The Talk Show

343: ‘Fussy Typography Improvements’, With Paul Kafasis


00:00:00   There might be some listeners out there who think perhaps this podcast has too much baseball content

00:00:05   and should focus more on Apple. Now I have bad news for those people.

00:00:09   - Sorry, non-sports fans. It's gotta be sports.

00:00:13   - But I do think there are numerous, talking about the strategy and why Apple's even getting into,

00:00:21   you know, what we're alluding to here for anybody who's been under a rock is Friday night baseball,

00:00:26   which I guess is a new thing, right? It's not like Apple is taking over Friday night baseball from

00:00:33   Amazon Prime. - From some other property, right.

00:00:36   - Right, or like a traditional cable network like TBS has had Friday night baseball for the last 10

00:00:42   years or something like that. It's sort of a new national franchise. And the basic idea

00:00:47   is there are two games every Friday, like a seven-

00:00:51   - What time of the day are they, though? - I think that they're always

00:00:56   there's an East Coast seven o'clock in the evening game and then a West Coast seven o'clock in the

00:01:01   evening game, which for me and you on the East Coast would be like 10 or 1030 or something like

00:01:08   that. - Well, did you notice this?

00:01:10   So it's Apple. Apple is California-based. I've always said they have a real California bias with

00:01:16   things like Touch ID, where on the East Coast we wear gloves in the winter and suddenly you

00:01:20   can't unlock your phone. Did you notice that they were promoting the game times in Pacific time?

00:01:24   - Yes, I absolutely did. That is one of the- - Which is so, and that's strange to me because

00:01:29   plenty of stuff is out of LA, TV-wise, movie-wise, obviously, but I think TV-wise too. But everything

00:01:34   in my lifetime has always been seven o'clock Eastern, six o'clock Central, and you never see

00:01:41   a Pacific time zone mentioned. So I think Apple's really, they're throwing their weight around there

00:01:46   getting the Pacific time zone in there. - Yeah, I definitely think that whoever

00:01:50   did it at Apple, whoever made that decision is a lifelong Californian.

00:01:55   - West coaster, yeah. - Yeah, West coaster,

00:01:58   and is sort of putting their thumb on the scale. And you know, all right, fair enough. You know,

00:02:02   you're a California company. You want to make Pacific times primary and Eastern and, you know,

00:02:09   poor mountain time. - Mountain time's the coolest one.

00:02:14   That's got the best name. - It's by far the best name.

00:02:17   - Central is boring. East is where the East, Pacific, all right, it's all right. But mountain

00:02:22   time, that's good stuff. - Right, well, but nobody's ever

00:02:25   going to, I don't think, I don't think there's ever going to be a company headquartered in, say,

00:02:32   what's the biggest city in mountain zone? It's gotta be Denver.

00:02:34   - It's gotta be Denver, I think. - I don't think anybody,

00:02:36   even if they were headquartered in Denver, is going to broadcast there.

00:02:40   - No, 'cause the math doesn't, you've got to subtract an hour for Pacific,

00:02:43   you've got to add two hours for East Coast. No, it doesn't work.

00:02:46   - Yeah. - It's too much of a mess.

00:02:47   - But I did notice that. - Well, and the funny thing about it is that,

00:02:51   then that means, so they're saying 4.10 PM is the first game, because 4.10 PM Pacific.

00:02:55   - Yeah. - That's not really Friday night.

00:02:57   - Right, that's Friday afternoon baseball. - That's Friday afternoon baseball.

00:03:00   - This got announced a little late. So anyway, last week was the As We Record,

00:03:08   and I believe this episode will definitely, since we're recording on Tuesday the 12th,

00:03:12   we will, this show will be out before this week's edition of Friday Night Baseball.

00:03:15   So, but we've, you know, we've got one week under our belts. I watched with great enthusiasm,

00:03:21   just to see what it was like. I kind of like seeing a new broadcast like that anyway,

00:03:26   you know, like I might, I would, maybe I wouldn't take such scrupulous notes if it were on Amazon,

00:03:32   but I still would have tuned in. - Would have checked it out, sure.

00:03:34   - Right. - Well, did you, so have you watched,

00:03:36   I don't know, the past couple years there have been like YouTube broadcasts.

00:03:38   - Mm-hmm. - I think Facebook had a broadcast

00:03:41   at one point, I don't even, I've tuned into a little bit of these. I watch Red Sox games,

00:03:45   I watch most of them, and then I watch national games sporadically until the playoffs. But yeah,

00:03:50   I did the same thing you did. I tuned into this and sort of, I don't think we'd even talked about

00:03:54   it beforehand, but I thought maybe it'd be something we'd talk about on the show, and now it is.

00:03:58   - Well, it's, for those who aren't baseball fans, one of the weird things, and you and I

00:04:05   have talked about this at great length, is, so, if you, baseball is a very long season, six months

00:04:12   and 162 games in the regular season, which is a lot of, that's a lot of baseball, even if you're

00:04:18   a fan. - It's a lot.

00:04:19   - But that means that like your hometown network gets 100 and, maybe not 162 games,

00:04:27   because when your team is on national TV, they don't broadcast it.

00:04:30   - Right, it depends on, if you're a Yankees fan, if you're a Red Sox fan, you lose 10,

00:04:35   20 games a year to ESPN, to Friday Night Baseball, to things like that, but yeah.

00:04:38   - Right. - 140, 150 games for the

00:04:40   hometown announcers. - Right, and if you're,

00:04:43   you know, the Florida Marlins, well, you get closer to 162 games on your local affiliate.

00:04:50   - Now, now, the Miami Marlins, Jon. - Oh, Miami Marlins, that's right,

00:04:54   Miami Marlins. I don't expect to see, I don't know, I don't want to poke fun at the smaller

00:04:59   market teams, but it's, you know, let's say 150 games. There are occasional, I guess it depends

00:05:05   how much the network's bid for the games. So the Yankees-Red Sox game over the weekend,

00:05:11   one of the games over the weekend was also on Fox. Did you notice that, or did you not even notice?

00:05:15   - Oh, no, I didn't see that. That was like the Saturday game?

00:05:17   - Yeah, I think the Saturday game, yeah, because Sunday night was on ESPN.

00:05:21   - Sunday was ESPN. - So it's a good example. So

00:05:24   Saturday afternoon, Fox had a national, Fox Sports Network had a national telecast of the Yankees-Red

00:05:31   Sox game, but it wasn't exclusive, and so Yankees fans could watch on.

00:05:35   - Right, because I still had my local, I assume you still had your local.

00:05:37   - Right, but then Sunday night, for Sunday night baseball, which is an ESPN franchise and has been

00:05:44   for quite a long time, that's an exclusive, and so the local networks didn't have it. But anyway,

00:05:50   where I'm going with this, though, is that the local networks have so much more experience

00:05:54   broadcasting these games, and they get really good at it, and they've got, you know, cameras,

00:06:00   you know, and they just know how to do slow motion and when to expect there might be a close tag play

00:06:06   at second base, get it, you know, make sure there's a high-speed slow-motion camera with a good angle.

00:06:11   And then the playoffs start. - And it's the biggest,

00:06:14   you know, shit sandwich. - It really is.

00:06:18   - That your team makes the playoffs, and you're like, "This is great. They're gonna, they're gonna,

00:06:22   you know, win the World Series, but now I gotta listen to these horrible announcers who don't know

00:06:26   nearly as much as I, a fan who's watched all season, know." And the production, as you just

00:06:32   said, they don't. It's strange to me because obviously ESPN, Fox, TBS, these are national

00:06:37   companies with all kinds of money, but somehow they can't hire people who, I think you're right,

00:06:42   I think it's just the experience of doing 150 games makes you better at it than someone who

00:06:47   comes in to do a national broadcast for, you know, 10, 20 games every fall.

00:06:51   - Yeah, and I don't know, you know, I don't tune in randomly. I mean, one thing is I subscribe to

00:06:57   the MLB app. And I know, I think you and I have talked about this on the show, like baseball's TV

00:07:02   rights are so complicated. They really are. - They're the worst. It's so bad.

00:07:07   - But there's these local restrictions on the MLB app that are still in play. Here we are in 2022.

00:07:12   I mean, and this has been, I think I've been subscribing. I don't remember when I didn't

00:07:17   subscribe. I mean, I don't even know how long ago. - I know at least 10 years. I can remember

00:07:23   being with you 10 years ago and you were watching the watching MLB TV.

00:07:26   - Yeah, but I'm lucky because my favorite team, the Yankees, is out of market in Philadelphia.

00:07:32   So I get to watch all of their games, except if they're playing the Phillies, which happens every

00:07:39   couple of years due to the way interleague scheduling works. Then I can't because it's on

00:07:44   my local TV and I have to watch the Phillies telecast on terrestrial TV or through some

00:07:51   online service that shows you terrestrial TV uninterrupted. It's very strange. And then these

00:07:57   local broadcast teams that spend 162 games following the team, then the playoffs start.

00:08:04   If your team is lucky enough to get into the playoffs, then that's it. They're done. They

00:08:08   don't get to broadcast anymore. - They don't get to do anything, yeah.

00:08:10   - Which is kind of a shame. - It really is. Well, and I don't know,

00:08:14   they often do pre-game stuff and post-game stuff, but it's not nearly as good. And I'm sure they're

00:08:21   disappointed to not be able to do it. And as a fan, you're disappointed to not hear your team

00:08:26   getting, you know, your announcing team. People always say, these announcers always say,

00:08:32   "Thank you for letting us come into your home." And they really do. We listen to these people for,

00:08:36   like you said, 150 games a year, two, three hours a game minimum. You're talking about hundreds of

00:08:40   hours a year. It's honestly, it's even more than your podcast, you know, in terms of content,

00:08:45   in terms of time, that you really do get to know these people.

00:08:48   - Imagine if I had my podcast 162 times in the next six months, starting from now.

00:08:54   - Yeah, just in half a year even. - In the next six months,

00:08:57   there'll be 162 episodes and the average episode length will go up.

00:09:02   - Well, it'll actually be higher, right? - Slightly higher. Yeah, it's a lot of talking.

00:09:06   And I also think it's, you know, as somebody who feels mentally exhausted after doing my show,

00:09:14   roughly three times a month, two hours-ish, two plus hours, I'm mentally exhausted at the end.

00:09:22   And it's given me a tremendous appreciation for daily broadcasters, people who, I've been

00:09:29   thinking more about it lately, just of all sorts. Somebody like a Jimmy Kimmel or Stephen Colbert

00:09:35   or Seth Meyers who hosts four times, four nights a week, hour-long show. Talk radio,

00:09:40   like AM talk radio, like the Rush Limbaugh style or sports talk, you know, there's all sorts of ways

00:09:48   to do talk radio. But those hosts on talk radio do four hours in the afternoon every day.

00:09:54   - I mean, it's real work. And you wouldn't necessarily think it just, oh, you're just

00:09:59   sitting there talking. Like you said, it does get exhausting. I think of, I mean, he's retired now,

00:10:04   but Vin Scully worked until he was how old? - Oh, he was like 82 something?

00:10:09   - In his depth, I think older than that. I mean, towards the end, he was not doing a ton, but-

00:10:14   - He wasn't doing road games for the Dodgers. - Right. Well, I mean, good for him. He earned

00:10:20   that. That's pretty damn good. You know, a lot of respect for that. And he was great.

00:10:26   - Well, for a small market team like the Dodgers, maybe. No, he was absolutely great. But yeah,

00:10:34   it's just, you know, it's deep, deep appreciation for being able to hold people's interests and sort

00:10:40   of hold their affection. I don't know. I mean, it's like, how can you not be, sometimes I wonder,

00:10:45   how can people not be like sick of me by now? Like maybe you love talking about all these nerdy

00:10:51   things like fonts and Apple computers and their operating systems and the company strategy and the

00:10:59   occasional rant on baseball and an extended rant on the graphic design of the fonts in the Apple

00:11:07   baseball thing. - Scorebug, sure. Yeah, which we're gonna get to. - This might all be things that are

00:11:11   like, yes, this is why the talk show is my favorite podcast. But it's like, sometimes I just think,

00:11:16   aren't you sick of me by now? I'm glad you're not. Whoever you are out there, I'm very, very glad

00:11:23   that you're not. But it does occur. - You're gonna, next week, you're gonna see the listener

00:11:26   numbers crater. Everyone's gonna be like, you know what? He's right. He's a smart guy and he's right

00:11:30   and I'm sick of him. Let's go. Canceled. Deleted. Unsubscribed. - You know what's funny? Amy and I

00:11:36   are going through old Seinfeld's Netflix, which I mostly haven't watched since it was like on

00:11:46   prime time back in the mid to late '90s. - Not lately, but I've done Seinfeld reruns for years.

00:11:53   That's a great background show. - It is, but I'm sort of watching them new. And for some reason,

00:11:59   I don't know why. I think I started with season four. I could check somewhere. I wrote it, but

00:12:04   I think I skipped seasons one to three for reasons I just don't know. I just saw an episode of season

00:12:10   four and Netflix suggested it. I was like, yeah, I would like to, why don't we watch that before we

00:12:16   go to bed? But there was an episode we just watched last night from season seven where George

00:12:22   they're in the coffee shop and a couple comes over who'd been having troubles.

00:12:28   And the gist of the plot is Jerry and Elaine are both interested in the people in this couple.

00:12:35   And then they come over and say, hi. George comes and they introduce themselves. And the woman

00:12:41   is a doctor and the man is a salesman of some site. And George says, a salesman. And he looks

00:12:47   at the woman. He goes, you could have done so much better than him. And then she goes home and says

00:12:54   she thought about it and thought, you know what? I think I could do better. And that's...

00:12:57   But somehow she decides George is better because as I recall, he said,

00:13:02   God bless you when she sneezed. - I forget. I don't know.

00:13:05   I believe that's right. - But I might've just done that to myself.

00:13:10   It's possible. - Just put the seed in listeners' heads.

00:13:15   All I can tell you if you are out there and that thought is now bouncing around your head is there

00:13:19   really are not very many podcasts out there. - No, there's nothing else to listen to. So

00:13:24   don't bother looking elsewhere. - Don't look around.

00:13:27   - You got to fill your time with something. It might as well be this because there's nothing else.

00:13:31   That's a ringing endorsement, right? - Let me take a break here and thank our

00:13:35   first sponsors. They're very good friends at Squarespace. It's the all-in-one platform for

00:13:40   building your brand and growing your business online. You can stand out with your own beautiful

00:13:46   website from Squarespace and they handle everything. Domain name registration, templates

00:13:52   to choose from, features that you want on your website. Is it like a restaurant? You want to put

00:13:57   the menu online? You could do it. Are you an artist or a freelancer of some sort and you want to have

00:14:04   a catalog of your work, an exhibit like a portfolio? You could do that. Do you need to

00:14:11   sell something? You want to set up an actual store where you're selling your stuff online.

00:14:16   You don't know anything about SSL. You don't know anything about credit card processing,

00:14:20   that sort of stuff. You just make it drag and drop style right there in Squarespace and you can do it

00:14:26   without any code, any help from a sort of web developer friend or something like that. You don't

00:14:32   need it. It's all right there. If you do get stuck, they have award-winning technical support

00:14:37   that is available all day, every day, the whole year. Like you really need help on Easter Sunday,

00:14:44   they'll be there. It's amazing. What do you do? Where do you go to find out more?

00:14:47   Go to squarespace.com/talkshow. Start right there. You get a free trial, 30 days,

00:14:54   no limits on what you can do for those 30 days. They don't even put like a little watermark on the

00:15:01   site to say this is a free trial. It's a full featured website. You can make it as real as you

00:15:06   want to be. And then when you're ready to pay, just remember that code talk show, go back to

00:15:11   squarespace.com/talkshow. Use that code talk show. You save 10% on your first order just because

00:15:18   you're a listener of the show. My thanks to Squarespace for their continuing support of the

00:15:22   talk show. Speaking of sponsors and advertisers, that was one of the first things that kind of hit

00:15:26   me about Apple's Friday night baseball telecast was I actually had the question before. I wasn't

00:15:32   even sure if they were going to have regular commercials. They would have ads at all. Yeah.

00:15:35   Right. Like what's Apple in this for? Right. Like why, you know, let's just big, big picture,

00:15:41   broad strategy. Why did Apple pay Major League Baseball for the rights to do two national

00:15:47   telecasts every Friday night for baseball season? I mean, the obvious answer they're doing the first,

00:15:53   what did they say? The first half of the season is free. And then after that, you're going to have

00:15:56   to be an Apple TV plus subscriber. So they want to juice their numbers. They want to get more

00:16:01   subscribers and the rest of the service doesn't have ads. So it's very, it definitely is once you

00:16:06   stop and think about it, if you watch baseball, yeah, of course there's ads. Every 10 minutes,

00:16:12   there's a break for the half inning and you've got to fill that with something. But if you put

00:16:16   this on, if HBO had baseball, would they put ads on? I don't know because they've never had it or

00:16:22   Netflix. Right. And just by sheer coincidence, Ben Thompson had wrote last week and you know,

00:16:28   the analysts have been chewing this around. Like it looks like, I don't want to get sidetracked

00:16:32   talking about Netflix, but it looks like Netflix growth worldwide is slowing. And for the very good

00:16:39   reason of... There's not too many more people left to capture. Right. Amongst people who have

00:16:46   internet access and you know, eight to 10 bucks at least per month, they've got most of them

00:16:54   subscribed. Which if you were a normal business, someone would think, well, that's an amazing

00:17:01   business. But if you're a publicly held company... If you're publicly traded, then your growth is

00:17:05   flat lined and your stock is almost worthless now. Right. And so where's the growth going to

00:17:10   come from? It doesn't matter how big you already are and how sustainable it is and how loyal your

00:17:14   customers are. Growth, growth, growth. And so people are talking about Netflix adding ads and

00:17:19   Netflix has long said, we don't want to do ads. We don't want to have an ad based here, blah, blah,

00:17:24   blah. I don't know. Maybe that's one of the reasons they don't have sports. It's a good

00:17:31   question. Apple... I guess I wonder how much... I have no idea in terms of numbers, but how much

00:17:36   money are they making on the ads? I mean, it's millions upon millions. Is it tens of millions?

00:17:42   Is it hundreds of millions for the season? It would definitely be a lot of money to just be

00:17:45   leaving on the table and I guess showing some Apple TV ads, but beyond that, and maybe some Mac

00:17:52   ads, maybe some iPad ads. But it'd be a lot of money to be leaving on the table to not sell these

00:17:56   ads because there's a ton of ad time during a baseball game. Well, that's... See, now that's one

00:18:00   of the things that's fascinating about the differences between sports is that baseball

00:18:05   has very natural ad time. In between half innings, one team, three outs, now you're half of the

00:18:12   innings over. You have to switch sides. The catcher... More than any other sport. It's like

00:18:18   clockwork that you're going to have these breaks. Right. The pitcher has to come out and start

00:18:22   warming up to get ready to throw. You can't just come out and start throwing 100 miles an hour

00:18:26   without a couple of warmups. Players have to get out to the outfield and warm up their arms a

00:18:31   little. The catcher might have to put their equipment back on if they were just up or were

00:18:36   ready to be up. You got about three minutes in there. If you go to a minor league game or a high

00:18:42   school game, just go to a high school game that's not even on TV or televised other than parents

00:18:48   holding their phones out to watch it. There's three minutes between innings where if you were

00:18:53   broadcasting it, you might as well... Why not put ads? As opposed to the beauty... And again,

00:18:58   I'm not a huge soccer fan, but I do have to admit every four years when I watch the World Cup,

00:19:02   it's just lovely, absolutely lovely that when they start playing the half of a game of soccer,

00:19:10   it just goes and goes and goes until the half is over and that's it. Well, or unless a player flops

00:19:16   with a fake shin injury and then you just sit there and watch them. They just sit there and

00:19:21   five minutes go by and they add on two minutes at the end. Right. Don't even get me started on

00:19:26   soccer timekeeping, but I do agree that it's nice to just have a continuous flow of action.

00:19:31   Yeah. If you and I ran FIFA, which we should because it's a corrupt organization,

00:19:37   could use some outside blood, especially from two Americans who don't really know much about soccer.

00:19:42   Who don't even really know the sport. But that's a stellar idea.

00:19:46   We would have... The first change, I think you and I would agree, the first change we would institute

00:19:51   is there would be a real clock that... Proper clock, yeah. And everyone from the fans in the

00:19:57   stadiums to the coaches to the players could see how much time was left in the half. And if...

00:20:02   Instead of just the one official who's got it in his head and eventually decides,

00:20:07   "Yeah, I'm going to blow the whistle now it's over."

00:20:08   And I know, don't yell at me soccer fans. I know that there's some sort of, you know,

00:20:15   magic gift of a soccer referee's mind where they know not to just blow it mindlessly at

00:20:21   this moment. Like, "Oh, wait till the ball goes out of bounds," or something like that,

00:20:25   off the pitch, whatever they call it. Then blow the whistle and call the game over.

00:20:29   Nonsense. You got to have a clock. But it is lovely that they don't have commercial breaks.

00:20:35   They just don't. And so they've, you know, worked around it. Obviously, there's tons of money to be

00:20:40   made worldwide in soccer television rights. But this is part... I've always heard,

00:20:45   and I believe this is part of why it's not that popular in the US, is that you can't...

00:20:49   You know, we've got Major League Soccer. We've got MLS. But it's not nationally broadcast

00:20:54   because they can't put ads in it. At least not to the extent that you can with baseball, football,

00:20:59   basketball, hockey. Right.

00:21:00   One of my favorite stories about sports and TV is that basketball, traditionally, is a game of

00:21:07   four quarters instead of two halves. And like the NBA still plays four quarters. High school, junior

00:21:13   high, you know, at that level of play is still four quarters. But top level college basketball

00:21:19   is two halves. And that change happened while I was... I don't even want to Wikipedia it. It was,

00:21:25   like, I think sometime in the 80s. But I remember I was a fan of college basketball when they made

00:21:31   the switch. And I was like, it seemed into... I was like, "Yeah, this will help the game flow more.

00:21:36   Why the hell have all these buzzer beat... You know, why have four buzzer beater scenarios a

00:21:42   game instead of just two?" This feels right for basketball. But then it turns out what they did

00:21:47   is they really chopped each half. Instead of into two parts, they chopped them into three.

00:21:53   And they put... They call them media time.

00:21:56   Oh, that's right. There's the four-minute timeout, the eight-minute timeout.

00:21:59   Yeah. And the 12-minute timeout. It's a 20-minute half. But there's these two periods where once you

00:22:05   reach, like, a certain point on the clock, like, it might be like eight minutes into the game,

00:22:09   the next time any break in the action happens, that's a media timeout. And what they mean by

00:22:14   media is commercials. Well, is that... Are there only two? So it's 12 minutes and four minutes,

00:22:20   I guess? Or 12 and eight. I forget. It doesn't matter. You know, and maybe they've tweaked them

00:22:25   over the years. But I think that there's two, you know. But that's in addition to the fact that when

00:22:32   the coaches call timeout because they want to, like, talk to their players or regroup or strategize

00:22:37   or just give the guys a break, a full timeout is long enough to show commercials too. It's,

00:22:44   you know, they've optimized for showing more commercials. And when you think about it,

00:22:49   nobody would ever do that with a high school basketball game because there's no reason for it,

00:22:54   right? It's the money. Baseball, it's a gift. And, you know, football, there's no doubt in my mind

00:23:00   that the NFL, when you watch the NFL, there's no reason for the breaks to take as long as they do.

00:23:05   Wow. And like, you know, you score a touchdown, break, extra point, break,

00:23:09   kickoff, break. That's where it's really brutal is right after a score, right around a score.

00:23:15   Right. You've gotten like seven seconds of clock action from the game,

00:23:19   and then you've... But you've been able to show eight minutes of commercials.

00:23:23   Well, there's a reason these networks and, you know, there's a reason Monday Night Football is

00:23:29   a billion dollar franchise. I know you're not a golf fan, but do you ever watch the golf on TV?

00:23:36   My dad used to watch it and I hated it because I was a kid and, you know,

00:23:40   cartoons were on or whatever. So, no. How do the commercials work there?

00:23:44   Well, they just show lots of commercials and they're from typically 51 weeks a year,

00:23:50   or I guess they don't show golf 52 weeks a year, but all but one weekend a year,

00:23:55   they're the exact type of companies that you would think sponsor golf.

00:24:00   Game? Yeah, it's erectile dysfunction. It's life insurance. Life insurance, cars, you know,

00:24:06   you name it. But the Masters, which just finished this last weekend, is a very strange and unusual

00:24:14   golf tournament where it is run not by the PGA. It is not run by the network, CBS. It is run by

00:24:24   the Augusta National Golf Club. They call all the shots. It's always been on CBS, but CBS does,

00:24:31   I don't know how long their contracts run, but there have been weird situations over the years

00:24:36   where there was a golf announcer, the one guy, his name is Gary something, and he was sort of

00:24:41   like the funny golf announcer, which by the standards of comedy. Very bad, but by the

00:24:47   standards of golf. Yeah, but he's also like if you tuned in for half an hour, you might listen to him

00:24:53   and think, you know what, if I was going to grab a beer after this, he might be the guy. But he

00:24:57   described one of their greens as being so fast. The Masters, when you putt, the greens are

00:25:04   extremely, extremely fast. One golfer's described it as like putting on a windshield. Very, very

00:25:11   fast. Well, he described it as having been bikini waxed. That was his quip on the air. Well-

00:25:18   And got in trouble for this?

00:25:20   They never announced the Masters again.

00:25:22   Wow.

00:25:23   And that wasn't CBS's decision. It was the Masters. But they also vastly undersell the ad

00:25:29   inventory. This is where I'm going, is for years and years when I was a little kid, I think they

00:25:34   only had two advertisers. I think it was, one of them was definitely Travelers, which I don't even

00:25:40   think is a company anymore. I think it got bought by some other bank.

00:25:43   By somebody else.

00:25:44   But that red umbrella logo is etched in my mind. It was like, and so they'd only have like two

00:25:50   sponsors for the whole weekend. It was Travelers Life Insurance and EF Hutton or something like

00:25:56   that. And they just limit it to like, and now it's like three or four. I watched a little bit of the

00:26:02   Masters over the weekend just to see some Tiger Woods. IBM has been involved now for quite a long

00:26:07   time. IBM is one of their sponsors. Rolex is involved at some degree, but it's like just

00:26:12   three or four companies like that. But here's the weird thing, because they have so few sponsors,

00:26:18   they have way fewer breaks in the action.

00:26:20   So they don't do as many breaks, yeah.

00:26:22   Right. And they just, a lot of times, even when there's nothing to show,

00:26:27   like golf has a lot of flexibility because there's just groups of golfers all over the golf course.

00:26:32   All 18 holes are in use and you just cut between them, yeah.

00:26:35   Yeah. But for the most part, they show the golfers who are in the lead or close to the lead,

00:26:41   or they'll cut away.

00:26:43   Or Tiger Woods.

00:26:44   Or Tiger Woods, right. There's three groups of golfers. The ones who are in the lead are

00:26:50   very close to the lead, and they tend to be playing at the back because they start those

00:26:54   golfers last. Whoever's leading going into the last day is the last group to come through.

00:27:01   And for the most part, nobody who's too far ahead of them generally scores so low on one day that

00:27:07   they come into contention. But if they do, they'll just cut ahead to hear so-and-so who's shooting an

00:27:13   unbelievable round today. And then they'll also cut away if somebody hits a hole-in-one or...

00:27:17   Yeah, a great drive or something.

00:27:19   Yeah, something amazing happens like that, or it knocks an 85-foot putt that goes left,

00:27:24   then right, then drops right into the hole. Then they'll cut away to that. But for the most part,

00:27:29   whenever the leaders hit their tee shot 300 yards away, now they've got minutes to go,

00:27:36   then they can just say, "Here's the scoreboard. Cut to a commercial." Because you've got minutes

00:27:41   before the leaders are going to do anything live.

00:27:43   To get all the way to their ball, yeah.

00:27:44   Right. But when you watch the Masters, it's way more soothing. For somebody who hates golf,

00:27:50   they should record the Masters every year. And if they have trouble sleeping,

00:27:54   they could just put it on. And it's so soothing. And if there's nothing going on and there's no

00:28:00   golfers on hole 10 doing something interesting, they just play this soothing Masters music and

00:28:08   just show beautiful footage of the golf course from a drone. It's really quite—when you're used

00:28:15   to the way most sports are on TV, where it's as many commercials as they can possibly fit in,

00:28:20   the fact that they just luxuriate in not showing you that.

00:28:24   In some grass and yeah, right.

00:28:26   I looked this up. Do you know what Tiger Woods—so he finished, I think, 47th?

00:28:32   Yeah.

00:28:32   Do you know what he made for that?

00:28:34   No.

00:28:35   I love this. Because if you finish a golf tournament, I think everybody gets some

00:28:39   last place if you finish. I think it still might even be a thousand bucks, whatever it is.

00:28:44   I believe he got $44,000, which is just such a hilarious number to me. It's a ton of money. It's

00:28:49   a great amount of money. But it's Tiger Woods, who's worth, I assume, hundreds of millions of

00:28:54   dollars, has sponsorships still that are worth millions, tens of millions of dollars. He played

00:29:00   four rounds of golf and earned $44,000 last weekend.

00:29:03   To finish third to last or something like that.

00:29:06   To finish near the bottom.

00:29:07   But I will say this. It was a pleasure to watch him play. That's after making the cut. In the

00:29:14   first two rounds, there's way more golfers and you have to—the Masters is also unusual compared to

00:29:19   other tournaments where they invite a lot of amateurs and stuff like that. But then the cut

00:29:25   is extremely exclusive. Making the cut there is actually more—

00:29:30   It's very difficult.

00:29:30   Very difficult.

00:29:31   And was he—I don't even know, you probably know—was he able to play as a former champion?

00:29:36   Are they just always allowed?

00:29:38   I forget how much—there are certain rules where, like, if you win any of the major tournaments—the

00:29:46   U.S. Open, the British Open, and the PGA Championship—you get an automatic invitation

00:29:52   to the Masters. If you've previously won the Masters, I believe you have a lifetime

00:29:56   invitation.

00:29:58   Because he hasn't done anything, but then he just decided to roll into Augusta and

00:30:03   play four rounds of golf.

00:30:04   Right. But the U.S. Open, because it's truly an open championship, run by the United States

00:30:11   Golf Association, and so any kind of organization like that has a rule book. And here's what you

00:30:16   have to do to qualify for the U.S. Open. And you could just—it's like a computer algorithm. You

00:30:21   can just check or X whether you qualify or not. The Masters, because the Augusta National Golf

00:30:27   Club has the ultimate say, can just say, "Yeah, but we're also going to invite Jack Nicklaus."

00:30:31   Even though he's 84, and obviously he isn't going to be competitive, but he gets to play

00:30:37   if he wants.

00:30:37   How did we get on golf? Let's talk baseball. Let's talk a different boring sport.

00:30:42   So we were talking about the big question, is Apple even going to have ads on Friday

00:30:48   Night Baseball, or will they only be for other Apple products? And it gets to the question of

00:30:52   what's Apple's point here? Are they trying to make money with Friday Night Baseball?

00:30:56   Directly.

00:30:58   Right. Like, all right, Major League Baseball charged them—I have no idea what it would cost.

00:31:04   We'll make up a number. They had to pay $500 million to have these games this year. That's

00:31:09   probably high, but whatever. $500 million this year. Are they trying to sell $501 million worth

00:31:13   of ads?

00:31:13   Right.

00:31:14   /subscriptions/rappleproducts/whatever.

00:31:15   Right. So, yeah. So it would be—if they were purely in it to make a profit, it would be the

00:31:24   number of ads that they sell and their share of those ads, which I don't think is 100% for

00:31:31   reasons we'll get into.

00:31:32   Yeah, right.

00:31:32   The net additive number of TV+ paid subscribers—

00:31:38   Subscribers.

00:31:38   —who they think came because of the baseball, which they'll never know, right? And this isn't

00:31:44   like, "Oh, Apple doesn't track people." It's like, "How could anybody know for sure?"

00:31:48   No. You've heard about Ted Lasso, and you think, "Eh, maybe I'll check it out," and then you hear

00:31:52   about baseball, and you say, "Well, I like baseball, too. Now there's two things that

00:31:55   I'm interested in. I'll subscribe."

00:31:57   But you could probably come close to at least a decent spitball guess by looking at people who

00:32:04   didn't have a subscription that gave them—a paid subscription that gave them TV+ access,

00:32:11   who did after April of 2022, and who watched some Friday night baseball, right?

00:32:20   You know, that's the sort of tracking that I assume Apple does with TV+, right? That they

00:32:27   would look at something—

00:32:27   They can see what you're watching, yeah, sure.

00:32:29   —right, I mean, because they know, you know, they make suggestions and stuff. Now,

00:32:33   do they anonymize that and look at it in the aggregate? I presume they do. I mean,

00:32:37   I—and I don't think that's contrary to their privacy argument, because they don't care about

00:32:43   you, Paul Kofosis.

00:32:44   What John is watching, yeah. They care about what 10,000 people are watching.

00:32:48   Right, but they obviously try to, you know, look at who's watching which shows, and if

00:32:52   nobody is watching Severance, which I hope is not true because I love that show, it's like my

00:32:57   favorite new show, but like, if nobody watched it, it's like they're not going to renew it, right?

00:33:01   Yep.

00:33:01   Like, so there's some net additive number of subscribers that they will get out of this,

00:33:07   and what else? How else could they make money? Oh, the promotional value that they get for free

00:33:13   ads, you know, for their own Apple products, telling people to buy the new iPhone 13, which

00:33:18   is now in green. They obviously advertised a lot of Apple TV shows. How else could they make money

00:33:26   from this? I don't think they're going to make money, and I think they know that they're not.

00:33:29   That's my guess is that they paid more for the rights. Obviously, the most

00:33:36   broadcast companies that show sports do so to make money, right? Like, when CBS shows the Super Bowl,

00:33:46   they do it in an NFL football every Sunday afternoon, and they pay the NFL billions of

00:33:52   dollars per year for the rights to do it. So many people watch football that they think that they

00:33:58   make money on that, right? That's what's so tricky if you're like a traditional company like NBC or

00:34:06   CBS, and these streaming services like Amazon and Apple come in and might have different strategies

00:34:15   and are just willing to write a check for a couple hundred million dollars for baseball rights,

00:34:19   because that's just a, you know, what's like a huge deal to CBS Sports is like, eh, you know,

00:34:25   pocket change to Tim Cook, right? I sort of think that the overall strategy is less about making

00:34:32   money directly on Friday Night Baseball, but more just broadly trying to get more people to sign up

00:34:38   for not just TV+ as a paid subscription, but any sort of Apple subscription that includes TV+,

00:34:46   right? Okay. So they've got their bundles with fitness and...

00:34:50   Right. The Apple One bundles, right? There's like Apple One and Apple One+ or something.

00:34:56   You can always just add a plus.

00:34:58   (laughs)

00:34:59   Just throw a plus on there.

00:35:00   But it's like you can still just pay for Apple Music, but it doesn't really make much sense.

00:35:05   Maybe you just pay $9 a month or $10 a month for Apple Music and that's all you get. But they

00:35:11   really want you to spend like 15 or 20 bucks a month and get Apple Music and TV+ and, you know,

00:35:16   guess what? Some extra iCloud storage, blah, blah, blah. They just want more people to be on a tier

00:35:21   like that. And I think that's my guess is that adding some sort of sports is a way to sort of

00:35:28   expand that into new demographics. And, you know...

00:35:34   Yeah, I think that makes sense. It's very strange because you mentioned that this was announced late.

00:35:38   Baseball was potentially in a strike situation or a lockout rather, I should say, because it was the

00:35:44   owners, not the players. But there was the potential that the season wasn't going to start

00:35:47   on time and that it wasn't going to happen at all. So then, yeah, when Apple announced this,

00:35:51   what, in March, I guess, right? They announced it in March and we said, "Well, if there's baseball,

00:35:56   there will be baseball on Apple TV, but if there's not baseball, then there won't be."

00:35:59   But they announced it like four weeks before they actually started doing it. And so it's been

00:36:05   interesting to see that it wasn't something to anticipate for a long time. It was just,

00:36:09   they announced it and then a few weeks later, there was.

00:36:12   Right. And they didn't announce the production details and announcing team and stuff like that

00:36:17   until the day before the game. Until like the day before, yeah.

00:36:20   Yeah. And I'm fascinated by that too, because that's, in my opinion, extremely unusual. I

00:36:28   can't recall that ever happening. What I think is most interesting about

00:36:30   the production and everything is that the crews that they used are not anybody that

00:36:36   you would have seen on ESPN, on TBS, and neither national broadcast. First of all,

00:36:41   the number of women was phenomenal. They were, I think, in the booth. What did we have? Two women

00:36:46   and one guy on both of them. Is that right? Or was there, it doesn't matter. There were at least

00:36:52   three women in the booth that I can recall in my head out of six announcers, which is three more

00:36:57   than pretty much ever before about five years ago when Jess Mendoza was on ESPN. And most broadcasts,

00:37:04   national broadcasts, home broadcasts don't frequently have women. So it was very cool

00:37:10   to see some diversity there. And then even the other announcers that they had were not,

00:37:14   you know, they didn't bring in somebody from ESPN, Karl Ravitch or somebody like that,

00:37:19   who's done this before. They brought in people who were more fresh voices, which I really liked.

00:37:23   Yeah. Now I wonder how much of that was a deliberate strategy on Apple's part.

00:37:29   I think the diversity clearly was deliberate. I mean, I think that they came into this thinking,

00:37:34   "We're going to diversify, especially gender-wise." Because I think it's safe to say that racially

00:37:41   commentators, at least in sports, have been racially diverse for a while. Play-by-play,

00:37:50   not so much, which is weird. And I know if you're not a sports fan, you're like, "What the hell are

00:37:53   you talking about?" And it's like, usually for any of these sports, basketball, baseball, hockey,

00:37:59   football, there's... The play-by-play person is someone who went to broadcasting school.

00:38:04   Right. And... And it is just a voice on the radio.

00:38:07   Right. Well, even though you're watching on TV, but like you can...

00:38:10   Or on TV, yeah. You can turn your back to the TV,

00:38:13   though, and follow the game. Like, they're telling you, you know, "Here's the pitch. It's low and

00:38:20   outside. That's ball three." And, you know, you're not even watching. You can hear them say this,

00:38:25   and it's like, "Oh, it's a long drive to left field," and, you know, then tells you what

00:38:29   happens. That's play-by-play. It's telling you what happens. And you can say, "Well, why is...

00:38:32   I've thought about this over the years. Why do you even need that if it's television?" Like, is that...

00:38:36   Here we are 60 years, 70 years into the TV era after radio.

00:38:42   Right. And that is certainly a vestige of radio.

00:38:45   Right. But I think it would drive people... I think there's a... I don't know. I think there's

00:38:50   a reason that it works. And maybe it is just tradition, but it does work. But anyway, that

00:38:55   role is, in my experience, watching nationally televised games, not as diverse. It's typically...

00:39:01   No, it's a whole lot of white dudes.

00:39:02   It's a whole lot of white dudes. So the racial diversity on play-by-play, not so great.

00:39:08   Gender diversity on play-by-play, almost nonexistent. I think Apple, when they announced

00:39:12   that Melanie Newman, who does... She calls games for the Baltimore Orioles, is their East Coast...

00:39:17   I don't think they're announcing an East Coast crew and a West Coast crew, but I think that's

00:39:21   obviously what's going to happen because if she's calling most games for the Orioles, she can't

00:39:26   really zip across the country. But that's, you know, I think that was absolutely deliberate.

00:39:31   Now, was it deliberate that they went for up-and-coming

00:39:34   newer young... And they were all younger too.

00:39:38   **BEN HONG:** Yeah, absolutely.

00:39:38   **TK:** And that's, you know, for baseball, honestly, that's another angle of diversity.

00:39:44   I would say it's the least important maybe of them, but it was a different group of faces

00:39:49   than you typically see. You know, baseball is typically a bunch of 60-some-year-old

00:39:54   white dudes talking about the game. This was different. But was it strategic that they

00:39:58   didn't get big names, that they didn't go poaching for Karl Ravitch from ESPN or somebody else?

00:40:04   **BEN HONG** Well, you had seen... Was this a tweet that you saw? I can't remember what you...

00:40:07   **TK;** Yeah, I'll put it in the show notes. I just added a note to make sure I put it in the

00:40:11   show notes. But is it what you're going to say about...

00:40:13   **BEN HONG** That you had seen that they were trying, at least had talked to Bill Simmons,

00:40:17   who's a decently big name, formerly of ESPN. And I can't remember who the other name was,

00:40:21   but another ESPN name. **TK;** Mena Kimes.

00:40:23   **BEN HONG** That's right. So they had spoken to at least a couple bigger names and

00:40:28   didn't get them to sign on whatever happened.

00:40:30   **TK;** Yeah, I don't know. Apparently, the rumor from the New York Post media reporter was that

00:40:35   neither Bill Simmons nor Mena Kimes had interest. I don't even know if Mena Kimes

00:40:39   follows baseball. She's a top football, a pro football analyst, and she's terrific.

00:40:45   She's really, really astute. But I don't know if she follows baseball. I don't know.

00:40:49   **BEN HONG** So they did at least make an attempt at some bigger names,

00:40:54   although those aren't necessarily big names that have done baseball broadcasts. But yeah,

00:40:58   I really liked the crews that they had. Katie Nolan, I thought, was great on the second

00:41:03   broadcast. And it really, to me, was where Apple stood out from a lot of the other broadcasts,

00:41:08   because they all tend to sound the same, which is fine. But this, at least, I felt that there

00:41:14   was a difference watching these games. And I think that's something that was a result of who

00:41:19   Apple hired for these roles. **TK;** Yeah. One of the things that's

00:41:22   been true for a long time, and who knows why, gender stuff can be so hard to explain,

00:41:31   especially when it comes to the media. But for whatever reason, when the barrier broke,

00:41:39   like when I was a little kid, there were no women broadcasting sports, period. Just none,

00:41:45   or at least not nationally. And when they first sort of broke into it, it was always as the

00:41:50   the sideline reporter, right? So you'd have two dudes in the booth, and then when there's

00:41:57   like an injury—

00:41:58   And then they call down to a woman on the field.

00:42:00   Right. And then it became—I wouldn't say they're all women, but the sideline reporters

00:42:06   are—like in the NFL, I think are majority women. It certainly seems like most of them

00:42:11   are. And that's great that there's a role, but it's so weird that it's—instead of

00:42:16   all of these jobs are open to the most talented broadcast, to the people who are the most

00:42:21   engaging and have the most interesting stuff to say, which clearly would lead to the sort

00:42:27   of diversity we're seeing with like Friday Night Baseball, right? There's absolutely

00:42:32   no reason that there shouldn't be more than one or two women calling play-by-play on nationally

00:42:39   televised sports in the United States. It's clearly out of whack. But it's so weird

00:42:47   that the sideline reporters became like the designated role. Well, we'll definitely

00:42:50   have a woman down there. I don't know how to explain it. But I guess it's—I don't

00:42:55   know. It's almost like group think, right? Like, well, CBS put a woman in the job as

00:43:02   sideline reporter, and people still watched football, so I guess—

00:43:05   So I guess we can risk it?

00:43:07   Yeah, I guess we can risk it. It's a very—you know, they love to look at all the stats and

00:43:13   the ratings and demographics and stuff like that, but it is—there's a lot of risk

00:43:17   adversity to the media business. So anyway, I thought the baseball broadcast was good.

00:43:22   Well, what other details did you want to talk about? I want to talk about the graphics.

00:43:25   Oh, Chris Young really cracks me up. That was the one that I sent you while we were

00:43:29   watching it. So Chris Young was a player for—he was in the first broadcast, and he was a baseball

00:43:34   player, retired now. Never a superstar, but I think he was decent. He played on the Yankees

00:43:38   for a little while, and he played on the Red Sox for a little while. And as I was poking

00:43:43   at his Wikipedia page, I saw this little explanation that he had claimed to have invented or at

00:43:51   least popularized sign stealing in baseball via Apple Watch, which both the Red Sox have

00:43:58   been accused of and the Yankees. So, you know, neither of our hands are clean on this. But

00:44:02   I just love that Apple got the guy who at least claimed to have popularized using an

00:44:09   Apple Watch to steal signs, and they got him on their very first broadcast with Friday

00:44:13   Night Baseball. Did you think—it is funny. I don't know that they're going to talk

00:44:19   about that incident. Probably that will not—I don't know if they've told them not to

00:44:24   talk about it, but I bet that will not come up. But it is funny that of all people, the

00:44:30   one player in all of Major League Baseball who, you know, he's not the only one who's

00:44:34   been on the Yankees and Red Sox, but he was at the heart of the only micro scandal that

00:44:39   involved an Apple product.

00:44:41   Yeah. And they got him on the very first broadcast.

00:44:45   There's a side note on technology. So for those who aren't baseball fans, baseball

00:44:49   has—you're not allowed to have electronics. So, like, you can't—

00:44:54   In the dugout, you can't have—well, you can have an iPad, but it can't be hooked

00:44:56   up to the internet.

00:44:57   Right. So that was a recent rule from a couple of years ago. They're like, "Okay, you

00:45:01   can have an iPad, but it can't have any internet access." So you can't get—

00:45:06   The reason to have it is they can look at, like, there are swings. They can look at how

00:45:10   a pitcher throws and prepare for their next at bat. There's all sorts of reasons to use

00:45:14   it. They don't have to be stealing signs or cheating, basically.

00:45:19   Right. Whereas the NFL has embraced technology for decades, you know, and they've got coaches

00:45:25   who are up in the booth, 300 seats above the field with binoculars and with TVs, and they

00:45:33   can show the video. They can look at the video of the game and the last play, and you see

00:45:38   the players down there with these Microsoft Surfaces through a sponsorship deal looking

00:45:42   at live pictures from, like, the last time they were on the field, and here's how the

00:45:46   team signed up. And they've got headsets, and the quarterbacks have, you know, headsets

00:45:51   inside their helmets so the coaches can call plays, and they're talking to each other.

00:45:56   Baseball, all of that stuff is illegal.

00:45:58   Until?

00:45:59   Until—

00:46:00   This season.

00:46:01   Right. So this season, they've added a thing, which you and I have talked about offline,

00:46:07   which is Pitchcom, right?

00:46:09   Pitchcom, yeah. And this is another thing. There was all this stuff that got introduced

00:46:14   in the past couple weeks, it seems like, as a baseball fan. And this was another thing

00:46:19   where it wasn't something that had been on my radar anyway, but suddenly is being used

00:46:24   in Major League Baseball games for the pitcher and catcher and defense to communicate.

00:46:31   I would say it sort of looks like—the catcher gets a thing that looks like a garage door

00:46:36   opener. It's a little black piece of plastic with, like, a keypad with, I don't know, nine

00:46:41   or ten buttons.

00:46:42   Oh, I'd almost say, like, a video game controller, but yeah, like the pin pad outside of a garage

00:46:48   door at least that has a bunch of buttons on it, yeah.

00:46:50   Yeah, I guess a garage door opener typically only has, like, open and closed buttons or

00:46:54   something like that. It's weird.

00:46:58   It's a little more complex than that, but it's not super complex. I think you're right,

00:47:01   it's about ten buttons. And so basically, the catcher's got this pad that they can have

00:47:06   on their wrist, or they can—I've seen some guys wearing it, like, on their thigh, and

00:47:10   they hit a button, and it says "fastball," and that plays in the pitcher's ear, it plays

00:47:16   in an outfielder's ear if they're wearing the earpiece. And actually, this was an interesting

00:47:20   fact was that it plays in the catcher's ear so that they can be sure that they hit the

00:47:24   right button, which I guess it makes perfect sense, but it's not necessarily something

00:47:27   you'd think of initially.

00:47:29   And so previously, and still some teams have a system that's been around for, gotta be

00:47:34   a hundred years, of just throwing down fingers to indicate what pitch they want to throw.

00:47:40   And now there's this—now we've introduced technology in a way that makes it much more

00:47:44   difficult for the other team to steal those signs and know what's coming.

00:47:48   Right, and another thing for the people out there who aren't baseball fans, it is actually—I

00:47:57   remember when I was a kid when I learned this, I was like, "That's amazing! I just thought

00:48:00   the pitcher just got up there and threw whatever pitch they wanted and the catcher caught it."

00:48:03   Because that's how we as kids play.

00:48:04   That's how little it works.

00:48:05   That's how we played. But at a professional level, they call the exact pitch not just

00:48:10   like fastball, but like fastball outside or fastball inside, you know, location.

00:48:15   And if they call it getting crossed up, like—because so the sign stealing is a huge part of the

00:48:20   game, has been for, you know, well over a hundred years, and they'll mix up the signs.

00:48:27   And so instead of three fingers on my right thigh and then two fingers on this thigh,

00:48:31   and that means whatever, they mix up the signals.

00:48:35   But if the pitcher and the catcher have the signals crossed up between them and the pitcher—

00:48:40   Suddenly the pitcher's throwing a fastball when the catcher's expecting a curveball,

00:48:44   and the ball's in his face before he realizes it.

00:48:46   It's actually dangerous, right? Because it can like sail past—because it's a huge difference

00:48:51   in speed, huge difference in where you expect the ball to wind up. You know, 20 to 25 miles

00:48:56   an hour difference in speed sometimes, and it could just sail right over the catcher

00:49:01   and hit the umpire right in the head or something like that.

00:49:03   I was going to say, it's mostly dangerous for the umpires.

00:49:04   Yeah, it is. That's like the worst is when they're expecting off speed, which means

00:49:09   a slower, curvy, you know, like Frisbee-type pitch that's going to bend, and instead it's

00:49:14   a 98-mile-an-hour fastball. It just sails right at the umpire.

00:49:17   It just hits the umpire right in the face or something, yeah.

00:49:19   Right, so it's dangerous. So the confirmation that the catcher hears, that's just good

00:49:23   user interface design, right? It's like—

00:49:25   Yeah, perhaps.

00:49:26   But it's really interesting that they've added this technology this year, and it's—when

00:49:30   I sent you the link, and I still think it cracks me up, it was—I know the date. It

00:49:34   was exactly seven days ago. It was April 5th because I was like, "I've got to send

00:49:38   this to Paul." And then right before—I even had it pasted into iMessage. I was ready

00:49:44   to send it, and I thought, "Wait a minute. Is this a joke?"

00:49:46   Is this an April Fool's joke?

00:49:47   Is this an April Fool's joke? And I stumbled upon it. I knew it wasn't April 1st anymore,

00:49:51   but I thought perhaps I've stumbled on an April 1st joke on MLB.com, and I've just

00:49:57   seen it four days late, and Paul's going to laugh at me.

00:49:59   Right.

00:50:00   Because—

00:50:01   But no, it's completely serious.

00:50:04   But if you made up the joke, the keypad that they actually use would be a very good mockup

00:50:09   for the joke.

00:50:10   Absolutely. And, well, and also you would say that it was created by a company that

00:50:14   does communication systems for magicians.

00:50:17   And mentalists.

00:50:18   And mentalists, right, which is the truth. This company, I assume a relatively small

00:50:24   company, but they make communication systems that magicians and mentalists use and, you

00:50:29   know, have to have some sort of wireless communication that most people can't detect, can't see.

00:50:34   And that turns out, a whole lot of that translates to making a communication system that a pitcher

00:50:38   and catcher use where you don't want the batter, who is three feet from the catcher,

00:50:43   to be able to tell what you just did.

00:50:45   Well, that's the part, too, that made me think it might be a joke, is that they're

00:50:48   not—none of the players are actually wearing earpieces. They've got like a headband in

00:50:53   the hat, so like—

00:50:54   Is it bone conduction?

00:50:55   Yeah, I think, but I would love to know the details of this. If anybody out there has

00:50:59   like links to how it actually works, is it—I presume the only other option is bone conduction,

00:51:04   but apparently it's good enough that they can hear it even over the crowd noise. But

00:51:08   you don't see, like, you know, it would be funny, too, if like on Friday Night Baseball,

00:51:12   it's like, well, can they wear an AirPod?

00:51:16   Switch the headphone from whatever generic one to an AirPod.

00:51:19   To a white AirPod, yeah. You don't see like an earpiece in there. It's apparently some

00:51:23   apparatus that fits inside their caps, you know, like the pitcher's cap or the shortstop,

00:51:28   whoever else has it, and they somehow hear this, right? Now, that sounds really cool,

00:51:33   but that's apparently also how like the batter won't hear the catchers, even if like

00:51:38   it's, you know, like you're in Tampa and it's a real quiet—

00:51:41   It's real quiet.

00:51:42   Real quiet. Watching the game, the batter isn't going to be able to hear curveball.

00:51:46   Curveball.

00:51:47   Oh, thank you. Because it's just bone conduction, but that's where—and then that's where

00:51:53   the idea that it came from a company that made equipment for mentalists, right?

00:51:58   Yep.

00:51:59   Well, that's exactly what made me like convinced it was an April Fool's joke. It was like,

00:52:04   "Ah."

00:52:05   It definitely sounds like a joke when you put it that way, yeah. But at the same time,

00:52:08   it makes perfect sense.

00:52:09   And the worst part is baseball, I think of all the sports I follow, baseball is the one

00:52:13   that to me seems most prone to April Fool's jackassery. There was famously—I think you're

00:52:20   a bit young for this, but do you remember the George Plimpton story in—it was the

00:52:24   back page column in Sports Illustrated?

00:52:26   I don't. I'm familiar, but I don't know which story you're talking about. Go ahead.

00:52:31   Oh, I got to get the player's name right because it was Plimpton Mets Prank. It was

00:52:37   like sometime around like 1986, I'm thinking, and it was the back page column in Sports

00:52:43   Illustrated and George Plimpton, well-regarded, very famous—I guess it wasn't even a back

00:52:48   page column. It was a feature. I'm looking at it here. I'll get it in the show notes.

00:52:51   The Curious Case of Sid Finch, and it was about this phenom in the Mets organization

00:52:56   who liked to pitch barefoot and could throw 120 miles an hour. And it was an April Fool's

00:53:05   gag. But people were very upset about it because Sports Illustrated didn't let—you had

00:53:09   to kind of—and I think if you read closely, you'd catch on eventually. It'd be like,

00:53:14   "Ah, this is the April 1st edition of Sports Illustrated. It's a gag."

00:53:17   People were very upset about it. I remember—I don't know what year it was, but I remember

00:53:22   watching ESPN, and April Fool's coincides with the start of baseball season.

00:53:28   Very beginning of the season.

00:53:29   Very beginning of the season. Usually the first games are like April 1st or 2nd or something

00:53:33   like that. But I remember one time watching ESPN—had to be around the late '90s when

00:53:38   I mentioned the name of the player—but they said, "It hasn't gotten a lot of hubbub

00:53:42   during spring training, but Major League Baseball players are all very excited about the fact

00:53:47   that this is the first year that they'll be allowed to use aluminum bats."

00:53:51   And then they showed—because it's ESPN, they could do it—they showed some well-known

00:53:55   major leaguers taking batting practice with aluminum bats and just drilling balls over

00:54:00   the fence. And they're like, "There's some concern." The average line drive in

00:54:04   Major League Baseball the last three seasons was 98 miles an hour off the bat or something

00:54:09   like that. And they're like, "Most of these, even the shortstops now are getting

00:54:13   upwards of 120 miles an hour off the bat." So there's some concern for pitchers'

00:54:17   safety. And then they interviewed a pitcher who's like, "I hate this rule. This is

00:54:21   the worst thing that's ever happened to baseball. Honestly, I'm terrified." And

00:54:24   then they cut to Jose Canseco and Oakland A's legend—

00:54:29   At his most roided-up state.

00:54:32   Right. And he said that he honestly expected—this is where I realized this has got to be a gag.

00:54:36   He was like, "I honestly expect that I think I could hit 100 home runs this year." At

00:54:41   a time when the decades-long Babe Ruth record or—

00:54:46   No, Roger Maris.

00:54:47   Roger Maris was 61.

00:54:48   61, yeah.

00:54:49   Right. He was like, "I think I'll hit 100. If I stay healthy, I'll hit 100. No problem."

00:54:53   And probably kill about 10, 12 pitchers too.

00:54:57   Right. Anyway, so I was worried about it, but it's kind of interesting. I would love

00:55:03   to hear it, right? I would love to hear what this bone conduction sounds like, but—

00:55:07   Well, you watch the Sunday Night Game. They had the speaker. I just—

00:55:12   Oh, I didn't hear it. I missed that part.

00:55:14   Yeah, yeah. Oh, that's right. You were watching the terrible other broadcast part of the time.

00:55:18   So they showed the transmitter—sorry, the receiver, and they had it play audio, but

00:55:25   it played more like a normal speaker. So I'm not sure—I've got to look this up, because

00:55:29   I've looked at this a little bit, but yeah, I'm not sure how the audio is being played.

00:55:33   Bone conduction certainly makes sense, because then no one's going to be able to hear it

00:55:36   except for you. But the way that they played it on air at least, it seemed like it was

00:55:40   transmitting sound in a way that could be heard, so, you know, through the air. So I'm—I'll

00:55:45   be interested to look this up when we're done.

00:55:47   Well, I think—but I think that gets back to the fact that they started doing work for

00:55:51   mentalists, right? Because if you went to see, like, a guy who claims that he can read

00:55:55   minds or speak to the dead or something like that, you know, the things that mentalists

00:56:01   do at a paid show, if you saw them with an earpiece, you'd be like, "What the hell's

00:56:05   going on? He's got an earpiece." You know, I think that they, you know, hook it up so

00:56:08   that it goes through their glasses or something like that so that it, you know, it's bone

00:56:12   conduction. But—

00:56:13   Yeah, no, so it definitely is bone conduction. So I'm not sure how they made that work on

00:56:17   air, because as I said, they were playing the—they were using the pin pad and then

00:56:22   making it say "curve ball," "fast ball," whatever.

00:56:25   Well, I don't know. I mean, at some point it's, you know, as you might know, I don't

00:56:28   know if you know anything about audio, but—

00:56:29   A little bit.

00:56:30   At some point it's just audio in a computer and it could go elsewhere, right? It could

00:56:36   just go to—one of the receivers could be something that could just record the actual

00:56:41   audio, you know, it doesn't have to be—doesn't mean every receiver has to be bone conduction.

00:56:45   It has to be a bone conduction earpiece, yeah.

00:56:47   Right.

00:56:48   So yeah, maybe they had something else for demonstrating it.

00:56:50   But anyway, technology and baseball. What else on the Friday night baseball? The graphics

00:56:55   looked very appley. I think they were—

00:56:57   Right, well, and I sent you one shot where it looked like they were showing some stat,

00:57:03   they were showing, you know, the number of hits somebody got last year compared to other

00:57:06   players or something. And it looked like a scrollable list. It looked like you could

00:57:10   interact with it. Because I at least was watching on my Apple TV, and it looked exactly like

00:57:16   every control on an Apple TV where you could scroll through the settings or whatever. And

00:57:19   there was a little—you noted there was like a little, what looked like a disclosure triangle,

00:57:24   which obviously doesn't do anything, but it was just—it was more of an asterisk.

00:57:27   But yeah, I found the graphics a little—they looked nice enough, but I found them a little

00:57:32   disconcerting because it looked like I could interact with them. And actually, honestly,

00:57:37   there's not a reason why you couldn't interact with them. Apple certainly could, with an

00:57:41   online-only broadcast, make it such that you could, on certain devices, interact and say,

00:57:46   "Oh, tell me more about this stat," or whatever.

00:57:47   Yeah.

00:57:48   But that is not currently how it works.

00:57:49   It was sort of the—you know, it's a variation of the uncanny valley. It's instantly recognizable

00:57:55   as Apple-like. If this had been—if Amazon had won the bidding—

00:58:01   And done this.

00:58:02   And done this, it would have—and you would have known. It was like, "Wait, the license

00:58:07   terms for the San Francisco font don't even allow that. You're not—and I know that's—I

00:58:11   know that's San Francisco. You're not allowed to use it like that." It looked so instantly

00:58:16   Apple-like. And for somebody who's attuned to fonts and Apple's UI styles, you know,

00:58:23   who could have kept me away from this news, showed me the broadcast, and I would have

00:58:27   instantly figured out, "Hey, Apple's doing baseball. This has got to be an Apple broadcast."

00:58:32   But on the other hand, it is weird that within the confines of Apple's 2D fonts and colors

00:58:41   and lots of black backgrounds with white text and the way that the highlight looked exactly

00:58:48   like the selection highlight on the tvOS.

00:58:51   Exactly.

00:58:52   And even one out of Apple's, you know, the way that Apple has sort of gone in a similar

00:58:55   direction with all their operating systems, but tvOS still sort of looks different. It

00:59:00   looked like something I should be able to take my Apple TV remote and go up and down,

00:59:03   you know? And you can't. But like you said, why not, right? That's actually very interesting

00:59:10   to me is if Apple has more ambitious technical goals. And if this whole thing was sort of

00:59:16   delayed until March because of the lockout, like, I honestly don't know what was allowed.

00:59:21   I know the players and the teams were not allowed to interact at all. So like players

00:59:25   weren't allowed to go to the team's health facilities just to like rehab an injury or

00:59:29   something like that. They had to do it on their own. That's what lockout meant. But

00:59:32   it seemed like other things were prevented too. So maybe this was all a bit rushed towards

00:59:36   the end.

00:59:37   But if you're showing it on a computing device, and that's all Apple is, right? They're

00:59:44   not simulcasting it to any sort of terrestrial TV. Everything is either like an Apple TV

00:59:51   or an iPhone or an iPad or you can watch on the web. But again, that's a computer. It

00:59:56   could be all those graphics could be interactive.

00:59:59   You could have way more interaction with it. Yeah. I mean, so you've used MLB TV in the

01:00:04   MLB app. And that's got way more interactivity than just a traditional broadcast. You can

01:00:11   change how it looks. You can pull up different stats. You can do all sorts of stuff. And

01:00:15   yeah, there's no reason that Apple's broadcasts couldn't allow at least some of that.

01:00:19   So I you know, what's the future hold for Apple TV with the Friday Night Baseball? I

01:00:23   don't know. I kind of feel the other thing, you know, to wrap this segment up. Well, let

01:00:27   me take a break because I have a little bit more to say about Apple TV. We'll get on

01:00:31   to audio hijacked for after that. But let me take a break here. And thank our next sponsor.

01:00:36   It's our good friends. I love this company. I love what they do trade. Coffee, trade coffee

01:00:43   is where you go to subscribe to coffee, get it delivered right to your home. I've tried

01:00:49   it. It is delicious, delicious coffee. It's a great service, what you do. And now here's

01:00:54   the part that sounds crazy. They've got let me see if I got it here. My last over 450

01:00:58   roasts that they that they keep. And you think now that that sounds to me, at least that

01:01:03   sounds like a nightmare. Like, why would I go to sign up for a coffee subscription with

01:01:07   450 coffees to choose from? How in the world am I going to pick the best one I'm going

01:01:11   to feel like I'm making a terrible mistake. That's not how it works. They have a sign

01:01:15   up, you just answer a couple questions. You say I'm a new customer. And you start answering

01:01:20   a couple of questions about the type of coffee you like the type of tastes you like. And

01:01:25   they quickly vary just a couple of questions, but they quickly narrow you down to a personalized

01:01:31   variety of coffees to suggest to you and with absolutely no gimmicks, and you can get them

01:01:36   delivered as often as you'd like you want like one bag every month, do you want two

01:01:41   bags a week because maybe you're buying coffee for a whole office or a whole family of coffee

01:01:46   drinkers, whatever you want, you can do it, you can adjust it on the fly. And they have

01:01:50   a guarantee you either love your first order, or they will replace it for free. So if you

01:01:55   get your first order, and you're like, I don't even like this coffee, you go back to them

01:01:58   say I didn't like it. And they'll get in touch with you with like, some kind of automated

01:02:03   thing where they will course correct what didn't you like and make another suggestion

01:02:07   and send you that other coffee free of charge. That's how that's how sure they are that you're

01:02:12   going to like it. They have delivered over 5 million bags of fresh coffee, and they have

01:02:16   over 750,000 positive reviews. And I the thing I can't say strongly enough about coffee is

01:02:22   that coffee is a produce it is like buying fruit or vegetables or something like that

01:02:28   it goes bad quickly. You want your coffee fresh, you want to get it they roast it, package

01:02:34   it ship it to you. It's within your hands like two days later, fresh coffee, that's

01:02:38   the way to go. And you know, you can't like stock up on it. You know, it's like you can't

01:02:42   stock up on apples for the next three months where you can't you really shouldn't be stocking

01:02:46   up on coffee. But when you go to the supermarket, that's what everything on the shelves is.

01:02:49   It's just old stale coffee that's drying out. Trade coffee can really solve your problems

01:02:54   with that. I love it. It is really great. Where do you go to find out more right now

01:02:58   they're offering new subscribers a total of 30 bucks off their first order plus free shipping

01:03:03   when you go to drink trade.com slash the talk show. That's drink trade.com slash the talk

01:03:10   show. You can get more than 40 cups of coffee for free with that 30 bucks off your first

01:03:15   order. Start taking their quiz at drink trade.com slash the talk show and they'll find a coffee

01:03:23   that you will love.

01:03:24   30 bucks off? What else was going on? So the other thing that I, we were talking about

01:03:28   the commercials before, the thing that, this is the part that really, hmm, that makes me

01:03:33   go, I wonder. It looked to me like the sponsors for Friday Night Baseball were largely the

01:03:39   same as the ones that MLB tends to have on their own MLB network.

01:03:44   They weren't prestige sponsors or anything like that.

01:03:46   Right. It's the opposite, you know, and that's harkens back to my, hark's back, I forget,

01:03:50   what do you say there, Paul? Hark's back or harkens back? I think it's...

01:03:53   Let's go harkens.

01:03:54   I think that they're both accepted. This is a little insight into me and Paul's friendship,

01:03:58   because if I were writing and I haven't even spoken to Paul in a week or something like

01:04:03   that, I'll just immediately, I message Paul with a question like that. He's on the copy

01:04:07   desk at Daring Fireball, but I'll do that and then while I'm texting you, then I'll

01:04:11   start looking it up in the dictionary app. But I always, I know...

01:04:15   It looks like you're right. They're both, both acceptable.

01:04:18   It hark's back to my discussion of the masters where I thought, and you know, I thought it

01:04:23   was coincidental that it was Masters Weekend, the same weekend Apple was doing this, but

01:04:27   I thought that maybe Apple will do something prestige like that and just sort of, instead

01:04:31   of that bombastic in between innings, boom, boom, boom, you know, go to Chipotle, go to

01:04:38   Subway, you know, gamble, gamble, gamble at BetMGM.

01:04:43   Crypto, crypto, crypto.

01:04:44   Right. Crypto, crypto, drink a beer and then go gamble some more. Maybe it'll be more sedate

01:04:49   and cool. They could just show like those screensavers, like on Apple TV, you know.

01:04:53   Oh God, that'd be amazing.

01:04:55   Right. It's, you know...

01:04:56   You're talking about the, the like ASMR quality of the, of golf. I would like to just, just

01:05:00   give me those screensavers with a little bit of audio behind them.

01:05:03   Right. And, and some scores from around the league at the bottom. Make sure people know

01:05:07   they're still watching the baseball game. There's, they had all sorts of options, but

01:05:11   really it just looked to me like a white label MLB network broadcast. It was obvious...

01:05:18   They did not go that route. They did not go the route of fewer ads or nicer ads.

01:05:24   Apple clearly hired all of the talent, right? The announcers, as we discussed, the announcers,

01:05:29   the sideline reporters, the pregame hosts, you know, Apple hired those people. They work

01:05:34   for Apple, but it seemed like the ads went through MLB network or else somehow Apple

01:05:39   ended up selling the exact same style of ads. Is it distasteful? Is it, you know, like the

01:05:45   whole legalized sports betting thing, like sports betting was like, I don't know, it

01:05:51   was, it, it somehow fell for most of my life on the vice side of... Is this...

01:06:00   Potential activities?

01:06:01   Yeah, potential activities, right. And without getting into any kind of argument about drug

01:06:07   policy at a legal level, why is it that alcohol has been legal? Well, not forever, but...

01:06:14   There was a brief period. I don't know if people know.

01:06:18   Since the 18th amendment was repealed with what, the 21st amendment? Yeah, 21st amendment.

01:06:25   Isn't it funny too that that amendment didn't last long, but they were amending like gangbusters

01:06:29   back then.

01:06:30   We got two more in there in between. Yeah, exactly.

01:06:32   They got two more in before they repealed it. But it's, you know, legal and it's been

01:06:36   obviously as any... You don't have to be a sports fan to know that alcohol advertising

01:06:41   has been a staple of sports commercials ever since it's, ever since TV sports have been

01:06:46   a thing. But like, you know, marijuana has been illegal in the United States for, until

01:06:51   very recently and still is regulated on a state by state level. I've never seen any

01:06:56   kind of advertising for that. I wonder if it'll start. New Jersey, which is right across

01:07:00   the river from me, is on the cusp. They've already voted to make recreational marijuana

01:07:05   legal in New Jersey.

01:07:06   Well, John, are you just talking about TV ads or any ads? Well, any ads, but TV ads...

01:07:12   Oh, no, no, no. So, so yeah, here in Mass, it got legalized. I don't even know the timeline.

01:07:16   It got legalized a while ago. It's taken some time. But if you drive down a highway, three

01:07:21   quarters of the billboards will be dispensary ads. The sides of every trash can in the city

01:07:25   are telling you about weed delivery. It's going to be huge. As soon as it's legal anywhere,

01:07:30   the advertising will be huge. It just won't be on TV because that's federal, I think.

01:07:36   The FCC won't allow that, I think.

01:07:38   I think you're right. I do think you're right that they won't because it's still, even though

01:07:42   a state like New Jersey or Nevada or California, Massachusetts might legalize it. Pennsylvania,

01:07:50   it is legal for medical purposes only recently. I mean, I think within the last 18 months,

01:07:56   two years, something like that. But now we have...

01:07:58   But it's still federally...

01:08:00   Illegal, right. And so I believe in every one of these states, all of the marijuana

01:08:07   you buy, whether it's a medical thing or a recreational thing, has to be grown in the

01:08:11   state because you can't legally...

01:08:12   You can't take it over state lines.

01:08:14   Even if you're going from one state where it's legal to another, it's all kind of bananas.

01:08:18   But it falls on this spectrum of is this beneath us or our brand or not. And the gambling stuff

01:08:28   was truly illegal everywhere but Nevada. Sports gambling has been illegal everywhere but Nevada

01:08:33   until just a handful of years ago. But then once the dam breaks, it breaks everywhere

01:08:39   because it's all of a sudden when Pennsylvania sees that Delaware is getting all of this

01:08:44   tax money from...

01:08:45   The tax money, absolutely.

01:08:47   Right. And every single way that gambling has grown since I was a kid, I mean, it was

01:08:53   a... I remember being like six years old or so when Atlantic City started opening their

01:08:59   casinos and it seemed terribly exciting to me. It was like, "Wow, this is... Gambling

01:09:05   looks like a lot of fun." It was a huge deal because it was the first place where there

01:09:09   was any gambling outside Nevada, except horse racing, which has always been oddly legal

01:09:14   everywhere even though you're allowed to bet on the horses. But then the horse tracks around

01:09:19   here state by state started adding slot machines. And once one state did it and they saw how

01:09:25   much money was coming in and how people stopped going to Philadelphia Park to watch horse

01:09:30   tracks, they'd go to Delaware because then they could play slot machines. Well, guess

01:09:33   what? They added slot machines in Philadelphia. So anyway...

01:09:36   So that's interesting to me though because you're a little older than I am. And so in

01:09:40   my mind, it was always Vegas and Atlantic City and that was it. There was nothing else.

01:09:45   And then yeah, in the past, I don't know, 20 years or so is where, as you said, the dam broke and all these

01:09:49   states started allowing all sorts of gambling. But that's funny that for you, it was just

01:09:53   Nevada. And for me, it was just Nevada and Atlantic City. And then now, you know, anyone

01:09:58   born in the past 30 years, it's just everywhere.

01:10:01   Right. Well, and then in the in-between time when they legalized it, there were a couple

01:10:05   of... for whatever, I guess, some kind of exception to federal laws where Indian reservations

01:10:11   were...

01:10:12   Could have gambling.

01:10:13   And then did build them. And they're a huge, huge deal in between... on the, as we call

01:10:19   it, the Northeast Corridor between Foxwoods up by you...

01:10:23   Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun.

01:10:24   Mohegan Sun in between New York and Boston in particular. There's some Indian land and

01:10:30   they built these casinos that were untapped because people no longer had to drive all

01:10:34   the way to Atlantic City, which, you know, for Boston, you know, that's...

01:10:37   Quite a trek.

01:10:38   Well, you might as well just fly... at that point, you might as well fly to Vegas, right?

01:10:42   Which is, you know, how trouble starts.

01:10:44   But anyway, the whole Apple pregame show was sponsored by BetMGM, which is... I actually

01:10:51   have an account at BetMGM. I pass no judgment. I enjoy sports gambling. Somehow they've managed,

01:10:57   even though it's like state by state, that the MGM thing is tied into the MGM resorts.

01:11:02   So like, I can use my same account that I have from actual casinos in Las Vegas. It's

01:11:09   the same MGM account. It's a pretty good sports app, you know, for betting on football and

01:11:14   baseball and stuff. But, you know, am I surprised that Apple took them on as a sponsor? A little

01:11:19   bit, you know?

01:11:20   Yeah, it definitely... you know, we said it earlier, but if Apple had done this and shown

01:11:24   no ads or only ads for Apple stuff, I would not have been at all surprised by that.

01:11:29   Right.

01:11:30   You know, it would have been different. It would have been unusual, but I would have

01:11:33   said, "Well, that's why it's on this premium, you know, network," or whatever we want to

01:11:37   call it, premium service. And they want to show off their technology, they want to show

01:11:40   off their subscription services, and they don't need to share it with anybody else.

01:11:44   They certainly don't need the money from this. Early on, we were saying, "How much money

01:11:47   would they be leaving on the table?" Whatever it is, they don't need it, you know, with

01:11:51   hundreds of billions of dollars in the bank. They could take this as a loss leader and

01:11:55   just say, "Yep, we're presenting baseball, and there's not going to be a lot of ads,

01:11:58   and it's going to be a much more enjoyable experience." And the same way that, you know,

01:12:02   when they show a movie on Apple TV+, you're not getting ads in the middle of that.

01:12:06   Right.

01:12:07   So, they're not going that route so far, at least. I'll be interested to see when it is

01:12:09   no longer free. When it is—so the first half of the season is free to anybody, you

01:12:14   don't need a subscription to tune in. And the second half is when they're going to say,

01:12:18   "Okay, you need an Apple TV+ subscription." I wonder if it'll be any different at that

01:12:22   point.

01:12:23   Have they officially announced that? I think that they've—

01:12:26   I thought so.

01:12:27   I think they've left that open. I think what they've said is, "Here's the schedule for

01:12:31   the first half, and the first half of the season, here's the whole schedule, and all

01:12:38   of these games will be available free for anybody who wants to watch." And they have

01:12:42   an instruction page so that you can figure out how to watch. Like, even if you're on

01:12:46   a Windows computer, you can go to tv.apple.com, and you don't have an Apple ID yet, but you

01:12:52   just—you've got to watch the California Angels, or the Anaheim Angels. What do they

01:12:57   call it now? Los Angeles Angels?

01:12:58   Los—are they still the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim?

01:13:01   Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. But, you know, if your favorite team is on, and this is the

01:13:05   thing that's going to get you into TV, you can do it without—even without owning an

01:13:08   Apple product, but they'll, you know—but I don't think they've said that you'll have

01:13:11   to pay for the second half. I think it's just—they just haven't answered the question. And I

01:13:15   think people are assuming that—

01:13:16   Okay, so they've—all they've said is that the first half is free, and now we're getting—we're

01:13:21   leaping to the conclusion that the second half won't be.

01:13:23   And that is a very Apple-like strategy of, "We just won't, you know, don't say, 'Let's

01:13:29   see. Let's see, and we'll make up our mind later.'" Right? I mean, they didn't even announce

01:13:33   WWDC until, like, three days ago, right? It's, you know, they—why do they always announce

01:13:38   WWDC so bizarrely late, compared to every other developer conference from a comparable company?

01:13:46   Which the year before tells you when it's going to be.

01:13:48   Right! Every—you know, like, at Macworld, you'd be leaving Macworld Expo, and they'd

01:13:52   be—

01:13:53   Yup.

01:13:54   They'd—you could not leave without three different people giving you a sign-up sheet

01:13:57   for next year's Macworld Expo, which will be January—

01:14:00   On these specific dates, yeah.

01:14:01   Right. These dates, here at Moscone in San Francisco, blah, blah, blah. You know, Java

01:14:06   World, whatever. I don't even know what the hell else. Oracle World? I don't know. I guess

01:14:10   that's the same as Java World now. But Salesforce—Salesforce has a big conference every year. You know, they

01:14:16   probably have the dates for three years of them out in advance.

01:14:19   All right. Well, so I'm looking at this—at the PR, and it says, "And for a limited time,

01:14:23   without the need for a subscription."

01:14:24   Hmm. Yeah.

01:14:25   So the app—that's the Apple press release. So they're definitely implying—but, you

01:14:29   know, a limited time could be who knows how long. We've all got a limited time on this

01:14:33   earth.

01:14:34   Right. Well, and like I said, presumably, my guess is that the number one reason Apple

01:14:38   is even getting into this at all is just to sort of increase the surface area of the number

01:14:46   of people who would subscribe to TV Plus. I mean, ultimately, I think they want people

01:14:50   to subscribe to TV Plus. And if the most interesting thing to a certain demographic is Friday Night

01:14:57   Baseball, well, then they're not going to keep it free forever. Right? It's, you know,

01:15:01   it's the same way. You know, and they have, you know, they're expanding the type of shows

01:15:05   they have. You know, like now they have a talk show with Jon Stewart, and, you know,

01:15:09   they didn't make that free just to get the Jon Stewart fans who might be, you know, I

01:15:13   would presume, you know, they marginally increase the number of people who might be interested.

01:15:18   There might be a ton of people out there who do not like watching prestige drama TV, like

01:15:24   The Morning Show and Severance and, you know, all the other shows that typical Apple TV

01:15:31   Plus shows. They don't like stuff like that, but they love Jon Stewart. Right? Well, then,

01:15:37   you know, that now they've...

01:15:38   A box a month and you can see it.

01:15:39   Right. And you get all this other stuff and you might like some of it. So I presume that

01:15:43   you're right. I would guess that the second half of the season will be you require a paid

01:15:47   account or, you know, maybe they'll have a deal where you can still get a 30-day free

01:15:53   sign up. I don't know. They'll do something, but that's in there. I am a little surprised

01:15:57   about the advertising now because one of my favorite little details is the family and

01:16:04   I, as you know, on occasion we go on, we've been on the cruise vacations and we've been

01:16:09   on the Royal Caribbean cruises, which are a very traditional... It's exactly what you

01:16:14   think. If you've never been on a cruise, Royal Caribbean cruise is exactly what you think

01:16:18   cruise is like.

01:16:19   And then everyone gets sick is what you're telling me.

01:16:21   No, nobody gets.

01:16:22   Because that's what I've never been on a cruise. And I assume that as soon as you get on, you

01:16:26   get norovirus if you're lucky. And if you're unlucky, you get COVID.

01:16:32   I have never, never gotten ill on a cruise ship. I will say this. It's a total aside,

01:16:37   but I've never gotten sick by going to a conference. I know people used to say they'd go to Macworld

01:16:41   and come home and everybody always got some kind of Macworld flu because of people coming

01:16:46   together. And it's not like I have a particularly hearty never get a cold or flu immune system,

01:16:52   but I never came home from a conference. All the times I've been to WWDC or Macworld or

01:16:56   any of those things, I never came back and got sick. But maybe it's just stupid luck.

01:17:01   Maybe because I, unlike my gags on previous years on this show, I actually do wash my

01:17:05   hands when I'm in public as often. Let's be double sure here. I don't know what you're

01:17:12   supposed to sing. Happy Birthday or something like that.

01:17:15   20 seconds. The watch does it for you now.

01:17:18   I don't like that. I get too many false positives. It's too stupid. It's a nice idea, but it

01:17:26   doesn't work for me. We've been on the Disney cruises and it's a lot of fun. And even when

01:17:32   our son got older and it wasn't, you know, it's really, really, I would recommend it

01:17:36   to anybody with little kids who are into Disney. It's a terrific family place where the adults

01:17:40   can get some time away from the kids and the kids can go to a supervised thing that they

01:17:44   will love and they won't feel like they'll be begging to go to the kids club or whatever

01:17:49   they call it. They want to get away from you when they're young. But we've been, it's a

01:17:53   nice cruise and it's a nice vacation, a nice way to see different islands in the Caribbean.

01:17:57   But the most distinctive thing, at least from my mind as a degenerate gambler, of Disney

01:18:03   cruises versus every other cruise line in the world is they don't have casinos on the

01:18:08   ships. And the casinos on all the cruise ships operate once they're in international waters

01:18:13   so that there's, well, and it's for tax purposes and regular tours. So gambling is, casino

01:18:21   gambling is illegal in Bermuda and we've gone on a couple of cruises to Bermuda with our

01:18:27   extended families, parents and my sister and her family and stuff like that. But Bermuda,

01:18:34   there are no casinos on the land in Bermuda, so once the ship is docked, the casino has

01:18:38   to close anyway. But I think they close, even if they land at an island where there are

01:18:43   casinos, they still close the casinos on the ship because they don't want to pay taxes

01:18:46   to the country where they're docked. And I think the logic behind why does every cruise

01:18:52   ship have a casino is why not, right?

01:18:56   That's a terrible answer, but it also makes perfect sense, yes.

01:19:00   Right? But Disney does not. They have no casinos on their ships, even though there's no legal

01:19:05   reason. And again, like Apple, nobody from Disney is going to come out and explain that

01:19:09   we think gambling is a filthy vice and we don't want to be associated with it. But Disney's

01:19:15   got a funny brand, you know?

01:19:18   Well, it's exactly like the Intel Inside stickers until a year and a half ago, two years ago.

01:19:23   But you know, when Apple switched to Intel and they were asked, you know, are you going

01:19:26   to put the Intel Inside sticker on there and collect whatever dollar you get for every

01:19:31   machine you sell? And Apple certainly didn't do that because it wasn't their brand to do

01:19:35   that.

01:19:36   Well, you remember though, that's one of my all-time favorite moments of my career. I

01:19:40   was in...

01:19:41   Were you at the press conference when that was first?

01:19:43   At the press conference for... I forget. It was a weird... I forget why though. It was

01:19:49   at Apple's town hall, which was famously small, very cozy at the old Infinite Loop campus.

01:19:56   I forget what the... If it was in Tennegate and they just happened to take questions on

01:20:01   other subjects, would that have... No, because that would have been too early.

01:20:03   No, it's too late. It's got to be earlier than that. Were they introducing a new machine,

01:20:08   one of the first Intel machines or something?

01:20:09   I don't know. I don't know what... I'd have to look... I'll have to put it in the show

01:20:12   notes and look it up. But it was after... As they were want to do at the time, which

01:20:17   was wonderful, but also makes me feel ancient. Because imagine if Apple did this now, if

01:20:24   they came to the end of an event and then they said...

01:20:27   And did a Q&A?

01:20:28   Yeah, and they said, "Hey, we're going to take some questions from the media and take

01:20:31   a minute, set up some stools, get some water for whoever's going to... Tim Cook and Jaws

01:20:36   and Federighi, whoever else is going to answer some questions, and then just take 10 minutes

01:20:40   of questions from the press right there on stage." I would love it. I thought it was

01:20:45   great. But anyway, the guy asked about the Intel stickers and everybody laughed in the

01:20:51   audience. And I forget the guy who asked it, but he was more... I remember looking him

01:20:57   up and it was a legit question from his perspective. He wasn't like an app...

01:21:01   Right. It's a business question as opposed to an Apple... Someone who covers Apple thinking

01:21:06   about this.

01:21:07   It was the equivalent... I don't think he was. Maybe he was from PC Magazine or Tom's

01:21:11   Hardware, but somebody who at the time covered the whole spectrum of the technology industry.

01:21:16   But everybody in the hall laughed and giggled a little, but Jobs had the perfect answer.

01:21:21   He said, "We like our own stickers." Which was a great answer because it was funny. It

01:21:27   made him feel better for asking. He got a clever answer because of his question. It

01:21:33   deflated the fact that some of us in the audience had chuckled at his question. It made the

01:21:38   whole thing funny. It leavened it up. But he also didn't throw Intel under the bus,

01:21:43   their new partner who they'd just done it. It was absolutely perfect. Steve Jobs at his

01:21:48   best.

01:21:49   But anyway, Disney doesn't do casinos. And I wondered, would Apple not do gambling? Well,

01:21:54   no, they do gambling. Now, of course, they have the gambling apps in the App Store, but

01:21:59   that's different. They have all sorts of stuff in the App Store that they may not take

01:22:03   ads for. But sports gambling has just sort of rocketed from completely, literally illegal

01:22:12   to just perfectly as acceptable as selling beer within the course of a year.

01:22:20   Strange times. Well, and you're right, it is within the past. Is it a year? It's a year

01:22:25   or two. And it certainly coincides with a whole lot of people just sitting in their

01:22:28   homes and not having anything else to do.

01:22:30   Yeah. Well, there's a lot of speculation that it's been bad timing, that it's actually

01:22:36   been sort of a bad time for sports gambling to sort of get legalized nationwide because

01:22:41   people have time on their hands.

01:22:42   Really?

01:22:43   Yeah, but I...

01:22:44   Oh, and they're doing other things than that?

01:22:46   I think that's overblown. I think people who have gambling problems, it's a bad idea in

01:22:51   general. And it's certainly for people who have any kind of... If you have an alcohol

01:22:57   addiction problem, it probably was good when alcohol was prohibited. It's just that it

01:23:03   wasn't, you know...

01:23:04   Making it harder, at least, yeah.

01:23:05   Right. For people who have a gambling addiction, it can't be good that it's legal in any way,

01:23:10   anywhere at any time, let alone making it so that you can do it from your phone anytime

01:23:15   you're within state...

01:23:16   A couple taps, yeah.

01:23:18   State borders. Yeah, it's probably bad. But that's, you know, that's a discussion for

01:23:23   another show.

01:23:24   Let's talk about AudioHijack 4. I would say it's safe to say that AudioHijack is Rogue

01:23:28   Amoeba's flagship app.

01:23:30   That's the term I've always used because we've had other products that have been more popular

01:23:35   in terms of users or revenue over time. But AudioHijack, we've had for almost 20 years

01:23:41   now, and it has been consistently popular for that 20 years and more and more popular

01:23:45   in recent years.

01:23:47   Flagship is the term that I always use.

01:23:48   Yeah, but that's, you know, that's sort of fascinating. And I know there are certainly

01:23:53   other Mac apps. The Mac is an established platform, let's say. You know, there are certainly

01:23:58   a lot of apps that are older than 20 years. There's the BB edits and...

01:24:02   BB edit is the obvious one that comes to mind, yeah.

01:24:04   Photoshop and Illustrator and, you know, the list goes on. Graphic converter, if you want

01:24:09   to go it purely in the...

01:24:11   I think my beloved Keyboard Maestro, it was in different hands at the time, but I believe

01:24:15   it... I think Keyboard Maestro goes back to the classic Mac OS.

01:24:18   Pretty sure, yeah.

01:24:19   You know, but 20 years, it's a long time. But it's just kind of fascinating that something

01:24:25   that was a good enough idea 20 years ago and then well-executed enough that, you know,

01:24:31   could become the flagship app of an indie software company like Rogue Amoeba is more

01:24:36   popular now, right? Because the world has changed, right? It's, you know, there's all

01:24:41   sorts of ideas that might have been great 20 years ago that aren't great anymore, and

01:24:45   you can't predict that. And if you, you know, tried to predict right now what's a great

01:24:49   new app to make, but I want to make sure this thing is more popular than ever in the year

01:24:55   2042. I want it to be more popular than now. Good luck. You know, that's just good luck,

01:25:01   don't you think? I mean, you know, it's...

01:25:03   Oh, absolutely. I mean, the biggest thing for us... So Audio Hijack, when we first created

01:25:09   it was designed to... The example I always use is record real player streams, because

01:25:14   it really dates me and makes me sound old and makes the product sound old. Because real

01:25:18   player streams don't even exist anymore, and, you know, it predates podcasts. So it's something

01:25:24   where the initial idea was... is not something that it's used for ever at this point. But

01:25:30   the general idea of recording audio is something we've been doing for decades. And the biggest

01:25:36   stroke of fortune that we had was the rise of things exactly like this, podcasts, because

01:25:42   there aren't that many people making podcasts compared to people listening to podcasts.

01:25:46   So something like Overcast, where, you know, you're listening to podcasts, that has a much

01:25:49   wider audience. But people that are making podcasts like you are making money from making

01:25:55   podcasts, a whole lot of them, selling ads, having subscriptions, and making a tool that

01:26:00   helps them do that is something where there actually is a market for it. And as podcasts

01:26:04   have become so mainstream, it's been... that's really... that's the number one reason why

01:26:09   it's more popular now than it was 20 years ago, is because there's this new thing that

01:26:13   didn't even exist until 2006, 2005, you know, a few years into the product.

01:26:18   I know we've talked about Audio Hijack before, but I don't assume that everybody listening

01:26:23   has keenly remembers your March 2019 appearance on the show when we might last have spoken

01:26:29   about it. But I'm going to take a stab at describing, for people who aren't familiar

01:26:35   with Audio Hijack, but it's a utility for the Mac and only the Mac. It is not for iOS

01:26:41   and it is not available on Windows or Linux or TiVo, or I don't know where else it could

01:26:48   run. But it's a Mac utility and you install it and then you can assign sources, which

01:26:54   could be something you think obviously a microphone, duh, but you could just assign application

01:26:59   as an input source and say, "I would like to record the audio from Safari and whatever

01:27:06   Safari is playing," like if it were a real player stream or something else that through

01:27:14   whatever JavaScript chicanery they've tried to keep you from just being able to download

01:27:20   it and listen not live, right, you know, like you should be able to do with a computer,

01:27:24   you could just pump that in as an input stream and then do all sorts of stuff. To do all

01:27:30   sorts of stuff here is where I'm skipping.

01:27:34   Keeping it simple.

01:27:35   It's a lot of dot, dot, dot. It's like the equivalent of saying with BB Edit, you can

01:27:39   do stuff to the text and then output it to audio that you can save as a file on your

01:27:46   computer.

01:27:47   Yeah, I mean, so the three word summary of the app is record any audio. And that's served

01:27:53   us pretty well, but as you said, there's a whole lot of depth in terms of things that

01:27:57   you can do beyond just making a recording and a whole lot of reasons why you would make

01:28:01   a recording.

01:28:02   The big difference I see as we look at this 20 year mark is, you know, we're joking about

01:28:07   real player, but it is true. We've got listeners who don't remember real player.

01:28:11   Oh, I'm sure.

01:28:12   Well, one of Jonas's high school friends is a listener of the show. It just blows me away

01:28:17   because I just assumed that, come on, I don't know. I'd like to think I'm not too middle

01:28:23   aged, but it's like I kind of worry that I've lost the idea that I'm going to get the teens,

01:28:28   that some computer enthusiast teens who listen not because that's their pal's dad, but just

01:28:34   like stumbled upon the show. Somebody like that, they don't remember real player. You

01:28:38   know, it was kind of bananas. Real player was what, Flash? Was it Flash or was it their

01:28:42   own? It was like their own.

01:28:44   I think it was their own.

01:28:45   Yeah.

01:28:46   It was garbage is what it was.

01:28:47   Yeah.

01:28:48   It was very bad, but it was the option for streaming audio at the time. Besides, I don't

01:28:52   even know, I don't even know which came first, but there was also Windows Media audio.

01:28:55   Right.

01:28:56   Which also isn't in use anymore.

01:28:57   Right, and QuickTime audio. But the idea back in those days was that web browser plugins

01:29:04   are fundamentally hugely different from today's extensions, where today's extensions for browsers

01:29:10   are all built using web technology. The extensions themselves are programmed in JavaScript, and

01:29:16   if they have a presentation layer, it's HTML and CSS. Whereas plugins were like binaries.

01:29:23   It was like running a separate application just inside the web browser.

01:29:26   Just inside the web browser. And, you know, real player was one of them. It was a thing.

01:29:33   And they were ahead of their time in terms of anticipating the market of people would

01:29:37   love to listen to audio. I mean, you could listen to...

01:29:39   To stream audio from concerts and...

01:29:41   Ball games? I remember listening to baseball games. But, you know, the internet at the

01:29:45   time was a little bit slower.

01:29:48   Just a little bit.

01:29:49   So they were like, I don't know, like 64 kilobits per second, probably less, probably like,

01:29:53   I don't know, super staticky. It was like listening to ham radio in 1980. It was very

01:29:59   low quality, but it was stuff you couldn't listen to otherwise, you know.

01:30:04   Any other way, absolutely.

01:30:05   Right. And radio stations would have like a little, you know, they'd say like, "Go to

01:30:10   our website and you can listen to our real player stream." And if you wanted to listen

01:30:14   to your hometown radio station in Philadelphia while you were in San Francisco, you could

01:30:19   do it over the internet. That seemed amazing.

01:30:22   It was amazing. And yeah, I mean, we're denigrating real player. It wasn't that bad. It was not

01:30:26   great technology, but what it enabled was very cool. And yeah, it certainly was, as

01:30:32   you said, I think it was ahead of its time because it's sort of, I always think of this

01:30:36   about the Newton, you know, the network wasn't really ready for what they were doing in those

01:30:41   cases.

01:30:42   Oh, absolutely. Oh, I think so too. I've always said that, that to me, the biggest problem

01:30:46   with the Newton and even the Palm Pilot, you know, like the Newton had to...

01:30:49   Yeah, absolutely.

01:30:50   It was too big, too expensive, and there was no wireless networking. The Wi-Fi didn't even

01:30:55   exist yet. So the Palm Pilot solved two of the problems. It was a much more reasonable

01:31:00   size. You could definitely carry it in a pocket and it was cheaper. It was like 400 bucks

01:31:04   instead of a thousand. So there's one reason why Palm was successful. Palm Pilot was successful

01:31:10   and Newton wasn't. But ultimately, the Palm Pilot kind of fizzled out because it didn't

01:31:15   have wireless networking either. And really the whole point of carrying a pocket computer

01:31:20   around we've now realized is to...

01:31:21   Just be on the internet.

01:31:22   ...get on the internet. But that 20 years ago, "Let's make a record audio anywhere Mac

01:31:28   utility," the idea primarily was, "Let's record audio from known sources out there," you know?

01:31:36   Yeah, that was certainly like one of the biggest uses. Another one that was sort of funny was

01:31:40   adding an equalizer to DVDs. So a DVD player on the Mac didn't have an EQ. And people were

01:31:47   watching movies and they said, "Oh, I want to tweak the audio on this." And so yeah,

01:31:51   basically the original use cases... If I looked back at our original press release, I could

01:31:56   probably tick off all the original use cases and say, "Yep, no one's doing that anymore.

01:31:59   No one's doing that anymore." So yeah, we're definitely a little bit fortunate to have

01:32:03   found new ways to angle this and to focus on.

01:32:07   Yeah, but that is a good point though, that Audio Hijack doesn't just save to a file.

01:32:10   You can just pipe it through live and apply filters and just have it come through... Just

01:32:17   listen to it live, but have it filtered or pumped through Audio Hijack for some kind

01:32:21   of processing type thing. Or have it saved to a file at the same time or something.

01:32:26   Yep.

01:32:27   But you could listen to it. The big difference, like you said, clearly now, especially greatly...

01:32:33   I'm not even going to say exacerbated by COVID, but accelerated by COVID. Because I think

01:32:39   the move to more people working at home was already underway and COVID just...

01:32:44   Oh, but definitely accelerated. I mean...

01:32:46   Yeah. But...

01:32:47   From zero to 100.

01:32:48   But I don't think it's going to go back, right? Like, I think even as people now, literally

01:32:52   as we speak, are returning to offices and stuff like that, like the need and acceptance

01:32:57   for... Well, Paul always works from home Thursdays and Fridays anyway, so any kind of meeting

01:33:03   on Thursday or Friday, you're going to jump on. The meeting is going to be on Zoom or

01:33:07   whatever anyway, even if some of the people are in an office together. It's just way

01:33:11   more accepted and accelerated. And I think we would have gotten... Where we'll wind

01:33:15   up when, you know, knock on wood, COVID is in the wide rear view mirror overall, is where

01:33:24   we would have wound up anyway. It's just going to happen many, many years faster. But

01:33:28   long story short, people are making their own audio now and have things they want to

01:33:33   do and filter and make sound better about it.

01:33:36   Yeah. I mean, so I mentioned podcasts. Even before that, having the iPod, that was...

01:33:43   The iPod debuted in 2001 and a year later is when we first released Audio Hijack and

01:33:47   people were recording stuff to put on their iPod. So, you know, prior to that, you had

01:33:51   a portable disc player, CD player, disc man, you had a walkman, a tape player, but you

01:33:56   didn't really have a computer-based device. So the iPod was the first big thing for us.

01:34:01   Podcasting was the second big thing for us. And in terms of Audio Hijack, at least, yeah,

01:34:04   having people working from home in March of 2020, even before the pandemic had affected

01:34:11   me personally, you know, before stores were shutting down or businesses were shutting

01:34:15   down temporarily, we saw a sales spike and we honestly did not know what was happening.

01:34:21   We saw such an extreme sales spike of Audio Hijack and another one of our tools, Loopback,

01:34:26   which lets you route audio around your computer. And it took us a little while talking to users

01:34:31   who contacted us and said, "Oh, I'm trying to do whatever." It took us a little while

01:34:35   to understand, "Oh, all of these people are suddenly working remotely and these tools

01:34:40   are helping them do that." And it was really... It was a very strange thing initially to just

01:34:45   see this huge sales spike totally unrelated to, you know, we just released Audio Hijack

01:34:49   where we see a sales spike based on that because people are talking about it, people are linking

01:34:52   to it. That's great. But to see a sales spike come out of nowhere was very odd. And then

01:34:58   to realize that it was associated with this horrible event that was affecting everything

01:35:03   was... It's still difficult to... I've yet to figure out how to talk about this because

01:35:07   obviously it's nice to make more money, but it's not nice for it to be on the backs of

01:35:12   literally hundreds of thousands, millions of people dying and businesses going out of

01:35:17   business because they can't sustain themselves. And, you know, it's not nice for it to be

01:35:21   on the back of a global pandemic. So I'd rather have made less money and not had the global

01:35:25   pandemic, but, you know, it was really nice to be able to help a whole lot of people with

01:35:30   these products to do things that they suddenly needed to do and that they didn't realize

01:35:34   they would need to do. It was very gratifying. It's a small thing, obviously. We didn't create

01:35:38   the vaccines that are saving people's lives, but making it more possible for people to

01:35:42   work from home and therefore not have to go out and therefore not spread the virus was

01:35:47   a small contribution to make things a little bit better, at least.

01:35:49   What is the saying? Fortune benefits the prepared?

01:35:54   Fortune favors the bold is one of them, but I don't even know if this was bold. This was

01:35:57   more luck, like you said.

01:35:59   But yeah, it's funny. For as many businesses that suffered terribly during their, especially

01:36:06   2020 in the pandemic, there were others that did well. And it's funny to think of you guys

01:36:12   being there with people who sell yeast to bake your own bread at home. And it's like

01:36:22   if you have a small company with seven employees and all you do is sell stuff to help people

01:36:27   make better bread at home, it was probably the best thing that ever happened to your

01:36:32   business and all of a sudden you can't keep the stuff in stock.

01:36:36   That was the thing. Yeah. I mean, you're mentioning a particular case where, what is it, King

01:36:40   Arthur Flour is a small company and they suddenly needed a hundred times as much capacity as

01:36:45   they had. And they were selling like only 40 pound bags of flour because that's all

01:36:49   they could manage, even though most people wanted five or 10 pounds, whatever. We had

01:36:52   a similar issue where we had this sales spike and we had a usage spike. And we fortunately

01:36:58   were able to bring on an experienced support technician who previously had worked at the

01:37:02   Omni group, an old friend of ours named Brian Covey, was able to come in and work for a

01:37:06   few months to do support for us. It was something where we suddenly had this spike in support

01:37:12   cases just from having so many more users. And it's difficult to plan for that. It's

01:37:19   certainly, you don't want to have that capacity all the time on the off chance that you'll

01:37:23   suddenly have a huge usage spike. And all sorts of businesses, it's a good problem to

01:37:28   have obviously, but it is still a problem you have to solve to figure out how to deal

01:37:31   with suddenly having twice as many or five times as many or 10 times as many people using

01:37:36   your product or purchasing your product or whatever.

01:37:38   Craig: In some ways, I know that I'm entering into Ben Thompson territory here by bringing

01:37:42   up marginal costs, but it is sort of the magic of software is that there's no marginal costs.

01:37:48   So like...

01:37:49   David: It's a lot lower at least.

01:37:50   Craig; Well, it's, you know, you do pay more for some things as sales go up, but it's all

01:37:56   commensurate as opposed to... You don't want to be Peloton, right? Where Peloton saw this

01:38:02   huge spike in people buying their bikes and treadmills and because they couldn't go to

01:38:07   the gym and Peloton thought it was a flash forwarding to the future, the acceleration

01:38:14   of a trend and Peloton thought the whole world is going to stop going to the gym anyway because

01:38:20   riding your beautiful Peloton at home is so much better. So let's build a $600 million

01:38:27   factory here in the United States. Let's buy this, get as many of these bikes made. And

01:38:31   then it turned out that, no, it was, you know, a one-time spike from the one-time pandemic.

01:38:37   And then they have all these bikes on their hands and a factory that they'd broken ground

01:38:42   on that they actually don't need and it's a mess. You know, you make a guess, you go

01:38:46   with it. And I, you know, we can laugh at their plight, but I sort of admire the fact

01:38:51   that they were true believers in the product.

01:38:52   David; They went for it, absolutely.

01:38:53   Craig; Right. And thought that this isn't just a one-time spike. This is going to open

01:38:57   the doors and now everybody's going to buy a Peloton. You don't have to print up. It's

01:39:00   not 30 years ago where you're printing CDs.

01:39:03   David; No, no. Yeah, no. So, yeah, to your point, when, I don't even know the numbers,

01:39:09   but let's just say three times as many people downloaded the software. We didn't notice

01:39:12   that. The one thing we noticed was support requests just because if one in a hundred

01:39:17   people need support and if there's suddenly three times as many people, then you have

01:39:22   more support requests. So that was for us the sort of growing pain. But yeah, it was

01:39:28   very easy to deal with most of it and a lot of it just didn't get noticed at all, like

01:39:32   things like downloads.

01:39:33   Craig; Yeah. Let's take a break here and thank our next sponsor. I'm very, very excited.

01:39:37   First-time sponsor and they're celebrating a special anniversary. It's Get Drafts. That's

01:39:43   Drafts the app from Agile Tortoise.

01:39:46   David; Oh, is that their 10th anniversary? Do I have that right?

01:39:49   Craig; That is correct. It is the 10th anniversary of the productivity app Drafts. You can, I'll

01:39:55   just tell you the URL right now. It's getdrafts.com. They're running a discount offer. Look, I

01:40:00   could tell you in two words, Drafts is a notes app, but Drafts is so much more than a notes

01:40:06   app. And trust me, I know notes apps. Drafts and Drafts is very different than the notes

01:40:10   app I made, but that's what makes it so interesting. It is a very different approach to using your

01:40:15   iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch. It is very, very much an Apple ecosystem app. If there

01:40:22   were a sensible reason to have Drafts on tvOS, I guarantee you they would have it. But there's

01:40:28   not, so there isn't. But your watch, iOS, and Mac, definitely. It's a low-friction way to

01:40:33   capture your thoughts. By default, Drafts launches ready to type. So, as soon as you

01:40:39   launch Drafts, by default, it's just ready there with a new note. So, just something

01:40:43   you want to dash down, just a couple of words, a thought, something to buy, whatever, and

01:40:47   you don't want to lose it, open Drafts, start typing, put the phone back in your pocket

01:40:52   or your purse or wherever, and there it is, a new Draft ready for you. No more fumbling

01:40:57   around to find the right app or find the folder where you want to put it. You just make the

01:41:01   new thing, and then you can deal with it later, and you can tag it later or something like

01:41:06   that or process it. Once you've created your text, they're a customizable editor, which

01:41:11   has terrific, by the way, I will say, markdown support, syntax coloring, all sorts of keyboard

01:41:16   shortcuts that are totally customizable for adding markdown links or italics or something

01:41:22   like that. This is not one of those things where it's like there was, here's how Drafts

01:41:26   works, and then they realized markdown got popular and sort of tacked it on. This was

01:41:30   sort of as close to built with markdown in mind as I could imagine. And if you don't

01:41:37   use markdown, you don't have to. It's not like everything is marked down. There are

01:41:40   all sorts of different types that notes can be, but if you do use markdown, man, it is

01:41:45   a terrific app for that. You could just do all sorts of things. They have so many actions.

01:41:49   You get actions for sending emails, for sending messages, for tweeting right from Drafts.

01:41:54   You can create lists in the Reminders app, the system-level Reminders app, right from

01:41:59   your Drafts based on the content of the Drafts. And you can extend Drafts with ready-to-use

01:42:04   actions from the Drafts directory on the website where you just say, "Oh, I need something

01:42:10   to do that," like integration with WordPress or something like that. Download the action

01:42:14   right from the website. It opens right in Drafts on your device. It'll sync to your

01:42:19   other devices over iCloud so that the same extensions you have on one device work elsewhere.

01:42:26   And you could just build your own, and it's terrifically well-documented, just a terrific

01:42:32   user manual. The scripting interface for creating your own extensions is absolutely perfectly

01:42:38   documented. I use it all the time. And every time I'm... I don't write tons of my own

01:42:44   extensions and stuff for Drafts or modify the ones that are there, but then when I want

01:42:47   to, it's like anything I want to look up, it's right there. It tells me how to do it.

01:42:51   Oh, easy change. Do that. Boom. Done. April 2022, this month, marks the 10th anniversary

01:42:57   of the Drafts original release in the App Store. And to celebrate it, Agile Tortoise

01:43:01   is offering new users a full year of Drafts Pro for just $4.99. $4.99, that is an unbelievable

01:43:10   deal. Act fast. It is only good through the end of April. That's why I wanted to make

01:43:16   sure they got into this first episode of April here. Let this offer get... have it rattling

01:43:21   around in your head for as long as possible because you don't want to miss out on it.

01:43:25   Just one penny under five bucks and you get a full year of Drafts Pro. You can start using

01:43:30   Drafts completely free of charge. Go to getdrafts.com/thetalkshow. Automation support, shortcuts, scripting,

01:43:46   downloadable actions that you don't have to write or modify at all, themes, syntax definitions,

01:43:51   all that stuff. It's so, so great. It's just a terrific, terrific software. Exemplifies

01:43:57   terrific Apple platform software. So my thanks to Drafts. getdrafts.com/thetalkshow. Now,

01:44:04   that's a perfect segue back to you, Paul, talking about Audio Hijack 4 because one of

01:44:10   the most intriguing new features to me is the new... what are you calling it? Scripting,

01:44:15   automation?

01:44:16   Scripting, automation. It's a little bit of both, yeah.

01:44:19   It's such a wonderful similarities to Drafts and being well-documented and it's supported

01:44:26   right within the app itself. So it's not just... not that there's anything wrong with just

01:44:31   saying, "Oh, there's a folder," and you put your scripts in the folder and then they show

01:44:35   up in this menu. That's a good way if you just want to populate a menu of scripts in

01:44:40   a scriptable app. But it's like the actions in Audio Hijack, they're just like the actions

01:44:46   that are built into the app. And you guys added... so a whole scripting interface is

01:44:53   new in Audio Hijack. And also, like Drafts, it's using JavaScript. And I'm just curious

01:44:59   what the thinking was there. It's a custom... not custom, but it's not based on the JavaScript

01:45:07   for automation that's related to AppleScript.

01:45:10   No. So, I mean, you are someone who... did you ever really write in AppleScript?

01:45:16   Yes, I have written... I have probably written as much AppleScript as anybody who's never

01:45:21   been paid to write AppleScript.

01:45:23   Okay, okay. So you're familiar with AppleScript, obviously, as am I. But then you know, you

01:45:29   certainly know, and I think probably a lot of listeners know, Apple doesn't seem to care

01:45:32   about AppleScript and hasn't seemed to care about AppleScript for... at least five years,

01:45:38   if not longer. So Audio Hijack... is that an understatement?

01:45:42   That might be the funniest thing any guest on this show has ever said.

01:45:47   It's a little bit of an understatement?

01:45:49   I would say it's an understatement.

01:45:51   I would say that AppleScript has existed in the weirdest...

01:45:54   So odd.

01:45:56   ...no man's land in Apple technologies of all... I forget who was on recently. I don't

01:46:00   want to interrupt you because I want you to go back to the thinking behind what you're

01:46:03   doing. But I will just say this. On a recent show, I remember saying with somebody, if

01:46:07   you went back to 1994, 1995, I think AppleScript came out in 1993. Two years in, a lot of apps

01:46:14   adopted it. The need for sort of inter-application scripting was out. But by 1995, people sort

01:46:20   of... people who were into it and Mac users sort of had the... you know, we could see

01:46:24   what AppleScript was going to be, and it's like what was good about it and what was bad

01:46:29   about it.

01:46:31   If you looked around, like, by 1996, when Apple announced the deal with Next, and they

01:46:36   said, "We're buying this company to have, you know, use their operating system as the

01:46:40   future of the Mac and Apple technology." If you looked around at what technologies were

01:46:47   in macOS at the time and said, "What do you think will still be here in 25 years?" I don't

01:46:56   know where AppleScript would have been on the list, but I'll tell you, it would be very,

01:47:01   very close to the bottom, in my opinion. Both... not because I hate... I don't hate it. I use

01:47:06   it. I like it. But it was weird. It certainly seemed... it did not seem like it was long

01:47:11   for the world then, when it was three years old. And yet here we are, and it might be the

01:47:17   only thing left from macOS at the time.

01:47:22   It's a very strange no-persons land where it is, where it's too essential to too many

01:47:28   pro users' workflows to just get rid of, but yet they've... like you said five years, but

01:47:35   they just haven't really had great enthusiasm for it at any point in the post-next reunification

01:47:44   era. There's never been a time where Apple is really, really gung-ho about AppleScript

01:47:48   since Steve Jobs and NeXT came back to the company, but yet they never took it away.

01:47:53   Well, like you said, it had grown so essential for so many things that most users don't ever

01:47:58   notice it. And then the pro users who have these workflows that rely on AppleScripting

01:48:05   don't want it to go away. So that explains why it never went away. But the thing that

01:48:10   I think a lot of people were frustrated by is just that it was never updated, it was

01:48:14   never improved, it never got any better, probably since the '90s.

01:48:18   But so, yeah, so when we looked at scripting, AudioHijack 3 came out seven years ago in

01:48:24   2015, and that was sort of a sequel to multiple AudioHijack products before it. And one of

01:48:30   those was AudioHijack Pro 2, which had a little bit of scripting built into it, and AudioHijack

01:48:35   3 did not have any scripting built into it. And so one of the things we heard was from

01:48:40   the types of users that we just talked about who would be upset about losing their workflows.

01:48:44   And people said, "I want to be able to script, I want to be able to automate some things."

01:48:48   And obviously it took us quite a while to do that in the new AudioHijack 4 seven years

01:48:53   later. But it was something where, at the time, in 2015, 2016, there wasn't a good way

01:48:58   to do that. There wasn't an obvious, "This is the way to do it, and it's going to work,

01:49:03   and it's going to continue to work and be improved as time moves on." The way to do

01:49:07   it would have been AppleScript, and that's certainly what we had used in the past. But

01:49:11   that wasn't something that—it was pretty clear at that point that it was—I don't

01:49:15   even know what—it's not a dead end, but it's not growing, it's not getting any love,

01:49:20   it's not getting any attention. So we weren't terribly interested to do anything with AppleScript.

01:49:25   And we had looked at JavaScript, and that was what we felt was the best way to do this.

01:49:32   And in the years since then, you know, JavaScript has only become more and more popular, more

01:49:36   and more essential on the web. So there are a ton of JavaScript programmers out there,

01:49:40   a ton of JavaScript tutorials and resources. I don't know if you went to Apple and said—if

01:49:47   you went to, you know, DubDub a few years ago and went to the labs and said, "I want

01:49:51   to do scripting in my application, how should I do it?" I don't even know if they would

01:49:54   have told you, "Oh yeah, AppleScript, that's the technology to deal with." And if they

01:49:58   would have, they were lying, they weren't being honest with you or themselves.

01:50:02   You know, it's just sort of interesting the way it petered out. Not petered out, but the

01:50:09   way we wound up here, where the idea back in the day in the '90s when AppleScript was

01:50:15   new, and what I like to call—I know consistency gets misused as a word, that, you know, one

01:50:22   of the hallmarks of the Mac compared to Windows or other operating systems, if you go back

01:50:28   far enough, you know, when there were more competing PC operating systems, was consistency

01:50:34   between apps that, you know—

01:50:35   David Schiessl and that, you know, it's file, edit, view, you know, and it's like, "Which

01:50:43   app am I talking about?" That's the menu bar for almost all the apps, right? And that

01:50:47   consistency was good for users, and that AppleScript and OSA scripting, where it was supposed to

01:50:55   be this sort of foundational layer object—I forget what OSA stands for, but—the idea

01:51:01   was that there'd be this fundamental scripting layer, and if your app adopted it, then the

01:51:07   user could use any OSA scripting language they wanted to. But it turns out the only

01:51:13   one that's ever really stuck is AppleScript, but there were ideas that there'd be one

01:51:17   that's more like a JavaScript language, you know, right? I mean, and again, I don't

01:51:22   want to go on a rant about scripting languages, but even if you're not someone who's ever

01:51:26   written a script yourself, you could look at AppleScript and see, "Oh, this is a programming

01:51:30   language that's supposed to look like English prose." Tell application, and you have all

01:51:36   these spaces, you know, like writing a real language, whereas most computer programming

01:51:41   languages don't let you use spaces between the terms.

01:51:44   Right. No, I mean, certainly the original idea was, or at least part of the original

01:51:49   idea was something you could read and anybody could look at and pick up and understand.

01:51:53   Right, but that somebody, you know, there'd be—

01:51:55   But somehow that never took off.

01:51:56   Right, but then there'd be another language that would be—and right now there is, it's

01:52:01   officially supported in macOS, it's the JavaScript for Automation something, so you

01:52:06   can go to the script editor app and write an app to drive an AppleScriptable application

01:52:13   and write it in JavaScript instead of AppleScript, and it's the app's perspective, it all

01:52:18   compiles to the same OSA objects and the app just gets that support for free, sort of,

01:52:26   but it's weird, you look at the JavaScript syntax when you're doing that and it's

01:52:31   like translating through another language, it always reads wrong, it doesn't look like

01:52:38   the way anybody would write a real JavaScript API today, it looks like JavaScript mimicking

01:52:44   the weird idiosyncrasies of the AppleScript language.

01:52:47   Of AppleScript, yeah.

01:52:48   Right, and it's like—so like in the alternate world where seven years ago, Rogue Amoeba

01:52:55   said, "Well, we may not love AppleScript, but that's the Mac scripting thing, that's

01:52:59   what we should do," and there's an Audio Hijack 4 that supports AppleScript to do all

01:53:04   the same things, but you could also use JavaScript in the script editor to do it.

01:53:09   The scripts you would write to perform the same task look totally different in you—

01:53:14   Would be very different.

01:53:15   Yeah, and the ones that you guys have come up with, with an API native, not just to JavaScript

01:53:21   but to sort of modern JavaScript, right?

01:53:24   Like I was looking around the documentation and it's like, yeah, this looks like, you

01:53:28   know, the JavaScript APIs I've seen for apps like Drafts and there's, you know, a

01:53:33   couple others.

01:53:34   And on iOS, it's interesting because Apple has—I don't know if you've heard this,

01:53:38   but Apple has some strict rules about the App Store.

01:53:41   Yeah, I've heard tell, yes.

01:53:45   One of them is—and this seems to be like a gray zone where they're making more and

01:53:50   more exceptions, but you're not supposed to have your own scripting engine in your

01:53:56   app, and maybe they've even lessened the official guideline, I forget.

01:53:59   But for a while, you couldn't make a native iOS app with a scripting language because

01:54:05   they didn't want to open up the back door to, well, God only knows what the app will

01:54:10   do once it's running your Lua scripts or something like that, or, you know, insert

01:54:14   your whatever language it could be.

01:54:16   But we'll let you use WebKit's JavaScript engine because we know what that can do and

01:54:22   that's—we feel that's safe.

01:54:23   It's not exposing security vulnerabilities to buffer overflows because it's our JavaScript

01:54:28   engine.

01:54:29   So on iOS, there have been, for, you know, 10-plus years, apps that have added scripting

01:54:35   or scripting-like things, but always using JavaScript, not just because JavaScript is

01:54:40   popular period, but because it was sort of the only officially sanctioned way to do it

01:54:44   on iOS.

01:54:45   Even though I know there's tons of exceptions now and there's apps that let you do stuff

01:54:48   with Python and there are, in fact, apps that let you program script, write little scripts

01:54:53   with the Lua and I'm sure dozens of other languages.

01:54:57   But you guys didn't have to pick JavaScript, though, because of iOS or App Store restrictions

01:55:02   because—

01:55:03   No.

01:55:04   Audio Hijack is Mac only and, in fact, is not just Mac only but is no longer in the

01:55:09   App Store.

01:55:10   Well, so Audio Hijack has never been in the App Store.

01:55:13   Yeah, Piazzo, our little brother to Audio Hijack, was previously in the App Store.

01:55:17   Yeah, so we didn't have to worry about any of those restrictions, but a whole lot of

01:55:22   that still influenced us because, yeah, if you've got a decade worth of JavaScript programming

01:55:27   going on on iOS, people are going to know how to do these things and the people using

01:55:32   an iPhone and a Mac are more likely to have that experience and just to be able to make

01:55:37   this work.

01:55:38   So, yeah, it was something where the timing—over time, it became clear that this was the best

01:55:44   way for us to do this and so far, you know, this has only been out for, what are we, two

01:55:49   weeks?

01:55:50   But, you know, we've seen a whole lot of uptake from people who are interested to automate

01:55:53   various parts of their workflows.

01:55:55   And the other thing from iOS that we haven't even touched on is shortcuts.

01:55:59   Shortcuts iOS originally workflow, but, you know, shortcuts on iOS that have been there

01:56:04   for a couple years and then on macOS 12, having shortcuts be part of the Mac.

01:56:09   That was another part of the automation that we implemented in Audio Hijack 4 was that

01:56:13   we have a couple shortcuts that you can use and then you can tie in all different sorts

01:56:17   of ways, not just dealing with JavaScript, but our good friend Jason Snell has had a

01:56:20   couple posts on doing things with shortcuts and using like a stream deck, a hardware device

01:56:26   that can run a shortcut and trigger, you know, start a session running and start a recording

01:56:31   and basically just making it possible to—anything that is possible with the scripting that we've

01:56:37   implemented and with the shortcuts, it was already possible.

01:56:40   It's just making it a whole lot easier and it's making it a whole lot simpler to integrate

01:56:44   into things that you're already doing, such that, you know, it can be one click instead

01:56:48   of needing to do it all manually.

01:56:50   And that's—it's something where we've—for years, we've done various types of scripting

01:56:55   and early on we were doing Apple scripting stuff and we always sort of layered it on

01:57:00   top of the application.

01:57:01   And it was—that was sort of what made sense was because most users weren't using scripting,

01:57:06   but those who were really loved it and they appreciated it and then, you know, it's the

01:57:10   sort of thing people talk about.

01:57:12   And ideally, in an ideal world, you've got an application that's scriptable and people

01:57:15   are sharing scripts and you get a whole community around that.

01:57:18   I don't know that—we've yet to have an application like that.

01:57:21   Audio Hijack 4 is potentially, you know, a little more headed that way in terms of podcasters

01:57:26   who are doing similar things.

01:57:28   But yeah, it's something where, for us, scripting has sort of evolved over time from—early

01:57:33   on, it was something we did because of AppleScript and that was just, you know, a good Mac app

01:57:37   had AppleScript support.

01:57:39   And then over time, that no longer was true.

01:57:41   But people still want to have that automation and this is sort of the best way to do it

01:57:45   right now.

01:57:46   Yeah, I think it's fascinating and it spans this—these different eras of personal computing

01:57:53   in a way, especially a company like Apple, which has always tried to be democratizing

01:57:58   in terms of its ability to let people who—you know, the computer for the rest of us.

01:58:04   What was—who were the rest of us?

01:58:06   Well, the people who didn't understand what the computers before—how they worked.

01:58:09   What the early '80s and late '70s computers required you to know.

01:58:13   Right.

01:58:14   I don't know what I would do with this thing and I don't know how to do the things I might

01:58:18   think I might want to do with it.

01:58:19   You know, make it easier to understand and democratize computing and let you be creative

01:58:25   with it.

01:58:26   And one of those things that's gone by the wayside, I think it was a noble idea.

01:58:30   I think it made intuitive sense.

01:58:31   I actually, at the time, like when AppleScript came out, believed that this might be the

01:58:36   way of the future, that an English-like programming language might be just what the doctor ordered

01:58:42   to get a wider audience.

01:58:45   People like me and you, Paul, you know, who are program-ery, you know, and kind of understand

01:58:51   computers but really should not be writing, you know, objectives here, Swift-like.

01:58:55   It's just, you know, it's different.

01:58:58   We have much smarter people working at Rogamiba than I am to deal with that.

01:59:02   Yeah.

01:59:03   Way fast people who could do, you know, and it's like, "What?

01:59:05   How did you do this in a day?"

01:59:06   And it's like, "Oh, you know, I'm a good programmer."

01:59:09   And it's like, "Wow."

01:59:10   But I just thought that was the way of the future and that, you know, that the problem

01:59:13   with computer programming that was—the idea was, well, maybe just this bizarre mathematical-like

01:59:20   notation is turning a huge segment off.

01:59:24   And, you know, because that's what most programming languages are like.

01:59:27   They more resemble algebra and make it more like prose, and it might open the doors to

01:59:33   more people.

01:59:34   And HyperCard was obviously exactly along the same lines of that.

01:59:37   But at the time, Apple, you know, as opposed to today's Apple, where they're pretty

01:59:41   good about reusing stuff when they can, like shortcuts being on all platforms now, you

01:59:46   know, HyperTalk, the programming language of HyperCard was very similar to AppleScript

01:59:52   but completely incompatible.

01:59:54   And yet a totally different thing.

01:59:56   Right.

01:59:57   But also more popular, and I think it was a better take at that idea.

02:00:00   But it turns out that whole English-like programming language thing truly did peter out.

02:00:07   And I think rightly so.

02:00:08   I don't think that was the problem.

02:00:09   I don't think that's the thing that was keeping people from scripting.

02:00:12   But the idea was if you make it like that, more people will do it.

02:00:15   And then I think people got turned off from—including Apple—from emphasizing scriptability, and

02:00:21   it's like, "Ah, we tried that.

02:00:23   We spent all this time.

02:00:24   It's a lot of work."

02:00:25   Right?

02:00:26   I mean, I'm sure you'll agree.

02:00:27   It's adding a rich scripting system to an app is a lot of engineering work and design

02:00:34   work.

02:00:35   Right?

02:00:36   It is—because it has to be—if you want it to be good, you know, it's really hard

02:00:40   work designing APIs and anticipating things that people might want to do.

02:00:47   It's a lot of work.

02:00:48   And then I think the argument is—and we know that almost none of our users are going

02:00:52   to write scripts, so why should we do it this way?

02:00:54   Right.

02:00:55   It's a tiny percentage of—so even if you're the biggest application in the world, it's

02:00:58   going to be 1, 2, 5 percent of your users that are actively creating scripts for it.

02:01:03   Right.

02:01:04   And my counterargument to that is that it's the—you know, I don't know that anything

02:01:10   exemplifies it better than the browser extension market, right?

02:01:14   Like browser extensions are probably almost as mainstream as apps for mobile phones, right?

02:01:22   It's lots and lots of very typical people have browser extensions.

02:01:26   Yeah, Capital One is—Capital One has ads asking you to install their browser extension

02:01:31   running on TV.

02:01:32   So people certainly understand what a browser extension is at a great—to a great level,

02:01:37   yeah.

02:01:38   Right.

02:01:39   And really, you know, like I said earlier, browser extensions are really just a scripting

02:01:43   interface for browsers.

02:01:45   It's scripting.

02:01:46   You're writing in JavaScript and you're doing these things, you know, it could just

02:01:49   be a little tiny tweak, just a way to, you know, hook up your Capital One account to

02:01:54   whatever the hell they're doing.

02:01:55   Showing discounts or something, yeah.

02:01:57   Yeah, probably.

02:01:58   Something scammy like that, spying on you.

02:01:59   That's probably what all these extensions are doing, is spying on you.

02:02:03   But it's a small number of people create them, and a larger number of people can then

02:02:08   share—take that work that was shared and install it and use these things that, you

02:02:13   know, maybe wouldn't make sense for Rogue Amoeba to build in because there's still

02:02:17   too few people, but the people who need that, oh my god, like being able to press one button

02:02:22   on my Steam Deck and have it, you know, trigger an action in Audio Hijack 4 while I'm recording

02:02:29   a podcast or something like that, that's exactly what I needed.

02:02:32   I never would have thought to do it.

02:02:33   Thank you, Jason Snell, for sharing it.

02:02:35   Or it could be that so many people are using a handful of extensions for Audio Hijack 4

02:02:42   that by the time Audio Hijack 4.1 or 4.5 comes out, you could build some of those features

02:02:49   in.

02:02:50   You could Sherlock them.

02:02:51   Yeah, I mean, well, so we're not expecting anyone to try and sell anything.

02:02:56   Right, right.

02:02:57   So yeah, if something happens where we see, oh, you know what, that should be a first-party

02:03:01   feature, that should be built in, I don't think we'll be hurting anybody with that,

02:03:04   and hopefully it would be helping more people do it.

02:03:06   But yeah, it's something where, so when we created the API for this, we sort of intentionally,

02:03:11   you know, we had a beta test and showed this to a lot of people who would be using it,

02:03:15   but we intentionally said, this is a skeleton, and we want to see what people build on it

02:03:21   and then potentially add to that API.

02:03:24   But the 4.0.0 API that we just released, we don't view as final because we don't know

02:03:31   exactly what people are going to do with it and how we can make it better.

02:03:36   And there's two things we can do there.

02:03:37   You were talking about anticipating what people might do, and obviously we had to do some

02:03:40   of that to create the basics of the API.

02:03:44   But over time, we're going to watch and see, okay, people are looking to automate something

02:03:48   that is not currently possible to automate, we should add that.

02:03:52   And then people are using this script all over the place, that should just be a feature

02:03:57   in the application, and you shouldn't need a script to do it at all.

02:03:59   And at this point, the app is fairly mature, you know, it's been around for 20 years, so

02:04:03   I don't know that there's a ton of things that we're going to discover that way, but

02:04:06   there's at least the possibility that we'll see people doing things that, oh, you know

02:04:09   what, that's something we wouldn't have thought of ourselves, but it's worth including in

02:04:13   the application and you won't need scripting for that.

02:04:16   And that has value, even, you know, all that scripting work can help guide that development.

02:04:21   It doesn't just have to be about the ultimate scripts that people are making with it.

02:04:25   Yeah, and not to keep going back to drafts, but, you know, drafts implements a bunch of

02:04:30   the built-in features of the notes editor in its own extensions, you know, and it's

02:04:37   in addition to, I think, making life easier for Greg Pierce, the developer and designer

02:04:42   of drafts at Agile Tortoise, you know, because he can just write this quick thing in JavaScript.

02:04:46   I know firsthand, because I've written to him and he said, well, you know, that's a

02:04:50   great idea for a feature request, but also here, I've attached this action, you can just

02:04:54   add this to drafts.

02:04:55   It just does it already.

02:04:56   Yeah, it just does it already.

02:04:57   And I was like, oh, well, I guess I should have thought of that myself and I could have

02:05:01   done that.

02:05:02   And then I look at the syntax, I'm like, oh yeah, I figured that, that makes a lot of

02:05:05   sense.

02:05:06   But that's happened to me and, you know, it's a cool thing, but I don't know, I was very

02:05:10   excited to see it.

02:05:11   I'm always excited to see it.

02:05:12   But the other thing about AppleScript compared to today, and I feel like I have so many complaints

02:05:17   about shortcuts, but I'm so happy overall.

02:05:20   And it's like the note...

02:05:21   That it exists at all.

02:05:22   Now that it's on the Mac, but I think adding it to the Mac has really, to my view, I don't

02:05:28   think it's my personal bias as if someone, an Apple user whose favorite platform is and

02:05:33   likely will always remain the Mac.

02:05:35   I don't think it's that bias.

02:05:37   I think it's real that shortcuts, enthusiasm, nerd universe wide skyrocketed over the last

02:05:47   year now that it's on the Mac.

02:05:48   Once it came to the Mac.

02:05:49   Yep.

02:05:50   And it includes apps like yours, right?

02:05:53   Which are only on the Mac.

02:05:55   And that's, it's interesting to me, but to me, the thing that's clear is that there's

02:06:01   sort of like inter, is that right?

02:06:04   Inter application.

02:06:06   So having one application control another and maybe, you know, involve three or four

02:06:11   applications in the whole thing.

02:06:13   Like you're getting text out of BB edit and, or text out of drafts to put into a BB edit

02:06:20   document and also somehow getting audio out of audio hijack.

02:06:27   And you've got this whole thing, we'll work together.

02:06:28   You could use shortcuts as the sort of framework for talking to all of these apps that support

02:06:35   shortcuts.

02:06:36   But then within each app, they can do whatever makes the most sense for them.

02:06:42   You know, like a custom JavaScript API just for audio hijack that is meant for it.

02:06:47   And it sounds like that's more complicated because Apple script was supposed to be both

02:06:52   things.

02:06:53   It is both things, right?

02:06:54   But it's like, all I want to do is do a 10 step process in BB edit.

02:07:00   You could do the whole thing in Apple script and the only app the script ever talks to

02:07:04   is BB edit.

02:07:05   But Apple script was also the cross platform thing or cross application thing.

02:07:10   Cross application.

02:07:11   Cross application.

02:07:12   But the thing that made that so frustrating is that no two applications had the same style

02:07:18   of dictionaries, right, for Apple script.

02:07:20   So it didn't work that well.

02:07:21   No, it was like talking a completely different dialect of the programming language once you

02:07:28   were inside the tell application, whatever that Mac app's name is.

02:07:34   Once you're telling that application, you're using that app's dictionary.

02:07:39   And it might as well have been a different, effectively it's a different API.

02:07:45   We called them dictionaries, but it's like each app had its own API for scripting anyway.

02:07:50   So the fact that they were all glued together at the Apple script layer really wasn't more

02:07:56   convenient.

02:07:57   In fact, it was more confusing because there'd be things that looked like they were the same

02:08:00   but were different.

02:08:01   Whereas, okay, I'm just using shortcuts to talk to three different apps.

02:08:05   But then within that app, I'm telling Audio Hijack to fire off an extension or an action

02:08:09   or something like that.

02:08:11   And I can just write all that in JavaScript right there in Audio Hijack.

02:08:15   I think that's actually, it's both the, it seems to be the way the whole platforms, plural,

02:08:21   have gone.

02:08:22   But I actually think it makes more sense that way.

02:08:26   I mean, it's certainly, the proof is in the pudding.

02:08:29   And we're seeing a whole lot more uptake with this than we ever did with cross application

02:08:33   Apple scripting.

02:08:34   So yeah, I think it's, I don't know that you'd sit down and you'd say, yes, this is how it

02:08:38   should work, but it does work.

02:08:41   And it is why we have shortcuts support and didn't have things like Apple script support

02:08:46   for many years.

02:08:47   So yeah, it's been interesting to see.

02:08:50   I was talking to somebody about the shortcuts app.

02:08:52   I was talking with you about it, but I was talking with somebody else about it.

02:08:54   And I was saying that the only thing worse than the shortcuts app on the Mac would be

02:08:58   not having the shortcuts app on the Mac.

02:09:01   It's a very bad application.

02:09:03   It needs a lot of work and hopefully I think it's popular enough that it will get some

02:09:06   work, but the fact that it enables so much to be done makes it possible to overlook or

02:09:12   to look past, I should say, all of its flaws or most of its flaws anyway.

02:09:17   And you know, sort of put up with it because it exists, it's possible to do so many things.

02:09:22   And even though it's a crummy app, the output of it is still useful and still functional.

02:09:27   So it's this bizarre, you and I were talking about catalyst apps in general, and it's this

02:09:32   bizarre, not very good app on the Mac, but it's better than the app not existing on the

02:09:37   Mac.

02:09:38   Yeah, I don't think it's catalyst though.

02:09:39   I think it's SwiftUI, which is even, I think, which is why it's even worse because there's

02:09:45   just certain things that even catalyst would get right, but that SwiftUI didn't even support

02:09:51   intuitively.

02:09:52   I haven't drilled down on it too much.

02:09:55   I've just had to poke at it and said, "This is not a Mac."

02:09:58   One of my favorite examples, it's just the smallest thing, but if you prompt the user

02:10:01   for text, and it shows, it doesn't matter if you're on iOS or the Mac, it shows a little

02:10:06   dialog box, and you can type some text, and then there's like a cancel button to cancel

02:10:12   it or an okay button to go on to the next step, passing the text you entered to the

02:10:18   next step of your shortcut.

02:10:20   On the Mac, when you hit the, on iOS, there is no hardware return key, right?

02:10:27   You have to, if you hit a return, you can just enter a new line of text within the field,

02:10:31   and you'd always have to hit, you're right there on screen anyway, you just hit the okay

02:10:34   button to make it go away.

02:10:37   On the Mac, what happens if you want to dismiss it with the keyboard?

02:10:43   And the button is blue, right?

02:10:44   It says okay or done or something, you know.

02:10:46   It says done.

02:10:47   Done.

02:10:48   And the return button doesn't do that because instead they want to allow you, which is reasonable,

02:10:55   to enter multi lines of text, multiple lines of text, right in the text field.

02:10:59   Return is used in the text field to just give you a new line.

02:11:02   Right.

02:11:03   There's a standard for this.

02:11:04   It's been around forever.

02:11:06   It is command return.

02:11:09   Because option return always enters a return.

02:11:11   Option is, you can't, you shouldn't use option for it because option would enter a return

02:11:16   in a dialogue.

02:11:17   Even if it didn't support.

02:11:18   Right.

02:11:19   Even if the return, if the plain unmodified return key activated the done button, then

02:11:24   option return is how you literally enter a new line.

02:11:27   But shortcuts until like three weeks ago or a month ago used FN return.

02:11:36   And I always...

02:11:37   They just made it up.

02:11:38   They just picked a new one.

02:11:39   They just picked a new one.

02:11:41   And it's not even on most keyboards unless they're Apple branded, right?

02:11:46   So if you use any third party USB keyboard, which again is not a thing on iOS, but you

02:11:51   know, it's clearly a thing that many keyboard enthusiasts are involved with on Mac.

02:11:55   You may not even have an FN key.

02:11:58   I'm reminded...

02:11:59   I got to tell this story.

02:12:00   I know we're going a little long, but several years ago, our good friend Brent Simmons was

02:12:06   here in Philadelphia and we took him to eat and Jonas was younger, much younger at the

02:12:10   time.

02:12:11   And across the street from the restaurant where we went to with Brent, it was me and

02:12:15   my wife and young Jonas and Brent.

02:12:17   We went to a Del Frisco steakhouse down on Chestnut Street.

02:12:20   Across the street was a Wendy's.

02:12:22   But the Wendy's, the sign was not fully functional.

02:12:26   And so instead of saying Wendy's old fashioned hamburgers, literally the part of the sign

02:12:32   that was out, the neon or whatever it was made of, was the Ashend, Asha.

02:12:38   So it literally looked like Wendy's Old F'n hamburgers.

02:12:43   And Brent pointed it out to like 11 year old Jonas or 10 year old Jonas.

02:12:48   And of course, Jonas, well, I think Jonas would still enjoy that very much.

02:12:53   But it became, it's a family joke now and that Brent Simmons is part of our extended

02:12:58   family enjoyed Wendy's Old F'n hamburgers.

02:13:01   But now I always think of it when it comes to the FN key on Apple keyboards.

02:13:08   And I thought that there was no better use of it than when shortcuts made you use FN

02:13:14   return.

02:13:15   Use the FN return key.

02:13:17   Right.

02:13:18   But now wait, you said three or four weeks ago, did they change this?

02:13:21   Yes, in the Mac OS 12.3 update.

02:13:24   And I, in fact, highlighted it on Daring Fire, probably one of the least popular.

02:13:29   That's right.

02:13:30   That's right.

02:13:31   I highlighted it because I was personally so happy about it.

02:13:33   Because it's not just that the, to me, I was so happy about it, not because of the bug

02:13:39   itself irritated me.

02:13:41   It's that they're clearly Mac-ifying shortcuts, right?

02:13:46   Right, they're making it more like a Mac app.

02:13:49   Right.

02:13:50   And it makes me very happy.

02:13:51   I can't help but think there's always a chicken and an egg problem with automation

02:13:55   in general, where, like I said, like you get like a product manager hat on yourself and

02:14:00   you can make an argument, this isn't worth the engineering time.

02:14:04   We have features to add that 90% of our users will use or 60% of users want this.

02:14:09   Anything more than like one or 2% will use.

02:14:12   Right.

02:14:13   It's like, well, but if you don't have it, how do you know how many people would

02:14:17   actually use the scripts from others, right?

02:14:21   And I think the future of Apple automation post-AppleScript, you know, and part of the

02:14:28   whole thing with AppleScript is it never made it to iOS for good reason, I think, but it

02:14:33   was not replaced until shortcuts came about.

02:14:36   Right.

02:14:37   So there was a long stretch where there was literally no user level automation built into

02:14:43   iOS at all, despite the fact that it was the most popular platform that Apple has ever

02:14:48   made and arguably the single most popular personal computing platform any company has

02:14:52   ever made in the history of computers.

02:14:54   No automation, which seemed, you know, criminal, right?

02:14:58   Like is it what?

02:14:59   Absolutely.

02:15:00   You know, that's sort of what computers are for.

02:15:02   And it just, I feel like that chicken and egg problem, if shortcuts, would it have been

02:15:09   my preference?

02:15:10   No, probably not.

02:15:11   But I'm just so happy that it's something.

02:15:14   And now that they've done it and brought it to the Mac, and I think it's the enthusiastic

02:15:19   response is so strong that Apple clearly must see that.

02:15:22   And if there was any doubts within Apple about how much to devote to it, I would hope that

02:15:28   that's been erased and that the pro, "Hey, we should fully embrace shortcuts and cross

02:15:35   application, cross platform shortcuts as best and fully as we can."

02:15:43   I would have to think they're on board with that now.

02:15:45   And that to me is very exciting.

02:15:47   And the FN return key, to me, exemplifies the optimistic, sunny future of automation

02:15:55   on Apple's platforms.

02:15:56   Well, fingers crossed.

02:15:57   All right, let me take a break here.

02:15:58   I have one final sponsor who I want to thank.

02:16:00   It's our good friends at Memberful.

02:16:02   That's where you can monetize your passion with membership.

02:16:05   It allows you, a creative individual, to build a sustainable, recurring revenue based on

02:16:10   your creative work.

02:16:12   It is the easiest way to sell memberships to your audience, whether you're a writer

02:16:16   or a podcaster or a visual artist or a video artist or you name it, a YouTuber.

02:16:22   They have everything you need to run a membership program, including custom branding, gift

02:16:26   certificates, Apple Pay, free trials, private podcasts, and tons more.

02:16:31   Memberful seamlessly integrates with the tools you already use.

02:16:34   They keep you in full control of your brand, your audience, and your memberships.

02:16:42   It's always your brand in front.

02:16:44   And if you ever decide that you want to leave, you want to take your membership system

02:16:47   elsewhere, it's as easy as possible.

02:16:49   You just export it.

02:16:50   You take it away.

02:16:51   You can go.

02:16:52   That's just how confident they are that you're not going to want to leave Memberful.

02:16:57   They only get paid when you get paid, and you only get paid when you have people in

02:17:01   your audience who are happy to subscribe to your memberships through Memberful.

02:17:05   It's just a terrific service.

02:17:06   I subscribe to probably at least half a dozen Memberful sites, probably more if I actually

02:17:11   dug into it, but sites like Six Colors, Jason Snell's site that we just mentioned earlier

02:17:16   on the show, all sorts of relay FM podcasts have Memberful.

02:17:20   It's really just a terrific way to do it.

02:17:22   And you can get started for free with no credit card required.

02:17:26   Where do you go?

02:17:27   Go to memberful.com/talkshow.

02:17:30   That's memberful.com/talkshow.

02:17:33   Monetize your passions with membership.

02:17:35   Anything else you want to talk about with Audio Hijack?

02:17:37   Any other interesting tidbits about version 4, the sort of thing that you couldn't really

02:17:41   emphasize on the web page or on the email to users telling them about it, but that you

02:17:46   would love to talk about on a second hour of a podcast like this?

02:17:50   Oh, wow.

02:17:52   I was not prepared for that question.

02:17:54   I mean, we just spent so much time on so many little parts of this, but yeah, in the past

02:18:00   month I've been focused on the things that I can tout.

02:18:04   Yeah, I don't know.

02:18:05   I just—people should come check it out, and if they need to do anything with audio

02:18:10   on their computer, then it's the application to do it.

02:18:13   Yeah, I don't know.

02:18:14   The scripting stuff has been really interesting just to see what people are doing with it,

02:18:18   and I'm hoping to see more in the next few months of it being out there and, as I said

02:18:25   earlier, just sort of see how that guides our development with it.

02:18:27   Yeah, I don't know.

02:18:28   I'm sure there's a ton of stuff in there.

02:18:30   You know, when I wrote up our blog post and our press release and everything, and I was

02:18:34   going through our change log, and there were over a hundred different notable bullet points,

02:18:39   so that was fun that there was just this huge round number of stuff that we've done.

02:18:43   When usually an update, even a major upgrade can be as little as ten or twenty major things,

02:18:49   this was—we got over a hundred, so there's a ton of them, but I'd say just reading the

02:18:54   release notes is really the way to go.

02:18:55   I know you're a big fan of quality release notes like Barebones always has, and I strive

02:19:01   to at least have readable and useful release notes in there.

02:19:05   I love reading release notes.

02:19:06   I know most people don't, but again, it's another one of those things like scripting

02:19:10   support.

02:19:11   Like sure, most of your users aren't going to read the whole list, but the ones who do

02:19:15   are really going to appreciate it, just along the lines of the way—I know you agree, I

02:19:22   know you and I have spoken about this, but writing clarifies your thinking, and sometimes

02:19:27   I—

02:19:28   Oh, absolutely.

02:19:29   I just don't know what I think about something until I actually write about it, because it's—and

02:19:33   I might think I do, but until I actually start writing about it, I realize, "Ah, you know

02:19:38   what, I kind of have a dot dot dot, a yada yada yada in there that I've never really

02:19:41   thought through, and that's actually—oh, that's pretty tricky."

02:19:44   I feel like copiously documenting your software's changes is clarifying.

02:19:50   Well, and that's one of the first things I do, especially for a major upgrade, is I'll

02:19:55   run through the changelog and work that out, and then I've got, in this case, over a hundred

02:19:59   different things that I'm looking at, and I say, "Okay, so which of these do we think

02:20:04   are the most important, and which of these do we think are the most interesting to talk

02:20:07   about?"

02:20:08   And as you said, it clarifies sort of how to market things and how we're going to—what

02:20:12   we're going to focus on and put in front of users.

02:20:14   Do you think it's—is it tricky at this point, 20 years in, to balance the—how do

02:20:20   we please our existing users and get them to pay for an upgrade and keep them as happy

02:20:25   users versus how do we expand to new users?

02:20:28   And like you said, there's obviously a lot of new users out there for an app that has

02:20:33   the capabilities that Audio Hijack does.

02:20:35   I mean, it's not something where we ever—well, I shouldn't say that.

02:20:38   We don't usually look at a feature and say, "Oh, this will bring in a new group," or

02:20:41   "This will please the existing group."

02:20:43   I would say mostly when we—once we've implemented something, we either assume that

02:20:49   it's sort of done, or we hear from people and we say, "Okay, we need to improve that."

02:20:53   So, you know, something like scripting was—that was something where we heard from users of

02:20:57   version 3, and they said, "Oh," a lot of people said, "Oh, I want to use that.

02:21:00   I want to have scripting.

02:21:01   I want to have automation."

02:21:03   And that's something that we think, "Okay, that'll sell upgrades."

02:21:06   People will say, "Okay, I want that for the new—so I'll purchase the upgrade."

02:21:09   I don't tend to think about how do we sell upgrades to people because we don't sell

02:21:14   a lot of upgrades.

02:21:15   We've only had—I'd have to do the math now—but over 20 years, we've had maybe

02:21:19   10 paid upgrades.

02:21:21   It might even be fewer than that.

02:21:23   We're focused on selling to new users all the time and assuming that the existing users

02:21:28   are satisfied and that when there is a new version that they will come along to it because

02:21:32   eventually we're going to drop the old version.

02:21:35   We don't do that quickly.

02:21:36   We make them last a lot longer than some products do.

02:21:39   But we don't really optimize for, "Oh, we need to make people purchase the new version."

02:21:44   We just try and make it as good as possible.

02:21:46   And then I think for the most part, people say, "Okay, yep, I've used this."

02:21:49   If somebody bought AudioHijack in 2015, they have had seven years' worth of free updates

02:21:54   and a $29 upgrade hopefully looks like a pretty good deal at that point.

02:21:58   It's honestly, when I put it that way, it sounds awfully inexpensive to the point where

02:22:03   hopefully a lot of people do say, "Oh, I saw there was an upgrade.

02:22:06   I got it immediately without even looking at it."

02:22:08   So that's one where I obviously don't need to sell people on it.

02:22:11   No, and I think that all of Rogue Amoeba's apps have always done such a good—you guys

02:22:19   have done such a good job culling them over the years to keep them looking fresh, new,

02:22:26   up to date.

02:22:27   I mean, I could go on and on about the user interface design of all of your apps, but

02:22:33   I just love the balance between, "Oh, this is obviously a very Mac-like Mac app that

02:22:40   is up to date and sort of customizes things in a way for branding, like you've got distinct

02:22:46   colors, but all the controls look like real Mac controls."

02:22:50   And if anything, whenever they deviate from the system standard ones, they look better,

02:22:54   right?

02:22:55   Which is—

02:22:56   That's what I do.

02:22:57   It's, you know, it's an exquisite attention to detail.

02:23:00   You know, and then like I know it's not just because I'm your friend and it's

02:23:04   not just because, "Oh, it's John Gruber of Daring Fireball," but it's like I can

02:23:08   tell you about a straight apostrophe in the first—

02:23:12   As you did.

02:23:13   —at the first run screen, and it's like I could see how this sneaks past them.

02:23:16   The first run screen often has little things like that because you don't see it as much

02:23:20   because if you're testing it, you've got to like wipe all your preferences and then

02:23:25   relaunch the app to get the first run experience.

02:23:27   And I'm sure you do look at it, but it's, you know, it's a more likely place for

02:23:31   something like that.

02:23:32   I tell you there's a straight apostrophe.

02:23:33   I know it's going to get fixed.

02:23:35   It is.

02:23:36   It did.

02:23:37   And I have the release notes for version 4.0.1, and let me pull it up right here.

02:23:43   I said, "Fussy typography improvements have been made to the release notes window,"

02:23:47   which you might be looking at right now, which you would be.

02:23:49   And that was, you know, I didn't mention you by name, but that was a result of you

02:23:53   DMing me or iMessaging me and me saying, "Yep, you're right.

02:23:57   That's not right, and we're going to fix it."

02:23:59   I actually like it when something like that that I've reported to, whether it's you

02:24:05   or to Rich at Barebones or any of the other apps I use where I know the developers,

02:24:10   I like it when they don't thank me in the release notes because I know.

02:24:13   I know that it was me.

02:24:14   Right, right.

02:24:15   You know fussy typography improvements is for you.

02:24:17   Yeah, I didn't even have to keep reading.

02:24:18   I know we've got a lot of it.

02:24:19   But briefly, briefly look ahead to WWDC, which was announced last week.

02:24:24   Yeah, in between my last episode from March and this episode, WWDC was announced sort of, right?

02:24:31   I mean, they announced the dates.

02:24:32   They announced that there's going to be this weird watch party in person, but not an actual

02:24:37   in-person dub-dub.

02:24:39   Right.

02:24:40   So it's a weird thing right now.

02:24:41   And you know, I say this living as somebody living in Philadelphia, the first city in

02:24:50   the country to go back to a mandatory indoor mask mandate, which again, I could do a whole

02:24:55   two-hour podcast ranting about.

02:24:57   I think it's both a policy mistake and a political mistake that is going to be grossly,

02:25:02   it is already grossly unpopular.

02:25:04   I think it makes no sense.

02:25:06   You know, everybody jokes about it, but it's no joke that you go into a restaurant and

02:25:12   you have to wear a mask until they take you to your table, and then you take off your

02:25:15   mask to eat and drink your beverages.

02:25:19   And then you go out and you put your mask on when you get to the door.

02:25:22   Put your mask on to walk the 10 feet back out the door.

02:25:25   And this suppresses an airborne respiratory virus.

02:25:28   How?

02:25:29   I mean, but anyway, you know, I realize COVID is not over.

02:25:33   And here in Philadelphia, we're putting our masks back on.

02:25:36   But oddly enough, even though they announced the return of a mask mandate, which is...

02:25:39   It's for a week from now.

02:25:40   A week from now.

02:25:42   I love that.

02:25:43   That's my favorite part, because we did the same thing in Boston.

02:25:45   We had a mask mandate and a vaccine mandate that took effect farther in the future.

02:25:50   And if it's important, let's just do it right now.

02:25:54   And not, you know, nobody needs to go to jail if they don't have their vaccine yet.

02:25:57   But you know, you say, "Okay, well, it's time to do it."

02:26:00   You don't need a whole month to implement it.

02:26:02   On the one hand, it exasperates me, because it's like, obviously, this isn't an emergency if you're giving us a week.

02:26:09   But on the other hand, I'm glad, because I'm going to go out and buy as much stuff as I can.

02:26:13   And then never go out for the next month?

02:26:16   Yeah. So it's like, I guess we'll go out to eat a couple times this weekend and, you know, live it up without our masks until next week when this week's emergency measure takes effect.

02:26:24   But I realize, though, from a WWDC planning perspective, no matter how solid one feels about COVID being at a manageable place overall,

02:26:39   I don't think the traditional in-person WWDC could possibly have been planned for June.

02:26:47   We just don't know.

02:26:49   Of all the things you could do, packing 5,000, I guess counting the Apple employees, 7,000 people into a convention hall is, you know, among the least recommendable.

02:27:01   It's not a great idea, yeah.

02:27:03   But, you know, I say this knowing that, you know, the NBA playoffs have started and, you know, there's 30,000 people going to these basketball games and arenas.

02:27:11   So the 7,000 people at WWDC is, you know, a third the size of that.

02:27:15   I'm just saying if you could do your convention, you can't really play basketball otherwise.

02:27:20   I mean, I guess they did during the lockdown, but it was no fun.

02:27:25   You could see why sporting events are back.

02:27:27   It would have been very surprising to me if they had announced last week WWDC is back and it's exactly like it used to be before COVID.

02:27:34   Right.

02:27:35   That would have been pretty surprising.

02:27:36   And I think ill-advised.

02:27:38   But some conferences, there have been some conferences, have there not?

02:27:41   Oh, yeah, definitely.

02:27:42   Vegas is back full swing.

02:27:43   You know, I was just some random thing about, just a random story outside my usual wheelhouse, but about like car dealers and, you know, a big car dealer conference in Vegas and all sorts of places are having conferences.

02:27:57   It's a weird mix of people who don't even realize how much a lot of the world has gone back to normal and people who would be flabbergasted if Apple said we're going to have 5,000 attendees.

02:28:08   Horrified if they had at all a normal dub-dub, yeah.

02:28:11   Right.

02:28:12   Well, so they did this weird hybrid though, or it sounds like they're doing this weird hybrid where it's unclear, although I think if you read it properly you can tell that on day one they're going to have an event where you can go and watch, but it sounds like it's going to be videos.

02:28:29   So it doesn't sound like anything will be live in front of you.

02:28:32   So you can go and watch the keynote almost like going to a movie theater.

02:28:36   Right.

02:28:37   But they haven't even said where it is, right?

02:28:39   And again, I think this is typical Apple, well, we can hedge our bets on this, so why not? We'll just tell people as late as possible.

02:28:46   Right, keep the flexibility, yeah.

02:28:47   But is it going to be outdoors on a lawn?

02:28:50   I would bet.

02:28:51   I mean, it doesn't make any sense to pack people in to watch a video but not pack them in to see sessions.

02:28:57   Right.

02:28:58   Yeah, I don't get it.

02:29:00   I know some people wear masks outdoors, it's widely accepted though that COVID doesn't really transmit very much outdoors if at all.

02:29:09   So certainly it's safer, you know, whether to meet any particular person's definition of safe enough, you know, that's up to that person, but clearly outdoors would be safer than indoors.

02:29:22   But no details, they accept that they said seating will be limited.

02:29:25   Could be something where they're going to have events all over the world, you know? I don't know.

02:29:29   You know, or at least several locations around the world, not just somewhere in California, and would it be?

02:29:35   Oh, that's interesting.

02:29:36   Right? Where and where would it be in California? Like, I was thinking like San Jose, but why would they even have it in San Jose if they're not at the convention center?

02:29:47   No, my thought was outdoors in the middle of Apple Park, you know, you can set up a big video screen as long as, it doesn't rain a lot there.

02:29:55   You mean inside the ring?

02:29:57   Yeah.

02:29:58   I don't think they want to ever let outsiders in there.

02:30:00   Okay. Well, I mean, that's where they've had like concerts, Apple employees.

02:30:04   Yeah, Apple employees. I don't know exactly what level of it is security and what level of it is something else.

02:30:13   Psychological or whatever.

02:30:15   But you've never been there, but there is...

02:30:17   I haven't.

02:30:18   The old visitor center at Infinite Loop was, Infinite Loop was not very Apple-like architecture-wise, or it is not. I know that it's still stuffed to the gills with people who work there because there are so many employees.

02:30:32   But like the company store, it's just in one of the buildings. You just park where employees park and you just walk right into, you know, the new Apple Park.

02:30:44   The ring building and the Steve Jobs Theater are across the road from the visitor center.

02:30:49   And the visitor center has its own parking lot, and that is where the media park for an event, but then they have...

02:30:55   You could see how unusual it is that those of us parking at the visitor center for an event are being escorted over here, across this street, up this walkway to get to the Steve Jobs Theater.

02:31:10   I mean, they could do it at the Steve Jobs Theater. The Steve Jobs Theater is sort of meant for that, but it really doesn't seat many people at all.

02:31:18   I mean, it's certainly bigger than the town hall we mentioned before, but it's just a couple hundred. That doesn't really make sense. And it's indoors.

02:31:24   But there's no way to get to that center courtyard of the ring without going through a place that I don't think was ever meant to take any visitors at all.

02:31:35   It just isn't set up for that, so I don't think so.

02:31:38   I mean, if you could teleport them there, it's certainly enough space. And they've had, like you said, they've had concerts and stuff like that, but it won't be there.

02:31:46   Well, so here's my question for you. If it is only in California, will you go to that if there's a press portion of it?

02:31:53   I don't know. And I will say, I guess I can say, because there's nothing under NDA, because I haven't heard anything from anybody at Apple, whether there is a press thing.

02:32:02   Or if it is from the media's perspective, it'll be exactly like the last two, where you just watch wherever you watch remotely, and all of our post-event media briefings are conducted via WebEx and stuff like that.

02:32:16   I don't know. I guess if it's in person for the media, I would like to go. I mean, I'm ready to go back.

02:32:23   Makes a lot more sense. I've talked with other developers and things, and there's not a lot of enthusiasm that I've seen to go to this watch party as a developer, because it's a trip to California, which from the East Coast is a trek.

02:32:37   And it doesn't sound like, we'll see what Apple announces, but it doesn't sound like there's going to be a lot to it, as opposed to a week of sessions and after-work things that the conference usually is or formerly has been.

02:32:51   Yeah, my guess is it's just the Monday stuff, which would be the morning keynote, then the afternoon State of the Union keynote with the technical details.

02:32:58   That's all they've announced, yeah.

02:32:59   And then maybe they'll have the Apple Design Awards, you know, and let you watch them. I mean, they move Apple Design Awards all over the place on the schedule, but it would certainly slot right in as something to do as the third thing of the Monday.

02:33:14   Of the day.

02:33:15   You know, and then Tuesday through Friday are when the regular sessions come out, and they're all just like the last two years, just online. They were pre-recorded.

02:33:26   Probably, you know, there are probably people listening to this podcast this week who are hard at work on their WWDC presentations and Cupertino, you know.

02:33:35   That's my guess. I don't know. The only other thing I could think of other than the keynote, the State of the Union, would be the Apple Design Awards.

02:33:41   Or some other special thing, you know, maybe they would have a band come, and Simulcan's a band? I don't know.

02:33:48   But yeah, it sounds like it makes a lot more sense. If there's an in-person press thing, that makes sense to go to.

02:33:53   But if there's an in-person, if all the in-person developer portion is watching a couple videos, and even if there's a band or something, it to me is not worth a trip across the country.

02:34:03   I think they'll get a whole lot of people from California attending that, and not from very far away beyond that.

02:34:09   Now, correction here. I'm getting a piece on my earpiece. I actually loaded up their website, and I'm glad I did.

02:34:16   It does say here on the website, go to Apple.com/WWDC. It forwards you to the developer/WWDC 22 page.

02:34:25   But, no, you were right, Paul. I owe you a being right point. In addition to the online conference, Apple will host a special day for developers and students at Apple Park on June 6th.

02:34:36   Okay. To watch the keynote and State of the Union videos together, along with the online community.

02:34:42   So they're saying keynote, State of the Union, and it will be somewhere at Apple Park. Maybe there's some kind of walkway. They will get people into the ring. I don't know.

02:34:50   Can they do stairs, like, up and over?

02:34:53   Maybe, but it's—

02:34:54   No, no, no. It's four stories tall. I don't think that's how they'll do it.

02:35:00   I don't know. I'm very intrigued now, now that I think about it, where they're going to do it. If there's some way they can create a walkthrough through the ring.

02:35:10   But I don't even know where the people would park, though, because I think it's actually quite a haul from the visitor center.

02:35:16   And the visitor center, I don't think, is meant to have that many people park. You know, like, I certainly don't think 4,000 people.

02:35:25   Well, it's certainly unclear what sort of numbers we're talking about. I think it says space is limited, details, blah, blah, blah. But if there's 1,000 people, that's a number that makes sense to me.

02:35:37   But even that, it sounds like, would be potentially too many for a lot of this, for the infrastructure.

02:35:43   Right. I mean, honest to God, I don't want to harp on parking too much, but it's not like—all right, San Francisco, when it was at Moscone, there were dozens and dozens of hotels within walking distance of Moscone, because it's downtown San Francisco.

02:35:59   It literally, the area is built up, you know, around the convention center, or they put the convention center there because the hotels were already there.

02:36:06   San Jose, not as many hotels.

02:36:12   But still a city.

02:36:13   Still a city. The same great prices for hotels.

02:36:19   And what should we say about the quality of the hotels by comparison?

02:36:23   Mustier.

02:36:27   Danker.

02:36:28   Danker. More employees enjoying their first day on the job.

02:36:33   Than anywhere I've ever been.

02:36:35   You know, but you still get those great $500 a night prices for a mid-priced two-queen room. You can't beat it, really.

02:36:42   But still, wherever you stayed in San Jose, you could walk to the, whatever the name of the convention center is there.

02:36:49   I had a broken foot and I did it.

02:36:50   Yes, you did. That is actually true. Although you kind of wheeled yourself.

02:36:53   No, no, I was hobbling. I had the peg leg.

02:36:55   Oh, that's right, the peg leg. Yeah, that's right. Good times.

02:36:59   Yeah, the best. But yeah, it was doable because it was in a city and it worked.

02:37:04   I've never tried it. I mean, I've been to multiple events at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park, but it's nowhere near any hotels that I'm aware of.

02:37:13   I mean, certainly not walking distance. I mean, there are, there was a weird hotel in Cupertino that you can definitely walk, easily walk to Infinite Loop, but it's miles away from Apple Park.

02:37:25   And I don't know. And it's like, so how many, you know, if you're not local, how do you get there? You don't have to rent a car, you could take an Uber, but how many thousands of people can show up in an Uber on the same morning?

02:37:38   You know? And it's like, you know, I don't know. I don't know what that's going to be like. It's going to be, they must have something in mind.

02:37:44   They must have something planned. I mean, shuttle buses, something, but yeah, that's interesting to think about. It's not something that I had thought about as far as just sort of the security of the campus and not necessarily wanting people to park in their, in the employee parking lot, which has an employee parking garage, which has thousands of spaces or anything like that.

02:38:01   It feels, when I've been there, it feels like, in fact, at one time they had an event that I was at where they did have a certain fitness component and I, like, I've been to their, their fitness center for, for employees because they've, they've used it to demo stuff.

02:38:19   It's far enough from the Steve Jobs theater that they, they had, like, golf carts to take people. No, they really did. And I think that, and I think I tried, I wanted to turn it down and they're like, no, no, you got, you got to take a golf cart.

02:38:31   You got to take the cart.

02:38:32   You got to take the cart. And they golf cart you around in it, you know?

02:38:36   You or I, you know, when your, your foot isn't broken, you would easily walk it, you know, it's like walking a couple holes of a golf course or something, but it's, it's certainly not walkable for everybody of all ages and, you know, state of their broken foot.

02:38:51   You know, there's all sorts of reasons. It's, it's not close though. The visitor center is close-ish to the Steve Jobs theater, but the Steve Jobs theater is not that close to the ring and that's just the outside of the ring.

02:39:03   You know, it's, it,

02:39:05   so I don't know. I don't know what they're going to do. Although there is a lot of green space in between. Maybe that's where they'll put something. Outside the ring, but in the big green space that's in between, who knows?

02:39:18   But then that raises the question.

02:39:19   Well, we'll see in what, two months?

02:39:20   Yeah.

02:39:21   Well, and it raises the question of, are they also, are they going to have media on site for the keynote? Which I believe they will be willing to wait until the end of May.

02:39:32   Like a week before it.

02:39:33   Right.

02:39:34   Right. Right. And just, you know, and because what do they care if some people have to fly from

02:39:41   London or Europe or way further away than I do, they'll fill up the room, that's for sure.

02:39:49   You'll get there or you won't, and yeah, exactly. I mean, even for developers, as you alluded to

02:39:55   earlier, they've never announced this a year in advance or six months in advance. It's two or

02:40:00   three months heads up to try and book a room in San Jose and get flights and everything. So yeah,

02:40:05   so if the developers aren't getting much heads up, the media certainly is not going to get any.

02:40:10   You and I, how many years have you and I spent bargain hunting hotels based on guest WWDC days?

02:40:17   Oh God. Yeah, from when it was in San Francisco, we could see the calendar of the Moscone Center

02:40:24   and see, okay, that week is blocked off and this hotel reservation is cancelable,

02:40:29   so I'll book one that week. I mean, reading tea leaves to go to a conference is ridiculous,

02:40:34   but that's what we were reduced to. Yeah, and I would buy Southwest airline tickets

02:40:41   because they're fully refundable. I forget if you get your money back or just credit,

02:40:46   but I knew I'd fly somewhere else and I wouldn't be paying any kind of fee on the airline tickets.

02:40:51   That was a nightmare. But anyway, I'm sure I'll find out. What is it? June 6th? I'll probably find

02:40:55   out. June 6th. So by June 4th, you'll definitely know if you're going out there. Well, that's

02:41:00   the ultimate was the—and again, I think it might have—no, it wasn't Antennagate, but Antennagate

02:41:06   was when I had my crowning moment and asked Steve Jobs and Phil Schiller and Tim Cook and Big Bob

02:41:12   whether they used the bumper case on their iPhone 4, and all four of them took out their phones and

02:41:19   showed that they just keep them in their pocket without a case. No case whatsoever. Yeah, and

02:41:23   we're making phone calls just fine. But that was my—number one, it's not because I'm shy,

02:41:28   it's because they don't take questions anymore. I've always got a question that I would ask if

02:41:32   they took them, but that was my question. But I made the Antennagate press conference.

02:41:39   I had a phone call from Apple PR around three in the afternoon, Philly time. Can you get here

02:41:44   tomorrow morning? And I may only be slightly exaggerating, but it was definitely like a

02:41:51   Thursday afternoon. And money was—you know, the revenue at Daring Fireball was not what it is

02:41:58   today. It was theoretically possible that I could get a flight, but it would be out of the budget.

02:42:04   But I got like a United flight at 420. I was like, "Hey, Amy, I'm going to California."

02:42:10   I gotta go to the airport. Yeah, she's like, "When?" And I'm like, "Oh, no, now. I'm packing."

02:42:14   She's like, "What are you talking about?" And I'm like, "Oh, my God, it's the antenna thing."

02:42:18   You know, there we go. But no, it was like, I would say, 18 hours of notice. But now that was

02:42:25   an emergency press conference. I don't know. Like you said, I'm sure they'll give me at least two

02:42:30   days for WWDC. I thank you for your time. This is long, but we did have four sponsors, so it kind of

02:42:34   made it worthwhile for everybody. Everybody should absolutely check out Audio Hijack 4. It is at the

02:42:40   Rogue Amoeba website. Do you play the Wordle? I do. Has Rogue come up yet? I think Rogue

02:42:48   will be one of those words of the day that's going to trip people up. Yeah, no A, no E, no N, no S.

02:42:55   Yeah, that's a tricky one. No, it's got an E. Rogue? Oh, you're right. I was running through the

02:43:01   most common letters in my head. All right, so no N, no S, no—yeah, I don't know. I think people

02:43:05   would get that. But wait, let me—I've probably done this on the show before, but we've got,

02:43:10   because no one can spell "rogue," as I even just demonstrated, and no one can spell "amoeba,"

02:43:14   we've got—the website to go to is just macaudio.com. Oh! So yeah, a few years ago,

02:43:20   we snapped that up when it became available, and basically use it for nothing but podcasts,

02:43:26   because everyone—if you can't spell macaudio.com, then I don't know, we can't help you.

02:43:31   I've got to say that Rogue Amoeba definitely has the highest vowel-to-consonant ratio of any

02:43:37   company in the indie Mac space. Ooh, yeah, probably. That's probably right. Pretty high.

02:43:43   It'd have to be like AAA—AAA-adieu to beat it. All right, so macaudio.com, and it'll just,

02:43:52   what, redirect people? It just takes you to rogueamoeba.com. If you want to try and spell

02:43:56   rogueamoeba.com, you can, but Amoeba has multiple valid spellings, and we don't own all of them,

02:44:01   and everyone spells the word "rogue" as "rouge," so—

02:44:04   Oh, yeah. Macaudio.com. Yeah. Yeah, the U's in there somewhere, the G's in the middle,

02:44:10   just figure it out. Yeah, so you don't have rouge—do you have rouge amoeba?

02:44:15   We have rouge amoeba, we have—I forget if we have one of the other spellings of amoeba, but

02:44:19   Google makes this, you know, web searching, duck, duck, go, whatever. Search engines make this

02:44:25   unnecessary, except in a case like a podcast, where, you know, someone might just type it in

02:44:30   and totally muff it. And my thanks also, in addition to you, for your time and your

02:44:35   keen observations on this. I'll thank all of the sponsors of this episode. We had Squarespace,

02:44:39   where you can make your next move with a new website. Trade Coffee, incredible coffee

02:44:44   delivered fresh from the best roasters in the nation right to your home. Drafts at getdrafts.com,

02:44:50   the great iOS, macOS, watchOS note-taking app that is celebrating 10 years, which is just terrific.

02:44:59   Call us back when you get to 20, though, Drafts, you know.

02:45:01   That's right.

02:45:02   2020 is a landmark. And last but not least, Memberful, where you can monetize your passions

02:45:08   with the membership. Thank you, Paul.

02:45:10   [