Apple Blu-Ray iPhone iPod iTunes Rumor

Kevin Rose Says iPod Price Drops, New iPod Nano, iTunes 8.0, and Blu-ray in OS X 10.5.6

Kevin Rose says that there will be a skinnier longer iPod Nano that will be more rounded released sometime between now and the end of September. Along with the iPod Nano update the iPod Touch will be getting small cosmetic changes and will be the first device to get the 2.1 software update (iPhone getting it shortly afterward). There should also be price cuts in the iPod line to differentiate them from the iPhone, with these price cuts Apple hopes the iPhone won’t cannibalize so many of the iPod sales.

iTunes 8.0 will also be released soon with many new features and functionality. He also says that OS X 10.5.6 may have integrated Blu-ray support allowing Apple to release Macs with Blu-ray drives.

Now the question is whether or not you should believe these rumors. Kevin’s track record hasn’t been the greatest. We all remember when he said that the iPhone wasn’t going to have two batteries, but Kevin seems very confident in these statements and all of it is very possible (no outrageous claims here, except maybe the changes to the iPod Nano hardware).

I’m not going to be holding my breath for much of this but all of it will surely be very welcomed changes to Apple’s product line.

Kevin Rose

Apple iPhone iPod Rants

Do We Really Need Cut And Paste?

I”ve spent the past year trying to figure out why everyone really NEEDS cut and paste in the iPhone. Since the day I purchased the iPhone (June 29, 2007) I’ve probably only been in 3 situations where I wished I had cut and paste available to me.

I can’t name a single one of those instances however because they aren’t memorable enough to remember them. But, I’m going to guess that at least 2 of those 3 times were putting in a password for a WAP protected Wifi network, but, since I don’t seem to have the world of troubles with the iPhone keyboard like everyone else does I was able to input the password without having to retry it at all.

You see, the iPhone is a computer, I can’t argue with that but because of it’s ability to manipulate data in outside-of-the-box ways traditional cut and paste doesn’t really apply. For instance, if I wanted to post on Flickr a photo that I found on a web page while browsing Safari I could just tap and hold on the image and save it to my camera roll, open up Mobile Fotos, and upload it to Flickr. That takes care of most of the image cutting and pasteing, now how about text. Well, text is a little bit more tricky but I just don’t understand why it is necessary at all, if you want to quote text for an email, forget about it and just send an email with a link to the web page (which you can do on the iPhone).

Now let’s forget about the arguement that you don’t need cut and paste because I’ve had many conversations with people trying to explain to them why cut and paste isn’t that important (in my opinion they didn’t have very good arguements but for some reason the debate just kept going around in circles), so let’s just try and figure out if there is even an elegant solution to the problem.

In many applications it could (I guess) be elegantly designed so that the application would guess what piece of text you want to be copied, like a tweet from an app like Twitterrific, but the question is then how would you paste it, I guess they could put a button near the keyboard or near the text box within another application but that of course would clutter the screen. Many people however would like to copy text from Safari and I just don’t think that will ever happen, I know that MagicPad thinks that there text selection method is nice and easy but for the average user it isn’t. Trying to explain the distinction between double tapping and single tapping then holding would just be too complicated, not to mention how confusing it would be to someone who accidentally called the text selection tool when they didn’t want it.

The fact is that with a touchscreen interface, doing copy and paste isn’t hard, but doing it in a way that would be easy for users to understand and wouldn’t clutter the screen with buttons is incredibly hard. I’m not holding my breath for copy and paste on the iPhone and I don’t think others should as well (unless you think has a future, which it might).

Apple iTunes Media Rumor

Apple May Offer iTunes Subscription In Late September

Many Apple rumors sites have recently began reporting on the possibility of Apple offering an iTunes subscription option. Many other online music sites have been offering subscriptions for quite some time now but the big one (iTunes) hasn’t yet.

The rumor says that about half of the music currently available on the iTunes music store would be available to subscribers. The pricing would also be incredibly cheap (compared to some others which often charge $15 per month). How does $129.99 per year sound? How about $179.99 per year with MobileMe bundled in?

That comes out to roughly $11 per month for just the music subscription and about $15 a month for the MobileMe bundle. Many say that this subscription offering would be announced in late September, when they normally have their iPod event (and I would agree with them).

But, the question now is will it persuade those pirating music to go legit? My guess is that it wouldn’t. I’ve talked to many people I know that do pirate music and they have said that $10 is too much, they are already getting it for free and have absolutely no restrictions. I think the only way to persuade pirates is to give them MP3s for a low monthly price ($5-10).

I’ve said that a music subscription offering would be awesome but I just don’t know if I consume enough music for it to be economical for me. I am probably only interested in maybe 1 album per month, and since I can buy the CD for about $10 I don’t know why paying for a subscription would be worth it. On the other hand, paying for a subscription would allow me to try a lot more music that I might not have been interested in otherwise.

9 to 5 Mac

Gaming iPhone iPod Video

“Real Racing” For the iPhone

There have been several racing games for the iPhone, from Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D to GTS World Racing, but Firemints crack at the genre might be the most realistic and possibly the best yet.

Firemint is an Australian developer that has developed this game with accelerometer steering and multiplayer modes over Wifi. The game also allows you to upload your best racing times to a central website that will let you compete with others.

What I find very interesting is that the lap data can be converted into replay videos that are sent to YouTube. The game will be out shortly before Christmas of this year, but there is no word yet on pricing.

Replay footage after the jump.

Apple Beta iPhone iPod Rants

Apple Pulls Push Notification From 2.1 Beta 4 SDK

Apple has come up with a solution to not having background applications on the iPhone, the ability for developers to push notifications to the device through Apple’s servers. This feature had been promised to have a September release date but in the latest version of the iPhone SDK (2.1 Beta 4) the feature was pulled.

Many have thought that this meanse we won’t be seeing push notifications until next year but I don’t see that as very likely. I think we will still see push notifications this year but I don’t know if it will be released in September, October is a much more realistic time frame.

Applications like AIM and Twitterrific are dieing for functionality like this since both of them would benefit greatly from being able to send notifications to its users. But, I guess they’ll have to wait at least another month before they’ll be able to put that functionality into their apps.

What I find very odd though is that it push notification was put into the SDK and then pulled out, it would seems much more logical to me for Apple to keep it in their but instead tell developers when they will be able to include it in their applications. This way developers would still be able to build apps around it but Apple would still be able to change it if they needed to. The only reason I can come up with for Apple pulling it is if they need considerable changes to the code, the kinds of changes that would break any developers app if written against the old code. It may be that Apple realized that how they were doing it initially would just eat too much battery life from previous generation phones and would have to be changed to keep those users happy.

I’m really looking forward to push notifications on the iPhone and although I want it as soon as possible I would rather wait an extra month or two and still have decent battery life then to get notifications in September and have terrible battery life.

HDTV Home Theater Media

HDfury2 Strips HDCP From HDMI Connections

HDfury2 is a brand new adapter that allows users of displays without HDMI (or with HDMI that doesn’t support HDCP) to watch 1080p content via VGA or Component video.

The device has a built in deciphering converter that makes whatever HDMI box that you plug into it think that it has an HDCP connection with the display. There is also an audio jack that channels analog and digital optical formats.

It works with both PAL and NTSC and will cost $249 when it ships next month.

Curt Palme

Application iPhone iPod Media Podcasts

Podcast Aggregator for the iPhone

10 days ago I wrote about the lack of a podcast aggregating appliction for the iPhone. At the end of the post I said “So developers get to work, podcast enthusiasts are waiting” and I guess there was at least one developer working on one.

The application is called Podcaster and it is from the maker of which is a web app that lets you aggregate podcasts (with obvious drawbacks). doesn’t allow you to listen to podcasts when you are offline but the native application Podcaster will allow you to download podcast episodes directly to the iPhone to listen to/watch while you are offline.

The application was still in beta testing last week and the last time I knew was going to be submitted to the App Store last Friday, which means hopefully it will be available to all some time this week.

The native podcaster streams] just like the web app but it also allows you to download podcasts and listen to them when your offline (iPod Touch) or on edge(Old iPhone).

The interface is broken out in 3 sections.
My Podcasts – Displays all your podcasts. This screen also allows you to refresh your podcast list to see if there are any new items.
Unplayed – Displays unplayed podcasts.
Downloads – This is where you can see all your downloaded items.

Initially all sections have no items. It is up to you to subscribe to podcasts. We have provided several ways to subscribe. The easiest of which is to search our Podcast Directory. You can search by podcast title. If you cant find what you are looking for, you can use 1 of the other 3 methods to subscribe. Import from account. Import by feed url and import by opml url.

After you have setup your podcast list. You are ready to listen. Simply select the item you want and click play. The podcast starts streaming in the media player. You also have the option to download the podcast. We have put a max limit of 40 MB for this current release but that is temporary and will be lifted in future updates. You can download as many podcasts as will fit on your iPhone or iPod Touch. –


Internet Media

Pandora Is Near Closing Down

Pandora is an internet radio service that uses the music genome project to give you personalized radio stations based on songs and artists that you like. You aren’t able to pick songs specifically but you can fine tune what the radio station plays by giving each song a thumbs up or thumbs down.

Pandora has also released an application for the iPhone that lets you listen to those internet radio stations on the go. The app is considered by many (and I) to be the best iPhone app out there.

But, even with its 1 million plus users Tim Westergren (founder) has stated that the service is approaching a “pull-the-plug kind of decision.” All of this is happening because last year internet radio stations were hit with incredibly high fees by a federal panel for every song played on their stations. At that time many internet radio stations just shut down, Pandora however has been able to hold on until now but who know what the future will hold for the service.

Rep. Howard L. Berman has been leading a fight that would arrange a few last minute deals between web radio stations and SoundExchange (the company that represents artists and record companies) that would reduce the fees and hopefully keep these internet radio stations in business. Westergren isn’t waiting forever though, saying “the moment we think this problem in Washington is not going to get solved, we have to pull the plug because all we’re doing is wasting money.”

There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot that we can do, the only things I would suggest one do to save Pandora, is visit (where they list several things you can do to help) and subscribe to Pandora, it only costs $36 a year and it will help them out immensely.



Twitter Ends SMS Updates For UK Users

In a move that will help Twitter save a lot of money and hopefully improve the service for the bulk of the users, they have decided to stop sending SMS updates to UK users.

The reason for this is that (according to Twitter) it costs them $1,000 per user per year to support SMS in the UK, and that’s with a cap of 250 updates per week per user. The fees in the UK are simply too high for Twitter to pay and it reached the point where they realized something needed to be done.

Twitter is seeming to pull more and more features away form its users and I haven’t seen any progress towards bringing them back. I don’t want to go too far down this rabbit hole because I know how much non Twitter users hate hearing about Twitter, but Twitter needs to change. The only improvement is that Twitter is down much less often, but I don’t really call that a change because the service is up as much as it was about a year ago.

I understand that a lot of the features that have been taken away are still possible with api calls but I don’t see the developers stepping in. I hope developers come up with some way to build in track-like features into their Twitter clients because not having track is the biggest issue (that isn’t even that big) I have with Twitter.

Random Tech

Netflix Having Shipping Issues -Update

Netflix is having some more issues with their shipping system meaning some people are experiencing delays. Like the great company Netflix is though they are figuring out exactly who was effected by this problem and are going to be issuing credits to those people.

Yet again Netflix is showing their commitment to good customer service. I personally haven’t seen any slow downs in the service but just know that the people who did are going to be getting credit for it makes me feel really good subscribing to Netflix.


Update: I actually might have been affected by the shipping problem, here is a copy of the note sent to me about it:

Dear Michael,

Our shipping system is unexpectedly down. We received a DVD back from you and should have shipped you a DVD, but we likely have not. Our goal is to ship DVDs as soon as possible, and we will keep you posted on the status of your DVD shipments.

We are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused. If your DVD shipment is delayed, we will be issuing a credit to your account in the next few days. You don’t need to do anything. The credit will be automatically applied to your next billing statement.

Again, we apologize for the delay and thank you for your understanding. If you need further assistance, please call us at 1-888-638-3549.

-The Netflix Team

Apple Cell Phones iPhone Rants

In Reply to Ars Technica, What Apple Needs To Fix

Yesterday Ars Technica posted this article talking about what is still wrong with the iPhone 3G, I suggest everyone read it first before reading this post. This post is just a reply to it point by point showing why they are wrong on most of them.

Activation: Not that big of an issue, it was only an issue the first week or so and that is to be expected, the only reason we can complain about activation issues though is because last year it was done so radically differently.

Cracks: This is a huge issue, not only in the iPhone 3Gs but also in the MacBooks, it is very possible that this is just a manufacturing issue with the type of plastic used in the white models. I just kind of wish they would go back to the aluminum and plastic back instead.

Software: Software issues are no longer their, and if you think they are you need to read my tips talking about how you can fix these issues.

F*cking NDA: The reason for the NDA is actually because of intellectual property, I truly believe that Apple still thinks there are a lot of patents that could be written up form the SDK, the NDA is keeping it from going public and therefore are still patentable by Apple.

3G or not 3G, that is the question: I think most of the issues mentioned here, switching from 3G to EDGE at odd times may just be an issue with the iPhone software itself. The iPhone is supposed to intellegently switch between the 3G and 2G networks to conserve battery life, it is possible that this feature hasn’t had all the kinks worked out of it yet and it will be fixed in September.

Now What: It’s strange to me that the spotty 3G coverage and the iPhone SDK NDA are the two things that Ars Technica choose to highlight as the worst, which (to me at least) are incredibly minimal compared to the cracks, you see, the NDA is only really relevant to developers (I know we could get into an arguement about how what affects defelopers ultimately affects users but we won’t get into that right now) and the spotty 3G coverage only affects users in certain cities. I don’t know the exact numbers but I would be willing to bet that there are nearly as many users of the iPhone 3G in 2G networks then there are on 3G networks which means that only about half of the users are affected at all by the weird 3G coverage.

It is obvious that the iPhone 3G has faults but the only question that really needs answering is whether or not it is the best smartphone, I personally believe it is and I know of about 9 million other people who think so as well. I would never switch to a Windows Mobile phone or a Nokia phone because I think the iPhone is the best, not because I’m a fanboy but because from my experience the iPhone is the easiest to use with the most functionality.

Cell Phones Rumor

Leaked Ad Depicts Palm Centro 2

The ad above seems to be a leaked ad of the upcoming Palm Centro 2 smartphone. There hasn’t been any official confirmation from Palm, but we usually don’t expect companies to confirm leaked products until they are ready to announce them.

What’s even more interesting about this ad above is that this Centro 2 does not have a QWERTY keyboard but does have dedicated media keys and an Opera browser. I never would have thought of Palm as a company that would release a phone that didn’t have a QWERTY keyboard but (in my opinion) this would be a really smart move for them, especially since the phone looks darn good, I wouldn’t give up my iPhone for it but for those who want a smartphone on a network other than AT&T this looks like it’s going to be a great option.