Apple Music is a nightmare and I’m done with it | The Loop

I had high hopes for Apple Music. I really wanted it to work and become my default music streaming service, but after the problems I’ve experienced over the last couple of weeks, I’m disabling it altogether.

I really feel for Jim. He and I share the same love for music, even if our tastes are slightly different. I’ve had similar problems, which I outlined here. But these are just the latest problems related to Apple’s music in the cloud. iTunes Match has long been problematic, and issues that have been left unfixed in iTunes Match have migrated to Apple Music, or, more correctly, iCloud Music Library.

My solution is to only use Apple Music and iCloud Music Library on a test Mac, and on an iPod touch. There’s no way I’m letting my main music library go through the blender in iCloud Music Library.

Source: Apple Music is a nightmare and I’m done with it | The Loop

Apple has a lady problem: the new version of HealthKit still doesn’t track periods — Fusion

Last night, Apple pushed out iOS 8.2 to my iPhone, an update to its operating system. The blurb for the update promised “improvements to the Health app.” Finally, I thought. When HealthKit was first introduced last year, it came under criticism for not taking women’s health needs into consideration. The Apple app tracks an amazing assortment of possible health indicators: sleep, body mass index, number of times fallen, “electrodermal activity,” sleep, weight, sodium intake, copper intake, and even selenium intake. But it didn’t track the one thing most women want to track: their periods.

It seems kind of obvious that Apple should include this.

One note: it’s not HealthKit that the author of the article launched, but the Health app. The latter is an interface for the HealthKit framework. It might be possible for HealthKit to manage metrics other than those displayed in the Health app, allowing other apps to access that data. I’m not sure if this is the case, but I would expect that HealthKit might be extensible.

via Apple has a lady problem: the new version of HealthKit still doesn’t track periods — Fusion.

Six Colors: The MacBook doesn’t need you to love it, but someone will

A long time ago I learned an important lesson about being a product reviewer: Always consider the audience for a product. They’re who you’re writing for. I have a recent-model MacBook Air, so am unlikely to be interested in buying a new MacBook–but the facts of my personal relationship with technology should not really matter when I’m thinking about the bigger picture.

I think about that a lot at times like this, because I suspect a lot of the reaction to the MacBook among people who follow technology and Apple on the Internet comes from a similar place. People are often offended when a product exists that they wouldn’t buy, one that isn’t even targeted at them.

We are so used to Apple making shiny new stuff that we want to buy, that when a device appears whose design decisions are completely at odds with what we value, it’s off-putting. And that’s one reason why the MacBook (and the Apple Watch Edition, for that matter) drive some people batty.

Jason Snell nails it. Not every Apple product is for everyone.

I had the original MacBook Air, back in 2008, with the SSD. (I didn’t buy it; it was a gift from a client.) It was an overpriced computer – even more so with the SSD – but, wow, it was sleek and that SSD made up for any lack of speed the processor offered.

I loved that computer. I used it for about three years, then handed it down; it was still working until about a year ago.

I currently have a 13″ retina MacBook Pro as my second computer. It’s two years old, and it’s time for an upgrade. So the new Mac Book is for me. I don’t care if it’s not blazingly fast; it’ll still be faster than I need for a laptop. I’ve got a retina iMac for the stuff that hits the processor.

I get how some people are still holding on to old habits of using USB sticks to transfer data. Sneakernet’s still a thing, apparently? Not only has Apple tried to make the wireless transfer of files easier via AirDrop (when it works), but these days it’s easier than ever to share files via Dropbox and Google Drive and the like. Most people don’t need to use USB flash drives regularly. Apple shouldn’t build new tech to support people who are reluctant to give up old habits.

I actually often use sneakernet to transfer data to and from the MacBook Pro; or at least I did until recently. I had a two-year old AirPort Extreme, and only got about 3-4 MB/sec. I upgraded to the latest model, and I now get about 15 MB/sec; this is good, but I think we need faster wireless. If I’m copying a movie from my iMac to my laptop, it shouldn’t take ten minutes over wi-fi.

via Six Colors: The MacBook doesn’t need you to love it, but someone will.

The all-in-one Apple Watch spreadsheet | The Robservatory

By my count, Apple will be shipping 38 separate models of watches. There’s a gallery page at Apple’s site where you can page through all of the watches, and get the details on each specific model. You can also view the watches in the store, where you can find pricing info.

Both of these solutions, though, require lots of paging and scrolling to get all the details. I was curious as to how all the watches compared, so I pulled data from those sources and made one massive spreadsheet:

Rob Griffiths likes to make spreadsheets. He looked at each Apple Watch model, and noted the size and weight, of both cases and bands, and put it into one easy-to-read table.

What strikes me is the fact that, for example, the black sport band weighs 40 grams, and the white model 51 grams. Why would different colors weigh more or less, especially that much?

The one thing he didn’t note was the length of the bands (Rob, get back to work!). You can find that here.

via The all-in-one Apple Watch spreadsheet | The Robservatory.

The truth behind The Guardian’s negative Apple Watch story

Apple Watch is bringing people to their keyboards in droves, writing opinions and asking questions about Apple’s newest device. That’s a great thing–unless you represent many of the world’s larger luxury watchmakers and you write a purely negative article about Apple Watch for The Guardian.

So, yesterday, the UK newspaper The Guardian published three articles criticizing the Apple Watch in different ways. All of them were clearly click-bait, and presented specious arguments. But Jim Dalrymple, of The Loop, took offense to one of them, and, after doing some digging, found a huge conflict of interest. The author works for luxury watchmakers.

The truth behind The Guardian’s negative Apple Watch story.

Speaking with a few people in the podcasting sphere recently, I’ve realised that many people find the aspect of audio effects processing to be mystifying. While I’m no expert, I thought I might write about what I have learnt during my time editing radio shows and podcasts.

So, here it goes, but I apologise in advance if I’m teaching my grandmother to suck on those proverbial eggs.

Joe Nash, who edits the podcast I co-host, The Committed, wrote an interesting article about how he gets rid of the excess noise in our audio files. If you work with podcasts, or any kind of audio, it’s worth a read. There are no complicated techniques, just some simple ways to make sure voices sound better.

A Podcaster’s Guide To Noise Reduction — Medium.

Life After Cancer: How the iPhone Helped Me Achieve a Healthier Lifestyle — MacStories

I’ve been struggling to get back in shape after chemo.

Since being diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma (Stage IV) in late 2011, my life changed. Beyond the psychological and emotional consequences of how cancer affected me, my family, and my relationships, it is undeniable and abundantly clear that cancer took its toll on me from a physical perspective.

Last year, I decided to regain control of my body, my life habits, and my health. I started tracking everything I could about my activities, my exercise routine, the food I ate, and the time I spent working with my iPad instead of walking, sleeping, or enjoying time with my family. Since then, I’ve made a decision to not let cancer and its consequences define me any longer.

I want to be healthier, I want to eat better, and I want to take the second chance I was given and make the most of it. What started as an experiment has become a new daily commitment to improve my lifestyle and focus.

And it wouldn’t be possible without my iPhone.

A very moving story from Federico Viticci. He explains how Apple’s Health app helps him aggregate lots of different data streams, but also points out that he doesn’t rely on it to view the data. One of my gripes with the Health app is that its display is poor. The article is a great overview of the many apps you can use to track and enhance your health.

But, above all, Federico tells a great tale of beating cancer.

Life After Cancer: How the iPhone Helped Me Achieve a Healthier Lifestyle — MacStories.

My month as a HealthKit patient | Macworld

Worst of all is Apple’s own Health App, which takes a complex job–storing and visualizing all kinds of data about your health–and makes a pretty substandard job of it. For one thing, the charts it produces are hard to interpret, because it’s impossible to tell exactly what value is associated with each data point.

Marco Tabini writes something I’ve been meaning to say for a while. Apple’s Health app simply sucks; its data presentation is horrible. I can’t understand that Apple would release an app that is so un-user friendly.

via My month as a HealthKit patient | Macworld.

Before we start patting Apple on the back, let’s not. Expectations shouldn’t be so low that we applaud when tech companies forbid abusive behavior. This should’ve been prohibited from the beginning. After all, Apple knew that at least eight of its supplier factories were using bonded labor back in 2013, two audit reports ago.

Um, yeah… But also:

After all, this isn’t just an issue with Apple. It is something that every tech company with overseas suppliers needs to stop.

via Apple JUST Got Around to Banning 'Bonded Servitude' In Its Factories .

About The Loop Magazine | The Loop

I am moving the magazine to a monthly publication that will contain double the amount of stories that the bi-weekly edition published–that’s 8-10 stories per month. I’m currently finishing up the latest issue and it should be published this week. This will be the start of a new chapter for The Loop Magazine, and I’m sure it will be a successful one.

I’ve contributed a number of articles to The Loop Magazine, and I’m proud to be a part of it. If you haven’t read The Loop Magazine, you should check it out; you’ll find lots of great articles.

via About The Loop Magazine.