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Apple Music adding lossless audio
Apple announced it will be offering more than 75 million songs on Apple Music in the Apple Lossless Audio Codec
Best of all, these new versions will be available to all current Apple Music subscribers at no additional cost
Only 20 million songs will be available in lossless at launch, but the full 75 million will be available by the end of the year
There will be a few options when it comes to losses
The first is “CD” quality 16 bit at 44.1 kHz
But you’ll have an option to get up to 24 bit at 48 kHz and even Hi-Res Lossless up to 24 bit at 192 kHz
Hi-Res Lossless will require an external DAC.
AirPods Pro and AirPods Max don’t support wireless Lossless audio, since they can only use the Bluetooth AAC codec.
The AirPods Max can playback losses audio using the wired Lightning to 3.5 mm Audio Cable but with an exception. Because of the analog to digital conversion in the cable, the playback will not be completely lossless.
Apple leaker Jon Prosser is claiming Apple could enable lossless playback in AirPods with a future software update that would enable them to playback audio via WiFi instead of Bluetooth.
The Apple TV 4K "currently doesn't support Hi-Res Lossless," with only the standard Lossless tier ranging from 16-bit at 44.1 kHz to 24-bit at 48 kHz to be available on the Apple TV 4K at launch.
HomePod and homePod mini will get support for lossless in a future software update according to an Apple support document
Apple is also going to be offering tracks in Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos at no additional cost to subscribers
At launch they say they will have “thousands” of track in Spatial Audio from artists like J Balvin, Gustavo Dudamel, Ariana Grande, Maroon 5, Kacey Musgraves, The Weeknd, and many others
Apple Music will automatically play Dolby Atmos tracks on all HomePods, AirPods and Beats headphones with an H1 or W1 chip, as well as the built-in speakers in the latest versions of the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
The new audio formats will be available to all Apple Music subscribers, on Apple devices, in June
New M-series Macs still coming
The updated “M-series” 16-inch MacBook Pro with mini LED display and new 14-inch MacBook Pro are coming. The question will be can you get one?
They claim Apple will begin volume production on the 16-inch model in the first quarter of 2022 and that the 14-inch will begin volume production in the 4th quarter of this year
The main issue seems to be the mini-LED display as Apple’s suppliers are already constrained with production of the 12.9-inch displays for the new iPad Pros
They think Apple will still release them in the second half of the year (not sure how on the 16-inch?), but that units might no be available for purchase until weeks after their announcement
Even then we can expect availability to be EXTREMELY limited.
Still Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says we could see these new models as soon as this summer
He claims the new machines will have a redesigned chassis, MagSafe, HDMI, SD card slots, and more ports
For the Apple silicon he cites two new processors codenamed Jade C-Chop and Jade C-Die: both include eight high-performance cores and two energy-efficient cores for a total of 10, but will be offered in either 16 or 32 graphics core variations.
He says Apple will also offer the chips with up to 64 gigabytes of memory and they will have an improved neural engine
He also said the MacBook Pro Apple Silicon release would be followed by a revamped MacBook Air, a new low-end MacBook Pro and an all-new Mac Pro workstation and that Apple is working on a higher-end Mac mini desktop and larger iMac.
Gurman noted that the higher end Mac Mini would use the same chip as the next MacBook Pro
It would have 4 ports vs the current M1 Mac mini’s two
Mac users with high end requirements, like video professionals, photographers, 3D artists, etc are clamoring for these new machines
Rumors that they will bring more ports, including HDMI and and SD card slot
Also, the return of MagSafe, plus Apple dumping the touch-bar (and hopefully returning to physical keys)
He also mentioned the update to a larger iMac, but didn’t offer much in the way of details
He did say apple “paused” on the larger iMac to focus on the 24-inch iMac
Some reports have hinted that Apple could bump the display from 27-inches to 30 or 32-inches
Higher-end MacBook Air
Planned for as early as the end of the year
Will offer the next version of the M1 codenamed Staten and will have the same number of computing cores but they will run faster
But Apple will increase the number of graphics cores from seven or eight to nine or 10
John Prosser had also mentioned previously that Apple could bring iMac like colors to a future MacBook or MacBook Air update.
Apple also will have an update to the low end 13-inch MacBook Pro that offers the same chip
MacRumors’ Steve Moser found references in latest macOS beta to an unreleased 10-core Intel i9 processor
Since it seems unlikely that Apple will make any more Intel iMacs, this could be a reference to the last Intel update for the Mac Pro
According to Mark Gurman the future Apple Silicon version of the Mac Pro would come in 20 or 40 computing core variations, made up of 16 high-performance or 32 high-performance cores and four or eight high-efficiency cores.
The processors, codenamed Jade 2C-Die and Jade 4C-Die, would also offer either 64 core or 128 core options for graphics
Previously Bloomberg has reported also that the new Mac Pro could feature a smaller design that would “invoke nostalgia for the Power Mac G4 Cube”
Finally Guraman says by 2022 Apple will replace the last Intel part found in M1 Macs with an Apple built component
A USB Retimer, which is a component that helps power the USB-C and Thunderbolt ports
Reviews are in for new Apple Gear
Not really surprising but performance is almost identical to all of the other M1 systems released to date
Loving the 1080p web cam (finally) with the M1’s ISP is getting praise.
The bezels around the display itself are a neutral gray
Lack of vertical adjustment of the display is called out. Seems like a problem Apple could solve.
CNET recommends springing for the $1499 base model over the $1299 model. I would agree
Adds the TouchID to the keyboard, two extra USB-C ports, the eight-core GPU and better cooling as well as an Ethernet port built into the power supply. Plus more color options (all for $200 bucks more)
The color matched cables and magnetic connector are also getting praise.
M1 iPad Pros
Probably not too surprising that the display (Liquid Retina XDR) and the performance are getting the bulk of the praise
Many noting the brightness and contrast as major perks. Basically almost matching the performance of OLED in an LCD
Apple said that the 11-inch iPad didn’t get mini LED due to weight
Center Stage also seems to work very well and was a favorite among reviewers
The jump to 5G is also a great benefit to networking when you’re on the go.
External display support is limited by apps that support it.
The only minor complaints seem to be with iPadOS or apps.
Basically the OS has to now catch up with the hardware
Seems to work fine with the “old” Magic keyboard.
Apple TV+ lands ‘Wool’ series
Apple has ordered a 10-episode series called ‘Wool’ based on the Hugh Howey book by the same name
The series will star Rebecca Ferguson who you may have seen in "Mission Impossible," "The Girl on the Train," or “Men in Black”.
It’s a dystopian sci-fi story about a future where people are living in underground silos because the planet has become toxic and unable to sustain life. People living inside the silos are made to follow restrictive rules and regulations they think are designed to keep them safe.
In the story Juliette, played by Furgeson, is a mechanic who gets promoted to sheriff and then discovers hints of a conspiracy.
The show is produced by AMC Studios with Graham Yost serving as showrunner.
There is no release date yet.
Variety is reporting that Apple has also orders a new children’s series that will focus on kindness
Called "Hello, Jack! The Kindness Show"
It will usually have 5 guest stars and focus on helping kids apply the "Three C's — caring, connecting, and cascading from one person to another." of kindness to solve problems.
It will star Jack McBrayer, “Wreck-it-Ralph” and “30 Rock” who also co-created the series with Angela C. Santomero who created the series “Blue’s Clues” for Nickelodeon
It will also feature original songs from OK Go.
Redesigned Apple Watch
Prosser claims that the Apple Watch Series 7 will have a new “flat-edge” design like the current iPhones and iPads
Also says that Apple Watch will be offered in a new green color option similar to the green that Apple uses on the AirPods Max.
Does note the color is not “set in stone” and there could be multiple colors.
Separately reports have claimed the Apple Watch could get new health features including blood glucose and /or blood pressure monitoring
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Last episode I mentioned some of the challenges of upgrading to an new M1 Mac from an older Mac that might have more storage than the new Mac.
Older mac, like iMacs, may have 1TB or larger spinning for fusion drives
I think I gave the impression that new M1 Macs were limited to 256GB and 512GB configurations
As a few of you have rightly pointed out that is not the case as Apple offers build to order options with upgrades to 1TB and 2TB options
The question I was addressing was from a listener who was looking an M1 mac mini at a Costco.
The thing is that a majority of consumers tend to buy the “stock” configurations from Apple.
Either from and Apple Store or a retailer like Best Buy or Amazon.
Many also go with the “stock” storage because of budget
Apple charges a crazy high price for these upgrades
$200 USD for a 1TB upgrade (from 512) and $600USD for 2TB
Yes, Apple’s flash quality is high end, but considering you can now get a 2TB SSD for around $200 USD the cost is high for a lot of people
Also more people care about the total storage vs the performance.
Looking into Apple Movie purchases
Play comment from Tim
This is really interesting and I think only further illustrates the point that it’s the producers and distributors that ultimately decided what is and is not available on Apple’s service
This is why, if you really want to fully protect your collection and your investment, you’ll want to download local copies and back them up
Apple TV 4K
Love the new remote
Metal is back and soooo nice
It is fat, chunky, and heavy
Don’t buy Apple's vice president of product marketings statement that it won’t fall between the couch cushions and get lost
The “scrubbing” is insane
Though I did encounter and issue that is being reported where you scrub and after a full rotation it returns back to the starting point
Actually to me it felt like it was scrubbing forward in one rotation then backward in the second rotation.
Love the track button?
The mute button is causing me issues
Nice to have a power button.
Unsure why you still need to press and hold to power off?
Does avoid accidental power down I guess.
I agree that the “back” button is a bit like rolling the dice. Depending on the app it’s not always clear what will happen.
Can sometime take multiple “backs” to back your way out of something.
Having the Siri button on the side will take some getting used to.
Great to have a picture quality that matches the capabilities of my TV
Things do seem faster, especially opening apps.
Did order a Belkin “high-speed” HDMI cable as the new TV supports HDMI 2.1 for HDR at 60 fps
Did get the 64GB model. Only $20 for double the storage? Why not?
Some other things I’ve learned
Will support 4k 6FPS playback of YouTube videos
ARC (Audio Return Channel) is a feature of HDMI 1.4 that enables audio from a device to be sent to a compatible TV and relayed through its HDMI port to a separate audio receiver, speaker, or sound bar.
eARC (enhanced ARC) meanwhile adds support for the passthrough of higher bandwidth audio like Dolby Atmos, as well as 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound.
ARC label next to your HDMI port
You can use ARC/eARC with HomePods (not minis)
Apple TV app vs an Apple TV
Matt had a great and relevant question… “How do you compare the new Apple TV 4K versus the built-in Apple TV app in a new 4K TV?”
The “app” on your Smart TV
Buy or rent movies (iTunes)
Access Apple TV+ service.
Access 3rd party streaming services “Channels”
Basically all of the features of the TV app on Apple TV, iOS, and Mac (except Home Sharing)
An Apple TV “box"
Get all the features of the app
Apps, from the TV OS App store
This includes tvOS compatible games
Apple Music (some TV’s also support Apple Music)
HomeKit (hub) and Home app (video cameras, doorbells, etc)
Airplay 2 (though some Smart TVs support this also)
Stream content from your Mac or iOS device to your Apple TV
TV’s don’t support AirPlay 2 out
Play comment from John
It is really odd that Apple did not consider AirTags for items within a family that folks might share or want to share tracking on.
Guess it is a way to sell more AirTags
If the AirTag is attached to an item you're borrowing, you can tap Pause Safety Alerts to turn off "AirTag Detected" notifications for one day. If you're borrowing an AirTag from a member of your Family Sharing group, you can turn off Safety Alerts for one day or indefinitely.