February 2013

Very Quick Hardware Reviews

by Michael Alderete on 2/22/2013 · 2 comments

Since the last time I updated my hardware recommendations I’ve purchased:

  • An iPhone 5
  • An iPod Touch, 5th generation (first with Lightening connector)
  • An iPod Nano, 7th generation (first with Lightening connector)
  • A Nexus 4 (yes, I’m giving Android a serious look)

I’m going to be updating my hardware recommendations soon, but in the meantime, here’s some quick thoughts.

  1. I don’t get the new Nano. It’s very nice, and it would have been a great way to go before the tiny square 5-6th generation Nano, but it’s…I dunno. I don’t get it. The tiny square Nano was perfect for clipping on for workouts, very capable. The new one is a little more functionality, but also bigger. If you’re going bigger, why not go all the way and get an iPhone or iPod Touch, and have a real touch device, that can run apps and everything that comes with that?

  2. In fact, I don’t get the entire iPod line. I would have dropped the Shuffle, made the square Nano (upgraded to Lightening) cheaper to fill that spot in the line, and upgraded the iPod Touch to the new version, but keeping the old screen size. Make the taller screen an iPhone 5 exclusive, while keeping the iPod line more affordable.

  3. I definitely would have discontinued the old iPod Touch product. Leaving that on the market is just confusing.

  4. All that said, the new Nano and Touch are really nice devices. And the old iPod Touch is now a bargain way to get onto iOS. Just because the product line is confusing doesn’t mean the hardware isn’t nice.

  5. Still, I recommend the iPhone 5, because it is freakin’ awesome. Truly the best piece of computing hardware I’ve ever owned.

  6. The Nexus 4 is very nice, seems to run the Audible app pretty well (if not quite as smoothly as on the iPhone), and has a pretty broad range of other spoken word apps available. My favorite podcast app, Pocket Casts, is available for Android, and is even “Android first” (h/t Daring Fireball). My survey is far from complete, but it’s clear that as far as spoken word entertainment goes, Android is at least very good, and has no gaps.

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Notes on Importing Audiobook CDs into iTunes 11

by Michael Alderete on 2/18/2013 · 54 comments

To read Apple’s marketing copy for iTunes 11, you’d think that the new app was a massive rewrite, or maybe even All! New! Fortunately for my instructions for importing audiobook CDs, while there’s some nice changes, lurking right below the surface is much the same user interface. Importing audiobook CDs using iTunes remains much the same task as before, with a few changes for some rearranged user interface elements. Here are some quick hints, while you wait for me to fully update the article. Read the rest of this entry (443 words) »

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Writing Again

by Michael Alderete on 2/16/2013

It’s been a while since I published much here (visibly), but to answer a popular question, yes, I’m still here. I’m taking this three-day weekend to restart some efforts, including writing here on the blog, and also answering mail that has piled up. It’s going to take a while, but I’m slogging through it.

What’s unfortunate, and ironic, about my break from writing is that I never published a post explaining that I’d updated every single page in Aldo on Audiobooks, bringing it up to date, both with the (then) current version of iTunes and with a few new tricks I’d learned. It also includes a greatly expanded selection of audiobook recommendations.

Of course, a month or two after I finished all those updates, Apple announced all new hardware, both iPhones and iPods, and previewed iTunes 11. I “took a pause” to wait for iTunes 11 before updating everything, and then Apple took a while to actually ship it.

Anyway, the goal is to sweep through everything this weekend, and if it’s not completely revised, to at least add a blog post explaining differences.

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Simple Bracket for March Madness 2013

by Michael Alderete on 2/5/2013

The Simple Bracket Kickstarter project looks incredibly cool:

I’m a backer at the maximum level. If you’re a college basketball fan, it’s worth checking out. (And watch the video all the way to the end. ;-)

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