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    DOWNLOAD — GCN Version: On this week’s all-star episode, we feature Josh Centers, Managing Editor for TidBITS, and author of “Take Control of Apple TV” and other titles. On the agenda is his conspiracy theory about Apple Music and the brief dustup with top-selling artist Taylor Swift. You’ll also hear his speculations about the next Apple TV, Apple’s ongoing support for Macs and a brief discussion about whether Apple’s commitment to Intel lessens the possibility of using ARM processors on the Mac.

    You’ll also hear from prolific tech author Joe Kissell, who will recount 11 “stupid” backup methods and why you should avoid them. The list includes Apple’s Time Machine, which he says has been the source of occasional problems that require you to backup everything from scratch. He’ll also present a reality check about the state of security on the Mac, with a focus on issues with Adobe Flash and Oracle’s Java, and whether you should consider buying security software.

    Click to hear our latest episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — June 27, 2015

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    About Apple Music Audio Quality

    June 19th, 2015

    All right, so Apple Music doesn’t debut until June 30, but already there are loads of perceptions about the service, and certainly music quality is an important issue. What we do know is that it’ll be very much based on Beats Music intermixed with Apple’s own unique bag of tricks. How it fares against such market leaders as Spotify won’t be known for a while, but it’s a sure thing Apple is working with a huge advantage, some 800 million credit cards registered with iTunes, and a three-month free trial.

    No doubt, Apple will be pushing hard for you to take the trial subscription, expecting that many of you will keep it going, since $9.99 (or $14.99 for a family of six) isn’t such a huge investment for access to most of a music library with 30 million tracks. I suppose if you’re used to buying music, you might have suspicions. It’s not that Apple will go out of business tomorrow, but wouldn’t you like to know that your music is still available if you decide to ditch the account, or you miss a payment?

    Continue Reading...


    Macs — Forever!

    June 18th, 2015

    From the time that Michael Dell first claimed that Apple should shut down the company and return the money to investors, the critics have been claiming our favorite fruit company ought to be dead and buried. Or it will be shortly. Even when sales and profits hit record levels, it wasn’t taken seriously by some. It must be a fluke. Reality will take over someday soon. Just you wait!

    After the WWDC events in 2014 and 2015, some members of the tech media pronounced them failures. Last year, it was the result of not having any new hardware to announce. Said pundits failed to understand the meaning of the letter “D” in that acronym, which obviously stands for “developers.”

    And, yes, I realize Apple has sometimes used a WWDC to announce hardware that’s usually focused towards professionals, such as the 2013 launch of a redesigned Mac Pro. But still!

    Continue Reading...


    Is Apple Killing iPad Productivity Choices?

    June 16th, 2015

    In yesterday’s column, I celebrated the addition of Split View and other enhanced iPad multitasking options for iOS 9. True, Split View will require an iPad Air 2, minimum,, but it represents a significant improvement, one that will provide more opportunities for being productive on these tablets. The feature might also pave the way for an even larger iPad, which some call iPad Pro, which may arrive with the fall model refresh.

    All good things to be sure. But there are limitations on what developers can do under Apple’s sandboxing restrictions, and that might become the deal killer for people with the sort of workflow I have.

    As most of you know, I host two nationally syndicated radio shows, and use Rogue Amoeba’s Audio Hijack to grab the audio from Skype and mix it with my mic. My current layout consists of a Behringer mixer with a USB interface and a set of mics that change depending on my needs. I normally use a Blue Yeti Pro, which has both traditional XLR and USB ports.

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    The iPad and Productivity

    June 16th, 2015

    For many of you, the iPad is mostly a consumption device, or screen. You use it to watch movies, read books. Productivity is limited to browsing and checking your email, Facebook and Twitter connections. While there are serious level productivity apps available for the platform, including Apple’s Pages and Microsoft Word, the iPad falls down seriously when you actually try to work on a document.

    Under these circumstances, you’ve essentially returned to the 1984 Mac, before MultiFinder multitasking was introduced. You worked with a single app at a time. Quit one app, launch another. I suppose it was all right for importing a word processing document into a page layout app. By 1986, the Switcher app, predecessor to a workable multitasking system, let you preload some apps, and click from one to the next.

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