The Spotify Calculation

Although I know this has likely been covered elsewhere on the internet, I felt I would like to ensure that I spread the word where possible, as after working through these calculations myself, I was quite shocked.

 

Despite Spotify’s claims that they are converting millions of ‘pirates’ into paying customers, and that they are reinvigorating the music industry and bringing it out of the piracy dark ages for me, the numbers simply don’t add up.

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Ultraviolet – “The Dark Knight Rises”

Having recently purchased the latest Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises” on DVD I was made aware by the largely unsubtle information which adorned display stand that the DVD copy came with a digitally downloadable version of the film. As this was certainly a blockbuster in the traditional sense, I was curious as to how well this system may have been incorporated, and how likely this would be to stop people acquiring their own illegal digital copies anyway after purchasing the film. I thought I would post about my experience here…

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Swype – the perpetual beta

I recently went back to using Swype, the predictive keyboard for Android on which you join letters together in a single movement. I do like Swype, and but I’ve had to leave it again as I feel it is getting worse.

Despite being in beta, and it has no excuses as it has been in beta for at least two years (the entirety of my previous phone contract, and my time using Android). Although on a relatively new phone (Galaxy S3), the constant freezing got too much, much and the perpetual nature of the beta doesn’t fill me with confidence unfortunately.

Google Play Movies

I’ve just rented a movie from Google Play Movies and thought I’d post a small review of my experiences.
Firstly, at 99p (in a sale) the rental was very good value, and with some movie rentals at £2.50, and therefore competitive with pay as you go LoveFilm there was some hope.

Or so I thought.

Rented films have to be watched within 30 days of renting – this is ok and is reasonable enough.

Once playback has been started, you have 48 hours before the rental expires. Considering they are competing with the likes of Netflix, LoveFilm and iTunes, most of which offer monthly recurring plans, this seems strange. I understand that some kind of limit has to be placed on the rental, but why not a 30 day rental (or even a 14 day rental), scrapping the expiry once playback has begun.

You can sync rented movies to your Android phone, to playback offline. This is simply a necessary feature. It does however disable the option to watch the rented film in a browser – you can’t split your 48 hours of viewing between mobile and desktop without repeatedly re-downloading the movie to your phone.

You can watch on a desktop, but only in the browser. When buffering (in a YouTube player) video playback was often stuttery. Now I know my hardware can play back 1080p YouTube content, so there is something different about this flash only player. Video played smoothly once the entire film was buffered, and was good quality, at a max. of 720p for the particular film I rented (which was released in 1976 and so would not have benefitted from any higher resolution). In addition, and although having not tried this with standard YouTube content, it is not possible to use dual monitor functionality when playing rented movies in the browser. Once the lightboxed player is full screened, other tabs cannot be opened and used whilst full screen (I was using the latest version Chrome on my mac).

Or…I hear if you somehow find yourself in posession of a verion of the film as an .avi, it plays pretty much anywhere, for as long as you want. I would never encourage the aquisition of films in such a format however, when faced with inconveniences between the content and the enjoyment of the content there is little wonder why the path of least resistance is often followed by consumers.

Why, oh why, Spotify?

There was dispair on my part when Spotify announced the 5 plays per track policy, not because I use Spotify heavily, simply because I (and many others) saw this move as the end of Spotify. I am trying to understand Spotify’s logic; if people aren’t paying for premium subscriptions, how is attempting to force them to pay likely to work? It is a well known fact that when the general (music loving) public don’t like something, corporations forcing them to pay money for things always works – I mean look at how few people use P2P and torrent technology!

As far as I was concerned, if I wanted to listen to a track I might use Spotify, although the previews on sites like Amazon (my favourite) are usually adequate enough to decide whether I like a track or not (it’s mainly a whole album yes / no situation for me any way, to be honest). Or I could just not bother with it at all. I was done.

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More Apple playing God

This is really getting to me now, I am going to recategorize these kind of posts as Crapple.

Apple removed PayPal’s app when they added the ability to donate to charity with it. The app raised $10,000 before being removed. Info pertaining to apple’s 30% cut and an insistence to use Safari for donations seem to be to blame.

Have a read of the post I read here:

http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/full/~3/rEDoqzPmfcM/why-does-apple-make-being-a-charitable-app-so-hard

Beta Software

Now I know what the implications of using beta software are; it is not finished, it will have bugs, use at your own risk. Now this is all well and good, but I’ve been using the Android beta of Evernote for a little while now and I keep loosing notes!

 

OK so there are bugs which need fixing, but surely if you are going to release a beta, note sync shouldn’t be a bug to fix, it should be the first thing you get working, the first thing you fix before you release an alpha, neigh the first thing you get working before asking a colleague next to you “what do you think?”!

 

Evernote is a truly sterling program, I use it both in its web and Mac form very frequently, and I’ve found even the PC version not too bad, but they have truly missed the boat with their Android version. Considering they boast about having tech savvy users, they have totally neglected a large part of their userbase.

 

That said, the other versions are so good that this is merely a smear on the pristine facade which is Evernote.

 

Update: They updated the Evernote Android app and it is now one of the best apps I have used, and continue to use daily!

Frustration!

I updated the UI for the first one of my plugins and it appears that something freaky is going on with SonicBirth, probably to do with leopard come to think about it and now none of the controls work in any host. At least it’s not just me experiencing this and at least its not just my plugins, the SonicBirth ones don’t work either. Anyway here’s a screen shot of what it would have looked like…

Bit Destroyer, what would have been.

I’ve had to put my plugin development to bed, for good now. If MAX5 / Pluggo gets the appropriate functionality or SonicBirth springs back to life I will persevere.