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kelley
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I can’t say I’ve had too many issues with Apple Music myself and we use it across all our devices for 3 family members and myself and with the AllinOne sub it has been pretty cheap too so I’m happy with it. I don’t use it a lot on the Mac itself though as that rarely where I listen to music. I understand the love for Spotify though - we used that for a long time before and it’s very good so fair play. I do also sync the library weekly to Plex so I have my own, controlled library with the album art and meta data I select so thenAM library details for a track or album don’t bug me as much. 

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Yeah to be fair on iOS devices the Music app has never given me much trouble outside of some navigation confusion. My Mac OS woes are really all related to library management. 

 

I'm planning to have a Roon server set up at some point when I have the money to burn on a DAC, the subscription and storage requirements and keep my lossless library there. It's not something I will look into until I have settled on whatever my Mac desktop solution is going to be though. I'd also still keep Apple Music though purely for the convenience of accessing lossy music on my devices when I am on the move. 

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7 hours ago, Angry the Clown said:

Let's say you own an album on CD, an older release that has since been remastered and re-issued, and that re-issue is the only version available on streaming... only the remaster happens to sound worse than the original album. Happens often. In that scenario, the matching algorithm would only serve up the latest incarnation of that album.

 

I feel like this can be real hit-or-miss. A few years ago, I bought a box set that included remastered versions of many of Toto’s early albums. For the most part, the remasters weren’t yet available on streaming. The ones that were available came via a greatest hits collection that was released around this time, but the vast majority of the album tracks were still the original versions — at least on streaming platforms like Apple Music.

 

When I ripped the CDs from this box set into my library, Apple Music ended up matching most of the remasters that were available on said greatest hits album, but the rest of the album tracks were uploaded, since they were different enough to not register as copies already on the service. At this time, I didn’t mind, as I greatly prefer the remasters over the originals.

 

Conversely, I just tried a little experiment using a CD rip of U2’s The Joshua Tree. This is from a CD I purchased back in the early ‘90s, so obviously, it’s not the latest and greatest version available. I was curious to see what would happen. Would it match these old masters with the new ones, or simply upload them because they were different enough? In the end,  it was a little of both. It matched “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and “With or Without You”, but it uploaded every other track. Like I said, real hit-or-miss. 

 

Another wrinkle to all this is the addition of lossless tracks to Apple Music. If a CD rip of yours is matched with the version on Apple’s servers, you’ll be able to download and stream both the lossless and high-res lossless version of that song to any device that supports it. However, if the song isn’t matched and gets uploaded instead, you’re stuck with the high quality AAC version. Granted the quality of the mix plays a much bigger role in how good a track sounds than the encoding does, but it would be nice to have the ability to upload lossless versions of tracks to play wherever you want. 

 

That said, one thing I do appreciate about Apple Music that I don’t think any other service offers (I’m not 100% sure because I haven’t tried them all) is the ability to go in and adjust the metadata on every track you download. I’m very fussy about the metadata on my music, and hate extraneous information that I don’t think belongs. For instance, why does every track on this Spotify edition of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road have to put “ - Remastered 2014” at the end? I hate that. When I add a track from Apple Music, I can change whatever metadata I want and make every song adhere to my own personal rules with regarding to naming. It makes it feel more like my own copy (even though I know it isn’t).

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13 hours ago, JFo said:

That said, one thing I do appreciate about Apple Music that I don’t think any other service offers (I’m not 100% sure because I haven’t tried them all) is the ability to go in and adjust the metadata on every track you download. I’m very fussy about the metadata on my music, and hate extraneous information that I don’t think belongs. For instance, why does every track on this Spotify edition of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road have to put “ - Remastered 2014” at the end? I hate that. When I add a track from Apple Music, I can change whatever metadata I want and make every song adhere to my own personal rules with regarding to naming. It makes it feel more like my own copy (even though I know it isn’t).

 

Yes, I appreciate that too, although have I have encountered some occasions where it messes things up. Generally though, it does work, even down to letting me change the artwork. 

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The iPad Mini seemed to be the best new product of the bunch there I think. It's a shame it doesn't have 120hz because having that on my Pro makes it hard to consider ever going back (and I'm glad it has now come to the Pro phones, though I'll continue on with my XS for another year). The phones and watch just struck me as being in a transitional year as far as updates were concerned. Interesting to see that the usual leakers were lead astray with talk of the flat edge watch re-design that did not come to pass. Makes me wonder how much misinformation they've been fed about the forthcoming laptops too.

 

All of the OS updates will be released on the 20th. 

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Agreed that the iPad mini is the best thing they announced. If I were buying a new tablet, that’s probably what I’d want. 
 

The iPhone seems like the usual S type iteration on the 12. There isn’t much in the non pro version to get excited about. For those that wanted 120hz displays, that they’re getting them finally. 
 

The cinematic mode seems interesting. The little “whodunnit” video was pretty impressive. When they were describing how automated it was, I was worried there wasn’t going to be any sort of manual control. Thankfully there was. 
 

Disappointed, but not surprised, that there weren’t new AirPods. 

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I also find it funny how they tout the capabilities of the USB-C port on the iPad and how it is so much faster than the previous (lightning) port, but keep it on the phones. 
 

Moving those ProRes videos off of those Pro phones will be slow. 

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I’d have thought the Mini is at the absolute limit on price already; once upon a time its role was as the iPad for people who couldn’t afford a full size one, and now its 50% more expensive than the basic iPad they announced about five minutes before. 

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I think that was marked by a very clear shift toward the kind of customers they were probably seeing buy and use the Mini. I got the sense that many adopted it as a second iPad where its size presented very unique possibilities for use compared to its larger counterparts, rather than buying it because it was a cheap entry point. Consequently over time we've seen Apple re-position it to feed into that kind of market instead. If I opted never to have a laptop again, and instead embraced a desktop and 12.9" iPad Pro combination as I am keen to do in future, I could absolutely find place and purpose for the Mini in my life as well.

 

I can't stress how fluid ProMotion on my 11" iPad makes it feel for everything from navigating the UI, web browsing, reading and sketching though, so hopefully that will make its way into the next generation of Mini, or that perhaps they trot out an iPad Pro Mini in future. 

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The Max is a model I never honestly considered for myself, but weirdly have given thought to doing next year. I wish I knew someone who was a Max owner so I could get some quality hands on time with that size away from just handling one in store though. I seem to be all thumbs when typing away on the standard phone size these days, and while a recent test did not show my eyesight to be deteriorating, I find I am nevertheless growing more and more appreciative of larger displays. Like everything it would require careful thought as to where it would fit into my life and daily workflow I suppose, and that's probably where I'll find myself having difficulty justifying the bigger model.

 

If I didn't get a watch then I'm not sure I'd want the Max strapped to my arm when running/working out...etc, and I also need to ask myself just how much I do on my phone. The answer is not much. I don't care for mobile gaming. I check email, make notes, made adjustments to my calendar and not a whole lot else on my phone these days outside of dropping in and out of Instagram (I keep no other social media platforms on my phone). Would I feel compelled to do more on the larger model by virtue of its added real estate? I'm not sure. Web browsing is the only thing I find infuriating on the 5.8" display of my XS. Whether I'd find the difference between 5.8" of the XS and what is now the standard iPhone 12/iPhone 13 Pro display size of 6.1" appreciable I don't know. 

 

I'm still at odds over the watch and may leave it for another year (it's weird that you can't even order a 7 yet so I don't even know what my mobile provider's pricing will be). There's a large part of me that would like it for being able to run without the phone but still have music connectivity with my Airpods, for workouts, for swimming...etc, and I can't lie that I love the idea of using it for Apple Pay in stores and when on London transport. The resistance comes from not wanting to surrender that last part of myself over to Apple however, and the fact I still struggle to find the watch attractive as an every day piece of apparel. 

 

 

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I'm liking IOS15. Some nice refinements to various apps (Weather in particular, on the phone at least. Seriously, would it hurt to actually give us the full app on iPad too?). I like little aesthetic changes like the rounded edges of notifications. I plan to sit and dig into setting up Focus modes later today as that's the big change I was really looking forward to.

 

It's very nice to finally have widgets and app library on iPad. It was absolutely pathetic that they didn't have that last year and still makes me question their commitment to iPadOS. The refinement to accessing multi-tasking windows is certainly welcome too, making it much easier to remember how to access that function and to be reminded that the feature even exists in the first place. 

 

App extensions in Safari is a great addition.

 

 

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I'm gradually getting there setting out Focus Modes on my iPad. They're pretty much going to be the default way in which I use the device now. It just makes everything so much more clean and er.... focused... *cough* On the phone I may not find them quite so useful, though that's mainly because my phone isn't much of a productivity or media consumption device like the iPad is so there's less to separate. I've only set up a Fitness Focus on the phone so far, but will do a couple more for work and probably a night time/evening mode once I finish everything on the iPad.

 

My only complaints are that there only seems to be a convoluted method requiring you to create a shortcut script if you want to change the background home screen wallpaper for each focus mode, and that you can either sync all Focus modes between devices, or not at all rather than select to sync individually which I think I'd find useful 

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