Tag Archives: iTunes

一个果轮和安猪Atrix在一起的第二天

第二天,继续记录感觉好和感觉不好的地方。猪轮谷轮请轻拍。

感觉好的地方

1. 剪切板历史记录。很好。
2. 1GB的内存很大,818MB可用,内存里可以放很多程序。只要他们不怎么消耗电池,这个我是无所谓。程序切换比较快。相比之下,iOS设备的内存一直较少。虽然iOS程序和系统往往更流畅,但是物理限制决定驻留内存程序有限,程序切换的时候更多时候需要程序重启。

混合感觉,有好有坏的地方

1. 四个按钮。

安猪的四个按键,是和iPhone操作最不同的地方之一。home的作用和iOS基本一样。option键,隐藏了很多option,节约了界面空间,但是隐藏的话用户经常需要点击才能查看我到底能干什么,也不是非常好。Consistency上,options有时候藏在里面,有时候没有。确实不管是桌面还是移动操作系统,很少有做到人机交互高度consistent的,除了苹果。

返回键,很多人喜欢,很多人不喜欢。有人认为是设计上的亮点,有人认为不是。我认为有时候还不错,有时候也是缺乏consistency。用来在程序之间切换,比如从twitter打开一个链接,自动用opera打开,然后按一次返回,opera把tab关掉,再按一次,回到twitter,感觉并不是完全intuitive的操作,但是还算seamless,切换速度也比较快。没有切换动画反馈,有时候较confusing。很多时候取消也用这个按键,所以功能太多,缺乏consistency,但是喜欢功能的功能控,恐怕会很热爱它。

搜索键,我觉得并非必要。放到软件界面里也未尝不可。如果软件界面上没有提示可以搜索,难道我每次都要去试一下?学习curve和记忆要求太高。如果界面上有提示,那么应该按这个提示就可以搜索,也不需要搜索按钮了。骨骼作为搜索公司,所以刻意设计了这个按钮,让人时刻不忘“search”,个人觉得不是非常好的设计。

好像这些按钮大部分在Honeycomb里面也变成在界面上的了。

~~~~~

2. 音乐媒体播放

自带播放器不是很好。
amazon MP3可以播放云音乐,也可以播放本地文件,功能上还是不错的。可惜播放云音乐不够流畅,不时还有爆音,好似CD轨道划伤,让人不得不叹息amazon对细节一向的不注意不追求,用户体验之差。好在可以扫描本地文件,至少也是按照metadata给我Organize了,也算庆幸没有让我去找文件,找文件夹,略感欣慰。

总之,显然,这些都是iPod。界面,操作,各方面,都让我回想起以前的generic MP3 vs iPod的感受。

3. 音乐同步

几千首音乐,没有同步功能会死人。特别是如果电脑上的音乐更新了封面,歌词等,我希望每次sync就可以自动更新。摩托有Windows版的client貌似可以搞定这个事情,但是我不用Windows没法测试。有第三方软件支持同步是好。但是实际体验如何,请看下面。

更多比较差的地方

Motoblur界面不是很好。程序之间界面consistency很差。很多系统程序的黑底白字界面设计让人颇感可怕,为什么要这样设计?难道是学Zune?难道是为了OLED屏幕省电?反正既不美观也不实用。

自带的邮件软件比较差,虽然可以比较容易的添加各种电邮帐号,但是用起来比iOS差很多。更让人匪夷所思的是,gmail是单独的程序,不在universal inbox里面。这是神马设计?难道这不是真正的脑残?

最近一个老牌软件Miro更新了支持同步安猪手机。于是下载来看看。所以顺带review一下Miro。以前Miro是以可以下载BT,管理视频,看网络电视著称。跨平台,但是一直不是很流行。最近可以管理音乐了。它扫描你的iTunes library,导入音乐。但是浏览音乐的模式很脑残。貌似没有分栏查找的功能。全部列在一个窗口里。要么是文字列表,要么是莫名其妙的超长列表,每行一首歌,每行占据很大空间的显示方法。

那么怎么同步呢?很难像iTunes那样选择几张专辑来同步。 我可以文本搜索某艺人,专辑,然后选中拖到手机或手机上的SD卡上,然后它同步。可惜同步到SD卡速度较慢。然后一次同步操作完成之前,没有办法拖更多音乐过去。表明这个软件实在是原始。貌似也没有以后自动更新这些文件的能力。所以很失望。DoubleTwist不知道是否会好一些。决定这几天试一下。

有些程序都是自己放在后来定期链接服务器看有没有新消息。这个很不可靠,速度也很慢,比起iOS的Push notification实在是差了很多。比如我用TextPlus,对方回复之后我的iPad马上受到提示。但是Atrix至少延迟两三分钟。如果后台程序更频繁链接服务器查询新消息,那么估计电池也吃不消。所以再次感叹,Push notification好。据说骨骼很快也要支持类似服务。好吧,互相抄吧。

官方的gmail程序貌似也不是很好用。我感觉我更喜欢移动网页里的gmail的感觉。可惜我现在也不怎么用Gmail了。

最后,现在已经是晚上。在写完上文之后一段时间,又遇到如下问题,反映了系统的不稳定。

第一,蓝牙连接福特Sync系统成功。但是大约三四首歌之后,链接断开了,然后atrix开始用外放喇叭开始循环播放这张专辑每首歌的一两秒。车上台湾mm也无语了,我只好说没办法,安猪系统不好,她有ipad 2所以还能理解。用的是songbird程序,开车,只好快速杀掉两个进程也无用。让mm把手机静音也没用。到达目的地之后打开android assistant还是做了什么操作就突然好了。

之后又发现指纹识别完全没反应了。于是只能重启。android assistant说开机时间超过两分钟。开机加载项花了一分钟。还好没有给我算开机速度全国排名百分比。

大概就这样了。硬件配置比老的iphone好很多。直接从iphone3g,3gs换到最新安猪也应该就感觉真的升级换代了。

晚上朋友有iphone 4,我也会群体目测了一下屏幕。昨天我写的,今天更新的屏幕细节问题,得到验证。iphone4屏幕确实细腻很多。atrix屏幕的pattern太明显。

AAC Encoding in Snow Leopard or iTunes 9.x Dramatically Improved?

Figures show it all.
tori

NIN

faye

XLD is app on Mac OS X that uses CoreAudio to encode AAC. Basically that’s what iTunes was using.

My parameter for XLD was:
True VBR
Encoder quality: Max
Target quality: ~111
Resulted bitrate is around 256kbps, sometimes over 300kbps

Nero 1.3.3.0 was used for my older encodings
And I used Foobar2000 to encode and choose the best settings I could. And resulted in ~200kbps file.

What does this mean?
I know eventually for SQ we need listen test. But these graph suggest dramatic improvement of compression? Or not.
If it is indeed improvement, I probably have to ditch all my nero encoded files…And redo all the rip and such. Painful!

Western media mastered the art of propaganda

So, iTunes was promoting the album “Songs for Tibet” and caused resentment among Chinese both overseas and in China. A couple of days ago, iTunes Store was blocked by China. It was a big deal for the western media because they found another thing they can attack.

Today Associated Press reported from Beijing, that,

Blocked iTunes users poured out their frustration on Internet bulletin boards.

“It seems like suspending iTunes is punishment for iTunes, but really it doesn’t hurt iTunes, it hurts us,” said a note on macfans.com.cn, a Chinese site for Apple users.

I was totally surprised. So I went to macfans.com.cn and found out that, the main thread talking about the block, people are NOT complaining it is blocked. Chinese people on this forum agreed iTunes should pay for this. What they actually said were like this:

Oh, I thought it was my software’s problem I cannot access it.

This time Apple did something inappropriate, there’s nothing we can say now.

This time they (the great firewall) reacted too slow.

Isn’t it on iTunes before the olympics? They are too slow to react.

They deserved it by violating Chinese law and regulation; the block came too late!

Apple has no common sense and made a big mistake.

Great!

Apple doesn’t care about Chinese people.

I demand the custom ban all Apple products from import. Show Steve Jobs we mean business!

In Jobs’ eyes there is no Chinese market. He doesn’t care.

I support the ban.

If there is content on MobileMe that supports Tibet independence, it should be banned too.

and many more like these.

So I have yet to see anyone who is actually annoyed by the ban. Totally different from what AP reported. Yet, Americans will believe whatever they read. And they will call Chinese brainwashed if we don’t believe what their media like AP says. Because western media has mastered the art of propaganda.

Netflix and Blockbuster are in trouble because of iTunes

Today Apple announced that they have sold 5 billion songs. And now they sell or rent over 50,000 movies per day.

A while ago it is said that Netflix has 8 million subscribers. I believe many of those subscribers are not subscribed to unlimited plan. So a conservative estimation is, every customer rents 3 movies a month. That’s 24 million movies per month.

However, Apple sells/rents 50,000 movies a day. That’s 150,000 movies a month. iTunes has a market of 1/160 the size of Netflix. And that’s when iTunes has just started, and iTunes has only a little over 2000 movies, compared to about 100,000 titles of Netflix which is about 50 time bigger. Note that both of them have some quite old titles, so the selection of new titles is not a major issue. That is to say, Apple uses 1/50 of Netflix’s collection, and get 1/160 of Netflix’s rent amount. That’s impressive for a young service.

I used to subscribe to Netflix or Blockbuster. But they are not flexible, as I HAVE to rent a certain amount of movies so that my money is well worth it. Now I don’t have to . I just need iTunes to rent movie when I really need it. With better selection, iTunes will ultimately be a better choice for people who don’t want to watch a certain amount of movies a month.

And yes, Netflix is in trouble. Blockbuster has been in trouble for a long time because of Netflix.

iTunes PLUS or Used CD?

Since the announcement of iTunes PLUS, I have decided not to buy any music from iTunes which are protected by DRM. And I did have bought some iTunes PLUS music. Anyway, I had over $50 store credit I have to use, or it is nothing because I cannot get refund from iTunes for store credit.

However, sometimes it is much cheaper to buy used CD. Some used CDs can be as low as $0.99 + $2.99 shipping. And you get the physical CD and, most of the time, CD book/artwork. And you can put these as decoration at home, as well as showcase for your music taste. So, why not? It is definitely good.

However, compared used CD to eMusic, I would still download from eMusic because it is even cheaper. Faster.

Still, I have some collection of CDs that I am proud of. What I need now is a CD shelf, artistic one.