A day with iTunes Match

Overall iTunes Match has been worth it. There are some very interesting anomalies.

In some cases Match fails to match songs on an album for inexplicable reasons. Several albums of early 80's genres were matched for all but one song. Though the album had been ripped and encoded in a single shot something prevented these songs from being matched.

An even more interesting case is this album of Franz Danzi Concertos:
iTunes Match screenshot

Note that Match found 6 of the 7 tracks and uploaded just one. However this album is not available in the US iTunes Music Store (not sure if it's available elsewhere). The third track is available as a part of another collection but the other tracks are not available. Yet with Match I can (and have on another computer) update these tracks to a better encoded version of the tracks.

Short iOS 5 wish list

Tomorrow is the day for the much anticipated keynote for Apple's World Wide Developer conference. Unlike past keynotes this one has a hint of an agenda that has been published by Apple.

I've seen a number of good write-ups with some hopes for iOS 5 and what folks are hoping for. My hopes are a bit simpler than most of these. I have two things that would make a world of difference for iOS 5.

Item number one is cloud-sync. It's time we move past the Palm OS technology of the 1990's and move into the age of the internet and start being able to meaningfully sync iOS devices wirelessly.

Item number two is to add the ability for Safari and other apps to access photos for upload. Until apps can universally and easily access photos and upload them to websites the photo capture and storage facilities of iOS are little more than toys. It's time some equity comes to the iPad and make it possible to do as much for photos as one can do with Garage Band.

iPad's greatest flaw

ipad_connect_to_itunes.pngA today reminded me that I've been meaning to write about the big flaw in the iPad. Actually it is a flaw in iOS but I notice it most on the iPad.

First a little background. I've had an iPad for as long as they've been around and eagerly stood in line for the iPad 2's new cameras. More than the first iPad the iPad 2 is a transformative device. It is comfortable to hold in bed to read, it has an amazing cover that just works and it's a bright white color instead of the heavy black. (How the color affects the perception of weight is another topic for another day.)

As awesome as the device is for me. It comes with a horrible flaw. This first came to light the very night I picked it up. After the headache of convincing my credit card issuer that yes it really was me staying in a hotel and buying an iPad at an Apple store I met a friend and we headed out for dinner. Being a Drupalcon dinner there were plenty of tech folks. Since the line for Chicago pizza was longer than the line for the iPad 2 we had plenty of time to talk. Eventually I succumbed to peer pressure and opened the box.

While peeling away the shrink wrap on the box (even the box is slightly smaller than the previous iPad) thoughts of taking a few pictures of the group with the new iPad came to mind. With a creative group of smart people what could we do with this new technology while waiting for a dinner with a week's caloric intake? And then all at once it happened.

Boise Apple store opens with no front

Photo of the Apple Store in the Boise Towne Square mall a few minutes after closing on the third day the store was open.

The Apple Store in Boise is now open. Judging by the crowd a half hour before closing on Sunday, the second day the store was open, it looks to be doing a booming business. Lots of blue-shirts too so it seemed that while there was a crowd nobody was leaving with questions unanswered.

More interesting is the lack of any storefront. This picture is a Newark store which is similar but the Boise store lacks even the two panels of glass at the sides. There is no front display and the first thing customers encounter are helpful Apple employees and tables of product.

Boise is getting an Apple Store

dsc05678.jpg Two years ago I wrote about Boise needing an Apple Store. Since then plans for the store, even the whole shopping center, where the Apple Store was expected to go went off the rails. The land, the Whole Foods that never got built, and the whole shopping center remains an irrigated field on at the corner of Eagle and Fairview.

The good news for the Boise Mac User's group all all others who would love to see an Apple store is that soon one will be open. The location has changed but the iconic white apple on a black background can be seen at the Town Square Mall.

If the rumors are correct Saturday, September 11th, 2010 will be the opening day for the store. On Saturday several members of the Boise Mac User's group gathered for a photo outside the shop. Unable to resist a peak in the open door it appears things are moving along nicely as the store already looks very much like an Apple store on the inside.

Failure to order

apple_order_failure_0.png This morning a fresh batch of technology devices landed at the Apple store. This included the magic trackpad and a slick, energy efficient battery charger. Who can resist?

Plus I had a couple of gift cards around that had small balances and Apple is good about allowing multiple cards on a single order. Well sort of. So everything went well and the order went in this morning. This afternoon, however, the word came there was a problem.

When you order at Apple online they run a $1 pre-authorization for your card to make sure it's good. When they did this with the gift card it's available $7 balance was reduced to $6 so when they tried to run it for $7 later the charge failed. Oy!


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