139: I've Seen This Train Before


00:00:00   - So where's my new MacBook Pro, man?

00:00:02   - Looks like we're not gonna get it this year.

00:00:04   If we haven't gotten it yet,

00:00:05   they just did this iMac update.

00:00:07   - Yeah, I feel like I've been hearing from various sources

00:00:11   that it's coming, it's coming, it's coming, it's coming,

00:00:13   any second, any second, any second, any second,

00:00:15   but I don't know.

00:00:16   - Yeah, the 15-inch MacBook Pro is,

00:00:20   it's such the workhorse of the industry.

00:00:23   It gets so little attention, relatively speaking,

00:00:25   like in media coverage and people like us talking about,

00:00:29   well, not us, but most other podcasts talking about it,

00:00:34   talking about laptops and everything.

00:00:35   Everyone's talking about the new MacBook

00:00:37   or new MacBook Airs or whatever.

00:00:38   But when I go to conferences and events

00:00:42   or I go to somebody's office

00:00:44   and I see other developers working,

00:00:46   by far the most common machine in use

00:00:49   is the 15-inch MacBook Pro.

00:00:51   - Completely agree.

00:00:51   - Like it really is like the quiet workhorse

00:00:54   of the entire industry.

00:00:56   - Yeah, basically if you're doing something

00:00:57   that requires any more horsepower

00:01:00   than a MacBook Air can give you,

00:01:02   then immediately jump directly to 15-inch MacBook Pro.

00:01:06   Do not pass Go, do not pass 13-inch, do not collect $200.

00:01:10   That's a reference, John.

00:01:11   (electronic beeping)

00:01:13   - Last week, I brought up,

00:01:15   and we all talked about the thing

00:01:18   where the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus CPUs

00:01:21   were being manufactured by two different companies,

00:01:22   Samsung and TSMC, and some early benchmarks at the time

00:01:25   showing that the TSMC one got significantly better battery life than the Samsung one.

00:01:30   It was something on the order of like 15 to 20 percent better battery life under certain

00:01:34   CPU stressing benchmarks.

00:01:37   And this briefly became a thing and Apple kind of squashed it by issuing a PR statement

00:01:43   to a bunch of websites that basically said, it was the most Apple-y statement ever, it

00:01:51   It basically said nothing about whether it was true or not,

00:01:56   but it sounded like a denial.

00:01:58   And the reality of what they said is that,

00:02:02   yes, there is a difference,

00:02:04   but they say it's within 2% to 3%,

00:02:07   not 15% to 20%, under their testing,

00:02:10   and that the testing that revealed this larger difference

00:02:13   was considered invalid or unimportant

00:02:16   because it only showed basically maxing out the CPU.

00:02:21   And so if you are doing things that max out the CPU,

00:02:25   then there is a noticeable difference.

00:02:28   If you are not maxing out the CPU,

00:02:29   and most people are not maxing it out most of the time,

00:02:32   then the difference still exists but is smaller.

00:02:36   - I haven't seen enough really honest-to-goodness data

00:02:39   to make me feel strongly one way or the other.

00:02:42   Jon, what's your take on all this?

00:02:44   - I'm still kind of interested

00:02:45   and where the difference comes from.

00:02:47   I don't know enough about the Geekbench thing.

00:02:49   And of course, Apple statement is not very specific.

00:02:51   They think that they, they poopooed the,

00:02:54   that benchmark by saying that it spends

00:02:56   an unrealistic amount of time

00:02:58   at the highest CPU performance state.

00:03:00   Now, do they mean CPU as in the whole system on a chip?

00:03:02   Do they mean just the CPU part of the system on a chip?

00:03:06   I don't know if Geekbench is exercising the GPU

00:03:08   at the same time.

00:03:09   Like what could account for the large difference?

00:03:13   If it's only two to 3% of regular tests,

00:03:15   is that just because, you know, in regular usage,

00:03:18   you aren't maxing the CPU all the time?

00:03:20   Some people brought up games,

00:03:23   like what if I'm playing a game

00:03:24   that is close to maxing the CPU

00:03:25   the entire time I'm playing?

00:03:26   Then does it come back into the 20 or 30% range

00:03:29   or does that not matter because the game stresses the GPU

00:03:33   and it turns out the one with the good, you know,

00:03:35   there's just not enough details here.

00:03:37   What I was trying to think of was like,

00:03:38   maybe one is better, uses less energy coming from

00:03:42   going into a low power state or, you know, spinning parts of the chip up or down and the other one,

00:03:47   you know, is better at sustained high CPU usage. But if you were to throttle on, off, on, off,

00:03:55   it would get worse for, I don't know. It's mysterious. All we have is Apple's word to go on.

00:04:00   I don't think anyone has done any real world test yet. You would think if it was 20 to 30%

00:04:05   in real world, we would know about it. Not from someone running a benchmark, but from actual

00:04:09   people saying, boy, my iPhone 6s is terrible.

00:04:13   And someone else saying my iPhone 6s is great.

00:04:15   And I mean, people are saying that anyway,

00:04:16   but they probably all have the same CPU.

00:04:20   Anyway, it's mysterious.

00:04:21   Apple is not going to really give us any information on it.

00:04:25   As Apple says in the statement,

00:04:26   every chip we ship meets Apple's highest standards,

00:04:29   blah, blah, blah, blah.

00:04:29   Like I said, they're gonna make,

00:04:32   I think it is literally true that in Apple's testing,

00:04:36   the worst chip, like the bad one or whatever,

00:04:38   in the Geek Bench Test passes Apple's criteria.

00:04:41   It still means that perhaps the other ones

00:04:44   exceed Apple's criteria, and if you get one of those,

00:04:46   you're kinda lucky, and so it is still kind of like

00:04:48   a lottery, but without more information,

00:04:50   and I'm not sure how we're gonna get more information,

00:04:52   without more information, I don't even know if you're lucky

00:04:54   unless you spend all day running that benchmark.

00:04:57   How lucky are you if you get the quote-unquote good one?

00:05:00   - That's the thing, like their statement really,

00:05:03   it wasn't actually, like everyone was kinda treating it

00:05:05   as confirmation that this is wrong.

00:05:08   But in fact, it was confirmation that it's right,

00:05:11   that there is a difference,

00:05:13   but you probably won't notice it in average use.

00:05:16   - And it wasn't techy, they didn't go into the details.

00:05:18   So they're just, it's essentially,

00:05:20   it's first, the fact that they made a statement at all

00:05:23   is interesting, but second, what their statement said is,

00:05:27   "We feel we are covered.

00:05:28   We feel everything we've said is true.

00:05:30   Even though there's a difference,

00:05:32   we think the difference is small

00:05:33   in real-world usage, the end."

00:05:35   So you're right, it's basically just a confirmation of the thing, but they're not going to go into super techy detail and

00:05:39   Bottom line as long as the iPhone 6s gets okay battery life compared to what the 6 got which it probably does because everyone's 6s

00:05:47   Are like a year old right who gets a 6s most people aren't gonna get a success a month after they get a 6

00:05:52   It's everything seems to be fine. Yeah, so it's a non-story, but from a technical perspective. I'm still very interested in

00:06:00   How exactly this synthetic benchmark?

00:06:03   found this, you know, this weakness in this one CPU.

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00:08:19   Thanks a lot.

00:08:21   - So big week for Marco.

00:08:23   You released Overcast 2.

00:08:25   - I did, yeah.

00:08:26   I even stopped saying the point O in my marketing materials

00:08:29   because I thought it sounded better without it.

00:08:32   - So delightfully appley of you.

00:08:34   - Like when I leave the cents off menus at fancy restaurants

00:08:36   or basically all restaurants now.

00:08:38   - They don't even give you a dollar sign, it's just like 12.

00:08:40   - Yeah, exactly.

00:08:41   Experimentation is proven that that makes people

00:08:45   more willing to buy overpriced meals.

00:08:47   - Well, it looks fancier if you give it like a nice

00:08:50   serif font and you just have the description of the item

00:08:53   with as much white space around it as possible,

00:08:55   as many words on there as possible that you can't understand, and just off to the right

00:08:58   somewhere it says like, twelve.

00:08:59   Yeah, it just says "peanut butter and jelly sandwich space space space thirty-four."

00:09:04   And you're like, "Alright, whatever."

00:09:06   Oh goodness, alright.

00:09:08   Well, we'll talk about overpriced things here in a minute, but why don't we start

00:09:13   with one of the marquee features of Overcast 2.

00:09:17   You finally got streaming working.

00:09:19   I did, yeah.

00:09:20   I mean, you know, there's not that much to say about it, I don't think.

00:09:24   I talked here before about all the different times

00:09:27   I tried to get it working in the past.

00:09:29   And I just tried so many different approaches

00:09:32   and I tried the correct approach multiple times

00:09:35   before actually getting my side of it right.

00:09:39   This is using Apple's low level audio file stream API

00:09:43   and it's incredibly low level and incredibly unforgiving

00:09:47   and also pretty sparsely documented.

00:09:51   So the core audio style of their documentation

00:09:56   is to be really conservative with the words.

00:10:00   And so if there's like some minute little detail,

00:10:04   you have to kind of read it like a lawyer

00:10:06   to really understand like, oh, what is this exactly?

00:10:11   This says audio sample, what kind of audio sample is that?

00:10:13   Or what kind of time stamp is this?

00:10:14   What time space is this in?

00:10:16   Things like that, it's really tricky to get right.

00:10:18   But I got it right eventually.

00:10:20   (laughs)

00:10:21   and with one exception,

00:10:23   which I did not uncover in any of my testing

00:10:25   and my beta did not uncover it either,

00:10:28   and that is it doesn't play AAC files

00:10:33   where the header is at the end of the file.

00:10:35   So this is, I'll go over it quickly why it does this

00:10:40   and why this is gonna be tricky to fix,

00:10:41   but basically the API is a streaming API,

00:10:46   so like I give it bytes and I tell it,

00:10:49   okay, I'm at this point in the file,

00:10:51   here are the bytes from that point,

00:10:52   and I just stream it in, and then it tells me,

00:10:55   okay, we got the header, we got the properties,

00:10:57   we got anything you need to know,

00:10:58   and now we're ready to give you samples.

00:11:00   So here's the audio samples.

00:11:02   And then as you come through, as you page through the bytes,

00:11:05   it gives you the samples for it.

00:11:07   The problem is that that requires the header data

00:11:10   about the file, which tells you really important things

00:11:12   like the sample rate of the audio,

00:11:14   how many channels is it, mono or stereo.

00:11:17   You can't really decode the audio properly

00:11:20   until you have those basics.

00:11:22   With MP3, it's fine.

00:11:23   With MP3, it puts everything important

00:11:26   to the beginning of the file

00:11:27   and also the beginning of every header,

00:11:29   of every little chunk of the file.

00:11:30   So with MP3, you can basically decode an MP3

00:11:34   starting from anywhere in the file.

00:11:37   You just kind of skim ahead for a certain byte pattern

00:11:39   and there's a frame and then you can just start.

00:11:40   It's amazing.

00:11:41   MP3 is so simple.

00:11:43   If you wanna have embedded metadata or chapters,

00:11:46   All of that is shoved up front in the ID3v2 block

00:11:49   on an MP3.

00:11:50   So you can just read the first couple kilobytes

00:11:53   or couple hundred kilobytes if there's artwork in there.

00:11:55   MP3 is amazing.

00:11:57   It's a great format and the patents all expire

00:11:59   in a couple of years.

00:12:00   Most of them already have.

00:12:01   So the last of the patents expire in a couple of years.

00:12:06   MP3 is great.

00:12:07   Unfortunately, about, I think last time I checked it,

00:12:11   it was something like three to five percent

00:12:13   of podcasts that Overcast has indexed.

00:12:16   So whatever I know about in the whole directory,

00:12:19   about three to 5% of episodes use AAC format,

00:12:23   or M4A or MOV, it's all the same format.

00:12:25   The QuickTime MOV/M4A format is less ideal

00:12:30   than MP3 on the reading side.

00:12:35   It is this incredibly architecture astronaut design format

00:12:39   where you can contain anything and you can embed anything

00:12:42   and you can have all these arbitrary tracks

00:12:43   It's a much more versatile format than MP3

00:12:47   'cause it's like this kind of grand container format,

00:12:50   but it's really hard to read in a way,

00:12:54   without having the whole file.

00:12:55   You read it and it gives you this tree structure of atoms,

00:12:58   and within each atom is more atoms and more structures,

00:13:02   and the biggest problem is,

00:13:04   well first of all, the chapters are a disaster.

00:13:06   Chapters are interspersed throughout the entire file,

00:13:09   so you can't easily stream them.

00:13:11   And the other problem is that it is possible

00:13:14   to write all the audio data up front

00:13:18   and then to write the headers at the end.

00:13:21   So without reading the end of the file,

00:13:24   you don't know things like what format the audio is in

00:13:27   so you can't decode it, which means you can't stream that.

00:13:30   So if you've ever seen on like a file export dialog,

00:13:34   if you've ever seen those little check boxes

00:13:35   that say something along the lines of optimize for internet

00:13:38   or make it streamable or fast start, something like that.

00:13:43   What those do is they tell the encoder

00:13:46   to write that header up front.

00:13:49   Don't wait till all the data's written

00:13:50   and then write it at the end.

00:13:51   Write the header up front, or at least go back

00:13:54   and rewrite it up front after you're done

00:13:56   so that it's not sitting at the end of the file

00:13:58   so then people can stream it.

00:14:00   - There's not reliable support for byte range support

00:14:02   for byte range requests

00:14:04   so you can grab the end of the file?

00:14:06   - That's a separate issue.

00:14:07   I can grab the end of the file,

00:14:09   but the audio file stream API

00:14:11   is not compatible with this at all.

00:14:13   So I actually do byte ranges for seeking,

00:14:17   but the way I do it is I read the beginning of the file

00:14:20   every time to get the headers,

00:14:23   and then once I've gotten the headers

00:14:24   and the audio data starts, then I jump ahead

00:14:26   and send a second byte range request

00:14:28   for the part I actually need if it's further ahead.

00:14:30   So the problem is this audio file stream API

00:14:35   literally just does not support this at all.

00:14:37   Like this layout of having the header at the end,

00:14:40   even if I jump ahead, get it,

00:14:41   and then give it back to this API,

00:14:42   even if I have the whole file on disk,

00:14:44   that API does not support that.

00:14:46   So my options to fix this problem,

00:14:49   and I'll get back to byte ranges in a minute,

00:14:51   my options to fix this problem are either

00:14:54   to just, well, not support those files,

00:14:55   which is not a great idea.

00:14:57   I've already heard from a few people

00:14:58   who listen to some shows like that

00:15:00   that are very unhappy and that's understandable.

00:15:03   Or I can run those through a different API entirely.

00:15:07   The old API, I was using the ext audio file API.

00:15:12   That supports them, but that doesn't support streaming.

00:15:15   So I can have these two different code paths

00:15:17   of this pretty major part of the player

00:15:19   where I'm running it for certain files, not others.

00:15:22   And by the way, I don't even know which one

00:15:23   I need to call yet until I have a big chunk of the file.

00:15:27   Or I can do my third option,

00:15:29   which is what I'm probably going to end up doing,

00:15:31   which is actually fix the file on disk and then play it,

00:15:36   which is not a great option.

00:15:40   - Aren't you downloading it then?

00:15:42   - Yeah, I mean, I will probably end up

00:15:44   just not streaming these because it would be a lot harder

00:15:48   if I make it, 'cause then if I stream it,

00:15:49   then I have to actually go one level deeper in the API

00:15:53   and decode the format myself for both of these

00:15:57   and then feed raw data into a converter.

00:16:00   It's very, I would really rather not go into that level

00:16:02   if I don't need to.

00:16:03   - I'm surprised you're not going for the server-side solution

00:16:06   where these problematic files get downloaded once

00:16:09   to your server and then you put in the metadata for them

00:16:11   and then you encounter one.

00:16:13   In the wild, you just ask the server for the chapter info

00:16:15   which you already fetched, you know what I mean?

00:16:17   - Well, this isn't just chapters.

00:16:18   This is actually like playback.

00:16:20   I can't even play the files that are arranged this way.

00:16:22   - So you can't give it some, like, you know,

00:16:24   if you download, what I'm saying is download it once

00:16:25   on your server, get all the information you need

00:16:27   about the file, whether it's chapters or how to play it

00:16:29   or whatever, then when you encounter that file,

00:16:31   rather than reading the information about how to play it,

00:16:34   just ask the server for information about how to play it,

00:16:36   and it will tell you,

00:16:37   and you don't have to bother reading the end.

00:16:39   - Well, first of all, anything involving

00:16:41   like a server cache of the file has other problems.

00:16:43   So, you know, mostly it's, if I have one,

00:16:47   if I do one approach, which is to cache the file myself

00:16:50   and re-serve it from my servers to the app,

00:16:53   podcast publishers don't like that,

00:16:55   and I wouldn't like that.

00:16:56   - Yeah, no, you're not gonna serve the file,

00:16:57   just the metadata.

00:16:58   So then the question is, what happens if the metadata I'm serving is out of date because

00:17:02   the file has changed?

00:17:04   Then that's a problem.

00:17:05   I could e-tag it and everything, but then what if I don't have the data I need?

00:17:10   It's a problem.

00:17:11   I'm going to have to come up with some kind of crazy fix.

00:17:13   It's probably going to end up doing a temporary hack just to get these files playing again

00:17:17   in the next few weeks, and then a longer term I'll probably have to go to that lower level

00:17:21   API.

00:17:22   But I really don't want to do that.

00:17:24   I think the server side is going to end up coming back.

00:17:27   you obviously can do solutions that involve downloading it but if you actually want to stream

00:17:31   it someone's got to download it and get all the info about it right and then it's just a question

00:17:36   of you know like you can always fall once you have the download path in there you can always fall

00:17:40   back to that so you're like well if i couldn't get the information or this is a rare podcast that no

00:17:44   one has looked at or whatever or the information is out of date because the file has changed or

00:17:47   whatever then you fall back to downloading but i can't think of another way that you can successfully

00:17:52   stream something. I mean, I guess you're saying the lower level API, you can just do the jump

00:17:57   ahead to the end, get the header and jump back thing and just have a little delay?

00:18:00   Yeah, and that's, and of course that's if it supports byte ranges, which, and that's

00:18:04   a separate thing, so as I'm developing this, I've learned a lot of things about what servers

00:18:08   support and don't support. I also love the if range header. It's awesome. Whoever designed

00:18:13   that is awesome. The problem with byte range support is that podcast CDNs only support

00:18:20   it fairly loosely. So some of them support it every time, some of them never support

00:18:25   it, and some of them, like Libsyn, which powers most of Overcast's most popular podcast,

00:18:32   Libsyn supports it sometimes. So the way Libsyn works, as far as I can tell, is that they

00:18:39   are the front end to multiple backend CDNs. And when you request a Libsyn URL, you're

00:18:45   redirected to just a random backend CDN, as far as I can tell. And you don't get the

00:18:50   the same one every request.

00:18:51   So you can make a request for a file

00:18:54   that supports byte ranges, then make a second request

00:18:56   and it won't support them.

00:18:58   So you never know when calling a libsyn URL

00:19:01   whether the request you make will support byte ranges

00:19:04   even regardless of whether the previous one

00:19:07   to the exact same host did or not.

00:19:09   If I build the UI and everything assuming

00:19:11   that byte ranges will always be there,

00:19:13   I basically, I can't assume that basically.

00:19:15   So I have to also, like in a case like this,

00:19:18   I have to cover the case where I have to download the entire file first before I can even start

00:19:24   playing it, because that might be the only way to get it from the server.

00:19:27   So how did you not encounter this until after Overcast 2 was released? You just never downloaded

00:19:31   one of these podcasts for testing? Yeah, I mean, I honestly didn't download

00:19:36   a lot of M4A podcasts, or AAC, whatever you want to call it, the format, because all the

00:19:41   podcasts I listened to are MP3 format. And so I went and found some that I was using

00:19:47   for testing for things like AAC chapters and everything,

00:19:51   the enhanced AAC stuff, but none of those

00:19:54   happened to be encoded in this way

00:19:56   with the header at the end.

00:19:57   So I didn't test the entire catalog.

00:20:01   Maybe I should have written some kind of script to do that.

00:20:03   That would have been wise, but I didn't.

00:20:05   So now I have a bunch of test cases,

00:20:08   but basically it's gonna be a lot of work

00:20:11   to support what is a very small percentage of downloads.

00:20:16   But that's the job.

00:20:19   Well, since you've got all this server-side data,

00:20:21   you could actually use-- in the interim,

00:20:23   use the social engineering solution

00:20:24   where you find the most popular podcasts that

00:20:28   are like this, take their files, rewrite them losslessly

00:20:31   if possible, and send them an email and say,

00:20:33   hey, your files don't play on my player

00:20:35   because you didn't optimize for streaming.

00:20:37   Here's versions of your files that do.

00:20:39   Could you swap them in for the old ones?

00:20:42   You're not even asking them to re-encode.

00:20:44   You're not even telling them that going forward,

00:20:46   you're basically doing all the work for them.

00:20:47   I don't know how many it is, but maybe if you do that

00:20:49   with three podcasts, does that cover 90%

00:20:51   of your problematic files?

00:20:53   - Well, if you're gonna go a social route,

00:20:55   the easier social route is that all the people

00:20:57   who are encountering these podcasts are yelling at me

00:21:00   on Twitter and copying the people who publish them.

00:21:03   And some of the people who publish them have already said,

00:21:05   oh, I didn't realize that.

00:21:07   I've now converted the files with this different

00:21:08   checkbox option that doesn't do that.

00:21:10   - Yeah, they'll probably do it going forward

00:21:11   if people complain, but anyway, if you did it for them,

00:21:15   there would be even less work,

00:21:16   'cause it would be like,

00:21:17   here's your stuff on the platter,

00:21:18   and I don't think, you can't do it for everybody,

00:21:19   but if, I don't know what the stats look like,

00:21:21   but if there's a real big peak of like,

00:21:24   these three podcasts account for 90% of the problems

00:21:26   'cause they're popular,

00:21:28   that would also give you some breathing room.

00:21:29   - Yeah, I mean, it's really been a very small number

00:21:33   that I've heard about, so I'm not that concerned.

00:21:37   I really do think the right solution is just gonna be

00:21:40   to make the thing in the app

00:21:41   that just downloads the whole file,

00:21:43   and then rewrites it to be correct

00:21:46   and then feeds it into the parser.

00:21:47   'Cause then I have way fewer code paths,

00:21:50   then I only have the one parsing code path,

00:21:51   I can stay with that high level API

00:21:53   and not do a whole bunch more work.

00:21:55   And then just those files won't stream.

00:21:59   They have to download all the way.

00:22:01   But that's kind of how they work already.

00:22:04   That's how Overcast worked constantly until last week.

00:22:08   And because it's such a very small number of these,

00:22:12   I think that's an acceptable trade-off,

00:22:15   but I don't know, I could change my mind, we'll see.

00:22:16   - So is it as far as 2.0 bugs as far as you know,

00:22:19   any other minor things?

00:22:21   - I broke the entire watch app, that was fun.

00:22:23   - And you didn't realize it?

00:22:24   Oh, good thing nobody uses that, huh?

00:22:26   - I don't even use it.

00:22:27   It's kind of embarrassing, but I don't use my watch app.

00:22:29   I hardly ever touch it.

00:22:31   The main reason that it broke is even more embarrassing.

00:22:35   Relatively late in the process,

00:22:38   I changed my artwork downloader

00:22:40   use a different URL session API because the old URL connection API was deprecated. I forgot

00:22:46   to check the box in Xcode for that one category file that said to include it in the linker

00:22:53   in the watchkit binary. So I had a missing symbol. When that function was called, it

00:22:59   would just throw an exception and crash. And the reason I didn't catch this is because

00:23:04   I wasn't using the simulator to test this. I was using my actual watch. And my actual

00:23:08   watch turns out has been very buggy recently. And one of the ways it's been buggy is that

00:23:15   I thought it was installing the new versions, like the newest build. Whenever I put a test

00:23:20   flight build or a dev build onto my phone of Overcast, I assumed that it was working

00:23:25   the way it always has worked before, which is that it was also copying over the watch

00:23:29   binary at the same time, or, you know, a few seconds later. Turns out it wasn't, and the

00:23:34   And the overcast build on my watch was like a month old and was before this change.

00:23:39   And so I was testing it on my watch and I thought it was fine.

00:23:42   Additionally, none of the beta testers caught it.

00:23:46   Possibly for similar reasons of test flight being buggy, possibly because none of them

00:23:49   used the watch app.

00:23:50   I don't know.

00:23:51   Doesn't matter.

00:23:52   Nobody caught it.

00:23:53   I didn't catch it.

00:23:54   No one else did.

00:23:55   App review didn't catch it either, which means app review didn't even try the watch app because

00:23:58   it literally wouldn't launch.

00:23:59   I have a fix in for that and for a playlist editing bug

00:24:03   where the very first time you would create a playlist,

00:24:06   it wouldn't save any of your settings,

00:24:07   which was really embarrassing.

00:24:09   I don't know why I didn't catch that, but it didn't.

00:24:10   Now it's fixed.

00:24:11   And a couple other little things.

00:24:13   But really that was it.

00:24:14   It was very minor besides the WatchKit app.

00:24:16   - It's kind of surprising the App Reviewer

00:24:17   didn't even launch the Watch app.

00:24:18   What kind of things can you sneak through

00:24:20   now that you know this?

00:24:21   - Yeah, I was also surprised by that.

00:24:23   Probably not worth pushing the boundaries on that,

00:24:25   but that's interesting.

00:24:27   - Well, the number one thing you sneak through

00:24:30   when you realize you have a loophole in App Review

00:24:32   is some sort of tethering back door.

00:24:34   Isn't that the rules?

00:24:35   - Yeah. - I thought that's

00:24:36   how this worked.

00:24:37   - That is standard protocol.

00:24:38   Either a tethering back door or an NES emulator.

00:24:41   - Right, right, one or the other.

00:24:42   To go back to streaming just for a minute,

00:24:45   I had a couple of minor questions

00:24:47   I wanted to ask you about that.

00:24:49   I feel like you've probably already answered this,

00:24:51   but what was the hardest part?

00:24:53   I mean, it sounds like the hardest part is yet to come,

00:24:54   which is figuring out this AAC stuff,

00:24:56   but is there anything else that was really hard

00:24:59   that's worth noting?

00:25:01   And this kind of works its way into the follow-on question,

00:25:05   which is what are you most proud of,

00:25:07   specifically within streaming?

00:25:09   - The hardest part was really just getting

00:25:12   all these pieces to work together,

00:25:14   'cause there's a whole bunch of weird conditions,

00:25:17   weird concurrency, potential pitfalls,

00:25:20   a lot of different states

00:25:23   that all the different pieces can be in.

00:25:25   when you start downloading the file.

00:25:27   I mentioned I have this initial request

00:25:29   and then I can do a range request.

00:25:31   So which state are all those different requests in?

00:25:33   Once you have that data, as I'm passing it to the decoder,

00:25:38   what happens when I run against the end

00:25:40   of what I've downloaded and I have to send the decoder

00:25:42   a partial block or do I wait till I have a whole block?

00:25:45   And then what data is the decoder in?

00:25:46   Has it found the header yet?

00:25:48   Do I have what's necessary to decode yet?

00:25:51   Has it reached end of file?

00:25:52   What happens when all these other things reach end of file?

00:25:53   Do I actually play to the very last sample or do I cut it off somewhere because I messed

00:26:00   up a buffer somewhere?

00:26:02   All these little things, that's the hard part.

00:26:05   In addition to the aforementioned hard part which was just figuring out how the heck to

00:26:11   use this API, which is this low level C API, which like most of Core Audio is extremely

00:26:18   unforgiving and gives relatively unhelpful error codes.

00:26:23   So it was just really, really tough just getting all that stuff right.

00:26:28   What lessons did you learn while you were doing this?

00:26:31   Use AVPlayer.

00:26:33   Fair enough.

00:26:35   My biggest lesson is don't do this if you're starting from scratch.

00:26:38   However, I am very happy I did it because now I have, you know, the whole reason I had

00:26:42   to do this for Quick Review, anybody who wasn't familiar, the whole reason I had to do all

00:26:45   this craziness and not just use AVPlayer is that AVPlayer, as far as I'm aware, and

00:26:52   I've checked into this numerous times

00:26:54   and tried numerous different approaches,

00:26:55   but AVPlayer, as far as I know, cannot do smart speed.

00:27:00   So in order to do smart speed,

00:27:01   I had to write this whole audio engine

00:27:03   at a lower level than that.

00:27:05   And I didn't wanna just have a version that does smart speed

00:27:10   and a version that can stream

00:27:12   so that you can only have smart speed

00:27:13   while you're streaming.

00:27:14   I didn't wanna do that.

00:27:15   I wanted to have every feature available

00:27:17   whether you were streaming or not.

00:27:18   It was a lot of work, but I think it was worth it.

00:27:22   I assume I can fix this annoying little AAC limitation.

00:27:25   I think it was very much worth it.

00:27:28   Because now, even people who don't,

00:27:31   who never thought they would use streaming,

00:27:33   which I count myself among those,

00:27:35   it is really nice to have.

00:27:36   Even if you set it to automatically download everything

00:27:39   when it comes out, you will still, at some point,

00:27:42   run through a situation where, oh, something just came out,

00:27:45   I wanna listen to it right now.

00:27:47   and you can just tap it and it just starts playing immediately.

00:27:50   You don't have to wait for it to download.

00:27:52   And that's really nice.

00:27:53   And this was holding up a bunch of other possible features,

00:27:57   things like making inbound sharing links better.

00:27:59   Like now, I haven't done this yet,

00:28:01   but I can make it so that if you tap an Overcast share

00:28:04   link in something, I can pop up a little player

00:28:06   in the Overcast app and have you preview that or play

00:28:09   that right there.

00:28:11   Or just simpler things, like when notifications

00:28:13   come in for new episodes, I can have a play button on them

00:28:16   instead of just dismiss and wait for it to download.

00:28:18   You know, the simple stuff like that,

00:28:20   it's just really nice to have all these options.

00:28:22   So now I have the foundation that lets me actually do it.

00:28:26   - What lessons did you learn while doing all this,

00:28:28   other than testing the watch app and AV player?

00:28:30   Anything else?

00:28:32   - You learn to play one of each kind of podcast

00:28:35   that you know exists out in the wild, right?

00:28:36   So one MP3, one AAC with the headers at the end,

00:28:39   one AAC with the headers at the beginning,

00:28:41   one high bitrate, one low bitrate, you know, just--

00:28:44   I mean, basically what I learned there was,

00:28:46   I was already doing that, but what I learned there was,

00:28:49   there's another type that I forgot about

00:28:51   that I should have been included in the list. (laughs)

00:28:54   - It's funny to me that you have yet to mention

00:28:56   that you learned that unit testing may not be so terrible,

00:28:58   but I know that's a tree that it's not worth barking up.

00:29:01   Any other interesting stories about the development?

00:29:06   'Cause it's been about a year, right?

00:29:07   What version of the streaming engine are we on, four or five?

00:29:11   - Three or four.

00:29:13   - Okay, so it was about a year.

00:29:15   Any other interesting stories worth sharing

00:29:17   before we talk about businessy things?

00:29:19   - Not really.

00:29:20   I mean, it was, you know, I did a few other things.

00:29:23   I converted a lot, a lot of things

00:29:25   that were previously firing notifications

00:29:28   to tell various other parts of the app to update.

00:29:31   And now I'm doing all those, I'm doing a lot of those

00:29:35   as KVO, using Facebook's KVO controller

00:29:38   instead of all this notification hell.

00:29:40   So that was actually a nice thing.

00:29:41   I'm also, I've serialized database access

00:29:45   onto the main thread, which is crazy sounding

00:29:48   to some people, and I know this is very technical

00:29:50   and very boring, so I'll go over it very quickly

00:29:52   for people who don't wanna hear it.

00:29:53   Basically, my previous version was using a version

00:29:56   of my FC model layer that had a background queue

00:29:59   for database access, and there was a number of challenges

00:30:02   with this and potential bugs when things were happening

00:30:05   in a background queue, and then the UI tries to update them,

00:30:08   and then what version of it does it get,

00:30:10   and does it update at the right time?

00:30:14   Does anything accidentally get called

00:30:15   in the background thread?

00:30:17   It's a touching UI kit, which you can't do.

00:30:19   So there's all sorts of these little possible bugs,

00:30:21   some of which became real bugs.

00:30:22   And the new version serializes all database operations

00:30:26   on the main thread.

00:30:28   You're typically told not to do this for a lot of things

00:30:30   because that is performance problematic.

00:30:34   Like if you have a big database operation

00:30:36   that's using the database for a couple of seconds,

00:30:39   the UI can't update.

00:30:41   In practice, if you have an operation that's that long,

00:30:44   the UI gets blocked anyway if you have it

00:30:47   on a background queue because at some point

00:30:49   the UI calls into the database queue

00:30:52   and the operation is ahead of it in the queue

00:30:54   that's blocking it all up.

00:30:55   So I found in practice any large operations

00:30:58   that were large enough to take a noticeable amount of time

00:31:00   on the database would block the UI anyway

00:31:03   even if it was on the background thread

00:31:05   'cause something in the UI would call

00:31:06   into the database and have to wait.

00:31:09   - You don't have a, you know,

00:31:10   readers aren't blocked by writers kind of isolation,

00:31:13   or a separate queue for read and write, you know?

00:31:15   - You know, I don't have that.

00:31:18   I could add that at some point to FC model.

00:31:22   In practice, I really haven't needed it.

00:31:24   You know, in practice, having everything on the main thread

00:31:26   is both way simpler.

00:31:29   You know, it's, as I mentioned, all the possible bugs

00:31:31   that you get from having it on some other thread,

00:31:33   all those bugs are gone.

00:31:35   And also, it hasn't really been slower.

00:31:37   In fact, many things about it are faster.

00:31:39   So I have found no downside to this

00:31:43   in the kind of, in the ways that I actually use the database

00:31:46   which is, you know, every, I'm never doing like a table scan

00:31:50   or whatever SQLite calls a table scan.

00:31:52   I'm never doing that in the UI.

00:31:54   Everything that I'm querying is always indexed

00:31:57   and the data set really isn't that big relatively speaking.

00:31:59   So yeah, that's fine.

00:32:01   - All right, one final question

00:32:05   before we talk about something else that's awesome.

00:32:07   What's next on the roadmap?

00:32:09   Anything you're willing to share?

00:32:11   One benefit that we, well, air quote benefit

00:32:14   that we get being on the ATP emails

00:32:17   is that we also get about a 10th of your Overcast

00:32:21   support requests that somehow end up in the ATP inbox.

00:32:25   And I've seen a handful of people very perturbed

00:32:28   about the lack of authenticated feeds in Overcast.

00:32:32   Do you plan on doing that or is there anything else

00:32:34   you'd like to talk about with regard to your roadmap?

00:32:37   So right now, I crawl ATP once for all subscribers to it.

00:32:42   And then I collect that data

00:32:45   and then I distribute it to the people.

00:32:46   So okay, suppose you have a password feed.

00:32:49   Do I crawl it once and then re-serve that to other people?

00:32:54   That's obviously not great for security

00:32:56   and kind of defeats the purpose of password feeds

00:32:59   and could be like a piracy avenue.

00:33:02   So I don't wanna do that.

00:33:03   Do I crawl the feed separately for every user

00:33:07   that's subscribed to it with their username and password,

00:33:09   that is like the most semantically correct way to do it.

00:33:12   But that's also incredibly wasteful and resource heavy

00:33:16   on my crawling servers.

00:33:17   Suppose a really popular podcast

00:33:20   went with password protected feeds.

00:33:22   And then I had 60,000 people in my podcast app

00:33:26   trying to download this one thing

00:33:27   with 60,000 different passwords,

00:33:29   then that adds 60,000 crawling feeds I have to do

00:33:32   to every interval that I'm refreshing the feed,

00:33:36   that's both a burden on me and a burden on the other server.

00:33:39   So I don't know of anybody who does server-side crawling

00:33:43   and supports password feeds.

00:33:45   But I could be wrong.

00:33:46   I mean, you could do it, but I think at scale,

00:33:49   it starts to become problematic.

00:33:51   And so that's why I've been hesitant to do it.

00:33:53   It's also just among all the different feature requests

00:33:56   I get, it has been pretty low on the priority list

00:33:59   simply because not that many people request it.

00:34:01   And I think most podcasts these days

00:34:03   that are gonna do the password model

00:34:05   Generally speaking, I think that's fairly outdated

00:34:08   in that many of them are switching

00:34:10   to just having their own apps to play them back in.

00:34:13   And there's various reasons why I don't love that approach,

00:34:15   but that's the reality of the market.

00:34:17   So I don't have immediate plans to do this,

00:34:21   but I could do it in the future, I don't know.

00:34:24   - Fair enough, any other interesting things

00:34:26   planned for Overcast 3?

00:34:29   - I'm not even thinking about 3 yet.

00:34:31   No, I mean, honestly, I don't have any remaining

00:34:33   like massive ideas.

00:34:34   I have a bunch of small ideas I want to do,

00:34:36   little things I want to do,

00:34:37   a bunch of things that would be worthy of like 2.1, 2.2,

00:34:41   like that kind of update.

00:34:42   But I currently have nothing,

00:34:44   no concept of what 3.0 would be

00:34:47   or when it would come out, if ever.

00:34:49   I can take the 2.x line going for a long time.

00:34:53   - Fair enough.

00:34:54   All right, why don't you tell us

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00:36:16   "You know about computers.

00:36:17   "What should I do?

00:36:18   "How should I do it?"

00:36:19   And I said, "Just here, look."

00:36:20   I wrote down Squarespace form.

00:36:21   He hadn't heard of it

00:36:22   because he doesn't listen to podcasts, apparently, ever.

00:36:24   I wrote down Squarespace form.

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00:36:55   - All right, the business model changed for Overcast 2.

00:36:59   What once was not free is now free.

00:37:02   - Yeah, basically.

00:37:04   So before the model was a free app

00:37:07   with an in-app purchase for five bucks one time

00:37:09   to unlock all the features.

00:37:11   So it was like there were limits,

00:37:12   certain features were not available,

00:37:13   and you could pay once to unlock them all.

00:37:17   And it worked fine.

00:37:18   It wasn't amazing, but it was fine.

00:37:20   The problem was that, of course, as these things go,

00:37:24   it's a one-time purchase, and so revenue,

00:37:28   Average revenue per month was going down,

00:37:30   as these things tend to do.

00:37:32   And I had this major new update,

00:37:34   and I had so many people asking me,

00:37:36   is it gonna be a paid upgrade?

00:37:38   There were people on both sides of that.

00:37:40   You know, like, about half the people who asked

00:37:43   were hoping the answer was yes,

00:37:45   and about half of them were hoping the answer was no,

00:37:46   'cause they wanted to give me more money

00:37:48   to make sure the app survived.

00:37:51   Not 'cause they like it a lot.

00:37:51   So I had so many people who wanted the free update,

00:37:55   so many people who wanted to give me more money,

00:37:57   And I evaluated all these different options,

00:37:58   and the other problem was that,

00:38:00   you know, by having the app that has limits,

00:38:02   about 20% of the users actually paid to unlock it.

00:38:05   And as far as in-app purchase rates go,

00:38:07   that's incredibly good.

00:38:08   Like, that's a great conversion rate.

00:38:10   Most people with like a free thing, with a paid conversion,

00:38:13   they would love a conversion rate of 20%.

00:38:16   So I have no complaints about the conversion rate there.

00:38:19   However, that still meant that 80% of the users

00:38:22   were getting this limited, terrible version of the app.

00:38:26   and I wasn't using that version.

00:38:28   I wouldn't use that version, even for a day.

00:38:31   It was annoying to even have these different code paths

00:38:34   to test them, and I knew that 80% of my users

00:38:39   were using a terrible version of the app.

00:38:41   So I switched to a voluntary patronage model.

00:38:46   So basically, and this is not actually that new.

00:38:49   It's very, very similar to what I did with Instapaper,

00:38:53   about halfway through its ownership.

00:38:55   So you basically, the entire app is free.

00:38:59   Instapaper was paid, but that was a different story.

00:39:01   The entire app is now free, all features are unlocked,

00:39:05   and you pay if you want to to support ongoing development.

00:39:09   And you pay a dollar a month if you wanna do that.

00:39:12   And so far, that's working.

00:39:14   I haven't matched my previous income yet.

00:39:17   And I don't expect to for a while,

00:39:19   but I've gotten something like 40% there already,

00:39:23   I mean, after less than a week.

00:39:25   And the feature as it is right now is incredibly,

00:39:29   to a fault, unintrusive, like it's buried.

00:39:32   It doesn't, like if you just launch the app

00:39:34   and use it normally, you never even see it.

00:39:37   It's only in the settings screen.

00:39:38   If you go to the settings screen, then you will see it.

00:39:41   Otherwise you don't see it at all.

00:39:43   And over time, like that's mostly 'cause I just haven't

00:39:46   gotten around to making things that like promote it more.

00:39:49   Like you know, I was thinking maybe at the very bottom

00:39:51   of the podcast list screen, putting like a little thing

00:39:54   saying we're supported by Pay.

00:39:55   If you aren't a monthly patron,

00:39:57   putting a little thing there, saying here,

00:39:58   this is what we do.

00:39:59   Or when I add more features,

00:40:01   I can put a little welcome thing up saying,

00:40:04   here's what's new, and here's how you can join it

00:40:06   if you want to support this.

00:40:07   So there's stuff like that I can do,

00:40:08   but I haven't done it yet.

00:40:10   So having done a really invisible update,

00:40:14   and to already be about 40% towards my previous revenue

00:40:16   after less than a week, I consider that a success.

00:40:20   That is a faster uptake rate than I would have expected.

00:40:23   So I'm very happy with that so far.

00:40:26   - Good.

00:40:27   Why free?

00:40:28   I mean, don't you wanna make money, man?

00:40:31   I mean, I heard what you just said about

00:40:33   how you've got a pretty good uptake on this,

00:40:36   but you said you haven't quite reached

00:40:39   your old monthly revenue,

00:40:41   and that seemed to be working okay,

00:40:43   so why mess with the system?

00:40:45   - You know, part of it, as I said,

00:40:47   was the reasons of satisfying,

00:40:49   now everybody gets the good app, right?

00:40:52   so all my customers now are using the best features.

00:40:54   And you know, to me that's important,

00:40:56   like things like Smart Speed and Voice Boost,

00:40:59   this is why my entire custom audio engine exists.

00:41:03   This is why I had to write all that.

00:41:04   This is why I can't just use AV Player.

00:41:06   And it's a big reason that differentiates Overcast

00:41:09   from the built-in podcast app.

00:41:11   So when you're telling people like,

00:41:12   you know, you should use this app, well why?

00:41:15   The big, and you know, I have other competitors too

00:41:17   and that's fine, but the biggest competitor by a long shot

00:41:21   is the built-in Apple podcast app by a mile.

00:41:25   And that comes in, it comes with every phone,

00:41:28   it comes pre-installed.

00:41:30   As far as, I don't even think you can delete it,

00:41:31   I think it's always there.

00:41:33   So the question is like, how do I make anybody use my app

00:41:38   instead of the built-in Apple podcast app?

00:41:40   And a lot of the features that I locked behind that paywall

00:41:43   before, Apple gives those away for free.

00:41:46   So that really, it was not very competitive with Apple's app

00:41:50   And so before I had the scheme where the app was free

00:41:53   for some of the app and then you pay to get everything.

00:41:57   So it was always free for most people and pay for some.

00:42:02   And now it is still free for most people and pay for some.

00:42:07   But I've just changed what they're paying for and why.

00:42:12   And the result of that is a much simpler app

00:42:17   that's much better for everybody.

00:42:20   So that's why I think it's a win,

00:42:21   because it's still, it was always free for most people,

00:42:26   and I make money somewhere in there,

00:42:28   and now it still is that.

00:42:29   It is still free for most people,

00:42:31   and I make money somewhere in there.

00:42:32   Again, I've just changed the specifics of how that's done,

00:42:37   but it's still making money, it's still profitable,

00:42:40   and over the long term, it's probably gonna be

00:42:42   just as profitable, if not more so,

00:42:44   because, as I mentioned,

00:42:46   This is not my first paid app.

00:42:48   I've seen this train before.

00:42:50   That's not a saying.

00:42:51   Now it is.

00:42:52   (laughing)

00:42:53   I've seen this train before.

00:42:55   I know how this goes.

00:42:58   After my first year where I did this big thing

00:43:01   and I keep giving free updates,

00:43:03   average monthly revenue goes down

00:43:05   because I start to reach saturation

00:43:06   among my existing audience

00:43:08   of like the people who bought it last year

00:43:10   when I launched it, over time,

00:43:13   I'm not making any more money from those people

00:43:15   and I'm still giving all these new features

00:43:16   for free if I do a paid upgrade that has other problems, people generally hate those. Over

00:43:22   time if I would have stuck with the old model, that was a downward slope of the revenue.

00:43:27   It was slow, I was still doing okay, but the trend line was clearly slowly going down.

00:43:34   And that happens to every paid app that I've ever seen. So with this, first of all with

00:43:39   this I think the trend line will slowly go up. So that's a huge improvement right there.

00:43:45   And it also kind of levels it out a lot more.

00:43:47   You know, it's more predictable income,

00:43:49   and it gives people a way to give me more money

00:43:54   if they want to.

00:43:55   And so it really does solve a lot of problems.

00:43:58   And I don't think it's any,

00:44:01   I don't think it's that crazy.

00:44:02   You know, when you look at it as,

00:44:04   how I described it a minute ago,

00:44:05   it's just like, it was free for most people,

00:44:08   and some people pay before, and now it still is.

00:44:10   Just those things, like just what you pay for is different.

00:44:13   If you look at it that way, I don't think it's that crazy.

00:44:16   - Well yeah, but that's all fine for Marco, right?

00:44:18   - Oh God, this.

00:44:19   Yeah, you know, this was all Twitter

00:44:24   and blog drama this morning.

00:44:25   I don't wanna get really into it on the show,

00:44:26   but the short version is that anytime I do anything,

00:44:31   I hear from people saying, "Well, that's fine for you,"

00:44:34   copying the old "That's fine for Merlin" joke,

00:44:36   like, "Well, that's fine for Marco, but I can't do that

00:44:40   "because I don't have X," whether it's, you know,

00:44:42   of any Twitter followers as I do,

00:44:44   or the brand recognition that I do,

00:44:46   or whatever the case may be, the PR that I get

00:44:49   when I do things, always these arguments of,

00:44:54   well, everything I do is unique and invalid

00:44:59   to apply to anybody else.

00:45:02   And that's just not true.

00:45:04   And the fact is people are gonna convince themselves

00:45:07   of that no matter what I say, so it doesn't really matter,

00:45:08   it's not really worth arguing,

00:45:10   but the short version is the path I took.

00:45:13   The result that I'm at now of where my career is now,

00:45:18   what my audience, what people expect of me,

00:45:21   what people want to see from me,

00:45:23   yeah, that's hard to replicate in five minutes,

00:45:25   but I've been building it for like 10 years.

00:45:28   And the ways I have built it over 10 years

00:45:31   are generally accessible to other people.

00:45:34   If you also blog for 10 years and podcast for five years

00:45:39   and make a bunch of apps along the way,

00:45:42   then you have a better chance of getting

00:45:46   the kind of launch attention that I can get, et cetera.

00:45:50   But also, that launch attention is fleeting.

00:45:54   It's one time, that's it.

00:45:56   Launch attention alone does not carry things.

00:45:58   If it did, everything I did would succeed.

00:46:01   But in fact, most of the things I do don't succeed.

00:46:05   That's why I stopped doing them.

00:46:07   You know, like the magazine did not succeed.

00:46:10   The launch was, I think a couple data for the launch

00:46:14   was the most subscribers it ever had.

00:46:17   And then it just went down from there.

00:46:18   The magazine did not succeed.

00:46:19   Bugshot did not succeed.

00:46:21   Nursing Clock, of course, was kind of a joke

00:46:22   but that didn't succeed.

00:46:24   Even, I was having trouble keeping Instapaper afloat

00:46:26   when I sold it.

00:46:27   That's one of the reasons I sold it.

00:46:28   Because it was just not doing that well anymore.

00:46:30   You know, the fact is the things I do

00:46:33   don't succeed by default.

00:46:35   I am afforded the luxury of a stronger launch

00:46:38   than many people can get, but the value of that launch,

00:46:42   as I said, is temporary.

00:46:44   Look at our friends who made Vesper, right?

00:46:49   John Gruber, Brent Simmons, Dave Whiskas.

00:46:51   These people had massive audiences,

00:46:54   especially John Gruber, these massive audiences,

00:46:56   and yet Vesper hasn't taken over the world.

00:46:59   Obviously, the size of your audience is really,

00:47:02   it helps, but it's not all you need,

00:47:05   and it's not a guarantee.

00:47:06   So the people who really need to hear this won't hear it,

00:47:09   so it doesn't really matter what I say,

00:47:11   but I don't know, if there's anything to take away

00:47:13   from this, it is that almost nothing that I've done

00:47:17   is unique, and there is a road to take here

00:47:21   to increase your chances of success,

00:47:23   but it might take you 10 years and a lot of work,

00:47:26   'cause that's what it took me.

00:47:28   - Yeah, one of the things you've mentioned in the past

00:47:30   was wanting to get your app, I think you mentioned it

00:47:34   your blog post, your pragmatic pricing blog post that we'll put in the show notes.

00:47:38   Wanting to get your app into the hands of as many people as possible, like you're

00:47:42   going for market share over profit, like rather than selling a $99

00:47:46   artisanal handcrafted podcast app to 17 people, you want

00:47:50   your app to be in the hands of the most people possible as a hedge against

00:47:54   what did you say, big money? Was that what you called it? Coming in?

00:47:58   Like, you didn't want podcasts to become like proprietary

00:48:02   your Facebook eyes, they're owned and controlled by a single company, so you

00:48:05   wanted to get your application out there to the broadest audience possible. And

00:48:11   that is in line with your original pricing model, which was free with an app

00:48:15   purchase because you reduced the barrier to someone tapping the little button in

00:48:19   the store and getting it on their device. And now again, same thing, you know, if you

00:48:24   want it on your device you can tap a button, you don't have to give any money,

00:48:27   only now it's a better app when you download it, so there's more chance that

00:48:30   people will tap the button. So that all works but one of the complaints from people about your new

00:48:38   pricing model has been revolving around what effect your new pricing model may have on the

00:48:45   other podcast clients that are for sale now. I guess not including apples because like they

00:48:51   don't care what you do and maybe not including the big guys that can afford to give away their

00:48:57   I don't know if there's any other big guys like that,

00:48:59   but basically other smallish independent podcast clients.

00:49:04   Do you think your new pricing model will have any effect

00:49:08   on the fortunes of those clients?

00:49:12   - I don't think it has any more effect than it did before,

00:49:15   which is I don't think it has any more effect

00:49:18   than what the Apple client has.

00:49:20   All of us are at a severe disadvantage

00:49:21   because the Apple client is built in and pre-installed

00:49:25   and free and has most features

00:49:28   that most people need built in.

00:49:30   - And it's reel to reel so the audio quality is better.

00:49:33   Has that warm sound you just can't get from vinyl, Casey.

00:49:36   Hi guys.

00:49:36   (laughing)

00:49:38   - And also, when you do a search in the app store

00:49:43   for podcasts or podcasts, it shows this giant banner up top

00:49:47   for the built-in podcast app.

00:49:50   To promote that, to basically divert your attention

00:49:53   back to that to dissuade you

00:49:54   from getting another podcast app

00:49:56   if you actually search the App Store.

00:49:58   - And you can't even delete that app off your phone,

00:50:00   so it's not as if you need to download it from the store.

00:50:03   Like, you have it.

00:50:04   - Yeah, so there's a reason why, I mean,

00:50:06   by most estimates, I think the Apple Podcast App

00:50:09   has something like 60 to 90% market share,

00:50:12   depending on who you ask.

00:50:13   I mean, it's a massive, massive player,

00:50:15   and that market share number, as far as I know,

00:50:17   is not going down.

00:50:19   So that's a huge disadvantage for anybody

00:50:23   in the market.

00:50:24   So mine being mostly free in the sense that

00:50:29   I still am asking people for money,

00:50:30   but just now you can get all the features for free.

00:50:32   It's a valid question that like,

00:50:34   am I killing these smaller apps?

00:50:36   I don't think I am.

00:50:37   I don't think I'm, I think I am,

00:50:41   first of all I'm competing,

00:50:42   and this is something that they can do if they want to.

00:50:45   By most estimates that I've been able to piece together

00:50:50   from like rank data,

00:50:51   I think they're all making more money than me doing what they're doing. So they've been

00:50:55   out grossing me, I think, for the whole, for the year, or at least coming very close, or

00:51:00   being very close. So I think they're doing fine. You know, when you have this giant built-in

00:51:06   app that is, you know, built into the phone, free, very full-featured, look at like the

00:51:12   iOS Notes app is another good example of this. Or any of the built, you know, the iOS Weather

00:51:16   app, any of the built-in iOS apps, calculator, I mean all this, reminders, all this stuff.

00:51:21   There are markets for all of those apps in the App Store,

00:51:24   for third-party versions of those,

00:51:26   and they're often very healthy markets

00:51:28   with many different competitors.

00:51:30   And even if Apple's app takes the 80% or whatever,

00:51:34   that still leaves a lot of people.

00:51:37   And I had this problem with Instapaper with ReadingList,

00:51:39   and as far as I could tell, ReadingList never really

00:51:42   had much of an effect on Instapaper either way.

00:51:44   It didn't seem like a negative or a positive.

00:51:46   Because the thing is, when you're making an app,

00:51:50   The, especially something as complex as a podcast app,

00:51:54   the sum of all your little decisions along the way,

00:51:57   which is tons of little tiny design decisions,

00:51:59   the sum of all those decisions is what makes the app

00:52:03   fit people or not fit people,

00:52:04   whether it kind of matches with the way you think

00:52:07   about things or whether it conflicts

00:52:09   with the way you think about things.

00:52:10   Whether it's a design you like or you don't like.

00:52:12   Before you even get to features or price,

00:52:14   those are all considerations.

00:52:16   And because people have different preferences

00:52:18   what they want, how they want it to look,

00:52:20   how they want it to work,

00:52:21   what features they need and don't need,

00:52:23   that creates tons of market potential for other apps

00:52:27   in every category, even categories that Apple

00:52:29   already has a built-in thing up front for.

00:52:31   The fact that I come into this category

00:52:34   and I give my app away for free,

00:52:36   I don't think, I think it's the same calculus,

00:52:38   I think it's the same situation

00:52:40   that the apps have always been in before.

00:52:42   Like, apps that provide something that people want

00:52:45   that do things a little differently than the built-in one

00:52:48   now than mine, those will find audiences the same way mine did. They will find audiences

00:52:54   regardless of how much my app costs.

00:52:56   All right, so next question. If it turns out that changing your pricing in this way did

00:53:04   reduce the sales of the competing applications to a degree that maybe one out of two of them

00:53:09   drop off or whatever, how does that fit in with your goals of trying to make sure big

00:53:16   money doesn't come into podcasting. Is it not affected at all? Is it negative? Is it

00:53:20   positive? And how would you feel about it?

00:53:22   Well, I would feel pretty bad if I actually like killed someone else's app, but I have

00:53:28   seen very little evidence to suggest that that kind of thing has ever happened in iOS

00:53:32   or any software market for that matter. That's not really how things tend to go. Usually

00:53:39   apps die or become unsuccessful or non-economical

00:53:44   to continue because they themselves just kind of

00:53:47   didn't do that well maintaining their own app

00:53:50   or keeping their own users around.

00:53:51   I had the same, when I had Instapaper,

00:53:55   I learned this pretty well too that I was always

00:53:57   worried about my competition, I was always worried.

00:53:59   I talked about this at XOXO, I was always worried

00:54:02   about what if somebody comes in tomorrow

00:54:05   and takes all my users away?

00:54:07   And that never happened.

00:54:08   Lots of new competitors came around,

00:54:10   some of them very big, some of them completely free.

00:54:13   In fact, most of them completely free.

00:54:15   Some of them are from big companies, some of them Apple.

00:54:18   And it never seemed to make any difference whatsoever

00:54:21   because people had chosen me for lots of reasons

00:54:26   and my app was kind of mine to screw up,

00:54:29   or it was mine to neglect or whatever the case may be.

00:54:33   So if a podcast app goes away, if it shuts down,

00:54:38   which Instacast did this past, I don't know,

00:54:41   six months ago maybe, Instacast did,

00:54:43   but I talked to the creator of that in the past,

00:54:45   and I think he was having trouble for a while keeping it up,

00:54:49   so I don't think I had anything to do with that really.

00:54:51   If an app goes away, yes, I would feel bad

00:54:54   if it was my fault, but I would have a really hard time

00:54:58   believing that it was really my fault.

00:55:01   Furthermore, if being free up front for this past year,

00:55:07   If that was really a big deal, my market share would be bigger.

00:55:12   But it isn't.

00:55:13   Like, Pocket Casts is the greatest counter example of this.

00:55:16   Pocket Casts has way more users than I do.

00:55:19   Way more.

00:55:21   They make way more money than I do.

00:55:23   By a large amount.

00:55:25   They are on both platforms.

00:55:26   They have a staff to maintain it.

00:55:28   Like, Pocket Casts is, by all objective measures, kicking my butt.

00:55:33   And they're paid up front.

00:55:34   And they've been paid upfront the entire time

00:55:36   that I've been free.

00:55:37   And the reason why people choose Pocket Casts

00:55:42   is not because that, oh, this is four or five dollars

00:55:46   or whatever they charge, I don't even know what they charge,

00:55:47   whatever it is, it's not because of that,

00:55:50   it's because they just like it better

00:55:52   or it does things that mine doesn't do

00:55:54   or it serves platforms that I don't serve.

00:55:56   It's for other reasons.

00:55:58   So I think people are putting way more emphasis

00:56:03   on this pricing model, then I think it's warranted.

00:56:08   - So for the big picture thing though,

00:56:10   ignoring whether you are the cause of it or not,

00:56:15   is it better for keeping podcasts

00:56:19   from being Facebook eyes or whatever?

00:56:22   Do you want to see lots of third party clients

00:56:27   out there for podcasts or do you not really care

00:56:29   as long as the overall market share

00:56:32   between the big money and the little guys is the same,

00:56:37   even if the little guys share is divvied up

00:56:40   between five people, seven people, 12 people, two people.

00:56:44   You don't really care.

00:56:45   - My goal here is diversity in the ecosystem.

00:56:49   So from that point of view,

00:56:50   a large number of smaller clients is better.

00:56:54   However, we've had a large number

00:56:57   of small clients for years,

00:56:59   and we haven't made meaningful inroads

00:57:01   into getting significant market share overall

00:57:05   for the independent category.

00:57:06   The winners have always been Apple's podcast app,

00:57:09   and then Down, and Stitcher,

00:57:11   and then things like iHeart and TuneIn

00:57:14   that are kind of not quite podcast players.

00:57:17   Now you have things like Spotify,

00:57:19   they're getting into podcasts,

00:57:20   and that's only going to continue.

00:57:22   Diversity is important,

00:57:24   but you also need some big players

00:57:27   that can be big enough to attract people away

00:57:30   from those other ones.

00:57:31   And that's what I'm trying to be.

00:57:33   Stitcher, I think by most measures,

00:57:35   had something like 5% of the entire podcast player market.

00:57:38   That's a lot.

00:57:39   I'm trying to reach that kind of level.

00:57:40   I know I'm not gonna have like 50% or more.

00:57:43   That's crazy talk.

00:57:45   I would love to reach 5%.

00:57:46   And I'm nowhere near it, but I'd love to get there.

00:57:49   - Isn't Apple kind of a good guy in this scenario?

00:57:51   Because even though they're big

00:57:52   and have all this money and everything,

00:57:54   their sort of vague disinterest in podcasts

00:57:56   means that their player just reads RSS feeds, right?

00:57:59   They're not trying to open up peg walls.

00:58:01   They're not trying to grab copyright or insert

00:58:04   their own ads into people's podcasts.

00:58:05   They seem pretty sort of benign, kind of doddering.

00:58:10   It's the built-in app.

00:58:11   It works OK.

00:58:12   It works better now than it used to.

00:58:14   But it's a straight up podcast app, right?

00:58:16   There's not even any weird iTunes DRM shenanigans

00:58:20   in there, right?

00:58:21   Oh, correct.

00:58:22   But I don't like the podcast.

00:58:24   I don't like theirs.

00:58:26   All right, right.

00:58:26   So the app isn't good.

00:58:27   But I'm saying, in terms of the openness versus closeness,

00:58:29   Like you can totally see how like Stitcher in your scenario,

00:58:33   like something like Stitcher is more the enemy

00:58:35   in terms of they want, you know,

00:58:39   I don't know if they want control of it.

00:58:40   Anyway, their view of the podcast world

00:58:42   is like through the lens of Stitcher, right?

00:58:45   It is a different kind of deal than,

00:58:47   well, people just put up RSS feeds

00:58:48   and this is just a client app that crawls them

00:58:50   and it lets people listen to things.

00:58:52   Like that's what you're trying to preserve essentially,

00:58:54   what we have now, which is,

00:58:55   hey, so you wanna put up a podcast?

00:58:57   It's just an RSS feed with a bunch of attachments.

00:58:59   Anybody can do it.

00:59:00   If you wanna get listed in the big popular directories

00:59:03   like iTunes or I don't know what else is out there,

00:59:05   there's no barrier to that entry.

00:59:07   Apple is not like the gatekeeper.

00:59:09   They don't like charge you money

00:59:10   or require that Apple ads be put in front of your stuff

00:59:13   or whatever.

00:59:14   It's all pretty open and straightforward.

00:59:16   Kind of like blogging used to be in kind of,

00:59:18   well, we'll talk about medium in a little bit,

00:59:20   but anyway, like blogging was in the old days

00:59:23   where it's very open.

00:59:24   And it seemed to me that what you're trying to guard against

00:59:27   is a new world where it's like,

00:59:29   well, if you wanna have a podcast,

00:59:31   you have to go through Stitcher

00:59:32   and Stitcher gets X percentage of your profit

00:59:34   and kind of like the App Store.

00:59:35   And they're the gatekeeper for everything involved.

00:59:39   And they reserve the right to insert their own ads

00:59:42   into your things and to resell your content.

00:59:44   I don't know, like I'm making up,

00:59:45   I have no idea what Stitcher's deal is.

00:59:46   But the idea that, or like Facebook,

00:59:49   like where also you want your articles

00:59:51   to be shown on Facebook,

00:59:52   Facebook controls what gets into Facebook,

00:59:54   Facebook can copy your stuff and republish it,

00:59:57   and Facebook Instant Articles are a thing

01:00:00   that you have to write to,

01:00:01   it's not like they just pull your stuff, anyway.

01:00:02   Or like Apple News, like that's, am I correct

01:00:05   in trying to get a handle on what it is

01:00:06   that you're, the doomsday scenario that doesn't yet exist,

01:00:09   but that you're trying to avoid?

01:00:10   - Yeah, so, you know, to go back to Stitcher for a second,

01:00:14   the thing I don't like about Stitcher is that

01:00:17   they have their own proprietary directory,

01:00:20   and so it's not a general purpose podcast player,

01:00:23   can only play their podcasts. And if you agree to be one of their podcasts, they call your

01:00:30   feed, they get updates, they download your episodes and re-host them themselves so you

01:00:35   don't see the download numbers. They insert their own ads between them, which is weird

01:00:42   and conflicting possibly with the ads that you might have. They transcode your audio

01:00:47   quality to be terrible. And last time I checked, they actually required you to promote Stitcher

01:00:51   on Beyond Your Shows, which would be why you always hear podcasters saying, "Find us

01:00:55   on iTunes and Stitcher," because they have to.

01:00:58   And we decided with this show, early on, when we got a couple emails saying, "Why aren't

01:01:03   you on Stitcher? I can't listen to you," we decided early on that based on the apparent

01:01:08   volume being fairly low, that we didn't think it was worth being on Stitcher, because

01:01:15   we weren't very happy with those terms. And so we decided, "No, it's not worth it.

01:01:20   we don't want to do that. And the only reason we had the option to say no is because Ditchers

01:01:27   Market Share was only like 5% or whatever. If they got any bigger than that, it would

01:01:33   be really hard to say no. So imagine what if they had 15%, 20%. That becomes real numbers.

01:01:41   And so imagine like big publishers like Gimlet or Slate or Radiotopia, like big publishers.

01:01:49   If some player is in the market like that and they start dictating terms like that,

01:01:54   they basically have to agree to them.

01:01:57   They don't have the luxury to say no to something that's controlling possibly 15-20% of the

01:02:02   market.

01:02:03   That's a huge, huge problem.

01:02:05   A player doesn't have to get to a majority stake, 50%, they don't have to get that big

01:02:11   to be able to dictate terms.

01:02:15   I don't want to reach that point.

01:02:16   We've come dangerously close a few times.

01:02:18   I really don't want to reach that point in this medium.

01:02:21   It's even worse, you know, Facebook is way worse,

01:02:23   obviously, because they have,

01:02:25   I think most publishers would tell you that

01:02:27   more than 50% of traffic comes from Facebook.

01:02:31   Like, it's crazy how much traffic Facebook drives.

01:02:34   So, you know, we at least in this medium,

01:02:36   we have the freedom that we don't have

01:02:38   those middlemen who can dictate so many terms to us yet.

01:02:41   However, Apple is one.

01:02:44   And, granted, a podcast app, you know,

01:02:45   Most podcast apps you can subscribe to any URL,

01:02:48   no matter where, you know, any URL that's an RSS feed,

01:02:50   you can subscribe to it and the app will play it.

01:02:53   But Apple still, Apple runs the iTunes podcast directory,

01:02:57   and that directory is the center of all knowledge

01:03:00   of podcasts for a vast majority of podcast players,

01:03:05   Apple's and otherwise, and Apple has rules.

01:03:07   Like I think they disallow like adult stuff

01:03:09   and stuff like that, but anyway, right now,

01:03:12   Apple is pretty hands-off with their directory.

01:03:14   Right now, they have this giant market share

01:03:17   in both the directory side and in the player app side.

01:03:21   But they've mostly been hands off, as you said.

01:03:24   They've mostly kind of ignored it.

01:03:26   But what happens if they don't?

01:03:28   You know, like what happens if they start

01:03:30   using that power they have and making changes?

01:03:33   They probably won't because podcasting,

01:03:35   you know, the reason why they haven't really

01:03:37   touched it much so far, as far as I can tell,

01:03:40   is because it just was never that important to them

01:03:43   relative to everything else they do.

01:03:44   There's this giant company with these giant products,

01:03:46   these giant initiatives.

01:03:47   Podcasting was always so small

01:03:49   that it wasn't really worth them

01:03:50   messing around with, really.

01:03:52   But podcasting is growing.

01:03:53   And Apple is getting, I don't know,

01:03:56   possibly a little bit desperate

01:03:57   in relevance on the music side.

01:03:59   So that might change.

01:04:02   Not only do I wanna make sure that nobody else comes in

01:04:05   and gets enough market shares to be able to dictate terms

01:04:07   to every podcast publisher,

01:04:09   but I also would like to eat away at Apple Share

01:04:11   bit because I'm not comfortable with anybody having that much power over a market even

01:04:17   when it is Apple and they've been pretty good about it so far.

01:04:20   The other side of this is suppose you want to do online video. Online video is just YouTube

01:04:26   these days. Like you might as well just say YouTube because that's what online video means

01:04:30   to most people, YouTube. It is so dominated by one company and also that company is constantly

01:04:37   messing with the terms and constantly changing the way it works. They are really not a great

01:04:42   owner of that entire medium because they have shown over and over again that they're willing

01:04:47   to change things around for their own benefit and to be opaque and to make changes that

01:04:51   might not be in your own best interest as a publisher and things like that. But if you

01:04:54   try to publish video really anywhere except YouTube, it's very hard to get any viewership.

01:05:01   So I don't want podcasts to ever reach that point.

01:05:05   Right now, they're vulnerable to that

01:05:08   with Apple's market share.

01:05:09   But only, you know, Apple is not the kind of company

01:05:12   that would do that generally.

01:05:13   But you know, things change, people change,

01:05:16   companies change, anything could happen.

01:05:17   So ideally, I would like to diversify the market so much

01:05:21   that not only does nobody get the power to dictate terms,

01:05:25   but that Apple doesn't have that power either.

01:05:28   - You don't have to post your video to Facebook,

01:05:30   or to YouTube to get your viewership,

01:05:31   just posted to Facebook. Yeah, there's that issue as well. Maybe it's a duopoly.

01:05:38   Choose your poison. Exactly. The two giants fight each other over who has

01:05:43   monopolies. Yeah, I think we're all thus far protected by a podcast being such a

01:05:49   drop in the bucket, but yeah, I don't know, like, I mean, every time I see these

01:05:53   stories about, you know, new podcast initiatives, the whole serial thing, and

01:05:58   Even the you know what the that front of yours whether the gimlet media or something like that

01:06:03   Anyway, anytime those stories go in you know when podcasts get rediscovered by the mass media briefly for yeah

01:06:11   I'm the two or three year cycle that it's on

01:06:13   people get excited about it being a thing, but then it's kind of like then it quiets down and

01:06:20   I'm not sure if it ever crosses the threshold into a

01:06:26   Matt a real mass media. Yeah, I'm not sure if even crosses the threshold into like reading like as in books

01:06:31   Or you know paper books or ebooks, which I still think it's just a massively larger business than podcasts will ever be

01:06:37   So it could be that this ecosystem is never interesting enough for Apple to wake up and try to rest control of it

01:06:46   But if they did, yeah

01:06:48   I don't know what the hedge is against it

01:06:49   The head is the head you and your little MySQL database with a bunch of podcasts in it

01:06:54   Is that it? Is that all we've got? Is it just, you know, I don't or stitcher that's not you know, oh god

01:06:59   No, I mean like ideally the hedge is lots of other people who has who has a directory because even you have your own directory

01:07:06   Right. That's what yeah, I have my own

01:07:08   But I I will still search iTunes as a fallback to you know to get stuff that I if I can't find anything, right?

01:07:13   Well, so who else has their own directory at all? Microsoft has one

01:07:17   I don't know how big it is, but they do have one

01:07:20   There's a kind of like one or two others around I know Google

01:07:24   I've heard many very, very strong rumblings that Google is working on a major podcast

01:07:30   initiative. I don't know anything about it, but I know they're working on a major

01:07:34   podcast initiative.

01:07:35   I bet it involves ads.

01:07:37   Almost certainly.

01:07:38   I don't know anything about it, but hmm.

01:07:40   Right. And, you know, and again, like this, how much power do you want Google to have

01:07:45   over this medium? The more diverse we can get it to be, the less they can dictate terms.

01:07:51   So this is not going to stay still.

01:07:55   Podcasts are becoming big.

01:07:56   They're getting lots of attention.

01:07:58   We have to be very defensive and skeptical about how this is going to go in the future.

01:08:04   We have to like, I think it's really worth fighting for this.

01:08:09   Because we lost video long ago, right at the start, we lost text mostly now these days.

01:08:16   I don't want to lose podcasting to these big, private,

01:08:20   centralized, proprietary things.

01:08:22   - You know, it's probably protecting podcasts right now

01:08:24   as the incompetence of car makers,

01:08:25   because I feel like that's still kind of the linchpin.

01:08:28   Like when we were kids, radio dominated

01:08:30   because cars had radios in them.

01:08:31   Like I think in the home, the advent of television

01:08:35   replaced radio for a lot of things,

01:08:36   although people still had radios at work

01:08:38   or whatever to listen to.

01:08:39   But for, you know, terrestrial radio

01:08:43   has been all screwed up or whatever,

01:08:45   and the replacement of, you know,

01:08:46   podcasts are the replacement, they're independent,

01:08:48   you can get what you want, they're free,

01:08:51   they're all internet powered,

01:08:52   and once our cars can all play podcasts

01:08:55   using their ubiquitous internet connections

01:08:57   and their apps and their Apple CarPlay,

01:08:59   that's been such a mess, like it's clearly not there yet.

01:09:01   If you could snap your fingers and say,

01:09:03   starting now, every car you buy anywhere in the world

01:09:06   can play any podcast.

01:09:07   And it's like, wow, podcasts have really made it now,

01:09:11   because then people who have never heard of podcasts,

01:09:13   They just grow up in a world where you go into a car and you somehow search for, you

01:09:17   know, This American Life, and it plays it whenever you want, and you don't know how

01:09:21   it happens.

01:09:22   In the same way that you grow up in a car and you press the little preset button and

01:09:26   the radio station comes on and you listen to music, right?

01:09:29   That is the final form, if you will, of podcasts, and that it is the true replacement for radio

01:09:34   only.

01:09:35   It's on demand and it's diversified and whatever.

01:09:37   But you can get that if Facebook owns podcasts or Google owns podcasts.

01:09:42   In fact, it may come faster if one company owns podcasts or whatever.

01:09:47   I'm trying to envision a world in which A, carmakers get their acts together to actually,

01:09:52   you know, sort of, I don't know, it's not like agreeing on a standard, but like, if

01:09:56   you get everyone in a room and say, "We all agree, right?

01:09:58   Podcasts are just an RSS feed and that's where they come from and no one is going to support

01:10:02   any particular company."

01:10:04   But if one of those companies got big, if it was Google or Apple or Microsoft or even

01:10:08   and a Stitcher gets big or something and somehow--

01:10:11   kind of like XM Radio and Sirius got their claws

01:10:14   into the auto industry for a while there,

01:10:16   where it used to be you could get radio in your thing

01:10:19   and then you get satellite radio.

01:10:20   And it was one of two companies, and then they merged.

01:10:22   They merged, right, those two?

01:10:24   One bought the other one out.

01:10:26   Luckily, satellite radio is terrible.

01:10:27   So don't have to worry too much about that.

01:10:29   Technology-wise, there are limitations there

01:10:31   that aren't going to go big.

01:10:34   But the final iteration of cars is,

01:10:37   hey, if cars had internet connection,

01:10:39   then cars could listen to music and they could listen to,

01:10:42   music is already proprietaryized, whatever the word is.

01:10:46   It's Spotify, it's Apple Music, it's RDO,

01:10:49   it's all these other things.

01:10:51   So there's no hope of that being like,

01:10:52   oh, if we just add support for this protocol,

01:10:55   anyone can publish, that's already proprietary.

01:10:57   Podcasts have a chance, have a chance, a slim chance

01:11:00   of remaining in this sort of neutral open state

01:11:04   long enough for cars to get their app back together,

01:11:07   such that all cars have some crappy podcast player in them.

01:11:11   And once the ball starts rolling on that, if it gets going,

01:11:14   it could end up being like the web,

01:11:17   I guess is the best example of like the web got out the door

01:11:19   before anyone could really get control of it.

01:11:20   Microsoft tried and basically failed,

01:11:22   but you can make something with a web browser now

01:11:25   and it can browse the web.

01:11:27   The web browser engines are open source.

01:11:29   You can make one of them.

01:11:30   It can load a webpage that's not owned and controlled

01:11:32   by a single company.

01:11:33   Podcasts have a chance at that, but right now,

01:11:36   I think the expectation is that if a person buys a new car,

01:11:38   that car cannot play a podcast,

01:11:39   except perhaps through a Bluetooth integration

01:11:42   with their iPhone using an application.

01:11:43   I think that is still too complicated for most people.

01:11:46   Most people just wanna go into a car

01:11:48   and have a preset button that's their favorite podcast

01:11:51   and press play and it start playing the next episode

01:11:53   or something like that.

01:11:55   - The example of satellite radio, I think,

01:11:57   was the best counter example to this,

01:11:59   which is that satellite radio, you're right,

01:12:02   It came in, it got great integration into cars

01:12:06   where now almost every car that you buy,

01:12:10   in the US at least, has an option for satellite radio.

01:12:13   Many of them, it's even bundled into other packages

01:12:16   that you might get anyway.

01:12:18   So it's very common.

01:12:20   - But you had to pay for it, which is a real killer.

01:12:22   Like obviously podcast integration wouldn't be like,

01:12:24   oh you have to pay X dollars a month.

01:12:27   - Right, but either way, the hardware was there

01:12:29   and it still hasn't caught on.

01:12:31   And I think what will protect podcasts in the car from that kind of like big integration

01:12:38   deal kind of world is the same thing that has made satellite radio even less relevant

01:12:43   today than it was before, which is, I always say, don't bet against the smartphone.

01:12:50   The smartphone is what is killing satellite radio finally.

01:12:53   I mean satellite radio has been like kind of half dead for a long time, I mean forever,

01:12:57   but it's, the smartphone will kill it for good.

01:13:01   The fact is, internet connected cars,

01:13:04   I think this is probably like a half step.

01:13:08   - Well, through your phone, obviously.

01:13:10   I'm not saying you're gonna pay,

01:13:11   but that would be a payment thing too.

01:13:13   You're gonna pay for your cell access

01:13:14   and then you're gonna have your phone with you

01:13:15   when you're in your car, but I feel like it's not there.

01:13:18   As someone who owns probably the lowest end possible car

01:13:20   you can get that does connect to your phone

01:13:22   and play audio, it works,

01:13:24   but it is not the type of thing that I would say,

01:13:28   just get this car and it will just,

01:13:29   you won't have to do anything

01:13:31   and it'll just figure it out and it's really slow.

01:13:33   Sometimes the Bluetooth doesn't connect.

01:13:35   This ties into Gruber's new theory

01:13:37   that Bluetooth is the worst thing ever

01:13:39   and preventing the future of the internet

01:13:41   of things or whatever.

01:13:42   But honestly, sometimes it just doesn't connect

01:13:44   to Bluetooth audio.

01:13:45   Sometimes it takes a long time.

01:13:46   You can't tell if it's working.

01:13:47   Sometimes you gotta toggle Bluetooth on and off.

01:13:49   When it does work, there's enough of a delay

01:13:51   that you're not quite sure whether it's working,

01:13:52   so you have to decide whether you sit there

01:13:53   and wait for the audio to switch over,

01:13:55   whether you start driving and hope that it will.

01:13:57   Like, it's not as seamless.

01:13:59   It's still, I feel like it's still a nerd experience,

01:14:01   but you're right that that's the way it has to go.

01:14:03   No one's going to pay a separate monthly fee for their,

01:14:06   although boy, don't tell Verizon,

01:14:08   but they would love that they could charge it.

01:14:09   Anyway, no one really wants to pay a separate monthly fee

01:14:12   for their car to have internet access.

01:14:14   And if you're gonna have your phone with you anyway,

01:14:17   we really just need, you know, good car,

01:14:20   I mean, getting back, I guess like CarPlay and all,

01:14:22   you know, good smartphone car integration.

01:14:25   Once that becomes, I think we're all,

01:14:28   Do you think we're there with audio for iPod car integration?

01:14:32   We kind of had that nice period where it was like,

01:14:34   car said 30-pin connectors in them or a USB type thing,

01:14:37   and you would have iPod integration.

01:14:38   I felt like that worked pretty reliably,

01:14:40   but that was obviously a pre-wireless technology.

01:14:44   I mean, I think we are really pretty much there now

01:14:48   for Bluetooth audio, which is even better.

01:14:51   Bluetooth is so much better.

01:14:52   And BMWs.

01:14:55   Even other cars, like if I get rental cars, I try it.

01:14:57   I know other people who try it.

01:14:58   Usually Bluetooth audio is not perfect,

01:15:03   but most of the time pretty good.

01:15:05   - Yeah, the audio is fine, it's just the connection.

01:15:07   'Cause I have Bluetooth audio,

01:15:08   that's what I'm talking about with the integration.

01:15:11   You need more sophisticated integration for podcasts

01:15:13   if you wanna actually put up an onscreen display

01:15:15   that gives you more than just metadata

01:15:17   as if it's a music track, like you'd like to be able to,

01:15:20   I don't know.

01:15:20   - But that's all you need.

01:15:21   I mean, when you're playing it in a car,

01:15:23   that's all I need.

01:15:25   One of the reasons why I haven't explored options

01:15:29   like making a BMW app for it,

01:15:32   one of the reasons why is because

01:15:34   the Bluetooth integration is just good enough.

01:15:36   And it's really, really convenient

01:15:40   that you just get in the car

01:15:42   and the phone can stay in your pocket,

01:15:44   you just get in the car and a few seconds later

01:15:47   it starts playing your podcast

01:15:48   right where you left off on your phone.

01:15:50   - Much more than a few seconds in crappy cars

01:15:52   and sometimes never because it inexplicably doesn't connect.

01:15:54   Like I'm saying is that I think that's not that's not there yet for regular people

01:15:58   Like it's not it's not the type of thing where you can just assure somebody do you have do you have a smartphone period?

01:16:04   When you buy a new car any car

01:16:06   You will be able to listen to podcasts in the car and there's nothing you'll need to do and no manual you need to read

01:16:12   And no futzing you'll need to do and no caveats about remember don't start driving until the audio plays because it may not be connected to

01:16:17   Bluetooth and you better take care of that before you start moving

01:16:19   Otherwise, you'll be trying to use your touchscreen while you're moving. You're gonna run over a kid

01:16:24   You know John maybe it's just time for you to buy a nicer car

01:16:26   I'm saying like most people are buying cars like this and most people buying cars don't have any Bluetooth integration at this point

01:16:33   So it's I think it's starting to get really true. I don't know a lot of very very cheap cars

01:16:38   like my brother-in-law just got a

01:16:40   Brand new Civic and admittedly there are cheaper cars in the Civic

01:16:44   but I think the Civic is kind of a decent barometer for what a

01:16:48   reasonably priced cars these days and his has what I would call comfort access it has, you know, the proximity key I

01:16:54   Believe it as Bluetooth. It has a humongous touchscreen on it, which I don't think is navigation. Those are those are options

01:17:01   Those are all options

01:17:02   Sure, but I mean, I don't know a lot of people that buy a truly stripped car

01:17:08   I mean you didn't buy a truly stripped car, right? You didn't get the best

01:17:11   Package my first car didn't have a passenger side mirror. I'm talking about today

01:17:17   roll up windows.

01:17:19   - I'm surprised it was legal to not have a window,

01:17:21   like a mirror, like that's crazy.

01:17:23   - He's very old, Marc.

01:17:25   - The car is really, the car was really small

01:17:27   and honestly like, once you get used to it not being there,

01:17:31   I don't know, it wasn't, what I didn't like about it

01:17:34   obviously was the asymmetry, like it's upsetting

01:17:36   that this doesn't have the right, anyway, it was fine.

01:17:40   It also had the cool like a little joystick

01:17:43   to control the mirrors, like instead of power mirrors

01:17:45   the little-- everything was manual.

01:17:47   Nice.

01:17:48   Anyway, this is all getting off track of the podcasting, though.

01:17:52   But anyway, I feel like that is the--

01:17:54   with this podcast stuff, we're like, oh, these stories

01:17:56   in the paper and podcasts are big,

01:17:58   and there's lots of money involved,

01:17:59   and there's VCs, and there's cereal, and blah, blah, blah.

01:18:02   I feel like we're not over the hump yet with podcasts.

01:18:06   And to give an example, we got over the hump with digital

01:18:08   music.

01:18:09   iPods are everywhere.

01:18:11   iPods swept away.

01:18:13   Digital music swept away, digital music on plastic disks was swept away by digital music

01:18:18   on little tiny hard drives and eventually flash chips and stuff.

01:18:22   So that revolution happened.

01:18:24   The podcast supplanting talk radio for most people, I feel like has not happened.

01:18:31   Talk radio, as terrible as it is, I think is still the dominant form of people listening

01:18:37   to other people talking.

01:18:38   Yeah, but I do think podcasting is replacing it.

01:18:42   You know, it's not happening rapidly, but it is happening.

01:18:45   I mean, if you look at most like podcast,

01:18:48   you know, growth graphs or whatever

01:18:50   over the last few years,

01:18:51   it doesn't appear to be accelerating rapidly.

01:18:55   It's just going up slowly and steadily

01:18:57   the way it always has.

01:18:58   And I think that's going to continue.

01:19:01   You know, it is slowly, steadily getting more popular.

01:19:05   It is not really ever going down.

01:19:08   And so over time, it will replace talk radio

01:19:10   for most people.

01:19:11   It'll take a while.

01:19:12   I mean, a lot of people still read newspapers, right?

01:19:15   I mean, but that's not a growth industry, you know?

01:19:19   So I think we have, I think we are really in the early days

01:19:24   of a transition that is definitely happening.

01:19:26   - All right, well, we should move on

01:19:28   to your intentional destruction

01:19:30   of the open blogging platform on the internet.

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01:21:47   - So you don't like the open blogging platform

01:21:50   you decided to post your, which one do you,

01:21:53   one of the ones about the new version of Overcast on Medium.

01:21:56   - Yes.

01:21:57   - A proprietary platform,

01:21:58   only controlled by a single company.

01:22:00   - I cross-posted.

01:22:01   - Does that make it better?

01:22:03   - Little bit.

01:22:03   - Eh.

01:22:04   Why did you decide to do that?

01:22:07   - Yeah, so my latest post on my site,

01:22:10   I posted on my site,

01:22:11   and also I posted a copy of it on Medium.

01:22:14   Medium is really big now.

01:22:16   I wanted to understand it.

01:22:18   And there's only so much understanding you can do

01:22:21   of a blogging platform, really.

01:22:24   It's a glorified social blogging platform.

01:22:26   There's only so much of understanding you can really have

01:22:29   without actually blogging on it at least once.

01:22:32   So this company is so big, I think it's unwise

01:22:36   to be unfamiliar with it, especially as,

01:22:40   you know, they aren't the biggest company on the web,

01:22:42   but they are incredibly influential and incredibly popular

01:22:46   among people like in our circles, among like the tech people,

01:22:50   the early adopters, the kind of tech media space.

01:22:54   It is disproportionately popular among that crowd.

01:22:57   So I wanted to understand it.

01:22:59   - Why is that, do you think?

01:23:00   - Why is it popular with that crowd?

01:23:02   - So having used it for one post,

01:23:04   which is not a lot of experience,

01:23:06   but it's a lot more than you have, right?

01:23:08   So having used it for one post,

01:23:10   I can say that the editor is fine.

01:23:14   Everyone says it's amazing, it's fine.

01:23:16   It doesn't support markdown, which is unfortunate,

01:23:18   but it's fine.

01:23:19   It was nice having social feedback right there,

01:23:24   like people doing the highlights,

01:23:26   people doing the little recommend or like.

01:23:29   I'm still not clear whether it's recommend or like,

01:23:31   if those are two different things, I don't even know.

01:23:33   But getting all the feedback right there

01:23:36   to see all the different people you know

01:23:39   who would heart recommend like it or whatever,

01:23:43   and then you see the little highlights and everything.

01:23:46   Yes, a few of the comments were kind of interesting.

01:23:49   So it was nice to have that level of incident feedback.

01:23:53   It was like the way Twitter provided incident feedback

01:23:57   when you tweet things.

01:23:58   It was like that, but different and more of it,

01:24:00   and directly on the blog post.

01:24:02   - Or like Tumblr at the little bottom,

01:24:04   where it's like who, re whatever.

01:24:07   Tumblr has a similar thing, right?

01:24:08   It doesn't have the inline ones in the right margin,

01:24:10   but you could post something on Tumblr

01:24:12   and immediately see a bunch of little people's

01:24:13   avatar icons appear on the bottom.

01:24:15   - Exactly, exactly.

01:24:16   So very similar to Tumblr, but focused on actual blog.

01:24:20   Like on Tumblr, you can use Tumblr

01:24:23   for a 12 paragraph blog post,

01:24:25   but very few people will read it.

01:24:28   'cause that's not really the mode you're in.

01:24:29   When you're browsing Tumblr, you're in like a skimming mode

01:24:32   'cause all the rest of the content is skimmable stuff.

01:24:35   So nobody wants to stop and read some giant long post.

01:24:38   Whereas Medium, that's the whole point of the service,

01:24:41   is to read people's text.

01:24:43   That is the whole point.

01:24:45   And so it's normal to go there and see something

01:24:48   that is 12 paragraphs long.

01:24:50   So I decided, yeah, I wanted to try it.

01:24:53   I wanted to see what it was like.

01:24:55   And the feedback and the community aspects of it

01:24:59   do seem pretty nice.

01:25:00   In the past, I've been critical of Medium

01:25:03   because I've said, which I still agree with,

01:25:06   that you are not writing for yourself,

01:25:09   you're writing for Medium.

01:25:11   You know, in the same way, like,

01:25:12   when you give Twitter a whole bunch of your content there,

01:25:15   you know, you're really doing Twitter a big favor.

01:25:17   Yourself, you know, you're kind of,

01:25:19   it's of mixed value, right?

01:25:20   So the reason why you might wanna publish on Medium

01:25:24   Now, I said this before, is that if your goal,

01:25:29   if your primary goal is not to become a writer,

01:25:34   necessarily, or to develop your own audience,

01:25:38   but to spread a message, to spread some idea,

01:25:41   to spread some, like, a post.

01:25:45   If your main job isn't writing,

01:25:48   and you're writing it for some other reason,

01:25:50   like to make an argument or to promote something,

01:25:52   or whatever the case may be, it is really good for that.

01:25:56   And so I kinda wanted to try it from that point of view.

01:25:59   I'm writing this post that is, it is an idea,

01:26:03   it is kind of to promote overcast,

01:26:05   or at least that's an ancillary benefit of it.

01:26:08   My site has been pretty slow recently.

01:26:12   That's totally my fault, of course.

01:26:14   So the idea of taking any attention away from my site,

01:26:19   there wasn't that much attention on my site to begin with,

01:26:22   So it wasn't that big of an expense to try it.

01:26:25   It also wasn't exclusive.

01:26:26   They don't require it to be exclusive.

01:26:28   So I got to have all those benefits

01:26:30   of all that attention there

01:26:32   while not taking away from my site.

01:26:34   - Why does Medium get you more attention

01:26:37   than you posting it on your own site?

01:26:38   Those are just two URLs on the web.

01:26:40   Why is it that when posting it to your site

01:26:42   and posting it to Medium,

01:26:42   why do more people see it on Medium?

01:26:45   - That is a very good and very relevant question.

01:26:48   And I don't know the overall answer to that.

01:26:51   but certainly you can kind of tell on the web today,

01:26:55   it is pretty hard to get good traffic to a blog post.

01:26:59   It is much easier to get good traffic

01:27:02   in social environments.

01:27:04   And the fact is, you gotta go where the readers are.

01:27:08   You know, if you want something to spread like that,

01:27:10   you have to go where the people actually are,

01:27:12   where the consumers are.

01:27:13   And for the kind of things that I was writing,

01:27:16   Medium has a whole lot of those.

01:27:19   - Yeah, but I mean like physically, mechanically speaking,

01:27:23   how are the people there?

01:27:24   How does anyone find your post on Medium

01:27:26   other than seeing you link to it from your blog?

01:27:28   Like I don't understand,

01:27:29   obviously I don't use the service, so I don't understand.

01:27:31   - Well, there's like social recommendations

01:27:33   and there's like top voted in this time period

01:27:36   or among your friends or whatever.

01:27:37   - So it's kind of like tech meme or whatever you think.

01:27:40   People are browsing the front page of Medium.

01:27:41   I know there is a follower thing

01:27:43   'cause I always get emails saying people followed me

01:27:44   on Medium and I feel bad

01:27:45   because I don't think I've ever written anything there.

01:27:48   But anyway, so you have an account

01:27:49   you have followers and presumably if I ever posted something to Medium my 17 followers

01:27:52   on Medium would see that I posted it, but are people I guess like using it kind of like

01:27:57   Reddit where you go to the front page of Medium and look at the top things top voted by people

01:28:03   you follow or something?

01:28:04   I suppose. I mean I haven't been using it enough to know. I mean none of us are doing

01:28:09   that obviously right? I mean whenever I see a lot of Medium posts you're right but when

01:28:12   I see them I see them in tweets basically. That's where I see links to Medium. And in

01:28:18   context from my perspective that could just as easily have been a link to Marco.org and

01:28:21   I would have seen it just as much but maybe other people are using Medium differently

01:28:25   and they're going to it like they go to Reddit pages and just or like Techmeme or anything

01:28:29   like that and just going to the what the hell is the front page of Medium? Let me go look.

01:28:32   It's like some like editorial collections of stuff I think. So in recent years every

01:28:37   time I write a post on my site these days I also tweet about it and the main reason

01:28:43   I do that is because the fact is way more people are reading Twitter than subscribe

01:28:50   to my RSS feed and checking my RSS feed regularly. And also Twitter provides feedback mechanisms

01:28:57   and ways for people to spread it with retweets and links and re-blogs or whatever. So there's

01:29:03   all these values that Twitter brings me in my publishing. Medium is another one of these

01:29:10   venues where there is a lot of activity happening there.

01:29:14   There's a lot of people reading it.

01:29:16   There's a lot of people recommending and sharing stuff

01:29:18   there to other people there.

01:29:20   And so the idea of cross-posting major posts there

01:29:24   doesn't sound that crazy to me anymore

01:29:25   because now, as I said, I don't think Medium is a good idea

01:29:30   if you have, like John Gruber should not be publishing

01:29:35   his main articles on Medium because he has already

01:29:37   a giant audience for his site and that is his business.

01:29:40   that is his main business.

01:29:42   My site is no longer my main business,

01:29:44   it never really was, but the ads on my site

01:29:47   are decreasingly necessary for my business.

01:29:52   Meanwhile, the ideas that I'm talking about,

01:29:55   the things I'm linking to, the things I'm promoting,

01:29:58   my apps, my own brand, all these things,

01:30:00   are becoming more important to me over time

01:30:03   relative to how many people go to my blog.

01:30:08   And if the people who use Medium are gonna be reading

01:30:12   my stuff in Medium, the alternative I think is not

01:30:17   that they would come to my site and read it necessarily,

01:30:20   I think the alternative is more likely

01:30:22   that they just wouldn't read it.

01:30:23   So I can still, like I don't really see the harm

01:30:26   in people who have the kind of goals I have,

01:30:29   which is not to develop a giant following on my site only,

01:30:33   but to maintain my site and to write things

01:30:36   on something I own, but to also go to where the people are.

01:30:39   Because the things I'm writing have more value to me

01:30:43   the more people read them.

01:30:45   - I guess I'm the Marco in this scenario,

01:30:47   because I'm also not trying to,

01:30:49   my site is not a business that does not have ads on it,

01:30:52   it never has, it has no readers,

01:30:54   but I would still never put anything there on Medium.

01:30:56   And maybe it's because I also don't care

01:30:59   if people actually find it and read it.

01:31:01   I just feel like, why would I give them

01:31:03   something that I wrote, unless they paid me,

01:31:05   unless I'm like freelance writing,

01:31:06   it's like, hey, well, if someone wants to pay me

01:31:08   to write something for their site,

01:31:09   that's the same deal that I would do with any other site.

01:31:11   Sure, if I'm in the mood to do freelance writing

01:31:14   and someone, I pitch someone an idea or they pitch me,

01:31:17   hey, would you wanna write this?

01:31:18   I'll either say yes or no.

01:31:19   But outside of the realm of freelance writing,

01:31:21   if I just had an idea and wanted to write it,

01:31:24   I would put it on my blog that nobody reads

01:31:26   and I would never put it on Medium for free.

01:31:28   But I guess, I mean, I don't have anything to promote.

01:31:30   I mean, you do have something to promote there.

01:31:31   Like I'm also, I guess I'm not concerned

01:31:33   with trying to get my message out,

01:31:35   but I think that's the main difference.

01:31:37   Like, I don't think it matters whether it's my, you know,

01:31:40   it's not a business at all for me,

01:31:42   but that doesn't weigh in on my decision.

01:31:44   I guess it just has to go down to,

01:31:46   do you care about getting this

01:31:48   to the widest number of people?

01:31:49   It's the same reason I don't post links

01:31:50   to my stuff to Facebook.

01:31:52   I bet that would get more people to read it,

01:31:53   but that's just not what I do.

01:31:55   - Yeah, but you don't want Facebook people.

01:31:57   - Well, you know, I wouldn't see their feedback anyway,

01:31:59   'cause my site doesn't have any comments.

01:32:01   (laughing)

01:32:02   No, so basically I think there's a spectrum of what is right to do and what feels right

01:32:08   for you to do. Cross-posting significant posts to Medium I think is somewhere along the spectrum,

01:32:16   but further along it of course, than linking to everything you write from Twitter. They're

01:32:22   both ways to go where the people are and to try to build value for yourself somehow. In

01:32:28   the case of linking from Twitter, that's better for you because you're pointing them

01:32:31   them to your site, but--

01:32:34   - And you're not giving someone else your words either.

01:32:36   You're not saying, because I don't know what the deal is

01:32:37   when you put it on Medium, but I'm sure they have

01:32:39   some rights to it once you paste it into that text box.

01:32:41   - Sure, I mean, they have to at least have the rights

01:32:43   to display it and move it around and copy it

01:32:45   and stuff like that, so--

01:32:46   - Show ads against it, God knows what they're doing.

01:32:48   - Right, so the question is what are your needs

01:32:51   for what you're writing, what are you going for?

01:32:54   If you're going for maximum spread,

01:32:56   I would say it is wise to cross-post things there.

01:33:00   If you're going for building up your own site,

01:33:03   then it probably isn't, but it depends.

01:33:07   It might be a way to help you get started

01:33:08   to bring people possibly maybe to your site,

01:33:11   although I don't think a lot of people would,

01:33:12   but who knows, but it is a tool that's on the spectrum,

01:33:15   and I wanted to understand it better,

01:33:17   and that's why I did it.

01:33:18   And I don't know if I'll do it again.

01:33:20   It is annoying to have two different versions

01:33:22   of what you write and have to--

01:33:23   - It's probably gonna mess with your Google juice.

01:33:25   - Yeah. - 'Cause now Google

01:33:26   might view it as duplicate content,

01:33:28   or maybe it thinks the medium one is the original

01:33:29   and yours is the duplicate and downgrades your site

01:33:31   'cause it's like you're copy paste duplicating

01:33:35   someone else's content even though you're the same person.

01:33:37   - Right, so again, I don't know if I'm gonna keep doing it.

01:33:40   I might keep doing it for major posts,

01:33:42   like things where I really want this

01:33:44   to have maximum audience because again,

01:33:45   it's a tool to do that.

01:33:47   I am happy I did this with this post

01:33:49   because it really did help me understand Medium

01:33:52   a lot better, I understand why somebody like me

01:33:55   would even want to use it.

01:33:56   So I call it a success.

01:33:59   - So what was, you wanna share numbers like percentage wise

01:34:02   like you know, did it get twice what your market.org thing,

01:34:05   10% what your market.org thing got?

01:34:07   Like what was the spread of hits on?

01:34:09   - Hold on, I don't even know if it tells me

01:34:12   how many hits I got.

01:34:14   I know I have about 400 recommendations

01:34:18   and 15 balloons, comments, I don't know what.

01:34:23   - Wow.

01:34:25   So they don't even tell you your hits

01:34:26   So you don't even know how much it spread your,

01:34:29   I mean, for all you know,

01:34:30   that means you've got 400 people to read it.

01:34:33   - Yeah, I don't know.

01:34:34   But I mean, 400 recommendations, that's a lot, I think.

01:34:39   Like, that's--

01:34:40   - Wow.

01:34:42   - No, like, to have, like, basically a like action

01:34:44   on something, to get 400 likes on something is a lot.

01:34:48   - I mean, it would be a lot if it was faves on Twitter,

01:34:50   but it's not a lot for Taylor Swift.

01:34:52   - Well, I'm not Taylor Swift.

01:34:54   - I don't know what the ratio is

01:34:55   Readers to two likers on medium, you know, it may be a different it's a different social space that either

01:35:00   I think I have a good handle on what the ratio is on Twitter, but on medium

01:35:04   I really don't know and I read a lot

01:35:05   I said even though I don't write anything I meet him I read a lot of medium posts and every time I read one

01:35:09   I'm like what made this person write this on medium and why are these comments in the margin?

01:35:13   Well, okay. So, you know next time you write a post in about three years

01:35:18   Nice cross posted there try it never I'll never join you

01:35:24   It is, I think, useful to understand it

01:35:27   if you're in the business of writing on the web.

01:35:29   You don't necessarily have to constantly post

01:35:32   everything there or switch to it,

01:35:33   but I think it is worth understanding.

01:35:36   - I don't know, the problem I have with it is,

01:35:40   like Jon, I've read a bunch of things on Medium,

01:35:42   and I cannot remember a time that I've paid

01:35:46   any real attention to who wrote it.

01:35:48   So if the exercise was just to understand Medium,

01:35:52   then sure, call it a success.

01:35:53   If the exercise was to get your thoughts out anonymously, then it's probably a success.

01:36:01   Granted, in this case, the particular post you made was heavily about your own experience,

01:36:06   and most people know who you are in this context.

01:36:09   So I guess maybe this is an instance of "that's fine for Marco," but I feel like for a normal

01:36:17   person, it would certainly propagate content better than just putting it on your own website.

01:36:21   And I include myself in that, but I don't think anyone would remember a Medium post

01:36:25   I put up that wasn't about me as being written by me. I just, I don't feel like there's that

01:36:33   ownership in the, in the brand sense that there is on your own website, or even your own,

01:36:40   like Tumblr account, because at least on a Tumblr account, you're, you've presumably styled your,

01:36:48   your site, your blog in such a way that it is in some way unique. And yes, I know that

01:36:52   there's a lot of cookie cutter Tumblr themes, but it stands to—it seemed to me that a

01:36:58   lot of Tumblr, if not most Tumblr sites, are visually unique, whereas every Medium post

01:37:02   just looks like a Medium post.

01:37:03   Jared Ranerelle I would say it's similar in that regard to

01:37:07   Twitter and Tumblr. Like, you know, you have your little username and your avatar, but

01:37:12   you know, when you read tweets, like if you see something that was retweeted from somebody

01:37:15   else, you know, how much are you really seeing their name and, you know, it's like, it's

01:37:21   very similar to those things in that regard. So it is nothing like having your own site,

01:37:25   but it isn't, you know, there are things that we already have that are like this, you

01:37:29   know, and we can see like kind of how that works on Tumblr and Twitter where like, you

01:37:34   know, if you see somebody's name come up more than a couple times, you'll probably

01:37:39   remember it and be like, "Oh yeah, that person, you know, I've been seeing their

01:37:42   stuff a lot, maybe I'll go follow them. It's very similar in those regards. Not like blogging,

01:37:48   but it's, again, I think it's worth understanding. Whether you choose to use it or not is certainly

01:37:53   up for debate, and I don't even know if I'm going to keep using it, but I'm glad I understand

01:37:58   a little bit better now.

01:37:59   So Marko has to release all these applications to make the internet angry, and that means

01:38:03   we didn't even have time to talk about the new iMacs.

01:38:05   We could have an iMac after show. That's about how exciting they are. Thanks a lot to our

01:38:09   our three sponsors this week, Casper, Squarespace, and Lynda.com, and we will see you next week.

01:38:16   Now the show is over, they didn't even mean to begin

01:38:21   Cause it was accidental, oh it was accidental

01:38:26   John didn't do any research, Marco and Casey wouldn't let him

01:38:32   Cause it was accidental, oh it was accidental

01:38:37   And you can find the show notes at ATP.fm

01:38:42   And if you're into Twitter, you can follow them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S

01:38:52   So that's Casey List M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M

01:38:56   N-T-M-A-R-C-O-R-M-N S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A-C-R-A-C-U-S-A

01:39:04   It's accidental (it's accidental)

01:39:07   ♪ They didn't mean to ♪

01:39:10   ♪ Accidental ♪

01:39:11   ♪ Accidental ♪

01:39:12   ♪ Tech podcast ♪

01:39:14   ♪ So long ♪

01:39:16   - I think they're exciting because I'm angry about things.

01:39:20   (laughing)

01:39:20   - Oh, no, suddenly. - You are angry?

01:39:22   You're angry about, we're all angry about it.

01:39:24   We're all angry about the 5400 RPM drive,

01:39:26   even though none of us are gonna buy that model.

01:39:27   - Oh, that is worse than 16 gigs.

01:39:29   That is, that is so bad.

01:39:31   - I don't know what's going on there.

01:39:34   I don't understand how this,

01:39:36   Like, the old Apple would never do that

01:39:39   just because putting SSDs in all of them

01:39:41   would let you charge more money,

01:39:43   but the low-end one is like $1,000,

01:39:46   but it's a ripoff at $1,000.

01:39:48   - No, it's 1,500.

01:39:49   - No, no, the lowest, lowest end, the smallest one.

01:39:51   - Oh, non-retina?

01:39:53   - Let me see, I just had the page up.

01:39:55   - The low-end retina's 1,500, but it's,

01:39:57   I mean, first of all, let's do the preschool method.

01:40:00   We're gonna start by saying something nice.

01:40:03   I like that much more of the lineup now is Retina.

01:40:07   Like by throwing in this mid-range iMac

01:40:09   and by getting rid of some of the non-retinas,

01:40:12   I'm very happy to see Retina spreading

01:40:14   very deeply into the lineup.

01:40:15   I'm very, very happy about that.

01:40:17   It has nice CPUs.

01:40:21   Not the best possible ones, but nice ones.

01:40:23   And it looks pretty.

01:40:26   Okay, now for the bad.

01:40:27   - Yeah, the 1500 one also, I see what you're saying.

01:40:31   - So yeah, I was talking about the bottom of the line one

01:40:34   has the 5400 RPM drive, but so does the very first

01:40:38   Retina one, the 4K21.

01:40:40   - Right, so I mean the very bottom of the line one,

01:40:42   that's the one that has like the MacBook Air internals.

01:40:44   And that is not new, like we've had one like that

01:40:47   for about a couple of years now, I think,

01:40:49   or a year, something like that.

01:40:52   That's fine, you know, if you want a super, super cheap

01:40:54   Apple desktop, the cheap iMac is very slow, but it works.

01:40:58   - But is it fine because the Air at least has an SSD?

01:41:01   I feel like this is such a fundamental change

01:41:03   to the experience of using a Mac

01:41:04   that an Air is gonna stomp all over this thing

01:41:07   in subjective performance.

01:41:09   - That's the thing.

01:41:10   So that's what I just, and they also, by the way,

01:41:14   they made Fusion Drive a little bit worse,

01:41:16   whereas now the one terabyte Fusion Drive

01:41:19   went from having 128 megs of flash caching to 24 gigs,

01:41:24   I mean, 128 gigs to 24 gigs.

01:41:26   That one I almost kind of give them more of a path on.

01:41:29   It's chintzy and it reeks of bean counting,

01:41:31   but it's conceivable that they know that 24 gigs

01:41:36   is enough to keep the working set.

01:41:38   You know what I mean?

01:41:38   I don't know what the working set is for the average person

01:41:41   in terms of keeping the stuff on the fast storage.

01:41:44   24 gigs is hard for me to believe that that would be viable,

01:41:47   but I can believe that 128 might be overkill

01:41:49   for most people for the working set of what they do.

01:41:51   And maybe they have more intelligent shuttling of things

01:41:54   from the fast storage to the slow storage.

01:41:57   I'm not sure how much that would affect things,

01:41:58   but just having no SSD and a really slow 2.5 inch drive,

01:42:03   it's like going back in time.

01:42:04   It's like using, I have one of those on my desk right now.

01:42:07   The non-unibody aluminum MacBook Pro

01:42:10   has only a spinning disc in it.

01:42:12   And it is just super painful to use.

01:42:15   It's like, you think it's broken.

01:42:16   It takes so long for things to happen.

01:42:18   - Yep, that's my personal machine.

01:42:20   This old high-res anti-glare MacBook Pro

01:42:23   with a 720 gig platter drive in it.

01:42:26   - But you know what?

01:42:27   I bet your platter drive is at least 700, 200 RPM.

01:42:29   - You know, I don't recall offhand,

01:42:30   but you're probably right.

01:42:31   (laughing)

01:42:32   But it is so impossibly slow

01:42:35   that genuinely I have wondered numerous times,

01:42:39   just like you said, is this broken?

01:42:40   Because there's no way it's trying to accomplish something.

01:42:43   However, on the plus side,

01:42:45   I don't need any sort of monitoring tools in my menu bar

01:42:47   'cause I can just put my ear close to the drive

01:42:50   and hear it go,

01:42:51   (mimics machine clicking)

01:42:53   Endlessly.

01:42:54   - You don't need monitoring tools in your menu bar, period.

01:42:56   You just have to know it. - Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

01:42:58   - All right, I mean, that's kind of silly

01:42:59   because we're not gonna buy that machine,

01:43:01   but it's like, we're thinking of it from the perspective,

01:43:04   just like the 16 gig phones,

01:43:05   even though we're not going to buy them,

01:43:06   that potentially, if we just send a friend or relative

01:43:10   into an Apple store to buy a computer

01:43:11   and they buy the cheapest one,

01:43:12   they end up with a machine that we think is,

01:43:15   it's like not even, like you should,

01:43:16   if that's the only one you can afford,

01:43:17   you should not buy a Mac.

01:43:18   You should buy a PC or an iPad or something else.

01:43:22   - Or a different Mac.

01:43:24   - Yeah, well, you know, but again,

01:43:25   if that's the only one you can afford

01:43:27   is the bottom of the bottom of the line, not RAN to iMac,

01:43:29   it's just not a good machine with that drive in it.

01:43:31   And the bottom, you know, the bottom line 4K iMac,

01:43:34   it's not a good machine with that drive in it.

01:43:36   And I don't know if people,

01:43:39   like people shouldn't have to be tech savvy enough to know

01:43:42   there's lots of good Macs you can buy at every price point,

01:43:44   but just make sure like in the olden days,

01:43:45   just make sure you get more RAM

01:43:48   because that will really affect your experience.

01:43:49   And now it's just make sure that you at the very least

01:43:51   get the Fusion drive, which won't be as good as an SSD,

01:43:54   but it'll be worlds better than like the slowest hard drive

01:43:58   made in the last decade they're putting inside these things.

01:44:01   - And this is also gonna have a strategy tax for them

01:44:04   in the sense that like, you know,

01:44:06   we've heard rumblings here and there

01:44:07   that they're working on possibly a new file system

01:44:10   and that such file system would be based on SSDs,

01:44:15   that it would only run on SSDs

01:44:16   because if you know that all of the computers

01:44:20   that a file system will run on will have an SSD,

01:44:23   you can make certain assumptions,

01:44:24   you can design it a certain way

01:44:25   to take advantage of the properties of SSDs.

01:44:27   The longer they keep selling computers

01:44:29   with spinning platter hard drives,

01:44:31   the longer they either can't ship that

01:44:33   or have to restrict it to only certain models

01:44:35   of their computers and therefore only a subset

01:44:37   of their users get whatever benefits it brings.

01:44:40   And there's the same thing with the iPhone lineup,

01:44:44   like shipping those A5 chips for so long,

01:44:47   that holds back developers,

01:44:49   including Apple developing its own platform.

01:44:51   Stuff like that.

01:44:52   So it's that kind of move where the nickel and diming

01:44:56   of the low end of their supply chain

01:44:59   is actually going to impede the progress

01:45:01   of Apple's software teams and to impede the progress

01:45:04   that all of us can make in the software moving forward.

01:45:07   - Yeah, I even wonder, at this point,

01:45:09   are we just like, oh, they're trying to save money

01:45:10   by giving me this cheap drive.

01:45:11   Is a 5400 RPM 2.5 inch drive actually cheaper

01:45:15   than the equivalent flash at the volumes Apple buys flash?

01:45:18   Is it a supply issue that they want to save that flash

01:45:21   for the other more profitable computers?

01:45:22   It's just, it's really getting to be the situation

01:45:25   where like at a certain point,

01:45:26   it'll be like antique and retro,

01:45:27   like who is still buying spinning hard drives?

01:45:31   Like every, you would think that the first company

01:45:33   that would go SSD everywhere would be Apple,

01:45:35   but no, they're dragging their feet, you know,

01:45:38   they're just holding on to the past.

01:45:41   that isn't how Apple works anymore.

01:45:42   You know, with Steve, Steve did a few moves like that,

01:45:45   where he would like, you know, cut off this old crazy thing,

01:45:48   we're only doing the new thing.

01:45:49   - USB everywhere on the iMac, right?

01:45:51   - Right, yeah, you know, like Steve,

01:45:53   Steve did moves with that sometimes,

01:45:54   but I try to keep some perspective in, you know,

01:45:56   thinking maybe this is just a crazy part of Tim Cook's Apple.

01:45:59   The fact is, when Steve Jobs was running the place,

01:46:02   they also had like very stingy low-end configurations

01:46:06   on a lot of their computers, and, you know,

01:46:07   but you're right, things like RAM.

01:46:09   But I feel like with Tim it's been made worse.

01:46:12   Like so neither was perfect in this regard.

01:46:15   And maybe Steve would have done the same thing

01:46:16   given the same situations.

01:46:18   But it does seem like they are off on this,

01:46:21   with a balance that needs to be struck

01:46:24   between like the low end that they offer

01:46:27   and making a healthy profit on the high end stuff.

01:46:29   I feel like they're off on that.

01:46:30   And the 16 gig phone is one of these examples.

01:46:33   And the, you know, a lot of the like base configurations

01:46:37   or something like computers.

01:46:38   This is like the greatest example I've seen recently.

01:46:40   Like here is a new, by all accounts,

01:46:43   the non-retina one is a low-end product.

01:46:45   Okay, the retina 4K is a mid-range product.

01:46:50   Maybe even a high-end.

01:46:51   I mean, to most of the world,

01:46:54   a $1,500 computer is high-end.

01:46:57   Let's put this into perspective here.

01:46:59   This is a high-end product for most people's standards.

01:47:02   - And it looks high-end.

01:47:03   I like all that as far as credit.

01:47:05   It looks like a fancy computer.

01:47:08   does not look like a bargain bin,

01:47:10   like just slapped together thing.

01:47:12   It looks like you're buying something expensive

01:47:13   and when you get, I feel like the experience of using it

01:47:16   is so far out of whack with everything that you view

01:47:18   and touch on the computer.

01:47:20   - Yeah, so it's, you have this product

01:47:22   and you know, Apple's brand is supposed to be about

01:47:26   premium quality and about making great

01:47:28   or at least good products.

01:47:30   And there is no way a computer sold in 2015

01:47:35   with a 5400 RPM hard drive is even a good product,

01:47:39   let alone a great one.

01:47:40   And so again, customer set could be a problem here.

01:47:43   Like, I just, I don't see how that, you know,

01:47:47   obviously, I guarantee you, just like 16 gig phones,

01:47:51   this is not about profit margins on that model.

01:47:55   This is about creating upsells to the next model

01:47:58   to raise average selling price.

01:47:59   - Does it work for an upsell if people don't know, though?

01:48:01   Like, I don't even know if it works as an upsell

01:48:03   because that would mean that some people involved

01:48:06   in the sales process would have to be aware

01:48:08   of the huge performance cliff represented

01:48:11   by the 5400 RPM drive.

01:48:13   It is super esoteric, where people don't even know

01:48:15   that you're using solid state storage and disks,

01:48:17   let alone the RPM of the disk, nobody knows those numbers.

01:48:19   So unless the salespeople are saying,

01:48:22   by the way, you don't know this,

01:48:24   but this number here means this computer is crap

01:48:26   and you should buy the other one.

01:48:27   But that's not a sales tactic

01:48:28   that I've ever seen used in an Apple store.

01:48:30   That kind of like, let me tell you why this machine is crap

01:48:32   you should buy the other one. Apple is mostly, in my experience, been like, these are all

01:48:36   great products. Pick whichever one you want. If you have questions, I can answer them.

01:48:39   So I don't know. The 16 gig model, I feel like even people don't know what a gigabyte

01:48:43   is that I think people are used to buying smartphones with a single number associated

01:48:47   with them, especially Apple phones. And that number is like the amount of stuff that the

01:48:52   phone holds. And so I think there's more of an argument for being used as an upsell there.

01:48:56   But on computers, the RPM of the spinning disk, I don't know.

01:49:00   Yeah, I completely agree. And it wasn't until—I don't remember which machine it was—but it wasn't

01:49:05   until I finally started using an SSD myself years ago now. Maybe it was in my previous work computer

01:49:11   before it just got upgraded. But anyway, it wasn't until I had one myself that I realized,

01:49:16   "Oh my God, what everyone is saying, it's not true. It's even better than what they said."

01:49:22   Because I just had never experienced it before. And it's—admittedly, I should have listened to

01:49:27   all these people like you and Marco that were saying, "Oh my god, SSD is the only way to

01:49:30   go." But until you really use a computer that is your own, that has an SSD, you don't understand

01:49:38   the difference it makes. And so I can absolutely imagine me back then not having used an SSD

01:49:45   thinking, "Ah, it's just, it's not worth it. It's not that big a deal." And so I feel like

01:49:50   some amount of forced guidance or, you know, compelling people to get this better machine

01:49:58   is what it's going to take in order to move them away from these platter drives.

01:50:04   And the way you do that is you don't off the platter drive in the first place.

01:50:06   Well, see, but the customer SAP won't be affected if the people who buy this computer have never

01:50:10   had an SSD, because maybe they just think this is how slow computers are.

01:50:13   Like if they've never had the faster experience on a Mac and they buy this one, it's probably

01:50:18   about the same speed as their previous Mac

01:50:19   or probably faster than their previous Mac

01:50:21   with a spinning disk.

01:50:22   So those people, their customer sat will be fine.

01:50:23   I bought this new computer, it's fancy,

01:50:25   the screen looks really nice,

01:50:27   it's better than my old computer

01:50:28   in a bunch of different ways, and it's faster.

01:50:31   So they don't know what they're missing, right?

01:50:33   So maybe their customer sat will be protected.

01:50:36   I just feel like Apple is not giving

01:50:37   the best possible experience that they could be giving

01:50:40   to their customers.

01:50:41   - Right, well the customer sat will be good,

01:50:43   it won't be great, and we all like to think

01:50:46   that Apple aims for great.

01:50:48   - What they should have, if they wanted to actually offer

01:50:52   the best product they could at this price point,

01:50:54   they would have thrown in that stupid 24 gigs

01:50:57   and made it a Fusion Drive for what I can best estimate

01:51:01   a total cost of maybe 20 bucks to them.

01:51:03   - Yeah, just add 20 bucks to the price at that point.

01:51:06   Like, you know, take zero profit margin

01:51:08   on the 24 gigs of flash, but add 20 bucks to the price.

01:51:11   - Right, but instead they charge $100 for that option.

01:51:14   If you want two terabytes, that's $300.

01:51:19   Now, a two terabyte, two and a half inch drive at retail

01:51:22   is about 100 bucks.

01:51:24   So they're charging 300 for something that's gonna cost them

01:51:27   about 100 plus the 24.

01:51:29   And they've always done stuff like this,

01:51:32   like overcharging for some of the options,

01:51:34   but I don't know, I felt like a few years ago

01:51:36   they've started to get better at it.

01:51:37   Like the RAM started to become a lot less outrageous

01:51:40   and stuff.

01:51:40   - Yeah, storage is the new RAM.

01:51:42   It used to be that RAM was the thing that Apple overcharged Ridiculous Amount for, and

01:51:46   then they got reasonable-ish RAM prices, but now it's like storage prices have no relation

01:51:51   to reality.

01:51:52   >> MATT: As usual, the options are not priced well, but it's...

01:51:54   >> JONATHAN But I don't mind that.

01:51:56   Like, I feel like to get to move on to off of the low-end thing, like, I'm thinking of

01:52:00   getting one of these to replace my wife's Thunderbolt display and MacBook Air setup.

01:52:05   >> MATT You got to replace your Mac Pro?

01:52:06   >> JONATHAN No.

01:52:07   I'm still holding...

01:52:08   He's the dream alive.

01:52:10   The Mac Pro, Thunderbolt 3, external retina display,

01:52:14   it could conceivably happen.

01:52:16   Anyway, extending that aside for now,

01:52:18   the big one looks good.

01:52:20   And I'm, you know, again, I'll pay whatever, you know,

01:52:22   I'll check the stupid $700 one terabyte flash up.

01:52:26   Like I understand, it's an expensive product,

01:52:29   it's the high end, you're paying through the nose

01:52:31   for the premium stuff, but it looks

01:52:32   and acts like a premium product.

01:52:33   I have faith that their one terabyte flash drive

01:52:36   will be fast.

01:52:37   I have faith that the screen will look really good

01:52:40   'cause Marco you said you really like your screen

01:52:41   and this one is supposedly even better.

01:52:44   - Yeah, they did a wide color gamut.

01:52:46   That's one thing I really do kind of regret not having.

01:52:49   I mean, I--

01:52:50   - I know how you can fix that.

01:52:51   - No, I'm not gonna do it.

01:52:52   I'm not gonna get one.

01:52:53   - Yes, you are.

01:52:54   - I'm really not.

01:52:55   (laughing)

01:52:56   - All right, all right, all right, just now.

01:52:58   (laughing)

01:53:00   How long does this take before Marco has one of these?

01:53:03   Well, Tiff might just need one for photography,

01:53:04   but if I'm getting one, I might as well, anyway.

01:53:06   (laughing)

01:53:07   - Yeah, but I will get one for you.

01:53:09   - Yeah, but yeah, so this does look

01:53:11   like a really nice computer.

01:53:12   It's kind of disappointing that it doesn't have the USB-C,

01:53:15   and my open questions as I post it on Twitter are,

01:53:18   what's the deal with the GPU?

01:53:20   Is it still like thermal throttled inside there?

01:53:22   'Cause what, I'm not deciding that really

01:53:25   whether we should get one or not.

01:53:27   It's basically, should I bother getting the high-end one

01:53:29   or is it pointless because the high-end one

01:53:31   is just gonna make more noise and more heat

01:53:34   without any real big boost in performance?

01:53:36   Or should I get the lowest-end GPU

01:53:38   I just resign myself to the fact that this is never

01:53:41   gonna be remotely good for gaming,

01:53:43   and just get the one that makes the least amount of noise.

01:53:45   So I'm waiting for some people to either buy this

01:53:48   and tear it apart or test it and do all,

01:53:50   I wanna see gaming benchmarks, I wanna see noise levels,

01:53:53   stuff like that, and I wanna wait for the first bunch

01:53:55   of suckers to get the first ones off the assembly line.

01:53:57   And then eventually, probably, I'll order one of these.

01:54:00   - Yeah, I mean, it's, and I will say, I mean, yeah,

01:54:03   like the wide gamut display is, that's a great improvement,

01:54:06   That's the kind of improvement that they didn't need to do.

01:54:10   The market was really not demanding it in a significant quantity, but I'm really glad

01:54:13   they did do it because long term that is better for everybody if that filters through the

01:54:17   line up.

01:54:18   So that is great.

01:54:19   I'm very happy, again, that they went retina.

01:54:20   I'm very happy that the big one finally got sky lake, although it doesn't have the

01:54:25   cool USB 3 Thunderbolt thing with USB-C. It doesn't have that, so that's unfortunate,

01:54:31   but maybe we'll get there in the spring.

01:54:34   Who knows?

01:54:35   Also the price is a little bit lower.

01:54:36   When you deck it out with the options,

01:54:39   previously if you maxed out all the options,

01:54:42   it was $4,400, now maxed out it was $4,100.

01:54:46   So somewhere the options are getting a little bit cheaper.

01:54:48   So overall, decent machine.

01:54:51   If I was buying a new Mac today,

01:54:53   I would get a well configured 5K 27 inch, of course, again.

01:54:58   'Cause I've been using mine now for a year

01:55:01   and absolutely love it.

01:55:03   And the fact that I'm not really itching

01:55:05   to find an excuse to upgrade should tell you,

01:55:08   you know, in one way how good this thing is.

01:55:11   It is incredible.

01:55:13   And I mean, the screen on mine is the best screen

01:55:17   I have ever seen.

01:55:18   And they made the new ones even better.

01:55:20   So I'm very, very happy about this.

01:55:22   I'm happy they keep pushing the line forward.

01:55:24   The high end is great, the low end is a shame.

01:55:28   - Yeah, and I don't mind, like the missing USB-C,

01:55:31   like it's kind of a shame,

01:55:32   like you recognize when you're buying. If you're buying a Mac now you realize you're buying in the

01:55:36   middle of Apple transitioning its line to a USB-C. It's going to be a while. If retina's any judge it

01:55:42   could be a really long while. So just like what are you going to do? I'm going to wait for the

01:55:46   next iMac that has USB-C. Well then you're not going to computer for six months to a year. So

01:55:50   like I know I'm going to be okay with that mostly because whatever like I don't see any

01:55:58   big need for USB-C for the thing that's replacing

01:56:02   this ancient MacBook Air, it'll still be a huge upgrade.

01:56:05   - Yeah.

01:56:06   - So the mouse and keyboard are next, I guess.

01:56:08   We can quickly hit those.

01:56:10   - I am happy that, so, okay,

01:56:13   let me say something nice first. (laughs)

01:56:16   I'm happy that they're doing stuff like this.

01:56:18   Like, I'm happy that the Mac, and in particular,

01:56:22   the desktop Macs are still important enough

01:56:24   for Apple to put significant work into,

01:56:27   because not only are they obviously mostly

01:56:30   an iOS device company these days,

01:56:32   but also among the Mac line,

01:56:34   the laptops tend to get the most attention

01:56:36   because they sell most of the laptops.

01:56:37   I mean, I heard, I think Jason Stellanupgrade said

01:56:39   that they sell 75% of the computers they sell are laptops,

01:56:43   and the desktop isn't even all iMac.

01:56:44   That's gonna be some Mac Pros, some Mac Minis.

01:56:46   So the fact that they're putting effort

01:56:49   into things like making awesome new iMacs,

01:56:52   but also things like new keyboard or mouse designs

01:56:55   and the previous ones worked fine.

01:56:57   Even though I don't like the direction

01:56:59   they took with the keyboard yet,

01:57:00   I mean I haven't tried one yet.

01:57:02   From what I hear though, it's very MacBook One-like.

01:57:05   So I'm not crazy about that, but I wouldn't use it anyway

01:57:09   'cause it isn't a split natural keyboard

01:57:10   and I always use the split ergo keyboard.

01:57:13   So it doesn't matter for me.

01:57:15   So I just like that they're still doing this.

01:57:17   I feel like maybe this is Phil Schiller.

01:57:19   Like I feel like of all the top execs,

01:57:21   I think he seems to like the Mac the most.

01:57:24   it seems to be like kinda his baby in that way.

01:57:27   Like he always seems to care a lot about the Mac things.

01:57:30   He always like gives more public statements

01:57:33   about the Macs than any other exec.

01:57:35   Like maybe that's just his job to present them,

01:57:37   I don't know, but it does seem like he cares a lot

01:57:39   and that's comforting to know that like he's so high up

01:57:41   and seems to really care about the Mac.

01:57:43   So I'm just, I'm happy that the Mac,

01:57:46   and in particular desktop Macs,

01:57:49   are getting meaningful updates and meaningful attention.

01:57:52   Even when I don't always agree

01:57:53   with the direction they're going,

01:57:54   at least happy they're getting updates.

01:57:57   - Yeah, I agree.

01:57:58   I was sad to see that the Magic Mouse didn't seem to get,

01:58:02   it doesn't aesthetically look that different.

01:58:06   I know it's taller, or excuse me, not taller,

01:58:08   but I guess longer is a better way of phrasing it.

01:58:11   I'm happy to see the batteries go away.

01:58:13   I am one of the suckers that bought

01:58:15   the Apple battery charger because I hated

01:58:16   throwing away double A's all the time.

01:58:18   - Not even I bought that.

01:58:20   You know, other battery chargers exist.

01:58:22   - Yeah, they do, yeah, and they're better.

01:58:24   Well, it was a gift.

01:58:25   So, yeah.

01:58:26   I had a friend who claimed his Hanson CD was a gift in middle school.

01:58:31   Mm-hmm.

01:58:32   Well, I mean, I believe it was a gift.

01:58:34   I probably would have bought it anyway because the only thing I ever use it for is my Magic

01:58:37   Mouse.

01:58:38   But anyway, the point is I still think that ergonomically this has a way to go.

01:58:44   I wish it was more bulbous, but you know, you can't win them all.

01:58:48   But I like that it's got rechargeable batteries.

01:58:51   I like that it's charging via lightning.

01:58:54   I think that's smart.

01:58:55   I think any excuse, as many have said, to get another lightning cable in the house,

01:58:59   you can never have enough.

01:59:00   We probably have 20 or 30 at this.

01:59:02   Nah, maybe not that many.

01:59:03   We have a ton.

01:59:04   And there's still not enough.

01:59:06   But I don't know, it would be neat if they did something a little different with it.

01:59:10   I'm not sure what.

01:59:12   Maybe somehow, some way supporting Force Touch.

01:59:15   I don't know enough about how this is all held together in a hardware perspective that

01:59:19   maybe that's a ridiculously complicated and stupid idea.

01:59:22   But I would have liked something more than just a slight rev.

01:59:26   Like even the keyboards, that wasn't revolutionary what they did, but it was more than just a

01:59:32   basic rev.

01:59:34   And I'm sad that the Magic Mouse only got the basic rev.

01:59:38   And I fear that my mouse using days are running out and eventually, due to Force Touch, I'm

01:59:45   going to have to get a trackpad.

01:59:47   And I know that a lot of people are completely in love with their Magic Trackpad.

01:59:52   I personally don't care for trackpads unless I have to.

01:59:56   I will use the one on my Mac, you know, the onboard one if I am in a pinch and it's not

02:00:01   reasonable for me to set up a mouse.

02:00:03   But I prefer a mouse if at all possible.

02:00:07   And I prefer a multi-touch mouse specifically.

02:00:11   The other thing I really do like is the pairing by way of the USB connection.

02:00:15   I think that's extremely smart.

02:00:17   It's another one of those really great Apple moves where it's like, "Oh yeah, if you're

02:00:20   going to plug it in anyway, why the crap wouldn't you do that?"

02:00:23   But I don't know if I would have thought of it if I was designing all this.

02:00:27   So I'm kind of excited about the new keyboard and the new mouse.

02:00:32   More the keyboard than the mouse, I suspect, because I have one of the old, old, old Bluetooth

02:00:37   keyboards that takes three batteries, which is completely barbaric, obviously.

02:00:43   So I'd love to see, I'd love to get my hands on a keyboard and a mouse, but geez, they're

02:00:47   expensive.

02:00:48   How much are they?

02:00:49   >> Well, they come with your computer if you buy a new computer, right?

02:00:52   >> Well, they come with your new desktop computer.

02:00:55   But I don't typically buy desktop computers as we've talked about.

02:00:58   >> Yeah, I mean, when it comes to the different keyboard, it's 100 bucks.

02:01:01   Trackpad is 130.

02:01:02   Mouse is 80.

02:01:03   Standalone.

02:01:04   >> Do you have a choice of a real keyboard?

02:01:07   Let's see.

02:01:08   Yeah, you do.

02:01:09   Still, Apple keyboard with numeric keypad.

02:01:11   So you can pick the extended one still.

02:01:13   I mean, that's why I'm not interested in this keyboard.

02:01:15   I like, well, like the keyboard, like the mouse seems to,

02:01:19   and the trackpad for that matter,

02:01:21   it's a refinement of what Apple seems to think

02:01:24   is the platonic ideal of these devices.

02:01:26   So in case you were disappointed

02:01:27   that the mouse didn't make more of an evolution,

02:01:29   Apple has decided for the next several years

02:01:32   that this piece of sushi is the mouse

02:01:35   and all they're doing is refining it.

02:01:36   And Apple has decided for the next several years

02:01:39   that this aluminum keyboard,

02:01:40   that's the way a keyboard should look

02:01:42   and they're just refining it.

02:01:43   How can they refine it barely?

02:01:44   Can we pull the edges even more?

02:01:46   Can we make keys a little bit bigger?

02:01:48   Can we make them more stable?

02:01:49   Maybe we'll tweak the layout,

02:01:50   but bottom line is, like they want it to just disappear.

02:01:53   They want it to be very simple.

02:01:54   It's beautiful to look at,

02:01:56   but I don't like the key layout.

02:01:57   I need, I want my inverted T arrow keys.

02:01:59   I want page up, page down, home and end where I want them.

02:02:02   I would like a space between the numbers

02:02:04   and the function keys,

02:02:06   but that would make the keyboard bigger.

02:02:08   Even though it would be easier to feel your way

02:02:10   to the difference between the numbers and the functions,

02:02:12   I would like the key in the lower left corner to not be FN, not be the FN key, right?

02:02:20   Because that's where control is by default if you don't swap it with caps lock.

02:02:24   These are all things you can do on a full-size real keyboard that you can't do on Apple's

02:02:28   super aggressively minified keyboard.

02:02:31   But I guess this is the way to go.

02:02:33   I feel like desk real estate, it's good to conserve desk real estate, but one of the

02:02:39   luxuries of a desktop computer is you don't have to fit it on an airline tray table.

02:02:45   You can make the keyboard a little bit bigger, you can give it a little bit of breathing

02:02:48   room, would it kill you to put some space between the function keys and the number keys?

02:02:51   Or is that extra 5mm going to impinge on the giant desk where you have your gigantic iMac?

02:02:56   I don't know.

02:02:57   Anyway, this is, I disagree with their design direction for their keyboards, especially

02:03:01   since they don't seem to even offer an extended version, except for the old one.

02:03:06   I assume that when you pick that extended version you get the old one that I'm sitting

02:03:08   in front of right now, which I like, but I would like the new key mechanism, I would

02:03:13   like the new larger keycaps, you know, I would like San Francisco font on my keycaps.

02:03:17   And by the way, who said this, I think this was on the Dalrymple site, the MacBook One

02:03:22   keyboard has half a millimeter of key travel, the old aluminum keyboards that I'm sitting

02:03:27   in front of now have the old desktop ones, have 2.1 millimeters key travel, and the new

02:03:32   one has 1 millimeter, so it's right in the middle, it's 0.52 and 1 millimeter.

02:03:36   So it's not going to feel like the MacBook One, but it's also half the depth of the

02:03:40   old keyboard.

02:03:41   So I'll have to try that to see how I like it again, and maybe not that I'm going to

02:03:45   be using this thing anyway.

02:03:47   The consensus so far from reviewers seems to be that it feels more like the MacBook

02:03:51   One keyboard than like the old one.

02:03:53   And it might be because of the stability of the keys a little bit too, that not as much

02:03:58   tilting involved, and also the reduced travel, I don't know.

02:04:00   The Magic Trackpad I think is the only one of these accessory revisions that I think

02:04:04   is a clean win all around because the Magic Trackpad, there's not much to it except for

02:04:09   a place where you slide your fingers around, so they made the place bigger, which is what

02:04:15   I was hoping for in terms of, you know, you have all the space in your desktop, why not

02:04:19   make it bigger?

02:04:20   It's also, it seems to be more proportioned like the screen, which is kind of nicer in

02:04:24   terms of, not that it's a one-to-one mapping, but anyway, if you're gonna make it, if you

02:04:28   have to decide what shape your trackpad should be, making it the shape of the screens that

02:04:32   sell is a good idea.

02:04:34   And it's white, which I like, I'm assuming it won't get all disgusting with your fingers

02:04:38   because I'm assuming it's glass up there and everything.

02:04:40   It doesn't have the little feet, which were super clever, but obviously don't work in

02:04:44   this force touch age, so I actually do have a Magic Trackpad, I probably used one on eBay

02:04:49   for OS X reviews so I had something to do gestures on.

02:04:52   And so I guess at 130 bucks I'm not buying one of these on a whim, it's super expensive,

02:04:57   But that is my favorite new accessory out of the group by far.

02:05:01   Oh, and then finally the fact that the lightning charging port on the mouse is on the bottom.

02:05:09   I saw a couple people trying to think of reasons for this.

02:05:13   Like don't hurt yourself.

02:05:15   It's because if you put it someplace else it'll be ugly.

02:05:17   Like that's it.

02:05:18   Yeah, oh yeah, that's totally it.

02:05:19   Done and done.

02:05:20   And I also don't think it's a big deal because the charge lasts so long and you charge it

02:05:26   so infrequently, it is a little bit awkward.

02:05:28   It's kind of one of those,

02:05:29   it's the same as the compromises

02:05:30   that Apple has made in the past.

02:05:31   It fits right in with the,

02:05:33   let's put the ports in the back of the iMac

02:05:35   so they're not in your face,

02:05:36   but now it's harder to kind of get at them

02:05:38   or the, you know, like things

02:05:40   that make your product look good,

02:05:42   but as soon as you go and try to use it,

02:05:44   part of the functionality, the infrequent part,

02:05:46   like you're not plugging and unplugging things all the time,

02:05:47   but when you do do it, it becomes awkward.

02:05:49   So this mouse looks good all the time.

02:05:52   When you do have to plug in,

02:05:53   I guess you leave it on its back like a turtle at night, you know, and then

02:05:58   It just lays there in the back and you won't flip it over. Why aren't you flipping it over Casey anyway?

02:06:04   I'm flubbing that quote. You're not gonna get that reference anyway, so to throw it in

02:06:06   But that's gonna look weird

02:06:08   It's going to look weird to have your thing charging overnight with the wire sticking out of it at an awkward angle

02:06:15   It'll look weirder than it would if the thing plugged in where the cord is on a regular old-style corded mouse

02:06:20   Because then it would just sit on your desk the cord would be there you unplug it and be fine

02:06:23   But the whole rest of the time you're using the mouse

02:06:26   Johnny I've would be restless at night knowing that this is

02:06:28   gaping lightning port poking out of his beautiful piece of sushi somewhere that people can see

02:06:32   Right and it would be if they did it right and put it on the front edge where every other mouse has its cord coming

02:06:38   In you wouldn't even see it in use like when it would be facing away from you would be facing the wall

02:06:42   People walking towards you and at your desk your beautiful glass desk at the reception area

02:06:47   they would see the lightning port hole and it would fill with lint. I don't know. But yeah, that's

02:06:52   You don't I don't think you need to think hard about it

02:06:56   That's why it's on the bottom because it's less ugly that way and I mean in the end

02:06:59   I think that is a reasonable I think it's a more reasonable compromise than putting every single port on the back of the iMac

02:07:05   Let's put it that way. Yeah. Well, and you know if you're going for maximum functionality

02:07:09   You're probably not using this mouse to begin with

02:07:11   I mean I like it but no one else seems to

02:07:13   Casey is using it for maximum functionality because it's the only swipey mouse. It's the only like high quality multi gesture multi finger gesture mouse

02:07:21   So that's the functionality the reason he's using this thing. Well, that's mostly true

02:07:24   That is why I'm using it, but I'm told that Mike's beloved MX whatever Mouse

02:07:30   That is giving him tremendous RSI issues

02:07:33   That I guess has physical buttons

02:07:37   You can press that will mimic a lot of gestures that I do

02:07:41   But that to me that seems kind of a hack and kind of kludgy and I'm not that interested in it

02:07:46   But strictly speaking I could accomplish the things I want to accomplish with other mice with more buttons

02:07:53   Buttons are always the answer aren't they?

02:07:56   [BEEP]