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March 25, 2017 (DOWNLOAD — Free Version): Each week, Gene speaks directly to the industry’s movers and shakers, including corporate leaders, industry analysts, and regular panels that feature the most respected journalists who cover personal technology.

On this week’s all-star episode, we feature outspoken blogger and podcaster Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy.” Gene and Kirk briefly discuss the probe by French authorities into alleged emission faking by more and more car makers, the latest being Mercedes-Benz. Kirk describes the new features in iTunes 12.6 for Mac and Windows and some of the glitches he’s discovered that Apple needs to fix. The discussion moves to the modest March iPad refresh from Apple, and what might come next. There’s a brief debate between Gene and Kirk about the potential for the iPad as a productivity device. Gene says it could be better, while Kirk believes that power users should stick with their Macs.

You’ll also hear from columnist Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer. During a pop culture segment, Gene and Jeff discuss “Duets,” the musical episode of a TV super hero show, “The Flash.” Jeff makes a pitch for Apple users changing their passwords in light of recent hacking attempts, and he briefly describes 2-factor authentication. The discussion moves briefly to iTunes 12.6, the limits of the Apple TV, and on to the iPad refresh. Gene and Jeff focus on the possibilities for iPad productivity, especially being able to record and edit audio — and perhaps video — assets on Apple’s tablet. Does it make sense to enhance its capabilities, or should such tasks be left to a Mac or PC?


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Download NOW PLAYING! March 25, 2017 — Kirk McElhearn and Jeff Gamet

We feature outspoken blogger and podcaster Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy.” Gene and Kirk briefly discuss the probe by French authorities into alleged emission faking by more and more car makers, the latest being Mercedes-Benz. Kirk describes the new features in iTunes 12.6 for Mac and Windows and some of the glitches he’s discovered that Apple needs to fix. The discussion moves to the modest March iPad refresh from Apple, and what might come next. There’s a brief debate between Gene and Kirk about the potential for the iPad as a productivity device. Gene says it could be better, while Kirk believes that power users should stick with their Macs.

You’ll also hear from columnist Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer. During a pop culture segment, Gene and Jeff discuss “Duets,” the musical episode of a TV super hero show, “The Flash.” Jeff makes a pitch for Apple users changing their passwords in light of recent hacking attempts, and he briefly describes 2-factor authentication. The discussion moves briefly to iTunes 12.6, the limits of the Apple TV, and on to the iPad refresh. Gene and Jeff focus on the possibilities for iPad productivity, especially being able to record and edit audio — and perhaps video — assets on Apple’s tablet. Does it make sense to enhance its capabilities, or should such tasks be left to a Mac or PC?

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Download March 18, 2017 — CrackBerry Kevin and Joe Kissell

On this week’s all-star episode, we feature the one and only CrackBerry Kevin (Kevin Michaluk), who was in the process of traveling throughout the U.S. and Canada hosting KeyOne meet-ups for diehard BlackBerry fans. The KeyOne is a long-awaited traditional BlackBerry smartphone with physical keys that runs the Android OS. Kevin will also present a detailed history of the BlackBerry, and where the original executive team went wrong in attempting to compete with the threat of the Apple iPhone. It’s a fascinating story of what might have been.

You’ll also hear from active author Joe Kissell, who will discuss one of his recent books, “Take Control of Your Digital Legacy.”  The will be a far-ranging discussion that starts with physical belongings that can be converted to digital format, including floppy disks, vinyl and tape media and photos. There will also be a lengthy discussion on preparing a digital will, and which assets can be transferred to your heirs. What about the music and movies you bought from iTunes and other online vendors? Will you be able to transfer the license to a family member, or will they be forced to rely on your username and password if they want to use these assets? Simple backup techniques will also be discussed, and Joe will explain some of the problems he’s encountered with macOS Sierra.

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Download March 11, 2017 — Kirk McElhearn and Bryan Chaffin

We feature outspoken columnist and podcaster Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy.” Kirk discusses his recent purchase of an 8TB backup drive to accommodate his large music library. After a brief discussion of the recent Wikipedia leaks of alleged CIA efforts to hack tech gear, including smartphones and cars, Kirk makes yet another criticism of what he regards as the failure of Apple to address the needs of professional users. He explains his ongoing skepticism about Apple CEO Tim Cook’s promises this customer base. The discussion moves to Apple’s opposition to the right-to-repair bill being debated in Nebraska, which would require that parts and repair manuals be made available to non-authorized dealers.

You’ll also hear from commentator Bryan Chaffin, co-founder and co-publisher of The Mac Observer. Bryan is also outspoken about his concerns about Apple’s commitment to the needs of professional users, that the Mac Pro was first launched in mid-2013 and has yet to be updated, yet sells for the same price. He remarks about the fact that Apple only released a small number of new products for 2016, and wonders what might come in 2017. He goes on about his skepticism of Cook’s reassurances about Apple’s commitment to pro users. There’s also a spirited debate about Apples opposition to a right-to-repair bill, and whether the company should be forced to sell parts and manuals to third-party unauthorized repair shops. Gene maintains that customers should have the right to repair their gear where they want without risking the loss of Apple’s new product warranty.

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Download March 4, 2017 — Kirk McElhearn and Cella Lao Rousseau

We feature outspoken columnist and podcaster Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy.” During this episode, Kirk, a resident of the UK, discusses his decision to lease a 2017 Toyota Yaris Hybrid subcompact car, and moves on to the Tesla and the potential for self-driving technology. You’ll also hear why he is skeptical of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s hint, during the corporate shareholder’s meeting, that the company would address the needs of professional users with new Macs and creative users with Mac apps. Will there actually be a revised Mac Pro that is a more credible alternative as a computer workstation?

You’ll also take a romp through the world of social networks with Cella Lao Rousseau, a reporter with iMore. During this segment, Cella will talk about the Snapchat IPO, its impact, and how the network plans to leverage its large user base to earn money.The discussion moves to profiles of the most popular social networks and how they meet the needs of their members. Snapchat’s unique slant is to allow you to send photos and videos that self-destruct shortly after they are viewed. The discussion includes Facebook, which Gene says has become too bloated for him except for the Messenger app, which he uses regularly because most of his contacts are on the service. Has Twitter outlived its usefulness despite becoming the medium of choice for high-profile people, such as the President of the United States, to make announcements? What about WhatsApp, Instagram, Mashable and Reddit? What happened to one of the original social networks, MySpace?

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Download February 25, 2017 — Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus and Jeff Gamet

On this week’s all-star episode, we feature prolific author and commentator Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus, who talks about his first self-published book, “Working Smart for Mac Users.” He’ll discuss how he overcame his Adult ADD disorder to organize his time and become more productive as a freelance writer. He’ll also explain how he began as a hunt and peck typist to become reasonably fast on the keyboard. Does he type as fast as Gene, and does it even matter? And does he intend to review the Late 2016 MacBook Pro or does he have other products to cover?

You’ll also hear from commentator Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer. His bill of fare this time includes a brief pop culture discussion, and then he moves to the Mac Pro and whether it makes sense for Apple to upgrade a product that has been sold unchanged since 2013. Gene brings up his dream or mythical iMac Pro configuration with a more powerful processor and two internal drives. And what about AMD’s new Ryzen processor family, which they claim is faster than comparable Intel silicon? Jeff brings up a recent case of ransomware on a Mac, where those infected will find their data encrypted unless they pay the fee — and maybe not even then. And is Apple going to hold a media event to launch a new lineup of iPads? What about all those predictions about the next iPhone, rumored to have an edge-to-edge OLED display and wireless charging?

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Download February 18, 2017 — Adam Engst and Josh Centers

We feature Adam Engst, of TidBITS and Take Control Books. The main focus will be on Apple’s decision to discontinue displays, and the deal that resulted in the development of the troubled LG UltraFine 5K Display, which was announced along with new MacBook Pros. What went wrong, and why did some units fail when in close proximity to a Wi-Fi router? Adam will also discuss the possibilities for future upgrades to Mac desktop computers, and the rumored use of ARM processors to manage more Mac functions. What about replacing Intel processors with Apple’s A-series silicon?

You’ll also hear from Adam’s colleague, Josh Centers, Managing Editor for TidBITS, and author of “Take Control of Apple TV” and other titles. There will be a complete discussion of the hopes and dreams for the Apple TV, and how Apple has failed, so far, in its plans to conquer the living room. What about attempts to forge content deals with the TV networks? When does Apple TV support 4K and HDR, and where is the rest of the industry going? Can Apple find a way to dominate the set-top box market? Will the networks and cable/satellite companies let them? What about the lack of new AirPort Wi-Fi routers, and is it true, as published reports claim, that Apple moved its AirPort engineering team to other divisions in the company? Is there room for an AirPort in the current marketplace, and what about combining AirPort with Apple TV?

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Download February 11, 2017 — Peter Cohen and Derek Kessler

We feature outspoken commentator Peter Cohen. During this segment, Peter will go into detail on the value of the Apple Watch, primarily for fitness, and its other potential benefits. What about the iPad? Is there a way for Apple to persuade more people to buy them? Gene explains why the iPad doesn’t suit his workflow. There’s also a long discussion about Apple’s use of an ARM processor and watchOS-style OS to power the Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro, and the possibilities that Apple might be gradually moving the Mac away from Intel to ARM.

You’ll also hear from columnist Derek Kessler, managing editor of Mobile Nations, a web portal that runs several popular tech sites.. In advance of the 2017 Mobile World Congress on Barcelona, Spain, Derek will look over some of the possible product announcements there. What about smartwatches? Does Apple have a clear field with the Apple Watch in light of the soft sales reported by Fitbit and the Samsung Galaxy Gear? How about the smartphone market? Are there compelling features manufacturers can add to entice customers to continue to upgrade every two years or so? Why did Samsung decide not to introduce new Galaxy smartphones at the Congress this year? What about the future of tablets? Are there killer features to boost sales of the iPad and other gear? Derek will also explain why he thinks Apple is destined to move the Mac to ARM, and how that decision will really mess up Intel.

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Download February 4, 2017 — John Martellaro and Kirk McElhearn

On this week’s all-star episode, we feature commentator John Martellaro, Senior Editor, Analysis & Reviews for The Mac Observer. During this session, John will talk with Gene about the possibilities of running macOS apps on iPads, whether Apple is moving more and more functionality on Macs to ARM, and whether a total processor switch is in the offing. The discussion will also cover Tim Cook’s statement that iPhone tech has plenty of room to grow, possible reasons for falling iPad sales, the possibility that the Apple Watch may become a BioMed lab, and what went wrong with the fourth generation Apple TV.

You’ll also hear from outspoken columnist and podcaster Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy.” Kirk will also talk about the prospects for moving the Mac to Apple’s ARM-based A-series processors and the reasons for falling iPad sales. Can Apple find a new direction to boost sales for its tablets? The discussion will also include the varying opinions of Gene and Kirk about the value of trackpads, why Kirk no longer uses his Apple Watch and why, for now at least, Gene doesn’t plan to buy one. And what about those Wi-Fi glitches with the LG UltraFine 5K display, which has resulted in a design upgrade to improve shielding. Kirk wonders why LG didn’t catch this defect during product testing.

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Check out the Show Archives for earlier episodes.