I Just Want Apple Music Off My Devices

via John Gruber. Jim Dalrymple:

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.

I’m going to listen to what’s left of my music library, and try to figure out all of the songs I have to buy again. I’ll also download Spotify and reactivate the account I cancelled with them a couple of weeks ago.

The latest way to listen to music is to have a computer (smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop), a music app, and stream your music. Some streaming services have ads and you pay a monthly fee to get rid of them. Others limit some capabilities and you pay to restore them. When you listen to music this way you’re paying for the experience of listening to music, unlimited music yes, but you own nothing.

Like Dalrymple I have music ripped from CDs. Lots of them. When I first signed up for Apple’s Music Match service about a year ago, I thought it was a great idea. Then I found Google Play Music that did the same thing, for free. Google Play Music lets me stream my own music on my desktop, laptop, or smartphone. I seldom stream music I don’t own, because I like listening to the music I’ve collected over the years. Makes sense: we collect what we like. If for some reason I trusted Apple with all of my music — I never did, and I now know I should never — deleted those off of my drives thinking my music is safe with Apple, and then Apple wiped thousands of them (probably because of some dude’s programming error), I would be furious.

My trust in Apple continues to erode. (My 2009 MacBook Pro started acting erratically the moment I upgraded to OS X 10.10 Yosemite; despite many patches and fixes it still hangs whenever it wants. It is hot and the fans spin furiously; the only way to shut it up is to long press the power button. The cheaper and older white MacBook, white iMac, and Mac mini work just fine; I will not upgrade them to Yosemite though.) Another thing I won’t try: Apple Music.

Self-Driving Car Subscription

I don’t want to own a car.

Instead, I want a car subscription: 500 miles per month for $50, or unlimited miles for more. I want a self-driving electric car that shows up when I need it. It knows:

And add to that, I don’t

And all the bad drivers here in Silicon Valley won’t piss me off anymore. With a self-driving electric car at my beck and call, I can relax. Getting somewhere will be pleasant again.

The Electric Car

Geoff Ralston:

Gas stations are not massively profitable businesses. When 10% of the vehicles on the road are electric many of them will go out of business. This will immediately make driving a gasoline powered car more inconvenient. When that happens even more gasoline car owners will be convinced to switch and so on. Rapidly a tipping point will be reached, at which point finding a convenient gas station will be nearly impossible and owning a gasoline powered car will positively suck.

I haven’t thought about the gas station variable in my equation for an electric car future. I simply thought gas stations would add solar power roofs (or use gas to generate electricity) for electric chargers and/or replacement battery packs. But as gas stations focus more on electric car customers, driving a gas-powered car will become inconvenient.

Microsoft’s Path Dependent Strategy

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, interviewed by Mary Jo Foley:

Universal Windows apps are going to be written because you want to have those apps used on the desktop. The reason why anybody would want to write universal apps is not because of our three percent share in phones. It’s because a billion consumers are going to have a Start Menu, which is going to have your app. You start the journey there and take them to multiple places. Their app can go to the phone. They can go to HoloLens. They can go to Xbox. You talk to somebody like Airbnb. It might be more attractive, given our three percent share on phone, for them to actually build something for the desktop and for the Xbox.

And by the way, when we hook them on that, we have a phone app. This strategy is path dependent, which is a term I use that means where you start is not where you end up. And therein lies a lot of the nuance. The fundamental truth for developers is they will build if there are users. And in our case the truth is we have users on desktop.

Universal Windows apps is an ambitious vision. I am not convinced universal Windows apps will be competitive against Android and iOS apps. Android and iOS apps are coded and compiled to run efficiently on specific hardware and on specific operating systems. That’s why Android and iOS apps are almost always faster, and therefore offer a better user experience, than their ‘equivalent’ web apps. On iOS Apple is trying to further differentiate how we interact with apps on iPhone 6 and smaller iPhones, iPhone 6 Plus, and iPads. The differentiation makes it more difficult for iOS developers, but it also gives them an opportunity to fine tune the experience. Can universal Windows apps be as fine tuned? It would be a great achievement, but I have my doubts.

In general Microsoft’s approach will be always this dual-use focus, or this multi-focus. What we can uniquely do is bridge consumer to enterprise. That’s in our DNA.

Multi-focus? Sounds paradoxical. Perhaps Nadella is trying to convey the idea of multi-level strategy?: time (short-term, mid-term, long-term), market (broad & horizontal, verticals), devices. Regardless of his semantic inaccuracies I think Nadella’s focus is singular: Windows. Azure, Office, etc. all end up strengthening Windows. Windows can be thought of as Microsoft’s neural network. Everything else is built on top of it and adds skeletal structure or muscular strength.

Obese News Sites

Frederic Filloux and Jean-Louis Gassee, Monday Note:

When I click on a New York Times article page, it takes about 4 minutes to download 2 megabytes of data through… 192 requests, some to Times’ hosts, most to a flurry of others servers hosting scores of scripts. Granted: the most useful part — 1700 words / 10,300 characters article + pictures — will load in less that five seconds.

But when I go to Wikipedia, a 1900 words story will load in 983 milliseconds, requiring only 168 kilobytes of data through 28 requests.

News websites need to generate revenue from their online properties so they display ads. Most ads suck: they are irrelevant, they are visually unappealing, and they take a while to load. (I too used to have those ads in the earlier days of DISPLAYBLOG; I apologize for making you wait and cluttering your reading experience.) That’s why I use AdBlock and recommend it to all of my friends. Getting rid of ads cleans up the website, makes it load quicker, and lets me get to the content I want to read with less delay.

Requests by a site like the Washington Post are impossible to measure since the site never stops downloading, endlessly calling data for auto-play videos; these megabytes are often rendered by Flash Player, well-known for CPU overheating (you can hear your laptop’s fans make a drone-like noise).

Using Google’s Chrome browser on a 64-bit Windows 7 laptop, I set the device to Samsung Galaxy S4 and network to GPRS (50 kbps) in Developer Tools. The Washington Post took 2.2 minutes to finish loading 731 KB (KiloBytes). (Read “Developing For A Slow Internet” to understand why I used those settings.) 2.2 minutes. We shouldn’t have to wait that long to read the news. Note: In addition to AdBlock, I use the Disconnect extension on my Chrome browser. Disconnect stops background tracking of your online activities. I’m guessing that’s probably why The Washington Post eventually finished loading. Just in case you were wondering, the Monday Note article I referenced for this article loaded in 1.1 minutes, transferring 332 KB. In my opinion, that is better than the Washington Post, but only by a little bit.

Speed isn’t everything, but when all you want is to get to the content, all the ads and background trackers that make you wait can get annoying, really fast.

So what’s the solution for news sites? Here are a couple of ideas:

I’d pay for a ‘newspaper’ like this.

   
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