MacCast 02.09.2007 - Show #175
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V News
V Jobs issues open letter on DRM
* Causing quite a stir. Basically says the record labels require DRM and security requirements and concerns prevent them from licensing the technology.
Thoughts on Music
V Also says there are three different alternatives for the future.
* Continue with multiple proprietary closed systems. iTunes, Sony Connect, Zune Marketplace
* Apple to license its FairPlay DRM
* Abolish DRMs entirely
* Jobs supports the 3rd option and says Apple would "embrace it in a heartbeat" if allowed to by the music companies.
* Music companies are selling over 90 percent of their music DRM-free by selling CDs which have no DRM scheme.
* Italy joined the European countries support Apple opening up iTunes and Fairplay.
* Mitch Bainwol, chairman and chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), said Apple should open up Fairplay to 3rd parties stating, ""We have no doubt that a technology company as sophisticated and smart as Apple could work with the music community to make that happen.""
V Apple and Apple Corp enter new agreement
* Macworld is reporting that Apple, Inc and Apple Corps (Beatles) have a new agreement regarding the use of the Apple brand and logos
* Apple and Apple had an agreement back in 1991 where Apple Computer agreed not to operate in the "music" business.
* In 2003, mostly because of iTunes, Apple Corp sued Apple for breaking that agreement. Back in May Apple Computer won the case when a British court ruled in their favor.
* Now Apple and Apple have entered a new agreement where Apple, Inc will own all rights to the Apple brand and logo and will license some trademarks back to Apple Corps for their use.
* No other details of the agreement were disclosed.
* Neil Aspinall, Apple Corps general manager, said that his company looks forward to “many years of peaceful cooperation”.
* Things are looking good for the Beatles showing up on iTunes soon?
* Obviously there was no Super Bowl ad.
V iTunes not quite ready for Vista
* Apple has a tech note for Windows users who use iTunes and want to upgrade to Vista
iTunes Vista Issues
* The basic advice is to wait to upgrade until Apple releases a new Vista compatible iTunes in a few weeks.
V For those who already have upgraded or simply can't wait Apple recommends:
* 1. De-authorize all iTunes Store accounts.
2. Enable Disk Use on all iPod models.
3. Uninstall iTunes.
4. Perform a clean install of Windows Vista (Highly recommended but not required).
5. Reinstall the latest version of iTunes.
6. Open iTunes.
7. Choose Authorize Computer from the Store menu in iTunes.
* There also are know issues with playback of purchased iTunes music in Vista. Apple has released the iTunes Repair Tool for Vista to run after reinstalling iTunes 7.0.2
iTunes Repair Tool for Vista
V Apple and Cisco back on speaking terms
* Cisco has agreed to extend the deadline for Apple to respond to it's lawsuit over the iPhone while to two companies re-enter talks to see if they can settle the trademark dispute.
* Cisco has a trademark on iPhone, but had let it sit idle until recently when they used it to re-brand and existing VoIP product.
V iPhone has at least 3 ARM cores
* Warren East, president and chief executive officer of ARM Holdings, has confirmed that "at least three" processor cores developed at his company are present within the iPhone from Apple Inc.
* The main CPU for the iPhone is a PXA320, formerly the Monahan applications processor from Intel Corp., now supplied by Marvell Technology Group Ltd. The PXA320 is therefore a descendant of the StrongARM processor developed by Digital Equipment Corp. , which is the processor Apple used in the Newtons.
V Hot-unpluggable iPods in our future?
* AppleInsider is reporting on an Apple patent filed in October for a "Hot unpluggable media storage device."
* The patent basically describes a system where mass storage devices would be attached, but unmounted when not need. They would then be mounted "on-demand" for syncing and usage.
* Gets rid of annoying 'do not disconnect' message on iPods
V iPods all flash-based by end of year
* AppleInsider with influence from a report by Prudential Equity Group Analyst Jesse Tortora is supporting a rumor that Apple will take all iPods flash-based by the end of 2007
* Tortora notes the higher cost and lower capacity of flash based iPods, presently topping out at about 32GB, but says battery life may be worth it.
* This is mostly about video playback and seems to be a back and forth argument to me. Tortora claims by going all flash Apple could get 5.5 hours of video playback as opposed to the 3.5 hours on current 5G iPods (a 60% increase).
* Obviously though at the cost of 32GB of storage vs. a potential of 120GB with newer iPod sized hard drives.
V Will we see LCD backlit Apple displays this year?
* Think Secret suggests that Apple will offer at least some model of their notebook with LED backlighting this year.
* LEDs are supposed to offer more brightness, lower power consumption, offer more consistency, and allow for even thinner screens than the traditional cold cathode ray tube displays.
* All these benefits do come at a price, higher LCD costs. Typically twice that of a similar sized traditional LCD panel. The costs also go up more with larger displays.
* At this moment only two manufacturers are offering machines with LED displays, Sony (13.3") and Fujistu (11.1"). Most other manufacturers are expected to have at least one LED model out this year.
* Due to the added costs it is expected Apple will add the technology to the 13.3" MacBook or 15.4" MacBook Pro first, with the 17" MacBook Pro getting the tech in 2008
V Upcoming Apple store news
* The Apple Store, Kahala in Honolulu, HI will open at 10:00 AM on Saturday February 10th.
Apple Store Kahala
* New UK store in WestQuay of Southampton at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 10th.
* Taking Job applications for a future store at Fashion Fair Mall in Fresno, CA.
V Apple may be planning a store for downtown Sydney, Australia
* Apple has submitted design proposals to the city for approval.
* No official word on location, but Apple has leased space in a "multi-level retail centre being developed at a former Westpac site on the corner of George and King streets".
* One rumored design is for a 3 story space, wide and narrow (approx., 15,000 sq. ft) with an all glass front and a 10ft glowing Apple log suspended between the 2nd and 3rd floors (al la NYC). Image available on AppleInsider.
Apple Sydney Image
* Also may be planning a Melbourne store
V New Apple "security" ad takes swipe at Vista
* Comment on new Apple ad.
* Rumor from Apple Insider that Apple is getting set to launch an Anti-Vista in store campaign this Saturday with in-store displays and Vista mocking employee shirts
* A six-page document for sales representatives suggests ways for them to tout the Mac's advantages over Vista. Materials specifically focus on the cost and confusion of upgrading to Vista.
* Checkout the video on of Anthony from the Opie and Anthony Show, expressing his frustration after spending 12-hours trying to install the next gem M$ OS
V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V Recovering iTunes music from your iPod
V Using iTunes 7 you can transfer purchased music from an iPod to the iTunes library of any computer authorized to play its music
* From same computer, attach iPod and choose File-->Transfer Purchases from iPod
V To a second authorized computer: Connect your iPod and you are given two options:
* a. "Erase and sync" the iPod with the computer.
* b. Execute a one way "Transfer purchased music" from the iPod to the 2nd, authorized computer's iTunes Library.
* These two items also available in the File menu.
* Use a 3rd party Utility to transfer all music from an iPod back to your Mac. I like Podworks, others recommend Senuti (read the MANUAL, warnings).
V More details on iTunes Luxembourg and the EU impact
* EU rules states that the member countries should have a minimum V.A.T. of 15%, but it can be higher as there is no maximum (Sweden is 25%).
* You pay the V.A.T. in the country where your purchase is done as long as you transport your goods home yourself. Internet sales and mail order (distance sales from non-EU members) are charged the V.A.T. for the country of the purchaser. So if Apple did sell to other EU countries out of the Luxembourg store they would still need to charge the appropriate V.A.T. by country.
* But collecting proper V.A.T is the least of the problem. iTunes is divided my country and you need to have a credit card issued in that country to use that store.
* This is likely due to issues with the "collecting societies" in Europe, the agencies that collect licensing royalties for artists. Companies willing to sell music online in Europe have to negotiate royalty rates in each individual country. Which is why Apple has so many European Stores and you can't purchase cross-country.
* Thanks to listeners Mats and Fausto
V Listener Review of Remote Buddy
* Play review from Josh
Remote Buddy
* Remote Buddy
V Simple tip for closing Widgets
* A simple keyboard shortcut for shutting down Dashboard widgets. Kyle reminded me that not all people may know about this yet.
* Hold down Option key and mouse over a widget to display the X/close button without opening the widget bar
V A few others:
* Double clicking a widget in the Finder will auto install it after asking you if you want to keep it
* Use the "Widget Manager" widget (next to the widget browser (+)) to remove widget permanently. and to find more widgets.
* Download the free beta of Dashcode from Apple's developer site and make your own widgets. No coding required. Templates for countdown timers, RSS readers, podcasts (with player), photcasts, quartz composer, daily feed, or gauge. Installs at Root of hard drive, Developer-->Applications-->Dashcode. Need to sign up for a free Apple ADC account.
V How to record Skype calls
* Play question from Ed
* Rogue Amoeba Audio HiJack Pro. They have a built-in setting for Skype. Can use to record all kinds of other audio, has a filter and effects chain, schedule and record streaming audio, produce podcasts, etc. USD$32.00
Audio Hijack Pro
* Audio Hijack also has some built-in enhancements for level in Skype, but if you need more use Levelator from Gigavox (free).
* Use headphones to eliminate echo. Skype has some Auto echo cancellation in it, but it's not that good.
* Wiretap Pro
Wiretap Pro
V Cheap phone recording alternative
* Follow up on Ryan's question about recording standard phone calls. Darius points out the Recorder Control (USD$26.99) from Radio Shack (I recorded my Amber McArthur interview with one). It sits in between your hand set and the phone base and provides a line out you can run to your USB audio interface and your Mac. The quality is pretty bad as both are recorded through the phone handset.
Recorder Control
V Narcoleptic Powerbooks linked to heat sensor issue
* Listener Jeremy has alerted me to an issue with some 15 Inch 1.67Ghz powerbooks where they put themselves to sleep due to what appears to be a faulty trackpad heat sensor.
* If you are effected by this issue you will see an error message in the system log that states, "Power Management received emergency overtemp signal. Going to sleep."
* On guy has even set up the Narcoleptic Aluminum Powerbook support web site dedicated to those effected by the issue. They even include instruction on how to remove the offending sensor, since it registered an heat issue even thought the unit is below any heat threshold.
Narcoleptic Powerbooks
* The effected units seem to all have been purchased around June/July of 2005 and all seem to have started having issues October/November last year. If you purchased Applecare the issue can be resolved by having the top case is replaced.
* Apple has not acknowledged the issue as widespread and thus there is currently no warranty extension program for the issue.
V Trick to launch a new Mail message from any app
* Play tip from Phil
* QuickSilver
V Can you only replace a Macbook drive once?
* Listener Rob has a friend who replaced his Macbook SATA drive with a bigger one, which is easy to do, but now ha no way to remove the new drive as it doesn't have a tab like the original drive.
* Are there any creative or 3rd party solutions out there?
V Closing
V Keep emails coming. Audio comments.
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V New music: "Not your Enemy" by Megaphone
* Suggestion from Jennifer who has a friend in the band. Play track.
* Under Creative Commons and you can get tracks from Podsafe
* Buy on iTunes
Buy on iTunes
* Bands website