Friday, May 31, 2013

Dear Apple, WTF did you do to iTunes?

I'm not a fan of the recent updates to iTunes, but I probably shouldn't be surprised by the changes. Driven by the 'need' to address complaints from some iTunes critics, Apple seems to be steadily devolving the software.

It started out with the most recent 'major' revision to iTunes. This is the one that switched everything from one window to a series of functional pull downs for music, videos, apps. Suddenly, a list of options that that could toggle from a single screen required a pull down, and the app couldn't remember it's previous state. Way to bury the functionality guys.

And for whatever reason, the guys in charge of this version felt like when you couldn't remember where you were before, the place you probably wanted to be was looking at the list of things that you already downloaded from iTunes. Use case? You've got me.

Essentially, what it did seem to do for me was add clicks and interaction when you just wanted to sync your phone and update any apps. Not to mention the whole, where am I and where is the stuff that I'm looking for...

But when your so close to brilliance like that, you probably just need a couple of tiny tweaks to make it really special.

Enter the latest version. It looks like they've fixed the problem with remembering the app's previous state (sort of), but they also seemed to have decided that what you really need is extra security. Now you have to enter your password two or three times in order to update the apps on your phone. And you have to love the latest feature that they introduced; namely, they've figured out a way where it can't remember all of the apps that you were downloading during an update. Trying to update five apps? It may stop on the second or third app download. And, if that wasn't frustrating enough, the only thing that could be better? You need to enter your password again in order to download.

It's crazy. It's like iTunes has gone from overly simple to the kind of craptacularly disjointed and complex that Microsoft might engineer. If this is the future, we're doomed. Talk about an overhaul that needs a serious overhaul...

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mary Meeker Gives Internet Trends Presentation for 2013

At All Things D's D11 Conference yesterday, Mary Meeker took the stage to present her 2013 Internet Trends presentation. All in all, it's a great overview of the state of technology and a look at trends -- totally worth your time to go through. Here's a link to story and presentation on All Things D:
Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report is Back, at D11 (Slides)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

New Xbox360 Announcement Scheduled for Today

So the next generation Xbox360 announcement is scheduled for today, and it's going to be interesting on several fronts.

From a hardware platform perspective, there are all the questions about processors and such, but a bigger deal might be whether the platform is online only. Today's software is distributed through the cloud, enabling businesses to reap larger profits and avoid costly distribution infrastructure expenses, but not everyone is wired with a fast broadband connection. There have also been rumors that you wouldn't be able to play unless you were connected online. If this turns out to be true, it might be an issue for some as well.

Perhaps a broader question relates to the overall roadmap of the platform. While Xbox360 and Xbox Live sail along, the Surface tablet series has been dragging like an anchor. There have been rumors that Microsoft might use the new Xbox platform to try and raise Surface out of the depths. Will the new XBox be the savior and driving engine for some of the other product lines? Only time will tell.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Late Night Mix Tape

The downside of the modern world is that your not supposed to stay up late listening to music and doing stupid stuff -- there's work to do. And yet, somehow we find a way.

This is sort of like a late night mix tape. We'll kick it off with a great little piece, filled with marketing nuance. It's a story that somehow seems all to familiar. You feel like you're being sold. You have a choice, the complacent, easy choice, or the thing that you know you want, the bigger prize.

Next, we have a tune linked in the sidebar that reminds you incredible influence of Bob Dylan. Think about all of those pop tunes that echo Dylan's style, from Donovan to Don McClean. Where would this tune have been without Bob Dylan?

Next, and strangely linked to the last one by YouTube is this one. I remember this as a kid, but I didn't really remember it until I listened to it again.

And finally, for another period piece that serves as a great reminder as to the difference between today's pop-music performers that dance, auto-tune and lip-sync, here's the a nice clip of the Wilson sisters playing music live in the 1970s.