408: Feature Headphones


00:00:00   I have updated call recorder for Skype, just barely in time for this phone call.

00:00:05   Did you see they now have a feature where it will automatically offer to reinstall itself?

00:00:10   Which didn't work, by the way. So I did my call recorder update, and then I updated Skype, and then nothing.

00:00:16   So then I had to manually go and re-update call recorder.

00:00:21   I mean, just to show you the pains that we go through to bring this program to you, ladies and gentlemen.

00:00:28   I am recording this not once, not twice, but thrice. I now have a hardware recorder, the, what is this, a MixPre32.

00:00:36   Correct.

00:00:37   I've got the audio hijack running and Skype call recorder, call recorder for Skype, whatever it's called.

00:00:43   Because darn it, I will not lose this recording. I will not, I swear it.

00:00:50   But yeah, it's really getting frustrating that Skype updates even more often than Chrome, it seems, and that's saying something.

00:00:57   Yeah, and every time it updates recently, it breaks call recorder, which seems to just uninstall.

00:01:01   I mean, call recorder has given us years of solid functionality and solid service for what I'm pretty sure was only a one-time purchase.

00:01:12   Like, I don't think I've ever...

00:01:13   Yeah, like 20 bucks or something like that. It's really not bad.

00:01:15   Yeah, like 20 bucks like six years ago. I don't think I bought it. It just keeps updating.

00:01:20   But I think the time of relying on it for anything is over because Skype is just outpacing it, just constantly disabling it and issuing it.

00:01:28   Or rather, Skype is constantly issuing updates to itself that disable it. I don't know if it's intentional, but that's what happens.

00:01:35   And it's just, I think at this point, like, you can't really depend on that anymore actually working.

00:01:42   It's unfortunate.

00:01:43   I mean, it always works if it's installed. You just got to remember to look to see whether it's installed or not before you have an hour-long call and you realize,

00:01:49   "Hey, where's that little window?"

00:01:51   Yeah, imagine if that worked, if that's how your backups worked.

00:01:55   Like, if Time Machine just stopped every three days until you remembered to go look for it.

00:02:01   I still feel like you can rely on it. I mean, we all reinstall call recorders.

00:02:05   I don't think one of us has had that use case where it's like, or that failure mode where the problem is that we forgot the call recorder wasn't installed.

00:02:14   We always notice it's not installed and then we reinstall, which is annoying, but I feel like once it's installed, it still does the job.

00:02:21   Yeah, but for me, it's my backup recorder. And it has been for some time.

00:02:24   And I use AudioHijack for primary for all sorts of stuff, like the entire processing that generates the livestream file, the livestream itself,

00:02:32   the processing to make me sound crappier on the livestream to match how bad you guys sound from Skype.

00:02:38   All that's done in AudioHijack, and then I have a couple of recording blocks.

00:02:42   If anything, what we need to do is get rid of Skype and finally move to one of the bazillion services that everyone tells us has better audio quality than Skype.

00:02:48   Yeah, I was just going to say that. So, as with all things podcasting related, any time any of the three of us complain about anything relating to podcasting,

00:02:56   all of Germany comes out, even people who have no idea what podcasts are.

00:03:00   They were writing about chapter markers, you know?

00:03:02   They were writing about chapter markers. And so, I'll never forget, it was a few months ago, and it was a genuinely well-meaning email.

00:03:09   It was clear that this person just wanted to help. And they said, "Here's what you gotta do. You gotta get this completely esoteric, super professional, tons of switches and knobs and buttons software

00:03:22   that is either untranslated or lightly translated to English, and I swear that's gonna fix you up. That's what you need."

00:03:29   And I was like, "Uh, okay."

00:03:33   I'm sure if you're a German person and can understand German, this works great for you, but I am neither of those things.

00:03:38   I mean, see, we're lucky. Usually, I edit out any mention of Skype from the published show.

00:03:44   Can you imagine how many more times we would get these recommendations if I didn't do that?

00:03:49   That's true. That's true. Oh, golly. I know you should edit all this out.

00:03:54   But I don't know. It's just, it is kind of preposterous. It's like, you know, why do we use IRC as the chat room?

00:04:01   And I'm not, oh god, please, I don't need the Discord apologists to come at me. I know there are other options.

00:04:06   But for the purposes that the three of us have, I really think that IRC is probably the best answer for what is basically a group of people chatting via text for two to three hours once a week.

00:04:22   Like, I don't think I need a full Discord just for that. And yes, I understand we could do that for membership or something.

00:04:28   And who knows? Maybe we will one day. I don't know. But today, it seems like the best answer for a group of people that want to chat via text is IRC.

00:04:37   And IRC is what, like 30 years old? 20 years old? Something like that?

00:04:40   Yeah. And to be fair, IRC sucks. I hate IRC. But I just hate every other option here more.

00:04:45   Exactly. And that's Skype. It's the same thing with Skype.

00:04:48   Yeah, Skype sucks. But there's a reason we keep using it.

00:04:51   Yeah. And I mean, we could do something like Cast, which I've met the guy who writes it, and he's a super nice guy. I can't remember his name off the top of my head, I apologize.

00:04:59   But super nice guy. From everything I understand, it's like a great service. But when we have something that works, even though we hate it, and it's free, it's actually a surprising amount of momentum to get us to do something else.

00:05:12   I mean, the chat room is saying we could use Slack. I've thought about pitching like FaceTime audio group calls, but god knows, I don't want to rely on Apple for that sort of thing.

00:05:20   Oh, you mean Slack, not as chat, but as the video service?

00:05:24   Correct. Yeah, it's audio.

00:05:26   I forgot that everybody has that now. God, enterprise software is the worst. Now every single platform has some kind of calling feature built in.

00:05:35   Yeah.

00:05:36   How do we know what's good, what to use? I don't know. Anyway, I do have a slightly unpopular opinion.

00:05:44   Oh, please.

00:05:46   Discord is like QuickTime player was in the late 90s or early 2000s, whenever it came out. Discord is that to me.

00:05:55   Tell me more.

00:05:56   So at the time, I was a Windows user back then. Casey, as were you. John, we're sorry, please stop listening for a few minutes.

00:06:05   QuickTime player to Windows people was just the worst because you'd come across some video that was in QuickTime for rent and you'd be like, "Oh, god."

00:06:14   Now I have to either install that thing or run that thing.

00:06:18   And QuickTime player in typical Apple on Windows fashion was a terrible Windows citizen.

00:06:26   And it just was bloated and installed like weird little hooks everywhere and tried to auto launch everything.

00:06:32   It's like all sorts of crap. And it was just totally out of place. And it just sucked.

00:06:37   It was just a terrible experience having to open stupid QuickTime player on Windows to play a QuickTime video that you had that nothing else would play.

00:06:45   To the Windows people was just annoying and hellish and a big turn off.

00:06:51   But to the entire world of Mac people, that's just what they had. It was fine.

00:06:56   On the Mac, QuickTime player was just the video player and it was fine.

00:07:00   But in their world, what was fine was totally foreign and unpleasant to this other world that existed that they just never thought about.

00:07:10   That's what Discord is to non-gamers.

00:07:14   Gamers love Discord and I think to some degree, Slack has the same attribute where if you're in a community that uses Discord or that uses Slack,

00:07:28   adding another one is no big deal. Because you already run the app. You're already running it all day on all your devices. You already have it set up.

00:07:35   You already have like, you know, it counts on stuff. You know how to use it. You know what it does. You know what it doesn't do.

00:07:39   So when you're already in one of these communities or environments that use one of these chat apps, adding another Slack to me is no big deal.

00:07:49   But if I added a Discord to my regularly checked things, I would have to run Discord.

00:07:55   I would have to install it on my phone, which I've never had before. I would have to make a spot for it on my home screen, which I don't have.

00:08:02   I don't have any more space for that that I would want to spend on that.

00:08:05   Especially not on your tiny phone.

00:08:07   Right. Like on my Mac, I'd have to install Discord on all of my many Macs. I'd have to keep it running a lot of the time so I wouldn't miss stuff or whatever.

00:08:18   It's one more thing, one more like bloated Electron app that I'd have to run. The last thing I want is to have to add something like that to my life that isn't already there.

00:08:30   And so if I was already in Discord, this wouldn't be an issue. Just like I'm already in Slack, so Slack isn't an issue for me.

00:08:36   But because I'm not already in Discord, I don't want to have to add the entire bloat of yet another one of these services to my life.

00:08:45   Alright, so I have a couple thoughts here. First of all, I agree with you with regard to Discord and I have lots of complaints about it.

00:08:52   Second of all, we are removing all doubt that we are the oldest, most out of touch of all of the people in our little sphere because everyone else seems to love Discord and I hate it.

00:09:02   Third of all, I see you're QuickTime player for Windows and raise you RealPlayer.

00:09:09   Oh, that was worse.

00:09:10   Such a pile of garbage. I mean, QuickTime was bad, but oh, RealPlayer was such a pile of garbage.

00:09:15   Which is funny because back in the olden days when you had to carry your bits uphill both ways in order to get on the internet, when Marco and John and I were on the internet, streaming audio or video was just not a thing.

00:09:29   It was not possible. And then all of a sudden RealPlayer came out and you could stream audio and then maybe it was the same time, it was a little while later, then you could stream "video" which really was like a postage stamp sized video that had approximately 12 pixels of data within it that would update once every 7 seconds.

00:09:54   And that was "video" back then. And oh my god, the RealPlayer app was such a pile of garbage and I hated it so much.

00:10:03   With regards to Discord, I think a lot of the problem I have with Discord is that to my eyes it fulfills the exact same needs as Slack does, even though I understand that they're not the same and there are very large differences between the two.

00:10:18   But for the kinds of needs that I have, which is basically chatting with a select group of people in one or more different contexts, like chat rooms or what have you, I don't feel like Discord handles that simple use case as well.

00:10:33   Now it does many other things quite a bit better. My understanding is that moderation is way better on Discord because it was built for gamers.

00:10:40   I already insulted every Tesla fan ever last week, so let me try to be a little more gentle. Gamers can be challenging and that could require a little more finesse than your average Slack user.

00:10:55   Another thing that I dislike about Discord is that, and this very well could be user error and maybe I don't understand what I'm doing, but I feel like it is information overload always. Anytime I start Discord, which is basically only when I'm recording analog because that's where the chat room is for Relay now,

00:11:16   I start it and first of all it makes me log in again because I haven't logged in in a month. And that's annoying in and of itself. So then they do this really slick, and I mean that genuinely, a really slick scan this QR code with your phone, because I'm on my desktop, scan this QR code with your phone and it will log you right in.

00:11:30   Which is great, except I go to my phone and my phone's logged out because I haven't logged in to that in a month.

00:11:37   So then I log in on my phone thinking alright I'll just do it here, I'll use my face ID to get my password and then that'll be great. And then every time I forget where the hell it is that I go to scan the QR code.

00:11:46   Because I can't just use the camera on the iOS camera, the iOS camera, because then it just punts me to Discord and Discord's like "Okay you're in Discord, sweet!"

00:11:54   I'm like "No, no, no, I want to log in on the other thing."

00:11:57   Like in the web app? Oh, I see.

00:11:59   Because I'm on my phone and it just punts me to Discord from the iOS camera app. So then I gotta figure out where the hell it is in Discord on the iPhone that I can scan the code to get me logged in on the desktop.

00:12:10   And then I log in and there's 304 friggin channels, all of which are bolded because all of which have had activity since I've last been logged in.

00:12:18   And unlike Slack where you seem to be able to leave a channel, and again it is very possible this is user error because I barely ever touch Discord, but it seems like in Slack you can choose to join or leave a channel.

00:12:32   And the equivalent in Discord is muting a channel.

00:12:36   Well f*** that man, I don't want all this s*** in my life. No, I don't want it. I don't want to mute it. I don't want to friggin see it.

00:12:44   So, yeah, it's just, ugh, it's very frustrating and I know that I'm just announcing how old I am by going on this rant.

00:12:54   And I can feel how old that I am. I think my hair is actively getting more gray as I'm in the midst of this monologue.

00:13:03   But, I don't know, it's just, it's for the kids man, and I ain't a kid anymore.

00:13:07   It's too bad you both can't be young and vibrant like me.

00:13:10   That's right, that's right.

00:13:11   I'm in six Discords.

00:13:12   You're a gamer. Discord to me was clearly, you know, it clearly came from gamer roots.

00:13:19   Overall Discord looks like it was designed by Windows users and Slack looks like it was designed by Mac users.

00:13:28   And I'm not saying Discord is badly designed, it's just a different set of goals and way different priorities and way different styles of doing things.

00:13:36   It's very rooted from those gaming roots and you can see it in so many ways. Gamers are usually Windows users and it feels like a big old Windows app.

00:13:45   And Slack, for all of its faults, you know, I've had many quibbles with Slack's design changes over time.

00:13:53   It's still, you know, it is a Bloat Electron app for sure.

00:13:57   There's a lot about Slack that is not ideal or not great, but Slack still feels generally like it was designed by Mac people with Mac sensibilities and Discord feels like a Windows app.

00:14:09   And that will probably always be the case.

00:14:12   Speaking of communities and Casey, speaking of Tesla people, I just got an email with a terrifying subject line.

00:14:19   Oh God, okay.

00:14:21   It's an email from Tesla and the subject is "Your New Leasing Experience".

00:14:27   Please just try to do the lease correctly. Even that is very hard for you.

00:14:35   So what is the new leasing experience? What do you have to look forward to?

00:14:41   It looks like they're just moving lease stuff into the Tesla account control panel instead of, I guess, whatever financial company was like subsidiary servicing it before.

00:14:50   Tesla changing the leasing experience is kind of like Apple changing the laptop keyboards.

00:14:56   It's like, "Ooh, please, please don't mess it up. Like, oh God, you don't have a good track record here. Please just maybe not touch it. Like once it works, just please don't touch it."

00:15:07   Is Apple Silicon ready?

00:15:12   It's a very odd phrasing or title for a site, but it's actually a really good site and does what it says on the tin.

00:15:20   If you want to know if an app is ready for Apple Silicon, just go to isapplesiliconready.com and it'll tell you for a fair number of different apps. It's quite stunning, in fact.

00:15:29   I added the hyphens to the name so you would know how I think it's supposed to be done.

00:15:34   So the URL is all stuck together isapplesiliconready.com.

00:15:39   But if you want to think of how it's supposed to be interpreted, my interpretation is it's a question about a thing.

00:15:48   And it's leaving out some words to be short, but it says, "Is this thing Apple Silicon ready?" hyphenated because it's a three-word phrase that works as an adjective to describe the thing.

00:15:58   Is Apple Silicon ready? Or in Emacs parlance, Apple Silicon ready P?

00:16:03   There, I've done my Emacs joke for the month, so my quota is filled.

00:16:06   Anyway, yeah, good site. Check it out.

00:16:08   Yeah, it is very well done.

00:16:10   And you can even, you know, I played with this very briefly, even though I'm the only one of the three of us that does not have an Apple Silicon Mac.

00:16:17   But among things you can do is you can like search for something.

00:16:20   So I searched just arbitrarily for FFmpeg because, hi, have we met?

00:16:23   And I think there's a way that you can actually fill out a list of things that you have that may or may not be on the site and make your own like little profile.

00:16:34   It looked very, very well done.

00:16:35   And it seems like it's translated a bunch of different ways.

00:16:37   So this is very impressive.

00:16:38   And if I had an Apple Silicon Mac, I would be looking at it more often.

00:16:41   Oh, for whatever it's worth, like I know Homebrew is not quite ready for all this stuff yet.

00:16:46   And it's probably going to be a while before all of the different packages and the popular packages like FFmpeg.

00:16:52   It's probably going to be a while before all of those pretty much build on M1.

00:16:57   But there's some kind of fluke of migration assistant. On my MacBook Air, I have my Homebrew installation from another computer.

00:17:07   It just got imported over.

00:17:09   And it works.

00:17:10   Like because all those, they're just compiled binaries.

00:17:13   And if you can get a compiled binary from an Intel Mac and run it on the M1, it'll run under Rosetta.

00:17:19   And so like my M1 MacBook Air does run FFmpeg just fine.

00:17:25   It's not as fast as it could be if it was native.

00:17:27   But Rosetta works on command line binaries also.

00:17:32   So that is an option if you need to run some stuff like that for some part of your workflow or something.

00:17:38   You can bring that over from an Intel Mac.

00:17:41   And I think there are certain ways where you can force, like there's some command, I forget what it is.

00:17:47   You can run Homebrew itself in Rosetta with some kind of command line trickery.

00:17:54   And again, I'm sorry, I don't know what it is off the top of my head.

00:17:57   But look that up if you're curious.

00:17:59   I haven't done that. All I did was bring stuff over from the other installation, which I assume is just like copying the user local directory over, I guess, maybe?

00:18:06   It's just, again, it's a little bit slower than it could be.

00:18:09   Speaking of running things on Rosetta and then being fast enough, I tried to find the zero while you were talking, but I couldn't.

00:18:13   Someone did the benchmark, like Lightroom just updated to be ARM native.

00:18:18   And someone did the benchmark of Lightroom running under Rosetta versus the native version.

00:18:23   The native version was only a little bit faster.

00:18:25   Because Rosetta is so good.

00:18:28   I mean, it was faster, but not by a lot, by like single digit percentages.

00:18:33   And it's like, wow, Rosetta is pretty good.

00:18:35   Oh, here we go. Who is this in the chat? I'm not in the right window.

00:18:39   Rip Mac in the chat wrote, there's a post on notion.so that talks about how to do it.

00:18:45   So what you do is you make a duplicate of the terminal app and then you go into the info for that terminal app and tick the open using Rosetta checkbox.

00:18:56   And then everything that happens in terminal apparently is run through Rosetta.

00:18:59   So you could use Homebrew.

00:19:00   Oh, that's something.

00:19:02   Also, there's, thanks to Ryan Booker in the chat, there's a blog post by Sam.

00:19:08   How do you pronounce his last name? Sophis? Sophies? I don't know.

00:19:11   Sophis, I think. I'm not confident I'm right.

00:19:13   Yeah. Been around forever. Anyway, Sam Sophis wrote this good blog post also about running Homebrew on Apple Silicon.

00:19:19   And it uses the arch command to basically use the entire Homebrew installer under Rosetta using the arch command.

00:19:27   So that's, we'll look at these in the show notes.

00:19:29   Oh, this is what I was thinking of and what I think you were thinking of as well.

00:19:31   Yeah, yeah, yeah. This looks familiar.

00:19:33   How do you pronounce that as arc? Like short for architecture.

00:19:36   It's architecture. Just like the mob file format, short for mobby.

00:19:40   Mm-hmm.

00:19:41   Oh, God.

00:19:42   You think mob has the most RAM.

00:19:44   Graphics interchange format?

00:19:45   Mm-hmm.

00:19:46   Yeah, exactly. All right, John, can you tell me about chiplets and multi-chip modules, please?

00:19:52   Don't try to make me read this big thing.

00:19:54   Is that all I am to you? That's all I am to you as a friggin' speaker, aren't I?

00:19:58   We have our roles, and this is your role.

00:20:00   You want us to have the say command read it for you?

00:20:03   Yeah.

00:20:06   All right, Adrian Sampson writes, and this is a lot, so blame John.

00:20:10   On the topic of sheer die size, an important avenue for scaling lately is chiplets, or multi-chip modules, or MCMs,

00:20:16   where more than one logic chip goes in the same package.

00:20:19   Think roughly the same idea as the M1's in-package DRAM, except it's multiple logic dies instead of one logic die and some memory.

00:20:26   Chiplets were just a research topic until fairly recently. AMD CPUs are all MCMs, as of a couple of years ago.

00:20:32   A chiplet-based approach could be a way to scale the M1's CPU core count or GPU size without requiring separate packages or ruining yield.

00:20:39   On the topic of using in-package memory as a cache for more traditional and larger onboard DRAM,

00:20:44   a second rapidly approaching technology is relevant here, "3D stacked" DRAM, where RAM chips are glued right on top of a logic die.

00:20:52   The leading standard for this is High Bandwidth Memory, or HBM, which is a terrible name,

00:20:57   and it has so far appeared only in a few high-end NVIDIA GPUs, Xilinx, FPGAs, etc.

00:21:05   The capacity of this memory is pretty limited, so research on HBM often involves managing it as an OS managed or page-based cache for a larger pool of DDR memory,

00:21:14   which seems like a win because, as John mapped out in the show, the bandwidth and latency advantages over traditional off-package memory cross the threshold to make it worth it.

00:21:21   Then there's some math, which I don't think we care about.

00:21:24   Both of these technologies were coming soon for a long time, but now they're here.

00:21:27   I wouldn't be shocked, but I would be thrilled to see them in a "M2".

00:21:31   Any acronym that has "BM" in it, I can't get behind.

00:21:35   So they have a link to TSMC's 3D thing on this.

00:21:40   I'm pretty sure all the phone chips have used the RAM on top of the logic for a long time now.

00:21:47   Maybe they're talking about something slightly different, but putting the RAM on top of the logic instead of next to it is definitely a thing you can do.

00:21:57   But for Macs in particular, especially big Macs, you probably don't want to do that because it is much harder to deal with heat in that scenario.

00:22:06   It's handled on the phone because the whole deal with the phone is there's not going to be a fan in there anyway, so everything's clocked down and made low power because the battery is tiny and yada yada.

00:22:16   But potentially one of the reasons the M1 in the Macs has logic with the RAM next to it instead of on top is that it's much easier to cool.

00:22:27   Because you get direct access to the logic, which is super hot, and you can put a heat sink right on that to draw heat away from it.

00:22:33   And then you have heat sinks on the RAM modules as well, so that's way easier that if you stack them, now you have this hot logic thing that you're prevented from extracting heat from by the also kind of warm RAM that's on top of it.

00:22:45   So I don't expect to see it stacked like that in any Mac, but multi-chip modules is definitely a possibility, and that's related to something we'll get to a little bit later.

00:22:55   So moving on, getting images from a Google Doc, and this is from Daniel Santos.

00:23:00   So if you recall last episode, I think that I expected Marco would have cut this out, but he didn't.

00:23:05   I was trying to extract, I think, a graph or something from our shared show notes document on Google Docs.

00:23:10   And in typical Casey fashion, I think several colorful expletives were uttered as I was trying to figure out how the crap to get an image file out of a Google Doc's dock.

00:23:21   And so Daniel Santos writes, "A few months ago I spent hours banging my head against the wall and screaming profanities for hours trying to figure out how to do this.

00:23:28   One would think it's a basic feature, but alas, Google being Google, they kind of included it but made it as unintuitive as possible."

00:23:35   So basically on a Google Doc, you can go to File > Download > Webpage > HTML Zipped, and it'll download a zipped package in which there's a nice little folder called Images with all of the image files from the document and their original quality.

00:23:47   Or I could have just asked John for the original.

00:23:50   There's also, I found another method when I was just poking around trying to get that image out of the dock for the chapter art.

00:23:56   You should have just asked me for the original too. I forgot to send it to you. Obviously I have the originals, just ask. I save everything.

00:24:01   You can also right click on the image. When I right click on an image, I get this weird option, "Save to keep."

00:24:07   Keep is capitalized. I assume it's some kind of service that Google offers. I don't know.

00:24:11   But if you right click and say "Save to keep," it shows up in a sidebar.

00:24:14   In that sidebar, you can right click on the image, and that's when you get the browser native, like, open image in new tab or save image as menu.

00:24:22   I think you have a virus. What the hell is "Save to keep?" I don't see this option.

00:24:26   Oh wait, there it is. Okay, I got it. I got it.

00:24:28   Okay. So I have some kind of rogue extension.

00:24:32   You just send your whole keychain to somebody.

00:24:35   Yeah, like, I don't, the only thing I ever use Google Docs for is this. So I'm not an expert in it at all, but I did find that.

00:24:46   And of course I could have used the web inspector, I'm sure, but it shouldn't be that difficult. None of these options are good.

00:24:53   Just ask me. I've got the images.

00:24:55   That's difficult too, Jon.

00:24:57   So this is yet another thing, going back to our Apple news discussion last week, yet another thing that you know when you have something in a browser,

00:25:05   unless they've taken great pains to override the right click menu like Google Docs has.

00:25:10   Unless they're Pinterest.

00:25:11   Right, but normally, right click "Save As" or right click "Open Image in New Tab" is something that you can always do.

00:25:17   Yet another thing that, like, content that is viewed in browsers gives you this ability and content that is viewed in apps oftentimes does not.

00:25:27   Or copying and pasting text, which is more infuriating. Not that browsers do that well either, but you've got a fighting chance at least.

00:25:35   Speaking of Apple news, we got a little bit of feedback in defense of Apple news.

00:25:40   The feedback we got was very, very upset that we had besmirched their beloved app.

00:25:46   But there was one fairly short email from Jay Peterson who wrote,

00:25:50   "News gives you better font size control, readability options, and accessibility features than the quote unquote open web.

00:25:56   No jerk bars" - we had a different name for this back when Twitter was doing it -

00:26:00   "cookie accepts, flashing ads, or page obstructions, and no ad blocking required for the average user.

00:26:05   With regard to swiping behavior" - which is what I was complaining about -

00:26:07   "if you swipe from the middle of the screen, it does move you to the next or previous story, depending on swipe direction.

00:26:12   But if you do the edge swipe from the left to go back, news does take you back to the prior view like most Apple apps."

00:26:18   So this is, I think a lot of people were very upset about me describing the swipe behavior.

00:26:24   I guess that I just didn't get my finger precisely to the left edge of the screen in order to go back, which is my fault.

00:26:31   But I don't know, it's just, as we were discussing just a moment ago with Google Docs,

00:26:34   you expect to be able to right-click and say "Save Image."

00:26:36   And whether or not that's the best answer, it's the answer that it seems most people expect.

00:26:42   And I could make a passionate argument that a good UI is a UI that doesn't make you go "heh."

00:26:47   And so this was an instance where Apple News made me go "heh."

00:26:51   So anyway, continuing on from Jay Peterson,

00:26:53   "Also, most stories in the News app link you to the web source by tapping the Share button and tapping Safari,

00:26:58   which opens the web version of the story, or swiping all the way to the bottom of the story in the News,

00:27:02   and then swiping further down automatically pulls up a web view of the story.

00:27:05   Some sites abuse this in News by only showing a stub of the story in News,

00:27:09   and then requiring a full scrolling swipe to see the full ad-laden and much more unpleasant-to-read version of the story."

00:27:14   So in the defense of Apple News, there are some things to like about it.

00:27:17   I still don't think it's for me, but there you go.

00:27:20   We are sponsored this week by FlatFile.

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00:28:23   Once again, that's flatfile.io to check out the 2020 State of Data Onboarding report.

00:28:29   Thank you so much to FlatFile for sponsoring our show.

00:28:32   [Music]

00:28:36   So was it today? No, it was yesterday as we record. We were recording on Wednesday the 9th.

00:28:42   Apple just randomly dropped a new product on us, and it was not the 4K Apple TV update I've been waiting for for a year.

00:28:50   Instead, it was AirPods Max, and I don't care. So what else are we talking about?

00:28:54   This is a very hard thing for us to talk that much about, as everybody looks at the chapter marker and sees the 45-minute-long chapters.

00:29:03   It's a hard thing for us to talk about because no one seems to have them yet.

00:29:09   Or at least when the announcement was made, there was no advance reviews that were seeded before that announcement.

00:29:18   So there's no KBHD review or anything like that. There was no preview by John Gruber. There was nothing like that.

00:29:27   So we can't comment at all on how they sound, how they work, anything like that.

00:29:34   But it is pretty unusual for Apple to release a brand new product in December, so we're going to talk about them anyway.

00:29:41   I think everybody wants us to.

00:29:43   The one thing we can talk about is the sound, obviously.

00:29:45   And the comfort and everything else.

00:29:47   Well, we can say something about that because we can physically see the device.

00:29:52   I forget, what was the... AirPod Studio was the rumor name for these?

00:29:56   It's not head nowhere because this is one of the many rumored things, like leaving poor AirTags.

00:30:01   I still like Airheads and HeadPods and all those other fun names that we all came up with.

00:30:04   So AirTags is the lone...

00:30:07   Aside from the Apple TV, AirTags is the lone remaining rumored product that still hasn't landed in any kind of form.

00:30:14   If you set aside AirPower and think that weird folding travel thing is what those rumors are about.

00:30:19   So I think these headphones are...

00:30:25   In the beginning, I thought, well, it's nice that they made these.

00:30:30   I feel like it fills out Apple's line, kind of like them making a small phone and a big phone.

00:30:34   They make AirPods. They won't extend the AirPods brand even though it makes not that much sense.

00:30:40   The AirSense thing makes sense. The Pods part, not so much.

00:30:43   But anyway, it's good. Apple should have an Apple branded over-ear headphone.

00:30:48   And I think this product comes at more or less the right time.

00:30:52   Because the AirPods Pro introduced a whole new set of features that actually are ideally suited to an over-ear headphone.

00:30:59   The noise canceling. I mean, it's cool that the little AirPods Pro can do noise canceling.

00:31:05   But it's obviously... You can do a better job if you cover the entire ear with a thing.

00:31:09   The spatial audio stuff that they rolled out. And of course all the wireless pairing and all the convenience factors.

00:31:16   That whole feature set, you look at that feature set, that would work pretty well in over-ear headphones.

00:31:22   So Apple should probably make one of those. And they have. And it looks super appley.

00:31:26   And I think it's a reasonable product. But I didn't think it was for me.

00:31:32   Because I'm like, well, I don't even like the AirPods Pro.

00:31:35   I had to use my plain old regular original AirPods. They're still my favorite because I don't like things in my ear canal.

00:31:41   And the only place I use over-ear headphones is right now.

00:31:45   When I'm podcasting. And I don't really use them at any other time in my entire life.

00:31:50   So I didn't really have a place for these.

00:31:52   But as... There's so many running reviews, right?

00:31:56   Nothing has changed about my attitude towards this related to reading what people think of them.

00:32:03   But as the two days have gone on, I've been thinking, you know, I do put my AirPods in and watch stuff on my iPad.

00:32:12   I watch a lot of content that way. Sort of late at night, in bed, watch a TV show before bed or whatever.

00:32:19   And I do that with my plain old AirPods. Which don't sound that great.

00:32:25   It usually doesn't matter for a TV show. But sometimes I watch a movie like that or whatever.

00:32:29   But you know, these things. I could put these on my head and watch something on my iPad, right?

00:32:36   And I've done the spatial audio thing with the Pros and it's kind of cool.

00:32:40   And what if these are really comfortable? And what if they're even more noise isolating for my wife next to me in bed who doesn't want to hear if there's some loud part of a movie or something?

00:32:50   So I started thinking about these things.

00:32:52   I didn't put it in order. I don't think I really need these in my life. But I am actually primed to be interested in the reviews.

00:33:03   If people say, and yes, they are expensive, we'll talk about that in a little bit.

00:33:08   But people say, yeah, they're super expensive. But they sound more or less like $500 headphones.

00:33:13   And we already more or less know that all of the AirPods features are good because we have the AirPods Pro and we've done all the pairing things.

00:33:22   And we've tried the whole feature set. We understand how they interact with the Apple ecosystem.

00:33:27   And if you like that, these do that too. Only now they're big.

00:33:32   So I am AirPods Max curious at this point.

00:33:38   I obviously don't need to buy a $500 pair of headphones. One of mine, Marco.

00:33:42   But I am waiting to see what the reviews say. If the reviews say, oh, they're only okay.

00:33:47   Because I have Sony noise cancelling headphones, which I really like, but I only use them for travel.

00:33:53   I don't use them for the sound quality. I can tell you that. It just lets the podcast on them.

00:33:57   But if they say, oh, these are not, you know, they're on par with much cheaper models. Don't bother. I probably won't bother.

00:34:04   But if they say, wow, these things actually sound like $500 headphones.

00:34:08   And they're super convenient. And by the way, you can use them for monitoring during podcasts, which we'll talk about a little bit, I'm sure too.

00:34:15   I may consider these at some point in the future.

00:34:19   Marco, on the other hand, is not allowed to consider headphones. He's mandated to buy all of them sight unseen.

00:34:25   So Marco, tell us about what you think of these things.

00:34:28   I did order a pair. I don't have it yet. I did get one of those day one delivery windows, though.

00:34:33   So I think I'll have it in roughly a week or so, maybe.

00:34:37   I have some concerns. I think it might end up being a really great product.

00:34:41   But man, five hundred and fifty dollars.

00:34:46   That is not a ton of money for a flagship head from headphone from a headphone brand.

00:34:54   Like if you look at like high end headphones that audio files by that is actually quite mid range.

00:35:03   Like high end headphones for audio files go well into like the three thousand dollar plus range.

00:35:09   And that's actually a fairly recent phenomenon actually. But anyway, I don't own any of those.

00:35:14   But for this market, this is very expensive because the direct competitors to this are the Sony, you know, WH whatever, whatever, whatever, Mark whatever.

00:35:25   I think they're up to four so far. And those are about three hundred and fifty dollars usually.

00:35:30   The Bose QuietComfort full size model of whatever, you know, two year period we're currently in.

00:35:36   I believe it's currently called the Bose 700. Those are usually also in the three hundred fifty dollar range.

00:35:42   So for Apple to come out with something that, you know, those are the most obvious direct competitors at five hundred and fifty dollars is really above the market for what this product most likely is and what it most likely is competing with.

00:35:57   Another very strong competitor in this area is Apple's own AirPods Pro, which are less than half the price.

00:36:05   They're two fifty officially and have been on sale a lot recently at various places for like, you know, one ninety two hundred like, you know, something like that.

00:36:12   So this is on track to be kind of another home pod, not HomePod mini, the regular home pod.

00:36:20   It seems like, first of all, there's maybe more overlap than we think. The rumor mill seems to think that these were edited a lot and kind of rushed out the door and that like the final product has been changed so often in development and things didn't work out the way they wanted and they change it around and change it around and change it around and then ship something out the door.

00:36:43   We heard a very similar thing about the HomePod when that shipped. The HomePod came out to a market where it seemed like it was kind of missing the market.

00:36:55   Like the HomePod came out way too expensive, missing some key features that the market expects and just kind of seeming like the people who designed and marketed and priced it either weren't familiar with the market they were entering or were so confident that they would be superior in some ways that they totally didn't bother competing in some other really important ways.

00:37:21   And it looks like they've done the same thing here. There are some things about this that look really good. There are some things about this that are question marks for me and will remain to be seen until we get it.

00:37:32   And it's super expensive for what it seems like its category is. And so I think this is probably going to have a similar outcome as the full-size HomePod which is some of us will buy it but it's really expensive for the market that it's going into and most people aren't going to buy it and it probably won't do the kind of volumes Apple wants it to do.

00:37:55   So all that being said, specifically about this product, I'm excited in the sense that the AirPods Pro are so good. Like they're so good that for the last couple of flights that I took back when I was flying...

00:38:11   Wait, I'm sorry. What is a flight?

00:38:14   For the last couple of flights I took, I took only the AirPods Pro with me. And it was remarkable in almost every way. The amount of space in a bag that you save by not having a full-size pair of noise cancelling headphones is substantial.

00:38:32   And it was wonderful travelling with just one pair of headphones. Having one pair of headphones do everything is so great, so convenient, it's price efficient.

00:38:44   So there's a lot of benefits to having one pair of headphones that you can do everything with. And that's why everyone loves the AirPods so much. Because for many people, AirPods can do that.

00:38:54   And the AirPods Pro did that for me for so many things. I'm no longer interested for the most part in full-size portable headphones for anything anymore.

00:39:05   I use my AirPods Pro for pretty much everything away from my desk. At my desk, I use full-size headphones for reasons. But when I'm away from my desk, I use AirPods Pro pretty much all the time.

00:39:18   I've stopped using almost any other headphones away from my desk. So something like this is very promising. If this can not only be that for people for whom AirPods Pro weren't comfortable or didn't fit.

00:39:31   Or if this can be that for people who need things the AirPods Pro can't do or don't do well.

00:39:38   Noise cancellation is one of those things that you wouldn't think the AirPods Pro would do well, but they actually do extremely well. Almost as well as full-size headphones like the Sonys and the Bose's and everything.

00:39:49   So I expect noise cancellation on the AirPods Max. I don't like this name by the way. Because I don't think anything about them is AirPods.

00:39:56   But I think noise cancellation on these is likely to be excellent. But it's so good on the AirPods Pro, it actually might not be that much better on these.

00:40:05   So if you want additional noise cancellation beyond what the AirPods Pro offer, this will probably do that. But I don't know if it's going to be a massive difference. We'll see when we get them.

00:40:14   I have some concerns about long wearing comfort. Now the AirPods Pro on a long plane flight have a problem of battery life. They only last about four hours.

00:40:25   And so if you try to take AirPods Pro on a cross country US flight that's about five hours usually long, you're going to probably at some point have to pop one out, put it in the case, charge it up.

00:40:35   Then a little while later pop the other one out, put it in the case, charge it up, and then put them back in. Or you can do my solution and just buy two pairs.

00:40:42   Which you can do for a little bit less than the cost of the AirPods Pro Max or whatever these are called.

00:40:48   Wait, you bought two sets of AirPods Pro?

00:40:51   I did. Did I never tell you guys that? I did.

00:40:54   I don't think you told us that. And this might be the singularly most Marco solution to a problem that I've ever heard in my life.

00:41:02   It was fantastic because it's so much smaller still than a full size pair of headphones.

00:41:07   And as with every Marco solution to every problem, I kind of hate it. And yet, and yet, and yet, I do understand the logic. And there is an annoying amount of logic there.

00:41:21   I wonder if they'll get the rattle of death at the same time or if one of them will be like the backup pair when one of them starts.

00:41:27   So the first pair, like I only had one for a while, the first pair got the death rattle. And so that one got replaced recently.

00:41:36   And I've been exclusively wearing the backup pair for a little while, hopefully to try to make it get the rattle within its whatever two year period that it's going to have.

00:41:45   Anyway, the thing with the Max is, again, we haven't heard it yet. It might sound amazing, but the AirPods Pro are so good that this has an uphill battle.

00:41:54   You don't think it's a given that these are going to sound better than the AirPods Pro? I'm just accepting that as a given.

00:42:00   I sure hope they do. I mean, because the AirPods Pro, while they sound excellent for their size, they sound merely okay compared to headphones of the Max's size.

00:42:10   Now for them to sound even close is remarkable. They're not in-ear monitors. They're kind of partially sealed earbuds.

00:42:18   And so to sound, and they're only $250 and that's at Apple prices, so to sound as good as a $400 pair of over-ear headphones would be a tall order for that product.

00:42:29   But the AirPods Pro do sound remarkably good for their size and convenience and portability and everything.

00:42:36   But they don't sound amazing in absolute terms. And so if these headphones sound better, that's wonderful.

00:42:42   And these do solve the battery life problem. They claim 20 hours of battery life, while the AirPods Pro claim 4.5.

00:42:48   So that's pretty good. These are clearly made for flights and everything and that's great.

00:42:54   However, they're also significantly heavier. MacRumors noted this as well.

00:43:00   They're significantly heavier than most of the headphones in this class. And weight has a lot to do with long-wearing comfort for headphones.

00:43:09   Now there's all sorts of factors. There's like the clamping force, like how hard it pushes against your ears, how the headband is designed, how the earcups are designed, what kind of materials are involved and everything.

00:43:19   How they fit on a given person. Like for instance, the clamping force, how hard it squishes into your head from the ear pressure, that varies a lot based on your head size.

00:43:31   And the headband can stretch in different ways. And some models where the headband doesn't flex very well, it's significantly uncomfortable for larger headed people like me.

00:43:43   Where smaller headed people, it might be totally fine for them because they aren't getting as much pressure because the headband isn't flexing as much for them.

00:43:49   So everything's different for everybody here. But I do worry about comfort because of the weight alone.

00:43:55   These are pretty heavy headphones for their category. That's a warning sign for me. It doesn't mean that it can't be comfortable.

00:44:02   To give some numbers on this, by the way, these are 13.6 ounces. The Sony MDR7506's that everybody has are about half that at 8 ounces.

00:44:13   And the Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro's that I just got a Marker's recommendation are 9.5 ounces.

00:44:21   So, I mean, it's not surprising when you look at it, why would these be so heavy. What do you see? Those earcups, those are metal. I mean it's aluminum, it's lightweight metal, but it's metal.

00:44:30   And the little adjustable, whatever you call them, thingies, the things that let you adjust how big it is, those look like they're stainless steel, which is also very heavy.

00:44:40   So it's not surprising that this is a heavy product because it's made of heavy materials.

00:44:46   And that presumably makes it feel expensive and appley and yada yada, but when you're wearing something on your head, probably not that great.

00:44:54   Right, and they have to have a certain amount of electronics in there and batteries, and even when you compare them to the Bose's and Sony noise cancelling headphones, they're like 30-50% heavier than even those direct competitors.

00:45:08   So that's a warning sign there. Again, it doesn't mean they will be uncomfortable, but it makes it harder for them to be comfortable, and harder for them to be comfortable on more people.

00:45:19   And the Sony and the Bose have both of those, and they're not 100% plastic, but they're mostly plastic.

00:45:25   They're like temples to plastic.

00:45:27   Right, and that's fine, plastic is a good material for that. It's lightweight, it's durable, but the Apple way to do it is to have stainless steel and aluminum, and it looks very appley, but the price you pay is weight.

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00:47:45   Going back to the market, and how this product fits in the market that it looks like it's made for, which is those high-end airplane trip noise cancelling headphones.

00:47:56   Apple has always, I think in the same way that Twitter is always jealous of Instagram, and Instagram is jealous of Snapchat, and Facebook is jealous of everything.

00:48:10   In the way that all the social networks are just constantly trying to be like all the other social networks, because they can't be happy with what they have and what they are.

00:48:18   Apple has always seemed to, even way back from the Steve Jobs days, has always seemed to be very envious of the makers of the $400 speakers and headphones they would often sell in the Apple stores.

00:48:34   All the banging olives and stuff, and Apple has always seemed to want a piece of that market themselves.

00:48:41   That's why they made the old, what was the iPod thing called? The iPod Hi-Fi. That, yeah.

00:48:46   That's why they made it, because Bose and B&O were making these hundreds of dollars speaker docs for iPods, and Apple wanted a piece of that market.

00:48:54   And they're like, "We could do that, totally." And they just walked in and flopped.

00:48:59   For reasons. Anyway, Apple has always wanted a piece of that particular market of the $400 headphones and speakers that they sell in Apple stores and high-end lifestyle places.

00:49:12   This is their version of that. So it's clear what they're going for here.

00:49:17   Beats never did it. Beats had its own success in different markets, but Beats was never a high-end luxury play.

00:49:25   This is a high-end luxury play, and that's what they're competing against.

00:49:28   But if you look at this market too, the market for this, which again is often plane travelers.

00:49:34   That's the people who buy multi-hundred dollar noise cancelling wireless headphones for the most part.

00:49:39   The market for that has a few requirements or priorities that I'm not sure these do well at.

00:49:45   Besides price, which matters. It doesn't matter as much to a lot of these people, but it certainly matters in absolute terms.

00:49:53   One of the things that those headphones all have is a hard case.

00:49:58   A carrying case that you can somehow fold the headphones into varying degrees of how you fold them.

00:50:04   These just fold where the ear cups rotate 90 degrees so the whole thing kind of folds flat.

00:50:11   That's one way to fold. It's the worst way to fold. Besides just not folding at all.

00:50:16   The better way to fold is what most Bose and Sony headphones have done over time in this segment, although actually not the current Bose ones.

00:50:24   Most of them have done a thing where the ear cups fold flat like that, and then also they can swivel around the points where they attach to the headband.

00:50:33   So you can kind of take advantage of the space between the ear cups and the top of the headband,

00:50:39   and rotate one of the cups in there and make a nice little compact and flat package.

00:50:45   That is not what Apple has chosen to do here.

00:50:48   Marco, you should exercise your image extraction skills to take out one of the pictures I put in the show notes of this, probably the Sony one.

00:50:55   It shows just how much smaller headphones get when they are foldable in this way.

00:51:03   Just ignoring the case for now, I'm just saying how do these headphones get smaller.

00:51:15   When I saw that they didn't do this, the thing I thought of right away, and hopefully you're looking at this right now in your podcast player that supports chapter images,

00:51:24   the reason I thought of it is that folding like that is asymmetrical.

00:51:29   And it is! Look at the thing, it looks almost like they're broken, and it looks ugly.

00:51:34   And Apple really does not like asymmetry.

00:51:38   There are things about asymmetry, yes, the aesthetic thing of like "oh it doesn't look as nice",

00:51:43   but also folding in this way potentially makes the item less cohesive, less of a solid thing,

00:51:58   because it has to have two degrees of articulation instead of just one, right?

00:52:02   And so now you have all these extra joints and moving parts and things that can fail.

00:52:06   And the hard case thing, I can imagine this argument going like this inside,

00:52:10   the hard case thing is like these plastic ones, the Bose and the Sonys, and again I have both of these, I've traveled with both of them,

00:52:15   they fold up really small, but there's no way I would put this thing in its folded up state into my bag,

00:52:20   because I'd be afraid that it would crack or something, because it's all these little plastic hinges,

00:52:25   and the whole thing is made of plastic and I'd be afraid if I squished up against something that all that plastic would just break apart.

00:52:32   Whereas these metal things that Apple has made, there's only one degree of freedom for the folding,

00:52:38   they don't get very small, but you get the feeling that, and again we don't have these things, Mark will tell us when he gets these,

00:52:44   that they're sturdier, because it's stainless steel attached to aluminum, attached to what looks like a fairly solid headband,

00:52:50   it doesn't look like they would crack when put in a bag, even with no case whatsoever,

00:52:56   so I can imagine them saying, well we don't need a hard case, we're going to solve that by being sturdier.

00:53:01   I don't know if that's true, but an argument could be made for it based on the design.

00:53:07   But the real problem is, okay, but you're still not small.

00:53:10   If this is going to be my carry-on bag that I have to somehow shove underneath the seat in front of me or whatever,

00:53:15   because I don't want to have to go up to the overhead thing, or the overheads are always all full,

00:53:18   I need these headphones to get as small as possible if I'm going to use them on a plane.

00:53:22   And saying, well, we couldn't make them that small because it would be asymmetrical, and it would be more delicate,

00:53:28   and then we'd have to have a hard case, it's like, yeah, this market exists, and these products that have been competing in it

00:53:33   have converged on this design, not for the hell of it, because the original Bose QuietComforts that I had didn't do this kind of folding,

00:53:40   they did the Apple-style folding, and they were much bigger, and they were also plastic, right?

00:53:45   But the current Sony, well, I don't know, you said the current Bose don't do this, but...

00:53:49   Yeah, I believe the Bose 700 does not fold this way, it folds the way Apples do, the stupid way.

00:53:53   Even though it does still have a hard case.

00:53:55   It's got that weird headband thing, right?

00:53:57   Yeah, I think so.

00:53:58   Anyway, I think this design is really good. The Sonys that I currently use get so small, it's ridiculous,

00:54:04   and I like the fact that when they're all sealed up in their case, even though the hard case is not that hard,

00:54:10   it is uniformly shaped, and I'm not afraid they're going to break inside there, and it's small, and it's lightweight,

00:54:17   and the AirPods Max just totally missed that target.

00:54:20   I'm not entirely sure they were aiming at that target specifically, because in all the advertising materials,

00:54:28   the pitch that it's making to me is that, like I said before, that these are going to sound good, right?

00:54:35   That you're going to want to listen to music that you like on these, because it will sound good.

00:54:39   And yes, you'll be able to listen to that music out in the world, in transparency mode, and yadda yadda, all the features,

00:54:43   but the idea is that these will do your music justice, whereas the Sony and the Bose I've only used essentially as like,

00:54:51   you know, what someone who uses a jackhammer would use headphones for.

00:54:54   It's like I'm blocking out the noise of the plane.

00:54:57   But music through them sounds terrible. I mean, I'm not even a headphone snob, but the Bose and the Sonys,

00:55:02   like, I don't know if it's terrible. It's not good, right?

00:55:06   No, it's terrible. I mean, the Bose is more terrible than the Sony.

00:55:09   The Sony has an EQ app that you can use to fix some of its shortcomings, which actually, I'll get to that.

00:55:17   You can make it a little bit passable. The Bose has an EQ app as well, but no matter what you do, it sounds like garbage.

00:55:25   It just sounds like different garbage.

00:55:26   And that's not what I'm using for, because these are clearly travel headphones.

00:55:29   They get really small, they have a hard case you put them on so you can't hear the plane,

00:55:33   and you can hear your podcasts or your music, but obviously you're not going to have an amazing music listening experience on a plane no matter what,

00:55:39   because you're on a plane, right?

00:55:41   So I feel like these things are for when you're either out in the world or bopping around your house,

00:55:48   and you want to have a really high quality, good music experience, kind of like what Marco does,

00:55:52   but he's got his fancy headphones and he's on his computer and he's coding and he wants to hear good music with high sound quality.

00:55:57   I feel like that has to be what these things achieve for them to be a viable product,

00:56:04   because I feel like that's what they promise, that's what Apple's advertising materials promise.

00:56:07   What they're not promising with their folding and their case and everything else is these are the ideal companion for a business traveler.

00:56:15   Now, you can bring them with you if you're a business traveler, but you will realize that they're heavier in your bag,

00:56:21   like not just on your head, they're heavier in your bag, they take up more room, and you're probably going to be missing out on the improved audio quality,

00:56:30   because as good as the noise canceling may be, planes are super noisy.

00:56:33   When I see the case of the AirPods Max come in, I just think this was not designed.

00:56:40   Can you try to describe it?

00:56:42   Is it really a case?

00:56:45   It just kind of wraps, it looks like some kind of vinyl wrap.

00:56:51   You know how we talk about bras for your car?

00:56:54   Yeah.

00:56:55   And I know there's an obvious bra thing going on, but this is like a bra for your headphones,

00:57:03   in that like a bra for your car, it doesn't cover the entire thing, a bra in your car does not cover the entire car, it just covers the front of it.

00:57:10   So they have what looks like leather that kind of covers some of the headphone portion.

00:57:18   It leaves parts of it exposed for reasons I do not understand.

00:57:21   Does anyone here understand why the bottoms have little cutouts?

00:57:25   I don't know.

00:57:26   Maybe so they don't get, because like after you wear headphones, they're going to be probably a little bit moist.

00:57:31   They're sweaty, like to air out, maybe.

00:57:33   Yeah, maybe they would get like moldy if they didn't have that, but the other ones don't do that.

00:57:37   All my Bose and my Sony hard cases don't have slits for things to come in and out, I don't think there's any more.

00:57:43   Anyway.

00:57:44   They also have permeable liners though.

00:57:46   What if it's for letting air in or out as you're extracting or inserting? Seriously.

00:57:50   For suction.

00:57:51   Yeah, yeah.

00:57:52   It doesn't look like it fits that tightly though, because look at the gaps on the left and the right edge.

00:57:56   Those seem like you could put a pencil in both of those.

00:57:58   And I assume like that the big flap that goes over the top, I assume that's like a magnetic closure thing, you like flip it up like a bag opening and you pull it up.

00:58:06   Like that's, ugh.

00:58:08   Everything about this, again, we don't have this yet, everything about this looks like it's not going to be, it looks clunky.

00:58:15   Like the way the physicality of this looks, it just looks clunky.

00:58:18   It looks like getting it in and out of a bag is going to be clunky.

00:58:21   It looks like you probably, like you can't, like the way that when you're in an airplane or even just walking around the city or whatever,

00:58:29   when you have the Sonys or the Bosas in their hard case, you can then just toss that into a bag and have it bounce around and it's fine.

00:58:38   You know everything will be fine.

00:58:39   But this isn't really a case and so I would never toss that loose in a bag with other stuff.

00:58:46   Because I know the other stuff would scratch up the metal on the headphones, it could get in there, it will fill with lint, it could damage the headband or whatever that mesh material on top of the headband is.

00:58:57   So I would never toss that loose in a bag. And it's like what's the point then?

00:59:02   And just think of everything else that this thing doesn't do.

00:59:05   So in all of my little hard cases for travel headphones, I have a lighting to headphone adapter, the cable with the little remote that it comes with, some spare batteries,

00:59:16   because a lot of these take interchangeable AA, AAA batteries.

00:59:19   Because it's a case, you can fit other little things in there.

00:59:22   There's no place for anything like that in here, you can't even put a lightning to headphone adapter in this thing because it's not a case.

00:59:27   Like where would you put it? It would fall out the little holes, right?

00:59:30   So it's not fulfilling the job of a case.

00:59:32   Now here's what's baffling about this product, right?

00:59:34   It's $550, I think it's for better sound quality plus the AirPods Pro feature set, which is fine.

00:59:44   It comes with a lightning to USB-C cable, which is kind of weird that this thing has lightning on it.

00:59:49   It could just be USB-C to USB-C and this is for charging.

00:59:52   And it does not come with a charging brick, because that's not Apple's thing anymore.

00:59:56   So you have to have something that you can plug this into to charge, fine, whatever.

01:00:00   But it comes with the case. This is what's baffling about it.

01:00:04   We just talked about how strange and potentially useless the case is, but it comes with it.

01:00:11   And so now it's saying like, "Wait a second, Procter, are you trying to tell me that the case is so integral to this

01:00:18   that you get it no matter what, like you're not going to charge me $80 for this separate leather case that no one buys because it's $80?"

01:00:25   It comes with it, which makes me think, "So you think people are going to travel with these?

01:00:29   Because that's not what the product is saying to me."

01:00:31   No, here's the thing. I think you have to.

01:00:34   Because what it says about the case is that when the case is on, they enter an ultra-low power state that preserves the charge,

01:00:43   which sounds to me like you can't turn them off without the case.

01:00:47   But no one's going to put them back in the case when they're on their desk.

01:00:50   I'm sure there's an idle. Because it has, let's talk about some artificial music.

01:00:54   It has sensors in it. So this thing has optical sensors in each ear cup.

01:00:58   And I'm assuming it will use that to tell when you're not wearing it to go into a low power mode and not just the magnets in the case.

01:01:03   It's got position sensors in each ear cup. It's got a case detect sensor in each ear cup,

01:01:08   which is, I guess, separate from the optical sensor that senses your ears, the case detect sensors, the magnet thing that senses the magnets.

01:01:14   It's got accelerometers and gyroscopes. That's all for the spatial audio stuff.

01:01:17   It's got nine microphones. Eight for noise cancellation and three for voice pickup.

01:01:23   But two of the three for voice pickup are shared with the noise cancellation.

01:01:27   The hardware design wisely, thankfully, happily, does not include any of the rumored touch surfaces.

01:01:38   I have Sony's with touch surfaces and I don't like them.

01:01:42   I think it was a smart move, even though it seems like, oh, they were having problems and they ditched them or if the rumors are to be believed.

01:01:47   But who knows? But touch sensors on big over-ear headphones, I'm not a fan of.

01:01:53   Instead, what you get, which is, I mean, in some respects, it's like, you got to reuse everything, Apple.

01:01:59   But they put the quote unquote digital crown on there. Yeah, the little dial from your watch, although I'm assuming this is not quite the same size.

01:02:05   But on the other hand, that is an ideal control for volume.

01:02:09   It's a twisty thing that you can feel. And, you know, we've used the digital crown and it's actually surprisingly easy to manipulate the digital crown on your Apple Watch with your finger.

01:02:19   So this, I think, is like the perhaps the best case scenario for manual mechanical volume control on a headphone.

01:02:29   Maybe I'm not sure about the position because I don't have these marker hotels when I get some, but maybe it could be in a different position that might be better.

01:02:34   They might have put up their first reasons, but I love the fact that it's got a an actual physical dial for a volume control.

01:02:42   And you can also press it to play pause, press it to answer a phone, press twice to skip forward, press three times to skip back.

01:02:49   You can use Siri through it, like all the things that you would expect.

01:02:53   Unlike the AirPods and the AirPods Pro where they have to do taps and pinches or whatever, you can put physical controls on here because the head and the ear cup things are huge.

01:03:02   And then it's got a button, an actual physical button that you press in and out to switch between noise cancellation and transparency mode.

01:03:11   Another thing that you can't really do on a tiny little ear pod like the AirPods, the tiny AirPods, how are we going to refer to these things, the non-Max AirPods?

01:03:19   You've got a room to have a physical button, so they put a physical button on it.

01:03:22   And I think all of that is great. I wish that the Sony and Bose headphones would take notes from this and say you don't have to try to put a touch pad in.

01:03:31   These don't have to all be like a remote on the wire or whatever.

01:03:35   Setting the case aside, if I pretend that I'm not going to be using these on the plane, I'm back to thinking, "Oh, well these sound really good and they look really sturdy and they somehow manage to be comfortable and aren't heavy."

01:03:49   I think the ergonomics and general design of these headphones, when they're just headphones, looks pretty good to me. Like not in their travel mode and not, you know, maybe, again, you can't say anything about the weight.

01:04:03   It might not be a problem if they manage to pull it off. But I think it would be cool to use these.

01:04:08   And I've never owned a headphone with these kinds of controls on it, so I don't know if I'm wrong about how easy it is to turn a little dial, but it seems like a good idea to me.

01:04:18   I mean, first of all, I would bet it is exactly the same part as the Apple Watch Sport. So size-wise, I bet it's exactly the same size.

01:04:26   It looks bigger to me. I don't know. It's hard to tell on these.

01:04:28   So that's one thing. I think these headphones are not going to be that big. There's this huge tension when designing fashion headphones, which is what these are, between size and comfort. Because what you want, comfort-wise, is a pretty large earcup. Because you want everyone's ear to not press against any edges.

01:04:52   Like, ideally, the padding goes around the ear, not touching any part of the ear, because that's better for long-term comfort.

01:04:59   But to do that, to have an earcup that is large and deep to accommodate lots of people's ears, you have to make the headphones pretty large. And that doesn't look very good.

01:05:09   And you have to have the attachment points where the headband attaches to them, they have to be further away from people's heads, because the earcups have to be deeper.

01:05:18   And that doesn't look as good either. And when you're designing for fashion, you have to prioritize how you will look when you're walking around a city with these on.

01:05:29   Because even though I never walk around with full-size noise-canceling headphones are, many people do.

01:05:36   And so, that's a thing that people have to design here. And Apple, for all of its good qualities, is not so good at prioritizing comfort over aesthetics and size.

01:05:51   And so, I think these are going to be pretty small. And I think for anybody for whom very small headphones are not comfortable, I bet this is going to be a problem for you.

01:06:03   Unfortunately, I'm one of these people. So, again, this is another reservation I have. But I think these are going to be substantially smaller than what you think, which again is a potential comfort risk.

01:06:16   They look huge in the photos, but you just don't know, maybe they're using small models.

01:06:20   One thing I can say is I applaud the fact that they are vertically rectangular and not circular, like the Beyerdynamics, because ears are roughly vertically oval things.

01:06:34   Most people's ears are not circular. And so, I'm glad that these are proportioned like an ear, which gives your ear a fighting chance.

01:06:43   They do look shallow, though. They don't look particularly deep, and the border defined by the pads, the pads look pretty fat.

01:06:51   So, there's not a huge amount of room maybe for larger ears in there. But at least they're the right shape, so there's a fighting chance.

01:06:58   This is the problem with any product like this that has to fit on people's bodies. People's bodies vary.

01:07:03   These things are only adjustable in one way, which is those little stainless steel tubes that come out slide out different lengths.

01:07:09   Now, that's the adjustability, but there is still the place where they connect to the headphone. It looks like a ball joint, so you can swivel in all directions, which is a very good idea, because I hate the headphones that demand that the ear cups remain exactly parallel to each other and don't twist in any way.

01:07:25   So, I think these have a fighting chance to actually be comfortable despite the weight if your head and ears fit within the bounds of the design. We should look at the size and make little models and figure it out.

01:07:40   But in all the pictures, these ear cups look so big to me. They just look gargantuan. They don't look deep. They look shallow, but they look really big.

01:07:51   They look comfortable. They have that comfort look to them. The other thing I'm a little bit wary about, and Mark, you can tell me if you have headphones like this, is the mesh top. Lots of headphones have this mesh top. I've never used a headphone with a mesh top. How do they feel in general?

01:08:04   I don't think I've had one that was exactly like that, but I've had a lot of different headband designs and they're all different and they're all over the map. How comfortable a headband design is is very complicated and varies a lot person to person.

01:08:20   There's nothing about this to me that screams this will definitely be comfortable or uncomfortable. It's probably going to vary for everybody. I will say on your size estimations, keep in mind that what you're viewing is the headphones on their absolute smallest setting.

01:08:34   Because the steel push in, push out tubes that raise and lower the ear cups appear to be pushed almost all the way in in these pictures because it looks best.

01:08:42   So when you extend that downward, an inch on either side or however big you wear your headphones, they will look smaller proportionally.

01:08:51   The thing that concerns me about the headband, and I think this is a universal thing, people don't like stuff tugging on their hair. In general, I feel like headbands that are made of what this looks like, like a soft touch rubberized kind of plastic thing, are not ideal because they sit on your head and there's a lot of friction between the band and your hair.

01:09:15   And any kind of movement there is going to feel like a thing is tugging on your hair. Now the mesh part doesn't do that. The mesh part is not going to tug on your hair, but the whole thing is in mesh.

01:09:22   And I get the idea that the mesh is like a tennis racket springy kind of thing where that's supposed to be contacting your head, but the borders on it are these thick tubes of the rubbery stuff.

01:09:32   And I do wonder if they will come in contact with your hair and mess with it a little bit. I mean, presumably this is all the things that they tested and we'll have to just see how it goes.

01:09:40   But my experience with over-ear headphones over the years of spending hours a day at work and coding and stuff like that is I tend to like the ones that are actually a little bit slipperier up there.

01:09:50   Just because having stuff tugging on your hair is terrible.

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01:11:52   Back a little bit to the market for these and the airplane. They didn't include an audio cable.

01:12:04   And there is no regular, you know, 3.5 millimeter audio jack on them. And they can't operate passively.

01:12:13   Every one of their competitors comes with a headphone cable because sometimes you need that.

01:12:20   And one of the most common places you need that is on airplanes where if you want to use the in-flight entertainment system and you want to like listen to the movie that you're playing on that crappy Linux screen.

01:12:33   You have to plug into it somehow. Sometimes they have Bluetooth support, but that's usually more trouble than it's worth to try to get that to work.

01:12:41   So usually you're plugging into a jack on the screen or on the armrest. And so you need a 3.5 millimeter cable. The Bose comes with one. The Sony comes with one.

01:12:51   Also sometimes you are on a plane on a long flight with your noise canceling headphones and your battery dies. And you want to keep using the headphones.

01:12:59   Well, it turns out headphones can be usually passive devices that require no power of their own and just get their power from the audio signal of the headphone cable.

01:13:08   And almost all of these noise canceling headphones can operate as just passive headphones where even if they have no power, their battery is totally dead, if you plug an audio cable into that jack on them and plug it into an audio source, usually you can play music through them even with no battery power left.

01:13:28   The AirPods Pro, as far as we can tell from people asking questions and press briefings and everything, it seems like they have no passive operation. So once their battery is dead, they cannot operate at all.

01:13:42   They do have that lightning port for charging and there is a cable that Apple sells that only works on like one Beats model and this that has 3.5 millimeter plug on one end, not the jack, but the plug on one end and the lightning port or lightning plug on the other end.

01:14:02   So you can use that cable, sorry, apparently I said AirPods Pro, I mean Max, so you can use that cable to connect the lightning port on this to a 3.5 millimeter headphone jack on something.

01:14:16   And this will apparently take audio in that way. That cable is $35. Nobody has one yet because it's not the cable that connects your iPhone to headphones.

01:14:28   The little dongle thing that connects your iPhone to headphones that doesn't have a headphone jack, it's not that.

01:14:33   But that might work though. We don't know that that doesn't work.

01:14:36   It might, but the audio goes the other direction on this one. Some combination of other stuff might work here depending on how this works, but all we know for sure is that the Apple cable definitely does work and that's the one they say works and it's $35.

01:14:50   Amazon has cheaper ones and I have to think, we talked about this when lightning first came out, remember how they had a way to send analog audio over, like when the iPhone 7 came out, how does the adapter work or whatever.

01:15:03   We don't know that this does the same thing, but it's entirely plausible that that's exactly what this is.

01:15:08   That it's just a weird way to essentially connect a regular analog audio cable up to these things.

01:15:16   And we do know from, who did this come from, let me see. We do know from Matt Panzerino that these headphones do not support USB audio.

01:15:26   So if you're thinking you're going to use them like a USB audio device and send digital audio data over a USB cable to them, that does not work.

01:15:33   So what could possibly be traveling over that lightning to 3.5mm jack cable? It's got to be analog audio, right?

01:15:42   Most likely, yes. So that's what I'm hoping because, first of all, market fit wise, this is hilarious.

01:15:51   Because as John said, if you want to bring this cable with you, say on an airplane, to plug into the in-flight audio system or your laptop easily, there's lots of reasons, a Nintendo Switch, there's lots of reasons you might want to plug analog audio into your headphones on a plane or in real life.

01:16:09   And so if you bring this cable with you, there's nowhere in the case to put it. A. B. you had to pay $35 extra for it on your already very expensive headphones.

01:16:22   So you're hitting about $600 for this combination.

01:16:26   And you could wrap it around the headband because there's plenty of room because it's not like the ear cups are folding into the area.

01:16:33   So now you've got your beautiful headphones in their leather case with this ugly cable wrapped around the headband.

01:16:38   This cable, by the way, which is not available in all these colors, it's only black or white, so you'll have this non color match cable, even though Apple makes color match cables for every Beats headphone and every Beats headphone comes with them.

01:16:48   But anyway, we'll put all that aside for now.

01:16:52   So assuming you do all this, here's my one question on this, which I don't think we will know until we can get some press reviews or until I can actually have one of these in my hands.

01:17:02   Is there a way to get zero or effectively zero latency audio into these headphones?

01:17:11   I know over Bluetooth this is not possible.

01:17:14   What I want to know is, can somebody plug these headphones in to a computer or an audio device with that cable and have zero or, you know, perceptibly zero latency on that audio?

01:17:31   Because that will affect whether these can be used for video games, for podcast recording, for podcast or video editing, for live monitoring, if you're like on a video shoot somewhere and you want to plug something into your phone real fast, or whatever it is, like your camera.

01:17:48   There are so many use cases, so many applications that many of Apple's customers do where you need zero latency headphone monitoring or listening.

01:18:00   This is the one big thing that when I'm bringing, if I'm on a trip and I want to bring only my AirPods Pro, I can get away with that as long as I don't have to do anything that relates to podcasting, recording a podcast or editing one.

01:18:14   I did edit one on AirPods once. It sucks. It's terrible because of the latency. It's really a hard thing to do. It's very unpleasant. You don't want to do it if you don't have to.

01:18:22   And recording one is nearly impossible. For anyone who's on podcasts, the way it works is you need to hear yourself. What you're speaking into the microphone, you hear it back through your own headphones live.

01:18:39   This is the same way if you are old enough, like us, to have used phones back when they were hard wired landline phones. If you've ever used a landline phone, when you speak into a landline phone, you hear yourself out of the earpiece as well as the other person.

01:18:57   And you hear yourself with zero latency. If there's any delay in hearing yourself, it sounds very strange. It drives you nuts. You can't have any latency.

01:19:09   That's why every podcasting targeted USB microphone has a headphone jack on it also. So you can plug in headphones to your USB microphone and hear yourself back with no latency without your voice having to travel first to the computer and back and be processed by any kind of thing.

01:19:27   No latency. You hear yourself exactly. And if you don't have that, it's very disconcerting and it's harder to podcast well. Similarly, if you're editing a podcast or video, you need that because as you're watching the playhead move forward, it's crossing over audio that you're not hearing for another 50-100 milliseconds afterwards.

01:19:48   And it makes it significantly harder to edit. If you're editing video, same problem. Even worse actually. And for video playback, the system frameworks are made to take audio latency into account.

01:20:04   So if you play a video through an app that uses the system video playback frameworks, the system knows if you're listening to Bluetooth headphones, it knows what audio latency is for most headphones or for Bluetooth in general, and it accounts that.

01:20:18   So it'll do things like delay the video by a couple of frames so it lines up with the headphones so that your audio and video play in sync.

01:20:25   But any app that does not take advantage of that or does not take that into account or can't take that into account, which is almost everything besides video playback, you have latency and audio playback causes problems and makes it either difficult or worse to do a lot of things.

01:20:41   One of the great things about the Sonys and the Boses and almost any other noise cancelling headphone is that you can bring it on a trip and you can have that be the only headphone you have on that trip because if you happen to need to record something or monitor something or edit something or plug it into a Nintendo Switch or anything like that,

01:21:01   you can use the exact same pair of headphones with that cable they come with to just plug it right in and you have zero latency, passive, like totally normal audio, unprocessed normal audio.

01:21:12   With these, with the AirPods Max, I know you're not going to have unprocessed audio, I know you're not going to have passive operation possible with no power, but I don't know whether it's possible to have zero latency input.

01:21:25   And if it is, which I hope it is, that's great because then people can more often bring only or own only these headphones.

01:21:35   This could be someone's only pair of headphones who does all sorts of things if it has a zero latency input.

01:21:41   If it doesn't, then that's one less thing about it that can differentiate it from the AirPods Pro or the regular AirPods, both of which are very convenient, small, portable, the Pro has great noise cancellation and pretty decent sound, but you can't use those things for zero latency applications.

01:22:01   There is no zero latency input on those because there's no input on those.

01:22:04   This has an audio input, I hope it's zero latency. I will tell you as soon as I know, hopefully some of the pressure views will cover this.

01:22:11   That's the one thing I really want to know here, that's my one big question.

01:22:14   The sound, I'm pretty sure these are going to sound pretty good.

01:22:18   Like Apple has a pretty good track record with that in recent years, I think they're going to sound pretty good.

01:22:24   They're talking about all sorts of technical tweaks and tricks and advanced methods they're using to do things like try to measure the ceiling around your ear and every person is different and have adaptive EQ and everything.

01:22:38   That all sounds great. I bet they're going to sound good.

01:22:41   I don't know if they're going to sound amazing, but they might and I bet they're at least going to sound very good.

01:22:47   My question is can I bring only these on a trip? And that's the one big unknown.

01:22:52   You're going to bring these and then the inevitable third party case that will actually have a place for you to put the cable you just bought for $35.

01:22:59   But you have to also bring the Apple case otherwise they'll never turn off.

01:23:03   No, no I think like I said.

01:23:05   Have you ever carried around AirPods without the case?

01:23:07   But like I said, with the sensors on them they'll know when they're not on your head and I assume they'll just go into sleep mode then. Why would they not do that?

01:23:14   AirPods don't do that. They sense whether they're in your ear or not.

01:23:18   Well who's carrying AirPods without the case? You're not going to be doing that for very long.

01:23:21   I have, but the reason I don't is not because of breakage or loss.

01:23:27   AirPods without the case fit very well in that little change pocket.

01:23:30   But the thing is if you walk around with that, they will sometimes mistakenly think they're in your ear and they'll turn on.

01:23:38   That's because their proximity sensors are pressed up against your leg.

01:23:41   But these things have, it's much harder to fool these because they're so much bigger.

01:23:45   It doesn't take much to cover the...

01:23:47   If they're in a bag or something, I bet you have to have that case basically when you're not using them.

01:23:53   I think, what did it say? It doesn't have optical sensors.

01:23:56   It's got to know, there's no way that you're going to get two things pressed up against both of the cups in a way that convinces that it's next to your head.

01:24:05   I don't know. We'll see when we get these things.

01:24:07   It just feels like, I understand why AirPods get confused about whether they're, if you put them in a pocket, especially a tight pocket, they're so small.

01:24:14   Those little pinprick sensors on there that are texting proximity. It's easy to fool them.

01:24:19   It should be much harder to fool these. If that stupid magnetic case is the only way to get them to go to sleep, that's pretty crappy.

01:24:25   But hey, with 20 hours of battery life, then just assume it's a one-day charge.

01:24:29   And charge them all.

01:24:31   A few more tidbits from Jason Snell, he asked about this.

01:24:34   They say they get five minutes of charge, gives you 90 minutes of use, so they charge pretty quickly.

01:24:39   No claims about water resistance.

01:24:41   So maybe don't use these while exercising, but the idea that someone would want to sweat into their $500 headphones is, you know, and then the ear cups look like they're made of...

01:24:48   This category is not, like nobody exercising uses this category of headphones.

01:24:53   Especially it's so heavy, they'd be like bouncing, they'd be bouncing up and down in your head.

01:24:57   And it was like, it's like rucking, you know, you guys know what that is?

01:25:00   No.

01:25:01   No.

01:25:02   No, it's super heavy weights in a backpack and walk around anyway.

01:25:04   Oh yeah.

01:25:05   To give yourself some exercise for your neck muscles.

01:25:08   Replacement cushions, you know, the cushions are magnetically attached, as we said before, which is nice and very Apple.

01:25:15   Replacement cushions are $70, which is typical Apple markup on what regular cushions might cost.

01:25:20   That's actually not bad.

01:25:22   Yeah. If the battery goes bad eventually, $80 battery replacement, which is reasonable.

01:25:27   I mean, that's the other thing people are talking about with these headphones.

01:25:29   They are made of aluminum ear cups and stainless steel tubes, and they look kind of like they don't have a lot of moving parts.

01:25:34   They look like they could be sturdy, and if you buy these, unlike the Apple Watch Edition, it's not like these are going to age out technology-wise very quickly.

01:25:42   Because if they do a good job as headphones and they sound good, and they support a fairly rich feature set, like hell, people buy headphones that don't support spatial audio at all.

01:25:51   How do they get around with those? No dynamic EQ.

01:25:54   And sometimes people buy headphones that don't even have noise cancellation, and yet you can still use those primitive feature headphones, as they call them, for decades.

01:26:02   So what I'm saying is if you buy a pair of these and you like them and they fit you well and they sound good, there's no reason you can't use these for long enough that the battery eventually dies and you have to get it replaced.

01:26:12   So I think if you buy a $550 pair of headphones and three years later the battery is getting a little wonky, you'll shell out $80 to keep using them.

01:26:20   Because technology-wise, unless Apple does something very silly, these should last you a very long time if you happen to like them and if they end up being as sturdy as they look.

01:26:30   And they do work with Find My, by the way. That's from Matt Pansarino. And he also confirmed that they don't work passively, which is a shame.

01:26:38   Yeah, that is something that I probably shouldn't be bummed out about, but it just seems crappy.

01:26:45   Now, with 20 hours of battery life, I can't imagine it would be that often that one would need to run them passively, which is to say the battery is dead, but you plug it into a plane or a computer or a phone or what have you, and you plug it in with a cable.

01:26:59   And the power coming through that cable is enough to power the headphones, but perhaps you wouldn't be able to use noise cancellation or anything like that.

01:27:08   And that is not possible with the AirPods Max. I also tried to say Pro. It's not possible with the AirPods Max. That's kind of crummy.

01:27:16   That's with all things Apple, especially when it comes to their accessories. It seems like this is designed to fit Apple's Apple-y world.

01:27:24   And if you want to do anything else, it's not for you. If you want to have a case that doesn't look ridiculous, it's not for you or buy a third-party case.

01:27:33   If you want to plug it into a plane after the battery is dead, it's not for you. Sorry. No, look elsewhere.

01:27:38   And it's just tough, because in the same way that I don't think it's unreasonable for a HomePod to have a line in, I don't think it's unreasonable for these to have a case that doesn't stink, to fold a little bit better, to be able to work passively.

01:27:58   I'm talking out my keister, because I haven't handled these. I don't know anything about these, etc. But this is Apple's... This is the part of Apple that bothers me.

01:28:10   That they put the guardrails so close to the edge of the road that it makes their products worse, I think.

01:28:20   And I don't think it's unreasonable to expect a little bit more of Apple. But I'm the same jerk that's poo-poo on a product that nobody's ever seen, so who am I to talk? I don't know. We'll see what Marco says in a week.

01:28:32   I think that's a valid criticism of this product approach, though. Many of the products that Apple makes that we all love so much are really incredible generalists. The iPhone, the iPad, the MacBook Air, these are incredibly generalist products.

01:28:52   They hit a huge, broad spectrum of their markets, and there's something for everybody in these product lines, and they do a lot, and there's not a huge amount of sharp downsides to them.

01:29:05   And then Apple makes stuff like the HomePod, or like the AirPods Max, where there's some pretty steep drop-offs to some of the appeal or the capabilities.

01:29:15   And what a lot of people will say is this wonderful phrase, "Well, it's not for you." And there's a place and a time for that phrase.

01:29:26   But it seems like Apple, in so many ways, so often makes products like this where it's not for so many people that it seems obviously targeted to, that you kind of have to wonder, "Who is it for exactly?"

01:29:40   And would it have been possible to make a few compromises here and there that could make it for a hell of a lot more people?

01:29:51   Like, you know, the HomePod, again, I keep going back to the HomePod because there's so many similarities between the apparent market fit between that and this.

01:30:01   You're right. If the HomePod had any kind of input, you could use it as your TV speakers, and that would be amazing.

01:30:08   I feel like they learned from the HomePod, though. I feel like this doesn't make the exact same mistake as the HomePod because it does have audio input.

01:30:15   Right? Like, you can imagine, when I first saw this, I just assumed there would be no way to attach a wire to this other than to charge it.

01:30:21   But it seems like that's not the case. Granted, they didn't go all the way, which is, "Hey, just give us an actual headphone cable," because imagine that, right?

01:30:28   But, you know, it does have input, and for now, I'm assuming that that really is analog input.

01:30:34   And, you know, that's the exact mistake that they made on the HomePod, and they fixed it on this one, and I think that's a big deal.

01:30:41   Same thing with the physical controls. Despite the rumors or whatever they were about touch things, physical controls versus whatever the hell is happening on top of the HomePod, physical controls was the right call here.

01:30:51   You know, they're learning from their mistakes, right? I think most of the design of this product is good.

01:30:57   Now, the one thing that sticks out, and we've talked about over and over, is no passive uses, but if you think about this as a product, like, the whole idea of this product, I know we think of it as, like, "Hey, it's a pair of headphones,"

01:31:07   but the whole idea of the product is the full sort of computational audio feature set.

01:31:13   Not just noise canceling, because, like, well, I never used noise canceling, but all the other stuff, the spatial audio, the dynamic equalization, the sensing your ear, and, like, what, like, that's the whole point of this product.

01:31:24   They didn't just make a set of passive headphones, so to have a sort of limp mode where, okay, well, all the electronics are off because the battery's dead, but we'll just allow the analog audio to feebly, you know, send audio signal to these drivers, and it'll be really low volume, right?

01:31:40   That, I think, is the type of thing I might have made the same call and said, "That's going to be such a bad experience using these passively," like, do we want to have to design the speakers and the drivers and everything to be able to be driven passively, even though we don't expect them to be used in that mode?

01:31:57   And what do we have to compromise about audio quality to make them work well there while also working okay in the mode where they're powered? So I can see an argument for these not working as passive things, and, you know, assuming this is your latency analog audio input, I think they made a reasonable set of compromises for, you know, for people who never want to take these on an airplane.

01:32:21   Like, if you just want to use them in your house and have them as a cool set of headphones that you can, you know, dance around your living room in or just use while you use your computer, like all the places where AirPods are good, but you're not an AirPod person. You're an over-your-headphone person.

01:32:35   Plausible. It's plausible. What I see is I see growth. I see a growth from the HomePod to this. You're very right that the development history of these sounds very similar and that the HomePod was supposedly going to be for the Apple television thing and it didn't quite work out and like, "Oh, now we've got this big product," and it just wasn't priced right.

01:32:51   And this could be doing the exact same thing in the pricing situation, although honestly, you know, as someone who owns multiple $300+ pair of noise-canceling headphones, yes, this is more, but that's like, you know, the usual Apple markup.

01:33:07   And I think it's in the realm of like, I think Bang & Olufsen, speaking of them, I think Bang & Olufsen makes a set of headphones that look eerily similar to this, like, and are probably priced very similar and probably don't have half the computational audio features that these do, right?

01:33:20   So I'm not entirely sure this is as far outside the market because the reason the HomePod was such a dud is it was competing with $100 cylinders from Amazon, right?

01:33:32   This is not competing with $100 headphones. This is not competing, I think Apple thinks this is not even competing with $300 headphones. I think they think they're competing with other $500 headphones.

01:33:41   And this remains to be seen if they really are, if they have the audio quality to stand up to that or whatever, but it's not like they're coming into a market where everybody is like $100, right?

01:33:51   Or even less for the little dots. They're coming into a market, headphones, which goes from super cheap all the way up to ridiculous.

01:33:59   And they're not at the ridiculous end. So I don't think they're going to sell a lot of them at $500.

01:34:04   People buy $500 headphones, but it's not inconceivable that this could land in the market and fit right into the slot where $500 headphones sit and sell a $500 headphone quantity of headphones.

01:34:16   And if Apple's happy with that, then congratulations, you made a $500 headphone. And then three years from now, you can make the AirPods, what?

01:34:23   AirPods Mini? God, I don't know what the hell they would call it. But like the $199 version that's not made of aluminum and doesn't weigh as much and is cheaper.

01:34:32   AirPods Air, obviously.

01:34:34   Oh, god. The AirPods, I mean, they're not pods. I get the Air, they're wireless. I get it. But they're not like pods. They're too little. These are not pods.

01:34:46   So what are they? Discs? The AirDiscs?

01:34:48   AirBeats? I don't know. To be fair, and to clarify my position on these two, the passive operation, I agree, that's very unlikely to happen here.

01:35:00   And not that important. Relative to all of its other potential pitfalls and shortcomings, that's like the least important one.

01:35:06   If it had a five hour battery life, it would be super important. For 20 hours, I feel like you're okay.

01:35:10   Yes. So it makes sense not to have that because, like, if you ever use the passive mode on most recent Bluetooth headphones, you learn how incredibly bad their drivers actually are.

01:35:25   Because, like, something has happened in the camera market, and our phones certainly are significantly benefiting from this, but this even applies to a lot of, like, you know, stand alone cameras now.

01:35:36   Is that, you know, back in the olden days, when cameras shot onto film, everything about their optical path had to be perfect.

01:35:45   Because there was no software processing to fix the flaws. Digital cameras, especially modern, like, you know, low end ones that are maybe very small ones, can rely on software processing.

01:35:58   Not only to make up for, like, you know, the noise that their crappy little sensors produce, but even to correct for optical distortions.

01:36:06   So they don't have to put really great glass in front of the, you know, almost any modern camera, because the software that's built into them can automatically correct for, you know, the known optical flaws of that lens, or of the optical path that that's going through.

01:36:24   And so making something modern and digital with modern software advances, modern computational power, has actually enabled it to use crappier components, or fit in smaller spaces, and correct for those flaws in software, rather than have to have the perfect physical, you know, capture path.

01:36:43   The same thing has happened to headphones. As headphones moved to Bluetooth, they got significantly upmarket, in part helped by Apple, in part helped by Beats, in part helped by, you know, just the world moving in this direction.

01:36:58   They got a lot of budget applied. Portable headphones didn't used to cost $300 as the baseline. That used to be the top of the line, and they can now afford to have lots of electronics in there, as the price of, you know, small computational embedded computers and stuff has plummeted, and the price of headphones has gone way, way, way up.

01:37:20   Newsflash, it doesn't cost $350 to make a pair of headphones like the Sonys and the Bosos. Not even close. These are very, very high profit items. So they can afford to have, you know, certain computational benefits in there.

01:37:34   At the same time, Bluetooth, by definition, unlike a wired headphone, Bluetooth is always able to process the audio with a DSP, you know, with digital processing before it's sent out to the headphones.

01:37:50   And so, any flaws in the headphone drivers, any flaws in their frequency response or distortion characteristics or things like that, they can build in like a stock EQ profile to the headphones that's always on.

01:38:06   And they can correct for some of those flaws, the same way cameras correct for optical distortion now, they can correct for some of those flaws in software constantly. So they're able to ship crappier drivers or drivers in more compromised physical enclosures that wouldn't be able to reproduce sound unassisted that's that well balanced or that good or whatever.

01:38:25   And so they do. And this is why if you play any, like, especially Bose is a severe difference between Bose's on and off modes. If you play a Bose headphone in passive mode, and then you turn on their processing, it sounds radically different.

01:38:41   They both sound like garbage, but the one that's off sounds like even more garbage and you're shocked that they're able to pull anything out of the non garbagey one or the powered one rather. They're both garbagey. So Apple's doing that with these headphones too.

01:38:55   Like they talk all about all their active EQ features and everything and like they're doing that. So these headphones with no processing at all would probably sound about as good as if you ever took an iPhone raw shot and didn't apply noise filtering to it or anything and just like took it raw as it was and like those pictures raw look like garbage.

01:39:18   These headphones raw might sound like garbage. It wouldn't surprise me at all. For Apple to require their processing pipeline at all times makes a lot of sense.

01:39:31   Also, one thing I am super excited about because here's the thing. We've talked a lot about our potential criticisms and pitfalls of this product, but like the HomePod, like I like the HomePod and like these AirPods Max, like I think I'm probably going to like these.

01:39:49   I have some reservations as I've said, but I think I'm probably going to like them and if I like them they could be really incredible because one thing I'm really super excited about is transparency mode. Transparency mode on AirPods Pro has changed the game for headphones in my opinion.

01:40:04   Like it used to be that to get anything like that you would have to use things like our past sponsor AfterShocks, the bone conduction headphones. Like I'd have to use those and the reason I love those so much is because I was able to hear the world around me and hear my podcast as I'm like walking around with my dog or whatever.

01:40:24   And so I could like stop and say hi to people. I could hear cars coming. It's a wonderful thing to be able to hear the world around you selectively. And then as I'm walking past a leaf blower I can turn on noise cancellation and it turns down the leaf blower.

01:40:38   I can take these same headphones that I can wear outside as I'm walking my dog and hear everything. I can take those same headphones on a plane and turn on noise cancellation and be able to hear things at a low volume.

01:40:49   And so it's wonderful to have both of those things in one headphone. To have super good isolation and noise cancelling when you want it. But then to also have amazing transparency.

01:41:01   I don't know if the Bose's offer these. Recent Sony models do offer a pass through mode that is like Apple's transparency mode but it's nowhere near as good. It sounds kind of weird. You definitely know that you're listening to the microphone through your headphones that's being slightly altered on the way to your ears.

01:41:21   Whereas the transparency mode on AirPods Pro you can almost forget that it's there. It's so good. It really is. Transparent is a great word to use for it. Because transparent in audio means you don't notice it.

01:41:35   And that's a great. That's exactly how transparency mode is on AirPods Pro. So on AirPods Max assuming it's as good or better that's going to be a game changer. To have that good of a transparency mode in full size headphones and to also presumably have really good full size noise cancellation when you want it with that one hardware button on top.

01:41:55   That is going to be great on planes if everything else about these is good. And that's why I hope these are good. And if they are good they could be worth $550 to some people.

01:42:12   Again I don't think this is going to be a mass market product. I don't think you're going to see consumer reports and wire cutters saying these are going to be the best noise cancelling headphones for most people because they're just too expensive and most people are going to be totally happy paying slightly more than half the price for one of their competitors that's probably going to be almost as good in most ways.

01:42:33   But if these really are as good as Apple says they are and if all these potential pitfalls are workable and they aren't as bad as we think they could be. This could be an amazing product and I really hope it is. I really really do.

01:42:48   Because the AirPods Pro are so good they've made almost every other headphone irrelevant to me. If this could do that even further for full size headphones and for more people who maybe the AirPods Pro don't fit or whatever. More power to them. I really hope they do it.

01:43:04   45 minutes was so optimistic Marco. Last question on these headphones. Marco and headphones. Oh yeah it'll only be 5 minutes of course. I don't even have them yet. I know just wait until you do. Last question on the headphones. What color did you get? I got blue. Ah good choice.

01:43:20   Honestly I don't frankly love any of the colors that they're offering. Oh the blue looks really good. But Tiff said that she wanted the blue. If she were to get a pair she said she'd want the blue. And so because I think these are a risk. I think these are a high risk. I think there's a high risk that either I will return them because they won't be at all what I want or maybe I won't like them but Tiff will. So I yielded to her preferences on this one.

01:43:46   I think there's got to be only one color choice which is the white which you would think that can't be the right color choice for any headphone but in the AirPod family as we know you can get it any color you want as long as they're white and that is the choice that I think most people should make.

01:44:02   So like I said if I got a pair of these I would say alright white but the AirPods are very small and are shiny glossy plastic that tends not to accumulate smudges but this sort of matte looking headband might get dirty so then I start looking at the black one but then black is super boring.

01:44:22   I have fatigue at the muted anodized color thing. Someone on Twitter pointed out that the headband colors match the iPhone 12 colors and the ear cup colors match the iPhone 12 Pro colors.

01:44:38   The iPad Air.

01:44:39   Oh yeah iPad Air colors. There you go. Someone will have to hold them up and see is this literally the same green as the iPad Air or is it just similar to our eyes in these product shots.

01:44:48   Anyway, I'm pretty sure you can anodize aluminum to not be so muted but Apple is in this muted phase and I feel like all the muted ones like the blue yeah I guess it's blue but it's like a midnight blue headband and it just kind of faded iPad Air blue for the ear cups and they're just not doing it for me so I like the black and I like the white.

01:45:09   I really hope most people do buy the white because then it's like the white AirPods you like you see someone with a bright white set of giant over your headphones like oh this must be the Apple ones.

01:45:19   And speaking of Apple, it's kind of, let's not say it's amazing. It's notable to me that these gigantic ear cups that do not have a touch pad on them also do not have an Apple logo anywhere on them.

01:45:32   And you would think Apple doesn't do that. They don't put logos on their products. Look at the back of your phone. Look at the back of your laptop. They're not above putting a big Apple logo dead center on a big flat surface.

01:45:40   They have two flat surfaces on here and they didn't put a single thing on them. Even the engraving which by the way is super cool and you can use emoji. Even the engraving is on the edge and not on the sides of the thing. It's on where the little stalk goes into the thing.

01:45:55   I never thought about that. You're right. There's no Apple logo on them. I wonder do you think it's because they have to put one on each cup and there's nothing with two Apple logos on it?

01:46:04   Yeah, I don't know if there's no Apple logos on this. I mean you can get it at an exam but there's probably some Apple logo on it somewhere.

01:46:09   The other thing I was bringing up on Twitter of like how do you tell which is the right or the left. Now the obvious answer is once you own these things you figure out that whatever the right or the left one is the one that has a digital crown on it.

01:46:21   It's a thing that you can physically feel. Again, yay for physical buttons. You can see it with your eyes. It's very clear once you know which side that little thing is on. It's always on that side.

01:46:29   But they do put a big R and L inside the ear cups which is something that I hadn't seen before but apparently every headphone manufacturer under the sun does.

01:46:36   They do it by stitching slightly differently like making the stitching thicker on the little mesh that is inside the ear cup.

01:46:43   So you have to look inside the ear cups for a gigantic R or L but I'm amazed at how many headphones get this wrong. I posted pictures of my Sony gaming headphones and even the Beyerdynamic DT 770s.

01:46:56   They like to do embossed R and L on plastic and it's hard to see that especially in dim lighting. The Beyerdynamics have braille so if you know braille or you just learn what series of bumps mean R and L at least you can feel it without having to look with your eyes.

01:47:09   But in general if there's a wire and you learn that the wire comes out of the left side.

01:47:14   Oh my god. I've held so many Beyerdynamic headphones I never realized that those bumps were braille. Of course.

01:47:21   What did you think they were?

01:47:23   I don't know. I wasn't paying that much attention but I know exactly the bumps you're talking about. I have a pair right over there.

01:47:27   Where are these? Hold on. Where are these?

01:47:29   It's where the yoke connects to the headband.

01:47:33   Oh yeah yeah yeah. Oh yeah. It's very snazzy.

01:47:37   But with wired headphones though you just learn which side the wire comes out of and hope you don't have one of those terrible headphones while the wire comes out of both sides. You just learn which side the wire comes out.

01:47:44   Like there's usually a physical way for you to tell which is which but Apple also did the thing where if you look inside the ear cups they stitched the mesh differently.

01:47:52   It makes me think like, you know, boy do you really care about audio quality Apple if you're making different thicknesses of stitching in an R and an L pattern that makes the left and the right ear cups sound different.

01:48:02   You'll have to account for that in software.

01:48:04   It doesn't make that big of a difference.

01:48:07   I know.

01:48:08   Ear pads make a big difference because of like the rim part. The actual part that covers the driver, the little thin piece of cloth makes almost no difference at all.

01:48:15   But anyway these are very sort of minimalist and featureless. Like the ear cups are big expanses of a very smooth matte aluminum and there's nothing on them.

01:48:24   No Apple logo, no markings of any kind, no R, no L. Like I said if you can get them engraved would you totally should because it looks cool. That's on the top edge.

01:48:34   You can't see it when looking from the side. So I can't wait to see somebody in real life with these. The first time that happens might be the next time I see Marco.

01:48:40   If they really sell in the volumes we're thinking they're going to sell in bubble Z.

01:48:44   I can't believe it did the entire show. Of course I can actually believe it.

01:48:47   Who are you kidding? Of course you can.

01:48:49   Thanks to our sponsors this week. The Apple Pro Max.

01:48:54   You don't even know what they're called. You already bought these things and you don't even know what they're called.

01:48:59   Yeah, the Airheads Max. Thanks to our sponsors this week. Squarespace, ExpressVPN and FlatFile.

01:49:05   And thank you to our members who support us directly. You can do that for substantially less than $550 at atb.fm/join.

01:49:15   And we will talk to you next week probably about something else.

01:49:18   Maybe. I don't know. I don't know. It's $50.50. Maybe. It's $550 is what it is. Hey-o!

01:49:23   Oh!

01:49:24   Now the show is over. They didn't even mean to begin.

01:49:31   'Cause it was accidental. Oh, it was accidental.

01:49:36   John didn't do any research. Marco and Casey wouldn't let him.

01:49:41   'Cause it was accidental. Oh, it was accidental.

01:49:47   And you can find the show notes at atp.fm.

01:49:52   And if you're into Twitter, you can follow them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S.

01:50:01   So that's Casey List M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M.

01:50:06   And T. Marco Arment S-I-R-A-C.

01:50:11   U-S-A, Syracuse. It's accidental. It's accidental.

01:50:16   They didn't mean to. Accidental. Accidental. Tech podcast so long.

01:50:26   I finally made an appointment at the Genius Bar.

01:50:30   Oh, god, for what? To get your dust bunnies removed.

01:50:33   To bring in my iMac. Fix that thermal paste.

01:50:37   I don't know what they're gonna do. I mean, it's always hard when you bring in...

01:50:42   When you have to tell them, as a nerd, like, "Look, I'm pretty sure that I have thermal issues that are physical in nature."

01:50:49   And they're just nodding, "Mm-hmm, sure, okay, dude."

01:50:51   And they're like, "Did you try reinstalling the entire OS?"

01:50:54   Like, "I'm not gonna... Come on."

01:50:56   'Cause that's what they're gonna do. They're gonna be like, "Did you restore your phone?"

01:50:59   They're gonna be doing...

01:51:01   My experience is, if you go in there and just rattle off a bunch of crap that convinces them that you know what you're talking about,

01:51:09   they don't make you do all that stuff.

01:51:11   I hope not.

01:51:12   Over the phone they will, 'cause they have a script.

01:51:14   But in person they'll look in your eyes and be like, "Okay, fine."

01:51:17   I don't know.

01:51:18   'Cause the thing is, imagine, from their point of view, you know, if somebody comes in and says, "My fans are running all the time,"

01:51:24   you know, it's probably some kind of weird software thing, because there's all sorts of things on Mac OS that consume 100% CPU as background processes all the time.

01:51:31   But they don't have to have that discussion with you, because if you frame it...

01:51:34   Here's how I think you should frame it.

01:51:35   You should frame it as, "I think this is a hardware problem and here's why."

01:51:38   And they could be like, "Okay, well, now that you've framed it that way, I'm not gonna run any of your software.

01:51:41   I'm gonna boot it from one of my things.

01:51:43   I'm just gonna ignore anything that you have.

01:51:45   I'm not gonna run any of your software.

01:51:46   I'm not gonna run your OS.

01:51:47   I'm just, you know, whatever."

01:51:49   Like, whatever diagnostic tool they have to boot this thing up in a place where it's like, "Total safe boot.

01:51:53   Ignore everything that's on the drive.

01:51:55   Ignore this person's crap.

01:51:56   And just, let's see, hardware-wise, like, run our hardware tests and let's see what the cooling capacity is."

01:52:01   Like, if you frame it that way, then if they ignore the software issues, you know, that's what you asked for.

01:52:08   And I don't think you'll have to do the whole dance of like, "Let's reinstall.

01:52:12   Let's reset your PRAM.

01:52:13   Let's do all this," or whatever.

01:52:14   And then the second thing is, the reason they roll their eyes is because, of course, customers come in and they think they know what the problem is, but do they really know?

01:52:20   Maybe it is a software thing, because you've only booted from your OS.

01:52:23   So maybe your fans are running constantly because you have some, you know, some things messed up in your SMC and you actually do need to do a PRAM reset.

01:52:30   So don't just assume you know what the problem is.

01:52:32   But I would assume you know what the problem is, and I would say, "Please just replace my thermal compound."

01:52:36   Yeah, and clear out everywhere the dust could possibly be in the cooling solution, please clean it out.

01:52:41   Yeah, remove all the spider eggs.

01:52:43   Yeah.

01:52:44   Then they're going to hand you a sandbox and say, "Well, we built this from the sand that was within your iMac Pro."

01:52:49   So what you're saying is, "You want me to open this up and blow the dust out of it?"

01:52:53   That's all? That's all? If you're so smart, why can't you do it?

01:52:57   Yeah, the thermal compound is sus. The thermal compound is sus, as they say.

01:53:02   Oh, God. I've seen that word so often.

01:53:05   I was so close with the, I had like a whole iFixit shopping cart ready to check out with like, all the, you know, different, like the little pizza cutter thing that you have to like cut the screen adhesive with, and the new adhesive kit, and a tube of arctic silver.

01:53:22   And I was all ready to go, but I'm like, I just, I can't. This iMac service wedge, you could prop the screen up at the right angle.

01:53:29   But I was just like, I was reading the guide and I'm like, "Okay, you know, you have to separate the screen out."

01:53:33   First of all, you have to cut the adhesive around the whole screen with this pizza cutter thing.

01:53:37   Then you have to like slowly, gradually pull the screen up, but don't rip the cable, and you better unlatch the cable in this exact right way.

01:53:44   I'm just like, "Oh, my God, I'm going to break something, and I'm going to feel like such an idiot."

01:53:48   And then what finally did it was, I looked up, my AppleCare coverage expires the day after Christmas.

01:53:56   Oh, no.

01:53:57   You love doing this. You did it with image retention, now you're doing it again with your dust bunnies.

01:54:01   I did exactly. So I'm like, AppleCare expires in a couple of weeks, I got to get this done.

01:54:08   This is your relationship with iMacs. So you buy iMacs, you buy these all-in-one computers, they eventually manifest problems that you ignore for as long as possible,

01:54:16   and then in a panic right before your warranty is going to run out, you say, "Here, Apple, fix it."

01:54:19   Please, please, quickly.

01:54:20   Would you do anything different? I mean, being without your desktop sucks.

01:54:24   It's a big pain in the butt to get it there, to mail it in or bring it somewhere.

01:54:29   It's a big pain in the butt because they're huge and heavy and fragile.

01:54:33   And so it's like, yeah, I have such a love-hate relationship with the iMac as a family because I love iMacs for about two and a half years, and then when something goes a little wrong, it's such a massive pain to have it addressed in any way.

01:54:54   Apple's changing the way they lease their iMacs.

01:54:57   A new experience to lease their iMacs.

01:54:59   That's what you want. You want to lease. You want to own it for the good years, and then when it has any problems, you want to give it back.

01:55:04   Well, no, but the problem with leasing is that you don't control when you give it back.

01:55:11   So imagine if my lease expired right now on my iMac. Right now is a terrible time to need to buy a new iMac.

01:55:18   The Volvo leasing thing, the Volvo rent-your-Volvo thing, I think you get to pick when you send it back.

01:55:24   There's lots of leasing possibilities. It's not the same as leasing. What is the Volvo thing called? Subscriptions? What the hell is that?

01:55:28   Yes. Oh, crap. I can't remember their branded thing, but yeah, it's a subscription.

01:55:33   You basically use a car, and when you don't want to use a car and you want to use a different one, you bring the car back and you say, "Give me a different one."

01:55:38   And it's more expensive, but you always are driving a new car that you like. That's what you need but for iMacs.

01:55:44   Yes, and even just the process, I'm going to have to clone it, be ready for them to restore it because I know they're going to restore it.

01:55:53   So be ready for them to restore it and then have to get it back, have to restore it from my clone, reset up all my crap.

01:56:00   It's such a pain. This is why I don't do this more often than necessary.

01:56:05   And this is, again, because of where I'm living this year, this is much more logistically expensive and complicated than it normally would be.

01:56:18   Well, you brought that on yourself, sir.

01:56:20   Agreed. Agreed.

01:56:21   Congratulations. You played yourself.

01:56:22   Look on the bright side. You could drop it walking down the street and shatter the thing and then problem solved.

01:56:27   Yeah, problem solved. I said, "What the hell would I do then?"

01:56:30   You've got 500 computers in that house. Be quiet.

01:56:32   Yeah, I have one desktop. That's the problem.

01:56:36   But you've got the LG 5K, you hook it up to your Superfest M1 and MacBook Air.

01:56:41   Well, and that's what I'm going to do in the meantime because I assume they're going to need to keep my computer for like a week or something. So in the meantime, I'm going to bring the 5K back.

01:56:52   They're going to know in an hour and a half whether you need a thermal compound replaced and then be done with it.

01:56:57   Maybe it'll sit there for a while waiting for a tech to go look at it, but I don't think your problem is going to.

01:57:01   Right. They might not know in an hour and a half because the only appointment they had was on a Saturday at 7 p.m.

01:57:08   Well, I mean, you're not going to get it back that day, but I'm going to say like they'll bring it in the back, they'll sit it there.

01:57:14   When it comes up in the queue, someone will sit with it for a couple of hours.

01:57:17   And with all these things, they're like, "Oh, we let it sit for a while. We let it run. We looked at the temperatures or whatever."

01:57:23   But hopefully, what you're hoping for and hopefully this is what made you go in, it's like, "Look, I can reproduce this for them now."

01:57:29   Right. I can just bring this in and just plop it down and say, "Here, look."

01:57:32   I hope so.

01:57:33   See how high the RPM is, see how there's no activity on the CPU. This seems abnormal to me. And hopefully they'll agree with you.

01:57:41   I hope so.

01:57:42   In a noisy Apple store, they might be like, "What are you complaining about? It seems fine."

01:57:45   I was just thinking the same thing. I was just thinking the same thing.

01:57:47   Yeah, I know as soon as I get it there. It's like when you bring your car to a mechanic, it's making this noise and he can't cause it to make the noise.

01:57:53   There's a high risk of that happening.

01:57:55   Because you will have dislodged the spider eggs when you carry it there.

01:57:59   Well, and frankly, if that fixes the problem, it's like alternative medicine. If that actually fixes the problem…

01:58:05   That's what I said. I said last show. Just take it for a walk.

01:58:07   Yeah. My problem solved then. I only need this computer to last until the next iMac comes out.

01:58:14   Whenever the ARM iMac comes out, I'm buying it. Possibly.

01:58:19   What's driving me nuts with this is I don't know what the future roadmap holds and what my future needs are, but every time I have a problem with my desktop, so roughly every three years or so, I always think at that point, "Maybe I should just go laptop and monitor only again."

01:58:40   No, you don't think that.

01:58:41   And every time I actually do that, I hate it. And I go running back to the desktop.

01:58:45   So stop thinking about it.

01:58:47   But the things that make that bad are diminishing over time.

01:58:54   Like, the laptops right now, the laptop I have at least, has no fan. So fan noise cannot happen if I plug my current laptop into a monitor.

01:59:06   RAM limits, SSD limits.

01:59:09   Agreed, agreed.

01:59:10   But here's your purchase plan. Get the next iMac when it comes out, and then get the next Mac Pro when it comes out. Done. We don't have to keep having this discussion.

01:59:18   Wait, why don't you get the MacBook Pro?

01:59:20   No. Get the next iMac when it comes out.

01:59:23   Which presumably will lead the Mac Pro by like a year or two.

01:59:26   And then a year and a half later, when you're still happy with your iMac, or maybe when it's doing the first thing that annoys you, get rid of it and get a Mac Pro.

01:59:35   Somebody mark this down, because that is exactly what's going to happen. Unless Marco just ragequits everything and buys an Intel Mac Pro tomorrow.

01:59:45   But it's a good plan, because he gets the cool new ARM iMac, which is probably going to be amazing, right? And he'll love it.

01:59:52   And when the honeymoon just starts to end, they'll release the Mac Pro, and whatever thing is annoying him about the iMac, he can ditch it and get a modular, quiet, half-sized, super-fast,

02:00:04   extreme-capacity desktop. And then he'll just use that forever, because Mac Pros last forever.

02:00:11   Because I use all my computers forever.

02:00:13   Yeah. Forever in Marco years.

02:00:15   Yeah. Four years.

02:00:16   So what? Three months?

02:00:18   No, three or four years.

02:00:19   For a desktop, yeah. Four years, five years, something like that.

02:00:21   But then you'll be able to keep the display and swap out the computer, like I'm going to do when the ARM Mac Pro comes out, maybe.

02:00:27   Yeah, hopefully. I mean, that's one thing. We don't know how the XDR ages yet, John.

02:00:34   So far, so good.

02:00:36   Yeah. And that's the thing. In reality, I would love, like if they would just offer the 5K panel as a standalone display, which they still won't do, what is this, six years into the 5K panel era?

02:00:49   5K is old and busted. 6K or nothing.

02:00:52   But I would love to be in a position where I would just have a separate monitor and a monitor-less desktop.

02:01:01   And if one of them needed service, I would love to be in that situation.

02:01:06   Right now, the current Mac Pro XDR situation is not something that I'm super interested in.

02:01:11   And that's why I'm going to bring back my 5K and just plug in my laptop as at least a temporary solution while my iMac is being serviced.

02:01:18   But I think it's actually a non-trivial chance that I might end up liking that a lot.

02:01:23   And I might just stick with that for a while until the next time it comes out.

02:01:26   And I might do like what Underscore has done.

02:01:29   Underscore's iMac Pro is like turned off in the corner of his office sitting on the floor.

02:01:34   And he's using his MacBook Pro full-time because that's so fast.

02:01:38   I might, like that might be my actual situation here.

02:01:43   Like when I get this back from service, I might not want it anymore.

02:01:47   You know, it's funny you say that because until you brought up the soon expiration or the pending expiration of your AppleCare+,

02:01:54   I really thought that what you were implicitly saying here was that the MacBook Air was so good that you can stand to be without the iMac Pro for a week or two.

02:02:06   And it wouldn't be a big deal.

02:02:08   Now I see it's also about time, but I think you're onto something.

02:02:11   I think you're right that even though I know how much you hate the LG 5K, which admittedly I've never lived with one,

02:02:17   but my dad has one and I've seen it from time to time and it seems fine to me, but you know, whatever.

02:02:21   No, it is. It has the perfect name. It's called the UltraFine.

02:02:25   And that is the perfect name for it. It's fine. It's ultra fine.

02:02:30   Like it's not there. It's nothing about it is great, but nothing about it is awful. It's fine. It's ultra fine.

02:02:37   It is ultra, ultra fine.

02:02:39   Well, anyway, so I would not be surprised if you end up liking that setup so much.

02:02:45   Like, and you'll still have problems with it, but I, you know, ultimately, once you were compelled and forced to live with the MacBook Air in 5K setup,

02:02:56   I wonder if you'll find the things that offend you about that to be less offensive than Apple saying to you,

02:03:04   "Well, you know, we looked at it and we jiggled some crap around and hope for the best." Okay?

02:03:11   You know, like I wonder if you'll end up preferring that for any number of different reasons.

02:03:16   So I think you're right. I think your iMac Pros days are numbered.

02:03:20   In fact, I think if you're still using it by January 1st, if you're still using it full time by January 1st, I'll be slightly surprised.

02:03:26   Now, in your defense, I am still flabbergasted that you have not bought a Mac Pro.

02:03:33   Now, today, in the last couple of weeks since these new Macs came out, it makes a lot less sense.

02:03:38   But I am really stunned that Mark Alarmant, of all people, has said no to spending a pile of money on something frivolous.

02:03:45   So I have to commend you that you have impressed me and proved me wrong.

02:03:49   So who knows what will happen. But I still, if I'm a betting man, I say you're going to be using that MacBook Air a lot more than you thought.

02:03:55   In fact, I would almost go so far as to say you might buy yourself a MacBook Pro because of reasons.

02:04:02   I don't even know. Something about the MacBook Air isn't fast enough, so you need the Pro.

02:04:06   Sometimes Marko trips in his house and buys a laptop.

02:04:09   Yeah, falls on his phone in an awkward way.

02:04:12   That's a matter of fact. I haven't ruled that out.

02:04:15   This is one of the reasons why I don't want to buy the Pro Display XDR right now to solve my problem right now.

02:04:20   Because I don't necessarily want to spend a huge amount of money with any kind of assumptions about what my setup will be in the next few years.

02:04:28   Because I think there's going to be a lot of possibilities and a lot of potential changes.

02:04:32   Because everything is in flux with this transition, it radically can change the landscape of what's worth it, what do I need, what do I not need.

02:04:41   The things the Mac Pro offers are mostly things I don't need.

02:04:46   I don't need expansion slots for anything.

02:04:49   I don't need that many CPU cores. I have 10 in my Pro and that's great.

02:04:55   When I bought the iMac Pro I didn't get the 18 core model, I got the 10 core model.

02:05:00   Because I didn't need the Macs. I don't need pretty much any GPU power.

02:05:05   And that's, again, one of the Mac Pro's main focuses is massive potential for GPU power.

02:05:11   I don't need that at all. I don't use GPUs for anything.

02:05:14   I need GPUs to display images.

02:05:16   That's about it. Animate my windows moving around. Very little.

02:05:20   So I don't really need anything super there. I don't need huge amounts of RAM.

02:05:27   I have 64 in this and that's a lot.

02:05:30   But you can now, can you get that now in the 16 inch?

02:05:34   I thought so but I don't know for sure.

02:05:36   What I do buy is a big SSD. In this I have the 4 terabyte because that was the biggest that was offered at the time.

02:05:41   Now they offer 8 in some of the things and I would love to have that.

02:05:45   Ultimately I think I would be totally fine to do all of my work on a 16 inch.

02:05:52   That would be fine if I had a big monitor and everything.

02:05:56   But there are parts of that setup I don't like as much.

02:05:58   I do like having a laptop that doesn't have my entire software and document and file bloat from my desktop.

02:06:07   I like that that's kind of like a clean thing.

02:06:10   It's almost like having two cars in a good way.

02:06:15   If you have a giant conversion van full of all your crap and then you have a Miata.

02:06:22   You don't want all your crap in the Miata.

02:06:26   You want that to be clean and lightweight. It's different.

02:06:30   I like having a laptop that is a different software setup and there's lots of advantages to it.

02:06:36   There's disadvantages certainly. It is a pain in the butt to have stuff synced in a lot of ways.

02:06:42   It is a pain in the butt to have to set up all the software twice.

02:06:45   It's also nice though if one of them is in use or if one of them breaks.

02:06:50   You have another one.

02:06:52   So there is some benefit to having a desktop and a laptop.

02:06:56   I don't know. But the point is because the entire Mac lineup is getting turned on its head right now.

02:07:04   In all good ways. But it's being totally shuffled up.

02:07:09   Right now the best computer I own is a MacBook Air.

02:07:14   That blows my mind.

02:07:16   I would have never guessed a year ago that that would be the situation I'd be in right now.

02:07:23   And things that are super important to me are things like fan noise.

02:07:27   Well you know what? Maybe. I mean honestly probably none of the M whatever based Macs are going to have bad fan noise at this point.

02:07:35   But if they do, I have a great model here that's fanless. That's wonderful.

02:07:41   Maybe my solution can be instead of buying a super high spec desktop every three years.

02:07:49   Maybe I buy a medium spec laptop every two years and have that be it.

02:07:56   I don't know yet. It's way too early to sell.

02:07:59   Until we see the rest of the Mac transition to the ARM chips and see what those products look like and what they're good at.

02:08:05   What needs they serve and what they're bad at.

02:08:08   I don't want to commit to anything.

02:08:10   My mind is open to all possibilities here.

02:08:14   And that's why I don't want to buy another LG 5K.

02:08:18   And I don't want to buy an XDR.

02:08:20   I don't want to invest really heavily or make any assumptions in any particular plan for what I'm going to buy next or what I'm going to use over the next few years.

02:08:31   Because I think it might change.

02:08:34   And I want to leave my options open.

02:08:36   And that's why I can assume I will probably want the next iMac.

02:08:41   But until it shows up, we don't know. We don't know what it's going to be.

02:08:45   Whatever it is, I might not want it or I might not need it.

02:08:51   And maybe whatever the next Mac Pro is, maybe the next Mac Pro is something that I end up not wanting or needing.

02:08:59   Maybe my next computer is a Mac Mini. I don't know.

02:09:03   Until we see how this lineup plays out, I want as few assumptions and massive upfront investments as possible.

02:09:14   That makes sense.

02:09:15   It is an odd time to want to buy a new Mac.

02:09:19   Unless you want one of the two that has been released, then it's one of the worst times to buy a new Mac.

02:09:26   I would argue it's almost worse than butterfly time.

02:09:30   Because in this case, you really don't know what you're getting.

02:09:35   Whereas with the butterfly keyboards, we all thought eventually one day maybe they would backpedal.

02:09:41   And they eventually did.

02:09:42   But up until that time, you were getting a really great computer with the exception of the keyboard.

02:09:47   So why not just go ahead and do it?

02:09:49   Whereas now, you don't know what you're saying no to.

02:09:51   You don't know what you don't know, John.

02:09:53   Or no, you don't know what you know? Ah, God, I'm failing.

02:09:56   Is this like the known unknowns thing?

02:10:00   Yeah, yeah, exactly.

02:10:01   Donald Rumsfeld?

02:10:02   Yeah. Anyway.

02:10:04   I got that reference, John.

02:10:05   Haven't seen any movies.

02:10:07   A reference from real life. Good job.

02:10:09   We just want you to be proud of us, Dad.

02:10:12   [LAUGHTER]