Jim Dalrymple on Apple Music →

July 22, 2015 |

Jim Dalrymple shares the reasons that moved him to deactivate Apple Music on all of his devices. It’s a frustrating story and, if these issues become widespread enough, he may not be the only one to do it. But there’s more:

As if all of that wasn’t enough, Apple Music gave me one more kick in the head. Over the weekend, I turned off Apple Music and it took large chunks of my purchased music with it. Sadly, many of the songs were added from CDs years ago that I no longer have access to. Looking at my old iTunes Match library, before Apple Music, I’m missing about 4,700 songs. At this point, I just don’t care anymore, I just want Apple Music off my devices.

I trusted my data to Apple and they failed. I also failed by not backing up my library before installing Apple Music. I will not make either of those mistakes again.

This is a disaster. Deleting actual files from a user’s device is such a sensitive task that it should never happen by accident.

My experience with Apple Music has been similarly underwhelming, especially the part about adding songs and playlists to my music library. It’s just a deeply unintuitive process and I don’t know how much longer I will put up with it.

So far I haven’t experienced any data loss, but I did make a full backup of my iTunes library before activating Apple Music, just in case. It was surprising to realize I just didn’t trust Apple to get this right on their first attempt. That’s telling.

Apple continues to enjoy a stellar reputation for services and devices that mostly “just work”, but screw-ups like this one certainly don’t help.

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Craig Hockenberry on the Mac App Store →

July 22, 2015 |

Craig Hockenberry:

It doesn’t take a genius to see that Apple is doing something it rarely does: a half-assed job.

As developers, we completely understand how much work it is to announce these kinds of initiatives and get them working on multiple platforms. It’s not easy and takes a lot of resources. But it’s clear that these precious resources are not being allocated.

He makes a compelling argument that Apple’s continued neglect of the Mac App Store is hurting developers, users, and ultimately Apple itself.

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Which 50mm lens shot this? →

July 21, 2015 |

Matthew Gore has an interesting experiment going on over at Light & Matter. He set up a quiz with several images that were taken with one of three lenses: the Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM, the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art, or the Canon 50mm f/1.2 L. The point of the quiz is to realize that the difference in image quality between these lenses may not be as significant as the price difference between them seems to suggest.

I took the quiz and got 7 out of 14 correct answers for a 50% score, with the average score being 45.24% so far among all people that have taken the quiz. But while I did slightly better than the average, I still felt like I was guessing my way through the quiz more often than not. Other than the easily recognizable bokeh balls of the Sigma Art lens, all images looked pretty much the same to me.

Taking this quiz was a great experience and at the end of the day, I consider Matthew’s point to be more than proved: if the differences between those three lenses are so small than I cannot reliably tell them apart, spending several hundred to a thousand dollars more for one of the fancier lenses seems hardly justifiable.

I wonder what the results would be like if someone were to make a similar quiz comparing, for example, the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 Micro Four Thirds lens with the Voigtlander 42.5mm f/0.95 and the Panasonic Leica Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2. Like with the Canon 50mm lenses, the price difference between these MFT lenses amounts to over a thousand dollars, and my gut tells me most people wouldn’t be able to reliably tell them apart.

Food for thought, indeed.

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How to make a Hattori Hanzō katana →

July 21, 2015 |

Have you ever wondered how traditional Japanese katanas were made centuries ago? YouTube show Man at Arms shows you every step of the incredibly complex process by forging a replica of a Hattori Hanzō katana from the movie Kill Bill.

If you’re still feeling curious after watching the 18-minute video, you can also check out how they made a replica of Sephiroth’s Masamune sword from Final Fantasy VII, or Squall’s Gunblade from Final Fantasy VIII. So awesome.

Via Kottke.

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AnandTech reviews the Apple Watch →

July 20, 2015 |

Spectacular review by Joshua Ho and Brandon Chester. AnandTech is usually the best site when it comes to hardware-focused reviews, so I was very interested to see how they’d review the Apple Watch, when there is effectively zero information publicly available on its hardware.

Apple’s playing it pretty close to the chest with the S1, but AnandTech has done a remarkable job of shining some light on its hidden secrets. That alone makes this review well worth a read.

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My review of this fantastic Micro Four Thirds lens was published yesterday.

The Leica 25mm is one of my favorite lenses and, even though it’s starting to show its age, it continues to be one of the very best pieces of glass for the MFT system. Head on over to Tools & Toys for the full, in-depth review.

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Apple updates iPod touch, nano and shuffle →

July 15, 2015 |

Jim Dalrymple, The Loop:

Apple on Wednesday updated its iconic iPods with new colors and a host of new features for the iPod touch.

Apple went all out with the iPod touch, giving the device the A8 chip, the same one used in the iPhone 6. Apple told me yesterday that the CPU in the new touch is six times faster than its predecessor and 10 times faster in graphics performance.

The camera has also been substantially improved. Looks like fans of the long-neglected iPod touch have good reasons to celebrate.

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Today is Amazon Prime Day →

July 15, 2015 |

Prime Day is a global shopping event, offering more deals than Black Friday, exclusively for Prime members. On Wednesday, July 15 new and existing members will be able to shop thousands of Lightning Deals, Deals of the Day, and will receive unlimited Free Two-Day Shipping. Members will find deals starting at midnight PDT, with new deals starting throughout the day, as often as every ten minutes. Not a Prime member? Try Prime today and get immediate access to deals on July 15.

This is a great opportunity to save a few bucks on Amazon. Use this link to do your shopping and you’ll be supporting Analog Senses while you’re at it. It won’t cost you anything extra and it will help keep the lights on around here. Thanks!

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