jfs: (Default)
I was supposed to be editing a commercial for our play this evening - an email from the writer has knocked me somewhat off keel about it, so instead I'm procrastinating and reading old LJ entries. Which is when I came across this particular gem:

I don't want an iPod. I don't need to carry 10,000 songs around with me. 10 Gigabytes of music is probably far more music than I own, let alone listen to on a regular basis, and that's the entry level for iPods, so I'm safe.


I currently have a 64Gb drive on my phone and there's 50Gb of music on there, which is about 2/3 of my collection.

I'm really not cut out for a job as a futurist.
jfs: (Default)
So my old PC is just creaking up on 3 years old. Its DVD drive is creaking, and refusing to play certain discs. So off to the Apple Store I hied, knowing that there are somewhere in the region of 20 days left on the extended warranty.

"Sure," says the guy. "We'll fit a new optical drive" after about 5 minutes of investigation. "No charge, because it's under warranty. And worse case, we're looking at a week."

Score 1. My main PC is going to be lovingly returned to me in no longer than a week.

Hold on.

A week.


I have to be without my PC for a week?

Surely some mistake?!

Anyway, a combination of some spare cash, a bit of luck and (frankly) no expensive hobbies means that I left the store with a new Mac Mini*.

Yes, I'm aware that I could have waited a week and got my stalwart old Mac Mini back, with a shiny new optical drive and then all would have been right in the world. But, you know, shiny now is better than shiny later.

So I'm home, I plug the new pooter in. I connect it to the various gubbins that the old pooter was connected to. And I switch it on.

About the 3rd decision I'm asked to make is "You've connected a Time Machine (Backup) disc to this computer. It has a viable backup on it. Would you like to restore that to this PC?"

So, with no drama, with no fuss, with the simple click of the 'yes, that's a damn fine idea, why don't you go ahead and restore all my files, applications and settings so that once you're done in about 4 hours I can just get on with using my computer the way I want to' button, I'm restoring 250Gb of data to this new PC.

And that's why I love Apple.

*The astute among you may well realise that the new Apple Mac Mini doesn't come with a DVD drive. So yes, I have effectively impulse bought a replacement PC that doesn't actually do the one thing that my old PC was failing on - to whit; playing DVDs. I am deeply aware of the irony inherent in this situation.
jfs: (Default)
I found a new feature of my phone yesterday; one that a cursory google tells me is completely undocumented.

iTunes has a feature called 'Genius' which allows it to suggest music that you might like based on a tune you've selected. Highlight a song in your library, click the Genius button and it builds a playlist of 25 / 50 / 100 songs that are 'similar' to that song.* (I don't know if it's doing 'similar' in the same way as Pandora - analysing the tune, or as Last.FM - looking at other songs that people who like your track like, though my gut is that it's more like Last.FM ...)

This feature has been part of iTunes for a while now, and you've been able to set up Genius playlists and transfer them to your phone when you sync - set some parameters (I have an Electronica one, for example, which will look at all of the songs of that ilk on my phone and choose a selection) and go.

But my phone also has voice control - very useful when I'm listening to music and my phone is buried in my pocket to be able to press a button on the microphone and say 'Call Tim'. You can also say 'Play [playlist]' or 'Play [artist]' and so on.

Yesterday I found out that if I activate voice control and say 'Genius this' when I'm listening to a particular track, my phone will create a 25 song playlist based on the track I'm listening to at the time, and start playing it.

I'm inordinately pleased with this.

*This process involves sending details of your music library to Apple. It's opt in, but don't do it if you're unhappy that Steve Jobs will then know of your deep and abiding love for Rick Astley.
jfs: (Default)
I've just rung Apple Customer Support; I ordered a computer from them a week ago, and it's looking like it may well take another week to get here, which is a week longer than they said it would. Obviously, I find this quite disappointing, because I'd really quite like my computer now.

Apple Customer Support is based in Ireland. That doesn't make much of a difference; I still ring an 0845 number from here; I'm not having to make an international call.

Apple Customer Support are also very calming, and very reassuring. When they say that they'll chase why my computer is late and mail me to let me know, I believe them. When they explain that at this stage, they won't be able to speed things along but at least they'll be able to give me a reason for why the computer is going to be a week later than they promised, I'm mollified.

This is not because I'm a drooling  Apple fanboi*. Obviously, I am, but that's not why I've just put the phone down feeling much better than when I started the call, despite not knowing an awful lot more.

It's because Apple's customer support line have Irish accents, and that particular calm that comes from living in a country where maƱana implies an unseemly haste.

It's the accent of childhood holidays and family gatherings.

It's the accent of happiness.

And that, my friends, is how slick Apple are.

*But, speaking of drooling Apple fanboi, have a look at the new iPod Shuffle ... they're well on the way to the iPod Femto with it :-)

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