259: I Hired Myself


00:00:00   The funny thing is, if I cut your Amazon story,

00:00:01   we can always refer back to it as,

00:00:03   remember Casey's Amazon story?

00:00:04   And nobody will, it'll be like this enigma

00:00:07   no one's ever heard, 'cause we won't tell them

00:00:09   Casey's Amazon story.

00:00:10   - Like Casey's not gonna bring it up again

00:00:12   the next time he brings something to the lockers.

00:00:14   - Next time you return a $15 dongle.

00:00:16   - Exactly.

00:00:18   - Spending like two hours of your life

00:00:19   to return this $15 thing.

00:00:21   - It was not two hours, you bastard,

00:00:23   but yes, I understand your point.

00:00:24   - It was two hours of our lives.

00:00:26   - That's true, that is accurate.

00:00:28   (phone ringing)

00:00:30   - Oh no, now everything's changed,

00:00:32   so now it's gonna be all screwed up, I blame you.

00:00:34   - Duh.

00:00:35   (laughing)

00:00:36   - What's your middle name, Charles?

00:00:37   Chester?

00:00:38   Casey? - No, Craig.

00:00:39   - Mm-hmm.

00:00:40   - No, really, what is it?

00:00:41   - John Craig.

00:00:42   Come on, Mark, we got it.

00:00:44   Yes.

00:00:45   - I didn't know, I couldn't tell if you were trolling me,

00:00:46   and that was a Federiki joke.

00:00:47   - I know how to pronounce it,

00:00:48   I know what the middle name is.

00:00:50   Boom, I'm the better friend.

00:00:51   (laughing)

00:00:52   - Just like that, just like that.

00:00:55   Well, now that we've got that sorted.

00:00:58   So anyway, John Craig's there, Q, so you need to grow up and get a proper microphone like

00:01:02   an adult.

00:01:03   I don't even know, man, levels are all weird.

00:01:05   It's madness over here.

00:01:08   I'm really loud in my own ears.

00:01:10   Who knows what you're going to get here?

00:01:11   The only thing you need to know is A, are you recording, and B, are you clipping?

00:01:14   Those are the only concerns I have.

00:01:16   I know, I can't tell if I'm clipping.

00:01:17   I got the little meter thingies and they never reach the top.

00:01:20   Does that mean I'm not clipping?

00:01:21   Yes, good.

00:01:22   But can I make them reach the top?

00:01:25   Test, test!

00:01:26   Do they turn red?

00:01:28   If it clips, so are you talking about the meters that are in Audio Hijack?

00:01:32   Peak slash RMS, it's the box right next to the input and the little white bars are hanging

00:01:38   at the, I mean can I get them to go up to, I don't know.

00:01:40   Hello?

00:01:41   I can't get them to touch the top.

00:01:43   Good.

00:01:44   They don't turn red, they stay orange the whole time.

00:01:50   Then you're not clipping.

00:01:51   But those claps, those claps should have pushed it up.

00:01:54   Does that do?

00:01:55   That was me that time, that was me that time.

00:01:57   - And I saw a little red on my physical hardware.

00:01:59   - You have a limiter.

00:01:59   (clapping)

00:02:00   - Right.

00:02:01   - They do not turn red.

00:02:02   - Good.

00:02:03   - This is the best episode ever.

00:02:04   - No, I'm clapping by the microphone, they don't turn red.

00:02:06   - We'll just have to keep you nice and calm

00:02:08   so your voice doesn't get raised.

00:02:10   - Oh man, we'll see.

00:02:11   See how that goes.

00:02:12   - Yeah.

00:02:13   - Hey, fuck the Mac Pro.

00:02:14   (laughing)

00:02:16   - Man, you know what, I love maximizing all my windows.

00:02:18   (laughing)

00:02:20   - Spaces is the one true way.

00:02:21   Actually, I really do think that's true, but.

00:02:24   Wait, Jon, are you a VI or a Emacs guy?

00:02:26   I don't even remember.

00:02:27   - But Marco knows.

00:02:28   - Hmm, you know what?

00:02:29   - Oh no, he's being tested.

00:02:31   That's my middle name, doesn't know if I'm--

00:02:32   - No, yes, and that way, I'm gonna try to guess.

00:02:35   - I'm very disappointed.

00:02:36   - I'm gonna guess because Jon is old and picky,

00:02:40   I'm gonna guess Emacs.

00:02:42   (laughing)

00:02:43   - Why does that connect with old and picky?

00:02:45   - Is that right?

00:02:46   - I'm interested in your reasoning.

00:02:48   Why is old and picky equal Emacs?

00:02:50   - I mean, it's just usually.

00:02:51   - Like, is Emacs older than VI?

00:02:53   I don't think it is.

00:02:54   - Probably not, but I think its demographic is.

00:02:58   So, was I right?

00:03:01   - I'm Emacs.

00:03:02   - Yes!

00:03:03   - I've talked about it in a million podcasts

00:03:04   that you've all heard.

00:03:05   - Yes!

00:03:06   - That you just don't remember.

00:03:07   Never wavering.

00:03:10   - I actually agree with you.

00:03:11   I think it's Emacs all the way,

00:03:12   but I am surprised that a man of your pickiness

00:03:15   thinks that VI is not better.

00:03:18   - You guys are nuts.

00:03:19   - I think anyone who enjoys VI is a true-to-form animal.

00:03:23   Like, what kind of monster would enjoy using VI?

00:03:25   - I wouldn't say I enjoy it.

00:03:27   I would say I hate it less than I hate Emacs.

00:03:31   - Anyway, we should move on.

00:03:33   Who ordered a HomePod?

00:03:34   Because I believe all of us were pretty tepid about it,

00:03:38   weren't we?

00:03:39   So did either of you guys order a HomePod?

00:03:41   I will tell you that I did not.

00:03:44   - I mean, we know Jon probably didn't, right?

00:03:46   - No, Jon hates spending money, so of course he didn't.

00:03:48   - I did not, I didn't even think about ordering a HomePod.

00:03:50   - Well, we have now made show history.

00:03:53   None of the three of us ordered the brand new Apple product.

00:03:56   - Wow, we're terrible at this.

00:03:58   I'm really disappointed in us.

00:04:00   - Like, you know, I covered most of it last week,

00:04:02   but like, as the pre-order period passed and went,

00:04:05   and as some people are having those hour-long sample tests

00:04:09   with them and PR and everything,

00:04:11   it sounds like, okay, they focused on their strengths,

00:04:16   they focused on the audio engineering side,

00:04:19   Their weaknesses are things like the home assistant area

00:04:23   and the low-cost area.

00:04:25   They didn't focus on their weak sides,

00:04:27   which is probably smart,

00:04:28   but they ended up making a product

00:04:30   that I don't think I have not only a need for,

00:04:33   but I don't even think I have a place in my house

00:04:36   where it could go that would make sense.

00:04:38   It can't go in my living room

00:04:40   because only the TV speakers serve that,

00:04:43   and it can't be my TV speakers,

00:04:44   and I also don't want it to be my TV speakers.

00:04:45   I have nice TV speakers already.

00:04:47   It can't go in the kitchen because the assistant part of it

00:04:52   is not good enough.

00:04:53   Frankly, it's just not good enough.

00:04:54   The things we do most often,

00:04:56   things like timers on the Amazon Echo,

00:05:00   you know, the Amazon Echo has really good timers now.

00:05:02   You can name them, you can have multiple timers

00:05:04   running at once, so you can say,

00:05:06   hey Amazon thing, set an oven timer for 14 minutes.

00:05:10   Hey Amazon thing, set or rotate the thing

00:05:11   in the oven timer for seven minutes.

00:05:13   Like you can stack them up like that,

00:05:15   and you can have like, when you're cooking,

00:05:17   when you have multiple things going, it's a lifesaver.

00:05:19   And then it beeps and tells you,

00:05:21   your rotate oven timer is done.

00:05:23   It's so convenient and pretty advanced these days.

00:05:27   The Siri functionality on the HomePod,

00:05:30   if it's anything like other Siri functionality,

00:05:32   it's not gonna be good at that kind of stuff.

00:05:34   It might be able to do a little bit of it,

00:05:35   and I think we know that it can do one timer.

00:05:37   I mean, 'cause the iPhone can't even do multiple timers

00:05:40   or named timers.

00:05:41   Like, Siri on the phone can't even do that,

00:05:43   so I don't expect Siri on the HomePod

00:05:46   to be that much better in that regard.

00:05:48   So it seemed like this is really just focused on music.

00:05:52   But it's music only with these restrictions

00:05:55   and only for certain environments.

00:05:58   And there's nowhere in my house that I listen to music

00:06:02   that either doesn't require the more advanced

00:06:05   home assistant functionality of the Echo in the kitchen,

00:06:09   or doesn't have requirements the HomePod can't satisfy

00:06:11   like in my living room.

00:06:13   We don't listen to music in the bedrooms upstairs.

00:06:15   In my office, I listen to music mostly on headphones,

00:06:19   and when I do use my speakers,

00:06:21   it's because I need to play music from my computer,

00:06:25   which the HomePod can't do.

00:06:26   Even if I had one, I don't even know

00:06:28   where I would put it in my house.

00:06:30   So yeah, I just, I passed.

00:06:31   And it feels really weird for a major Apple product launch

00:06:36   to go by that I'm not buying,

00:06:38   and that I'm not really excited about.

00:06:40   But this product is just so boxed in,

00:06:42   and what it serves, and what it's good at,

00:06:44   and what it can't do, that it just boxed itself right out of my life.

00:06:49   Well, it has competitors. If you didn't have any Amazon stuff, you probably would have

00:06:54   bought this. Because you'd be like, "Oh, I've been meaning to try these cylinder things,

00:06:58   and here's an Apple one, so I'll try it."

00:06:59   Mm-mm. I don't have any Amazon stuff.

00:07:01   Not you, Marco.

00:07:02   I'm just saying, I am that person.

00:07:05   Yeah, no, you are anti-cylinder entirely, so you're just continuing your cylinder boycott.

00:07:09   But I'm saying, Marco totally would have bought this if he didn't already have a product that

00:07:13   liked better because he still would have been at the point of like, "I don't know about

00:07:16   these cylinders," whatever, and then eventually Apple would have come up with it and he would

00:07:19   have tried it.

00:07:20   Well, and like, I don't even have the very common excuse of, "I need this for testing

00:07:23   my app," because my app can't do anything with the HomePod. Like, until Siri has basically

00:07:30   like audio app support, which as I mentioned last time, I'm not expecting that to happen

00:07:34   anytime soon because that would also enable Spotify and other services like that. And

00:07:38   So, you know, it's possible, as we mentioned last WWDC,

00:07:42   when Siri kit updates came and went,

00:07:45   and there was no audio thing,

00:07:46   it's possible they just haven't gotten to it yet,

00:07:48   and that they do intend to do it at some point later.

00:07:50   I would say this summer, this WWDC,

00:07:53   is kinda like the do or die point here.

00:07:56   If they don't add some kind of music app support

00:07:58   this summer, I think it becomes increasingly likely

00:08:01   that the explanation is they don't want to do it

00:08:03   for competitive reasons, which is not good.

00:08:06   I really hope that isn't what's happening.

00:08:08   But right now, I don't even have anything meaningful

00:08:11   to test with Overcast on the HomePod.

00:08:13   Because AirPlay 2 isn't done yet.

00:08:15   - You had a bunch of good ideas in Slack.

00:08:17   Remind me in Overcast to play the latest ATP.

00:08:19   - Yeah, right.

00:08:20   (laughing)

00:08:20   I can make Overcast a to-do app.

00:08:22   - Can you make Overcast a workout app

00:08:23   and a to-do app and a reminder app?

00:08:25   (laughing)

00:08:26   - Yeah, but yeah, that would be funny to attempt that,

00:08:30   but it would be not only clumsy,

00:08:31   but there's no way Apple would let that stand

00:08:32   for more than a week.

00:08:33   So that would be a waste.

00:08:35   But it's just like, I just,

00:08:37   There's nothing for me to do with the HomePod.

00:08:39   I suppose it's healthy for me as a human being

00:08:42   to not just buy every product Apple releases,

00:08:46   but it just feels weird that there's a major launch

00:08:49   and none of us are buying it.

00:08:50   - Yeah, I think I actually have a place in my house

00:08:53   where I could put this 'cause in the living room

00:08:57   I have a free Google Home Mini thing that I got.

00:09:00   It came free with some other thing,

00:09:02   which is convenient and makes it so you can ask questions

00:09:05   and kids can ask how to spell words.

00:09:07   to define things and stuff like that, but you can't play any music on it because it's, you know,

00:09:10   it's the mini and it sounds like a tinny little speaker. And I do have my speakers stuck up to my

00:09:15   TV, but there's no way to talk to them and they're mostly turned off all the time unless someone's

00:09:21   watching TV and really they're not ideal for music anyway. So if I had a nice like speaker thing that

00:09:30   could fill the room with sound, which is what this thing could do, and I could talk to it,

00:09:35   there is a place for that in my life and I would just, you know, stick it in my living room and I

00:09:39   have an easier way to fill the living room with much better sounding sound than the Google Home

00:09:43   Mini thing can provide. But I, my, it doesn't, you know, I don't like the idea that it would be tied

00:09:50   to my Apple ID and I don't like the idea that I could talk to it but not well. And so I'm taking

00:09:56   a wait and see. Like, eventually when the software catches up and it supports multiple people and it

00:10:01   it can understand who's talking to it and it can, you know, connect to both my phone and my wife's

00:10:06   phone and like it's eventually when the software catches up I probably will buy one of these

00:10:10   to fill exactly that function too. To basically fill my living room with better sounding sound.

00:10:16   I don't know if it'll ever get to the point though where I can talk to it and have it play like any

00:10:22   song because I subscribe to Google Play Music and I don't see myself subscribing to Apple Music just

00:10:27   to be able to talk to this speaker because I have to subscribe to Google Play Music to

00:10:31   get no ads on YouTube because of the way Google structures things.

00:10:34   If Google ever changes its YouTube Red whatever family plan thing that I get so that I don't

00:10:39   have to play for Google Play Music anymore but I can still, the whole family can still

00:10:43   be ad-free on YouTube, then I would probably subscribe to Apple Music and try it.

00:10:46   But for now I'm just kind of stuck in this, you know, this weirdly carved out problem

00:10:52   space of streaming service and ad-free YouTube and, you know, and the capabilities of the

00:11:00   HomePod.

00:11:01   I'm a devout Spotify user.

00:11:03   I admittedly have not tried Apple Music since it was brand new.

00:11:07   And as such, I've been debating, "You know, maybe I should try it again."

00:11:09   But two of the playlists that Spotify comes out with every single week for every single

00:11:13   user is, I believe they were called Discover Weekly, which is just, hey, given the entirety

00:11:18   of Spotify's library, and given what we've noticed you listening to so far, here's other

00:11:25   music that we think you would enjoy.

00:11:27   And that comes out on Mondays.

00:11:28   And then on Fridays there's Release Radar, which is similar but limited to just new or

00:11:33   new-ish releases.

00:11:34   So here's something that's brand new that just entered Spotify and we think you might

00:11:39   enjoy.

00:11:40   And those two playlists are tremendous, and I love them.

00:11:45   And beyond that, Spotify is a couple of really great apps.

00:11:50   It is one of the few apps that is Electron or equivalent that doesn't remind me of that

00:11:56   every time I use it, unlike Slack.

00:11:59   And on the iPhone, it's a really great app.

00:12:02   And what's wonderful about it is if I accidentally, as I often do, leave Spotify open everywhere,

00:12:07   any Spotify client that is signed in as the same Spotify user can control any other Spotify

00:12:12   client.

00:12:13   my phone from my computer or vice versa,

00:12:18   and that becomes useful if you're

00:12:19   air playing to something else.

00:12:21   - Oh, that's awesome.

00:12:22   - Yeah, so I could have my phone air playing to my Apple TV

00:12:26   but control it from my computer.

00:12:27   If my computer happens to be right in front of it,

00:12:30   whatever the case may be.

00:12:31   So, like I said, I have not tried Apple Music in a while,

00:12:35   but there's a lot to love about Spotify,

00:12:37   and I've been a loyal Spotify user

00:12:38   since it came to the United States,

00:12:40   and I've been paying for it

00:12:41   since it came to the United States.

00:12:43   So if the HomePod supported Spotify, like if I could say, you know, "Cylinder, play such-and-such on Spotify,"

00:12:52   I think there's a pretty darn good chance I would be getting one, what is it, a week from Friday?

00:12:58   And I probably would have pre-ordered it.

00:13:00   But given that it is tied to Apple Music, and right now I don't particularly care for Apple Music,

00:13:07   this is kind of a non-starter to me.

00:13:09   And it's really unfortunate because I've been thinking about this a lot, and we'll talk about it, I think, over the next couple of weeks,

00:13:18   because I have a few topics, some of which we may not get to this week, to discuss this.

00:13:21   But I don't like that whole, like, Google mantra, especially from years ago, of like, "Oh, we're open. We're open."

00:13:32   And we do things because we're open, and you can do whatever you want with our stuff because we're open.

00:13:36   Like that's just like open for open sake is just cheesy and I don't really care.

00:13:40   Also I mean in Google's case they're often using it as a total marketing BS thing.

00:13:43   Like it's actually you know there's open and there's Google and those occasionally

00:13:47   intersect a little bit but they're they're not usually that intersecting.

00:13:50   Yeah I completely agree with you but this is a case where this sort of gated community

00:13:59   really bums me out. That I can't use the music streaming platform that I prefer with the physical

00:14:08   speaker that I would probably really love. I have been so far, I am so far behind on podcasts,

00:14:13   like I haven't listened to, what was it, Query that was on Relay that had Serenity Caldwell

00:14:20   discussing her experience with HomePod. Is that right? I think I have that right. Well,

00:14:23   whatever it is, I'll put a link in the show notes. And so I haven't listened to that yet,

00:14:28   but I'm really looking forward to it. Yes, query number 23, I'll put in the show notes.

00:14:31   And Serenity Caldwell was able to get some hands-on time with the HomePod and apparently spent

00:14:39   basically an hour discussing it on this episode of Query, which is a really great podcast with

00:14:43   Stephen Hackett. So I haven't had a chance to listen to that. All I've heard through the grapevine

00:14:47   from the little I've been paying attention to is that the HomePod really does sound really great.

00:14:51   And you know what? That sounds good to me. Pardon the pun. That sounds good. Like,

00:14:55   I could see me putting this in my living room, even as a redundant set of speakers, just

00:14:59   because I could see screaming across the room, "Hey, Cylinder, play the latest album by Radiohead

00:15:06   on Spotify," or something like that.

00:15:08   And that would be pretty awesome.

00:15:09   One of my favorite things about the brief window of time I used Apple Music was being

00:15:14   able to use Siri with it, especially on my phone.

00:15:17   But because this is a walled garden that Spotify isn't allowed in, and actually to that end

00:15:24   overcast isn't either in terms of of Siri support. This is a non-starter to me. Like,

00:15:30   I'm just not interested in it. And that kind of bums me out, which is stupid, right? Like,

00:15:36   it bums me out that I can't send some faceless corporation another $350 of my money. Like,

00:15:40   that's so dumb. But, I don't know, like, a few years ago I would be excited about this

00:15:44   sort of thing. And now I'm kind of like, "Huh. That's too bad. I wish I could get excited

00:15:49   about this, but I can't." And I know that there's some capitalism, like capitalism sucks

00:15:53   and stuff is evil, etc, etc. But I don't know, this is just a silly thing that used to make me happy.

00:15:58   And a new Apple thing used to always make me happy, even when I claimed it wouldn't, it inevitably did.

00:16:04   But and maybe that'll be the case here too, who knows? But I don't know, man, I'm just bummed,

00:16:09   because I want to be excited about it and I just can't bring myself to.

00:16:13   You know, this, I'm thinking about this, I think, I guess we're all on the same page, but

00:16:19   I guess we all don't like music as much as we like television and movies because all of us

00:16:25   subscribe to multiple streaming services, right? For video. Like we all subscribe to Netflix, right?

00:16:32   How many people subscribe to something else besides Netflix? I have HBO, whatever.

00:16:37   Right, and Casey, anything else besides Netflix? Netflix, so recurring subscriptions are Netflix

00:16:43   and Spotify and I think that's it for us. Maybe cases on even footing, but Marco's got

00:16:49   I've got twice as many video as audio services,

00:16:52   granted it's just two to one.

00:16:53   I have like seven times as many video to audio services.

00:16:57   - Wait, nope, you're wrong.

00:16:59   I subscribe to Apple Music and Amazon Music,

00:17:01   whatever, on the Echo.

00:17:03   - Ah, what, how--

00:17:04   - So I'm tied.

00:17:05   - All right.

00:17:06   - But I think it's different because like,

00:17:08   with streaming services, I think you have way lower

00:17:11   of a percentage of overlap.

00:17:12   If you look at like the Venn diagram

00:17:13   of each one's catalogs, right,

00:17:15   video streaming services, I feel like there's a lot less

00:17:18   overlap between each ones.

00:17:19   Music streaming services, the overlap of those

00:17:22   Venn diagram circles of what they have is almost identical.

00:17:25   It's almost completely on top of each other.

00:17:26   - Yeah, so you don't feel like you're getting

00:17:28   anything extra, I mean--

00:17:29   - Yeah, it feels redundant to pay for

00:17:30   multiple music services, whereas it doesn't feel

00:17:32   redundant to pay for multiple streaming services

00:17:33   with different content on them.

00:17:35   - Yeah, I suppose, although, there's probably

00:17:39   lots of exclusive content, we just don't know what it is,

00:17:41   because maybe you're into classical music,

00:17:43   and maybe one has all the classical music,

00:17:45   and the other one has crap, or--

00:17:46   - None of them have fish.

00:17:47   you know, foreign music or, none of them have Fish, right?

00:17:50   But if one of them did, that would be a differentiator.

00:17:52   - Well, no, no, I think Spotify has a fair bit of Fish,

00:17:54   doesn't it?

00:17:55   - Yeah, but not all the live shows.

00:17:56   Actually, Live Fish has their own app,

00:17:58   and I think they're a streaming service

00:18:00   that has all the stuff.

00:18:02   - Well, anyway, what I'm getting at is,

00:18:04   why is it that I play for Google Play

00:18:07   and I won't play rap music?

00:18:08   Part of it might be the overlap,

00:18:09   but I don't have that problem in video.

00:18:11   There's a lot of overlap in the video services,

00:18:13   but when I envision the video services,

00:18:15   it's like, look, the only reason I'm subscribing

00:18:17   the CBS thing is for the one Star Trek show. Like in the worst case scenario, it's like

00:18:22   I'm literally subscribing for a single show because it's the only place I can get it.

00:18:26   It's 100% exclusive, right? And these video services pay to have exclusive content created

00:18:31   for them. That's what brings me to them. I'm not, at this point, I'm no longer subscribed

00:18:35   to Netflix to see a bunch of, like, their back catalog of movies. It's purely for original

00:18:41   Netflix series. We don't have that in the music space. But anyway, what I'm getting

00:18:47   as I'm paying, you know, tens of dollars for all these services every single month and

00:18:52   it doesn't bother me, but also paying for Apple Music just feels like, meh.

00:18:56   And I think, mostly for me anyway, it's because I watch much more television and movies than

00:19:01   I listen to music, because there's a fact, right?

00:19:03   I mean, and even in scenarios where I would be listening to music, I'm mostly listening

00:19:07   to podcasts, which, you know, so what does all this say that I don't think the cylinder

00:19:14   market is uniquely hosed?

00:19:16   It is hosed in very similar ways to the sort of the balkanized video market.

00:19:22   It's just that the video market, I guess, feels better because of the original content.

00:19:26   Although it doesn't feel great.

00:19:27   I mean, I resist adding up exactly how much money I'm paying every month for all my video

00:19:33   services because I think it's a pretty big number.

00:19:35   David Erickson Going back one more minute to what you said

00:19:38   a few minutes ago, Casey, about the kind of feeling of openness that you want or seek

00:19:44   from this product that you can't get.

00:19:47   So for reasons I'll get into later in the show,

00:19:49   I've kind of been thinking similar lines recently,

00:19:51   or having similar sensibility, and, you know,

00:19:55   the fact that the HomePod has no equivalent

00:19:58   to basically a line-in port, like maybe AirPlay One

00:20:04   might be that equivalent, but like,

00:20:05   basically it has no line-in port,

00:20:08   this, I feel like, limits its lifetime in a way

00:20:12   that people who buy speakers,

00:20:14   I think are gonna be disappointed with this long term.

00:20:16   Like, if you look at the iPod Hi-Fi,

00:20:20   the famous flop Apple product, well you know what?

00:20:22   The iPod Hi-Fi, for the very few people

00:20:24   who spent the crazy amount of money to buy it,

00:20:26   which actually I think was $400, right?

00:20:27   It's not that different from the price of the HomePod.

00:20:30   - I think it was exactly the same price as the HomePod,

00:20:31   wasn't it, $349?

00:20:33   - Oh, I thought maybe, anyway.

00:20:34   - It was $350, by the way.

00:20:35   - Okay, yeah, so there you go.

00:20:37   But like, for the few people who bought those,

00:20:40   who got them later off of eBay as a joke,

00:20:41   like, you know, I know Jason Snell and Steven Hackett

00:20:44   both have them, and they both still use them.

00:20:46   Now, the iPod Hi-Fi, the main input was an iPod 30-pin

00:20:51   dot connector on the top, but it also had a line import

00:20:54   on the back, and so the speaker that, by all accounts,

00:20:58   is actually a pretty decent speaker, is still useful today,

00:21:01   what is it, a decade after it came out, something like that?

00:21:04   So like, it's still useful today,

00:21:07   because it's just a good speaker,

00:21:08   and good speakers don't go out of date.

00:21:10   Good speakers are always good speakers.

00:21:12   I mean, eventually maybe the cones could rot,

00:21:13   but it takes a very long time.

00:21:16   A good speaker is useful way beyond the lifetime

00:21:19   of a typical tech gadget.

00:21:21   And people who buy good speakers

00:21:23   and who value good speakers know this,

00:21:25   because every good speaker they ever bought

00:21:27   has been this way.

00:21:28   And you know, Casey, your parents and my parents

00:21:32   were both super into music and hi-fi systems,

00:21:34   and we both grew up listening to speaker systems

00:21:37   that were decades old and many of those components

00:21:41   still work today, decades later.

00:21:43   - That's exactly true.

00:21:44   So my dad's fancy, fancy, fancy stereo

00:21:46   is 15, 20 years old at this point

00:21:49   and I know he has teal loudspeakers.

00:21:52   Now I'm having second thoughts.

00:21:53   I'm pretty sure he has teal loudspeakers.

00:21:54   There's a second set of speakers,

00:21:56   a second stereo in his house that is like,

00:21:59   I believe they're doll quests and I am almost sure

00:22:02   he had those in his dorm room when he was a kid.

00:22:05   and my dad is 60 and change,

00:22:08   and he was in college when he was like 20.

00:22:10   So, to your point, I think you might have had

00:22:12   to replace a cone here or there or something like that,

00:22:14   but I 150% agree with what you're driving at,

00:22:17   that good speakers can last, not literally forever,

00:22:21   but effectively frickin' forever.

00:22:22   - Yeah, like in the tech world, they last forever,

00:22:24   like relative to other products that we use.

00:22:26   And so, the iPod Hi-Fi, this speaker that came out

00:22:30   forever ago and was a flop, is still totally functional

00:22:33   today for the few people who have them,

00:22:36   because it had a line inject, it had like this escape valve

00:22:39   that like, this future proofs this thing

00:22:41   for a very long time, you know, and the HomePod,

00:22:45   I understand why Apple's positioning it so much

00:22:47   as like a good speaker, because as I said,

00:22:49   that's playing to its strengths and trying to position it

00:22:52   away from Apple's weaknesses in this product, that's good.

00:22:55   But a good speaker is expected to last, and to be useful,

00:22:59   you know, if you're gonna be spending $350

00:23:02   for a good speaker, and that's just for one, by the way,

00:23:05   like I think a lot of people are gonna end up wanting two

00:23:08   for the way it fills larger rooms better.

00:23:10   You know, if you're gonna be spending this kind of money

00:23:13   on a speaker, it is convention in the industry

00:23:16   that that speaker lasts, and it doesn't have to last

00:23:19   50 years, you know, I understand there's like

00:23:21   complex processors going in there,

00:23:23   and lots of different tweeters, and everything like that,

00:23:25   so it's more complex than most speakers.

00:23:27   But if this thing is a flop, you know,

00:23:29   there's no guarantee that it will be,

00:23:30   but I'm just saying like, if this thing is a flop,

00:23:32   and support for it dwindles in the software

00:23:34   over the next five, 10 years, whatever.

00:23:36   If you have one of these, 10 years from now,

00:23:39   if it has a line import, you can still use it.

00:23:42   But if the software ecosystem dries up or moves on,

00:23:46   this thing is now useless.

00:23:47   And I understand a lot of tech products are this way now.

00:23:51   This is honestly how much of Sonos has operated.

00:23:54   In fact, almost all of Sonos works this way,

00:23:56   and that's one of the reasons why I kind of don't like it.

00:23:59   But it just kind of rubs me the wrong way

00:24:01   that this product is so dependent

00:24:04   on its internet connection, the Siri servers backing it up,

00:24:08   and the proprietary AirPlay protocol and things like that,

00:24:11   that it makes it really hard to envision

00:24:16   this thing being useful in 10 years.

00:24:18   - Yeah, and to that end, it's super surprising to me,

00:24:21   like you were saying, that there's no just input jack

00:24:26   anywhere on here, and I'm looking at the HomePod specs,

00:24:29   And it says, uh, where is this? It says, shoot, I just lost it.

00:24:34   Uh, la la la la la. Audio sources, there we go.

00:24:37   It says, "Apple Music, iTunes Music Purchases, iCloud Music Library with an Apple Music or iTunes Match Subscription."

00:24:43   Which, by the way, is very cool. I'm glad that iTunes Match is supported, because I do still subscribe to that.

00:24:48   Oh, I guess that is another audio service, to Jon's point earlier. Anyway, uh, Beats 1 Live Radio, uh, what is it, always on worldwide?

00:24:55   Podcasts, Airplay, other content to HomePod from iPhone, iPad, iPod, Touch, Apple TV, and Mac.

00:25:05   You'll note that Bluetooth is not listed in the audio sources section.

00:25:10   However, in the wireless section, it lists 802.11ac, Wi-Fi with MIMO, direct guest access, whatever the crap that means, and Bluetooth 5.

00:25:20   So I don't know if Bluetooth is supported or not, and again, I apologize if I should know this,

00:25:24   but I have not had time to read up on any of this stuff lately.

00:25:27   But it is quite possible that, to your point, Marco,

00:25:31   AirPlay is the only way to get quote-unquote "other audio" into this thing.

00:25:36   And that just severely—and I love AirPlay, like it has its problems, don't get me wrong,

00:25:40   but I love AirPlay. I use AirPlay all the time, oftentimes streaming Spotify to my Apple TV,

00:25:46   because it would be great if Spotify made a friggin' Apple TV app, but that's a different issue.

00:25:50   Anyway, I like AirPlay, I think AirPlay works great, and that seems to be the only mechanism

00:25:55   to get other audio in here, which I agree with you, Marco, is kinda bananas.

00:26:01   Because you would think, like, at least give us a little, like, what is it, an RCA jack

00:26:05   or like a headphone jack, you know what I'm thinking of, but what is the--

00:26:08   - Yeah, either an 8-thing stereo headphone and jack or a pair of RCA plugs.

00:26:13   - Right, exactly.

00:26:14   Like, that would dramatically increase the usefulness of this thing, in my personal opinion.

00:26:19   And here again, like, I think it's a bit of a stretch for me to say what I'm about to

00:26:23   say, but here's like another quote-unquote "open" issue.

00:26:26   Like if this was designed—maybe openness is a poor choice of words, maybe flexibility

00:26:31   is a better word—if this was designed to be more flexible, then it may have some mechanism

00:26:37   of physical audio input.

00:26:40   Maybe it would have more software support for Spotify or friggin' Overcast or Pocketcast,

00:26:46   whatever.

00:26:47   care if Overcast isn't your podcasting platform of choice.

00:26:51   I do.

00:26:52   Fair.

00:26:53   But you know what I mean though?

00:26:54   Anything!

00:26:55   God, it's just so frustrating.

00:26:57   Because I feel like this is right up my alley as someone who has music playing in the house

00:27:01   almost always.

00:27:02   And I really mean that.

00:27:04   If silence just freaks me out, I have to have music playing when I'm in the house, just

00:27:09   playing with Declan or whatever.

00:27:11   I constantly have my stereo, my home theater, if you will, stereo on playing some sort of

00:27:18   music.

00:27:19   This would be perfect for me if I could get music into it from some mechanism other than

00:27:24   airplay.

00:27:25   And I guess maybe the adult answer, if you will, is, "Well, you're airplaying to your

00:27:29   Apple TV a lot of the time anyway, so who cares?

00:27:31   Grow up."

00:27:32   But I don't know, it's so frustrating that it doesn't have to be that way.

00:27:35   No, that's not a good answer.

00:27:37   You know what I mean?

00:27:38   Exactly.

00:27:39   Like, it doesn't feel right to me.

00:27:40   $350 to do something I'm already doing, you know?

00:27:44   It's just, ugh.

00:27:45   - Well, and also AirPlay is limited.

00:27:46   As I mentioned last episode, AirPlay has certain latency

00:27:48   in different scenarios.

00:27:49   Even AirPlay 2 is going to have latency.

00:27:52   Apple TV is going to be able to work with it

00:27:54   by compensating for that and delaying the video stream

00:27:56   so it catches up with the audio properly.

00:27:58   But any other thing sent into it might not.

00:28:01   And so if your answer here is AirPlay,

00:28:04   or even Bluetooth, which also has some latency,

00:28:06   that rules out things like using it as TV speakers

00:28:08   for a lot of people's setups.

00:28:09   that future audio components you might want to connect to it.

00:28:13   Honestly, I know this is not something Apple

00:28:15   would want to enable, but if you really liked

00:28:18   the Amazon Echo service and wanted to buy a HomePod

00:28:20   for its audio, if it had a line in,

00:28:22   you could plug in an Echo Dot to it

00:28:25   and have it receive audio from it.

00:28:28   - Oh my word.

00:28:29   - That's something that I would actually consider that

00:28:31   for my kitchen.

00:28:32   That's actually something people could do.

00:28:35   And I know Apple's not gonna try to enable it

00:28:36   for reasons like that, but they would probably sell more.

00:28:38   And it's just, again, the audio world, I feel like,

00:28:43   and this is kind of a larger tech problem,

00:28:45   like, you know, Apple talks so much

00:28:47   about their environmental responsibility and everything,

00:28:50   but they sure make a lot of really

00:28:51   limited disposable devices.

00:28:53   - They're recyclable.

00:28:54   You know, I don't know, since none of us have this,

00:28:57   since we failed as a group to buy one,

00:28:59   I don't know if it works as a plain old Bluetooth speaker,

00:29:02   but imagine if Amazon ships the Dot with Bluetooth,

00:29:06   and then the Dot can use the HomePod as a Bluetooth speaker.

00:29:11   - By the way, all Amazon Echo's can already do that,

00:29:14   including the Dots, but as far as we know,

00:29:18   the HomePod can't take Bluetooth input as a speaker.

00:29:21   Like the Bluetooth is there, but it seems like it's there

00:29:23   just for like its own private use.

00:29:25   It does seem like--

00:29:26   - Maybe for phone calls, perhaps, with the iPhone?

00:29:28   - Oh yeah, actually, I bet you're right.

00:29:29   It's probably for the phone call profile,

00:29:30   but like, you know, Bluetooth, it exposes certain profiles,

00:29:32   and there's some for phone calls,

00:29:34   there's some for being speakers for music,

00:29:35   And from what we know so far, it does not expose

00:29:38   the A2DP protocol for music, or whatever

00:29:40   the more modern ones are.

00:29:42   So it doesn't seem, from what we know so far,

00:29:45   that it is capable of being a Bluetooth speaker by itself.

00:29:48   - Seems like you have to buy one to find out.

00:29:49   Chat room has insight either way.

00:29:50   No one in the chat room bought one either.

00:29:52   We failed as a collective here.

00:29:53   - Well, nobody has them yet.

00:29:54   - Yeah, I guess, when are they supposed to come in?

00:29:56   The ninth or something?

00:29:57   - I'm pretty sure during the hour-long demo at Apple PR

00:30:00   that some people had, they probably didn't want you

00:30:02   to pair your phone to it to see if it could run

00:30:04   as a Bluetooth speaker.

00:30:05   Oh, let me, I'll bring an Echo in and we can see if the Echo compares to it.

00:30:10   Yeah.

00:30:11   Another point about this is, you know, all of us are asking for like line-in or RCA or,

00:30:15   you know, basically a wire connected to the thing, but it could be that the ubiquity of

00:30:19   Bluetooth just washes over the entire industry and having Bluetooth becomes the equivalent

00:30:26   of having a line-in for most people, like not high-end audio people.

00:30:31   Because I would say, you know, $350 is expensive, but it's not high-end audio expensive, right?

00:30:36   - No, no, it's high-end audio in mid-range.

00:30:39   - I don't know if it's even mid-range.

00:30:40   I guess when you have two of them, maybe it's mid-range.

00:30:42   - Well, okay, in audio, there's like, there's three prices that everything is.

00:30:46   Either nothing, $300, or $50,000.

00:30:50   Like that's roughly the classes here.

00:30:53   - Yeah, so anyway, it could be that we're just behind the market and having the ability

00:30:58   to take Bluetooth input is sufficient for everybody.

00:31:01   In fact, it's what people want.

00:31:03   And then we'll just have to find out

00:31:05   whether this thing can take Bluetooth input.

00:31:06   Also, getting back to the hardware thing,

00:31:08   if it doesn't take Bluetooth input now,

00:31:09   as long as the hardware is there,

00:31:11   there's no reason they can't change that later.

00:31:12   And then you can have your Echo Dot talking

00:31:14   to your home pod scenario in your kitchen.

00:31:18   - Yeah, maybe.

00:31:18   I mean, that would be nice to have,

00:31:19   just to have options like that.

00:31:20   Like, I know that's a ridiculous thing,

00:31:22   but although I would probably actually,

00:31:24   I really would do it.

00:31:24   - You could put the little dot on top of it.

00:31:26   - Well, that would cover up the little screen on it.

00:31:28   (laughing)

00:31:30   But yeah, just like, again,

00:31:32   in case you mentioned earlier flexibility,

00:31:34   I would maybe use the word versatility.

00:31:36   There are so many more things,

00:31:40   scenarios in which the HomePod could be useful

00:31:42   or could be compelling if it had just one or two

00:31:45   of these walls knocked down a little bit.

00:31:47   But yeah, over time maybe it will, we'll see.

00:31:49   (upbeat music)

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00:33:40   (upbeat music)

00:33:43   - All right, I wanna tell a short story

00:33:46   that is really an excuse to talk about

00:33:50   a shopping experience I just had.

00:33:52   So I have my MacBook Adorable, and I have a USB-C to Ethernet

00:33:58   adapter that also has three traditional USB ports on it.

00:34:02   And it's a little bit physically large.

00:34:04   But the problem is, because I have a MacBook Adorable that

00:34:07   only has one port, which usually doesn't bother me, but

00:34:09   occasionally does, let's say I wanted to do an initial time

00:34:13   machine backup, which can take hours.

00:34:16   Then I would have to make sure that I can do that before my

00:34:19   battery depletes because this USB-C Ethernet adapter does not have USB-C in.

00:34:24   So I have no mechanism by which I can power my laptop while I'm using Ethernet,

00:34:29   which normally is not that big a deal but is sometimes frustrating, right? Well,

00:34:33   I also have a knockoff version of the Apple—I forget the official term for it—

00:34:38   but the Apple adapter that has HDMI, USB-C in to provide power, and a single USB,

00:34:47   what a traditional USB 3 port.

00:34:50   - Yes, the $80 middle finger from Apple.

00:34:52   - Yeah, well I think I got mine for like 15 or 20 bucks

00:34:54   or something like that.

00:34:55   I'll put a link in the show notes.

00:34:56   - Of course I paid 80 for mine.

00:34:58   - Well right, because I think I got mine

00:34:59   from Monoprice or something like that.

00:35:01   Again, I'll have to dig it up, I don't remember offhand.

00:35:03   But I've never had a problem with it, it works great,

00:35:06   and it was a heck of a lot less than 80 bucks.

00:35:08   So it occurred to me this HDMI thinger that again,

00:35:15   HDMI, USB-C, and traditional USB, that's actually a really nice way to add a single USB port

00:35:21   while maintaining power.

00:35:23   So you know what I should do?

00:35:24   I should get a USB Ethernet adapter, and this way, if I do have a long-running operation,

00:35:32   like a time machine backup, I can plug this old-school USB Ethernet adapter into my fancy

00:35:39   pants 80-but-not-actually-80-dollar adapter into the MacBook Adorable.

00:35:44   So I bought a $15 Ethernet adapter that runs over a USB 3.

00:35:49   I get it to the house and I bought it from Amazon.

00:35:52   I get it to the house and I did not do my due diligence

00:35:56   and it requires a driver.

00:35:58   And that should have been enough to stop me,

00:36:00   but I was annoyed and I was like, well, screw it.

00:36:02   It's already here.

00:36:02   I don't wanna have to return it.

00:36:04   So I'll just install this driver.

00:36:06   So there I go installing a kernel extension

00:36:08   that unequivocally came from China thinking to myself,

00:36:11   this is not a wise choice, but here I am.

00:36:14   - You hear us on a kernel extension

00:36:15   for a USB network adapter?

00:36:18   - Yeah, exactly.

00:36:19   - That would have gone right back in the box for me.

00:36:21   - Well, hold on.

00:36:22   I understand that this was a terrible idea.

00:36:25   I don't need you to write into me, anyone.

00:36:27   I understand, I get it.

00:36:29   I understand China might be looking

00:36:31   at every bit of network traffic

00:36:32   that ever comes through this computer.

00:36:33   I get it.

00:36:34   - I mean, that's one problem.

00:36:35   Also, just like, your computer's gonna suck now.

00:36:37   Like, you're gonna have stability issues.

00:36:40   The next OS update's gonna probably break it.

00:36:42   - Well, so hold on, hold on.

00:36:44   You should not need this.

00:36:45   - I am fully aware of all these things.

00:36:47   So I was just frustrated and in the heat of the moment,

00:36:51   I just went with it.

00:36:51   Well, then I do this kernel extension.

00:36:54   I try to install this driver.

00:36:56   It installs just fine,

00:36:57   but I can't maintain a connection

00:37:00   for more than like a minute or two.

00:37:02   And I decide, you know what?

00:37:03   That is definitely not gonna work.

00:37:05   And even though this thing is only $15,

00:37:07   I'm gonna have to return it.

00:37:09   So I go to return it to Amazon,

00:37:11   which I've done like once or twice in the past,

00:37:13   but I think it was one of you guys that said this before,

00:37:16   like, it takes a lot for me to return anything,

00:37:18   even to like a nameless corporation.

00:37:21   It's really bad for me to return something

00:37:23   to a retail store.

00:37:23   I hate doing that, 'cause I just feel like a jerk.

00:37:26   Even if it's well within my ability,

00:37:30   that's not the word I'm looking for,

00:37:31   but if it's well within my rights, I guess,

00:37:33   for lack of a better word, to return something,

00:37:34   I hate doing it.

00:37:35   I think Marco, you've talked about this a lot,

00:37:36   and I feel exactly the same way.

00:37:38   - I mean, honestly, to be fair,

00:37:39   it's so easy to return stuff to Amazon

00:37:41   that I do returns with Amazon at more of a regular person

00:37:44   rate than anything else in my life.

00:37:46   - There you go.

00:37:47   So, perfect segue, thank you.

00:37:49   I'll send you a dollar later.

00:37:51   So I decide to return this thing to Amazon

00:37:54   and I start grumbling to myself 'cause I'm like,

00:37:55   oh, now I'm gonna have to box it up

00:37:57   and then I'm gonna have to mail it

00:37:58   and this is gonna be a royal pain.

00:38:01   But one of the options I had

00:38:02   was to return it to an Amazon locker.

00:38:05   I thought to myself, you know what?

00:38:05   I know there's at least a couple of lockers nearby,

00:38:07   don't be creepy, I'm gonna try this.

00:38:10   So they say, "Okay, you can return it to an Amazon locker.

00:38:13   Here's what you do.

00:38:14   We've given you a PDF that has a hilariously large,

00:38:18   like it almost looks like a mailing label,

00:38:20   except there was no postage required

00:38:23   because it's going to an Amazon locker.

00:38:25   And given that this was a little USB adapter

00:38:27   that was probably the size of a deck of cards,

00:38:29   like the box of it was roughly the size of a deck of cards,

00:38:31   I needed to put it in this like hilariously large box

00:38:34   just to fit the stupid mailing label on it.

00:38:36   But be that as it may, so far so good.

00:38:38   So I print that out.

00:38:39   I find a much larger box than I should really need.

00:38:43   I tape it all, I put it in the box,

00:38:45   I tape it all up, blah, blah, blah.

00:38:46   And I go to the Amazon locker.

00:38:48   - How much did this thing cost again?

00:38:50   'Cause now you're overrunning my,

00:38:51   now I need to know a number.

00:38:52   How much did this cost?

00:38:53   - Didn't you say $15?

00:38:55   - It was about $15.

00:38:56   - That's way over $15 worth of effort you've already spent.

00:38:59   I feel like I spent $15 worth of effort

00:39:01   listening to this story so far.

00:39:02   - Well, thanks a lot.

00:39:04   - Yeah, if I had a $15 product that didn't work,

00:39:08   I would probably honestly just throw it away.

00:39:10   Like, I don't think I would go through this.

00:39:11   - Yeah, I would just eat that cost, but anyway.

00:39:13   - Normally, I agree.

00:39:14   - In case he's trying to work the system here.

00:39:16   - Normally I would agree.

00:39:17   Normally I would not even think about it,

00:39:18   especially since my LLC bought this,

00:39:20   so it's like free money, except not, but whatever.

00:39:23   - No, that's not how that works.

00:39:24   - Yeah, I know, I know, but it's kinda like

00:39:26   sometimes think about it, but anyway.

00:39:27   - You really shouldn't.

00:39:28   - I know I shouldn't.

00:39:29   All right, just leave me alone, okay, just let me finish.

00:39:31   So the point is that I decided to return

00:39:33   to this Amazon locker, and I agree with you guys,

00:39:35   this was a hilarious amount of effort

00:39:36   something that I should have just thrown in the trash and walked away from. But I was annoyed and

00:39:40   I wanted to kind of send this back and say, "Screw you, this thing was a piece of garbage." So

00:39:44   I drive to the Amazon locker and they give you a little code. And so there's a screen in the middle

00:39:50   of the lockers and you type in your like six digit or six character code or whatever, and I do that.

00:39:54   And then a locker just pops open, which isn't entirely surprising, but was kind of cool to see.

00:40:02   And I go to put my hilariously large box in this locker that was about three or maybe three inches tall,

00:40:09   and this box was easily six or seven inches.

00:40:12   And I look at the box, and I look at the locker, and I look at the box, and I look at the locker,

00:40:17   and I think, "Well, crap. This isn't going to go well." And now I'm like, "What do I do?"

00:40:23   You throw it in the trash, and you consider this problem gone.

00:40:25   Yeah, I know. Shut up, Leo!

00:40:27   If you were a real American, you would have made that box stick. Just shove it in there,

00:40:31   - Just crunch it up.

00:40:32   - Wait, why was the box so big

00:40:34   for like a little USB dongle thing?

00:40:35   - Because of the stupid mailing label.

00:40:37   Like, because the mailing label was easily

00:40:39   like six inches wide for this teeny tiny little.

00:40:41   - I think what I would have done is just like tape

00:40:44   the mailing label around the item itself.

00:40:46   - I probably should have.

00:40:47   - With no box.

00:40:48   Make the mailing label and tape the box.

00:40:51   And just make sure the barcode is visible somewhere.

00:40:53   - Well, I was gonna say, you're also supposed

00:40:55   to put something in like a different barcode

00:40:57   in the box just in case, but I agree with you.

00:40:59   Well anyway, the reason I bring this up though

00:41:00   was because on the screen there was an option that said,

00:41:04   "My box is too big.

00:41:05   "I need a bigger locker, please," or whatever.

00:41:07   And so I closed the locker and I hit that button,

00:41:11   or I think I hit the button and then closed the locker,

00:41:13   and sure enough, a different one popped open

00:41:14   and it fit just fine.

00:41:15   And this all happened yesterday.

00:41:17   And so then--

00:41:18   - This can't be how the story ends.

00:41:20   - No, and then I put my box into the locker,

00:41:23   I shut the locker, I waited a day,

00:41:25   and they said they're gonna credit my credit card.

00:41:27   How cool is that?

00:41:28   I just thought that was such a neat experience.

00:41:30   This is like, no, this is so cool.

00:41:32   - You're excited about the option

00:41:33   to say that your box is too big?

00:41:35   - Yeah, no, and the fact that there was a locker to give,

00:41:37   like, I'm really not messing with you.

00:41:39   I realize this is hilarious, but--

00:41:42   - I can't believe it took this long to tell that story.

00:41:45   - This is so awesome, come on.

00:41:47   So here it is, like this establishment

00:41:49   that's all in the cloud, if you will,

00:41:51   figuratively speaking, it's all in the cloud.

00:41:53   Like, there's no real Amazon brick and mortar stores

00:41:56   except yeah, well, actually, whatever, whatever.

00:41:58   But the point is that they just installed,

00:42:01   this is like a friggin' Sunoco station

00:42:02   that they had this locker at.

00:42:04   And I could drive to the Sunoco station, don't be creepy,

00:42:07   and I could return my item

00:42:09   without having to send anything in the mail,

00:42:11   without having to worry about postage,

00:42:13   without having to worry about

00:42:14   whether or not the mail was open.

00:42:16   - Wait, you know that when you return something,

00:42:19   they give you a prepaid UPS label.

00:42:21   - But then I still would have to bring it

00:42:22   to a UPS store or a UPS drop box.

00:42:24   - Let me tell you, the UPS drop boxes

00:42:26   are big enough to accommodate your package.

00:42:28   (laughing)

00:42:29   - Yes, first of all, there are tons of UPS stores

00:42:31   and drop boxes everywhere.

00:42:33   Second of all, you can also hand it

00:42:34   to any UPS driver anywhere.

00:42:37   So, if you have a UPS driver who comes

00:42:38   to your office every day, you can just bring it to work

00:42:40   and leave it at the front desk and say,

00:42:42   "Hey, can you give this to the UPS guy?"

00:42:44   Or, if you are at home, like I am,

00:42:47   and you see the UPS person either come to your house

00:42:49   or go to a neighbor's house, you can walk outside

00:42:50   and be like, "Here you go, that's it."

00:42:52   It's so easy.

00:42:52   - Well, I think that second strategy only works for Marco,

00:42:55   where the UPS man comes to his house every single day.

00:42:57   - Exactly.

00:42:59   That's exactly right.

00:43:00   - And he's home all day.

00:43:01   - You both go to offices where they definitely

00:43:03   come every day.

00:43:04   They come to every office every day.

00:43:06   Also, you have a month to return it when you do this.

00:43:09   - Not the Amazon locker.

00:43:10   The Amazon locker, you have one full business day,

00:43:12   thank you very much.

00:43:13   - No, but I was gonna say, if you do the UPS prepaid label,

00:43:17   which is the option you should always take,

00:43:19   they give you a month to return it.

00:43:21   So it doesn't matter if the UPS guy

00:43:22   doesn't come to your house every day.

00:43:24   If somebody from UPS comes to your house

00:43:25   at least once a month, or you can find a Dropbox

00:43:28   or pass a UPS store at least once a month,

00:43:30   you just do that.

00:43:31   It's so, oh my God, I can't believe

00:43:34   you spent that much effort on this.

00:43:36   - But the thing, the reason I brought all this up

00:43:38   was because, no, the reason I brought all this up

00:43:41   was not about this particular stupid dongle,

00:43:43   it was not about whether or not this was

00:43:45   the most effective way to return this item.

00:43:48   This is just my first experience with an Amazon locker,

00:43:51   and I thought it was really frickin' cool.

00:43:53   And I could see how having this at like Whole Foods's would be really convenient.

00:43:58   And I just thought, and I think that this is a company that really exists only in the

00:44:06   ether by most definitions, right?

00:44:09   There's magic wherein, you know, I click some buttons on my keyboard and my mouse, then

00:44:14   something suddenly shows up at my house, and I have no mechanism why, wherein I can physically

00:44:21   take something and return it to them.

00:44:22   Like, yes, I understand what you just said, Marco.

00:44:24   I get it.

00:44:25   - It's called the UPS, the same way it got there.

00:44:26   - I get it, I get it.

00:44:27   But I understand, but like, I just thought

00:44:29   that this was really freaking cool.

00:44:31   And yes, I understand, okay, you can nitpick everything.

00:44:34   I just said, yes, there's a local Amazon warehouse,

00:44:36   but no, I couldn't have brought it there.

00:44:38   Yes, I can take it to UPS, that's true.

00:44:40   But I just thought that this was a really neat,

00:44:41   like halfway, and a really neat way

00:44:45   to give themselves a foothold geographically

00:44:48   without having to have a full-on brick and mortar store.

00:44:51   And if you end up cutting this from the released episode, fine.

00:44:54   I just feel like it's really cool.

00:44:56   And after all the moaning and complaining we all did about the HomePod, I thought we

00:44:59   would like a nice story.

00:45:01   And this, to me, was a nice story.

00:45:02   So you're going to try that Amazon Key thing next where you let Amazon open the door to

00:45:07   your house and go inside?

00:45:08   No, sir.

00:45:09   No, no, no.

00:45:10   That's the next step.

00:45:11   It could be neat.

00:45:12   Just try it.

00:45:13   You're installing Kex from China on your laptop.

00:45:16   Why not allow Amazon into your house?

00:45:18   Yes, yes, yes.

00:45:20   Here we go.

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00:47:09   (upbeat music)

00:47:11   - So I wrote a Mac app over the last couple of weeks.

00:47:14   - Yeah, last week you told us a little bit,

00:47:16   you kind of teased it a little bit,

00:47:17   it was for photo management, right?

00:47:20   - Yeah, that's right.

00:47:21   So, here's the situation.

00:47:24   Quick recap, Dr. Drang had written a,

00:47:27   or maybe he had fixed or otherwise tweaked

00:47:31   a series of scripts, I'm not sure what Genesis was,

00:47:34   but he had written or tweaked or whatever

00:47:36   a bunch of Python scripts to do some basic rearranging

00:47:43   of files after he imports them.

00:47:46   So the idea is, and here's how I used it.

00:47:49   So the idea is I have a single folder that has a shed load

00:47:52   of files, be that from the iPhone, be that from my

00:47:54   physical camera or my big camera, whatever.

00:47:58   But I want them all to be filed away in folders that are

00:48:03   like the root folder slash 2018 slash 01.

00:48:09   and then the file names would be roughly ISO 8601,

00:48:13   because this is one of the rare cases

00:48:15   where I think ISO 8601 makes perfect sense.

00:48:17   So the file name would be something along the lines of

00:48:20   2018-01-31, and in my particular case, I did a space,

00:48:25   which I know some people may not agree with,

00:48:26   whatever, it doesn't matter, then the 24 hour time.

00:48:29   So something like 21-53-whatever seconds.jpeg, right?

00:48:34   So all this script did was it would crack open

00:48:38   all of these images, it would look at the EXIF data to see when was this picture taken.

00:48:44   Then it would rename that file to be, you know, the roughly 8601 time and date, and

00:48:51   then it would file that away and copy it to the appropriate folder.

00:48:55   Does that make sense so far, is everyone with me?

00:48:57   >> Yep.

00:48:58   >> So this was working pretty well, except it required, like, a whole bunch of third-party

00:49:03   libraries because Python, and I never had the confidence to like really tweak it

00:49:08   because I sort of understand Python, but I can read it okay, but I'm really

00:49:13   really bad at writing it. So it felt like an untenable solution. Like I

00:49:18   shouldn't have something that's this important to me that I can't really work

00:49:23   with. Plus HEVC and more importantly HEIC happened and I wasn't confident that

00:49:31   that this script would work with either of those.

00:49:32   It may have, for all I know, but I wasn't confident.

00:49:35   And that was just a straw that broke the camel's back.

00:49:37   And I said, you know what, screw it.

00:49:39   I'm gonna rewrite this, I'm gonna do it in Swift,

00:49:40   and I'm gonna make a command line app to do it.

00:49:43   And so I wrote an app, and it's about 500 lines,

00:49:47   and it's just used via the command line.

00:49:48   And what you do is you say, here's the source folder

00:49:50   where all of these files exist, be it movies or images,

00:49:54   and here's the target folder,

00:49:56   and then it will do basically the same thing

00:49:58   as this Python script did,

00:49:59   is it will open up these images or open up these movies,

00:50:02   figure out when they were taken,

00:50:04   when the snapshot happened or when the recording happened,

00:50:07   rename them and then file them appropriately.

00:50:10   It will also be smart enough to,

00:50:12   if you took like a burst and you actually kept the burst,

00:50:15   it'll rename it to like, you know,

00:50:17   something, something, something A,

00:50:18   something, something, something B,

00:50:20   something, something, something C, et cetera, et cetera,

00:50:22   et cetera.

00:50:22   And so there wouldn't be any collisions

00:50:25   and it will report in when something like,

00:50:27   when I couldn't figure out

00:50:28   when the picture was taken because sometimes, for example,

00:50:31   with Instagram, when you save a picture--

00:50:33   or maybe it's Instagram Stories, I forget what.

00:50:35   But one way or another, sometimes there is no exif

00:50:37   data, so there's no reliable way to figure out when was

00:50:40   this picture taken.

00:50:41   And I have the option of falling back to the file

00:50:43   creation date, but sometimes that works, sometimes it

00:50:45   doesn't, blah, blah, blah.

00:50:46   So I wrote all this in Swift, and it's roughly 500 lines.

00:50:50   It does not use any sort of third-party library.

00:50:53   There's no Carthage.

00:50:54   There's no CocoaPods because I'm not an animal and also

00:50:56   because I didn't need anything.

00:50:59   And it felt really, really good.

00:51:02   Like I'm really happy with it.

00:51:03   It's not perfect, but you know, this one is mine and it works for me.

00:51:08   And I have learned some new things during it.

00:51:12   For whatever reason, I'd never really had an occasion to use what old people will call

00:51:16   NSOperationQueue, what I would call just OperationQueue.

00:51:20   I'd never really had a need for that in the past.

00:51:22   And I used one.

00:51:23   And I actually found a bug because of it earlier today, but that's a different story.

00:51:26   But nevertheless, this thing is multithreaded.

00:51:29   So it will spew a whole ton of threads and churn through all these files and rename them

00:51:36   and move them, well, copy them, and so on and so forth.

00:51:39   And I really am happy with this.

00:51:41   Now, do I plan to release it to anyone?

00:51:44   Absolutely not, because I wrote it for me, it works only for me, this is specifically

00:51:48   designed to work for me, and the code kind of looks like garbage because I'm not showing

00:51:53   it to anyone, nor do I really plan on open-sourcing it, because I don't really know what good

00:51:59   will come from that, other than people laughing at why this is crummy code.

00:52:03   Because again, I didn't make it super testable, I didn't make it super robust, because it's

00:52:08   just for me.

00:52:09   It's okay.

00:52:11   But I'm really pleased with how it worked out, a couple of small bugs aside, and I just

00:52:17   thought it was a really neat learning experience.

00:52:19   And maybe the only thing that's super interesting for the listeners is to say, sometimes scratching

00:52:24   your own itch can really be helpful, because now I can use operation queues with confidence

00:52:31   in my work work.

00:52:33   And I understand that operation queue is in iOS, like I'm fully aware of that, but for

00:52:37   whatever reason I just never really had a need for it.

00:52:39   And now, and I'm picking on this only because it's a silly example that many, many iOS developers

00:52:44   have used in the past.

00:52:45   Marco, I assume you've used operation queues at some point or another, especially for Overcast.

00:52:48   I use many of them.

00:52:50   Yeah, exactly.

00:52:51   So maybe it's kind of weird that I hadn't had a need for one,

00:52:55   but for whatever reason I hadn't.

00:52:56   And now I've used them.

00:52:57   And so now I kind of know something.

00:52:59   And that's exciting.

00:53:00   And so I just thought it was a useful thing to share.

00:53:04   That if you're a developer, even if you're not

00:53:06   learning a new language to do these sorts of things,

00:53:09   if you're not trying to use this as an excuse

00:53:10   to teach yourself Python, for example,

00:53:12   sometimes it's just nice to do something

00:53:15   different in the language you already know and love.

00:53:17   So that's basically it, that's all I got.

00:53:19   - That's cool, yeah, I think this is kind of one of the

00:53:22   unspoken benefits of being a programmer

00:53:24   and also just a computer user.

00:53:25   It's like, if you as a computer user have a problem

00:53:28   that you would like to be solved in a better

00:53:30   or different way, if it's something that can be

00:53:33   reasonably easily programmed and you're a programmer,

00:53:36   you can just do it, you can just make something

00:53:37   that does this for you, it's very empowering,

00:53:39   it's really amazing, and it's one of the amazing things

00:53:42   about modern computers, about all computers really,

00:53:45   that give people the power to do that

00:53:47   If they learn the relatively accessible skill of programming,

00:53:52   then you can do lots of cool things like this.

00:53:56   Whether it's as simple as an Excel macro

00:54:00   all the way down to doing something cool like this

00:54:01   with switch and operation queues on the command line.

00:54:04   It's one of the great satisfactions and advantages

00:54:08   of being a programmer is that if you have a problem,

00:54:12   there's a decent chance you can make a solution to it.

00:54:14   If one doesn't exist out there,

00:54:16   exactly what you want.

00:54:17   >> Yep, exactly right.

00:54:19   And I think your point that you just made is very important, that this doesn't have

00:54:23   to be writing a Swift command line app.

00:54:25   This can be, just like you said, something in Excel, it can be something with Automator,

00:54:29   if you're one of those iOS weirdos like Federico and Mike, then you can do this using workflow.

00:54:35   I mean, it's all, there's all sorts of different things you can do in all different levels

00:54:40   of the stack, or levels of abstraction, and it's just really, really nice and convenient.

00:54:46   And yeah, there's a couple of minor bugs I need to work out.

00:54:49   It occurred to me earlier tonight that the problem with going multithreaded is that as

00:54:53   multiple threads are trying to figure out if there's name collisions, sometimes one

00:54:58   thread will think there's not a name collision, and by the time it gets to copying the file,

00:55:02   there will be a name collision, which is unwise.

00:55:05   So I need to clean that up a little bit and make sure I have some gates in there where

00:55:10   those sorts of things are being figured out.

00:55:12   But nonetheless, the point I'm driving at is, whatever the level may be, be it in assembly

00:55:17   or be it in an Excel macro or anything in between, it's just really, really neat to

00:55:22   be able to solve these sorts of problems for yourself.

00:55:25   And once I get this thing like really and truly locked in, which I think I'm pretty

00:55:28   darn close, this is going to be perfect for me forever, because it was written for me.

00:55:35   Like you know, I guess my first contracting assignment for my newfound future, which may

00:55:40   or may not ever happen of being an iOS or Mac contractor, I hired myself. And so I wrote this

00:55:48   for myself. And you know what? I did a pretty great job. It's perfect, short of that one bug.

00:55:53   So, you know, it's just, it's this sort of thing. Like, and again, I can't stress enough,

00:55:59   like whatever your abilities may be, there's something like this that you can do. It may even

00:56:04   be in workflow. It may be whatever, but there's something like this you can do. And it feels so

00:56:09   great once it's done. Forecast is another great example actually. That was written entirely

00:56:14   for you, wasn't it? Like you never--

00:56:15   - And Sidetrack still is. Like Sidetrack is the DriftSync utility. Like that's still written

00:56:20   just for me in the language I already knew but doing something that was totally new to

00:56:24   me. Like, you know, similar to what you were just saying. Like it was wonderful and solved

00:56:27   a really big problem I had editing podcasts and lining up people's tracks. Like, but,

00:56:31   you know, and but like, you know, like you're probably gonna get at least two or three people

00:56:35   asking you to like open source this. You know, I've had handfuls of people ask me over the

00:56:38   the years that Sidetrack is now I think like four years old.

00:56:42   I've given it to a few friends here and there,

00:56:43   but it's not releasable.

00:56:46   There's a lot, it works, this is one of the advantages

00:56:48   of making things for yourself, it works for me

00:56:51   most of the time. (laughs)

00:56:53   - Right, exactly, exactly.

00:56:54   - Give it something it doesn't expect

00:56:56   or some kind of condition that I didn't consider

00:56:59   or that I never ran into myself so it's not really tested.

00:57:03   And it might not work so well or it might not work at all

00:57:06   or it might do weird things.

00:57:07   And so, you know, making something releasable

00:57:11   and then releasing it is way different and way more work

00:57:15   than making something that works for you.

00:57:17   And it's occasionally worth doing.

00:57:18   You know, some things are worth releasing to the world

00:57:20   for like the benefit of the world

00:57:21   or maybe for some kind of business reason.

00:57:22   But, you know, there's nothing wrong with making things

00:57:25   that are just for you that you never share with anybody

00:57:28   or that you share with only a couple of friends.

00:57:30   Like, it doesn't have to be a releasable big thing.

00:57:33   Like, I have, I usually use shell scripts

00:57:37   for these kinds of tasks,

00:57:38   'cause I just like using shell scripts a lot.

00:57:39   But I have a giant shell script that takes the input files

00:57:43   from each of the podcasts I do.

00:57:45   So it takes my file, the file you give me,

00:57:48   the file that Jon gives me for this show,

00:57:50   and I don't even have to move them out of Dropbox anymore.

00:57:53   It goes and looks in Dropbox

00:57:55   for the files where they're supposed to be,

00:57:57   moves them into my project directory,

00:58:00   decodes them, moves all the channels around,

00:58:03   decodes the weird call recorder files.

00:58:05   Like, you know, it does all this stuff,

00:58:07   mostly by calling out to FFmpeg and stuff like that,

00:58:09   lines them all up and outputs all the right files.

00:58:11   And it's just a big shell script,

00:58:12   and I made it just for me,

00:58:13   just to help me with this task I do every week

00:58:15   that's kind of tedious if I do it manually.

00:58:17   And it's great, and like,

00:58:18   just the ability of programmers to do this is just,

00:58:21   it's so wonderful and productive, like as,

00:58:25   to be a power user of a computer,

00:58:28   then to also be able to do

00:58:29   at least a little bit of programming,

00:58:30   you can just make the computer work so much better for you,

00:58:33   and take even more advantage of the massive amount

00:58:37   of computational power that is at our fingertips

00:58:39   just waiting for the right software

00:58:41   to come along and actually use it.

00:58:43   - One other final thought on this,

00:58:44   which I forgot to mention earlier.

00:58:46   I do have a problem with this thing that I've written.

00:58:49   And the problem that I have is that now I kinda wanna make

00:58:53   a full-on Mac app, like not a command line app,

00:58:56   like a full-on GUI Mac app where it'll basically--

00:58:58   - That's my problem with the thing you wrote,

00:59:00   the fact that you called it a Mac app,

00:59:01   and I was all excited.

00:59:02   - Wow, Casey wrote a Mac app, and you're like,

00:59:03   "No, he just wrote a shell script in Swift."

00:59:06   (laughing)

00:59:08   - That, as much as I really want to get angry

00:59:10   and argue with you, I think that is actually

00:59:11   a fair characterization.

00:59:13   But now I kind of do want a GUI app.

00:59:16   - Hey, Marco, you should make overcast for the Mac,

00:59:18   but just make it, you know, a command line script.

00:59:20   (laughing)

00:59:21   You know, it's a command line thing that just hits

00:59:23   the web interface endpoints and pulls down

00:59:25   the idea that way.

00:59:26   - It would just be a shell script, just like pipe it

00:59:28   to like, you know, AF play or whatever.

00:59:30   It's just a really long alias for a cURL command.

00:59:33   Yeah, exactly.

00:59:35   But no, now I do kind of want a GUI app.

00:59:36   So rather than just going on faith that this will work,

00:59:39   which again, short of this one bug,

00:59:41   has worked pretty well the few times I've used it so far.

00:59:44   But I'm thinking about maybe, quote, unquote,

00:59:48   "upgrading this to be a full-on GUI app," such

00:59:50   that this way I can kind of stage, OK,

00:59:53   here's what we think this file should be named,

00:59:56   and here's where it will belong.

00:59:57   It kind of like image capture.

00:59:59   I have this vision of something that aesthetically looks vaguely like image capture, where it's

01:00:04   basically like a big table of, "Here's a little preview of the image, here's maybe a couple

01:00:08   pieces of data about it, and then here's where we think it should end up.

01:00:13   Do you want to commit all these changes or tweak a couple things?"

01:00:16   And then there'll be basically the big green Go button that'll actually do it.

01:00:19   Whereas right now, it just goes immediately.

01:00:22   And it's copying, it's not moving, so in theory it's non-destructive.

01:00:26   it would be nice to be able to say,

01:00:28   ooh, actually that definitely is not right.

01:00:30   Let's tweak that, you know what I mean?

01:00:32   And so, who knows, maybe in my copious spare time,

01:00:35   I'll be able to write my first Mac GUI app, we'll see.

01:00:39   But--

01:00:40   - I'll tell you one thing, that is 10,000 times more work

01:00:42   than making the shell script version.

01:00:44   - Oh yeah, definitely.

01:00:46   - I've had similar thoughts about,

01:00:47   oh, I should really polish up Sidetrack

01:00:49   and make a little GUI for it

01:00:51   so people can drag in their files

01:00:52   and pick which channels should go where

01:00:54   and output the undrifted files, whatever.

01:00:57   And even that, that's just,

01:01:00   especially now that I know from forecast,

01:01:03   it's so much work.

01:01:04   GUIs are so much harder to make.

01:01:08   It's one thing if you just want a GUI,

01:01:13   but if you want a good one, that's very different.

01:01:15   If you want a nice Mac app,

01:01:16   or even a passably decent Mac app,

01:01:20   forecast is not a nice Mac app.

01:01:22   It's at best an okay passable Mac app.

01:01:25   But that's fine, it's not worth investing

01:01:29   tons and tons of my time into it

01:01:30   to make it a great Mac app.

01:01:32   You know, what you're talking about,

01:01:33   that's a pretty dramatic increase in the workload

01:01:36   for this problem. - Oh, 100%, yeah, yeah, yeah.

01:01:38   - And especially if you don't really need the GUI,

01:01:42   this wasn't, like, Sidetrack,

01:01:43   I don't need the GUI for Sidetrack.

01:01:44   I call it, in my giant shell scripts

01:01:46   that process my podcasts, and, you know,

01:01:49   like Jason Snell uses it, and I believe he made

01:01:52   an automator workflow to use it, so he can use it

01:01:55   kind of in a graphical way at least.

01:01:57   But you know, I just use it through a shell script,

01:01:59   so I don't need it.

01:02:01   So it's one of the things, I would love to do it someday,

01:02:04   but I'm probably never going to,

01:02:06   because it's probably not worth it.

01:02:07   You know, this is the kind of thing,

01:02:08   like if you don't need this GUI,

01:02:10   you're talking about now taking this nice, small,

01:02:15   you know, script basically, that works great for you,

01:02:18   Now you're talking about making it into a product basically.

01:02:21   You're talking about the amount of work necessary

01:02:22   to make it into a product for lots of people.

01:02:26   And then you have to deal with,

01:02:27   do you wanna release that?

01:02:28   'Cause once you put in all that much work,

01:02:30   you probably might as well release it,

01:02:31   then it's a big thing and you gotta support it.

01:02:33   Or even if it's free, or even if it's open source,

01:02:36   you still gotta deal with people's emails and questions

01:02:38   and pull requests if it's open source and everything.

01:02:41   It basically dramatically broadens the scope of this project

01:02:45   from a shell script that works for you

01:02:48   to this product, basically.

01:02:52   - Yeah, and I agree with you.

01:02:53   I think the thing is, though,

01:02:55   that even if I GUI-ified it, if you will,

01:02:58   it would be the world's most ugly user interface,

01:03:01   because it would be intended just for me.

01:03:03   And at most, I suspect I would open source it.

01:03:07   Like, I'm not saying I'm going to,

01:03:09   but I'm saying with this hypothetical GUI on top of it,

01:03:11   maybe I would open source it,

01:03:13   but I don't think I would ever properly release it.

01:03:14   But to that end, you're still right.

01:03:16   I would then feel guilty about ignoring all the poll requests that I would end up ignoring,

01:03:20   and I would feel guilty about ignoring all the issues I'd be ignoring.

01:03:23   No matter how much I said, "This is really made just for me, and it's not intended for

01:03:28   anyone else to use it," inevitably somebody else would be like, "Oh, I should use this,

01:03:32   but now I want something new."

01:03:34   Or it didn't work on this one file or whatever else.

01:03:37   Right, exactly, exactly.

01:03:38   So this is why...

01:03:39   And I don't mean this in like a...

01:03:41   I don't mean to be antagonistic about it.

01:03:45   These are all the reasons why I don't plan to release it, because no matter how much

01:03:49   I caveat, no matter how much I say, "Look, this was written just for me.

01:03:52   This code, I know it's garbage, but it was quick and dirty just to get it to work."

01:03:56   No matter how much you say that, nobody ever really and truly understands it.

01:04:00   And so it's just a waste of time to release this in any capacity, even with a GUI.

01:04:06   But on the plus side, though, that means it could be the world's ugliest, world's worst

01:04:10   GUI, and it would be okay, because it would be literally just for me.

01:04:13   I feel like GitHub has changed us a little bit and introduced a very important modern developer skill

01:04:18   Which is the ability to put source code up on

01:04:21   GitHub and you're under your github account and then feel zero guilt for ignoring it forever

01:04:26   Because all you're doing all the only reason you're putting it there is to have a convenient storage space

01:04:31   So when you need to get that shell script on some new Mac that you're setting up or like basically using github as hosting and as

01:04:37   version control for yourself and hosting for yourself

01:04:40   and with no intention of ever looking at the issues or ever answering anyone's questions about anything or caring how many people fork it or

01:04:48   Like I because I see a lot of that people have personal products and github

01:04:51   that it's so clear that they're just using it as like their their git remote and

01:04:56   Convenient hosting that's it. And I'm maybe you you know, you said you'd feel guilty about it or whatever, but like I think that

01:05:03   getting over that and eventually getting the discipline to

01:05:07   Reframe the problem in that way can be slightly freeing because because I think there is a benefit to not to having that source code like

01:05:14   Someplace else and to have it hosted

01:05:16   Even just as a single user. I mean I know you can just make it private like a why even make a puzzle

01:05:21   use use it we could have a mega prep, but

01:05:23   This I know this goes against what I just said

01:05:25   but every once in a while

01:05:26   Someone will do a convenient pull request or find a bug and you can just click a button and accept their thing and your program

01:05:32   Got better and you didn't have to do anything. It may be super rare that that happens

01:05:36   Maybe it's once every three years, but you know, I don't know. I just feel like that's a that's a good thing to be able to do

01:05:43   Because I feel bad about all like because we all have like piles of crap code like on our local computers for various purposes

01:05:50   And I feel bad about all that

01:05:52   I somehow I think I feel better if that crap code was like up on a public GitHub page for some

01:05:58   Poor person to stumble across and do with what they want

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01:07:50   It's time to return to Marco's Vinyl Corner.

01:07:57   Oh no, I forgot my own joke, Marco's Vinyl Arc.

01:07:59   (laughing)

01:08:02   - So, in the last episode of Marco's Vinyl Arc,

01:08:06   where I was discussing getting this turntable

01:08:09   and enjoying it and--

01:08:11   - You just need one more turntable

01:08:12   and you will have finally arrived.

01:08:14   - Oh, 'cause I have a microphone?

01:08:16   - Mm-hmm.

01:08:17   - Yeah, all right!

01:08:19   - Well done, I did not get that at all.

01:08:21   Well done.

01:08:22   - He may be oversubscribed in the microphone department.

01:08:24   - Yeah, exactly.

01:08:26   (laughing)

01:08:28   Anyway, part of the appeal, what I like about it is

01:08:33   that it is kind of the anti-technology,

01:08:35   that you just like, you put on, you manually take your hands

01:08:39   and you put a piece of physical media on a player

01:08:43   that plays it in almost the most basic analog way possible.

01:08:47   Like it's ridiculous how basic this technology really is

01:08:51   at heart and how little it's really doing.

01:08:54   And so, and I really enjoyed, you know,

01:08:57   not only like the anti-tech part of it

01:08:58   of just being so simple and not relying on things like

01:09:01   crappy spotty voice assistants, not relying on wifi,

01:09:04   or people's weird network stuff,

01:09:07   or services, or gated communities, or whatever else.

01:09:13   Just a single purpose device,

01:09:15   you put music onto it and it plays.

01:09:17   And then you get to listen to the music.

01:09:19   And you don't get to mess with the music,

01:09:22   you don't get to skip around super easy or change,

01:09:26   yell a different band name across the room

01:09:27   "Let's do a different band before the song's

01:09:28   "even finished yet," like we so often do with Yeko.

01:09:32   You have to sit and enjoy it slowly,

01:09:34   and there's a lot of advantages to that.

01:09:37   - Builds character, you might say.

01:09:40   - Okay.

01:09:41   But, as Jon rightfully pointed out,

01:09:44   you don't need a vinyl player to do that.

01:09:47   You can use a CD player or an iPod or a cassette deck

01:09:52   or an eight track, if those still exist.

01:09:54   you can use lots of things that can only play music.

01:09:57   You know, in the more modern way.

01:09:59   I didn't wanna just buy an iPod because A,

01:10:01   that introduces too much choice again.

01:10:03   'Cause then it's like, okay, now,

01:10:05   part of what I like about the vinyl situation

01:10:09   is that it forces me to really narrow down

01:10:12   what albums I actually want to buy.

01:10:15   Like, what albums are good enough

01:10:17   that I actually want this giant square

01:10:20   sitting in a bookshelf indefinitely?

01:10:21   Like, you know, so that's one angle.

01:10:25   And also, when I want to play some music,

01:10:30   it's nice to have restricted choice.

01:10:33   When you have like a cylinder you can speak into,

01:10:37   and you can just name anything in all of music,

01:10:41   and it will start playing, that's nice in certain contexts.

01:10:44   You know, it's nice to be able to just call up any song

01:10:46   if you wanna hear it.

01:10:47   But if you just want to like put something on

01:10:50   in the background or put something on to listen to

01:10:53   to chill out on the couch for a while or something,

01:10:56   I find that I'm almost paralyzed by the choice of that

01:10:59   and I often will just call up the same things

01:11:03   over and over again because I just can't think

01:11:05   of anything else off the top of my head.

01:11:08   I don't have that kind of, whatever kind of creativity

01:11:10   of the mind lets people call things up

01:11:13   or create new ideas out of nothing.

01:11:15   I've never really had that.

01:11:16   I need a prompt.

01:11:17   I joked on the show a long time ago

01:11:19   I'm not a salad power user when you go to one of those

01:11:22   trendy salad places.

01:11:23   (laughing)

01:11:24   I want a list of presets and I get to choose from the

01:11:26   presets and maybe do some customization from the salad,

01:11:29   but I just want presets to choose from.

01:11:32   And so one thing I like also about the vinyl situation

01:11:35   is that when I want to go play something,

01:11:38   I can look through the, roughly,

01:11:40   I think I have about 20 albums now,

01:11:41   I can look through the 20 albums and just say,

01:11:44   "Which of these do I want to listen to right now?"

01:11:45   By nature, it's all stuff I like,

01:11:49   because we bought them.

01:11:50   So it's not like, I don't have to look through

01:11:51   every artist ever in the history of the world.

01:11:54   I'm already looking at stuff I like,

01:11:56   and I'd be fine putting on pretty much any of them,

01:11:59   and I'll see one, and I'm like, oh yeah,

01:12:00   let's put on that one.

01:12:01   But I wouldn't have thought to call it up

01:12:03   if I was just given a prompt by voice,

01:12:05   like oh, what do you wanna listen to?

01:12:06   I don't know.

01:12:08   So that part's nice as well.

01:12:09   - This system's gonna fall apart

01:12:11   when you've purchased your first 7,000 albums

01:12:14   and have a section of your house dedicated to stacks

01:12:17   stacks of them and now you've just recreated your iPod in physical form.

01:12:21   Right, okay. So anyway.

01:12:22   Well that's the thing, like, you remember record collections when we were, well when

01:12:27   I was a kid and maybe you remember it well, like people would fill their houses with these

01:12:30   things.

01:12:31   Oh yeah. My dad has one.

01:12:32   Yeah, in fact we actually, we didn't, in my house growing up we had, our upstairs was,

01:12:37   it was just like the three bedrooms and the bathroom arranged like basically in a giant

01:12:41   square with like a little tiny like hexagonal hallway in the middle. It wasn't even like

01:12:45   like a long hallway, it was like a little

01:12:47   like hexagonal landing, basically,

01:12:49   with like a door to each of the rooms and that's it.

01:12:52   And there was nowhere in the house where my mom

01:12:54   could store her massive record collection.

01:12:55   So in that tiny little hallway were just like four

01:12:59   like milk crate type baskets just filled with records.

01:13:04   And so basically my entire childhood growing up,

01:13:07   I would all the time stub my toe on these giant boxes

01:13:11   of vinyl that were sitting in the hallway to our house

01:13:14   that I walked through constantly.

01:13:15   You just squeeze between two of them

01:13:17   to walk into the door of my bedroom.

01:13:19   Like, anyway, yeah, big pain in the butt.

01:13:22   Anyway, I'm really enjoying the vinyl.

01:13:24   However, there are a couple of limitations.

01:13:27   Obviously, one of them, as Jon mentioned before,

01:13:29   is that you get like five minutes of playtime

01:13:31   before you flip it over,

01:13:32   especially on these new audio file masters

01:13:33   where they take like one album that's on,

01:13:37   if it's on CD, it's on one CD,

01:13:39   but if it's on vinyl, they split it onto four sides,

01:13:42   like two discs, four sides,

01:13:44   Each one with like three songs at best.

01:13:46   (laughs)

01:13:47   So that's kind of a pain.

01:13:49   And that isn't even for length reasons.

01:13:51   Like there's these giant black gaps in the middle.

01:13:53   Anyway, so that's a minor pain.

01:13:56   But one of the more glaring limitations of this

01:13:59   is that this only works for albums

01:14:02   that are available on vinyl.

01:14:04   And not everything, and not even just Phish,

01:14:07   not everything is available on vinyl

01:14:10   that I wanna listen to in this fashion.

01:14:12   I would like something that I can just, you know,

01:14:16   take some kind of physical media

01:14:18   that can be in some kind of small collection,

01:14:20   like what I have with the records,

01:14:22   and put it into a player and have it just start playing.

01:14:26   And to remove all of the abilities I have

01:14:29   with a voice assistant who just yell across the room

01:14:32   to have it change, to make it not that easy

01:14:34   to even skip a song, 'cause I actually kinda like

01:14:37   being forced to listen to all the songs.

01:14:39   'Cause as I mentioned last time,

01:14:41   I've always been a full album listener.

01:14:43   I don't use shuffle or anything.

01:14:45   I always listen to full albums.

01:14:47   Obviously, one thing I could do is just get a CD player

01:14:50   and just get CDs, 'cause CDs cost nothing.

01:14:54   If you go on Amazon and look to buy used CDs,

01:14:57   any album you want, you can buy a used CD

01:15:00   for like 50 cents plus $4 shipping.

01:15:02   So they basically cost nothing. (laughs)

01:15:05   And I also thought, I also kinda want the ability

01:15:10   to make my own, like maybe certain albums

01:15:12   that aren't even available on CD,

01:15:13   or like certain like fish shows I wanna like

01:15:15   have a whole show, or like a band like The Beatles,

01:15:19   where I like a lot of Beatles songs,

01:15:21   but I don't like any of their albums well enough

01:15:23   to play them straight through,

01:15:25   or things like the two Gleam albums by the Avid Brothers.

01:15:29   They're both EPs.

01:15:30   I would like to have that be one long CD

01:15:32   that's the regular length of an album,

01:15:34   'cause they're really good,

01:15:35   but you know, it's two very short EPs.

01:15:37   So anyway, so I wanted some degree of customizability

01:15:40   physical media and a way to play it

01:15:42   where I could literally just put it in,

01:15:44   not navigate any menus of anything,

01:15:46   not even have like the TV on in living room,

01:15:49   just put it in and it can start playing

01:15:52   and I can walk away.

01:15:53   So again, CDs I think are the most obvious solution to this.

01:15:57   These days, any CD player that you can find

01:16:00   that's at all reasonable will also be able

01:16:02   to play MP3 CDs and so that blows through

01:16:05   any kind of length limit you might be worried about

01:16:07   with single disks.

01:16:08   The downside of CDs is that then I would have to have

01:16:11   a CD burner on my computer all the time.

01:16:13   I'd have to get out a CD burner out of my closet

01:16:15   and plug it in and deal with that whenever I wanted

01:16:18   to create a new one of these.

01:16:20   So I wanted to see if I could do better.

01:16:22   In the last segment that we talked about this

01:16:25   a few weeks ago, I jokingly said,

01:16:27   why don't I just get something that can play songs

01:16:29   off of an SD card?

01:16:30   Wouldn't it be cool to have a little box full of SD cards?

01:16:34   (laughs)

01:16:36   And you can make 'em like tiny little record albums.

01:16:38   And so basically, I decided, let me try

01:16:43   to actually make something that does this.

01:16:46   There's this entire world out there

01:16:48   that I have not yet taken part in

01:16:51   of really small, really inexpensive hobbyist computer gear

01:16:55   led by things like the Arduino and Raspberry Pi projects.

01:16:58   And the more basic stuff, like the Arduino-based stuff,

01:17:01   I haven't used any of it before,

01:17:03   but once you get into things like wiring things

01:17:06   on breadboards, this is beyond my level of expertise

01:17:09   and my level of interest, honestly.

01:17:10   I don't really want to get into the hardware manipulation

01:17:15   side of things for the most part.

01:17:17   Anything that involves putting resistors on,

01:17:20   soldering anything, or using those little waffle board

01:17:22   breadboard things, that's not for me right now.

01:17:26   Raspberry Pi, on the other hand,

01:17:28   has a bunch of really interesting stuff that,

01:17:30   until I started looking at this,

01:17:31   I really didn't realize quite how much stuff there was,

01:17:35   quite how easy it was to use,

01:17:37   and quite how little it all cost.

01:17:39   Again, I've mentioned before, in the Apple ecosystem,

01:17:42   it's kind of, if we spend too much time in Apple world,

01:17:45   it's easy to miss or to not be aware of

01:17:49   quite how cheap everything else is everywhere else.

01:17:52   What you can get for under $50

01:17:56   for almost any type of category that's not by Apple,

01:17:59   it's pretty remarkable.

01:18:01   So I decided I'm gonna get a Raspberry Pi

01:18:03   and I'm gonna try to build an SD card audio player.

01:18:06   I ordered the Raspberry Pi, I got like the,

01:18:08   I mean, and there's, again, there's tons of different ones.

01:18:11   The smallest one is like $10.

01:18:13   Like it's ridiculous what you can get.

01:18:15   I got like the kind of regular one,

01:18:17   which the board is about, I think $35,

01:18:20   and I got a little plastic case for it for like another 10

01:18:22   and a little USB power supply for another,

01:18:25   you know, five or 10 or whatever.

01:18:26   And it's just a Linux computer.

01:18:28   Like it's a little tiny Linux computer

01:18:30   with a remarkable amount of hardware and power.

01:18:33   Like, it has four USB ports, HDMI out,

01:18:37   audio out, and like, and composite video

01:18:40   if you need that for some reason,

01:18:42   and WiFi and ethernet.

01:18:44   All of that, and one gig of RAM,

01:18:46   and a pretty decent ARM processor.

01:18:48   All with, oh, with an SD card that came with it

01:18:51   in this bundle package, with a microSD card

01:18:54   that has a preloaded installation of a Raspbian.

01:18:59   It's like the Debian variant, I think, for Raspberry Pi.

01:19:04   You plug it in, and I plugged in this little tiny

01:19:06   HDMI monitor I got for my video, my failed video career.

01:19:09   And you plug in any keyboard, mouse, and HDMI monitor,

01:19:13   and it comes pre-configured.

01:19:15   The SD card has, you launch it the first time,

01:19:18   and it shows you a GUI.

01:19:20   You can navigate with the mouse you put into it.

01:19:22   And it's like, all right, pick your distribution,

01:19:23   and we'll install it for you.

01:19:25   And you pick whatever it is, you plug it into the network,

01:19:27   And it downloads the distribution with your settings,

01:19:30   you give it your WiFi password during setup,

01:19:32   and then it overwrites itself with the distribution

01:19:35   that you just picked with the WiFi preconfigured.

01:19:37   Like it's shocking, like how good this is,

01:19:40   and how really relatively easy it is to use.

01:19:43   And then I had a Linux computer that was ready to go

01:19:47   with built-in audio, built-in networking, built-in USB,

01:19:50   for me to do whatever I wanted with.

01:19:52   So I poked around, you know, one of the things

01:19:55   audio playback that is important to me is gapless playback. So I can't just do like

01:20:00   a shell script that just like you know calls like a terminal thing that just plays audio

01:20:04   synchronously and then stops and then goes to the next track. I want a gapless playback

01:20:08   between tracks because a lot of the albums that I listen to are live albums or they have

01:20:12   transitions between songs and so a gap between everything is you know just kind of it's jarring

01:20:18   and it's kind of you know inelegant and so I wanted gapless and it turns out there's

01:20:22   this great music player that's been around forever that of course I never knew about

01:20:25   because I've been in Appleland called MPD, Music Player Demon, and it does gapless with

01:20:32   no effort. This software is really advanced, I had no idea. And the Raspberry Pi has a

01:20:41   microSD slot, but that's for its disk, you can't really use it for anything else. It

01:20:45   has to boot off of that. So I had to add my own card reader, but I had a drawer full of

01:20:50   of card readers and it's, I made a shell script

01:20:52   that would respond to the card being inserted via UDEV.

01:20:56   It copies any audio files off of that card

01:21:00   into a temp directory and as it's copying,

01:21:02   it starts playing the first one,

01:21:03   so it's fast response time and then it unmounts the card.

01:21:08   And if you remove the card, it stops.

01:21:11   I gotta say, it took not that much effort

01:21:14   and it pretty much works.

01:21:16   And there's a couple of things I did with it

01:21:18   that I do wanna touch on, but it's kind of awesome.

01:21:22   Like, I wish I had, like, now I'm just like brainstorming,

01:21:26   like, I wish I had more things

01:21:28   that I needed Raspberry Pis for,

01:21:30   because I can't believe how good

01:21:33   and how easy it is to use this stuff,

01:21:35   and how cheap it all was.

01:21:38   Like, it kind of ignited in me this, like,

01:21:41   this satisfaction and happiness that like,

01:21:43   oh my god, I just made this awesome little computer

01:21:45   to do this crazy cool thing that I wanted.

01:21:49   Similar to, we mentioned earlier,

01:21:51   the satisfaction of being a programmer

01:21:53   and being able to have a computer solve a problem for you

01:21:55   by writing a script or something to do it.

01:21:57   This was like the hardware version of that.

01:21:58   I wanted a little SD card player to play audio

01:22:02   in a very simple way, and I just made one.

01:22:05   And it wasn't that hard,

01:22:06   'cause I already know how to use Linux.

01:22:08   And it was really so satisfying,

01:22:12   and such a fun little project.

01:22:15   You know, we don't get a lot of fun in the Apple world.

01:22:18   Like, we get some cool stuff,

01:22:19   but they're not so big on fun.

01:22:22   This was just like a fun little thing,

01:22:23   and it was really nice to do, very satisfying,

01:22:27   and I'm just so thankful to the world of Linux

01:22:30   and open source software,

01:22:31   and these amazing hobbyist things like Raspberry Pi,

01:22:34   and I even later spent another $30

01:22:38   to upgrade the audio interface in it

01:22:40   with this company called HiFiBerry

01:22:42   It just makes a variety of audio I/O boards

01:22:45   that just stick right on top of the Raspberry Pi

01:22:47   using the big I/O header that's on it.

01:22:50   And they sell their own little cases

01:22:52   that are a little bit taller that fit it.

01:22:54   It's amazing.

01:22:55   And so I made this awesome player.

01:22:57   Now there are certain things that didn't go so well.

01:23:00   The idea of automatically detecting an SD card

01:23:06   being inserted or removed does indeed work from UDEV,

01:23:10   but doesn't work all the time.

01:23:13   Occasionally it gets into a state where it stops sending

01:23:17   add and remove events, it only sends change events.

01:23:21   So I have a little bit of a tweak that I need to do there.

01:23:24   That also seems to vary with which card reader I'm using.

01:23:27   One of them seems to work more reliably than the others

01:23:29   in this regard, so I'm just sticking with that one,

01:23:31   it's fine.

01:23:32   Also the, I guess that's really the only major problem.

01:23:35   Oh, the other problem is like, I assumed that it would be

01:23:38   really easy to go on eBay and buy large lots

01:23:42   of used low-capacity SD cards for very little money.

01:23:46   Because if you have, to copy over an album,

01:23:49   or even if you encode it with ALAC

01:23:53   or some kind of large, you know, FLAC,

01:23:54   some kind of large codec,

01:23:56   that's still only gonna be 300 megs maybe.

01:23:59   And so if you have a card that's a gig or 512 megs,

01:24:03   that's enough for this purpose.

01:24:04   You don't need larger cards than that.

01:24:07   So I assumed it'd be really easy to just go online

01:24:09   and get like, you know, lots of used one gig SD cards

01:24:11   for like a dollar each or something or less.

01:24:14   It turns out it's not so easy.

01:24:16   I don't know where these all are,

01:24:17   but they're not being sold very, very often.

01:24:20   So the best I could do is there's a couple of vendors

01:24:24   that sell 10 packs of 16 gig cheap cards

01:24:29   for about $5 each.

01:24:31   - That's insane.

01:24:33   Oh my gosh, that's cheap.

01:24:35   - Yeah, exactly.

01:24:36   Understand it's more than you need like I totally get what you're driving out, but man

01:24:39   That's cheap 16 gigs and you're gonna put an album's worth of mp3

01:24:43   Smaller cards, I can't find smaller cards or at least or like the smaller ones are also $5 each

01:24:50   So it's like well, I might as well get the 16 gig for the same price. I

01:24:53   Continue to think that you need to take this one step farther and put all of your music on the internal very large SD card

01:25:01   That's part of the Raspberry Pi and have the thing that you insert

01:25:05   basically be an amiibo like a QR code or an NFC thing.

01:25:10   Like it's just a series of these little chips.

01:25:13   They don't even have to have electronics in them.

01:25:14   They just need to have some sort of little code that says,

01:25:16   please play this track that you already have

01:25:18   on your internal SD card.

01:25:19   That's what you need.

01:25:20   - Well, I brainstorm other options.

01:25:22   So, you know, one option would be like,

01:25:23   I think one of the coolest options would be,

01:25:25   you get one of the little camera modules for it

01:25:28   and you just show it like a little card.

01:25:30   - No, show it your album, hold up the vinyl album to it.

01:25:32   - But you know, a lot of things are things

01:25:34   that aren't available on vinyl.

01:25:35   So I'm thinking like, you know, you basically get like

01:25:36   a little like, have like a little like card file

01:25:38   of like index cards that are just like printed album art

01:25:41   and just hold it up and have it recognize it.

01:25:43   - Oh, oh wait, I've got an idea.

01:25:44   How about you just put up a microphone

01:25:46   and then you could say what song you wanted to play

01:25:48   and it would play it.

01:25:49   - Wow.

01:25:51   - Oh, did I ruin it?

01:25:52   - Yeah, a little bit.

01:25:53   (laughing)

01:25:54   - I mean, I'm glad you're having a good time

01:25:56   with this hobby thing, but like,

01:25:58   I just keep thinking of these little cards.

01:26:00   I mean, on the other angle of little cards,

01:26:02   I feel like you should maybe get some of that spray

01:26:04   that Nintendo uses for the Switch cartridges

01:26:06   to make sure like, no small children in your house

01:26:08   eat your music.

01:26:09   (laughing)

01:26:11   Just think of what else you could do with that spray.

01:26:12   I mean, I know Hopps isn't a chewer, but you know.

01:26:14   - No, he's not.

01:26:15   And I also considered other,

01:26:17   so one thing I considered when I was battling U-Dev

01:26:20   for reliability, I was thinking like, okay, maybe,

01:26:24   if the problem is that the SD card readers

01:26:26   aren't reliably telling U-Dev sometimes

01:26:27   when things are added and removed,

01:26:29   maybe the solution is to either use compact flashcards,

01:26:33   which I didn't go down that path, at least not yet,

01:26:36   because eventually you'd have calmed down.

01:26:39   But I also thought, what about cheap little USB sticks,

01:26:41   like thumb drives?

01:26:42   Because those are their own complete USB devices,

01:26:47   so they should be more reliable at telling the system--

01:26:48   - Yeah, but then you have to try to put them in three times

01:26:51   every time you wanna listen to music.

01:26:52   - Exactly, yeah, that's one problem.

01:26:55   And also they're just kind of ugly and clunky.

01:26:57   But I did look, and they have about the same pricing.

01:27:00   You can get like, those kind that you get

01:27:02   at every conference ever,

01:27:03   they have like the big flip around metal cover,

01:27:06   like the swivels around, the plastic insert,

01:27:08   like everyone's seen these,

01:27:10   and you can get them printed with your logo and everything.

01:27:12   Those cost about the same, like a few dollars each,

01:27:15   is roughly what those cost.

01:27:16   So like, these are fine solutions,

01:27:19   and it depends on how many of these cards

01:27:20   or things I intend to have, but they're fun.

01:27:23   You know, I'm probably not gonna do a whole lot.

01:27:25   The other downside I found with the SD cards is

01:27:28   I had this great image in my mind of having these

01:27:31   wonderful little labels that I could print the album art

01:27:35   onto a label that fits the SD card

01:27:37   and be able to flick through my little box of SD cards

01:27:41   and be able to look at tiny little versions

01:27:42   of what the record would look like

01:27:43   if it was tiny and rectangular.

01:27:45   And I even got the right size labels.

01:27:47   They're .75 by one inch.

01:27:49   They come in sheets by Avery and they're printable.

01:27:53   but the print quality on them is so bad.

01:27:55   Like I tried, I have an inkjet and a laser

01:27:58   and I tried them both and they both look horrendous

01:28:01   when printing on these and they're really hard to align.

01:28:04   Oh, and also when you put a label on an SD card

01:28:06   and then put it into an SD card reader,

01:28:07   it doesn't fit as well.

01:28:09   (laughing)

01:28:09   So.

01:28:10   - Being keeping with the rest of this project,

01:28:12   I feel like you should hire some sort of artisan

01:28:14   who lives in Portland to use a single hair brush

01:28:16   to hand paint each one of your things onto the SD card.

01:28:21   - Yeah, yeah, yeah.

01:28:22   - Like do the, you ever see people do these sculptures

01:28:24   with like graphite from a pencil?

01:28:27   - Oh yeah, absolutely, yeah.

01:28:28   - Yeah, get one of those people to do it.

01:28:29   They'll do it for you.

01:28:30   (laughing)

01:28:32   - Yeah, anyway, this has been a fun project.

01:28:35   Ultimately, I think the better solution to all of this

01:28:40   is probably just a CD burner, honestly.

01:28:43   (laughing)

01:28:45   So I'm really glad I did it.

01:28:47   (laughing)

01:28:49   But, and it'll work sometimes,

01:28:51   But I think a CD burner is actually the better solution

01:28:55   to this problem because I can put it right into

01:28:58   my Blu-ray player and it just starts playing

01:29:00   so I don't need to turn the TV on.

01:29:02   That problem gets solved that way,

01:29:05   but the downside is I have to have a CD burner

01:29:07   somewhere on my desk.

01:29:08   - See, but this is the same thing that I just went through

01:29:10   in a much different scale.

01:29:11   Like, the easiest answer for me to return

01:29:13   that stupid dongle would be to throw it away.

01:29:15   The second easiest answer would have been to give it to UPS.

01:29:17   But I wanted to try something different.

01:29:20   And I'm actually really jealous of this, even though I think this is a truly preposterous

01:29:25   reason to get into the Raspberry Pi.

01:29:27   I have been searching for a reason to teach myself what the hell the Raspberry Pi and

01:29:32   Arduino are all about, and I have yet to come up with a good reason to do it.

01:29:36   And so in that sense, I'm super jealous of what you've done, because you now know a whole

01:29:41   bunch about this world that I know absolutely nothing about, and I want to know about.

01:29:46   And so I applaud this.

01:29:48   - Well, I mean, I'll tell you what though,

01:29:49   I think you're overestimating what you need to know.

01:29:52   Like, I was shocked how little I needed to do.

01:29:54   Like, this entire project, I've been keeping it basically

01:29:57   in one shell script on my desktop,

01:29:59   like one text file that, right now, let me see,

01:30:02   it's 90 lines to set up this entire thing.

01:30:05   (laughing)

01:30:05   That's all, it's very basic, because all I'm doing

01:30:10   is like responding to a system daemon with a shell script

01:30:13   when things are inserted and removed,

01:30:15   and sending really simple commands to,

01:30:18   oh, I gotta get into the control aspect of it as well.

01:30:21   The regularly, insert the card, it plays,

01:30:24   take out the card, it stops.

01:30:26   That's done, it requires no external control or anything.

01:30:30   But I did think it would be nice

01:30:32   to at least have a play/pause button.

01:30:35   And there's a number of different ways to do this.

01:30:37   You can get, for instance, you can get buttons,

01:30:40   like actual physical buttons that have little wires on them

01:30:43   that you can, that have little connector on them

01:30:45   that plug right into that big IO header

01:30:48   on the Raspberry Pi, the GPIO header,

01:30:51   and you can run a little Python service

01:30:53   that responds to button presses on those buttons.

01:30:57   Really simply, and I actually got a little pair of buttons.

01:31:00   I ended up not using them for,

01:31:02   I'll get into it in a minute,

01:31:03   but that's a thing you can do.

01:31:04   And again, a pair of buttons is like six bucks.

01:31:07   Again, it's so wonderful how inexpensive

01:31:11   and affordable all the stuff is.

01:31:12   I've heard a lot of people talk about

01:31:14   how they're used in schools, where you can,

01:31:17   like at these prices, if you can get a little computer board

01:31:20   for $35 or less, you can get like one of the $10 ones,

01:31:22   you know, you can outfit a whole classroom with these things

01:31:25   and have students doing projects with these things.

01:31:28   That's incredible.

01:31:30   And to have just the amount of computing power

01:31:34   and flexibility and hardware that you can get,

01:31:37   like it's a whole computer.

01:31:38   You can, a Raspberry Pi could be a Linux computer,

01:31:41   like it could be a desktop.

01:31:43   You can plug a monitoring keyboard and mouse into it

01:31:44   and use it as a desktop.

01:31:45   Like it wouldn't be the fastest desktop in the world,

01:31:48   but you could still do it, and some people do it.

01:31:51   It's just incredible what you can do with these things.

01:31:54   Like I saw Steve Trout and Smith,

01:31:56   he recently made himself a HomeKit camera

01:32:01   by using a Raspberry Pi, one of the tiny ones,

01:32:03   with the camera module that's available for them

01:32:06   in a little tiny case.

01:32:08   And it's like a security camera for his house

01:32:10   that's HomeKit compatible through God knows what,

01:32:12   And he made it out of Raspberry Pi for probably under $50.

01:32:16   That's just incredible.

01:32:18   To have this kind of power available to people,

01:32:21   it really is game-changing.

01:32:24   And I know this is not a sudden thing.

01:32:26   I know this didn't just begin yesterday.

01:32:27   I'm just discovering it.

01:32:29   I'm late to it.

01:32:30   And it just blows my mind what's available here.

01:32:33   And it's so inspiring to make me want

01:32:36   to do more projects with it.

01:32:37   And for me, and this kind of played into earlier

01:32:39   what I was saying about I wish the HomePod had a line in.

01:32:42   As I'm dipping my toe in this world just for five seconds,

01:32:45   it's really obvious to me,

01:32:47   you know I really do like things being open.

01:32:49   And I really do,

01:32:50   I see the value in openness and free software

01:32:56   and just this whole world,

01:32:58   open hardware, open software.

01:33:00   The power that the technology we have today

01:33:03   can offer to us if some of these walls are knocked down

01:33:07   or not there in the first place.

01:33:09   Anyway, one more quick thing.

01:33:10   I did decide, let me play with remote control options.

01:33:15   I actually had, do you guys know Samuel Clay

01:33:19   and the NewsBlur product that he makes?

01:33:23   Well, he did a Kickstarter about, I don't know,

01:33:25   maybe a year ago for a little wooden,

01:33:28   like Internet of Things type remote called Turn Touch.

01:33:31   And I backed it and I got two of them.

01:33:33   And it's this little, like beautiful little square

01:33:36   wooden remote with four buttons on it.

01:33:38   It interfaces with either, I think, an iOS device

01:33:40   or in my case I'm using my Mac mini server

01:33:42   to be like the host receiver for it.

01:33:45   And you can map these buttons to do whatever you want.

01:33:47   I made a little interface,

01:33:48   again using Bash shell scripting.

01:33:51   I made a little interface on the SD card player

01:33:55   that just uses Netcat as like a simple command interface

01:33:59   that to listen for the commands,

01:34:01   just listen for the strings, play, pause, next and previous.

01:34:06   and on the Mac that's hosting the Turn Touch app,

01:34:11   I mapped it to send using Netcat shell scripts,

01:34:15   to just set each of the buttons to send,

01:34:16   play pause, previous, next, stop.

01:34:19   It was, again, like a half hour maybe to get this set up.

01:34:22   I never even had used Netcat before,

01:34:24   but I didn't even know it existed, but it did,

01:34:27   and it was super easy, it took like two seconds

01:34:30   to make a bash script that was a network service

01:34:33   with a command response, and it was just incredible.

01:34:36   what you can do with this stuff,

01:34:38   if you have the Linux chops

01:34:41   or the shell stripping chops, I guess.

01:34:42   And so now I have this little remote

01:34:45   that sends basic commands through MPC to MPD

01:34:49   and is play/pause and next track, previous track.

01:34:53   It's just amazing.

01:34:54   I really do like this world.

01:34:56   I don't immediately have any ideas

01:34:58   for what else I can do with it,

01:35:00   but I'm gonna keep trying to come up with some

01:35:01   because it's just so fun as a nerd to play with this stuff.

01:35:05   - Yeah, this is super cool.

01:35:06   I'm super jealous that you've come up with all this.

01:35:09   - 2018, year of the shell script,

01:35:11   even if it's written in Swift.

01:35:12   (laughing)

01:35:15   - All right, so we should do Ask ATP.

01:35:18   Let's see, we're starting with,

01:35:19   I will let you pronounce this, John,

01:35:21   since you put this in the show notes.

01:35:23   - I'm gonna go with Hans Schäulein.

01:35:25   - Wow, I sound different.

01:35:27   (laughing)

01:35:28   - Well done, John.

01:35:30   John put this in the show notes,

01:35:32   and the question is,

01:35:33   I want to remove clutter and unused old files from my system.

01:35:36   However, not delete them.

01:35:38   A lot are like the entire Unity or Blender projects

01:35:42   I did a few years ago that I don't really need anymore.

01:35:43   However, I don't want to just delete them

01:35:45   because too frequently I deleted something ancient

01:35:47   and needed it half a year later

01:35:48   because of something really specific I did there.

01:35:50   What should I do?

01:35:51   Connect to disk drive every time I want to

01:35:52   quote unquote offload something,

01:35:53   burn crap loads of CDs or DVDs and pile them in a corner,

01:35:57   buy a server and put it on an FTP server somewhere

01:36:00   where I dump all those files, get a NAS.

01:36:02   I'm looking for a reliable solution

01:36:03   that I will still have access to in 20 years.

01:36:06   I really think just get an ass

01:36:09   is the easy answer to this question,

01:36:10   but I'm assuming that you guys have other thoughts.

01:36:12   So, since Jon wrote this into the show notes,

01:36:15   Marco, do you have any immediate thoughts,

01:36:17   and then we'll let Jon give us the real answer.

01:36:20   - To me, I've actually recently gone through this

01:36:22   a little bit, I mean, first of all,

01:36:23   I just told you a reason why,

01:36:24   I might be having a CD burner on my desk,

01:36:26   but I used to burn first DVD-Rs,

01:36:30   And then I got the bright idea in my head a while ago

01:36:33   that I should get a Blu-ray burner

01:36:34   'cause that was the next thing after DVDs.

01:36:37   And I decided, oh, 25 gigs per disc

01:36:40   and then later even more, that would be great.

01:36:42   I can burn archive discs of all my important files

01:36:45   and have this master set of backups

01:36:47   in this big CD box in the closet or whatever else.

01:36:51   And I started that, I did that for a little while.

01:36:54   But it turns out 25 gigs isn't that much anymore.

01:36:56   And even when the fancier multi-layer discs

01:36:59   came out like a couple years back.

01:37:01   Even they, they're still not really enough to be useful.

01:37:05   And turns out Blu-ray burners are finicky

01:37:07   and they're a pain and they're unreliable.

01:37:09   And the world of Blu-ray burning disks is unreliable.

01:37:13   There's lots of different formats.

01:37:16   The burners don't always burn them all similarly

01:37:19   or are compatible with them.

01:37:21   So you basically have this array

01:37:23   of what's really quite obscure formats.

01:37:27   The idea of being able to read them in 20 years

01:37:29   has a number of problems.

01:37:31   Whatever disk format you're writing is not a Blu-ray movie.

01:37:35   It's not a Blu-ray disk, and it's very possible

01:37:38   that any drive you can find in 20 years

01:37:40   might not actually read that physical format.

01:37:43   The second problem you're gonna have

01:37:44   is that optical disks deteriorate.

01:37:47   They are all based on organic dyes

01:37:49   and certain assumptions that over time

01:37:52   have proven to not always be the case.

01:37:55   If you have, even today, we're a good 15 years

01:38:00   past the heyday of CDRs.

01:38:03   If you still have CDRs in your closet somewhere,

01:38:06   you might not be able to read them anymore.

01:38:08   They actually might have deteriorated

01:38:09   to the point where you can't read them.

01:38:11   Same thing with most DVDs.

01:38:12   DVDs were a little better 'cause they sandwiched

01:38:14   the organic layer between two pieces of plastic

01:38:16   instead of just having it on the top the way CDs did.

01:38:19   So they had a little more protection.

01:38:21   There's still deterioration of the dyes

01:38:23   and layers that happens.

01:38:25   And so it's very light, like the initial estimates

01:38:27   of how long recordable media was supposed to last,

01:38:30   many of them have not been achieved.

01:38:32   And they've had to revise those estimates

01:38:33   to be like, oh actually these don't last 50 or 100 years

01:38:36   or a thousand years, they actually might last like five years

01:38:40   and so you have reliability issues there.

01:38:42   There actually was, there's one type of Blu-ray disc

01:38:46   called M-Disc that was supposed to last for a millennium,

01:38:49   supposed to last a thousand years.

01:38:51   And I actually bought it, I still have a spindle

01:38:52   in my closet that I bought aspirationally,

01:38:56   thinking I would use them, and I never did.

01:38:58   Still unopened, I almost threw it away last week.

01:39:00   (laughing)

01:39:02   Because it's supposedly supposed to solve this problem,

01:39:05   but optical discs are not as reliable

01:39:09   and long-lasting as we think they are.

01:39:11   They have proven that so far,

01:39:12   and even this M disc that's supposed to last forever

01:39:15   and be for archival purposes,

01:39:17   they're brand new, relatively speaking.

01:39:19   And so we don't actually know.

01:39:21   Everyone thought that recordable CDs and DVDs

01:39:23   would last a long time too and they didn't.

01:39:25   So you can try to simulate some things here and there

01:39:28   but it's not always dependable.

01:39:33   And then the other thing is again,

01:39:35   are you gonna be able to find a drive in 20 years

01:39:37   that can read these discs?

01:39:38   I think that's fairly unlikely.

01:39:40   You might be able to find a drive that reads Blu-rays

01:39:44   but it might not read these Blu-rays or whatever else.

01:39:47   I think your options are going to be fairly weak there.

01:39:50   Your best option here is to use hard drives

01:39:54   and every few years when you get larger ones,

01:39:58   move the stuff to the larger ones.

01:40:01   'Cause the only way to keep data like this

01:40:03   really preserved long term is to take it with you,

01:40:06   to move it periodically to the new setup.

01:40:09   If you don't do that, you are reliant on

01:40:12   certain technologies being very long lasting

01:40:15   and being able to be read forever

01:40:18   and that's just unlikely to be true.

01:40:21   Meanwhile, hard drives are huge and relatively cost nothing

01:40:26   for the amount of storage you get.

01:40:27   You can get such large drives now

01:40:29   that if you are offloading what used to be considered

01:40:32   large files five, 10 years ago,

01:40:35   today you can get one hard drive for $200 or less

01:40:39   that can hold all of them,

01:40:41   probably plus a lot of extra space.

01:40:44   So that's my recommended solution is

01:40:47   use hard drive somehow, whether that's in a NAS,

01:40:50   or whether that's just external disks that you plug in

01:40:53   once a year to check them and move them onto new ones.

01:40:56   And also, by the way, have some redundancy here.

01:40:59   Like, one external drive, having your only copy

01:41:03   of something is still just one disk,

01:41:06   and that disk can fail and you can lose everything.

01:41:08   So, you know, have things on multiple disks.

01:41:11   But the grand, the overarching answer to the question is,

01:41:15   Don't just leave them in a box for 20 years.

01:41:17   Keep them moving with you as technology moves on,

01:41:20   as drives get bigger, as your setups change.

01:41:23   And then down the road, maybe just move them

01:41:25   to cloud storage.

01:41:26   - Yeah, that pretty much covers it.

01:41:27   The only thing I would add is if you really wanna go for,

01:41:30   like how do I do that, how do I keep the data moving

01:41:33   in my large current set while making sure I have redundancy

01:41:37   is you, so you want it to be your currently active

01:41:41   pile of data, you want that currently active pile of data

01:41:44   to be backed up and you want it to be stored

01:41:47   on some kind of thing that has like checksumming, right?

01:41:50   Whether that's a file system or a device

01:41:52   or some other facility to prevent bit rot

01:41:54   because that's the only remaining enemy.

01:41:56   Once you have the data with you active,

01:41:58   constantly moving to bigger and bigger storage,

01:42:01   just gotta always keep it moving,

01:42:03   bit rot is your enemy 'cause you're just moving it

01:42:05   over the course of a decade

01:42:06   and if the bits are slowly rotting

01:42:07   by the time you go to pull something out,

01:42:08   it could be corrupted, especially if it's something,

01:42:10   you know, like some particular file format

01:42:13   whatever that's sensitive to a bit flipped here or there.

01:42:17   So yeah, I mean, it's difficult to do, but that's, you know, I wish there was an easier

01:42:21   answer like Marco's special magic Blu-ray discs, but there's not.

01:42:24   You just got to have it all on your currently active set of data, and it has to be backed

01:42:29   up and redundant, and you have to keep it moving.

01:42:32   Moving on.

01:42:34   Louis Thompson writes, "The Switch has shown that people are willing to pay for full-blown

01:42:38   console games on the go.

01:42:40   Why are there no AAA games for iOS or tvOS?

01:42:43   Is it just down to lack of bundled controllers or docs?

01:42:47   Maybe, but to me, the obvious answer to this question is

01:42:50   nobody wants to pay a dollar for anything on iOS.

01:42:55   Why would somebody want to pay 60 of their dollars

01:42:59   for something on iOS?

01:43:00   Like, is there more to this than that, Jon?

01:43:03   - Well, I mean, there's lots of different factors.

01:43:05   The controller thing is definitely a big one.

01:43:08   I don't think the pricing is that big a deal.

01:43:10   Like, didn't Civilization come out for iPad

01:43:12   it was like $60? Like it's not like you can't put them at that price. It's just a question

01:43:16   of do the people who want to play that much money for, I mean this person says AAA games,

01:43:21   but what they mean are AAA games as they have existed on PC and consoles, which I think

01:43:26   is a more, it's a different definition than just saying AAA games because you might think,

01:43:30   well that just means good games. There are tons of good games on iOS, and you could say

01:43:34   maybe they're not as expansive because they have to be sold for $2 or something like that,

01:43:38   but I think they're very good games. I don't think length determines the value of a game,

01:43:41   But they mean AAA games in the PC console sense, which implies a certain amount of production

01:43:48   value, a certain amount of content.

01:43:51   And the people who want to play those games aren't on iOS and tvOS waiting patiently to

01:43:57   pay you $60 for that.

01:43:58   They have consoles.

01:43:59   They have PCs.

01:44:00   That's where they are.

01:44:01   That's where they want to play their games.

01:44:03   So making a $60 game and putting it on iOS or tvOS is not going to get people to buy

01:44:10   that game.

01:44:11   bad game or people don't want to pay $60, take that exact same game and offer it on

01:44:16   a console and/or PC and/or Steam or whatever and it will sell. It's the same game in both

01:44:21   places and there's nothing, other than the lack of controller and you know the lack of

01:44:24   Apple-coordinated game developers in the same way that console makers do and Microsoft does,

01:44:29   right? There's nothing preventing that game from working fine on those platforms. I mean

01:44:36   most of Apple stuff is probably more powerful than the Switch. It's just a question of where

01:44:41   the people are. And the hardware definitely has something to do with it, but it also has

01:44:44   to do with just habits and where people, where people want to play their games. It takes

01:44:48   a long time to dislodge somebody. Like if you're a PC gamer, what's going to get you

01:44:51   off that PC? If you're a console gamer, what's going to get you off that console? Onto tvOS.

01:44:58   A thing that doesn't ship with a controller, that doesn't have a lot of games. Like it's,

01:45:01   a lot of it is just playing inertia. So it's not that Apple couldn't go for it. I mean

01:45:05   Apple could have made something like the Switch long ago or could turn tvOS into something

01:45:10   like a television-stranded Switch in that it is like a not-too-powerful console that

01:45:17   is small and doesn't require, you know, humongous fans and a giant embedded hard drive and everything,

01:45:22   right?

01:45:23   The iPad could have been the Switch.

01:45:24   Well, yeah, less so because it's less natural pairing with a controller, but Apple just

01:45:30   didn't pursue that strategy, which is fine.

01:45:33   Like, Apple will happily sell millions and millions of 99-cent games or free-to-play

01:45:37   games that fleece a bunch of people for $20,000 until they go bankrupt and lose their house.

01:45:42   But yeah, it's just, I don't want to say it's mostly cultural, but that's what I feel about.

01:45:50   The technological questions and even the consumer questions are not where it's at. It's about the

01:45:55   culture. And the platform owners have to be motivated to change the culture. And honestly,

01:46:01   I'm not sure if Apple, if it would be a good move for Apple to do that. We always say,

01:46:05   you know, the gaming market is there for Apple to take it, but they're taking a different slice of

01:46:09   the gaming market. And who's to say that Apple, you know, we put all this stock in like, oh,

01:46:13   AAA games as they exist on PC and consoles, but that's just our, where we're coming from culturally,

01:46:19   that we think those are the big games. But are those companies more successful at making more

01:46:24   money than Apple's currently making selling $1 games? It really depends on what your value.

01:46:29   I continue to think Apple doesn't understand games and doesn't really care about them. And so I think

01:46:34   I think it's perfectly natural for the games

01:46:35   and the game customers to go elsewhere.

01:46:38   - Yeah, I think you pretty much covered it.

01:46:40   I would just add that I do think there's a lot of value

01:46:43   in the limited number of games

01:46:47   that's available on a game console.

01:46:48   Like, if you buy a Switch

01:46:51   and you wanna play some games on it,

01:46:52   well, you don't have 10 billion games available

01:46:55   for free to a dollar to choose from there.

01:46:59   You have a vastly smaller number,

01:47:02   even when there's a lot of games for a console,

01:47:03   it's still like a vastly smaller number

01:47:05   compared to like you have on iOS.

01:47:08   And those games have been vetted to a much larger degree.

01:47:12   Like the quality standards that are enforced

01:47:16   by a company like Nintendo or Sony or Microsoft

01:47:18   for their consoles are way higher and way more strict

01:47:23   than what Apple enforces in the App Store.

01:47:25   So there's a certain minimum barrier there.

01:47:29   And even, you know, and honestly,

01:47:31   It's not so great for inclusion and diversity of game makers,

01:47:35   but it's also usually more expensive

01:47:38   to develop these platforms,

01:47:39   or at least there's barriers in place.

01:47:41   It's not as easy as signing up

01:47:42   for an Apple developer membership,

01:47:44   and sometimes it's more expensive as well.

01:47:46   So there are these barriers in place

01:47:48   to getting the games onto these platforms.

01:47:51   There are much higher restrictions put in place

01:47:54   by the vendors of these platforms,

01:47:56   and all the games on these platforms are,

01:47:59   know, by iOS standards, extraordinarily expensive by being like, you know, $15 and up, basically.

01:48:05   You know, a good AAA game is 50 or 60 bucks. And, you know, even the indie games, you know,

01:48:11   like Stardew Valley or even like some of the smaller ones, they're like, you know, $10,

01:48:14   $15, et cetera.

01:48:15   - Well, bringing up Stardew Valley, that's a good point, because on the PC, that has

01:48:19   all the advantages of iOS. Anyone can make one. It's much more open. You don't have to

01:48:23   get an SDK from Nintendo or Sony or Microsoft. You know, as you pointed out when you talked

01:48:29   about Stardew Valley was made by one person, no one was stopping him from doing that. He

01:48:32   didn't get to have to get App Store approval to make it. He did have to get on Steam, which

01:48:35   is kind of App Story, but there's no reason he couldn't have just sold that on his own

01:48:38   website with Stripe or PayPal or whatever. So it has almost all the advantages of iOS

01:48:44   in terms of openness, depending on where you go. But, you know, it has the console side,

01:48:48   very curated, very, very narrow, very simple to choose from. And console gamers are the

01:48:51   people who go in that direction. And PC gamers are the people who say, "Yeah, but I want

01:48:56   all the choice of Steam, including all the crap weird games, for the chance to be the

01:49:01   first person to play Stardew Valley because I'm assuming the PC version came out first

01:49:04   just because that's the easiest platform to develop for. If you're a single developer,

01:49:08   you're not going to be dealing with Sony or Microsoft or Nintendo's BS to get your game

01:49:12   off the ground."

01:49:13   - Yeah, and also because the game consoles

01:49:18   have so many fewer games,

01:49:21   and because the standard is so much higher,

01:49:22   and because there's all these,

01:49:25   there's basically a much smaller number

01:49:28   of generally much better games on the consoles

01:49:31   than you have on iOS,

01:49:32   that also means that the promotion is very different,

01:49:34   the storefront is very different.

01:49:36   You don't have, in the App Store on iOS,

01:49:39   you're competing against everything in the world,

01:49:42   Whereas if you go on a Switch and you go to the eShop on Switch, your only choices are

01:49:48   premium priced games.

01:49:50   You know, whether that's $15 or $60, like, those are your only choices.

01:49:54   And because the standards are higher, the whole market behaves differently.

01:49:59   First of all, you can go read reviews and you can see how good they are, but you can

01:50:01   also probably just buy a game that, like, like when Mario Odyssey came out, we just

01:50:06   bought it.

01:50:07   Because we knew, like, chances are this is going to be a very good game because of reputation

01:50:11   of Nintendo and what we heard about it and things like that.

01:50:15   On iOS you just don't really have that as much

01:50:17   and you're battling with everything else.

01:50:19   And consumers, if you go to the App Store

01:50:21   and a game is priced at $40 or more,

01:50:23   you're never gonna drop that on an iOS game

01:50:25   because your expectations of whether that's gonna be

01:50:28   worth it or good or not are by necessity way lower.

01:50:33   You know, the reality is the App Store ecosystem

01:50:36   on all sides is set up to incentivize and reward certain types of behavior.

01:50:45   And it culminates in these free-to-play social manipulation games.

01:50:51   And that's what the App Store encourages.

01:50:54   That's what it gets.

01:50:56   Like it's simple as that.

01:50:58   The entire store is set up in a way that encourages, promotes, and rewards abusive, in-app purchase

01:51:04   free games. And so that's what they're going to get tons of and that's going to succeed.

01:51:10   That's what Apple's going to promote because it sells more of their devices to have all

01:51:13   these, you know, free, allegedly, games and, you know, it's a vicious cycle. I don't see

01:51:18   how they break out of that. I also would not discount the controller question too much

01:51:25   because there's a lot of game types that gamers who are willing to pay 60 bucks for a game

01:51:31   enjoy playing that either are unplayable

01:51:35   or really inferior on a touch screen.

01:51:38   Now granted, there's also types of games

01:51:39   that work on a touch screen that would suck on a console,

01:51:42   but the fact remains that there's a lot of very popular,

01:51:46   established, triple-A game types

01:51:49   that are very cumbersome to play on a touch screen

01:51:51   without some other kind of controller

01:51:52   or a mouse or something.

01:51:53   And so I think that also plays into it to a lesser degree.

01:51:56   But I think that the bigger problem is simply

01:51:58   that difference in the marketplace and the styles

01:52:00   of how you buy games, what games are available to buy, how you find them, how they're promoted,

01:52:06   what your other options are on those platforms, etc. If I don't buy a $60 game on my Switch,

01:52:13   there's not much more I can do with the Switch. But if I don't buy a $60 game on the iPad,

01:52:18   I have 10 billion free games to choose from instead. And so there's a reason why the market

01:52:23   goes the way that it goes.

01:52:24   The cultural difference even comes up in the controller thing, right?

01:52:27   So Nintendo, when they made the new console, they put a touchscreen on it.

01:52:35   Because they recognize there's a bunch of games that benefit from touchscreens, and

01:52:38   even just the non-game stuff, like it's nice to have a touchscreen, and it's got a controller.

01:52:42   On the flip side, Apple said, "Oh yeah, we'll have a way you can use controllers with our

01:52:46   Apple TVs, but we're not going to build one."

01:52:50   It's a misunderstanding of games.

01:52:51   If you're making a game thing, you're like, "We should put a touchscreen on it just in

01:52:55   case someone wants to make a touchscreen."

01:52:56   But they won't be able to use it when it's hooked up to their TV.

01:52:58   Yeah, but we're still putting it on there.

01:53:00   We should just do it because we care about games and maybe there's some awesome game

01:53:04   that we don't want to miss out on by not having a touchscreen even though you can't use it

01:53:07   when it's hooked up to the TV and we're making this console that can go in both places.

01:53:10   Just put the touchscreen in.

01:53:11   Whereas Apple can't even bring themselves to sell to make their own controller, let

01:53:16   alone bundle a third-party controller with it.

01:53:18   They're just like, "Well, we'll sell third-party controllers in our stores, and if someone

01:53:21   wants one, they can get it."

01:53:22   And they flip-flopped on whether you're allowed to require it in games.

01:53:25   It just shows that Apple's just not that into games, and just doesn't have the mindset that

01:53:30   a real game maker would have, which is like, "Can we conceive of a cool game being made

01:53:36   by this?

01:53:37   Oh, look at all these touch games on those platforms.

01:53:38   We should make sure we're not excluded from that, so please put a touchscreen on the Switch."

01:53:41   And they did.

01:53:42   All right, thanks to our sponsors this week, Hover, Squarespace, and Fracture.

01:53:47   and we will see you next week.

01:53:48   (upbeat music)

01:53:52   show is over they didn't even mean to begin because it was accidental.

01:53:59   John didn't do any research Marco and Casey wouldn't let him because it was

01:54:07   accidental. It was accidental. And you can find the show notes at ATP.fm

01:54:16   And if you're into Twitter, you can follow them

01:54:21   @C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S

01:54:26   So that's Casey Liss M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M

01:54:30   Auntie Marco Arment S-I-R-A-C

01:54:35   U-S-A-C-R-A-C-U-S-A

01:54:38   It's accidental

01:54:41   They didn't mean to

01:54:43   ♪ New accidental ♪

01:54:45   ♪ Accidental ♪

01:54:46   ♪ Tech podcast ♪

01:54:48   ♪ So long ♪

01:54:51   - So apparently, if you really want to get things done,

01:54:54   you should have a baby, because as soon as you have a baby,

01:54:57   you'll write a Mac application and do a YouTube video,

01:55:01   and who knows what case we'll be doing next?

01:55:03   He's just got all this free time.

01:55:04   He just needs to fill with new hobbies.

01:55:06   - Yeah, so tell us about this.

01:55:08   So you reviewed an SUV somehow?

01:55:11   - We actually talked about this

01:55:12   forthcoming episode of Analog, which as we talk tonight is not released and will probably be

01:55:18   released after this episode of ATP is because that's the schedule we're on. But I had the car,

01:55:23   was it last week I believe? And Alfa Romeo Stelvio, which is their new, reasonably new SUV,

01:55:31   they were like, "Hey, we can give it to you mid-January." And I was like, "Ooh,

01:55:34   sure, I guess, because I know I'm going to be home, but that's going to be a busy time. So I'll

01:55:42   I'll just see what I can do.

01:55:43   And in short, it was actually a really nice truck.

01:55:46   Like, trucks are not my thing.

01:55:48   Just, and somebody pointed out via Twitter,

01:55:49   you know, I'm saying that despite saying,

01:55:51   oh, I'm probably gonna buy a Wrangler soon.

01:55:53   But generally speaking, trucks are not my thing.

01:55:55   But this thing, and actually a lot of people

01:55:57   wouldn't even call it a truck,

01:55:58   but that's neither here nor there.

01:55:59   - Yeah. (laughs)

01:56:00   - But whatever, a tall car is not usually my thing.

01:56:04   But this was actually really nice.

01:56:06   There's some problems with it,

01:56:07   but all told, it was reasonably quick,

01:56:10   handled stunningly well for a car that's that tall,

01:56:14   and I really liked it.

01:56:15   Like, I don't know if this would be what I would choose

01:56:18   if I were to buy a car,

01:56:19   but I can see how one could end up with this

01:56:23   over like an X3 or an Audi Q5 or something like that.

01:56:27   - Cool, well, I really enjoyed your video.

01:56:28   - Oh, thank you.

01:56:29   - I don't really have any opinion about the car,

01:56:31   but you continue to be like frustratingly improving quickly

01:56:35   at making videos.

01:56:36   Like, you started out way better than I thought you would.

01:56:38   No offense, like I just thought it was a hard problem.

01:56:40   - Just a, I'm just kidding.

01:56:40   (laughing)

01:56:41   - And then, you know, video two is even better,

01:56:44   and so yeah, pretty cool.

01:56:45   - Well thanks, yeah, I mean, I'm pretty proud of the video.

01:56:47   Like, there's definitely problems, don't get me wrong.

01:56:49   It is not flawless by any means,

01:56:50   but I am pretty pleased with how it turned out,

01:56:53   and I feel like I've made a lot of,

01:56:55   I've made a lot of positive steps,

01:56:57   and again, there's gonna be a fairly in-depth discussion

01:57:01   about this on analog.

01:57:03   We'll talk about it, or I mean,

01:57:05   I'll link it in the show notes,

01:57:06   but if you're listening to this,

01:57:08   you may or may not be able to click that link

01:57:09   get to anything because the analog episode isn't out yet.

01:57:13   But no, I'm pretty pleased with the video.

01:57:15   It was shorter, which I think was good.

01:57:17   I probably still could have cut something from it, and there were probably some places

01:57:21   where I could have tightened it up a little bit.

01:57:23   But all told, I'm pretty darn pleased with how it came out.

01:57:27   I think the biggest issues with the prior video, with the Julia, were that I was not

01:57:34   Not particularly effusive, or maybe not effusive, but I wasn't particularly interesting, I guess

01:57:41   you could say.

01:57:42   Like, I was kind of monotone and kind of just there.

01:57:46   And additionally, the audio was just garbage, as we talked about ad nauseam previously.

01:57:49   Now the audio, excepting one section, I think was pretty darn good.

01:57:53   I definitely clipped in a few spots, which was unfortunate, but all told, it was pretty

01:57:57   good.

01:57:59   And I think I was a much more interesting person to watch this time, which is also good.

01:58:04   But there's still plenty of room to be improved.

01:58:07   You could see me in the reflection of the car in a bunch of spots, which in a perfect

01:58:11   world wouldn't have happened.

01:58:12   There was some video I shot before I had a chance to very, very quickly wash the car

01:58:18   because it had rained the day after I got it or something like that.

01:58:21   So it was dirty in a few of the shots, which in a perfect world I wouldn't have done.

01:58:26   In one of the shots I didn't realize that my bucket of equipment was in the background,

01:58:31   which I regret, but I mean I'm not going to sit there and like, Photoshop it out or anything

01:58:35   like that.

01:58:36   So, all told, I'm really pleased with the video.

01:58:39   The car was very, very nice.

01:58:41   If you wanted something that's more interesting than like an X3, I think it's a very reasonable

01:58:47   choice.

01:58:48   This particular car was mildly optioned, and it priced at about $55,000.

01:58:55   There are some things that I really wish it had like I wish it had a little bit of autonomous driving capability

01:59:00   I very much wish it had carplay and I think

01:59:03   There is either an option package where it could have had carplay or it's coming soon

01:59:08   I'm not entirely clear based on alfa Romeo's website, but I couldn't figure out a way to turn it on on this particular car

01:59:13   You know all told it was a very very nice car that if you wanted something more interesting than just another x3

01:59:20   I could see going for this cool

01:59:23   Any other thoughts John? I'm surprised you're so quiet. You haven't told me how ugly this is yet

01:59:27   It's I think it actually is less ugly than Julia

01:59:31   Because it's an SUV but when I compare it to its contemporaries and not compare it to actual cars

01:59:38   The x3 is just gross all those little

01:59:42   Luxury sport utility vehicles are mostly gross. The Audi ones are okay infinity ones are horrendous

01:59:48   Anyway, I was surprised you didn't compare it to the Volvo

01:59:51   I mean, I know you haven't done the Volvo video yet,

01:59:53   but it's the other SUV thing

01:59:54   that you have the most experience with

01:59:56   and it's similar price range.

01:59:57   So I mean, you kind of alluded to it like,

01:59:59   look, if I spent this much money,

02:00:00   I would want it to be nicer inside.

02:00:02   Probably, you know, I'm thinking like,

02:00:03   well, the Volvo is probably nicer inside than this thing.

02:00:05   - Oh, very much so.

02:00:06   - Yeah, and it's similar price and also bigger.

02:00:09   And so you're trading a lot.

02:00:10   It seemed like down market in exchange for sportiness.

02:00:14   I was surprised at how much headroom it seemed to have.

02:00:16   That would look pretty nice.

02:00:17   But even with the sunroof thing,

02:00:18   it seemed like you had enough room

02:00:19   to put a helmet on in there.

02:00:20   You could fit your tall hair.

02:00:21   And I do have tall hair, but again, I've never really had an interference fit with my head

02:00:27   in a sunroof, so I can't say that I'm surprised by that.

02:00:31   I don't think I'm a good judge of these things.

02:00:33   In some of the footage that I filmed, I did make direct comparisons to Aaron's car, but

02:00:38   part of the reason I left that out, well, a lot of it was that was early on.

02:00:42   And basically, I'd never come up with a formal script for anything I record.

02:00:46   I do have some, like, broad talking points that I think through when I'm recording, but

02:00:52   I don't have a script or anything like that.

02:00:54   And so, footage that I filmed early in the week, I made a lot of comparisons to Aaron's

02:00:58   Car, but it just seemed like that wasn't terribly relevant.

02:01:04   Because as you said, Jon, like, I haven't formally reviewed Aaron's Car, and so I think

02:01:08   when I do the video review of Aaron's Car, I will probably make some comparisons to the

02:01:12   but I think to do that in the reverse order would have been ill-suited.

02:01:16   But yeah, I think you can hit the nail on the head. Like, Aaron's car is not particularly sporty.

02:01:21   Given that it's a freaking whale, Aaron's car moves pretty well, but it's not fast.

02:01:27   This thing felt actually reasonably quick and handled really well, all told.

02:01:34   I was very, very surprised by that.

02:01:36   that. And so I think you're right in saying that you would give up some luxury in moving from a

02:01:42   Volvo XC90 or perhaps an XC60, which is a more direct competitor to this. You would give up a

02:01:47   little bit of luxury, but you would gain a lot of sportiness. I haven't tried the XC60, the brand

02:01:53   new XC60, because that just got revamped this year to be basically a mini version of Aaron's car.

02:01:58   But another part of the reason why I didn't think it was a fair comparison is because this is more

02:02:01   X3, whereas the XC90 that we have is more like an X5 or even a quote-unquote X7, if you will,

02:02:09   because ours is three-row, whereas I don't think you can get an X5 with a third row. And even if

02:02:14   you can, it's not really a direct competitor in my personal opinion, even though maybe like

02:02:20   officially speaking it is. So I didn't think a lot of direct comparisons would make sense, but yes,

02:02:25   very much, Aaron's car is very much more luxurious. This car is very much more sporty.

02:02:30   I think this whole class of car, the sporty small, medium small SUV is incredibly stupid.

02:02:37   Most adequately pointed out in your video by the tiny slit of a back window.

02:02:41   It's like, come on.

02:02:42   It's already big.

02:02:45   You could have just made a wagon or a car, but instead you made this big shoe thing and

02:02:49   then it has bad visibility out the back and no luggage space.

02:02:53   And it's just like, what are you even doing?

02:02:55   You just take a regular car that has...

02:02:56   If you just had regular car proportions, the trunk would be bigger, the visibility would

02:03:00   better, the handling will be better. What would you be losing? Off-road ability? Would

02:03:03   you be losing that? Forget it. It's ridiculous. They just make cars uglier and worse for no

02:03:07   reason and people like to buy them because they set up eyes. I'm just angry about that

02:03:10   whole class of cars.

02:03:12   It's the continued ridiculous contortions Americans will do to not buy a wagon.

02:03:18   Yeah.

02:03:19   Yeah, it's true. But anyway, I don't know. I'm pretty pleased with the video. Again,

02:03:22   I'm not saying it's perfect. By no means am I saying it's perfect. There are plenty of

02:03:26   things I would change about it if I had infinite time and infinite budget and so on and so

02:03:30   forth.

02:03:31   But I am pretty proud of it.

02:03:33   I am very glad to have had the car.

02:03:36   I think it's a neat car, even though it's not for me.

02:03:41   And the question I'm trying to figure out, or the thing I'm trying to answer is, how

02:03:45   can I get something other than an Alfa Romeo to play with?

02:03:49   And yes, some listeners have offered their cars, but I had this thing for a week, and

02:03:54   I barely had enough time to film and photograph what I wanted.

02:03:59   So even though there are some people even locally...

02:04:02   You have a newborn.

02:04:03   Well, yeah, and I mean, it's not just having a newborn.

02:04:05   There's good reasons.

02:04:06   But even so, like even so, like with the Julia, well granted I was working at that point,

02:04:11   but I don't think I would have the time or ability to pull a Doug DeMuro, which from

02:04:18   what I understand, like he shows up, he uses a car for a couple hours or something like

02:04:22   records and disappears. Like, I am nowhere near that. And so in order for me to be able to do

02:04:28   another car, I need to have something that I'll have significant amounts of time with. So some

02:04:33   listeners have been just kind enough to offer me, "Hey, if I'm ever in Richmond, I'll let you know."

02:04:38   Which, yes, please do. Or, "Hey, if you want to borrow the car for a couple hours, feel free."

02:04:45   Which is super kind of these people, but it's not enough for me. Like, it should be enough,

02:04:49   but it isn't. And so I'm trying to figure out, like, what's the next step? I did email the Tesla PR

02:04:55   people and have gotten no response, which is completely expected, asking them to give me

02:05:00   anything that they would be willing to give me. But even like if Underscore drove his car down

02:05:07   for a day, like, I would need more than, I think, just a weekend with his car to be able to get what

02:05:13   I wanted out of it, and to really understand it from the perspective of a driver rather than

02:05:18   than a passenger. So I don't know what the mechanism is to branch out other than just

02:05:26   using cars that are in my life, like Aaron's car, like potentially my car, like my dad's

02:05:31   Corvette if he'll ever give me the keys ever. But we'll see what happens. It's a tough nut

02:05:37   to crack. But no matter what, and we talked about this a lot on analog, it's still fun.

02:05:42   And I'm not making money off of it at this point, and that's unfortunate but okay. And

02:05:46   to be honest, I wouldn't really be making more than like a Panera Bread meal worth of

02:05:52   money off of this level of viewership anyway. So I'm not really losing, if you will, much

02:05:57   of anything. But it's been fun. And I've been scratching a creative itch that I've never

02:06:02   scratched before, so that feels real good too.

02:06:04   Yeah, I mean, and keep in mind, like, you know, the reason why somebody like this Demirra

02:06:08   character can do this is like, he's been doing this so long that like, he knows how to get

02:06:14   what he needs quickly from the shots and everything.

02:06:17   So by doing this more, you will take less time

02:06:22   in the future, like as you get better at this,

02:06:24   you'll also get faster at it.

02:06:25   - Oh yeah, the turnaround on this was way quicker,

02:06:28   'cause I had the video done within a couple of days,

02:06:31   I think it was the day after, was it, no,

02:06:33   the day I gave the car back, I think,

02:06:35   'cause it wasn't yesterday, it was the day before, right?

02:06:36   No, no, no, it was yesterday, actually.

02:06:38   It was yesterday morning, it was the Tuesday morning.

02:06:40   So within a day of the car going back,

02:06:43   I had the video done. Whereas with Julia, it was like two weeks later or something like

02:06:46   that. It was maybe even more than that. It was quite a while later. So yes, you're absolutely

02:06:50   right that I'm getting quicker and I like to think I'm getting better at it, but I'm

02:06:55   still not at the point that I could have, let's say for the sake of discussion, underscore

02:06:59   come down on a Saturday morning and run around with me all day and I would have enough footage

02:07:07   and thoughts completed in order to have what I needed in the span of that one day. You

02:07:12   know what I mean?

02:07:13   Right. But like, well, but you know, so the cars that you can get for a few days from

02:07:18   your family and yourself and everything, like how many videos do you think you'd have to

02:07:23   make before you might be at that point where you can get what you need in a day? That answer

02:07:28   might be the number of cars you actually have pretty long access to. Like if you, if you

02:07:33   you actually would do videos for your car, Aaron's car,

02:07:36   one of your dad's cars at least.

02:07:38   That's three more videos.

02:07:40   You might actually be fast enough then

02:07:43   to be able to borrow a Tesla from a friend for a day

02:07:45   and get what you need.

02:07:46   - Perhaps, yeah.

02:07:47   And it's also, you know, it's really squishy.

02:07:50   Even if I get to the point

02:07:51   that I'm quick enough to do it like that,

02:07:52   it's still an odd thing taking a random person's car,

02:07:57   'cause even if it's a listener who knows me

02:07:59   and likes me enough to hand me the keys to their car,

02:08:02   that becomes really squishy because what happens if I get in like a humongous car accident while driving their car like what what is

02:08:07   That about because this is sort of kind of a business thing that I'm doing yet

02:08:10   It's not really you know so like do I need business insurance like how does that work?

02:08:15   And I'm not really looking to answer this question right now

02:08:17   but there's a whole lot of like squishiness involved when it's not a

02:08:21   Personal friend or family member and and that's what makes it a little weird and difficult

02:08:25   And you know I've exchanged a couple of tweets with DeMuro

02:08:28   So I'm hope maybe I could ask him like how does this work and he would probably tell me well

02:08:32   it's part of his job. And so, you know, what is it? Auto trader that he works for? So it

02:08:36   would, you know, maybe auto trader puts an insurance plan or rider policy, whatever the

02:08:41   terminology is in order to let this happen. I don't know. I'm talking about step 304.

02:08:45   I'm on step three. So all I'm trying to say is I'm having fun. And even if, even if nothing

02:08:51   comes of this, it's been an enjoyable experience that I don't regret yet.

02:08:55   I have some concerns about you looking at the camera while you're driving. Keep your

02:08:59   eyes on the road. I glance at the camera. Come on, Lance. Just look at the road. We

02:09:03   don't need to see you watch the road. Every time you look at the camera, look back forward,

02:09:06   look back forward, look back forward. Like it's the nervousness I don't have. And when

02:09:10   I'm watching TV or movies, cause I know that they're on a trailer or it's all CG or whatever,

02:09:14   but I know you're on an actual road and there's nothing being fixed. So look at the road.

02:09:18   All I really wanted in the grand scheme of things is to just make positive improvements.

02:09:24   I just want it to be clear to me and to a viewer that I am trending upwards, I guess.

02:09:33   That things are getting better with each video.

02:09:37   That's all I can really hope and ask for, and so far I think I've achieved it.

02:09:41   So, that's a success.

02:09:44   Awesome. Well, congratulations.

02:09:46   Thanks.

02:09:47   I agree. I think you have achieved that.

02:09:50   Good luck with the next one.

02:09:52   I hope it comes, do you have to have another kid to make another one?

02:09:55   How's that gonna work?

02:09:56   Yeah, I don't know.

02:09:57   I have no idea.

02:09:58   I don't know how that's gonna work.

02:09:59   But one way or another, there will be another one.

02:10:01   I think part of the problem, and again, this is discussed on analog, but I really need

02:10:07   that time constraint.

02:10:08   When I only have a week to get all the footage I need, I really need to make it count.

02:10:13   And the problem with Erin's car is that it's always here.

02:10:16   And I need to just set myself a schedule or a due date or something for her video, or

02:10:22   the video of her car, so that that compels me to get off my lazy tuchus and actually

02:10:28   record some footage for that.

02:10:30   Because if I don't have that thing chasing me, it's never going to get done.

02:10:36   But we'll see.

02:10:37   How long ago was your first video?

02:10:39   Like five or six weeks?

02:10:40   Yeah, something like that.

02:10:41   It was end of November, I believe, that it was released.

02:10:43   I think it was like the 22nd of November.

02:10:45   So yeah, it was like a couple of months.

02:10:47   - All right, so set yourself a calendar reminder

02:10:49   for four weeks from now and say it has to be done by then.

02:10:52   - Yeah, and that's really what I should do,

02:10:53   especially since right after that

02:10:55   is when I'm going back to work, but we'll see.

02:10:57   - That's your deadline.

02:10:58   - Yeah, I know, I know, I know.

02:11:00   - And that now, the only way to procrastinate

02:11:02   is by not going back to work.

02:11:04   (laughing)

02:11:05   - I see where this is going.

02:11:07   If only I could pay myself as much as I want to

02:11:10   to hire myself to do the stupid work I'm doing.

02:11:12   - If only there was a way for other people

02:11:14   to pay you to do work for them.

02:11:15   - Ah, can you imagine?

02:11:16   - I don't know.

02:11:17   It's this crazy new business idea called working as maybe,

02:11:21   I don't know, how about a consultist?

02:11:25   - A consultist, I like it, I like it.

02:11:27   - No, that's a little awkward.

02:11:29   How about consultant?

02:11:30   Is that a better version of that word?

02:11:32   Let's go with consultant.

02:11:33   - Yeah, something like that.

02:11:34   - If only that existed as a thing you could do.

02:11:35   - If only.

02:11:36   [beeping]

02:11:38   [ Silence ]