Posts tagged ‘itunes’


We are the Champions

Apple has gone and confused people (not that difficult) by naming the 2009 iPod event after a Rolling Stones song on the same day the Beatles are re-releasing all their albums.

That can only mean the perpetually rumoured Apple Tablet is coming. Except not really. The only thing certain – a professional pundit will complain afterwards that it was not announced, despite almost everyone else (besides shareholders) knowing that it wouldn’t be.

Will Steve Jobs be giving the keynote? Will the iPod Classic finally die the wretched death it deserves? Will the Apple TV get a Take 3 and become useful?

Pretty standard bunch of questions really, but regardless I’ll be on hand to relay the answers to all these questions as the keynote unfolds – answers laced with just enough vitriol to create the impression I’m not some kind of apple fanboy. Which I’m not. Or at least I won’t be after tomorrow if Apple does not announce HD television for the Australian iTunes store!

Seriously Apple. Fuck you. I can see it sitting there on the American store. If I wasn’t so lazy I would buy an American gift card from eBay.

So there it is. If you only read one live blog of this event, then I strongly recommend Arstechnica’s. Because that is what I’ll be plagiarising reading. But if you read two you could probably read Macworld’s because that is generally excellent. I won’t mind because strictly speaking mine won’t be a live blog. More like a delayed-by-ninety-thousands-of-minutes blog.

I’m sure as hell not getting up that early.

Posted by Jackson Kearney to , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Value I Can’t Refuse

I’ve said before that I’m not sold on buying TV from Apple. Mostly because the DRM sucks, partly because of inconsistently offered season packs and generally being rather pricey.

But there’s two bright sparks on that not terribly enticing horizon now, and that’s The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, both now available in Australia for the first time digitally. I’ve been addicted to them ever since discovering them on free-to-air Canadian television, but suddenly I can actually get them legally without subscribing to Foxtel.

And the deal isn’t too shabby. $9.99 for 16 episodes (four weeks’ worth), which you pay up front and have downloaded for you automatically as they arrive. The DRM of course is still about and annoying (I mean, you can’t even burn them for god’s sake), but for more disposable shows like these, that’s not nearly as irritating to me.

And, I can watch them on my TV, because while I don’t have an Apple TV, I do have a MacBook Pro. Ahem.

MacBook Pro Unboxing

Posted by Tom Charman to , , , , , | 3 Comments »

iTunes and Me

Often I’ve justified my rather dubious TV downloading practices with the excuse: if I had a way to get it legally the week it arrived, then of course I’d use it.

Now, the iTunes store in Australia is selling Battlestar Galactica episodes as they’re shown in the USA, and I find myself having to put my money where my mouth is. Unfortunately, whereas iTunes music has recently and wonderfully become DRM-free, video content is still bound up by various restrictions. The most annoying of these is that I can’t watch it on my television without buying an Apple TV. As I’m already the owner of an Xbox 360 and a Playstation 3, I’m reluctant to purchase yet another device.

Meanwhile, the iTunes solution is highly tempting as it’s in iiNet’s Freezone. And it comes down hassle free, and knows its episode name, and I don’t have to worry about seeding to people. But on the downside, there’s something vaguely irritating about paying for content which I know I’ll be buying on DVD or Blu-Ray later. If only buying a season of TV gave you a reduced price on buying such things later. At $3 dollars an episode, a 22-episode season becomes $66, which is often more than you’d pay for a nice, unrestricted, playable-anywhere set of DVDs.

Even once you get past the DRM and cost, there’s a few annoyances to iTunes television. For a start, there’s no way I can see to get notified when a new episode turns up. Apple have an RSS generator, but for some reason you can’t make a “Just Added TV” feed. The best I can find is the page in the iTunes store which shows you the most recent TV shows. But since you can’t bookmark the iTunes store, this isn’t super helpful either. And the update schedule seems poor. ‘The Oath’ arrived in the store on 30 January, and eight days later, the following episode has yet to arrive. This may sound like whinging, but one thing that your regular TV does usually manage to do is get a new episode for you every week.

Ultimately I’m not sold on iTunes TV. It’s super-easy, but restrictive and kind of expensive. Hopefully, at some point we’ll get some competition in the Australian marketplace, and things will take a turn for the better.

Posted by Tom Charman to , , , | 10 Comments »

All Your Podcasts in a Row

Ahem. It turns out that a much easier way to get around the following problem is to just upgrade to iPhone OS 2.1. Because these days audio podcasts just keep playing nicely like they should. Still, you can go ahead and do the following if you’d like to. You know, for fun.

One of my irritations with the iPhone, which I forgot to mention before, was with audio podcasts. On a normal iPod, if you play the first of a bunch of audio podcasts, at the end, it will continue on to the next, and so forth

On an iPhone however, it’ll just stop. This is a pain if you’ve got a whole boodle of Onion Radio News or triple j new music to get through.

The solution is easy: make a smart playlist in iTunes for tracks which both:

  1. Are part of your troublesome audio podcast — matching the artist is probably easiest. And,
  2. Have a play count of 0.1

Sync this playlist to your iPhone and when you play it, there’ll be no irritating stoppages. It’s possible this only irritated me, but I thought I’d mention it on the off-chance.

Next time; I promise not to talk about iPhones. No, really.

  1. This step is by no means necessary if you like having every single episode of a podcast on your iPhone.

Posted by Tom Charman to , | 1 Comment »