iPad 3 Eve: What I Hope To Hear and See

First off, let me caveat this by saying that I do not own and iPad of any generation. Yet. I plan on fixing that over the summer. However, for the interim, I’m perfectly content with my iPhone.

Tomorrow, Tim Cook et al will take the stage in Cupertino and announce the next generation of iPad, supposedly called iPad 3, or possibly iPad HD. Or, as I’m hoping, iPadS. The strong rumor is that an iPad Mini is coming down the pike–a 7-8″ tablet that would have all the functionality of a typical iPad, just in a smaller form factor. I would much prefer the smaller version for any number of reasons, but the over-riding factor is sheer size management.

My iPhone already has a 3.5 screen. I like it. It works for my needs, and it does the job just fine for the apps I use. However, a 7″ screen on an iPad would give me 4 times more real estate. Using Garageband would be *so* much easier. The real kicker would be a 128GB model. I think that would probably push me over the edge to getting one.

As far as the new regular sized model goes, I really have no expectations. I mean … at this point, NOT having a retina display is almost laughable, and from all the regular Apple pundit websites (e.g. TUAW, Cult of Mac, 9 to 5 Mac, et al), there’s no reason to assume that it won’t. However, all that means is that every iPad app out there is going to have to upgrade to look semi-decent on the new iPad.

iPhone 4S IS OFFICIAL

First and foremost, it shoots 1080p video. For me, that is absolutely HUGE. For all the concerts my wife and I attend, this is big. BIG. BIIIIIG! Not to mention the overall quality of the camera is vastly improved over the 4. This might be a good enough reason to buy the 4S instead of waiting for the 5. i’m still trying to justify a reason. If it comes in a 64GB model, i’m almost definitely in.

Looks like data speeds have gotten a big bump as well. The “theoretical maximum” is 14.4MBPs, as opposed to the 4’s 7.2MBPs. Hmm. Not sure that’s exactly a deal-swinger for me.

Still holding my breath to see if the 5 is announced in any way. Doesn’t have to be released today, or even this month or year, but it has to be soon.

iCloud Goes Live 12 October

THIS is the news I’ve been waiting for! I can’t wait to implement this little ditty. Even at $25 a year for iTunes to match my library and upload the list to its cloud server … that’s just awesome.

Photos, videos, music … everything can be pushed to all your iOS devices. If I take a picture on my camera, it can be cloud-pushed to my wife’s phone, or our iPod Touch, or any other iOS device we use under the same username. That’s awesome. If my wife downloads the new They Might Be Giants CD, it will automatically be cloud-pushed to my phone and iPod Touch.

I can’t wait for this service to go live. WHOO!

They Day of Reckoning is Upon Us

For months, we’ve heard the rumors. “2 phones?”  “World phone?” “Upgrades?” In about 4+ hours, we’ll have answers. At 10 am Pacific time, Apple is holding a media event to discuss their future products. Supposedly up on the docket:

  • Announcement of at least 1 new phone, or as many as 3: 4S, 5, and possible low-cost iPhone.
  • Demonstration of iOS 5
  • The way ahead for ipods and other hardware
  • Possibly more iCloud discussion

That is in no particular order, but those are the major discussion points for today, unless I’m mis-reading about 5 different sites.

I’ve already made up my mind that I will not buy the iPhone 4S. I’m waiting for the 5. If they announce that today, fantastic. I’ll be excited to get my hands all over it. If they only announce the 4S, I will happily bide my time with my 4 until such time that the 5 is released.

Problem: One of the latest rumors I’ve seen circulating is that the 5 is going to be exclusive to Sprint. Currently, I’m with AT&T. This is not an issue because, quite frankly, I’m not at all an AT&T fan and will gladly jump ship when the 5 sets sail.

If you’ve been living under a rock and are not familiar with the reasons to upgrade to even the 4S, allow me to list them here for you. These are culled from sites like tuaw.com, cultofmac.com, and 9to5mac.com.

  • A5 dual processor (by comparison, the 4 uses the A4 processor, and the 3GS uses a 600 MHZ processor).
  • 8 MP camera with larger lens and sensor (should greatly improve low-light images so they don’t look so grainy and crappy)
  • POSSIBLE larger screen. Could be as large as 4.44″. Considering the 4 sports a 3.5″ screen, that is a HUGE upgrade!
  • iOS 5. The list for the upgrades on this is long and ridiculous, but they are AWESOME. My favorite is the iOS wireless updating. No longer do I have to tether my device to my desktop take my device to an Apple or AT&T store to be upgraded! It will all be done over the air. THAT is fantastic news.
  • 16GB, 32GB AND *dum da da DUUUUM!* 64GB models!!

That’s the short of it. I can’t wait to see what Apple has up their sleeve today. I couldn’t sleep from anticipation.

Happy Apple Day everyone.

Google Music vs. Apple iCloud

So, you were asking about what the benefit is to using Apple’s match vs. Google Music. I think I have a pretty good list of pros and cons. Being the pseudo-Apple-Fanboi that  I’ve been accused of being in the past, I’ll list the pros and cons of Apple first.

PROS

  • Cost. At $25 a year for unlimited cloud storage, I’ll take that.
  • Match. Doesn’t matter what low bit-rate your file is in: if Apple finds a match, your song is automatically converted to 44Khz/256kbps. Now … if your file is 320Kbps/48000Khz, I don’t know what they do. I imagine your song would be down-converted on their server, but then again, it’s just a match—it’s not like your file on your computer is going to be downgraded, just whatever Apple can match.
  • Unlimited storage. Seriously. I guess they can do that because they’re really just maintaining a database of what songs you “own.” One song can be proliferated to thousands of users since it’s just matching the actual song file to what’s loaded in your database.

CONS

  • User experience. This, in my mind, is THE BIGGEST drawback. You don’t stream your tunes to any device. In order to use them, you have to have them physically on your device. In my mind, that’s not actual cloud service. Cloud storage, sure, but not actual use. If I’m in the middle of Yellowstone, and I have a real jones-on to listen to Cranes’ Loved  CD and I don’t have it on my phone already, I have to open iTunes and download it. Free to do so, sure, but it’s still not playing FROM the cloud.
  • Device storage size still does matter. If your collection is 500GB (which isn’t surprising by any stretch), and your phone/device holds a maximum of 64-160GB, HOW can you have access to your entire collection at any one time? Simple answer: you can’t. You get to pick and choose what you want to listen to. Even then, if you grow bored with what’s on your phone, you have to delete what you currently have to make way for the new material you want to download. Currently, in iOS iTunes, you CANNOT delete songs from your device without connecting to desktop iTunes. Lame. Very, very lame. This will change when iOS 5 is released, though as of whatever iOS 5 beta release was current as of June 2011, you could only delete one track at a time. Boo. I would hope that the option to delete an album at a time will be integrated in future betas or the final release.

Okay, those are my major hypes/gripes about Apple’s cloud system for now. To date, I haven’t really had a chance to test drive Google’s music system much, but at a cap of 20,000 songs, I really don’t see where I *need* to test drive it much beyond that. Like I said, I have close to 40,000 songs. At a 20,000 song  cap, I’d need multiple accounts just to store all my music. That’s retarded. However, to Google’s credit and Apple’s discredit, Google’s service is actual streaming. Fair enough.

Anyway, I’m sold on the Apple option, if for no other reason than I have ALL my music in one cloud-based storage. And yah—truthfully, I’m not going to be interetsed in listening to all 500GB at once, so … whatever. ‘sides, I have a feeling that Apple will be offering a stremaing service soon enough.

iTunes and iCloud First Thoughts

It is here. iCloud is now a reality. What does that mean for those of us with an iTunes account?

Truthfully, I’m not sure.

Here’s my thing. I have Audiogalaxy installed on my phone. It’s free. From anywhere I can get a semi-decent signal–wi-fi or 3G–I can listen to my entire music collection … not just 25000 songs worth. APparently, that’s the cap on how many songs you can have iTunes match. Why there’s a cap at all is beyond me, but whatever. There is. At an average of approximately 10 songs per CD, that’s 2500 CDs. I’m fairly certain the average listener doesn’t have that much.

I do. And them some. So what am I supposed to do? I can’t create 2 accounts because my phone can only be recognized by one account at a time. If I try downloading songs from another account, I’m sure I’ll get lambasted for trying to. So that’s not really an option.

Now I’m back to the fact that Audiogalaxay has EVERYTHING I own available through its app. Granted, I can’t download a particular song … but I do not have to because IT’S ON MY FRIGGIN’ HARD DRIVE AT HOME.

To be fair, I do see one application where iTunes in the Cloud could be useful. It makes for a handy back-up system. I’d create multiple accounts to host 25000 songs each. Ha ha! Then if a hard drive dies or goes kaput, I can re-download them. But then again, where their songs are only encoded at 256kbps, mine are all encoded at 320kbps. Gain some hard drive space; lose some sound quality. And yes–I’m one of “those” audiophiles.

One thing I *really* like about this new cloud service is the availability of apps I’ve long since forgotten I had due to a reformat and loss of all apps. THAT is pretty cool. ANY app I’ve ever purchased is available to download. Slick. Hopefully, Apple doesn’t “fix” that little hiccup (cuz it kind of seems like it shouldn’t be that way for some reason, right?)

Anyway, I’ll reserve judgment for when I actually start using the service. Maybe I’ll find more to like. Maybe I won’t. For now though, I’m content to download my old apps!

 

iDevice Stuff

So, hmm. Somehow, I’ve amassed an iPod 160GB, iPhone 4 32GB, and now I have an iPod Touch 2nd gen 16GB. Not sure how this happened. It’s nice to have another touch device, but … it’s only a 2nd gen, and I’m not sure how well it’s handling iOS 4.2.1.

On my iPod, I have some of my music–mostly new stuff, but there’s a healthy mix of older stuff too. My iPhone holds ALL new stuff–that’s it. iPod Touch … nothing, but that’s just because I just got it. I think eventually it will house just apps–games that my kids can play, games I can play … stuff like that. Things that don’t require an internet connection because the best I can do is run wi-fi, which is great if I’m at home or in a wi-fi area (which at work  I am not, so that can automatically rule out apps like Pandora, Audiogalaxy, etc).

Very disappointed with having little to no service at work. Supposedly, we’re moving locations in a few weeks, so hopefully that’ll provide an opportunity to get better signal reception, but I doubt it. I swear these walls are made of lead.

Anyway, it’s nice having all these devices, but what I’d really like is one device where I can store ALL my music and ALL my apps (which are significant in number) on one device. The newest iPod Touch houses 64GB. My iPod Classic 160GB houses about half my music at best. And I’m only going to be collecting more, so … come on. I don’t need the thing to be “the thinnest” or “the slickest.” I *just* want something to keep all my music in onep place, other than my desktop hard drives.

Someday …

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