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Well, I've gone and done it.   11" iPad Pro, pencil and keyboard ordered. iPad and pencil will hopefully be with me next week as I ordered them from John Lewis (UK department store) as they

One thing I haven’t mentioned on LCVG at all is that I recently got a new job. Today was my first day there, and now that this has become a reality, I went ahead and ordered an iPhone Pro. One of the

I got my keyboard.  GAME CHANGER for me.  I’m lounging on couch typing this, very very comfortably.  The iPad is very stable on my lap.  The keys feel great and are a great size, I have a 16” MBP at w

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I’m thinking about getting the new 11” Pro but, I want to wait until they announce the iPadOS changes at WWDC to see the direction this is going in (assuming it’s anything different). I have to say my current Pro is still great and fast so it’s not a difficult decision to wait on news about M1 iPadOS changes.

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6 hours ago, Magness said:

I’m thinking about getting the new 11” Pro but, I want to wait until they announce the iPadOS changes at WWDC to see the direction this is going in (assuming it’s anything different). I have to say my current Pro is still great and fast so it’s not a difficult decision to wait on news about M1 iPadOS changes.

 

Rumours over the last couple of days are pointing to a Home Screen re-design for iPadOS which would be welcome, but hopefully there's a lot more refinement across the entire operating system. That still wouldn't alter the fact that the hardware continues to far exceed the software available for it however, but I'm definitely in the camp who want iPadOS to be its own thing rather than run MacOS so if they can at least make up for the rather half-arsed changes the iPad software received last year then that's going to be a step in the right direction regardless. It's still glued a little to much to iOS in my opinion.

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I’ve also considered getting the new 11” Pro despite the fact that the one I have already works perfectly fine and has more than enough power for everything I do. I suppose the M1 version might be able to play games a little better, but that’s about it.

 

If I do, I could trade in my current iPad Pro and get $455 for it. I think I can get by with the 128 GB  model. Mine now has 256, but I’m only using 149 of it. Most of that is media like movies and music that I can easily stream. If I do that, I can bring the total amount I pay before tax down to about $344. It’s doable, but again, it’s not really necessary as there’s nothing I can’t already do with the one I have.

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Now the fun begins:

 

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A report in Japanese publication Nikkei claims that the next generation of Apple's custom-designed silicon chips for Mac, dubbed the "M2," entered production this month.
 

Citing "sources familiar with the matter," Nikkei reports that the chips will power Macs that will be introduced in the second half of 2021, potentially as soon as July. That July date suggests that new Macs could be announced at Apple's 2021 developer conference, which kicks off on June 7.

 

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2021/04/report-apples-m2-chip-has-entered-production-and-will-ship-as-soon-as-july/

 

Ironically, my need for a new machine has suddenly become much less pressing. I brought home a pretty well spec'ed iMac from work. Core i9 3.6Ghz with 40GB RAM. Since I have full admin rights, I moved my personal accounts onto the machine, so it's my main computer for the time being. This will also have the side-effect of making WFH a pretty permanent thing now.

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Honest question for you all. What is your opinion on the iMac “chin”? You know, that little bit of aluminum underneath the display?

 

Since the new M1 iMacs were announced, I’ve seen a lot of pundits lamenting the fact that Apple didn’t take the opportunity of this redesign to eliminate it entirely. It’s not as if it doesn’t have a purpose. With this new design, the entire logic board is located in there along with the speakers. This allows the iMac to be as thin as it is, which I think is a real plus. The only alternative would be to take the guts of the computer and the speakers and put them behind the display, but this would have necessitated making the whole thing thicker for what is essentially just a small strip of circuitry.

 

I personally don’t have a problem with it. I don’t even mind it on the 27” model I have now. When I’m using the computer, I’m not looking at it. It doesn’t get in the way. It serves a purpose and give the computer a distinctive look.

 

I don’t know. I just think a lot of people are overreacting to it, and aren’t thinking through what it would take and what it would mean if Apple eliminated the chin in the iMac. Or at the very least, it’s not as ugly as they seem to think it is.

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10 hours ago, rustyjaw said:

 

I honestly wonder if it will really be called the M2. If we take such a chip to be tailored for the computers targeted at power users then it would seem a bit odd if the first to then get a presumably even better M3 in 2022 were devices like the Air and 24" iMac. At this point you'd surely think that Apple will shift to have two separate classes of M chip were you have the M1 and its future evolutions continue on in the likes of the Air, 24" iMac, Mac mini...etc, while another tier of chip caters entirely to more demanding devices. Since the next wave of updates are going to be for devices that have had dGPUs then Apple definitely have to rise to the challenge of matching or exceeding where MacBook Pros and 27" iMacs might otherwise be were they still being stuffed with recent AMD graphic solutions.

 

I was watching some M1 Mac mini videos again last night, primarily ones focusing on DaVinci Resolve performance, and it is still quite remarkable what they can do, so my demands really aren't that much higher for substantially better performance with their higher end device refreshes, but nevertheless I'd like to have more than I might personally need in the short term just to know that I'm covered for a longer period over time.

 

It will be interesting if the chip kind of mirrors what we've seen with the M1 devices, where, thermal performance differences aside, Apple have effectively brought in parity between their laptops and desktops. So we could end up with a 16" MBP that's essentially identical in performance to a 27"/30" iMac (Pro?). Similarly if it also means not having to shortchange the performance capabilities of the smaller MBP (presumably 14" come time of the next refresh?) then that would also be great and would leave me open to considering one as an option someday as I simply don't desire a 16" laptop but never liked how the smaller 13" MacBook Pro had to be shortchanged in the past with its less powerful Intel chips and lack of a dGPU. In theory, that should no longer be the case with a hypothetical 14" MBP.

 

The more I think about it, the more I really do want to see a Mac Mini Pro. I still have to believe that it's coming as they still sell the space grey Intel unit for which they have provided no M based replacement, but I'm also paranoid that the more interested I get in such a thing coming to fruition the less likely they are to make it. :) As with my thoughts about the MacBook Pros having parity with whatever replaces the 27" iMac, I still desperately want to see an Mac mini that's specced with identical internals and performance as a higher end iMac too. That may not necessarily be what I'd buy, much depends on what perks a larger iMac brings to the table in terms of its display (and whether it adds up to an acceptable price), but I certainly would value the choice when the time comes.

 

 

5 hours ago, JFo said:

Honest question for you all. What is your opinion on the iMac “chin”? You know, that little bit of aluminum underneath the display?

 

Since the new M1 iMacs were announced, I’ve seen a lot of pundits lamenting the fact that Apple didn’t take the opportunity of this redesign to eliminate it entirely. It’s not as if it doesn’t have a purpose. With this new design, the entire logic board is located in there along with the speakers. This allows the iMac to be as thin as it is, which I think is a real plus. The only alternative would be to take the guts of the computer and the speakers and put them behind the display, but this would have necessitated making the whole thing thicker for what is essentially just a small strip of circuitry.

 

I was genuinely surprised that they kept it, but I'm not overly turned off by the fact that they did. Still, I don't quite understand the obsession with making the computer as thin as possible when it's a device that will typically be placed with its back to a wall or some other obstruction, where once it's on your desk its depth is rendered largely irrelevant. I wouldn't scoff at having one on my desk tough by any means. 

 

I'm of two minds in predicting whether they might keep the chin and bezels on whatever replaces the 27" iMac too though. For one, that's going to be a device marketed at a proportion of customers who probably take issue with the chin design the most. Then you have to account for the fact that the larger screen atop of such a strip means that the bigger model would take up more vertical space on a desk than is perhaps necessary. However, if we assume the larger iMac will have a MiniLED backlit display (which it surely will), then we can expect it to be thicker by design, which could well leave them willing and able to hide everything behind an edge to edge display, but it's possible that the heat dispersion for all the LEDs could still force their hand to put the computer's core components into a chin again (but that said, the 12.9" iPad Pro only got 0.5mm thicker to account for the MiniLED array and kept all the processing and speakers beneath it, so...).

 

It would certainly be very Apple to tell those who wanted an edge to edge display on iMac for the last several years that they'll have to pay a premium for it by buying the higher end model.

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16 hours ago, JFo said:

Honest question for you all. What is your opinion on the iMac “chin”? You know, that little bit of aluminum underneath the display?


It doesn’t bother me too much, but I feel like they probably could have come up with a solution to get rid of it because it would look better without it. 
 

As others have said, a super thin desktop like that, while impressive, isn’t really necessary. They could have made it a bit thicker, or even have a bump, to get rid of the chin and it wouldn’t make any real practical difference. This would have possibly allowed them to incorporate the power into it also, instead of having a brick.

 

There’s possibly some sort of technical reason that everything wouldn’t have worked behind the screen, thus requiring some sort of chin to house a particular component that needs to be there, and since you have that already, why not just put it all there? I dunno, I’m not an engineer.

 

Also, I can’t ever see myself buying an iMac, so I don’t really care that much. 

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I tried the colour calibration on my Apple TV and couldn’t get it to work. I’d hold my phone up to the screen and nothing happens. Tried it a bunch of times and in different locations. 
 

Cancelling out of the calibration seems to cause issues too and I’d have to restart my phone and hard exit the setting app to try again. 
 

Is there some reason this wouldn’t work on a Plasma TV?

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11 hours ago, Graeme said:

I tried the colour calibration on my Apple TV and couldn’t get it to work. I’d hold my phone up to the screen and nothing happens. Tried it a bunch of times and in different locations. 
 

Cancelling out of the calibration seems to cause issues too and I’d have to restart my phone and hard exit the setting app to try again. 

 

Is there some reason this wouldn’t work on a Plasma TV?

 

What are your ATV settings?

 

Mine are:

 

Enable HDR

Format: 4k SDR

HDMI Output: YCbCR

Chroma: 4:2:0

Match Content: Range & Frame Rate

 

Obviously 'Enable HDR' won't apply to you with the Plasma, but there shouldn't be any inherent reason for the Plasma itself to be the problem I wouldn't have thought. I assume you're using an iPhone X or above as those are the only compatible phones.

 

I ran the calibration and there was the tiniest, and I really do mean TINIEST have to have your nose up to the screen to see it, shift in certain saturated colours on my LG OLED. Honestly if you've ever calibrated your display then you really don't need this feature at all.

 

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I got the colour calibration to work. My TV is tilted down a bit and I was holding the phone parallel with the TV. If I held the phone straight up and down it worked. 
 

The picture changed slightly, a bit cooler looking colour than I would expect. I wish they had more pictures to A/B with it. 

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On 4/27/2021 at 6:55 PM, JFo said:

Honest question for you all. What is your opinion on the iMac “chin”? You know, that little bit of aluminum underneath the display?


I’ve been thinking about this for a few days, my initial response was “no big deal” about the chin on the new iMacs. I also feel like it is a kind of branding element that, without any more information, visually says “iMac.” But since then I’ve had occasion (actually a lot of them while setting up a “new” machine) to try and reach the ports on the back of the current iMac, and the chin adds just enough height to the machine to make reaching under it to gain access super awkward (try getting the damn SD card out!j. If there was even 1 more inch of clearance, it would be so much better. Sure, it’s possible to reach around (yes, I said it!) the side, but the ports are even further from the side. And I have my audio monitors fairly close the the side of my machine for good reasons, so that route is even more awkward. I’ve noted this to myself many many times over the years…so many I forgot that it remains an issue. 
 

So I’d be super happy if they’d ditched the chin and added some room between the desk and the underside of the screen to make accessing the ports a bit easier. 

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It's £2129 to spec out a 24" iMac with 16GB Ram (£200 for goodness sake), 1TB SSD and bundle it with a trackpad and numeric keyboard. If we assume the next tier of M SoC can go to 32GB Ram then we can safely say Apple will double that cost to £400. So add to that all the bells and whistles the bigger model is likely to provide with more power and a larger higher end display adding to the cost and it's certain to come in north of £3000 I suspect. 

 

I'll really have to weigh up my options when the time comes between the larger iMac, what I hope will be a Mac mini Pro and whether a 14" MBP could give me the performance I need (even though I really am not keen to run a laptop into an external monitor for 80% of its usage). 

 

Interesting how there's no 10GB Ethernet option for the 24' iMac despite the M1 Mac minis now offering one. 

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iOS 14.6 Beta 1 Code Hints at Upcoming HiFi Apple Music Support

 

Sami Fathi, reporting for MacRumors:

 

Quote

 

Apple is laying the groundwork for adding HiFi support to Apple Music which would offer ‌Apple Music‌ subscribers and owners of compatible devices, such as certain models of AirPods, access to high-fidelity audio streaming, according to code within the iOS 14.6 beta discovered by MacRumors.

 

Earlier today, a report claimed that Apple will announce a new $9.99 per month ‌Apple Music‌ tier that offers HiFi music streaming in the "coming weeks." Now, code within the first beta of iOS 14.6 discovered by MacRumors contributor Steve Moser confirms that Apple is exploring the option and preparing for a possible release.

 

Within the code for the first beta of the upcoming update, references to "lossless audio," "high-quality stereo streaming," and "HiFi" are found within the ‌Apple Music‌ app. Accompanying code within the beta suggests that HiFi streaming could be limited to only certain ‌AirPods‌ such as the AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, and newer.

 

 

I don’t see the average consumer paying for lossless audio, but I think it is important for Apple to have it as an option for those who want it. It puts Apple Music on equal footing with the other services.

 

I can’t say it’s something that interests me, however. The compression on Apple Music is already good enough that I am unable to hear the difference between a lossy file and a lossless one. All it would do is take up more storage space on my devices and use up more of my monthly data. And I say this as someone who listens to all his music on high quality speakers and headphones and also rips his CDs to Apple Lossless.

 

While we’re on the subject, can I just say how much I dislike the way these companies are using “HiFi” to denote lossless music? HiFi — or high fidelity — just means that you can record and reproduce all the sounds within the scope of human hearing (20 Hz–20 kHz). Technically, lossless files do that, so they are technically “HiFi” as well. Yes, yes, I know it’s just marketing, but it still bugs me.

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4 minutes ago, JFo said:

I can’t say it’s something that interests me, however. The compression on Apple Music is already good enough that I am unable to hear the difference between a lossy file and a lossless one. All it would do is take up more storage space on my devices and use up more of my monthly data. And I say this as someone who listens to all his music on high quality speakers and headphones and also rips his CDs to Apple Lossless.

 

I'm not massively fussed about it for streaming, but I would personally still like an ALAC option for iTunes purchases (I suspect Apple will not bother extending the option that far though). 

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21 hours ago, JFo said:

The compression on Apple Music is already good enough that I am unable to hear the difference between a lossy file and a lossless one. All it would do is take up more storage space on my devices and use up more of my monthly data. And I say this as someone who listens to all his music on high quality speakers and headphones and also rips his CDs to Apple Lossless.

 

A couple of months ago I did the "itunes 256Kbps ABX test" and couldn't tell them apart: http://abx.digitalfeed.net/itunes.html - I think I got about 65%? and that was with intense focus, trying to listen for differences. And with my my good system and room where I mix music.

 

I used to be able to tell from the high-freqs, specially around cymbal sounds in the 2000's with mp3... and I was sure I was going to be able to tell with AAC enough to justify lossless Amazon Music HD but...nope.

 

 

 

 

 

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On 5/2/2021 at 5:40 PM, AlbertA said:

 

A couple of months ago I did the "itunes 256Kbps ABX test" and couldn't tell them apart: http://abx.digitalfeed.net/itunes.html - I think I got about 65%? and that was with intense focus, trying to listen for differences. And with my my good system and room where I mix music.

 

I used to be able to tell from the high-freqs, specially around cymbal sounds in the 2000's with mp3... and I was sure I was going to be able to tell with AAC enough to justify lossless Amazon Music HD but...nope.

 

 

I doubt I'd do well in blind tests either, and it's been years since I've been able to have a decent hi-fi set up due to living space limitations. While I hope this will change in future. right now I listen mostly via my laptop and my phone these days either via their internal speakers, my AirPods Pro or my B&W PX7, and wireless headphones featuring even the latest version of bluetooth being inherently lossy anyway (even my PX7 set with AptX HD support) means that it's useless my even trying any A/B tests. All that said, I still would prefer to archive my purchases at CD quality and continue to buy CDs and FLAC downloads as a bare minimum, if for no other reason than relative peace of mind in not having to concern myself with the thought that lossy compression might potentially be adding/subtracting something from the chain. For streaming though, again, I couldn't care less.

 

There are so many damn variables involved from one song/album/movie to another, plus the fact that unless we're listening back on the exact same system with the same room acoustics in which the master was created then "lossless" is surely something of a misnomer the moment it leaves our speakers anyway. I do think people get a little too hung up on the pursuit of perfection and in the process lose sight of enjoying whatever it is they're listening to.

 

I've been without surround sound since so many of the streaming services became popular and am curious about how their audio performance holds up compared to what lossless options we can get on Blu-ray/UHD and, in particular, compared to what lossy options we've had via physical media in the past. At a bare minimum in that respect I'd be perfectly happy with the level of quality we lived with in cinemas and on laserdiscs and DVDs for years. I've no personal experience with how E-AC3/Dolby Digital Plus' compression (the adopted standard for streaming) holds up against old AC3 but surely it's as good as what Dolby Digital has delivered before? Dolby Digital was 320kbps theatrically if memory serves, a little higher on laserdisc (384?), and maxed out at 448kbps on DVD. I can wax lyrical about enjoying absolutely thrilling audio presentations with all of them. 

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