I’ve gone off a bit about Apple here and there. I flat out hate the iPhone and (max)iPad. I feel they are overrated pieces of equipment. There is much more to my dislike of Apple than just that.
Back in the 80′s Apple computers were all the rage. You had the Apple II series, then the Macintosh came out. Pricing was similar to PC prices. You got bang for the buck. Then Apple went and got rid of Steve Jobs, and it went downhill. In the mean time Jobs continued on and refined his business acumen to become the CEO he is for Apple now.
While all that happened, PCs came down in price. Microsoft was the evil empire, and Apple was a nice alternative, if not a little out of most peoples price ranges. Microsoft helped Apple avoid going out of business by investing in Apple. Then the iPod came out, and all bets were off.
Now I will disclaimer this by saying flat out, I have no affiliation with any company I mention in this piece. I don’t get pre-release items to review outside of my company’s Action Pack subscription, which the company pays for.
Now that that is over with, lets continue. The iPod was a much needed item in the marketplace. It combined with iTunes worked so well initially. The iPod still does work well. iTunes became something else. A cash cow. Proprietary file formats that would not play on non-iPod mp3 players. Digital Rights Management that would lock the song into one machine. The worst was (and still is) trying to port your bought music collection to a new PC. Still people flock to it (I use eMusic and Amazon).
Then came the iPhone, and initially, I thought it was a decent idea. I still think its a good idea, but poorly implemented. It is overly restrictive, you can only put on there Apple approved apps, and it is on a network that cannot handle the data flow. The iPad is nothing more than the iPhone in larger format. Same OS, same restrictions.
Now comes the new Apple developer rules. To put in in simple terms, you cannot write something in a non-Apple approved language, and cross compile it to run natively on the iPhone and iPad. this hurts for websites especially because of Adobe Flash, which is not nor will be supported on the iPhone or iPad. How do you get away with not supporting one of the most popular web systems out there and say that you offer the best experience? Personally if I was a developer, I would just cut Apple out. Write for the Android phones, which you can set to load non-marketplace apps. The Android OS is nice, robust and can do anything that the iPhone can. Plus it will give you control back over what you do, and show Apple that it is not the be all end all.
Speaking of Apple being the be all end all, it seems that unless you kiss Jobs rear, and only write good reviews and hype, otherwise you don’t get early access to Apple stuff. If that isn’t blackmail and a way to force good reviews to get more sales early on, then I don’t know what is. Heck it sounds to me like it should be illegal, because the bad reviews seem to get buried, so the consumer is fed incomplete information.
Don’t get me wrong, the Mac is a nice machine, and one day maybe I can afford one. while its nowhere near as secure as Apple touts, it is a machine that does just work. Unfortunately, it is too darn expensive for me right now. The bang for the buck isn’t there.
Apple is heading down a major slippery slope right now. Using lawsuits to try and stifle competition, locking out developers, lying to the public, I swear I’ve heard of these things before. Oh yeah, it was the same stuff Microsoft was doing right before it got hit with an Anti-Trust lawsuit.
Its the weekend, and while I do mostly Tech blogging, Music is another passion of mine, so I figure why not hit up on music things on the weekend. Seriously, who doesn’t have their favorite music to listen to while working, driving, relaxing, and other things?
I figure we can start off by a couple of places I recommend to get music. We all know of iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, but have you also checked out eMusic?
eMusic has been around for a long time, and uses a monthly subscription fee system. The prices work out to well under $.99 per song, so it isn’t too far off the beaten path. Yes you can pick and choose what songs you want. The tend to lean more toward the lesser known artists, although you can find some main stream or more well known stuff. Some of the areas I feel they really shine are in the Blues, Jazz, and Classical areas. I’ve found artists and albums in those areas that I can’t find anywhere else. Also if you like diddling around with backing tracks, just put Karaoke in front of your search. They have a lot of it. The downloader they supply is nice and simple, and actually will work as a browser through their store. The download technology is similar to Amazon’s downloader. You can get to the at eMusic.com.
The next site is quite different. Garageband.com isn’t what you might expect. Yes it is home to independent artists, but I feel it is the premier site for it. MySpace music I always found confusing, and sites like iLike and Pandora are nice, but garageband is just great.
They site is easy to navigate, has things broken down by genres, and has all sorts of information on it. You can create an account and find out what bands ar eplaying near you, download a lot of different artists, and seriously listen to the up and coming artists. I have heard a number of bands there that eventually made it to the radio, and on the main charts. Not everything there is free, and while there are some issues because bands will put themselves in categories that they don’t belong in just to get more people to check them out, overall the genre listings are pretty good. If you like to check out new music, and get a taste of what is coming, definitely check them out.
So I leave it to you, where do you go to get music?