false positives with digital assistants. Though I acknowledge that many of the false positives currently occurring can probably be improved, the bottom line is that language itself will always have false positives. Think of how many times you think someone says your name, but it's really another person with the same name in the room? Think of how many commercials say "Hey Alexa . . . ." Regardless, I have a 100% apple automated home, but I still use Alexa for my digital assistant. FIX SIRI!
  • Apple announces thinner MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, Touch ID, USB-C ports starting at $1799

    flaneur said:

    On the balance, as Apple's "premium" notebook offering, this thing is pretty unimpressive.

    The best part, by far, is the touch strip.  Hopefully developers are able to exploit its usefulness by integrating critical functions into easy-to-use gestures and buttons.  However, for people like me, who use my notebook in clamshell mode 90% of the time, the touch strip is useless (unless apple releases an external keyboard with one integrated).

    The downsides, however, are numerous:

    1) One-generation old processors, in a BRAND NEW model computer;

    2) HDD storage still heinously overpriced (high end Samsung 1TB SSDs can be had for $300, why is it a $400 UPGRADE to 1TB??);

    3) Ram still limited to 16GB (this doesn't affect me, but there are some professionals who will feel the pinch of this);

    4) All USB-C.  I find it shocking that, for the first time in Apple's history, if I go out and buy an iPhone 7 and a new MacBook Pro, the two are incompatible with one-another without a dongle/converter.

    At the very least, the new MacBook Pro should come with some sort of "docking strip" that plugs into a USB-C port and sports a host of legacy inputs.  But nothing like that is forthcoming.  Really, this thing should have had 3 USB-C ports, a USB 3.0 port, and potentially an HDMI-mini port.  Then, over time, phase out the USB 3.0 port and the HDMI port.

    I will probably buy a 15" model with 1TB + 460 Video Card.  But $3,300+tax is a tough pill to swallow with the above limitations.  Maybe when this is available at Adorama for $3,100 with free shipping and no sales tax I might bite.

    I guess, in short, my biggest issue isn't the fact that Apple wants to charge premium prices for this thing.  It is that the hardware is not premium-level hardware, by and large. 

    I do, however, hope that the touch strip takes off!

    The current generation processors are not availble in the quantities Apple needs, otherwise you'd get them. But now that the form factor has been updated, the processors will be integrated in as they become available.

    Your carping about memory price. A $100 surcharge over Samsung's retail seems low to me. How do you know if Samsung or whoever isn't overcharging Apple due to scarcity, for example? Do you think memory grows on trees?

    Because it's the "upgrade" price.  In other words, high bandwidth SSD's in the 1TB configuration are essentially a $300 part to the general public now, which means that Apple probably pays closer to $250, even with Apple's proprietary M2 interface.  The 512MB configuration probably costs apple ~$125.  So while it costs Apple ~$125 for the upgrade, they charge $400.

    This type of gouging didn't used to bother me back when I could just buy components and swap them myself.  But now that Apple uses a proprietary M2 interface, you are stuck paying the ridiculous prices.