141: Chain-Link-Fenced Garden


00:00:00   Happy birthday, Brady Bala.

00:00:02   (electronic beeping)

00:00:04   - First things first, did anyone here buy an Apple TV?

00:00:08   Now Marco, you got a developer unit, is that correct?

00:00:10   - That's correct, and I also bought four more.

00:00:13   - Are you being serious?

00:00:14   - No.

00:00:15   - Oh, I was like, who are you buying them for?

00:00:17   I thought maybe you were like already doing Christmas

00:00:18   shopping, Rene style.

00:00:19   - They're just great stocking stuffers, yeah,

00:00:21   they fit right in there, you just.

00:00:22   - I actually might end up buying roughly that quantity

00:00:24   depending on, you know, how gifting goes this holiday season

00:00:27   but I wanted to at least try it myself first.

00:00:30   Once the general release comes out

00:00:32   and the store opens it up for those apps

00:00:34   and I can actually download the apps to it

00:00:35   and spend meaningful time with them,

00:00:37   then I will judge it as a product.

00:00:39   But right now I just have the developer one.

00:00:43   For the people who are curious in the chat,

00:00:45   the developer one I believe is the 32 gig one.

00:00:47   Even if I were buying a bunch,

00:00:50   even if I were buying one today for myself,

00:00:53   I still might not get the 64

00:00:55   because just like everyone else has said,

00:00:57   I don't think Apple has really shown us

00:01:00   if and why and when we would need the 64 over the 32.

00:01:04   - You think that because you're not looking at the notes,

00:01:05   that's why.

00:01:06   - Okay. (laughing)

00:01:07   Also, I think, I really am not crazy about investing

00:01:12   more money than necessary further in a 1080p setup

00:01:16   when I know in the next few years

00:01:18   I will most likely want a 4K setup.

00:01:21   So I'm guessing I'm gonna be buying another one

00:01:23   of these Apple TVs in a year or two that will support 4K.

00:01:26   So I don't wanna dump a whole bunch of money

00:01:28   into version one before I even know

00:01:30   if I'm gonna use these features.

00:01:31   And I don't see myself installing a bunch of games

00:01:35   or anything, so I don't know.

00:01:37   I'm guessing anything more than 32 would be wasted on me.

00:01:40   - All right, so what's in this follow-up document, John,

00:01:43   that you wanted to talk about with regard to capacities?

00:01:46   - Well, actually, before we get that,

00:01:46   I ordered my Apple TV and I ordered the big one.

00:01:49   - Oh. - And Casey, did you get one?

00:01:51   - No, and I'd like to talk about why,

00:01:54   but let's get through this capacity discussion first.

00:01:56   - Yeah, so this is from Brian Powell,

00:01:58   the first one to point to us, to Apple's website,

00:02:00   where they did actually offer a rationale

00:02:02   for why would you bother buying the 64 or 32.

00:02:05   We talked about this on past shows.

00:02:06   We had theories, Apple's explanation matches

00:02:10   what was our best guess, which is everybody's best guess,

00:02:12   which is if you plan to use your Apple TV,

00:02:14   this is right from Apple's website,

00:02:16   primarily to stream movies, TV shows, and music,

00:02:18   or play a few apps and games,

00:02:19   you'll probably be fine with 32 gigs of storage.

00:02:21   If you plan to download and use lots of apps and games,

00:02:24   choose 64.

00:02:25   So they mention apps and games, mentioning games,

00:02:29   and it may be hinting in the direction

00:02:32   that they're the kind of applications

00:02:34   that are most likely to have large content,

00:02:35   but that's what it comes down to.

00:02:38   Not much of an explanation, but at least it's something.

00:02:41   We talked about how this seemingly makes less sense

00:02:44   when the applications themselves,

00:02:46   the initial download from the store is so limited,

00:02:48   I think it was 200 megs or something.

00:02:50   But the applications can download

00:02:51   whatever the hell they want after that

00:02:53   up to a very large limit.

00:02:54   So you could fill a 32 with a bunch of big games.

00:02:57   Why did I buy the 64?

00:02:59   I don't know, it's pretty cheap.

00:03:02   I just wanna get the big one.

00:03:03   Who knows if I'll ever use that space

00:03:06   or it'll just sit there going unused.

00:03:08   Who knows if the software update in the future

00:03:10   will bump up the minimum size.

00:03:12   Even if it just uses that space to buffer video

00:03:15   so that when my kids wanna watch a movie

00:03:17   that they watched three months ago

00:03:19   that it's still on the thing,

00:03:21   and they've watched like 17 movies and television shows

00:03:23   since then, that's worth it for me.

00:03:24   Basically, if they give me a device with lots of storage

00:03:28   and it's a reasonable price, I'll buy it.

00:03:31   - So as usual, you have rushed to order

00:03:33   the most expensive item on day one.

00:03:36   - Yeah, it was like 200 bucks, like come on.

00:03:38   It's only a little bit more than a Magic Trackpad.

00:03:41   It's a fair point.

00:03:42   - No, I mean, I guess the price difference is so small,

00:03:44   I guess I would probably recommend ordering the big one

00:03:46   if you don't really, you know, if you can spare,

00:03:48   what is it, 50 bucks?

00:03:49   I don't know.

00:03:50   - I wouldn't recommend it necessarily.

00:03:51   In fact, this is one of the cases where I would feel good

00:03:53   about recommending just get the cheapest one,

00:03:55   because it's probably fine.

00:03:56   You know what I mean?

00:03:57   But for me, and since I'm so obsessed with TV stuff,

00:03:59   I just wanna give myself the best chance

00:04:02   of having the best experience.

00:04:04   And it's, you know, I don't really care about it.

00:04:06   So I'm excited to try it.

00:04:07   I'm also excited to move my old Apple TV

00:04:09   up to a different TV in the house,

00:04:11   because it's always kind of been annoying

00:04:13   when you get kids fighting over what they wanna watch on TV

00:04:16   or someone wants to watch this,

00:04:17   or you can only watch that downstairs

00:04:18   because it's on Apple TV and we have no way

00:04:20   to watch anything off of an iTunes DRM-encoded thing

00:04:23   on the upstairs TV.

00:04:24   This will even out our viewing choices once again

00:04:27   so that both TVs are uniform in terms of media access,

00:04:30   and that will bring slightly increased peace

00:04:32   to the household.

00:04:33   - So I did not buy one, and that's partially

00:04:37   because I'm cheap and partially because I get

00:04:41   to be that guy now, and I'm defining that guy

00:04:44   as that guy who whines about the one thing that's gone away that nobody else cares about,

00:04:50   and that's optical output for audio.

00:04:52   So the way we have our home theater set up, which is probably wrong, but I don't care,

00:04:56   it's the way it is today, we have, of course, HDMI coming out of our Apple TV.

00:05:01   I think it's the third gen, whatever the latest one was before this.

00:05:05   We have HDMI coming out, and that goes into our television, and then there is an optical

00:05:11   out from the TV back to the receiver, but especially when you have a little person in

00:05:16   the house who loves looking at screens that are lit up, sometimes it's nice to have the

00:05:22   Apple TV on and playing without the TV on.

00:05:26   And so we also have optical out going from the Apple TV directly into the receiver.

00:05:31   So I can grab the remote, mash on a button a couple of times to wake the thing up, because

00:05:37   it never seems to wake up unless I do that. And then airplay something to it and leave

00:05:42   the TV totally off and everybody's happy. Declan isn't looking at the TV, which makes

00:05:47   me happy and Aaron happy and we're all listening to music, which makes all of us happy and

00:05:51   it's great. And this new one does not have optical audio out and that makes me super

00:05:55   sad. Now, I guarantee that I will cave and eventually buy one, but for now it's not really

00:06:01   filling any need that I currently have. So I'm just going to wait and see how it goes.

00:06:06   I am extremely interested to see how the Plex app

00:06:09   that supposedly is coming out day one, how that is.

00:06:13   And if that gets really good reviews,

00:06:14   that is probably gonna be enough to get me to Cave.

00:06:17   - So does your receiver not have HDMI support?

00:06:19   - No, it does not, it's that old.

00:06:22   - Yeah, well, there's your problem.

00:06:23   - Yeah, and I mean, that's a fair point,

00:06:25   that I could just upgrade the receiver,

00:06:26   but I mean, it's working in every other capacity,

00:06:29   so it seems a little silly to replace it.

00:06:31   - You might as well, like Marco's doing,

00:06:33   you might as well just wait for 4K

00:06:34   to upgrade your receiver at this point?

00:06:36   - I can't tell if you're being snarky or not,

00:06:37   but I'm thinking you're not.

00:06:39   - I'm being truthful, although I think it's gonna be

00:06:41   later than next year.

00:06:42   Next year, I think, still will be early adopter time for 4K,

00:06:45   and you, unlike Marco, are probably better off waiting

00:06:48   until 4K is old hat.

00:06:49   But at this point, I don't know,

00:06:52   it really depends on how much you use that Apple TV

00:06:54   as an audio device interface.

00:06:55   You can get a pretty decent, cheap receiver

00:06:58   that will do everything that your current receiver does

00:06:59   just as well for not too many hundred dollars.

00:07:02   - Yeah, you're probably right,

00:07:03   But, I don't know, I don't-- it's one of those things where because I don't feel like it's necessary and because I don't really--

00:07:11   and that doesn't really rev my engine, so I'm not looking for an excuse to spend that money.

00:07:17   And because of that, I'm just kind of meh about the whole thing.

00:07:20   So what are you gonna do when you get a new one? You're gonna lose this music ability, right?

00:07:24   Yeah, I don't know, I mean--

00:07:25   Well, there's probably some kind of, like, $30 mono-priced thing that can split out the optical into its own thing.

00:07:32   There is nothing for $30 that you connect an HDMI cable to that is reliable.

00:07:37   I'm pretty sure in the entire universe.

00:07:39   I remember when I didn't want to buy a receiver, I was just looking for an HDMI switcher to

00:07:43   make up for the fact that televisions now come with an incredibly small number of HDMI

00:07:47   inputs on them.

00:07:48   And my extensive research led me to conclude that there is no such device.

00:07:53   In fact, the best, in terms of the functionality to cost ratio for multiple HDMI inputs, an

00:08:02   entire giant receiver is the best ratio, which is sad but true.

00:08:06   So right seconds after I said that, the ATP TIFSTER in the chat linked to a $28 little

00:08:13   thing on Amazon that does exactly this.

00:08:16   I'm sure it does sometimes.

00:08:18   I'm sure it does that sometimes.

00:08:20   You can also find similar switch boxes for similar prices with similar strange names

00:08:24   and plastic cases, and they all claim to do what they do.

00:08:27   And now let us all scroll down to the reviews and read the comments and see what people

00:08:32   have to say about this thing.

00:08:33   I don't know, it's four stars.

00:08:35   "Splits audio but really lags bad.

00:08:37   Pasture didn't work.

00:08:38   One star.

00:08:39   Verified purchase."

00:08:40   "Quality felt a bit shabby.

00:08:42   Optical out didn't work.

00:08:43   Runs rather hot."

00:08:44   That's concerning.

00:08:45   Oh, this is magnificent.

00:08:48   Like I mean, there is, yeah.

00:08:50   Anyway, some people have good luck with them.

00:08:52   I had to say, with the switching thing, I gathered lots of, you know, experiences from

00:08:56   have them and they're like, "I bought this $15 piece of junk and it's been sitting connected

00:08:59   to my TV for eight years and it works flawlessly."

00:09:02   But you never know.

00:09:04   Maybe you'll get lucky or maybe you'll have to buy seven $15 pieces of junk for it.

00:09:07   So I wanted a known quantity.

00:09:11   As we've talked about with USB hubs, you could get one and it could be a champ for years

00:09:15   and it's great and you spent two bucks for it.

00:09:18   Or you can keep buying $10 ones and they keep breaking and frying and flaking and driving

00:09:23   you crazy and causing bugs that you don't realize are due to your hub until you've tried

00:09:27   to debug it for six months thinking it's a software problem, right?

00:09:31   Stuff like that.

00:09:32   And you're like, where is the Apple of hubs?

00:09:33   Where is the company that makes the expensive, solid, well-built, reliable hubs and doesn't

00:09:39   really exist?

00:09:40   I have some good ones.

00:09:41   I have one of the ones that was recommended to me sitting right now.

00:09:42   I have USB three hubs sitting on my desk that is connected to USB two because that's all

00:09:45   I have, but it seems to be solidly built.

00:09:49   I'm also just use it as a charging station now because that's one of the other benefits

00:09:52   is that it's good for charging stuff.

00:09:54   So I think there are good USB hubs out there,

00:09:56   or better ones anyway,

00:09:57   but I never found anything like that for HDMI switchers.

00:10:01   - Wait, you gotta tell me this USB hub first of all,

00:10:03   and then I have a question.

00:10:04   - I gotta hang on, let me just go lean over my desk

00:10:06   and see what the brand is.

00:10:08   - Amazon seems to recommend the Hutu,

00:10:10   and what's the battery company?

00:10:13   - Yeah, I got nothing.

00:10:14   - Anker.

00:10:15   - Yeah, it's way in the back.

00:10:16   Mine is Hutu, it's black,

00:10:18   and it's got like a rubberized outside on it,

00:10:19   it's plastic, it doesn't get a whole bunch of USB 3 ports on it, and it has been pretty

00:10:24   solid.

00:10:25   I mean, to be fair, the really super crappy, I think it was literally like $7 plastic USB

00:10:31   2 powered hub that I have here that I bought when I first got my 2008 Mac Pro, also still

00:10:37   very reliable.

00:10:38   But I've had a series of hubs before these two hubs that have not been reliable and that

00:10:42   have caused my computer to wake up and caused me to try to debug sleep/wake things for a

00:10:45   long time and cause all sorts of wonkiness with input and mouse cursor to stop functioning

00:10:50   and yeah so.

00:10:52   Yeah the more I experience various hubs and things the more I just want to buy future

00:10:57   things in Thunderbolt versions even though it's probably a mistake.

00:11:00   And expensive.

00:11:01   Yeah I don't know how great that is although I have to admit that I haven't had any problem

00:11:05   with any firewall peripheral I've ever bought.

00:11:07   Yeah.

00:11:08   You're hoping that it's like the companies making these are have such high enough profit

00:11:11   margins they can actually use reliable hardware but then again I've also never bought a

00:11:15   a FireWire hub.

00:11:16   That I don't think it could exist.

00:11:18   Anyway, FireWire switch.

00:11:19   A place where you plug in multiple FireWire cables because it's not a hub-based network,

00:11:24   but such things like that do exist.

00:11:27   So before we leave the home theater topic, I have a quick question.

00:11:31   Can one of you explain to me what a soundbar is?

00:11:33   I can.

00:11:34   Did this thing exist five years ago?

00:11:36   What is this category?

00:11:38   Is it just a line of speakers?

00:11:40   What makes it different from speakers?

00:11:43   I actually considered getting one of these.

00:11:45   Here's what it's for.

00:11:48   You're trying to have a home theater thing, but you are essentially space or infrastructure

00:11:52   constrained.

00:11:53   So you can't do the 5.1 or 7.1 where you have a center channel left and right and two back

00:11:58   and maybe side channels.

00:11:59   However many channels you have, you just have no way to either place those speakers, no

00:12:03   way to run the cables for them, or your room is just not the right shape or whatever.

00:12:07   But you don't want to use the crappy built-in speakers on your TV, and you also don't want

00:12:11   plain old stereo with a base, you don't want a 2.1, you want something sort of like surround.

00:12:14   So a soundbar is a big long strip of speakers that fixes the space problem by essentially

00:12:22   being a similar, you know, going underneath your TV basically, either directly like where

00:12:26   the stand is so it's low enough profile that it doesn't block any of the screen, or like

00:12:29   in the entertainment center.

00:12:31   It's maybe not as wide as the whole screen, but very long, very wide and low to the, you

00:12:37   know, not very high.

00:12:38   And behind the little shield in front of the speaker are a bunch of speakers of various

00:12:42   sizes pointed in different directions.

00:12:44   And some of them also have some processing and some of them also act as their own little

00:12:47   mini receivers so you can plug things right into them.

00:12:50   And they will do sound processing to try to bounce the sound around the room.

00:12:55   Either do no processing and just shoot the sound out of their speakers or do a little

00:12:58   bit of processing and mess with like delays and stuff to try to simulate a 5.1-ish sound

00:13:05   field by using speakers that are all right in front of you on the TV.

00:13:08   So that's what a sound bar is for.

00:13:09   So it's a compromised thing for people who don't have a lot of space but want to have

00:13:12   better sound than they would if they just used stereo.

00:13:17   Better in terms of getting closer to a real 5.1 surround where things sound like they're

00:13:20   behind you, like in the movies.

00:13:22   And does that actually work better than just having stereo speakers would?

00:13:26   It sounds different than stereo speakers does.

00:13:28   It doesn't, obviously it's never going to actually sound like the speakers are behind

00:13:32   you because they're not behind you, they're in front of you.

00:13:34   But some of them, depending on the room shape and depending on the environment, can do a

00:13:37   surprisingly good job of providing a, I want to say more convincing sound field,

00:13:44   but coming closer to making the sound sound like it's not all coming straight

00:13:48   from the TV. Now is that accurate? Is it what the filmmaker is intended? Is it

00:13:53   even pleasing to you? That all depends on what you think, you know, you can listen

00:13:56   to them in a store and they definitely sound different than stereo. Whether they

00:13:59   sound better or not it's kind of up to you. In the end I decided not to get one

00:14:03   mostly because a lot of them either expect you not to have a receiver or kind of they're

00:14:09   competing with the receiver in terms of functionality of how they work.

00:14:14   And I also eventually found a way to get the speakers around my room.

00:14:17   My speakers are all in the wrong places, but I just did the best I could.

00:14:20   And I figured I'd, you know, I'm going to get a receiver with multi-channel sound support.

00:14:26   I'm going to try to get the actual sound field experience.

00:14:30   And so that's what I want.

00:14:31   you know, sound, and also trying to figure out how to place the soundbar in my setup

00:14:35   was a little bit weird too because I'm not quite sure where we'll go with the television.

00:14:39   Anyway, I decided against it.

00:14:41   I don't think they're entirely crazy.

00:14:43   If you have a small apartment and are into movies and want a little bit of that movie

00:14:46   theater sound and you don't mind whatever the hell the soundbar is doing to try to make

00:14:51   it sound like that, it's reasonable.

00:14:54   You know, even if only just for the center channel where you can crank the center channel

00:14:57   up so you can hear the dialogue better, that kind of bounce you don't get in a stereo setup.

00:15:00   if you just have right and left in a subwoofer.

00:15:02   It's hard just to turn up dialogue,

00:15:04   but in a movie with a 5.1 mix,

00:15:06   the center channel has a dialogue

00:15:07   and you can crank that higher than the rest of them

00:15:09   to help you or other people with low hearing

00:15:12   who are always saying, "What did that person say?"

00:15:14   And you don't wanna turn on the subtitles

00:15:15   'cause they ruin the picture

00:15:16   and make you read the whole time.

00:15:17   It's a reasonable choice for that.

00:15:18   - Now, I've been looking for a while

00:15:21   and I have not been able to find what I'm looking for.

00:15:22   What I basically want is a dynamics compressor

00:15:26   in a small enough package that it can fit behind my TV

00:15:31   or in my very, very, very narrow TV stand.

00:15:34   Because I would love to have,

00:15:36   just you know, I don't care about your movies

00:15:38   where everyone's talking really quietly

00:15:40   for dramatic effect.

00:15:41   And no, I can't hear what you're saying

00:15:43   and if I turn it up, then it'll blast

00:15:45   and it'll wake everybody up in the house

00:15:46   when somebody like, you know, when a car drives by

00:15:48   or something blows up.

00:15:49   So I would love just dynamic range compression

00:15:52   without having to buy an entire receiver

00:15:54   because my TV stand only has something like

00:15:57   three inches of height for this,

00:16:01   for something I'd be allowed to place there,

00:16:03   and there are literally--

00:16:05   - Allowed by the historical commission

00:16:07   that runs the television stand in your house?

00:16:09   I'm aware of this commission.

00:16:10   - Yes, and there is literally,

00:16:12   I've looked for every receiver, even they have,

00:16:15   there's one, I think it's Marantz,

00:16:17   has like a really slimline one,

00:16:19   but it's like a half inch too tall.

00:16:22   Like, oh, it's terrible.

00:16:24   So what I have now is just like, you know, stereo speakers.

00:16:27   I decided long ago that I think of surround sound

00:16:31   the way most people now, including you, John,

00:16:35   think of 3D movies, which is I just am not,

00:16:38   like I had it for a while.

00:16:39   I had a 5.1 system for a while.

00:16:41   And then as we'd move between different apartments,

00:16:43   I would like set up less and less.

00:16:44   Like first I dropped the rear speakers

00:16:45   and I just had the 3.1 or whatever.

00:16:48   And then eventually I stopped connecting the center speaker

00:16:51   and just had the left and the right

00:16:52   and realized I liked that a lot better

00:16:54   'cause it was just simpler and, you know,

00:16:55   I didn't care about the surround.

00:16:57   So eventually I guess I've now switched.

00:16:59   But I would still like a receiver

00:17:02   and right now it's just being driven

00:17:03   by this little tiny NuForce amp that has no controls.

00:17:07   But I would love, if anybody knows of,

00:17:09   like just a basic home theater range compressor,

00:17:12   please tell me.

00:17:14   - It pretty much, every receiver,

00:17:16   even the super cheap ones--

00:17:18   - I know!

00:17:19   - Has a name brand, like they go on a bunch of,

00:17:21   under a bunch of name brands.

00:17:22   Some of them might be like Dolby,

00:17:23   where they're like either patent income

00:17:25   or to proprietary or whatever,

00:17:26   but they all have a way to do exactly what you're saying.

00:17:29   I don't think you can buy one without this feature anymore.

00:17:32   - I wanted to echo your sentiment

00:17:34   about the surround sound system.

00:17:36   My parents had gotten me years ago now,

00:17:38   so it's probably ancient by today's standards,

00:17:41   a receiver 5.1 surround combination box

00:17:46   from like Costco or something like that.

00:17:47   It might've even come with a TV and DVD player,

00:17:50   But anyway, that's a receiver we're still using

00:17:52   from probably mid to late 2000s.

00:17:55   And as we moved from apartment to apartment

00:17:57   and eventually to the house,

00:17:59   we also did the same thing and dropped the rear speakers

00:18:02   after like one of those moves.

00:18:03   And so now I am still key,

00:18:05   I've still kept the center channel

00:18:07   and I still have the subwoofer connected,

00:18:09   but I haven't had a rear channel in easily

00:18:13   six or seven years now or something like that.

00:18:14   - You shouldn't do that.

00:18:15   You should either do stereo, which is fine,

00:18:18   or stereo with the subwoofer, which is fine.

00:18:20   But don't do 5.1 and then disconnect some of the channels,

00:18:22   'cause you're literally missing some of the sound.

00:18:24   Like, in some movies, they can be mixed

00:18:26   such that a line of dialogue only comes

00:18:28   from the back speakers,

00:18:29   and you literally won't hear that line of dialogue.

00:18:31   So please, just use all the speakers

00:18:34   of whatever sound is coming out of your system.

00:18:36   If you're gonna put out sound for two speakers,

00:18:38   use two speakers.

00:18:39   You know, if you're gonna put out sound for five

00:18:41   plus a subwoofer, use five plus a subwoofer.

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00:20:35   - So we have a handful of various links

00:20:38   and things to talk about.

00:20:40   This begins with Tom Bell, who wrote in to tell us that

00:20:43   smaller iMacs came with a 3.5-inch 7,200 RPM drive until

00:20:47   2012, when the tapered edge began.

00:20:51   Then they changed to a 2.5-inch 5,400 RPM drive with

00:20:54   the Fusion Upsell.

00:20:56   So apparently, that's the history of that.

00:20:58   Moving on, Chloe de Guzman--

00:21:00   I probably butchered that.

00:21:01   I'm so sorry, Chloe--

00:21:03   shares from Tom's hardware data.

00:21:06   On average, in 2.5-inch drives, 5,400 RPM drives

00:21:09   perform just as well as the 7200 RPM drives.

00:21:12   Increasing the spindle speed just increases

00:21:14   power consumption and heat with little to no gain.

00:21:17   5400 wins overall, which includes power.

00:21:20   So we will put a couple of links

00:21:23   in the show notes about that.

00:21:25   - The caveat I put in there, which includes power,

00:21:27   is in this test in Tom's hardware, it wins overall,

00:21:29   but only, it's kind of like in Car and Driver,

00:21:31   when some car wins overall because of like,

00:21:33   they factor in price, you know, every other stat

00:21:35   that it's not the best car, but because price was a factor

00:21:38   one car is like 30 grand more than the other, it wins, and then people send angry letters.

00:21:41   So the 5400 wins overall because they include power consumption.

00:21:44   Obviously the 5400 is going to boost the scores of the 5400.

00:21:48   So you can take a look at these benchmarks.

00:21:50   The TOMS hardware does break down the benchmarks into the individual benchmarks.

00:21:53   You can say, "What if I care about this?

00:21:54   What if I care about that?"

00:21:55   But the bottom line is that modern 5400 RPM drives with the perpendicular magnetic field,

00:22:01   whatever things in the higher density, are much better than they used to be.

00:22:04   All this is kind of in the weeds and the details, but it's worth pointing out.

00:22:07   Because our main objection is the idea that this thing has no SSD and any spinning drive

00:22:11   is just astronomically slower in random access especially than any SSD because it's got

00:22:16   to spin a little disk and wait for the point to come under the heads and move the little

00:22:20   heads and all that takes a huge amount of time compared to putting signals on different

00:22:24   addressing lines and a bunch of flash chips.

00:22:26   Yeah, this to me, I don't think anybody needs to waste any breath trying to defend

00:22:32   the benefits or drawbacks of particular RPM hard drives

00:22:36   in 2015.

00:22:38   Like, it's just completely irrelevant.

00:22:40   It's if you need a bunch of cheap space,

00:22:43   you get hard drives,

00:22:44   and if you don't need a bunch of cheap space,

00:22:47   you get an SSD, period.

00:22:48   Like, that's it.

00:22:49   - Yep, pretty much.

00:22:51   Why don't you tell us, Jon, about Mac GPUs and noise?

00:22:54   - This is info I've been waiting for on the new 5K.

00:22:56   I maximized now what the GPUs were like.

00:22:58   Is it worth it for me to get the fast one?

00:23:00   What is the heat like?

00:23:01   because the previous one had some problems with the GPU getting really hot and sometimes

00:23:04   throttling down, same with the CPU and the fan noise.

00:23:07   So BareFeets, which is not spelled like you think it does, check the show notes for the

00:23:11   link, did one of their typical tests and their conclusion was that the new top-end GPU is

00:23:16   only a little bit faster than the old one and it gets just about as hot.

00:23:20   They said the old and the new both got to 100 degrees Celsius and the fan was running

00:23:26   really fast in both of them.

00:23:27   and the noise meter look like about the same in both cases.

00:23:31   So no, it's like it's not worse, but it's not better.

00:23:35   And that was kind of depressing.

00:23:39   I mean, it's not bad news,

00:23:40   but it's not really good news either.

00:23:41   But then a couple of people pointed me

00:23:43   to this YouTube video by Max Yuriev,

00:23:45   and he does a whole bunch of tests and has a bunch of stats.

00:23:48   I've never watched any of this guy's videos,

00:23:50   and this one had a small number of views,

00:23:52   but I think everyone can just go look at this video

00:23:53   because I think it's very well done,

00:23:55   and he talks at a nice pace, very clearly.

00:23:58   He's clearly prepared, everything's gonna do.

00:23:59   He's got infographics and everything.

00:24:01   I thought it was really good.

00:24:02   I was impressed by his YouTube video.

00:24:03   Maybe it's because I don't watch enough YouTube videos.

00:24:05   And if he's super famous, I don't know that, sorry,

00:24:06   but this video only had a few thousand views,

00:24:08   so I figured this is not MKBHD.

00:24:10   This is some less known guy.

00:24:12   But anyway, his conclusions were different.

00:24:14   He had more detailed things.

00:24:15   He said, "The overall conclusion was that in the new model,

00:24:19   the fans ramp up earlier than the old model

00:24:21   just to try to keep the temperatures down.

00:24:22   In other words, rather than waiting for things

00:24:23   to get really out of hand temperature wise

00:24:25   and then turning on the fans,

00:24:26   it turns on the fans faster sooner,

00:24:28   which noise wise isn't great,

00:24:30   but temperature wise is good.

00:24:31   In the GPU tests, it seems like the new one

00:24:34   can keep the GPU within whatever Apple sets as the tolerance

00:24:38   like they wanna keep it under a hundred degrees Celsius

00:24:40   or whatever, whatever they set as the limit,

00:24:42   the new 5K iMac according to Max's tests

00:24:45   can keep the GPU within that limit

00:24:47   with the fan going slower.

00:24:49   So in these GPU tests, it's like,

00:24:51   Well, both the GPUs are a similar temperature,

00:24:54   but the RPM on the new model is way lower.

00:24:56   So I like that, especially, you know,

00:24:57   for gaming thumbs up.

00:24:58   And then the CPU tests, the new 5K iMac

00:25:02   didn't do any CPU throttling that I could see.

00:25:04   Like the old one would throw the CPU down

00:25:06   when it got too hot.

00:25:07   The new one didn't, it kept the CPU at lower temperatures.

00:25:09   Sometimes it had slightly higher fan speeds,

00:25:10   mostly because the new model has a higher max speed

00:25:13   for the fan and some stats I threw in here.

00:25:16   After 15 minutes of their CPU testing,

00:25:17   the old iMac had throttled down to 3.3 gigahertz

00:25:20   and it was 100 degrees Celsius,

00:25:21   and the fan was going 2,700 RPM,

00:25:23   and the new iMac was not throttled.

00:25:25   It was at full four gigahertz.

00:25:26   It was 10 degrees cooler at 89 degrees Celsius,

00:25:29   and the fan was going about the same speed, 2650 RPM.

00:25:33   So Max's video made me excited about the new iMac

00:25:37   because it seems to,

00:25:38   basically it seems to keep the inner it's cooler.

00:25:40   And he also did a manual override on the fans and said,

00:25:42   "If you do crank the fans up,

00:25:43   the new iMac can keep both the CPU

00:25:45   and the GPU ridiculously cool."

00:25:47   So really it's just a question of

00:25:48   how much noise are you willing to tolerate

00:25:50   how much temperature you're gonna tolerate.

00:25:51   So I'm feeling better about the iMac than the old one.

00:25:55   As many people pointed out,

00:25:56   we're not gonna get any real substantive improvements

00:25:59   in GPU in particular until they change the process size.

00:26:02   I think this one is also 28 nanometers,

00:26:03   just like Marco's model.

00:26:04   But bottom line, I'm probably gonna get one of these iMacs

00:26:07   and I'm probably gonna get it with the best GPU.

00:26:10   - Also some real-time followup from Kim Allberg in the chat.

00:26:13   It appears as though the new Apple TV

00:26:16   might have built-in dynamic range compression.

00:26:19   - I thought you were gonna say

00:26:19   built-in fan. I'm like, "No!" No, they did. Remember the famous iFixit tear down that

00:26:25   got them kicked out of the App Store? Yeah. Yeah. So we know there's no fan, but it appears

00:26:29   that there might, it might have dynamic range compression built in, so I'm looking forward

00:26:32   to trying that. Is it on by default and you can't turn it off? Because that'll annoy me.

00:26:36   In the screenshot posted here, which looks like it's from one of the videos, or no, it's

00:26:40   from somebody's dev kit, there's an option in the audio menu, like within a movie, like

00:26:44   where there's info, subtitles, and then there's audio, and it says, "Full dynamic range or

00:26:49   Reduce loud sounds.

00:26:51   - That's a nice way of putting it.

00:26:52   I like that rather than branding it

00:26:53   as one of these weird words that every company uses

00:26:56   for their dynamic range compression,

00:26:58   the first option is not great,

00:26:59   but the second option, what people will do,

00:27:02   I'm hoping that its fault is full dynamic range,

00:27:04   and they'll watch a movie

00:27:05   and they won't be able to hear what anyone's saying,

00:27:06   and they'll crank the volume,

00:27:07   then something will explode and they'll be pissed.

00:27:09   Then they'll go to the subtitle manual and they say,

00:27:11   "Yes, reduce loud sounds is exactly what I want,"

00:27:13   and they'll pick it.

00:27:14   So that's some good copywriting.

00:27:16   - They could have called it voice boost,

00:27:18   but I have a trademark. Oh yeah.

00:27:20   All right. Why don't you tell us about the adjustable iMac and monitor stands? I'm assuming

00:27:26   this is John. Yeah, a lot of people wrote in to tell us that they thought we didn't need to

00:27:30   put our monitors on top of anything because we were confused about the correct height of monitors.

00:27:34   I'm not confused. I know the top of the monitor, according to all the ergonomic experts, is

00:27:38   supposed to be roughly aligned with your eye line and everything like that, that you shouldn't be

00:27:42   looking up and all these other things. I know that. Remember, I have a 23-inch monitor, so it

00:27:46   So it has to be on a stand to be up like that high.

00:27:48   And also if you don't have a keyboard tray, getting your keyboard at the right height

00:27:52   means your desk has got to be much lower than you think or your chair has to be higher than

00:27:56   you think.

00:27:57   But anyway, we are aware of the ergonomic, at least I am anyway, I'm assuming Marco is,

00:28:01   the correct height of all the things.

00:28:03   It's better to have options and if it means stacking a bunch of books or a piece of Lucite

00:28:06   or whatever to make your monitor the right height, that's what you should do.

00:28:10   But a lot of people also pointed out that the real solution to all of these "my monitor

00:28:13   is not quite at the right height thing is to either get your Mac monitor or your third-party

00:28:18   monitor or your iMac itself with a VESA mount.

00:28:22   Then you can put it on an ARM or any other kind of adjustable thing that accepts VESA

00:28:25   mounts.

00:28:26   And I believe this is the case and has been the case for a while now.

00:28:29   If you want that, you can't just buy an iMac and say, "Great, well I'm going to take off

00:28:33   this little L-shaped thing and put on a VESA mount."

00:28:35   You have to order it that way from Apple and they will give you the iMac that you can mount

00:28:39   with a VESA mount.

00:28:40   I don't know if that's true of the Thunderbolt displays, but no one should buy them anymore

00:28:42   - Okay, and we have some supposed answers

00:28:47   with regard to the Facebook app usage battery gate thing.

00:28:55   - Yeah, so pretty shortly after we published our episode

00:28:59   last week where I basically said, this is no bug,

00:29:02   this is deliberate, they are jerks about this,

00:29:05   right afterwards, like a half a day afterwards,

00:29:08   they posted a thing on Facebook,

00:29:11   somebody's, I think one of the lead engineers or something,

00:29:15   they posted a thing saying, this was indeed a bug,

00:29:18   here's the bug, and it seemed like it was a couple of bugs,

00:29:21   so they are claiming it was a bug,

00:29:23   I honestly haven't looked into it.

00:29:24   John, do you know, have you looked into this at all?

00:29:27   - All I did was read the press release,

00:29:28   but last week when you were like,

00:29:30   they're doing this on purpose

00:29:31   'cause they're terrible people and so on and so forth,

00:29:33   I didn't really push back that much on it,

00:29:35   But I find it entirely plausible this could have been a bug.

00:29:39   And the corroborating evidence that I use,

00:29:41   other than my general attempt to have faith in humanity,

00:29:45   and belief that engineers wouldn't do something like this

00:29:47   unless someone made them,

00:29:49   is that some people have said,

00:29:52   now that they mention that,

00:29:54   I've seen that, like where if I have watched a video

00:29:57   in Facebook, then it sucks my battery.

00:29:58   But if I have used Facebook but not watched a video,

00:30:00   it doesn't suck my battery.

00:30:01   So there's some vague anecdotal evidence

00:30:03   that makes me think that their explanation sounds plausible.

00:30:06   But like I said, realistically speaking,

00:30:08   the reason I was struggling last week was like,

00:30:09   why would they even do this?

00:30:10   What is the advantage to Facebook?

00:30:12   It just seemed like a bug to me.

00:30:13   So I am willing to believe that this was a bug.

00:30:17   I do not think that Facebook is actively evil,

00:30:19   unless there's some really good reason

00:30:21   for them to be actively evil,

00:30:22   and I can't really think of a super good reason

00:30:24   to make their app suck everyone's battery down.

00:30:26   Oh, I came up with a few.

00:30:28   I'm also willing to believe

00:30:29   that it still could have been intentional,

00:30:30   but I was never as sure about it as you were,

00:30:33   and given this explanation,

00:30:35   I'm willing to give Facebook the benefit of the doubt

00:30:36   and say that they just had a bug.

00:30:39   - I don't know, I see this both ways,

00:30:41   'cause I do think they're fairly evil,

00:30:42   but who was it, was it you that said never attribute,

00:30:47   what is the line, never attribute to malice,

00:30:49   what could easily be explained by stupidity

00:30:51   or something like that?

00:30:52   - Yep, John invented that.

00:30:53   - Yeah, if I invented it, I would have quoted it correctly.

00:30:56   (laughing)

00:30:58   - Fair enough, but you were the person

00:30:59   that reminded me of it.

00:31:00   But speaking of John, we have important John-related news.

00:31:05   The long national nightmare is over.

00:31:07   John, can you update us on your Star Wars tickets?

00:31:10   - Yeah, shortly after the show last week

00:31:12   when I was in the midst of struggling

00:31:14   to get Star Wars tickets and being sad about the fact

00:31:16   that my wife had accidentally purchased 3D tickets,

00:31:18   no fear, this is all cured now.

00:31:21   I have gotten rid of my 3D tickets.

00:31:24   All of my Star Wars tickets are now 2D.

00:31:28   I believe all of them are also reserved seating, but maybe one set of them isn't.

00:31:31   And you say, "How many Star Wars tickets do you have?"

00:31:33   Yes, I'm going to see it multiple times.

00:31:35   Those tickets are already bought for the multiple times I'm going to see it with various groups

00:31:39   of people.

00:31:40   So fear not, I will not be watching it in 3D.

00:31:42   I may actually watch it in 3D after I've seen it a few times in 2D, assuming I like it and

00:31:48   I want to see it like a fourth or a fifth or a sixth time.

00:31:50   Maybe I will try it at IMAX.

00:31:51   Why the hell not?

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00:34:01   So Apple had their quarterly earnings, and this was the fourth quarter, is that correct?

00:34:05   Who knows?

00:34:06   Well, whatever. It was a quarter, and they had their quarterly earnings. And I think

00:34:11   Most of it was as expected.

00:34:14   iPads are down fairly significantly.

00:34:17   Sorry, Federico.

00:34:18   Macs are up, which was slightly surprising.

00:34:22   But there are a few things that somebody

00:34:24   who did their homework, whose name is not Casey,

00:34:26   put in the show notes.

00:34:27   I'm assuming it was John, who shouldn't be doing homework.

00:34:29   Somebody has to.

00:34:31   Yeah, right.

00:34:31   China iPhone sales are up 120%.

00:34:34   I don't find that terribly surprising, but that's a lot.

00:34:37   And keep in mind, I think this is because they didn't launch

00:34:39   the 6 in the same quarter in China last year. So this year, they did launch a 6S in China

00:34:44   to be counted in this quarter or something like that. So this isn't all just like, "Hey,

00:34:47   wow, Apple's doing better in China." It's also that they're getting better with simultaneous

00:34:51   launches and that shows up in the thing. But anyway, China, as everyone says, is super

00:34:55   important to Apple, Apple becoming increasingly important, and they're growing fast there.

00:35:01   Yep. And then there's a lot of enterprise-related things that I thought we could spend at least

00:35:06   an hour talking about, Jon. I'm sure Marco won't mind.

00:35:09   at all. How about those new Mac Pros? Oh, God, you're evil. Well played, sir. There

00:35:14   are 30,000 Macs inside of IBM, adding almost 2,000 a week. And IBM is claiming that it

00:35:20   saves them $270 per machine versus a Windows computer due to lower support costs and better

00:35:26   residual values. That's pretty cool stuff. I like that residual value is a factor, which

00:35:32   I wouldn't have thought of because I'm not thinking like a corporate bean counter. But

00:35:36   as most of Mac owners know, Macs do hold their value better than old crappy PCs for whatever

00:35:41   reason.

00:35:42   I mean, just try to buy a used Mac Mini, for example.

00:35:46   And that is a factor in how businesses account for them.

00:35:50   And so the fact that three years after you buy it, it hasn't lost as much of its value

00:35:54   as a Dell is good.

00:35:58   These support things like, boy, I should send these back in time to the 13-year-old version

00:36:03   of me and say someday IBM will publish something saying that having Macs and the corporation

00:36:09   is better because they require less support.

00:36:12   It just boggles my mind that that is actually still true.

00:36:15   Who knows how.

00:36:16   They're our partner with Apple.

00:36:17   Obviously, they're going to say that.

00:36:19   It's like IBM saying the track point is awesome.

00:36:21   You have to take all of this with a grain of salt.

00:36:23   But that was the old story, which was like the old Mac versus PC days.

00:36:26   It's like, yeah, but Macs may be more expensive, but if you buy a Mac, your support costs will

00:36:31   be lower because they're not as crappy as Windows PCs. And it's like, "Oh, you'd like

00:36:34   us to think that, but a computer is a computer." And then they'd have all these stories from

00:36:37   the ProMac people saying, "Oh, we bought Macs and our support costs have gone down." This

00:36:43   is still a story. This story is evergreen. At this point, everyone was like, "Well, everyone

00:36:47   agrees that Windows is exactly the same as OS X." Modern computers don't have all those

00:36:51   weird things they used to have, like IRQ conflicts and DLL hell, and all that's gone now. Everything's

00:36:57   all plug and play and they should be about the same and Macs have problems too.

00:37:01   It's all a wash now and who cares anyway because we're all looking at mobile.

00:37:04   Who cares what the hell is going on in Windows and OS X.

00:37:07   And then here is IBM and I believe they actually are saving money.

00:37:11   Not maybe because Macs are easier to manage or because the Mac users need less help, but

00:37:19   it's like self-selecting.

00:37:20   Anyone who maybe is interested enough to demand a Mac is a Mac nerd who already knows how

00:37:25   to use it and needs less support.

00:37:27   got to be a factor in there somewhere, but I'm also willing to believe, as I always have

00:37:29   been willing to believe because I think it's the truth, that because there's a less variety

00:37:35   of Mac hardware and software, that your support costs can be lower. There's just fewer variables.

00:37:40   People want to think about, it used to be ease of use, Mac versus DOS or whatever, but

00:37:46   the bottom line today I think is there aren't that many Macs in the world and there are

00:37:50   tons of different weird PCs and Windows has to account for all of them and Apple only

00:37:54   has to account for the max that it itself has made.

00:37:58   So good job IBM, and it's a crazy world where IBM is buying 2,000 max per week and has 30,000

00:38:06   already.

00:38:07   That's weird.

00:38:08   I mean, as I think I've mentioned several times in the past, I am the child of an almost

00:38:12   lifelong IBMer.

00:38:14   And I mean, I was never that big into the IBM versus Mac debate.

00:38:19   I mean, I was to some extent back in the day, and I clearly was on the side of IBM, but

00:38:24   man, this is weird.

00:38:27   It's super weird.

00:38:28   Like, my entire childhood was defined by ThinkPads, and to see them basically abandoning their

00:38:34   own product, which yes, I know is Lenovo and has been for a few years, but abandoning that

00:38:39   thing that they came up with to go towards Macs, that's just, man, that's weird.

00:38:45   to quickly address Gareth in the chat room.

00:38:48   I was not forced to use OS/2, I chose to use OS/2 warp.

00:38:52   It was magical.

00:38:54   - Sure.

00:38:55   - It was, it was unbelievably good.

00:38:56   - Yep, and the Hanson CD was a gift, yep.

00:39:00   - No, that was totally me.

00:39:01   So anyway, so speaking of IBM and the enterprise,

00:39:05   Apple says that they have earned $25 billion

00:39:09   in annual revenue in the last 12 months from the enterprise,

00:39:12   which is apparently a little over 10%

00:39:13   of the total revenue for Apple,

00:39:15   and is up 40% year over year.

00:39:18   My goodness.

00:39:20   - Yeah, for a company that isn't interested

00:39:21   in the enterprise, that IBM partnership

00:39:23   seems to be working as intended,

00:39:25   which is like Apple doesn't really wanna deal

00:39:27   with this crap, but they'll gladly partner

00:39:28   with somebody who will do the grunt work

00:39:30   and just make them the money,

00:39:31   and 10% of your business shows that Apple

00:39:34   still is not an enterprise company to the degree

00:39:36   that Oracle or SAP or something is,

00:39:38   or even Microsoft for that matter.

00:39:40   But 40% year over year is big growth,

00:39:42   so apparently their enterprise,

00:39:45   It's like, think about what has Apple done related to the enterprise other than the IBM

00:39:49   deal.

00:39:50   It's not like Apple has suddenly rededicated its entire product efforts on the enterprise.

00:39:53   They're still doing what they've always done to support the enterprise, but I think the

00:39:56   IBM partnership is helping.

00:39:58   Hell, just sales of Macs to IBM itself alone.

00:40:01   Forget about IBM helping other people to buy Macs and recommending them and supporting

00:40:05   them with all their neat iPad apps and stuff like that.

00:40:09   So thumbs up on this partnership.

00:40:11   It seemed like a good idea at the time and still seems like a good idea because I still

00:40:14   do not see any area where like, unlike Microsoft and IBM's partnership, where IBM is cleverly

00:40:21   maneuvering to stab Apple in the back. It just seems like win-win so far.

00:40:25   Yep, I agree. And finally, let's make Federico sad, the iPad. Womp womp.

00:40:33   Is it a really womp womp? Like, I like the, when we all knew the iPad was, you know, if

00:40:37   you look at like the graphs, I forget, I think this was in Jason's "Snell 6 Colors" thing,

00:40:40   we should add that to the show notes, but he had graphs of like the sales of the different

00:40:43   and there are different lines. There's the lines for the phone, which is in one section of the graph and has its own slope and

00:40:49   actually kicks up in recent years. And then there's the sections for the Mac and the iPad. And the Mac and the iPad curves

00:40:54   look like they are siblings. Like, yeah, they're way down here, the volumes are lower,

00:40:58   they're kind of just sad little droopy, you know, they're going up, they're not really going down that much,

00:41:03   maybe the iPad dips a little bit, but they're reasonable.

00:41:05   But the iPhone is in a different category. So if you take the iPhone out of the equation and look like

00:41:10   Benedict Evans tweeted this thing earlier and look at just the curve of

00:41:13   desktop laptops and tablets

00:41:16   If you visualize it in a particular way as he has done here what it basically looks like is that laptops are being replaced by

00:41:22   Tablets so the laptop sales are dipping a little bit and the tablets are continuing the curve you guys looking at that

00:41:28   That's we can photo

00:41:30   That I find pretty convincing and it may be that like

00:41:32   It doesn't change the reality that the iPad is not going to be the next iPhone. We all know that

00:41:38   It could just be you know in the same way that Apple wants to introduce products that can cannibalize its own products that the iPad and

00:41:45   especially the larger the iPads are the future cannibalizers of

00:41:48   Desktop and laptop computers and not going to cannibalize the phone at all because it's untouchable. Yeah, it seems reasonable

00:41:54   That's all how you view the thing like this graph is could be misleading

00:41:58   But it really you look at this graph and like oh totally I see exactly how that's going

00:42:01   But you could visualize the same data in a different way

00:42:03   But I like I gotta get the JSON style in there because I like the one graph that showed how the lines are separate

00:42:08   universes from each other and the other graph that shows

00:42:10   you know and it's not big growth like the

00:42:13   Macs and everything like the growth of that sector of the market is small and then Apple is growing slightly and most other companies selling

00:42:19   Desktop laptops are contracting slightly. So it's all just off as a kind of like I wouldn't call it a hobby yet

00:42:25   But it's yeah, it's a lot of money because everything that Apple does is a lot of money

00:42:29   But the iPhone is just so ridiculous now that you almost have to like have two separate earning calls

00:42:33   Let's talk about the iPhone. Let's talk about everything else in the universe

00:42:35   universe. Yeah, so in summary, Apple has more money than your deity of choice and

00:42:44   it's all stored away in various bank accounts and things are going well. So

00:42:49   I'd like to change tune quite a bit and talk, what do we call this?

00:42:54   Follow-out, is that right? I think so. I'm all confused now. Yeah, which is different

00:42:59   than follow-up. What do you know? We're already into topics. How can you follow out?

00:43:03   is at the end. These variations of follow-up are not officially sanctioned. Not, you know,

00:43:08   like, what is it, like, made for iPhone, MFI? I need to make an official stamp of approval

00:43:13   program for variations on follow-up, and these are not—these are all bootlegs.

00:43:16   Oh my goodness, that's fantastic. So this unofficially sanctioned, or unofficially and

00:43:23   unsanctioned follow-out is with regard to the podcast Upgrade with our friends Mike Hurley and

00:43:32   Jason Snell and

00:43:34   Mike and Jason were talking about on this week's episode

00:43:36   what to do with regard to

00:43:39   large long-term on-premise storage and

00:43:43   Mike had said you know I've heard a lot of people talk about

00:43:47   Whether or not having a NAS is worthwhile, and then if you do get a nasty he's heard you know half of his friends

00:43:55   and say oh you should absolutely without a shadow of a doubt get a drobo and

00:43:59   Then he's heard the other half of his friends say you should absolutely without a shadow of a doubt get a Synology and

00:44:04   He wasn't sure what to do

00:44:06   He doesn't really keen on the idea of network attack storage to begin with then the question is well

00:44:10   Do you not do it network attached? Do you do something more physically attached? Oh my god? What do I do?

00:44:15   Yeah, says Mike and I know we've talked about this a lot in the past, but it's been a long time since we've talked about this

00:44:21   Marco has been almost burned by

00:44:24   some iSCSI software at least 34 times in the last year.

00:44:29   So I thought we'd at least briefly revisit this

00:44:32   and kind of talk about what we recommend

00:44:34   and what our thoughts are.

00:44:35   Marco, do you wanna kind of kick this off?

00:44:37   - Yeah, sure.

00:44:38   So, I mean, so we all, Synology was graceful enough

00:44:41   to give us all Synology units back, I don't know,

00:44:44   what about two years ago?

00:44:44   It was a while ago now.

00:44:45   Year and a half, something like that.

00:44:48   So we all have this, I think the same one, right?

00:44:50   The 1813 Plus.

00:44:51   So we all have the same giant eight base

00:44:54   technology. And this is like, it's no longer their current model, but at the time they

00:44:58   gave it to us, it was a very high-end model. And as far as I know, we've all had great

00:45:04   stories with them. We've all had great success with them. They've proven to be very good.

00:45:08   The problem with NASA's, though, for me, is complexity and backup. Those are what always

00:45:15   get me. NASA's offer a whole bunch of features, because they are just like little computers,

00:45:21   running specialized, usually Linuxes, and there's a lot they can do. You can have

00:45:27   them like you know serve Plex sometimes maybe depending on your transcoding

00:45:31   needs like Casey will probably talk about. You can have them like download

00:45:33   BitTorrent stuff for you. You can have them host cloud files for you when

00:45:37   you're out. There's all sorts of stuff you can do with an ass. I do none of it.

00:45:42   Like I just do not use those features at all. All I really use it for is archival

00:45:48   storage, just long-term bulk file storage,

00:45:51   things I don't usually need to access even.

00:45:54   That is all I use it for.

00:45:56   And so all those features are wasted on me.

00:45:59   And I think that's, honestly, that's probably

00:46:01   what most people really need.

00:46:03   I don't think most people really need to be managing

00:46:05   this whole other mini specialized server in their house.

00:46:08   I think what they really just want is more space

00:46:10   for their computers.

00:46:12   I think that's the main goal here.

00:46:15   And it's great because if you're gonna move

00:46:17   to something like a NAS or even a Drobo,

00:46:20   which I'll get to in a minute,

00:46:22   you gain the ability to use 3.5 inch hard drives

00:46:27   where you can basically spend nothing

00:46:29   and get many terabytes of space.

00:46:32   It is crazy how cheap storage is.

00:46:34   And compared to our world of modern,

00:46:38   at least the decent computers that have SSD storage,

00:46:41   we're fretting over whether to go with the 512

00:46:45   or the terabyte or whatever.

00:46:46   Meanwhile you can get a four terabyte desktop drive

00:46:48   for what, 200 bucks, 150 bucks now?

00:46:50   I mean drives, the desktop drives are so cheap now

00:46:54   and they aren't that fast compared to SSDs

00:46:56   but it doesn't really matter

00:46:57   when you're doing archival storage.

00:46:59   So a NAS is a great way to get a whole bunch

00:47:01   of archival storage somewhere in your house

00:47:04   and if you want, like me, if you want to avoid noise

00:47:07   at your computer, external drives don't really help there

00:47:10   but you can put a NAS anywhere in your house

00:47:12   where you can run a wire.

00:47:14   So that gives you a lot of options there for noise

00:47:17   and location and everything like that.

00:47:19   So there are a lot of benefits to Nasus,

00:47:21   but the complexity of basically managing this little server

00:47:24   in your house has always bothered me a little bit.

00:47:26   And also the question of backups,

00:47:29   my preferred cloud backup is Backblaze,

00:47:31   and I should disclose they've sponsored this show many times.

00:47:34   Although I was using them before they sponsored.

00:47:36   And I like Backblaze a lot.

00:47:38   I have tried Crash Plan before,

00:47:41   and I have had nothing but terrible luck with it.

00:47:43   I've tried running CrashPlan on a Mac,

00:47:47   trying to back up the Synology.

00:47:49   I've tried running the actual client

00:47:51   that can run directly on the Synology.

00:47:53   I've tried running that.

00:47:55   I have tried CrashPlan, I think, at least three times

00:47:59   over the last few years.

00:48:01   And every time it fails, it just slows down to a crawl

00:48:04   and eventually fails.

00:48:06   And people point to various Java heap limits

00:48:09   and stuff like that, and I've tried so many different things

00:48:12   that people have said, oh, just change

00:48:13   configuration setting in this file or whatever.

00:48:15   I've tried so many different things

00:48:16   and it just fails every time.

00:48:18   It seems like it just cannot keep up

00:48:20   with a many terabyte backup with tons of files in it.

00:48:24   So I have had terrible luck with CrashPlan,

00:48:26   but CrashPlan is the only one that will back up

00:48:28   a network drive or will run directly on the Synology.

00:48:32   Whereas Backblaze will only back up locally attached things

00:48:35   from your Mac or PC.

00:48:37   So what I do now, my Synology in the closet,

00:48:42   Two of the disks it uses for Time Machine,

00:48:44   and it uses those normally as its native file system.

00:48:47   All the other ones, it's serving a giant iSCSI volume

00:48:51   that is then mounted on my Mac mini server

00:48:54   using a terrible iSCSI initiator,

00:48:56   'cause there isn't one built into Mac OS X.

00:48:58   I used the Addo one, but the global SAM one

00:49:02   was worse for me and was less reliable.

00:49:03   So they're both terrible, and those are like $200, right?

00:49:06   So there's more money down the drain there.

00:49:07   And so I use giant iSCSI volume on the Synology

00:49:11   with its crazy RAID setup,

00:49:13   mounted with iSCSI onto the Mac Mini as a local disk.

00:49:17   That fools Backblaze into thinking it's local

00:49:20   because it's iSCSI.

00:49:21   And so then Backblaze backs it up

00:49:23   and it's formatted with HFS+

00:49:25   because it kinda has to be for that to work very well.

00:49:29   So it's this big, complex setup

00:49:31   when really I think I would be perfectly fine these days.

00:49:36   Like I don't need 10 terabytes of storage.

00:49:39   I think I would be fine these days,

00:49:41   honestly, just getting rid of it at some point,

00:49:44   and just getting a few,

00:49:46   either two terabyte laptop drives in little USB enclosures,

00:49:51   little fanless enclosures,

00:49:52   and just tolerating the little amount of noise they make,

00:49:54   or just getting one terabyte SSDs

00:49:58   and putting them in little USB enclosures.

00:50:01   'Cause a one terabyte SSD is now $300,

00:50:04   and that's only going down over time.

00:50:06   So, like I wouldn't need that many of them.

00:50:08   I don't know, it drives me nuts how complex

00:50:12   my current setup is, and I'm only not changing it right now

00:50:15   because it is currently working,

00:50:18   but as soon as I need to change anything about this setup,

00:50:20   I think I'm gonna dump it entirely.

00:50:21   'Cause the entire value of a NAS is lost on me,

00:50:25   and I don't need this giant box making all this noise

00:50:29   in my closet all the time. (laughs)

00:50:32   I don't know, but you guys seem like you're better

00:50:33   at it than I am.

00:50:34   - Well, let me just, before I talk about myself,

00:50:37   If you were to do it all over again, what do you think you would do?

00:50:40   You would do something physically connected or you would just, how would you handle the

00:50:45   problem of long-term storage?

00:50:48   I mean, a good NAS is, you know, often near a thousand dollars, sometimes more if you

00:50:53   need, like, you know, the 8 bay version.

00:50:57   For the same price or less, I think I would probably just do what I said, just like, you

00:51:01   know, get like three or four one terabyte SSDs, try to find an enclosure that could,

00:51:07   that can run fanless and can hold all of them.

00:51:10   It probably doesn't exist.

00:51:11   I haven't, Tiff has on her computer,

00:51:14   she has a similar kind of setup like this

00:51:15   with the OWC Thunder Bay Mini 4, something like that.

00:51:19   It's the one that takes two and a half inch drives.

00:51:21   And that one does not run fanless.

00:51:23   I mentioned in a previous show,

00:51:24   I replaced the fan in it for a quieter one,

00:51:27   but it still has noticeable fan noise.

00:51:29   And the reason why is not because the disc run hot,

00:51:31   but because it has this Thunderbolt chip on it,

00:51:34   like this controller chip,

00:51:35   that runs incredibly hot to the touch.

00:51:37   if you don't fan it.

00:51:39   And there's no heat sink, it's just a bare chip,

00:51:41   and it just runs insanely hot, I have no idea why.

00:51:44   Like even when the drives are idle, it's just crazy.

00:51:45   Anyway, so what I would do now

00:51:49   is probably buy external drives,

00:51:52   and even if I spent the money to make them all little SSDs

00:51:56   so that they would be totally silent,

00:51:58   that would probably be cheaper than a NAS,

00:52:00   and it wouldn't be nearly as much space,

00:52:03   but I would argue I probably don't need that much space,

00:52:05   'cause my NAS has literally had 10 terabytes free

00:52:07   for the last few months.

00:52:11   - I totally sympathize with what you're saying,

00:52:14   but I don't have the same complaints

00:52:17   that you do as you expected.

00:52:18   I have, of course, the same DS-1813+ that you do.

00:52:23   From what I can tell with Synology model names,

00:52:26   the 8 in 1813 means it's 8-Bay,

00:52:30   and 13 means it's the 2013 model.

00:52:33   So the modern version of what we have is the DS1815+.

00:52:38   - Oh, that's why they skipped the 14.

00:52:40   - Yeah, I didn't realize that was a thing

00:52:41   until somebody pointed that out on Twitter.

00:52:43   I wish I remember who it was, and I was like,

00:52:45   whoa, mind blown, had no idea.

00:52:47   So anyway, so the DS1815+ is the modern version,

00:52:51   but I freaking love my Synology.

00:52:55   As Marco said, it was comped.

00:52:57   It was comped not only the box, but all the drives in it.

00:53:00   We have eight 3 gig, or 3 terabyte, excuse me,

00:53:04   hard drives in these.

00:53:05   I love this thing.

00:53:08   It has its own, I'm gonna call it operating system,

00:53:12   although that's a misnomer.

00:53:13   It has its own web interface, let's use that.

00:53:15   It has its own web interface, as many NASA's do.

00:53:19   And it lets you do all sorts of things on it.

00:53:22   I use mine as a VPN server all the time,

00:53:25   particularly lately since I've been working

00:53:26   out of a client's office.

00:53:28   And for my Mac, I like to be on a VPN

00:53:32   and I might as well be on my own.

00:53:34   It has BitTorrent client, if that's your thing.

00:53:37   It has a news group client, if that's your thing.

00:53:40   It has really great file sharing.

00:53:43   So if you have a stupidly large file

00:53:46   that you wanna send to somebody

00:53:47   and maybe you don't wanna use,

00:53:49   what's the Apple thing that just came out in the last year?

00:53:52   - The Apple watch.

00:53:53   - Funny, no, I meant the thing

00:53:54   where that lets you send huge files.

00:53:56   iCloud sharing or something?

00:53:57   No, no, no, that's not right.

00:53:58   Does that actually work?

00:53:59   I've never actually seen it.

00:54:00   I've never tried it.

00:54:01   Mail bagging, oh.

00:54:04   I've used it.

00:54:05   That wasn't this year.

00:54:06   That was the year...

00:54:07   My last review had that, so that must have been in Yosemite.

00:54:10   But yeah, I've used it.

00:54:11   It's a nice way to not...

00:54:13   If you use the Apple Mail app, obviously.

00:54:15   Or I think the web interface, you can send an attachment without regard to how big the

00:54:21   attachment is, because it automatically uploads it to a cloud server.

00:54:23   It basically does the same thing as Cloud Apple, one of those things does, but automatically

00:54:26   with no ads and for free.

00:54:28   It's something drop as per the chat room, perhaps mail drop.

00:54:32   In any case, so if you don't want to mail drop, you can use your Synology to do that.

00:54:37   None of these things are unique to the Synology.

00:54:39   Oh, it'll also be a Plex server, although my model, the 1813+, did not have a strong

00:54:45   enough CPU for doing live transcoding.

00:54:48   And we've talked about this in the past, I'm not going to go on about it, but suffice to

00:54:51   say it didn't work well for me.

00:54:53   But what does work well for me is having my personal Mac, which is effectively a desktop

00:54:59   server, even though it's actually a 15-inch high-res anti-glare, that's the Plex server,

00:55:04   and I just have it look at the Synology to get all its media.

00:55:08   And so it just, it's wonderful having a server in the house if you're at all geeky.

00:55:15   A network-attached storage does not need to be that server.

00:55:18   You would probably, perhaps, be better off with a Mac Mini if you can afford or have

00:55:22   such a thing, or if you have, say, a 5K Retina iMac and you just want to leave it on constantly,

00:55:27   that would also probably work just as well if not better.

00:55:30   But for me, I just really like having some sort of box that's kind of a server that I

00:55:35   can offload those weird tasks, like if I do want to download a torrent of some legal software,

00:55:42   or some, you know, open a free movie or what have you.

00:55:45   You know, I can offload that onto the Synology.

00:55:47   If I want to share files with friends or family, it makes it very easy.

00:55:50   And the other thing that I love more than anything else is that because I have six of

00:55:57   the eight drives in Synology Hybrid RAID, which is one drive redundancy, so one of these

00:56:02   drives can explode and I'll be okay.

00:56:04   Which is insanely slow.

00:56:06   Is it?

00:56:07   I don't notice.

00:56:08   Oh yeah.

00:56:09   Well it's like any of those like RAID 5-y kind of things.

00:56:10   I mean, true RAID 5 is also very slow because I believe it has to write every block to every

00:56:15   disk.

00:56:16   So, yeah, very slow on writes and okay on reads.

00:56:19   Nobody uses RAID 5 for performance.

00:56:21   And then so there's Synology Hybrid RAID

00:56:23   is very similar to what people know Drobo is to do.

00:56:25   Which, and we'll talk about those I guess.

00:56:27   So, you know, which is basically you have

00:56:29   like a kind of software managed volume

00:56:32   where it kind of manages the whole file system for you

00:56:34   'cause it kind of has to resize itself.

00:56:37   So that way you can use an array of disks

00:56:40   of different sizes and then you can actually expand

00:56:43   the volume by replacing disks one at a time.

00:56:47   So it's a cool setup if you have expanding needs over time, but you do pay a penalty

00:56:53   in performance for sure.

00:56:55   And with some of them, like Drobo, there's a question of reliability.

00:56:59   Drobo in particular has had a pretty spotty reliability history, which is why I've never

00:57:05   ventured into that area myself, because if you ask Drobo owners, many of the ones you

00:57:10   talk to have been fine.

00:57:12   They've had no problems whatsoever.

00:57:13   It's been rock solid for them.

00:57:14   However, you will hear a lot of people telling you all their horror stories from Drobos.

00:57:20   And so it just never… and the reviews kind of back this up.

00:57:23   If you look on like Amazon or whatever or read tech sites, like it really does seem

00:57:26   like they have a spotty history of liability and that's why I would not, I don't think,

00:57:33   want to try one.

00:57:34   But I don't know.

00:57:35   You know, you never say never in this business.

00:57:36   All right.

00:57:37   So anyway, so yeah, to wrap it up, I love having some sort of server-like thing on the

00:57:43   network in the house. And I really love my Synology. And yes, I got this for free. If

00:57:50   I were to have paid for it, it would have been over $1,000 with all the drives in it,

00:57:54   which is absurdly expensive. But they have other versions. Like I think they have a 1515

00:58:01   this year, which would be a 5 bay version. There's two bay versions. So whatever you

00:58:07   think is right for you, get that if you can. Be a Drobo-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-

00:58:37   I don't want to take up that much space now don't care whatever it is. I'll take it. I got plenty of room and that is

00:58:43   Magical so I've gone on Marcos going on John. What's your take on all this? Well getting back to the

00:58:50   Kick us off with Mike and his questions

00:58:53   At this point despite what all of us have said or what you two have said of what I'm going to say and have said

00:58:59   In the past about our particular setups what this comes down to is one of those conversations that used to be more common

00:59:04   surrounding things like computers

00:59:07   or even smart phones a little bit, but mostly computers, where if you're known as like the

00:59:11   computer guy or gal in your family or in your town or in your group of friends or whatever,

00:59:17   you get questions from people who say, "If someone knows stuff about cars, what car should

00:59:21   I buy?

00:59:22   What computer should I get?

00:59:24   How should I configure the computer?"

00:59:26   Computer questions like this.

00:59:27   And I'm sure each of us has been the resident tech nerd many times to many people, and in

00:59:33   In most cases, you have to turn it into an interview,

00:59:36   where you have to say, all right, well,

00:59:38   what do you actually want to do?

00:59:39   What is your budget?

00:59:40   What are your needs?

00:59:41   What's important to you?

00:59:42   And then you can recommend something.

00:59:43   You can tell them what the trade-offs are,

00:59:45   which may make them change their minds about,

00:59:47   oh, I didn't realize that,

00:59:49   and now I'm gonna prioritize this or that.

00:59:51   I didn't realize how much that costs

00:59:52   or how cheaply I could do this or whatever.

00:59:53   But in the bottom, it's like a back and forth

00:59:54   where like, okay, well,

00:59:56   if you don't want to use any sort of,

00:59:59   if you don't need a home server,

01:00:00   you don't want to manage another thing,

01:00:01   you just want it to be a dumb box disk,

01:00:03   but you do need a backup,

01:00:04   or do you subscribe to a cloud backup service?

01:00:06   Do you not want to subscribe to one?

01:00:08   What kind of backup things do you know?

01:00:09   It turns into this big, long, complicated interview

01:00:11   where I think all of us, if anyone asked,

01:00:13   could lead them to the optimal solution for them.

01:00:16   There is no optimal solution for everybody.

01:00:17   It just really depends on what you want.

01:00:20   And thinking about that and Mike and his questions,

01:00:23   like, I think we could all do that for him

01:00:24   and kind of have a little bit in the Slack

01:00:26   where we all hang out.

01:00:27   But the fact that you have to have that conversation

01:00:32   And the fact that you need all this expertise and experience

01:00:35   to guide in the right direction shows

01:00:37   that this is sort of an unsolved problem.

01:00:39   That it's annoying that you have to-- and this also

01:00:40   came up in the Slack-- that it's annoying that you have

01:00:43   to do all this, have these expertise,

01:00:46   and sort of cobble together these systems.

01:00:48   Like that it's not something-- you have to think about it.

01:00:50   It's much better than it used to be.

01:00:52   I mean, and again, I believe I said in one of my old OS X

01:00:54   reviews that Time Machine was the best feature Apple ever

01:00:56   added to an operating system because prior to Time Machine,

01:00:59   getting anyone to do backups ever was just not happening.

01:01:02   And Time Machine didn't make it so easy

01:01:05   that everybody does it,

01:01:06   but boy did it lower the barrier to entry,

01:01:08   massively lowered it.

01:01:09   And still there is a massive barrier yet to go

01:01:11   because it's like, okay, they made it so much easier.

01:01:13   Great, that was great from 10.5, right?

01:01:15   But then you gotta buy an external hard drive

01:01:17   and how do I attach it?

01:01:18   Is it USB or is it Firewire?

01:01:19   Do I back up to a NAS?

01:01:20   Can you do Time Machine over the network?

01:01:22   Are the time capsules flaky?

01:01:24   Can I do Time Machine to a third party thing,

01:01:25   like a Synology?

01:01:27   Like it is still, backups in general

01:01:30   are still way, way too hard.

01:01:32   And lots of people think like this will be solved

01:01:36   when everything is network backup.

01:01:38   Well, in this country anyway,

01:01:40   if we are all waiting around for everyone

01:01:42   to get network connections fast enough

01:01:43   to back up the amount of data that they produce

01:01:46   and store on their computers,

01:01:49   we're all gonna be dead by then.

01:01:51   Like other countries may have better network infrastructure,

01:01:55   outlooks for the next 50 to 100 years,

01:01:58   the United States does not have very good outlook.

01:02:00   So I think it's kind of a shame

01:02:03   that this is still not a solved problem.

01:02:05   And Apple for the most part has punted on it.

01:02:08   They did a time capsule, which I wish worked better

01:02:11   than it did because it seemed like the ideal solution.

01:02:14   Maybe when they get time capsule,

01:02:17   when they rededicate themselves to time capsule

01:02:19   with their new OS that's coming out any day now, I'm sure.

01:02:21   Not new OS, new file system.

01:02:23   new file system with data integrity protection

01:02:26   that can efficiently send diffs and I don't know.

01:02:28   You can imagine a scenario where time capsule starts

01:02:31   to become a much better solution than it is.

01:02:32   But today we're all talking about buying enclosures

01:02:36   and sticking bare drives in it and Marco's like,

01:02:38   well, I'm gonna buy some SSDs and find out things

01:02:40   but like nobody is gonna do that.

01:02:42   It's just too darn hard.

01:02:43   So I think the take home from this is

01:02:46   there's probably a, if you're listening to this,

01:02:48   there is probably a solution that fits your needs

01:02:50   to back up what you want.

01:02:52   We don't know what it is

01:02:53   because we don't know what your needs are.

01:02:54   And in general, this is way too hard.

01:02:56   Like this should not,

01:02:57   this is one of the last remaining bastions

01:02:59   of computers are annoying and difficult to manage

01:03:02   and problematic and there's no easy good choice

01:03:06   that I can recommend to everybody, you know?

01:03:09   - Yeah, and it's really unfortunate

01:03:10   because you're right,

01:03:11   this is way too complicated for people.

01:03:12   This is one of the reasons

01:03:13   why people have often no backups

01:03:16   because, you know, like so many people,

01:03:19   I'm sure we've all seen people like this,

01:03:20   where they will have an external drive enclosure

01:03:24   on their desk that they call their backup drive.

01:03:27   But it actually isn't the backup, it is just more space.

01:03:30   - Yeah, or they time machine to it,

01:03:31   but you ever see the message that says

01:03:33   time machine does not back up in 10 days, right?

01:03:35   - Oh yeah. - Time machine does

01:03:36   at least tell you that, because I think a lot of people

01:03:38   think they're running time machine,

01:03:39   but they're not 'cause it's so unobtrusive.

01:03:41   And if they get that message, I can imagine them

01:03:43   dismissing it and going, oh, I'm sure that'll fix itself.

01:03:45   (laughing)

01:03:46   This is why one of my very early,

01:03:48   when I started my, what was then called the FatPits blog

01:03:51   at Ars Technica, one of the various horse articles I wrote,

01:03:54   I think it was called the case for raid

01:03:55   or something like that, where I was just desperately looking

01:03:57   for some way to actually, to keep climbing up

01:04:01   that stupid back uphill, like time machine, great,

01:04:03   thumbs up or whatever, I don't even know

01:04:04   if time machine was out by then.

01:04:06   But it's like, it's too hard for people to back up.

01:04:08   Like even with time machine, I have to,

01:04:11   my own battles to convince my relatives

01:04:13   to buy an external hard drive, try convincing someone

01:04:15   they have to spend any amount of money

01:04:16   to get a box with wires that connects to the big expensive computer they just bought. They're

01:04:20   like, "Why do I need this?" It's like if someone gets a TV and says, "Well, you've got the

01:04:25   cable box, I guess, so that's not a good example." But anyway, people don't want to do it. They

01:04:28   don't want to buy an extra thing and then they have to, you know, the power supply and

01:04:32   it dies or it makes noise and they don't need to be turned on and off. They don't understand

01:04:35   disk mounting and unmounting because it's complicated.

01:04:38   What I was looking for for Apple, which is, you know, the old Apple, is like, "Can you

01:04:41   just build in twice the storage in every single computer? Like, sell computers that say they

01:04:45   they have X amount of storage,

01:04:46   but really have them always have 2X

01:04:48   and have them essentially do,

01:04:50   I think, again, I think it was pre-time machine,

01:04:52   have them essentially do incremental backups

01:04:54   from one drive to the other, right?

01:04:56   I mean, they kind of did this recovery partition,

01:04:58   saving the OS, but that doesn't save your data at all.

01:05:00   And it's all in the same mechanism.

01:05:01   What I basically wanted was, I mean, again,

01:05:03   phrasing it as RAID, it's not really RAID,

01:05:05   although RAID 1 would still be better than nothing,

01:05:06   even though it's not a backup,

01:05:08   but the premise was that the only way

01:05:11   you're ever gonna get people to back up

01:05:12   is to just lie to them and just over-provision

01:05:14   and give them twice the storage they have

01:05:16   and pretend they have half that storage

01:05:18   and just do incremental backups for them,

01:05:19   no choice of every single,

01:05:21   because that's what people want.

01:05:22   They just want a computer, you plunk it down like a phone.

01:05:25   They want a phone, you wanna plunk it down.

01:05:26   Phones so far have been able to get by

01:05:29   on the fact that the data does not accumulate on phones

01:05:33   fast enough to make it impossible to do a cloud backup.

01:05:35   And so with the cloud backup,

01:05:37   again, setting aside the pricing stuff,

01:05:38   I think phone backups are in a better state

01:05:41   than computer backup, not the best,

01:05:42   because we all hear stories about people

01:05:44   go into an Apple store with a bum phone

01:05:45   and that have never backed it up anywhere,

01:05:47   whether on the cloud or on iTunes, and then they're sad,

01:05:50   'cause they lose all their photos to their entire family.

01:05:52   So still ways to go there, but that kind of,

01:05:55   that blog post throwing out, you know,

01:05:59   RAID or just the idea of like,

01:06:01   "Apple, your computers are so expensive anyway.

01:06:03   Just put twice the storage in all of them."

01:06:05   Because literally it's really just a cry for help.

01:06:07   Like we're never gonna solve this.

01:06:09   With current technology, there's no way to solve this

01:06:11   without essentially making it not an option.

01:06:15   And we're still not there,

01:06:16   and the new slightly more price-conscious Apple

01:06:21   that is putting spinning hard drives in the new 4K iMac,

01:06:25   and the cheapest 4K iMac,

01:06:28   is definitely not putting twice the storage in everything.

01:06:30   So we're still waiting, bottom line.

01:06:33   And then one more thing on this,

01:06:34   we talked about, Mark talked about CrashPlan,

01:06:37   backing up network drives,

01:06:38   and Backblaze not backing them up.

01:06:40   a lot of requests into Backblaze with that,

01:06:41   and sometimes I say, well, we're thinking about it,

01:06:43   we've heard that request, so on and so forth.

01:06:45   I don't know anything about why Backblaze

01:06:47   doesn't back up network drives,

01:06:49   but based on what I know about how,

01:06:51   what I know about the most efficient way

01:06:55   to know what needs to be backed up on OS X,

01:06:58   the most efficient way you can do that

01:07:01   is to use the various APIs in OS X that let you know,

01:07:04   hey, since the last time you asked me,

01:07:06   I can tell you that things have changed

01:07:08   in this directory, that directory, and that directory,

01:07:09   and maybe even like here's where the changes are, right?

01:07:12   That's what you need to be able to do.

01:07:13   Otherwise, if you're trying to back up

01:07:14   literally four million files,

01:07:16   which is not an unreasonable number of files

01:07:17   for someone with a lot of data,

01:07:20   every time you run the backup,

01:07:21   the first job it has to do is say,

01:07:22   since the last time I back up,

01:07:24   which of these four million files

01:07:26   have either been added, deleted, or changed

01:07:28   since the last time I did a backup?

01:07:30   And without a more efficient method,

01:07:32   you have to basically scan the entire drive

01:07:35   and ask every one of the files, how you doing?

01:07:37   How you doing?

01:07:37   Are you still there?

01:07:38   Are you a file?

01:07:39   and compare its date to the last time you backed it up

01:07:42   or whatever.

01:07:43   That is massively inefficient.

01:07:45   So you want to do a more efficient mechanism,

01:07:46   and OS X offers several more efficient mechanisms.

01:07:49   But most of them require-- pretty much all of them,

01:07:51   I think-- require-- the efficient mechanisms require

01:07:54   the I/O to that drive to go through the kernel

01:07:57   of the operating system.

01:07:58   So if you have local storage, like

01:07:59   if it's mounted like a local disk, whether you're lying

01:08:01   and it's not really local like iSCSI,

01:08:02   or it literally is a local disk connected through a FireWire

01:08:05   or Thunderbolt or USB or SATA or whatever,

01:08:10   if the IO to that disk, meaning you wrote the file

01:08:12   by sending the IO through the kernel running on this Mac

01:08:14   and same for all the other operations,

01:08:16   then the OS X will have a log of all those events

01:08:21   in this little fs_events log,

01:08:23   and it has APIs for you to ask it

01:08:25   what happened since the last time I asked,

01:08:27   and it can give you the answer really quickly and efficiently

01:08:29   without scanning the entire drive.

01:08:30   You can't do that for a network drive

01:08:32   because a network drive,

01:08:33   people could be doing IO too on other Macs,

01:08:35   going through their kernels and their IO system

01:08:37   and your kernel and your OS has no idea that that's happening.

01:08:40   So there's no way to say, hey, what

01:08:41   happened to this network drive since the last time I asked?

01:08:43   Because it doesn't know.

01:08:44   You just don't know.

01:08:46   So if Ac

01:08:46   So if Backblaze did do network drive support,

01:08:48   they would have to do what CrashPlan does,

01:08:51   which is every time you do that,

01:08:53   I gotta rescan the whole freaking network drive

01:08:55   and find out what has changed since the last time.

01:08:57   Because there's no more efficient way to ask about it

01:08:58   because other people could be updating the drive

01:09:00   at the same time, it's not locally attached storage.

01:09:02   So, you know, price-wise or not wanting to do

01:09:05   network drives 'cause they're potentially large

01:09:07   or whatever, there are technical reasons why

01:09:09   even if Backblaze added support for network drives,

01:09:11   it would be crappier than Backblaze's support

01:09:13   for local storage.

01:09:15   I don't know, for CrashPlan, I don't know if it does the good APIs for local storage

01:09:20   even, because I see it grinding my disk a lot.

01:09:23   And the other thing on CrashPlan news is recently they announced that there's a new version

01:09:26   of CrashPlan coming out that does not use Java on OS X, and that's another thorn in

01:09:30   our side about CrashPlan is that it is a Java application, you have to install the JVM for

01:09:34   it and it doesn't feel native, and it's, you know, as opposed to, again, Backblaze, which

01:09:38   is a native application, all that stuff.

01:09:39   So a native version of CrashPlan is supposedly coming out, maybe that will improve what matters,

01:09:44   But it certainly won't improve the fact that it just can't know what changed on a network

01:09:47   drive without scanning all of the stuff on the drive.

01:09:50   I get around that in my personal setup, briefly touching on that, by mostly storing on my

01:09:57   network attached storage either large files like the sparse disk images, I think those

01:10:02   are broken up into like 2 gig strips or whatever, but basically largish files, or things like

01:10:07   video files that are also very large.

01:10:09   So it is a small number of relatively large files and it's faster to scan that.

01:10:13   takes is scales with the number of files that you have to scan. So I have not so many files,

01:10:17   not so many directories, but those files are very often hundreds of megabytes or gigabytes

01:10:22   or larger. So that's how I back up my Synology. I have CrashPlan backing up my Synology, and

01:10:28   even though it does the incredibly inefficient scan the entire disk because it has no choice,

01:10:32   because it's network attached storage, it works in a reasonable amount of time.

01:10:36   All the things you mentioned about network drives having all these limitations based

01:10:41   on the fact that they could be accessed through,

01:10:43   in shared means by somebody else.

01:10:46   I hate browsing network drives.

01:10:48   Like I don't, first of all, Spotlight does not index them.

01:10:51   So if you have files on a network drive,

01:10:54   Spotlight just can't find them, as far as I can tell.

01:10:56   And then, number one thing is I hate getting,

01:10:59   I hate having to connect, you know,

01:11:01   hit connect on the side, I don't know if things

01:11:03   can auto connect reliably these days, what year is this?

01:11:06   But for whatever reason, it seems like that can't happen,

01:11:08   right, so I have to like go to the server,

01:11:11   hit connect, go to the drive, watch the spinner

01:11:14   while it loads the list of files,

01:11:16   open the directory I want, watch the spinner again

01:11:18   as it loads the list of those files.

01:11:19   Like it's so stupid, and I mean that in the sense

01:11:24   that it is not smart, it is just really simple

01:11:27   in a primitive way, and it is just terrible.

01:11:32   Like I don't think it's that unreasonable

01:11:34   to want all my stuff to be available quickly.

01:11:38   Really, even though it results in a desk covered

01:11:41   enclosures and wires and possibly noise issues if you don't go all SSD, I really do think

01:11:46   that just a couple of external drives is by far the best choice most of the time, as long

01:11:53   as it can fit what you need to fit.

01:11:55   And it's probably the right answer for Mike, because I don't think he wants any sort

01:12:01   of management thing.

01:12:03   Like all the stuff that I really get jazzed about in my Synology being able to offload

01:12:07   file downloads or file uploads, being able to have a VPN endpoint. I don't think Mike

01:12:13   wants any of that. And so I think you're right, Marco, that just having one or more enclosures

01:12:18   physically hanging off his computer is probably, from what we can tell, the better answer for

01:12:22   him.

01:12:23   Here's the other angle on that. We mentioned that we got our Synologies for free. And it's

01:12:27   kind of like, for me, it was the ultimate, like, gift. You always want to buy people

01:12:31   gifts that they wouldn't buy themselves, especially people who, like, seem to just buy themselves

01:12:35   or whatever they want, whose names might be Marco.

01:12:37   It's very difficult to know what to get them because it's like, well, if they wanted something,

01:12:41   they would have already bought it for themselves.

01:12:42   But it's usually something that somebody won't buy for themselves because they think it's

01:12:46   a frill or they don't think they need it or whatever, but if they got it, would actually

01:12:50   enjoy it.

01:12:51   And really good gift buyers, and I am not one of them, can figure out what those things

01:12:55   are.

01:12:56   Well, anyway, Synology's PR department actually turned out to be a really good gift buyer

01:12:58   for me because I had been thinking about NASAs for a long time, but I'm like, oh, they're

01:13:01   expensive and they don't have data integrity and I don't want to manage another server

01:13:05   and all sorts of other things, but because I got one for free, it's like, whatever, I'll

01:13:08   throw it down there and see what it's like. And I have to tell you now, if this thing

01:13:11   broke, I would buy another NAS. Whether I would buy another Synology or not, I don't

01:13:14   know. Synology is literally the only NAS I've ever owned, so I have no way to compare it

01:13:18   to other NASes other than stories I've heard from people, but I would buy another one.

01:13:22   Because now that I have it, I do what Casey does. I love having a huge amount of storage

01:13:28   that is in a different room. I love all the little server management things. It's been

01:13:33   totally reliable to me. I let everything auto update. I let the apps, I don't even let the

01:13:36   apps auto update on my phone. I let them auto update on the Synology. I let everything auto

01:13:41   update on it. Everything's always been fine. It's always up. It sends me email if like

01:13:46   it goes onto UPS power so I can tell when someone is overloading a circuit breaker in

01:13:49   the house and I can tell when the power goes back on. I download torrents from it so I

01:13:53   don't have to leave any of my computers running to just download torrents and stuff like that.

01:13:58   It hosts all the video that my kids watch,

01:14:00   integrates with my TV, my TV can read,

01:14:03   can play video right off the technology

01:14:04   with nothing, just the TV.

01:14:06   And of course, every other device that I have

01:14:07   can also play video off of it, like my PlayStation

01:14:09   and the Apple TV in theory, if I got the,

01:14:11   what do you call it, the Plex app and stuff like that.

01:14:14   All this stuff that I would thought would be a frill

01:14:17   and that the UI is like kind of gross and Linux-y,

01:14:19   and it is, I use it all the time and I love it.

01:14:21   And so had I not been gifted this thing,

01:14:24   I wouldn't, I would still be saying like,

01:14:25   "Nah, nah, so I don't need something like that."

01:14:27   now that I have it, I would totally get another one.

01:14:29   Maybe not an 8 bay one, 'cause like Marco,

01:14:31   I have a lot of free space on the thing at this point,

01:14:33   but I like it.

01:14:36   So I wouldn't be so quick to tell somebody,

01:14:39   especially someone who has never owned an NAS

01:14:41   that you totally don't need a NAS,

01:14:42   'cause you may end up like Marco and say,

01:14:43   you know what, what I really want

01:14:45   is just a bunch of really silent,

01:14:47   you know, SSD storage right on my desk

01:14:49   that's at native speeds.

01:14:51   Or you might end up like Casey and I

01:14:52   and be excited by the possibilities of your NAS

01:14:56   and love it every time you get to copy something to or from it over your local gigabit network.

01:15:02   And the I/O is really fast because it's a bunch of multi-gigabyte video files and you

01:15:06   don't have to hear the disks and they're far away and it's great.

01:15:09   Yeah, I would like to double down on everything you just said, Jon, particularly about, "Oh,

01:15:13   yeah, I don't think I need a NAS.

01:15:15   I've been ruined for life because now that I have the Synology, I will never, ever, ever

01:15:19   not have another NAS.

01:15:21   And unless something just goes horribly wrong with the Synology all of a sudden, I will

01:15:26   probably always buy Synologies from now on because I freaking love this thing.

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01:16:27   I always get compliments on the fractures

01:16:29   whenever anybody visits and they see my office

01:16:31   and they're like, "Oh, are those the fractures?"

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01:16:39   They also make fantastic gifts.

01:16:41   Now with the holidays coming up,

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01:16:46   they can get backlogged pretty easily

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01:16:52   and they'll tell you right up front before you order,

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01:16:56   But the problem is with the holidays,

01:16:58   everyone has figured out that these things make great gifts.

01:17:01   And they really do.

01:17:01   I've given them as gifts a number of times.

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01:17:40   Thanks a lot to Fracture for sponsoring our show once again.

01:17:43   - All right, so Google has entered the podcasting ecosystem.

01:17:49   ecosystem. What is this all about?

01:17:52   So we don't know a lot about it yet. So here,

01:17:55   they basically made a blog post and they did a couple interviews that I listened to.

01:17:59   And so the short version is that

01:18:03   Google Play Music, which is their music streaming service I guess,

01:18:06   I really don't know anything about it, but Google Play Music

01:18:09   is adding podcasts to itself.

01:18:13   And so what this will, and it's going to start out Android only,

01:18:16   but for the most part, I believe they say it's going to go everywhere, you know, soon at some point.

01:18:22   So assume it's going to be everywhere soonish. This is basically Google's big play in podcasting as far as we can tell.

01:18:28   They used to have like a really basic

01:18:31   iOS or Android player, I think, but I think it was discontinued a long time ago. Anyway, what this means for podcasting is

01:18:39   still a big question mark. The idea is

01:18:43   they are going to be blending podcasts in with music

01:18:46   in this one unified Google Play Music service,

01:18:49   and then they, I guess, again,

01:18:50   I don't know too much about it,

01:18:51   but I guess the whole idea of Google Play Music

01:18:53   is to kinda select what you want to hear right now

01:18:57   based on all the stuff Google knows about you,

01:18:59   which is a lot.

01:19:00   So it's like, you know, if you're gonna be at the gym,

01:19:03   they're gonna pick gym music for you.

01:19:04   If you're gonna be, you know, in the car,

01:19:06   they're gonna pick, you know, that's like the idea,

01:19:08   is that it kinda automatically can select and play

01:19:12   stuff that they think is gonna make the most sense

01:19:14   for what you're doing right now

01:19:15   based on your activities and taste.

01:19:18   And so they're mixing podcasts into that.

01:19:22   And so it used to be all music,

01:19:23   now it's gonna be music plus podcast you like or something.

01:19:27   It's unclear to me whether it's gonna be like,

01:19:29   you know, whether you subscribe specifically to things

01:19:32   or whether it's just random or whether it's both.

01:19:35   I don't know yet.

01:19:36   And the implementation details are fairly important here.

01:19:40   This is not open, of course, because Google is not open,

01:19:44   despite what they say.

01:19:45   This is not an open standard.

01:19:47   This is neither open nor standard.

01:19:49   - Well, it's better than Facebook instant articles,

01:19:52   where they make you, or Apple News for that matter,

01:19:54   where they make you write some weird format.

01:19:58   They just read your RSS feed, right?

01:20:00   - Yes, but that's a one-way transition.

01:20:04   So here's what happens.

01:20:05   And this is, by the way, very similar to Stitcher.

01:20:08   I don't know if Stitcher still works this way.

01:20:10   haven't looked at in a while, but very similar to how Stitcher at least used to work. So

01:20:14   you can't subscribe to anything you want. The podcaster has to opt into this because

01:20:19   Google is not just reading RSS feeds and then going to your server for each person who plays

01:20:25   the file. Like the way Overcast does it and the way most podcast players do it is everyone

01:20:30   publishes RSS feeds anywhere, who cares, this is the open web. You can publish your RSS

01:20:35   wherever you want. And then the client apps, the players like Overcast or Apple's podcast

01:20:40   app, they go download the file directly from the publisher. And that way the publisher,

01:20:44   first of all, is on the hook for things like bandwidth and everything, but also the publisher

01:20:47   then gets stats. The publisher can control that. The publisher hosts the file and can

01:20:52   serve exactly the file that will be served to people. They can make sure, like, "Give

01:20:56   me this exact encoding with this exact metadata, but this is my file." And they know what

01:21:01   they're serving. They know how many times they've served it to how many people, where

01:21:04   they are, you know, roughly with IP geolocation and stuff like that, and they have, you know,

01:21:09   logs.

01:21:10   >> I think that's something people don't realize about iTunes, is that when you buy music from

01:21:13   iTunes, Apple is giving that to you.

01:21:15   They host the files.

01:21:16   When you buy applications from the App Store, Apple is giving you those files.

01:21:20   They host the applications.

01:21:21   But when you do a podcast, which are in the same place and look very similar, Apple is

01:21:25   not hosting podcasts.

01:21:26   Those are coming from the individual podcast or servers, which is why they're so slow half

01:21:29   the time.

01:21:30   >> Yeah.

01:21:31   So anyway, what Stitcher came out with a few years ago

01:21:34   with their service was basically like,

01:21:37   it was a very similar thing where like you,

01:21:39   you as a publisher would have to opt in,

01:21:40   well at first you didn't, but that was a mistake

01:21:42   and then they changed it.

01:21:44   You as a publisher have to opt in

01:21:45   because what they were doing was basically

01:21:47   re-hosting your files first of all.

01:21:49   So that not, so that they would read your RSS feed

01:21:52   and then you, they would automatically download

01:21:55   all your files and basically be their own cache for them

01:21:58   and their own CDN and serve their copy of your file

01:22:01   to all their listeners.

01:22:02   So they kind of ate the cost and the bandwidth there,

01:22:05   but they also got all the control and all the stats.

01:22:08   And they also would transcode your file

01:22:10   down to a lower bit rate to save space

01:22:12   and to save bandwidth and to make it stream better

01:22:14   for people.

01:22:14   - And to make it sound worse.

01:22:15   - Right, and of course it would make it sound worse.

01:22:18   So Google Play Music is doing all of those things.

01:22:22   It is exactly the same kind of thing.

01:22:24   So you, as the publisher, you go and agree to their terms

01:22:28   and you submit your fee.

01:22:30   So if we decide that we don't wanna do this,

01:22:32   you just can't play ATP and Google Play Music.

01:22:34   Like no matter how much you like the app,

01:22:36   you just can't play it, 'cause it isn't based

01:22:38   on the open web at all.

01:22:40   And whatever show, if a brand new show launches,

01:22:42   you wanna go check it out, it probably won't be there.

01:22:45   We'll see what happens over time.

01:22:46   But anyway, so you go and subscribe to the show,

01:22:48   and then you are getting their copy of the file.

01:22:52   So your download won't show up

01:22:55   in the publisher's main stats system.

01:22:57   Now Google is saying they will offer publisher stats,

01:22:59   like if you go into their dashboard

01:23:01   and you look at their stats,

01:23:03   but most podcasters who care about stats,

01:23:05   which is anybody who serves ads,

01:23:07   they already have their own systems for that.

01:23:10   So this won't integrate with that.

01:23:11   This will be a separate thing you have to opt into

01:23:13   and then go and check and then manually

01:23:15   add into your stats system somehow

01:23:18   or make some kind of API thing if there even is an API,

01:23:21   but there usually isn't for modern Google services

01:23:23   because they're so open.

01:23:24   So anyway, they're gonna copy and then transcode your file,

01:23:28   possibly reduce the quality, and of course,

01:23:30   they're gonna reserve the right to play ads,

01:23:32   fortunately not in the middle of your show,

01:23:34   but between shows, so you know,

01:23:36   'cause I think they can play ads wherever they want

01:23:38   between any songs, 'cause I think there's a free tier

01:23:40   with ads, something like that.

01:23:41   So that part is a little odd and uncomfortable

01:23:44   for podcasters, but you know, that's the reality

01:23:46   of free streaming services, at least they aren't

01:23:47   cutting into the middle of our show.

01:23:49   So that's the deal for podcasters, basically,

01:23:53   they're doing it the Google way, where they know best,

01:23:57   They don't want to deal with you peons.

01:23:59   You deal with their system, and that's the way to do it.

01:24:03   - Well, the other aspect that is very Google-ish,

01:24:05   but not evil, to use the old Google thing,

01:24:09   is that once they have your files and your data,

01:24:13   they will almost undoubtedly serve them up faster

01:24:16   than what the random individual podcaster's gonna do,

01:24:19   and they will also, probably, everyone is assuming,

01:24:21   and I don't see why they wouldn't,

01:24:23   run them through something that translates the text

01:24:25   into speech, provide full text search for them,

01:24:28   like trying to obviously underscore David Smith

01:24:30   for finding things.

01:24:31   (laughing)

01:24:33   Maybe that won't be on day one,

01:24:34   maybe it'll be on year three or four,

01:24:36   but surely, like basically once Google gets data

01:24:39   and they're getting data by essentially reading your RSS feed

01:24:42   and pulling all those files, they are transcoding them,

01:24:44   they are processing them, I'm sure they will,

01:24:48   if they have any kind of algorithms that do anything useful

01:24:51   related to search to audio files, and I'm sure they do,

01:24:54   they're gonna do that to podcasts.

01:24:55   And Marco, you're talking about it from the perspective

01:24:59   of a publisher, but from the perspective of a user,

01:25:03   like they did with Google Photos,

01:25:05   if Google can provide something that appears magical,

01:25:07   like you can just type the word teacup

01:25:08   and see a bunch of pictures of teacups,

01:25:10   or you can just type some words and find podcasts

01:25:12   where those things were spoken using the magic of Google,

01:25:15   that is an attractive feature to users

01:25:17   because there is nothing equivalent

01:25:18   in any of the other podcast systems,

01:25:20   including probably Stitcher,

01:25:21   because I imagine they don't have all the data analysis tools

01:25:23   that Google has at their disposal.

01:25:25   So the potential upside to Google's own little,

01:25:30   Google Reader style, not gonna call it a walled garden,

01:25:34   that's called the chain link fenced garden,

01:25:36   is that they can provide features to users

01:25:38   by sucking in all of this data.

01:25:40   That other people who are either less interested in podcasts

01:25:43   because Apple seems to be like,

01:25:44   well, they're all right, they're whatever, they're there,

01:25:47   or just don't have the tech like Stitcher,

01:25:49   those companies can't do that.

01:25:50   So there is potential user upside of this service

01:25:54   and that scares me a little bit

01:25:56   because I don't want podcasts to,

01:25:58   I don't want Google Play to become the equivalent of iTunes,

01:26:01   like we said in past shows.

01:26:03   The fact that Apple is kind of mildly disinterested

01:26:05   in podcasts is good, I like that.

01:26:07   I like it because it keeps it open,

01:26:09   it keeps podcasts as a thing that anyone can have

01:26:11   and Apple's like, "Whatever, as long as it's not porn,

01:26:13   "doesn't have too much objectionable material,

01:26:17   "we'll put it up in our directory

01:26:18   "and you host the files and go ahead."

01:26:22   I like that, I like that better

01:26:23   than a Google Reader scenario where eventually the only way

01:26:27   anyone ever listens to podcasts is through this Google thing.

01:26:29   We are forced to do this Google thing

01:26:31   and have ads inserted between our show.

01:26:32   We are forced to have our show transcoded

01:26:34   and have no control over it.

01:26:35   We are forced to add up numbers from two different locations.

01:26:38   That's not-- long term, that's not good for anybody.

01:26:41   Short term, we're all saying as producers,

01:26:44   we don't like it that much.

01:26:45   But if everybody starts going through Google Play,

01:26:48   we'll be forced to put our stuff up there.

01:26:49   Otherwise, we're going to cut our audience by 50%, 20%, 90%.

01:26:52   Like in the end, Google Reader was all there was in RSS.

01:26:56   And then when Google Reader ran away,

01:26:58   there was a big power vacuum and a few other things

01:27:00   like Feedbit and stuff came up,

01:27:02   but it's just never been the same.

01:27:04   - Yeah, so that to me, like the whole like, you know,

01:27:07   what if this becomes so big

01:27:09   that we all have to play ball thing?

01:27:10   Like that is the biggest risk for publishers.

01:27:12   It does seem on the face of it.

01:27:14   Like we've kind of decided early on

01:27:17   that we didn't wanna be on Stitcher.

01:27:19   And most of the reason we didn't wanna be on Stitcher

01:27:21   was all of that.

01:27:22   There was also, the way I read the terms, there was a promotional requirement to promote

01:27:26   Stitcher on the show.

01:27:28   That's one of the reasons why you hear so many people at the end of their podcast saying,

01:27:31   "Find us on iTunes and Stitcher," because they had to.

01:27:34   And we did not agree to that, so we didn't do it.

01:27:37   The only reason we could say no to that was because it was so small.

01:27:39   By most people's estimation, Stitcher is 5% or less of the listener base.

01:27:44   So it wasn't big enough to make it worth those downsides.

01:27:49   But this might become that big.

01:27:50   And right now, podcast listening in general is very, very lopsided right now towards iOS.

01:27:59   Libsyn occasionally will publish or will discuss stats and I believe the ratio is something

01:28:04   like 8 to 1 in favor of iOS among all shows Libsyn hosts, which is a pretty wide range

01:28:08   of shows.

01:28:10   So the total podcast listenership is still very iOS heavy.

01:28:15   And that might continue to be the case for quite some time, in my opinion, because if

01:28:19   If you look at what podcasts are popular and what kind of people listen to podcasts, I

01:28:25   think there's a lot of overlap with the kind of people who traditionally have listened

01:28:29   to public radio.

01:28:31   And that does tend to skew upscale, younger, smarter, richer, more liberal.

01:28:37   And those are all, I think, demographics that are more likely to have iPhones than Android

01:28:42   devices also.

01:28:43   And I'm not trying to say that to be inflammatory.

01:28:46   I think that's actually true.

01:28:47   I think that's actually borne out by stats.

01:28:49   feel free if I'm wrong, feel free to tell Jon.

01:28:53   So this might not matter in the sense that maybe Android people just aren't that into

01:28:57   podcast listening enough to take over the whole market.

01:29:01   I'm not going to say there aren't any, but it's not going to be a massive proportion

01:29:07   of the market right now.

01:29:10   But who knows what will happen in the future, right?

01:29:13   I don't want podcasting to be like YouTube, where right now if you need to make video

01:29:17   video online, this basically is YouTube. You don't really have a lot of other choices that

01:29:22   have any reasonable number of viewers. If you want to reach the people who watch videos,

01:29:26   you basically have to publish videos on YouTube. I don't want podcasting to ever become that.

01:29:30   I'm a little worried about this from that point of view. The only thing that gives me

01:29:35   hope is that it doesn't seem like it will be that big. It seems like the kind of thing

01:29:39   they're doing because it isn't that much work for them to do in the grand scheme of things.

01:29:44   trying to boost Google Play Music, make it appeal to more people. It wouldn't surprise

01:29:48   me if Apple ended up doing something similar with like blending podcasts into Apple Music

01:29:53   in a similar kind of way because these services are both trying to beat each other over the

01:29:59   head and attract people with podcasts. Spotify, didn't they do the same thing or they talked

01:30:04   about doing the same thing?

01:30:05   I thought they talked about Spotify, yeah, but I don't, I mean I use Spotify several

01:30:10   times a week if not daily and I don't recall having even stumbled onto a podcast section

01:30:15   of Spotify. Now it doesn't mean it's not there, I just haven't noticed.

01:30:18   The way they're positioning this as like just something that will start playing when you

01:30:24   want to hear a podcast or something, that's, we'll have to see how this is implemented

01:30:28   in practice. But that to me sounds like this is a system developed by people who hate podcasts.

01:30:35   Or don't understand them because they don't understand it's like a TV show. You don't,

01:30:38   You know, when we were kids, or when I was a kid anyway, you could watch any episode

01:30:41   of "Different Strokes" and it was fine because there was no continuity, but podcasts,

01:30:44   most popular podcasts, and certainly something like "Serial," there's continuity.

01:30:48   You gotta start at episode one.

01:30:49   You gotta go through them in order.

01:30:50   You can't just be like, "Okay, play a podcast.

01:30:51   What are you doing?

01:30:53   Interleaving 17 different shows with random episodes?"

01:30:55   It won't make any sense.

01:30:56   - Or even just like interleaving podcasts with music makes no sense also.

01:30:59   - Yeah, a three-minute song and then a two-hour podcast.

01:31:02   - Right, exactly.

01:31:03   It doesn't make sense.

01:31:04   I'm hoping they're gonna be smarter about it than that,

01:31:06   but upon first glance, this looks like,

01:31:10   like in the same kind of way that the App Store,

01:31:14   in many ways, you can tell by what Steve Jobs

01:31:18   thought of third-party software.

01:31:20   You can kinda tell the App Store was designed

01:31:23   as a marketplace for software by a CEO

01:31:27   who really didn't like software.

01:31:29   (laughs)

01:31:30   That's, the whole thing with calling them apps.

01:31:32   It's kind of trivialized it. It's kind of like, you know, talking down to it in a way.

01:31:37   That's not my take on apps. You think it's talking down? I think it was branding and it was brilliant,

01:31:42   and it was trying to make application software something simple that everybody can use.

01:31:46   Where I agree with you is that implementation-wise, it was so clear that they just repurposed all of the software

01:31:51   and services and everything they had related to the iTunes store for selling music and just said,

01:31:55   "Doll it up a little bit, and voila, it's a store for selling apps."

01:31:58   That part is definitely true, but I don't think the diminutive app or the attitude towards

01:32:02   software is recognized.

01:32:03   It's merely recognized that Apple's not very good at services, and the one thing that it

01:32:06   had, they can sell, they can send you bits, sell you bits, take money and give you bits,

01:32:12   and keep track of what you purchased was a thing they had built to sell music, and they

01:32:15   just adapted that to sell apps.

01:32:17   It looked like that from the outside, but I think Steve Jobs likes software.

01:32:20   Well, I think there's really a combination there.

01:32:22   I think it is some of that like kind of condescending attitude and also very similar to the problems

01:32:29   Apple has with gaming where it's like a little bit of the condescension and also just as

01:32:34   you said earlier just not understanding it very well. And so anyway I look at what I

01:32:38   see from this so far and I heard there was a great interview on the actual Libsyn podcast

01:32:45   which I'll link to. I forget the name of it right now but there's an interview of one

01:32:48   of the managers or something, some kind of manager title of this team talking about it

01:32:53   and if you can get through the corporate speak which is not easy and all the really painfully

01:32:59   scripted talking points that the guy just kept hitting in response to every question.

01:33:03   Oh man, is that how people talk in California? Oh my God, anyway, that was rough. But if

01:33:09   you can get through all that you can kind of get the idea of how they see this and it

01:33:12   does kind of seem like this is Google's version of like apps and Game Center.

01:33:19   Like this is like that for podcasts. You know it seems like this is designed by

01:33:23   people who they they want to have podcasts in there but it just seems like

01:33:29   at least at least the way they were talking about it and writing about it so

01:33:32   far. Again this could all be wrong when it launches. We don't know but it does

01:33:36   seem like this is a weird system designed by people who don't get and

01:33:40   and maybe don't respect podcasts, but we'll see what happens.

01:33:44   We'll see. Yeah, I think we could be wrong about their understanding

01:33:50   of podcasts, because I imagine, like many things at Google, the only reason

01:33:54   this is happening at all is because somebody actually is really into podcasts and

01:33:57   wishes they were part of a thing.

01:33:58   The fact that it has to be part of Google Play, that's a strategy tax,

01:34:01   you know, it's like, well, you know, percentage-wise many more people listen to music than

01:34:05   podcasts.

01:34:06   We already have this music thing, why can't you integrate that? They're both audio yada yada.

01:34:10   So that's kind of a shame.

01:34:12   But I think there is some understanding within Google

01:34:14   of how people enjoy podcasts, which

01:34:16   is the reason that this project is seeing the light of day

01:34:18   at all.

01:34:19   It's just a matter of how well can they integrate it.

01:34:24   Can they take this thing that's supposed

01:34:25   to be music streaming services and integrate podcasts

01:34:27   in a way that is actually useful for people

01:34:29   who really like podcasts?

01:34:30   I'm sure they're going to try to.

01:34:31   But the saving grace here may be exactly the same

01:34:33   as the saving grace with Apple in that Google's really

01:34:36   interested in the play music thing.

01:34:38   Podcasts are just a nice to have they're never interested enough in it to ever attract a large enough percentage base

01:34:45   I mean they weren't interested in

01:34:46   RSS either but Google Reader got big kind of like

01:34:50   Organically on its own and just slowly swallowed up everything and then they but they've never really did have interest in it

01:34:56   And they're like, you know what forget it and they shut it down

01:34:57   And so hopefully this will not grow organically like that that it'll it'll be there. It's good that it's there

01:35:02   Some people will use it people will complain that we're not in it

01:35:04   Just like some people complain that we're not in stitch here

01:35:06   but hopefully it won't ever actually be a big deal

01:35:08   because Google corporate is never like,

01:35:10   you know what the next multi-billion dollar thing is?

01:35:13   Podcasts.

01:35:14   Like people are into podcasts

01:35:15   'cause it's the next multi-million dollar industry,

01:35:17   but for a single company, it's not like,

01:35:20   selling music seems much bigger to them

01:35:22   than podcasts do at this point.

01:35:23   I think that will probably always be the case.

01:35:24   So I'm hoping that podcasts will always be weird enough.

01:35:28   Like talk radio has always been narrowly focused enough,

01:35:33   even though it's also massively popular,

01:35:35   but in the grand scheme of things it's not as massively popular as video games and movies

01:35:39   and music.

01:35:40   Right, exactly. So yeah, we'll see what happens. I mean, from a publisher's point of view,

01:35:45   you can ask like, you know, what's the downside of putting yourself in here? I don't, short

01:35:49   term immediately, I don't think the downsides are very big. You know, yeah, it kind of sucks

01:35:53   that they re-host the files. It's probably going to sound worse than your files if you

01:35:57   care about quality like I do. Who knows if it'll do things like strip chapter metadata

01:36:02   who knows. But for the most part, the downside seems limited to, well, we'll have to go

01:36:07   somewhere else for stats and we'll have these people who hear our show in a less than

01:36:11   ideal way. But I think long term, the downside is that strategy problem of like, do we really

01:36:19   want to be encouraging and supporting a system that is trying to privatize and make proprietary

01:36:27   the currently open system of open web podcasting.

01:36:29   And to me, the answer there is pretty clear.

01:36:32   I would really rather not do that.

01:36:33   But if this becomes so big that you have to do that,

01:36:38   then I'm gonna not be happy about that.

01:36:42   I don't think it will become that big, but we'll find out.

01:36:45   - Yeah, me neither.

01:36:46   But I think that does it for tonight.

01:36:48   - Cool, thanks a lot to our three sponsors this week,

01:36:50   Squarespace, MailRoute, and Fracture.

01:36:52   And we will see you next week.

01:36:54   Now the show is over, they didn't even mean to begin

01:37:01   'Cause it was accidental, oh it was accidental

01:37:07   John didn't do any research, Marco and Casey wouldn't let him

01:37:12   'Cause it was accidental, oh it was accidental

01:37:17   And you can find the show notes at ATP.fm

01:37:22   And if you're into Twitter, you can follow them @C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S

01:37:31   So that's Kasey Liss M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M

01:37:35   N-T-M-A-R-C-O-R-M-N S-I-R-A-C

01:37:40   U-S-A-C-R-A-C-U-S-A It's accidental

01:37:46   They didn't mean to Accidental

01:37:51   I got some Apple TV stuff to end the show here, even though we talked about it enough

01:38:01   in the thing.

01:38:02   The reviews are up now.

01:38:03   Oh yeah, yeah, it looks like the embargo lifted right as we started the show, right?

01:38:07   Yeah, I just saw the one from Mashable, Christina Warren did, I think.

01:38:11   That was the first one I saw on Twitter, but then I saw someone else sent me the Walt Mossberg

01:38:14   one from Recode, specifically this section of the review, where Walt Mossberg and his

01:38:18   typical old man not understand anything, sorry Walt.

01:38:22   That's an unkind characterization because I'm an old man now too.

01:38:25   Anyway, he says, "The remote can now control the volume of your TV with no setup in most

01:38:29   cases and with an obscure setting on some newer TVs it can even turn them on and off

01:38:33   and change to the right input."

01:38:34   You know, that's the HDMI CEC thing that we talked about last time.

01:38:38   Next sentence in parentheses, "This latter benefit worked for me for a day or two then

01:38:41   stopped working."

01:38:42   Nice.

01:38:43   [LAUGHTER]

01:38:45   Nice.

01:38:46   Well, we have lots of CEC unicorns

01:38:47   that he can talk to who wrote into us.

01:38:49   Yeah, it works perfectly for them,

01:38:51   but not for Walt Mossberg.

01:38:53   But it almost works.

01:38:55   Worked for a day or two, then stopped.

01:38:56   And I'm sure Walt is spending a lot of time

01:38:58   figuring out why it stopped.

01:39:00   The solution, as always, is to disable CEC everywhere.

01:39:04   [BEEP]