Tag: Music

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I Couldn’t Break the Surface Tension

Today, Microsoft started selling Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book, and I strongly considered buying either. During the past 10 days, I visited the company’s Fashion Valley store four different times specifically to play with the devices. The hardware dazzles, but I couldn’t get beyond Windows 10 when compared to benefits I receive using Chromebook Pixel LS. SB’s price, which starts at $1,499, is another impediment.

There is something to be said for straightforward, simple, and efficient computing, which Google gets right. Contextual sync is among Chrome OS’s biggest benefits. Little things, like popping my camera’s SD card into Pixel’s slot and the laptop backing up photos to Google Drive, which is accessible from the file manager as if local storage. Granted, there are application gaps, but the overall user experience fills them in.

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My Apple Music Swan Song

Look what email greeted when I rolled out of bed and in front of the computer this AM (Pacific Time). Apple Music wants my business. That’s not happening. After signing up for the three-month trial, which ends September 30, I returned to using Chromebook Pixel LS and Nexus 6. The streaming service supports neither device, so, yes, I turned off autorenewal.

This brief post is a reminder to you to do likewise, if having signed up you’re not planning to keep the service. Apple Music turns on autorenew by default, so if you want out, don’t wait. Opt out now. On the other hand, if you enjoy the service, do nothing and listen. You’re covered. 

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I Like Apple Music, But…

Yesterday, I joined the 61 percent. The figure represents the people who, in a MusicWatch survey of 5,000, had turned off auto-renew on their free Apple Music trial, which for all ends September 30. Unless something really big comes out of this week’s media event, where new iPhones could debut and iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan receive release dates, I will listen elsewhere. For now, I will stream higher-fidelity tracks from Tidal, and expand my musical horizons at services like SoundCloud.

Strange thing: I don’t dislike Apple Music. Curated playlists are “frak me” good. Family pricing, $14.99 per month, is very reasonable. The library is voluminous; if I want to listen to it, Apple Music likely has it. Then there is the benefit of easy access to my own library of about 14,000 tracks alongside juicy fruit picked from the orchard. 

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Hey, Apple Music, Glitch or Licensing Change?

Sometimes I need loud power pop to drive my writing. While working on a story about Windows 10 for BetaNews, I selected R5 to stream from Apple Music—and not for the first time. I started with track No. 6, “Smile”, which is among the two highest-rated tracks from album “Sometime Last Night“. But today, rather than the full song, I get a 90-second preview.

What the frak? 

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Flickr a Day 178: ‘Taking Cover’

Glastonbury Festival 2015 wraps up tomorrow, which is reason enough to feature a photo from last year’s musical and arts brouhaha today. Rain is the forecast, again, making self-titled “Taking Cover” timely selection. Americans doing fests like Coachella are more accustomed to sandals, sneaks, or bare soles rather than the rubber boots Glastonbury-goers wear.

I originally chose “Glastonmudbury” from the photostream of Paul Townsend. He explains the history of the event, and his storytelling is worthy of taking the Day. But I couldn’t authenticate the image, which in context of others on his Flickr is unlikely his to share. This series respects copyrights. So Tom O`Malley wins with a photo shot using iPhone 5 on June 28, 2014. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 80, 1/120 sec, 41mm. The Glastonbury Weather Twitter feed promises brighter skies today than yesterday’s bleak rain.